Industry

Engineers often borrow from the natural world and biological processes for their work. But there was one natural process engineers could not fathom, or rather failed to take the time to figure out. Why, or how it is that a wombat’s faecal matter is cube-shaped.

The process of copying some of nature’s principles and using them as inspiration for engineering design is called ‘biomimicry’. But how the study of wombat stools could contribute to the engineering industry has not, up until now...

Another Black Friday and a Cyber Monday have come and gone, as has Christmas and Boxing Day.

According to VOX, it is estimated that the US Postal Service makes 850 million deliveries from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. That equates to a lot of parcel deliveries via a host of transportation technologies.

Executive Director at The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago pointed out back in 2016 that US C02 emissions from transport eclipsed power stations for the first time...

The technological advancement in education has lagged behind other industries. Yet there are technologies available that would transform the classroom, the lecture hall, or even a person’s home, and ultimately transform learning.

The Future of Management Education Alliance wants to bring these technologies to the learners of the 21st century. The alliance is headed up by the Imperial College Business School who plan to introduce hologram technology to their MBA students.

The Imperial...

2018 marked 100 years since the end of World War I. On the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, of the eleventh hour in 1918, the Allies of World War I and Germany signed a treaty that ended the war.

World War I was a turning point in warfare. In its time, it was the most significant war with the most modern warfare equipment ever invented — Mortars, machine guns, rifles, poison gas and the surprising entrant of the flamethrower. But it wasn't just the handheld equipment and biological...

Friday 30 November is Systems Engineer Day!

A systems engineer's job is to create and manage complex systems. They ensure that the system has a good life cycle and that all systems are running efficiently.

This celebration debuted in 2012, lauding the engineers who, through design and implementation of digital solutions, make a difference in the many workplaces globally. On the day, everyone is encouraged to high five their systems engineer and show their appreciation.

Systems...

Future generations will judge us for not taking the necessary precautions to offset the effects of climate change on our world. The blame will inevitably involve our reticence to cut down on fossil fuels. In reality, however, the task is massive and will rely on science, technology, engineering and government all committing to solving the problem.

Mark Lynas, a British journalist and environmentalist, has been issuing warnings since 2007. He explains what will happen to the world if the...

By all accounts engineering remains a male-dominated industry.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that women fill 47 percent of all jobs, while men take up the other 53 percent.

However, according to more recent figures from the National Science Board, women only filled 24 percent of STEM jobs in 2018. And the industry in which women are least represented? Engineering.

TechCrunch writer Dr. Ioannis Miaoulis, president and director of the Museum of Science in Boston, says...

At the foot of the pyramids of Giza, a new museum is taking shape.

Five thousand Egyptian civil engineers are hard at work to complete the Grand Egyptian Museum. Construction began 16 years ago, and the doors are expected finally to open in early 2019.

One of the firms attached to the build is Buro Happold Engineering. They say the museum will be a construction where ‘mathematical precision meets elegant vision.'

The initial call for proposals for the museum was in 2002. The winning...

Mechanical engineers are flexing their eco-friendly and business savvy muscles in the startup industry. Pratheek Palanethra was a mechanical engineering student in Bengaluru and is also passionate about cricket.

During his student years - studying for his Master of Technical Entrepreneurship at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania – he was sad to discover that there was really no cricket culture in the US. He struggled to find students who wanted to practice cricket with him. Instead of...

As 2018 comes to a close, the industrial automation market is preparing to further digitize and automate industries into 2019.

McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) reports that by 2030 about 15 percent of workers around the world will be displaced by automation. However, they also note that employees are unaware that eight to nine percent of them will work in jobs that don't yet exist.

Consequently, automation will not only replace repetitive jobs, but also create new opportunities in many...

Is the move to electric vehicles on track?

Last year the UK government pledged that the manufacture of petrol and diesel cars would cease by 2040. In July, they then amended their pledge to also exclude hybrids (cars powered by electricity and petrol/diesel).  MPs in the United Kingdom are, however, growing ever more skeptical about the viability of a majority electric vehicle future by 2040.

On the other hand, a new report has been released by the Business, Energy and Industrial...

At this year's Dutch Design Week, the world's first 3D printed stainless steel bridge was unveiled.

The bridge was produced by a Dutch robotics company named MX3D. It will serve as a crossing over one of Amsterdam's oldest and most famous canals, the Oudezijds Achterburgwal.

Its construction utilized optimization software and a robotic additive manufacturing technology to layer molten steel repetitively. The traditional construction engineering approach to building a bridge has...

Rolls-Royce and Intel have joined forces to develop an Intelligent Awareness System for future autonomous shipping projects.

The first entirely unmanned, crewless ships, with the self-sailing tech, are set to hit the oceans in 2025.

Inevitably, they will see crewed vessels working alongside them.

