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Industry

Hailing a flying taxi will no longer be just a concept found in science fiction movies. A Japanese company called SkyDrive recently tested a single-seat prototype straight out of Back to the Future. The company has unveiled its electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, also known as a flying car. The vehicle looks to be a significant step forward toward the future of air mobility.

On the 25th of August 2020, SkyDrive successfully tested prototype SD-03 at the Toyota Test Field...

From the online classroom to the world's leading producer of diamonds by value, many EIT graduates are using their qualifications to contribute to the operations of Debswana Diamond Company mines located across Botswana.

Established in 1969 and owned in equal shares by the Government of the Republic of Botswana and The De Beers Group of Companies, Debswana is one of the world's leading diamond producers and Botswana's largest employer with over 5,000 employees and 6,000 contractors.

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It is estimated that in the United States alone, elevators travel up to 4.5 million miles every single day. The 31st of July is International Talk In An Elevator Day — it encourages people to engage with someone in an elevator, instead of looking down at their devices and ignoring their surroundings. However, for the first time since ‘Talk In An Elevator Day’ was coined, engineers and scientists are warning against striking up conversations in elevators. The coronavirus pandemic has put the day...

It was hailed as the next giant leap for personal transportation. Now, it seems, the idea has become redundant. The Segway PT was a one-person electric vehicle that was brought to market in 2001 — with extreme hype and expectation. Nineteen years later, the self-balancing, two-wheeled personal transporter is being discontinued. It seems that lower consumer demand for the vehicle has convinced Segway to pull the vehicle from its assembly lines, to instead focus on other projects in the mobility...

A lecturer and a postgraduate student from the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) recently virtually attended the 29th IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronics (ISIE2020) from the 17th to the 19th of July. ISIE focuses on advancements in knowledge, new methods, and technologies relevant to industrial electronics - along with their applications and future developments. EIT’s two representatives submitted academic papers at the symposium to report their findings on vitally...

On the 30th of May 2020, after four years of preparation, astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley lifted off at 3:22 p.m. EDT in the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Launching from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the monumental flight marked the first time in history that NASA astronauts have launched from American soil in a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft on its way to the International Space Station.

“This is a dream come true for me and everyone at Space X,” said Elon...

A passionate electrical engineer and educator, Dr Yuanyuan Fan is a course coordinator and on-campus lecturer at EIT’s Perth campus in Australia, working to develop the future generation of industrial automation and electrical engineers. 

Dr Fan studied at the North China Electric Power University, earning her bachelor degree in 2010, and subsequently her master’s degree in 2013. However, she had already been actively working in the electrical engineering sector as far back as 2006. She...

Opportunities in industrial automation are expected to exponentially increase as the global pandemic highlights the need to speed up the adoption of automation to ensure productivity. The shift in trends from traditional techniques to digitized systems has revolutionized supply chain management. Robotics and automated processes are helping companies operate more efficiently and are creating new avenues of work for engineering technicians, technologists and professional engineers. Companies are...

The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is committed to encouraging women to join the engineering industry and supporting our students throughout their respective journeys.

In 2017, the World Economic Forum released reported that while approximately 20% of engineering graduates are women, only 13% of the engineering workforce is female. While the industry is still very much dominated by males, it is still worth reflecting on the work that has already been done by females to change...

Roads are an essential part of everyday life and crucial to economic development. Transportation networks require well-maintained roads; however, the maintenance of roads is a resource-heavy job. It is a costly exercise for local governments to constantly repair roads, and therefore, the sector is primed for innovation.

The techniques involved in the construction of roads are in flux and being revolutionized across the globe. Keeping abreast of the latest methodologies may be daunting for...

The ‘future of work’ is being shaped by a powerful force; the growing adoption of online technologies and artificial intelligence in the workplace. This year has seen the world as we once knew it change rapidly, with the majority of the globe going into an unprecedented lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is easy (and expected) to feel anxious when there is so much uncertainty and change, there is an opportunity to upskill or skill shift in technology and leadership to meet the...

 In the world of education and training, stereotypes can create negative perceptions around particular lines of study or work. The Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) fields are rife with stereotypes that can dissuade young people from taking an interest in these industries, even though these jobs are becoming increasingly essential.

With the rise of technology and automation, engineering careers are becoming more diverse and more applicable across a variety of...

Human ingenuity, and hobbyists — that’s what the world needs right now, aside from the medical professionals who are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. 

As hospitals around the world rush to take stock of the medical equipment they have at their disposal, engineers and engineering companies have been finding ways that they can contribute to the fight against COVID-19. 

It turns out that the hobbyist engineer who has a 3D printer at home could potentially be an...

