More in Editorial Comment

  • Jul 31, 2013
    blog

    My visit with Manufacturing Revival Radio

    I was recently a guest on Manufacturing Revival Radio, a podcast that celebrates the resurgance of manufacturing. I hit on a variety of topics that include 3D printing, engineering employment, and STEM education. For those who are curious about my silly opinions, the podcast can be found here: http://madeintheusa.dreamlandinteractive.com/...More
  • Jul 30, 2013
    blog

    Flying car takes flight

    The Terrafugia flying car recently got off the ground at the EAA AirVenture event in Oshkosh, Wis. It was the first time the car flew in public and the online publication AVweb was there shooting video. We've been covering Terrafugia's efforts for awhile so it's good to see them have some success....More
  • Jul 24, 2013
    Commentary

    Racing and 3D printing inspire superfast e-bike

    Performance motorcycles abound but all-electric versions could be coming to a dealership near you. Italian manufacturer CRP Group has plans to sell all-electric bikes starting in 2015. Billed the Energica, they integrate an array of 3D-printed and cutting-edge CNC-machined parts....More
  • Jul 19, 2013
    blog

    Apollo 11 landing site as tourist attraction? Homer Hickam thinks so

    Former NASA engineer Homer Hickam gained notoriety when his autobiography Rocket Boys was made into the movie October Skies (which is an anagram of the words ‘rocket boys’).  He has also gotten a lot of press for his criticisms of NASA, particularly those pointing out the poor design of the Space Shuttle propulsion configuration. Since his retirement from NASA, Hickam has become an accomplished novelist....More
  • Jul 19, 2013
    Commentary

    Rejected patents and recalls cost $9,364,401,650

    There's no doubt that bad product designs waste money. Now, design-software company Autodesk has assembled the hard data on just how much. Lost Opportunities Without 3D Product Design Software...More
  • Jul 15, 2013
    blog

    Understanding Smart Sensors

    The third edition of Understanding Smart Sensors recently came out. It is authored by Randy Frank, who I got to know back when he was an engineer working at Motorola's old Semiconductor Products division, which later became Freescale Semiconductor....More
  • Jul 10, 2013
    blog

    Pow! Wind turbine takes out rare bird

    Wind turbine promoters are fond of saying that modern turbines don't pose the same danger to birds as faster spinning versions of the 1980s. Try telling that to bird watchers gazing at a white-throated needletail in the UK recently. The bird had been seen only eight times there since 1846. A group of 40 enthusiasts in the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland had gathered to take in the brown, black and blue bird, when it flew too close to a utility-scale wind turbine and ended up going kersplat on one of its blades....More
  • Jul 8, 2013
    Commentary

    Here's what happens when STEM promotion is successful: A million Indian engineering grads scramble for jobs 3

    Now we know what can happen when too many kids get funneled into engineering curricula. According to a report in The Economic Times, there were about 1,500 engineering colleges in India six years ago, and that number has since doubled. The result: Lots of engineering grads with few prospects....More
  • Jun 10, 2013
    blog

    H-1B visas make STEM careers unattractive to American students 13

    The idea that H-1B visas tend to reduce the attractiveness of science and technology jobs for U.S. residents got more visibility recently thanks to Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at U.C. Davis. Matloff penned a piece for the financial journal Barron's in which he explained the case for reforming U.S. policies on work visas....More
  • Jun 7, 2013
    Commentary

    101 things I learned in engineering school 2

    Every once in awhile I come across a book I wished I would have had when I was an engineering undergrad. 101 Things I Learned in Engineering School, by John Kuprenas, a PE, with Matthew Frederick, an architect, is in that category. It spans just 101 pages in handbook size (about 7 x 5 inches)....More
  • Jun 4, 2013
    Commentary

    Don't try this at home: Industrial already dominates 3D printing

    According to new research by Wohlers Associates, the real growth in 3D printing is already dominated industrial applications....More
  • May 29, 2013
    Commentary

    For engineers who think they are "big brains"

    Do you think you're hot stuff when it comes to solving technical problems? You can get a chance to prove it and earn $5,000 in the bargain if you compete in a contest being run by a TV show called The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius....More
  • May 29, 2013
    blog

    Why your health club receptionist may have her BA degree

    It is increasingly likely that the person who scans your groceries or checks you in at your health club may have a BA degree in creative literature....More
  • May 15, 2013
    Commentary

    Jury out on promises, but $347 3D printer is fun

    3D manufacturing has been touted as the new revolution in American Manufacturing — even by the President himself. Today, Brookyn-based MakerBot is promoting that Made in America hook....More
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