A Skeptical Engineer http://machinedesign.com/blog/23139/feed A questioning, sometimes humorous look at technologies, engineering, and the world. en Another debunking of the U.S. Engineering Shortage http://machinedesign.com/blog/another-debunking-us-engineering-shortage <div class="node-body blog-body">Another nail in the myth of an engineering shortage</div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/skeptical-engineer">A Skeptical Engineer</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="http://machinedesign.com/blog/another-debunking-us-engineering-shortage" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://machinedesign.com/blog/another-debunking-us-engineering-shortage#comments Engieering shortage lack of STEM workers A Skeptical Engineer Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:26:00 +0000 39451 at http://machinedesign.com Taking the window seats (and windows) from pilots and co-pilots http://machinedesign.com/blog/taking-window-seats-and-windows-pilots-and-co-pilots <div class="node-body blog-body"><p>Who would&rsquo;ve thought that the glass-cockpit concept &ndash; the use of programmable displays to replace radar screens, dials, and navigational instruments &ndash; would lead to airline cockpits with no windows? It seems it has as Airbus, the European consortium that designs and builds airliners, filed last year for a patent on its windowless-cockpit concept.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/skeptical-engineer">A Skeptical Engineer</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="http://machinedesign.com/blog/taking-window-seats-and-windows-pilots-and-co-pilots" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://machinedesign.com/blog/taking-window-seats-and-windows-pilots-and-co-pilots#comments AIrbus cockpit patents Community A Skeptical Engineer Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:22:00 +0000 39081 at http://machinedesign.com Back-of-the-envelope calculations: When close is good enough http://machinedesign.com/blog/back-envelope-calculations-when-close-good-enough <div class="node-body blog-body">The art of back-of-the-envelope calculations</div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/skeptical-engineer">A Skeptical Engineer</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="http://machinedesign.com/blog/back-envelope-calculations-when-close-good-enough" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://machinedesign.com/blog/back-envelope-calculations-when-close-good-enough#comments back-of-the-envelope Fermi problems problem solving Technologies A Skeptical Engineer Thu, 26 Jun 2014 19:58:00 +0000 38831 at http://machinedesign.com Engineering Dropouts: Another Myth http://machinedesign.com/blog/engineering-dropouts-another-myth <div class="node-body blog-body"><p>Many high-tech-industry observers have theorized that engineering schools struggle to keep students, especially women, in the engineering pipeline. Some observers go so far as to blame an engineering shortage in the U.S. on this poor retention rate. Recent research, some of which appeared in the <em>Journal of Engineering Education</em> and <em>The Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Education, </em>seems to refute this theory.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/skeptical-engineer">A Skeptical Engineer</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="http://machinedesign.com/blog/engineering-dropouts-another-myth" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://machinedesign.com/blog/engineering-dropouts-another-myth#comments Engineering shortage Technologies Community A Skeptical Engineer Mon, 16 Jun 2014 17:58:00 +0000 38301 at http://machinedesign.com Sights at the National Nuke Museum http://machinedesign.com/blog/sights-national-nuke-museum <div class="node-body blog-body">If you&rsquo;re ever in Albuquerque, be sure to make time for the National Museum of Nuclear Science &amp; History. It&rsquo;s one of those museums engineers should ge a kick ougt of. </div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/skeptical-engineer">A Skeptical Engineer</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="http://machinedesign.com/blog/sights-national-nuke-museum" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://machinedesign.com/blog/sights-national-nuke-museum#comments Engineering Museums Technologies Community A Skeptical Engineer Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:26:00 +0000 38201 at http://machinedesign.com Engineering miracle or just good carpentry? http://machinedesign.com/blog/engineering-miracle-or-just-good-carpentry <div class="node-body blog-body">Santa Fe's miraculous spiral staircase. Really?