Developments

Nikola Tesla was an electrical engineer, a master of invention, and a technological giant far beyond his years. An electric engineer for the ages. His influence on the engineering industry is continually being recognized in a world where alternative energy is becoming the status quo.
 
As his career matured, Tesla would turn into a polarizing figure; many were very skeptical about his belief in what humanity could achieve with electricity.

However, nothing immortalizes Tesla, and...

The fourth industrial revolution is here, making us a part of the Internet of Things (IoT), whether we like it or not.

Artificial intelligence, big data, data generating sensors, robotics and automation are the kinds of innovations that are currently disrupting and indeed benefiting industry. One issue which is facing increasingly interconnected and intelligent enterprises (filled as they are with complex technology), is the shortage of employees skilled enough to use and manipulate these...

Singapore’s Changi Airport recently unveiled the airport terminal of the future; their brand new Terminal 4 with a fully automated check-in system.

 

ICM Airport Technics, a global leader in airport technology solutions, are at the forefront of transforming airport terminals and their hybrid technology was installed in the new Changi terminal. Their Group Chief Executive Officer, Richard Dinkelmann, was the very first passenger at the  Singapore Airport to utilize the check-in...

Henry Petroski, an engineer who has specialized in failure analysis, and has written a dozen or so books on the subject, once said:

“Failure is central to engineering. Every single calculation that an engineer makes is a failure calculation. Successful engineering is all about understanding how things break or fail.”

 

Engineers are not only inundated with the potential mathematical design failure of their work, but also the organizational failures that could eliminate the chance...

Leading Australian artificial intelligence scientist Professor Toby Walsh is warning that we are "sleepwalking" into an AI future in which billions of machines and computers will be able to think.
Professor Walsh, from the University of New South Wales, is calling for a national discussion about whether society needs to adopt clear boundaries and guidelines around how AI is developed and how it's used in our lives.
In his book It's Alive: Artificial Intelligence From The Logic Piano to Killer...

The fight against cancer continues.  Biomedical engineers have announced a new skin cancer diagnosis tool that will identify cancers in up to 30 seconds.

Presently, a dermatologist needs to remove potentially malignant skin from a patient and send it away for testing to assess whether or not the skin is cancerous. This can cause unnecessary scarring for some and dangerous delays for others. The key to stopping cancer in its tracks is quick diagnosis.

 

Non-melanoma skin...

There are more than enough photographs of abandoned buildings on the internet to fill tome, but the history behind them is often overlooked. Oftentimes abandoned buildings speak of a troublesome past - a past where engineers, among others, were involved in constructing the next great thing which did not stand the test of time for various reasons. Engineers from a subsequent generation are then employed to take the abandoned husk of past infrastructure, and turn it into something...

In-ear EEG devices have become increasingly more popular in the later stages of the last decade. Carel Wessels, the top student of Electronic Engineering at the University of Pretoria for 2016, has now taken on a new challenge. He is designing and developing an in-ear EEG device that will revolutionize industries such as the truck driving industry and the infant care industry.

 

What follows is an in-depth conversation about how electronic engineering and biomedical engineering meet...

Your engineering qualifications could take you anywhere around the globe. Even to the southernmost continent. 

This week we talk to a South African electrical engineer who overwintered in Antarctica. From December 2015 to February 2017, Paddy Riley, a graduate of the University of Cape Town, tells us how he spent 14 months in Antarctica, assisting with the operating electrical equipment at space weather research base, SANAE IV. 

The South African National Space Agency sends...

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) state that 66% of Australians are university graduates or have completed an apprenticeship.

 

In Australia, getting a job without a degree in certain industries was once commonplace, however, employers are now requiring that all important piece of paper; the degree. Joshua Krook, a Doctoral Candidate in Law at the University of Adelaide, writing for The Conversation, alludes to the fact that the goalposts are continually being moved when it...

The breakthroughs in the biomedical engineering industry are staggering. For instance, the world has moved closer to a system of wearable diagnostic tools that are designed to continually monitor human health – consider the Fitbit for instance.  And ideas that had previously been designated to the realm of science fiction are becoming reality.

 

One such advanced study involves ingestible robots, used for retrieving swallowed button batteries and also for the treatment of the...

The United Arab Emirates have continually shown how deep pocketed they are when it comes to funding engineering endeavor.

 

In the last year, they impressively printed the world’s very first 3D office, and announced plans to build the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world.

Now, they’re moving on to their mobility engineering strategies. They seem convinced that flying taxis are the future. The country unveiled their intention to use EHang 184 drones as...

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has signed an executive order which stipulates that a wall along the US-Mexico border is to be constructed. The initial promise was that it would be 50-foot high and 2,000 miles long. The President is determined that a wall will be built, and that Mexico will pay for it. Needless to say, it has left civil engineers wide-eyed.

 

As envisaged the wall will span four states: California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

 

Trump’s...

Smart cities are much more than solar-powered street lights triggered when pedestrians walk beneath them.

Smart cities refer to cities that use the latest in technological innovation in infrastructure and IT systems, and the Internet of Things, interspersed with environmentally-friendly nature-inspired elements.

 However, to design a smart city, a sizeable redesign to old infrastructure is usually required. Architecture needs rethinking and reforming, the traditional disciplines of...

A recent article (detailed below) in Engineering.com titled Engineering Implantable Devices for the Brain, caught our eye. It looks at the collaboration of a Paediatric Neurosurgeon and an Electrical Engineer determined to help eliminate brain disease by building brain implants. Biomedical engineering is in growing demand with shortages of both biomedical engineers and technicians in every part of the world. EIT's Advanced Diploma of Biomedical Engineering starting the week of June 06, 2016 is...