Don’t assume that this technology has rendered the lighthouse useless though. In the official simulated pictures published by Rolls-Royce, the lighthouse remains the beacon announcing land...

Innovation is sometimes all talk and no action. What actually gets engineers inventing and creating novel solutions to everyday problems? Handsome rewards, of course. The James Dyson Award is an international design competition that ‘celebrates, encourages and inspires the designers of new problem-solving ideas.'

A curious advent of engineering design has already won a team of engineers the Australian Dyson Award. They are now in the running to win the international James Dyson Award. These...

Both men recently visited a number of countries, taking with them the passion for education and engineering that marks the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT). They have travelled to share the opportunities EIT offers students who want to further their engineering studies, or who dream of becoming engineers - online or on campus in Perth, Western Australia.

Rolf and David will have packed many facts about EIT’s learning platform and approach into their deliveries. For instance, that...

This week the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) received some important visitors. A delegation of three (the CEO and two supporting managers) from the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) spent two days at our head office and on our campus in Perth, Western Australia. ECSA is the equivalent of Engineers Australia, but with greater regulatory power.

ECSA team and a number of EIT Managers Front row: ECSA CEO, Mr S Madonsela (middle)
Back row: ECSA Council Member, Mr A Sentsho...

The fourth industrial revolution is disrupting so many engineering industries, the civil engineers are beginning to call it ‘Civils 4.0.' Mark Hansford, writing for New Civil Engineer, says the industry is on "the cusp of a technological revolution."

In a year of high-profile bridge collapses, the civil engineering industry has seen more disparaging headlines than it is comfortable with. Something needs to be done within the industry to ensure these catastrophic failures don't occur.

In...

September has come and gone, and it has given us something to contemplate as we venture towards the final three months of the year.

Investigative journalism show, Vice aired an episode in September entitled: Engineering Earth.

The episode alluded to the fact that engineers and scientists are looking to a new era of geoengineering as a ‘last ditch effort' to mitigate the effects of global warming. The report asserted that a technological revolution may be necessary to curb the phenomenon...

A new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows female engineering graduates earned slightly more than their male counterparts for the first time in 2017.

These figures account for males and females who have completed an undergraduate engineering degree and have started in their first full-time role.  According to the report, the median starting salary for female engineering graduates is $65k. For male engineering graduates, the median starting salary is $63.5k.

...

India celebrates Engineering Day on the 15th of September every year. Google, this year, decided to honor one of India’s most celebrated engineers -Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. He was the Google Doodle for the day. Behind him on the Doodle, is the work he is most famous for; the Krishna Raja Sagara Lake and dam.

Popularly known as Sir MV, he was a lead player in the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in the North-West suburb of Mysore City. It was early in his career that it was...

Germany has unveiled not one but two Hydrogen fuel trains. It is being celebrated as a world-first.

The train can traverse 600 miles (1,000km) of railway on a single tank of hydrogen. What is significant about this number is that it matches what diesel trains can do. The new-fangled trains can reach a speed of 140km/h (86.99 miles per hour).

The fuel cells are positioned on top of the train. The cells combine hydrogen and oxygen, then transfer them to lithium-ion batteries inside the...

In a digital world, higher education becomes a shapeshifter.

Even after graduation, continuous and life-long re-skilling and up-skilling is becoming a necessity. The difficulty for universities is to keep up with the demand for new forms of education and training as a result of the internet age. Brick-and-mortar institutions are facing digital expansion and are struggling to stay ahead.

And for the current workforce, advances in this world of digital transformation simply threaten their...

Could solar and wind farms create gardens of Eden in the desert?

According to a newly published study in the popular journal, Science, bringing rain to the desert with solar arrays and wind turbines is not far-fetched. The study is entitled: ‘Climate model shows large-scale wind and solar farms in the Sahara increase rain and vegetation’.

The researchers assert that as each solar and wind farm grows in size the ‘consequences’ for the climate increase too. With solar panels on the ground...

The convergence of machine learning and engineering is perhaps the most important crossing of paths in modern times.

Companies in a plethora of industries are expected to (and already are) opting-in to the AI future. As technology advances, it is up to the prospective engineer to adapt to the innovation that is occurring and use it to their advantage.

Machine learning and certain levels of AI have seen in the automated industrial warehouse. However, ‘AI’ and ‘machine learning’ have become...

The advancement of technology has its advantages, especially for rural areas and low-income households around the world. With microsystems and nano-engineering, processes can be made more efficient and the cost of operation reduced.

Also, some engineers have turned their skills in this direction, designing complex wearable technologies that are improving, and in some cases saving people’s lives. Wearable technologies are revolutionizing industries as they focus on the health of workers...

SA Power Networks is South Australia’s electricity distributor. And what a dynamic organisation it is too.