</div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/skeptical-engineer">A Skeptical Engineer</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="http://machinedesign.com/blog/engineering-miracle-or-just-good-carpentry" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://machinedesign.com/blog/engineering-miracle-or-just-good-carpentry#comments miracle Santa Fe spiral staricsr A Skeptical Engineer Fri, 30 May 2014 19:58:00 +0000 37981 at http://machinedesign.com A blimp is a blimp. These aren't. http://machinedesign.com/blog/blimp-blimp-these-arent <div class="node-body blog-body"><p>The Goodyear Company is upgrading its fleet of airships, going from blimps to zeppelins. This technological step-up will give the flying billboards more speed and passenger-carrying capability than the company had with blimps. But the tire company is also going to continue referring to the airships as Goodyear blimps, even though they aren&#39;t. The new aircraft have a rigid structure inside the outer envelope. This lets the three engines be mounted high up on either side and at the aft end.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/skeptical-engineer">A Skeptical Engineer</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="http://machinedesign.com/blog/blimp-blimp-these-arent" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://machinedesign.com/blog/blimp-blimp-these-arent#comments Blimp Goodyear Zeppelin A Skeptical Engineer Thu, 22 May 2014 18:22:00 +0000 37591 at http://machinedesign.com And the world's greatest engineering movie is . . . http://machinedesign.com/blog/and-worlds-greatest-engineering-movie <div class="node-body blog-body"><p><em>Apollo 13</em> took top honors in our competition to see which movies our readers/viewers thought was the best engineering film. The film about the real-life space-based disaster trounced <em>The Right Stuff</em>, which apparently did not have the right stuff this time.<br /> Here&#39;s how it chewed through the movies it went up against:<br /> It beat the <em>The Core</em> by 92% to 8%.<br /> Then it beat <em>Iron Man</em>, 72% to 28%.<br /> Then it got past <em>Flight of the Phoenix</em>, 75% to 25%.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/skeptical-engineer">A Skeptical Engineer</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="http://machinedesign.com/blog/and-worlds-greatest-engineering-movie" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://machinedesign.com/blog/and-worlds-greatest-engineering-movie#comments A Skeptical Engineer Wed, 30 Apr 2014 16:50:00 +0000 37101 at http://machinedesign.com Greatest Engineering Movie: It’s down to the final two. Let’s Vote! http://machinedesign.com/blog/greatest-engineering-movie-it-s-down-final-two-let-s-vote <div class="node-body blog-body"><p>We&rsquo;ve gotten it down to two movies, thanks to your generous cooperation. (The number of voters increased over every round, a trend we hope continues.) And looking at the results, it seems NASA and its exploits are still a source of fascination for engineers of all ages. It also looks like engineers and other who participated in this competition lean toward fact-based movies.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/skeptical-engineer">A Skeptical Engineer</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="http://machinedesign.com/blog/greatest-engineering-movie-it-s-down-final-two-let-s-vote" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://machinedesign.com/blog/greatest-engineering-movie-it-s-down-final-two-let-s-vote#comments Greatest Engineering Movie A Skeptical Engineer Mon, 21 Apr 2014 18:14:00 +0000 36641 at http://machinedesign.com We're down to four engineering movies. Vote for your Top Two! http://machinedesign.com/blog/were-down-four-engineering-movies-vote-your-top-two <div class="node-body blog-body"><p>Voting in the third round for the World&rsquo;s Greatest Engineering Movie just wrapped up and a record number of voters (10% more than voted in Round 2) sent three space-related flicks to the final four. <em>Apollo 13</em>, a favorite from the start took down a truly great engineering movie, <em>The flight of the Phoenix</em>, 75% to 25%. I was rooting for the <em>Flight of the Phoenix</em>, after all, it starred Jimmie Stewart. &nbsp;<em>2001: A space odyssey</em>, a movie that is coasting on its reputation (IMHO), beat out <em>Tucker: The man and his dream</em>, 62% to 38%.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/skeptical-engineer">A Skeptical Engineer</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="http://machinedesign.com/blog/were-down-four-engineering-movies-vote-your-top-two" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://machinedesign.com/blog/were-down-four-engineering-movies-vote-your-top-two#comments Worlds Greates Engieering Movie A Skeptical Engineer Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:16:00 +0000 36331 at http://machinedesign.com