More in Community

  • Jul 21, 2014
    Commentary

    Nine hardware pitches at San Francisco ‘Maker’ Startup Weekend 1

    Startup Weekend events are now pumping out hardware devices such as a NEST for pools and just-in-time liquor delivery systems....More
  • Jul 17, 2014
    Commentary

    Drones learn to observe environment and steer clear

    Late in 2012, maker-tinkerer and technical writer Paul Wallich created a buzz when he wrote about the drone he built to walk his son to the bus stop each morning. Fast-forward to 2014: Now researchers think they have a new way to make such UAVs and other vehicles more nimble in the face of environmental variables. The design uses neuromorphic sensors (that get triggered by sudden events) instead of the standard inertia-measuring sensors (such as accelerometers and gyroscopes) to track motion....More
  • Jul 17, 2014
    Commentary

    Today's STEM students are lucky

    Back in the age of dinosaurs when I was an engineering undergrad, the lab work generally ranged between uninspiring and discouraging....More
  • Jul 14, 2014
    Commentary

    Movie shows how Vermeer used engineering to paint perfection

    A movie is by inventor Tim Jenison and his friend Penn Jillette (the Vegas magician) documents eight years of work to recreate art by 17th-Century artist Johannes Vermeer. The art was most likely created through the use of a camera obscura....More
  • Jul 8, 2014
    Commentary

    Taking the window seats (and windows) from pilots and co-pilots

    Who would’ve thought that the glass-cockpit concept – the use of programmable displays to replace radar screens, dials, and navigational instruments – 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....More
  • Jul 8, 2014
    News

    3D Printing for Hire: The Case of the Persnickety Prop 2

    Metrology and 3D-printing distributor Burton Precision helped University of Michigan researchers solve three major CAD problems, so they could make a plastic propeller for a human-powered submarine....More
  • Jul 8, 2014
    Commentary

    When a liberal arts degree isn't enough, bring on “experiential learning”

    There are unavoidable constants in life that usually are said to include death and taxes. To this list we should add old people complaining about younger generations. But when the complainers are business executives, a few entrepreneurial-minded educators sense an opportunity....More
  • Jul 3, 2014
    Commentary

    More automakers going with fiberglass springs 1

    Audi is in the news this week because it plans to start using suspension springs made of glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) in one of its cars before the end of the year. Audi says it developed the spring in collaboration with an Italian supplier....More
  • Jun 27, 2014
    Commentary

    Ten for STEM - Ten developments promoting science & technology learning

    Education in the area of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has been in the headlines as employers find it tough to uncover potential employees having STEM backgrounds. Efforts are underway to rectify perceived shortages in STEM fields. Notice of several such initiatives recently crossed our desk. Here is a quick update on what's going on:...More
  • Jun 24, 2014
    Commentary

    6 engineering challenge web sites 3

    Global collaboration is now in full swing as open innovation network challenges appear all over the web. Have you stepped up to solve an online engineering challenge?...More
  • Jun 23, 2014
    Commentary

    In a world ... without harnessed electricity ... TESLA

    Nikola Tesla was the greatest inventor of the 19th and 20th centuries, and some aim to give him his due credit at last....More
  • Jun 17, 2014
    Commentary

    Why more investors aren't millionaires and more engineers aren't innovators

    Every once in a while you'll find commentary in the finanical community that has insights applying equally well to other areas. That is the case for a recent essay in Barron's. Stephen Mauzy, an equity analyst at Wyatt Investment Research, was trying to explain why many professional investors have lousy track records making investments. He claims that most explanations of this phenomenon miss a key point: that investing is entrepreneurial....More
  • Jun 16, 2014
    Commentary

    Engineering Dropouts: Another Myth 7

    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 Journal of Engineering Education and The Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Education, seems to refute this theory....More
  • Jun 13, 2014
    Commentary

    Mainstreaming alert: 3D-printed parts in GE engines and X-ray machines

    When General Electric puts metal 3D-printed parts in its X-ray machines, you know it's gone mainstream. That's what the research summarized in this year's Wohler’s Report on 3D printing also suggests. Here, I explain one application that proves how far 3D printing has come....More
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