Reducing emissions in the mining sector is one of the key focuses for mining companies globally. The recent bushfire events in Australia have sparked conversation around how greatly fossil fuel emissions have affected climate change. The changing climate, experts say, is one of the reasons for the recent bushfire crisis that impacted the entire country.

Consequently, Rio Tinto will be spending US$98 million on a new solar plant at their US$2.6 billion Koodaideri iron ore mine in Western...

Lucinda Krige is a South African inspiration. She is a qualified Marine Engineer Officer who, since 2003, has been working for renowned seafood processing company Sea Harvest. She currently works as a HR Business Partner in Learning and Development at Sea Harvest.

She was the first woman to qualify as a Chief Engineer in the fishing industry in South Africa. The sector produces 80 million tons of food and employs 40 million people across the globe.

Sea Harvest is a company that was...

South Africa needs more medium-skilled workers. The youth graduate unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2019, according to Stats South Africa, was 31 percent. The hope is that the first quarter of 2020 may see improvement.

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Blade Nzimande, is encouraging matriculants who just received their results in January to consider enrolling in Technical Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) colleges.

He said most students aim...

Autonomous and efficient data-collecting systems will continue to revolutionize engineering industries throughout 2020. The development of these cyber-physical systems is what is enabling the data and sensor-driven efficiency of the fourth industrial revolution forward.

The most cutting-edge of industrial setups in the world are combining cyber-physical systems with large amounts of data, paired with machine learning, in one big interconnected network. This means factories can run with...

Tesla has officially announced that its lithium-ion home batteries, named the Powerwall, will be available in South Africa in 2020.

They have sent surveys to prospective South African customers inquiring about their home energy usage.

The questions the company put to the eager respondents were:

  • Do you have a Solar PV system currently installed at this property?
  • Do you own this property?
  • When would you like the installation to occur? (Within six months or 6-12 months)
  • Why do...

Air travel is a major contributor to CO2 emissions and is attracting the ire of environmentalist movements who are campaigning for the industry to look to alternative methods of powering aircraft.

Airbus is looking to nature for inspiration to minimize the carbon footprint their planes create around the world. They are suggesting that planes could fly in V-shape formations — as seen by geese migrations in the animal kingdom — to save fuel and lower emissions.

In the first six months...

It is no exaggeration to say that technology has taken a giant leap forward in the last decade.

In this decade, Uber revolutionized taxi industries around the globe, 4G networks brought fast internet to the masses, and Whatsapp and Instagram appeared on the world stage.

Who do we have to thank for these incredible contributions to daily life? Engineers, in part.

The arrival of those advents of technology proves that the next decade could be equally as disruptive in the world of...

Starting from 2020, 4 March will now be the World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development as designated by the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO). Previously known as ‘Engineer’s Day’, the celebration was formerly observed in several counties on various dates throughout the year.

The announcement was made on November 20th at the 2019 World Engineers Convention by WFEO President, Dr Marlene Kanga.

The WFEO is one of the biggest engineering collectives in the world...

Engineers at the University of Rochester in New York are working to develop “unsinkable” materials. Once perfected, these metals could be used to build unsinkable ships, create puncture-proof life jackets, and protect electronics from water damage.

The work is being conducted in the Femtosecond Laser Laboratory at the university. The researchers have been making metals superhydrophobic by utilizing femtosecond lasers.

Femtosecond lasers are traditionally used in cataract surgery. The...

Imagineer.

Verb.

Gerund or present participle: Imagineering

Devise and implement a new or highly imaginative concept or technology.

How do engineers instill a feeling of magic in people’s minds? Some have spent the last 70-years creating innovations that stir up a sense of awe and wonder in anyone who experiences Disney – its theme park has even been dubbed the happiest place on earth.

These engineers have been working creatively in a space that has been described as equal parts...

Engineering companies in the United Kingdom are ensuring the engineers of the future engage with engineering through collaboration and innovation. To achieve this, the Royal Academy of Engineering has developed a day to celebrate engineers and their contribution to the world. The day is aptly named: This Is Engineering Day, and it took place on Wednesday, the 6th of November. 

“From the shoes you wear and the phone in your hand, through to the music you listen to and the games you play...

Technology is rapidly transforming the world of work. Traditional curricula in tertiary education institutions must change with the times to better prepare graduates for the technologies they will need to utilize once they enter the workforce. Likewise, students are wondering what roles they might have post-graduation, as the job landscape is continually evolving with automation.

Australia’s Institute Centre for Future Work agrees that students might enter roles that their degrees have not...

On a Tuesday morning in late October, Danish engineers engaged in a risky and costly rescue operation to move one of Denmark’s most beloved landmarks. The Rubjerg Knude Fyr lighthouse was first lit in 1900 and is the Danish north coast’s jewel and a national treasure. However, due to coastal erosion, engineers have said the tourist attraction needed to be relocated.