 

By Edwina Ross

“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” These are the words of Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943) physicist, engineer and inventor.

Elon Musk, another scientist, engineer and inventor, may have recently set up his desk at the end of the Model X production line at the Tesla Motor factory in California (with his sleeping bag not too far away), but I don’t believe for a minute...

The Queen of England has already spent £600,000 ($748,932) of taxpayer money with trusted engineers and architectural designers that have compiled blueprints for what is being called a 'reservicing' of Buckingham Palace. The taxpayers have been informed that they will be expected to foot the bill of £369 million ($459 million) for a full update of the Palace. All of the bells and whistles! The main engineering company attached to the project is WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff. There are six Buckingham...

Researchers in Columbia University Cochlear Implant Center are investigating a way to engineer music so that people who have cochlear implants might actually be able to enjoy music.

Cochlear implants are engineered to make speech sound clearer to people who are past the point of utilizing an amplifying hearing aid, however, it is reported by implantees that they have lost the ability to enjoy music. 

The researchers from Columbia University intend to, "test the hypothesis that...

Working with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive - already established names in the VR market - VR4CAD gives engineers the ability to walk through a virtual world and see a hypothetical example of what a design might eventually look like in a real world. It is a system that brings designs to life. Virtalis believes that there is a future for virtual reality in engineering. 

Through an agreement with the University of Liverpool, Virtalis is showing how Continuing Professional Development...

South Africa is celebrating their Wind Energy Week, this week. A week that will focus the minds of business leaders and engineers, all over the country, on the positive effect more wind energy infrastructure could have in the country. Most notably, a two-day conference is being held in Cape Town that will focus on the theme: Towards 100% Renewables. Three other events are also being held, all in the name of renewable energy with the specific focus on wind energy. 

A report by...

When Tesla bought solar panel manufacturing giant Solar City in August - for the cool sum of $2.6 billion - the benefits were clear. Tesla, who had been working on electric vehicles and the house and business-powering Powerwall and Powerpack needed the solar panels that would keep their batteries charged. The Chief Financial Officer of Tesla, Jason Wheeler, told Reuters, that the companies would save at least $150 million a year by merging. He also stated that Tesla and Solar City would be...

General Electric is considered to be one of the world's leading industrial companies, who have played a leading role in building energy infrastructure. They do this through their Power department, formally known as GE Power. They are one of the world leaders in power generation and water technologies, supplying utilities around the world. With the recent advancement of renewable energy technology, the company has made a big investment into what they think would further the renewable energy...

Additive manufacturing is the process of manufacturing a material object through layer-by-layer technology enabled by computer-aided design technology. Or at least it used to be. A new kind of rapid prototyping is on the rise. Rapid prototyping is a useful process for scientists and engineers alike, who use 3D printing technology to rapidly manufacture objects for both theoretical and practical uses. Rapid prototyping allows for the creation of models and parts that could be used in engineering...

Engineers in North Dakota, in the United States, are embroiled in a stop-start construction build of what would be the Dakota Access Pipeline. Due to citizen pressures in the form of protesting, the project has been halted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Meaning, that a federal court under the Obama administration has stopped the pipeline progressing, for now. Obama previously completely canceled a pipeline that was meant to run from Canada to Texas, named the...

What do nanotechnology, polyethylene (plastic), and clothing have in common? Well, they can all be combined to make clothing that helps the person wearing it stay cool, especially in hotter climates. Listen up, engineers who work in high-temperature workplaces! Engineers at Stanford University have created a plastic-based material that can be "woven" into items of clothing. The researchers published their findings in the Science journal, under the title: Radiative human body...

Internet-less African towns will have to wait for their internet connections a little longer. A satellite belonging to Facebook - for the purposes of supplying the internet to sub-Saharan Africa - was destroyed by an exploding SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Thursday. There were no injuries reported, however, there were reports of the ground rumbling in areas miles away from the blast site. The estimated losses were said to be $200 million. 

 

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In the mere eight months that 2016 has seen, industrial robotics has been a hot topic. Electronics companies, even shoe factories, are now fully automating some of their more repetitive tasks, prioritizing the efficiency of a robot above the efficiency of a human being. China has called on the expertise of German engineering to try and equip their factories with the very best industrial robots, and Barack Obama has been informing steel workers that jobs that have been replaced by automated...

It was bound to happen at some point. The Federal Aviation Administration - more widely known as the FAA - have begun their crackdown on lithium-ion batteries. This proverbial shot across the bow from the FAA is a warning to engineering companies developing and utilizing lithium-ion batteries, to tighten up battery safety. 36 months ago, what are being called "fire-prone" lithium-ion batteries caught fire on a Boeing 787, alerting the public to the fact that some lithium-ion batteries could...

Engineers use emojis too. Except they see them graphically represented on a piece of software that isn't a chatting platform, but rather, a software that is showing how happy an industrial facility is. By happy, we mean, how efficient and how streamlined an industrial process is going -- which in turn makes an engineer happy. We are talking of course about the Human Machine Interface that displays data in facilities all around the world. Humans need to see data presented to them in ways...

It was just the other day that Switzerland opened the longest railway tunnel in the world. Now, Norway is planning the world's first underwater tube-shaped tunnel. A masterpiece of structural engineering that will consist of two 1,200 meters (4,000 ft) concrete tubes that will lie 30 meters below the surface of the Norwegian sea. The tunnel will connect the city of Kristiansand to the city of Trondheim. Norway already has the record for the largest road tunnel in the world ;The Lærdal...