Steve Mackay, the Dean of the Engineering Institute of Technology, and a colleague were shown through the building at 1 Anzac Highway in Adelaide, on the morning of the 28th of August by Barney Nyirenda, the designated guide. He certainly knew his stuff and was clearly proud to be a part of this great company.

That afternoon Steve was invited back for a graduation; a number of SA...

Biomedical engineering is continuing its amalgamation of individual disciplines of engineering, fusing it into one discipline that has the health of humanity as its core focus.

A host of startups and companies are developing technologies that will assist the healthcare sector and keep people healthier. United States company, Neocis, is one of those companies. They specialize in Precision Healthcare Robotics.

The Vice-President of Operations and fellow co-founder Juan Salcedo has over a...

As the seasons change and the Northern Hemisphere gets a taste of what the Southern Hemisphere was feeling during winter, commuters on London's Underground could not be more ready for winter than right now.

In the month of August, London observed a sweltering heat wave that scorched the region for days on end.

To quell the effects of the immense heat on one's body, travelers could opt to go underground and use the Tube to get around. Except, Londoners have been complaining about the heat...

Engineers are exceptionally skilled at designing products that assist people who are disabled. But it's not often that we see a disabled person engineering for those who are able-bodied.

While millions of people use cruise control every day, many wouldn't know that it was invented by a blind engineer. His name was Ralph Teetor.

When he was five-years-old, he was blinded in an accident involving a knife. He then suffered from sympathetic ophthalmia — the other eye went blind as a result of...

A full rotation of the earth around its own axis produces patterns and rhythms in nature known as the diurnal cycle. Ever since human beings could perceive that the sun rose in the East and set in the West, the assumption was that there was a passage of time.

Then came the measuring of time. Lunar cycles were observed, sundials and water clocks became commonplace in some societies. These all pointed towards evidence that the telling of time could be linked to the diurnal cycles of the earth...

What is a side-hustle?

It's really anything that you can do on the side to make money while pursuing higher education or employment. It may be a hobby you are trying to monetize for a little bit of extra cash, it may be a serious venture you are working to pursue but unable to generate an income from just yet, or it may be something you've already started that is producing some extra income for you.

Some qualified engineers take it a step further. Many understand that the traditional...

ZipRecruiter, one of America's top job recruitment sites, has reported that the most in-demand jobs are in the electrical engineering industry. The site is visited by millions of people every day, and the most searched for positions — in fact, the top five searches — were all pertaining to electrical engineering.

The searches ranged from entry-level electrical engineering jobs for advanced diploma holders, up to the kinds of jobs that require Professional Engineer recognition. ZipRecruiter...

China was abuzz at the 2108 World Robot Conference 2018 in August. Manufacturers from around the world descended on Beijing to showcase their latest robotic endeavors. China is stepping up its robotic output and intends to increase manufacturing operations as we approach 2020.

Xin Guobin, China’s vice minister of industry told media officials:

“Robots are the jewel in the crown for the manufacturing industry...a new frontier for our industrial revolution.”

According to Interesting...

In July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission. In August and September 1977, NASA launched Voyager 2 and then Voyager 1 — space probes with the primary purpose of exploring the outer reaches of the galaxy. Voyager 2 is still the only space probe that has ever visited Uranus and Neptune. The Voyager spacecraft are still exploring outer space 41 years later. 

What do the Apollo missions and the Voyager spacecraft have in common? The...

The automation of mining operations is inevitable. Mining is a high stakes business with costly equipment and a small margin for operational error. Thanks to the digital disruption of the sector, mines are being made safer, more efficient, and productive.

Not many underground mining operations are automated. However, this will soon change. The Syama Mine in Mali is tipped to be the first fully-automated underground mine in the world. Resolute Mining, an Australian company, currently owns the...

Digital Fabrication

The casting of concrete is becoming smarter and smarter by the day.

The digitization of concrete casting has revolutionized the way both architects and engineers do their jobs. It is now possible to 3D print concrete in novel geometric patterns that defy belief and produce artistic results. However, it’s not only for aesthetically pleasing results — the concrete slabs are more lightweight, too.

At their thinnest point, these ‘smart slabs’ are only 20 millimeters thick, making them far lighter...

Plastic Roads

The war against plastic is gathering force.

Environmentalists have made it clear: the continuing use of plastics bodes badly for Planet Earth. It is gratifying to learn that the initiatives to eliminate or reduce the use of plastics are gathering speed and popularity. For example, Starbucks aim to remove plastic straws from their global stores by 2020. Some restaurants have taken the plunge and are offering customers stainless steel or cardboard straws.

The world’s oceans are filling up with...

Origami

Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figure.

Its use of geometrical shapes makes it a curious art form — one that could inspire mechanical engineering design.

According to Northeastern University researcher Soroush Kamrava, the future solar panels and air bags will be informed by origami designs. The research includes utilizing metamaterials (plastics, metals and rubber) to create complex designs that could produce stronger and more functional products.