The 76-foot tall lighthouse was 656 feet away from the coast when first lit in 1900. Each year, the sand dune has been eroding...

Could climate change prediction models and regional data collected by cities help ensure the safety of infrastructure in the future? Securing infrastructure like bridges and making them weatherproof is pretty important work. However, with more extreme weather events predicted for the future, how can engineers be sure their bridges will stay standing?

Engineers have life-cycle projections for bridges they have constructed. Although in a world threatened by more fierce climate events, the life...

It was the curse of the commentator. Deloitte Risk Advisory Africa had just released a report on the lack of organizations’ preparedness for cybersecurity attacks in Africa. Soon after, hackers attacked the government of the City of Johannesburg in South Africa.

On the 25th of October 2019, employees of the City of Johannesburg found the following message displayed on their terminals:

“All your servers and data have been hacked. We have dozens of back doors inside your city. We have...

Could the used coffee grounds from your morning coffee have a second life? Melbournian engineers think so — they have found the perfect use for coffee waste. In the future, houses and roads may have traces of coffee in them.

Concrete contains up to 80% sand, which is one of the planet’s most used resources. However, the demand is so high that we will not have access to this resource forever. Plus, sand is often part of fragile ecosystems, and extracting it can have a significant impact on...

Snowy Hydro is an energy company that provides electricity to one million homes in Australia. They are the fourth-largest retailer in the energy market in Australia. Their crown achievement is the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

The Snowy Mountains Scheme was the most significant public works engineering scheme ever undertaken in Australian history. It was a quintessentially Australian engineering endeavor that began 70 years ago, to provide energy to the nation.

 In 1949, construction began...

Volkswagen Group South Africa intends to take its manufacturing plant in Uitenhage, a town in the Eastern Cape Province, off the national electricity grid.

It is not surprising that companies are looking at more sustainable (and renewable) means of powering their facilities in South Africa. The country’s state-owned electricity utility has been plagued with problems in 2019 that have forced them into scheduling load-shedding on several occasions during the year. The impact of the resulting...

Australian and American engineers are working on a series of space missions that could ultimately culminate in putting humans on Mars.

The first mission, named Artemis, will involve getting humans back on the moon in 2024. It is expected to see the first woman walk on the lunar surface.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on the 21st of September in Washington. The two nations’ space agencies have signed a memorandum of...

“Engineers can be a part of the solution. We all need to get together as a planet and do it collectively.”

Those were the words of engineer and sustainability consultant at BuroHappold Engineering, Trevor Keeling. He was taking part in the Global Climate Strike along with 1,799 other employees of BuroHappold Engineering worldwide who stopped work to encourage better climate practices from government and businesses alike.

In the last week of September, people in over 150 countries gathered...

During the Great Recession of 2008, in the United States engineering companies began closing down. General Motors in Dayton, Ohio, was one such company that had to shut its doors due to the economic downturn.

This meant a factory was left empty and ready for a new tenant, and  2,000 workers were out of jobs.

Eventually, a new tenant from 7000 miles away, made their way into town in 2013. This was Fuyao Glass Industry Co. Ltd., a company owned by a Chinese billionaire Cao Dewang.

...

Turning waste into a source of power is a big opportunity in the modern age. With the amount of plastic that is produced every day, building a cyclical ecosystem that can reuse plastic quickly is one way to reduce waste.

Emerging technologies invented by collections of scientists and engineers are springing up to assist with ridding the world of an overload of plastic.

A team of scientists at Washington State University has been hard at work turning plastic waste products into jet fuel...

Globally, the fast-food industry generates revenue of more than US$570 billion, an amount higher than the economic value of many countries. With no signs of slowing down, fast food is an unbeatable global leader amongst industry, and they are now looking to automation to make their food even faster.

McDonald’s, the largest fast-food chain in the world, is aiming to automate almost every aspect of their operations so they can serve customers as quickly as possible. The starting point is...

The Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award is the UK’s most prestigious honor for engineering innovation, recognizing “teams that demonstrate outstanding innovation, societal benefit and commercial success”. In 2019, the award went to the Bombardier team in Ireland that have developed and are now manufacturing the world’s first resin-infused wing designed for use in Airbus A220 commercial aircraft.

The company behind the resin that makes the wing possible is advanced material and...

Digital technologies are surpassing the more traditional methods of running engineering companies. As industrial automation begins to infiltrate engineering sectors, companies are drastically changing the way they operate to keep up.

On the 26th of September 2019, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) opened a new automotive creation and development center in England. The center will bring JLR’s engineering, manufacturing, designing, research, and development teams all under the same roof.

“We are...

In this modern age, we are constantly surrounded by batteries. From TV remotes to hand-held radios, you probably use batteries more than you realize. The lithium-ion battery industry is worth $23 billion alone and is expected to grow to nearly $100 billion by 2025.

Battery technologies have been evolving since their initial creation as our needs have continued to grow. However, as our future is looking increasingly electric, engineers and scientists are now focusing on manufacturing new...

It’s a question more commonly asked of architects rather than engineers, how can nature inspire the design of structures? However, designing with or around the environment is becoming a common trend amidst the structural engineering industry. A newly constructed walkway in Denmark has nature as its main focus, and it is turning engineering heads.

High above the tree line at Camp Adventure in Copenhagen, a 45-meter high tower seemingly spirals into the sky above. At the top, an observer can...

Climate change remains one of the biggest problems our world has ever faced, and there are no signs that it will drastically improve any time soon. So engineers and scientists are coming together to investigate a controversial technique to prevent an environmental catastrophe.

Geoengineering may seem like something from a far-fetched science fiction film, with ideas ranging from mirrors in the ocean to reflect sunlight away from earth to space sunshades. However, engineers are now...

As conserving finite resources becomes an increasing priority, scientists have been consistently successful in discovering alternate renewable energies. One of these alternatives is solar energy.  Solar panels absorb powerful rays from the sun and convert them into power resources, which are used in both residential and commercial areas.

However, solar panels still suffer from a list of setbacks that offset their usefulness. One of these ailments is overheating. When solar panels are...

While solar and wind energy seem to be the primary sustainable energy sources mentioned in the media, tidal energy is actually more predictable. Tides can be timed in perpetuity throughout the year, whereas predicting when the wind will blow and when the sun will shine is far harder.

In a world-first, a data center in Scotland will set the bar for tidal arrays in the future. Renewable energy technology developer Simec Atlantis has turbines capturing the natural flow of water between...

In Southern Africa, aging infrastructure and shortages of much-needed resources are stifling the electrical engineering sector. Powering countries south of the equator is a topic much in focus in the last few years. Both Zimbabwe and South Africa have been seeing a need to balance power loads and load shed at their public energy utilities. However, Zimbabwean companies are starting to get smart with how they manage their power outages.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the largest provider of...

Mechanical engineers have, for a long time, been using the natural world as inspiration for robot design. However, the latest soft-robot that is taking inspired by nature might creep some people out. What started as an inadvertent thought from a mechanical engineering student has turned into a real robot. And it is in the shape of a leech.

This collaborative research project will unsurprisingly be called the ‘LEeCH’ (Longitudinally Extensible Continuum-robot inspired by Hirudinea). Hirudinea...

Manufacturers are seeking ways to make their global supply chains more flexible. Luckily for them, wireless Internet of Things technologies are empowering these factories and making processes more efficient than ever before. Ericsson, a giant in automation technology engineering, reported that “IoT connections are set to pass the 4 billion mark by 2024.”

In Ericsson’s blog entitled ‘The future of manufacturing is smart, secure and stable,’ they outline that companies with production lines...

A railway line near Aldershot in the United Kingdom is set to become the first railway line directly powered by a photovoltaic solar farm.

A 30kW pilot-scheme is currently paving the starting point of the project with renewable energy powering the signaling and lights on Network Rail’s Wessex route.

Whilst there is nothing new about solar panel technology keeping the lights on at train stations, Network Rail’s Aldershot project is the first time a solar array will bypass the electricity...

In 2016, France announced an exciting plan that would hopefully power 5 million homes with electricity. The plan entailed paving over 1000 kilometers of road with photovoltaic panels, generating around 790kWh every day. However, what was supposed to the first step of a revolutionary development ended up being a bitter disappointment.

One kilometer and eight million dollars later, the issues of the road were already piling up.

The solar panels suffered immense wear and tear, to the point...

The Netherlands is a country well known for its intricate landscape of canals, tulip fields, windmills and cycling routes. But did you know that the country has been in a defiant war against water since the early 17th century?

The Netherlands relationship with water is complicated, to say the least. Nearly a quarter of the country lies below sea level and another half sits less than a metre above, putting the country’s entire existence under constant attack from the elements. Consequently...

The new paradigm that exists in the modern engineering industry is the replacing of fossil fuel burning machinery with renewable, zero-emissions technologies. There is a growing public call for the re-engineering of automobiles, aircraft, trains and more, to power them in more renewable ways. Mechanical engineering and electrical engineering are coming together to ‘reinvent-the-wheel’ and design new technologies that produce zero emissions.

New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland authority says that...

The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is dedicated to ensuring our students receive a world-class education and gain skills they can immediately implement in the workplace upon graduation. Our staff members uphold our ethos of honesty and integrity, and we stand by our word because it is our bond. Our students are also expected to carry this attitude throughout their time at our institute, and into their careers.