...

Quantum Battery

A new ‘quantum battery’ could charge devices in less than a second, making your uncharged phone a thing of the past.

The University of Adelaide’s newest Ramsay Fellow Dr James Quach is currently researching this new technology. His previous experience in quantum mechanics could help him turn this theory into reality.

He said that while ordinary batteries take the same amount of time to charge no matter how many you have, quantum batteries should charge faster in larger quantities.

“If one...

IIOT

Manufacturing equipment requires maintenance; efficient machines to get a manufacturing job done.

With the arrival of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), modern sensors are able to observe every nook and cranny of a manufacturing plant. Traditionally, the responsibility of improving efficiencies and maintaining the operations in manufacturing was down to the technicians and engineers attached to the plant. Increasingly, however, they are being replaced by PdM (predictive maintenance)...

Electric Buses

The head of states of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have met for the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. Topics on the agenda were energy, manufacturing, technology, industrializations, and more. But most importantly, deals were being made.

China will be giving US$14.7 billion in investments to South Africa for its advancement. The partnerships across the nations are all part of the BRICS Partnership for the New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR)...

Sasol Solar Car Challenge

The world will be descending on South Africa to compete in a car race, the Sasol Solar Challenge. It is a race that brings a host of engineering disciplines together; a competition which nurtures innovation.

To win, teams ensure their solar cars are running at peak efficiency. They race over 2,500 kilometers (1553 miles), traversing a large swathe of the South African landscape.

2018’s competition will be the biggest Solar Car Challenge yet, with 15 international teams taking part. An...

Enlil_VAWT

As the world moves to more renewable methods of generating electricity and cities become smarter, smart solutions to creating energy through innovation are going to be necessary.

A video featured on Interesting Engineering’s Telegram page featured a new vertical axis wind turbine that promises to capture wind specifically generated near inner cities and coastlines around the world. The turbine in question is the ENLIL vertical axis wind turbine, also known as a VAWT.

The engineering company...

Volkswagen came, saw, and conquered. The Volkswagen ID R has broken the record for the time it takes an electric vehicle to climb a hill. It is a feat of electrical engineering and it hints at the future of electrical vehicle engineering.

The competition is named the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It is a 12.42 mile race with 156 turns, climbing up to 14,000 feet above sea level. It has been in existence since 1916.

Source: Volkswagen Group

The VW team challenged the PIKE...

The digital world is a scary place. It is a place of automation, it is a place of digitization, it is a place of disruption. And it can’t be ignored. If you don’t have the skills for work as dictated by the fourth industrial revolution...you may be in trouble.

People may find themselves in jobs that will be automated out of existence in the near future. Thankfully, however, education and training is also undergoing a revolution and is ready to meet the challenge of bridging the digital skills...

Real-time Big Data and Analytics  - Mobility  -  the Internet of Things  -  Social Media  -  3D Printing  - Drones  -  Self-driving Vehicles.

What do all of these things have in common? They are all associated with the digital disruption of the supply chain. They are technologies that are contributing to the Industrial Automation of today and will have an impact into the future.

They are also terms we should all be acquainted with. If we can keep an eye on the technologies responsible for...

The UK government has dubbed 2018 the ‘Year of Engineering’. And as the year gallops into its final five months, innovation in Africa is a hot topic too. South Africa and Zimbabwe have both seen new presidents thrust into power, which may have also stimulated changes.

There also seems to be a renewed appetite for innovation in education and training - part of the blossoming global economy.

The UK government attended the Royal Academy of Engineering Workshop - hosted at Zimbabwe’s NUST...

Grease (lubricant). Engineering industries’ little talked about best friend. Lubricants are present in many engineering industries: Power Generation, Water & Wastewater, Food & Beverage, Oil & Gas, Transportation & Fleet industries, and more. Lubricants simply help machines run at optimum efficiency - and have given rise to the term ‘a well-oiled machine’.

Industrial lubricants also ensure that machines stay healthier for longer. Reducing the amount of friction a machine...

110,000 Australian homes are to be powered by renewable energy sources before the end of 2018. Much of this is thanks to Partners Group - the global private market investment manager. They will be investing a total of AUD$700 million in a renewable energy platform named the Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform.

The investment will, over four years, help add 1.3GW of new wind power, solar power, and battery storage projects in Australia. It is not the first time Partners Group has thrown...

The world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, is about to be dethroned. 1,200 miles away, a new tower is nearing its completion in Saudi Arabia. In 2020, the tallest building in the world, the Jeddah Tower measuring in at one kilometer, will open. That is if engineers can complete the audacious towering skyscraper on the desert sand.

The tower’s construction is estimated to cost the Kingdom Holding Company around US$1.5 billion. Jeddah Economic Company website initially reported...

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.