Industry

Cape Town, South Africa, may become the first modern city in the world to run out of water. This headline is being strewn across news networks around the world. Time is ticking toward ‘Zero Day’ - a day in April when the Cape is set to run out of water.

 

Cape Town residents are now restricted to 50 liters of water per household per day and this figure is soon to be halved.

 

Professor Mike Muller, the former Director-General of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry...

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The future of automation is set in stone. It seems clear that industrial robots will replace human beings on the assembly line inside most, if not all, factories in the future. Car manufacturers have already seen many of the tasks on the assembly line replaced by robots - tasks that, once upon a time, belonged to the human employee.

However, Ford Motor Company may have just prolonged the human employee’s stay on the assembly line with new exoskeleton technology.

EksoVest is a joint...

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Like water off of a duck’s back, Volkswagen’s Dieselgate controversy has not deterred consumers from buying their vehicles. Autoblog estimates that VW’s worldwide overall sales reached “around 10.7 million cars” in 2017, cementing it as the largest automaker in the world - inching just above Toyota.

The company also set a new record for a car manufacturing company; the company produced six million cars in a year. The Volkswagen Polo was the 7th most purchased vehicle in 2017.

For...

A new year has arrived, and with it, new engineering challenges. As 2018 rolled in, so did incredible weather events in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

 

In the Northern Hemisphere, it has been extremely cold. Days after New York’s governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, revealed a clean energy policy proposal for the state, a winter storm known as a ‘bomb cyclone’ descended upon the East Coast of the United States of America.

 

Extreme cold

The East Coast has undergone...

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It would not have been a pleasant break at the end of 2017 for those working in the power industry. General Electric (GE) is retrenching 12,000 employees from their electrical power division; it equates to 18 percent of their workforce. The European branches of GE Power seem to be the hardest hit; Switzerland and Germany are losing the most employees.

The company initially made its fortune when Thomas Edison’s idea for the incandescent light bulb was realized. In November 2017 -...

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The people of London, England, are officially one year away from using a new underground railway. Crossrail is a new railway that links up to the renowned Elizabeth Line; since 2009 the teams involved have been working around the clock to make it happen.

Engineers behind the project are calling it the most “ambitious infrastructure project since the Industrial Revolution”. Upon completion, Crossrail will be 118 kilometers (73 miles) long. 10 stations are also being constructed. By December...

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By now you might have noticed that voice recognition hardware and software are growing exponentially. Companies including Google, Amazon, and Apple are developing technologies that allow humans to access the internet and control connected devices by using their voices.

The introduction of products such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home has piqued the interest of consumers. They can envision the benefits of these emerging virtual assistants and so can businesses.

Even Microsoft’s Windows...

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Tire development has always formed a large chunk of the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) research. After all NASA has to put robust tires on the rovers they use in space. In fact the exploration of an arid, somewhat unpredictable landscape is very much dependent on good tires.

Space exploration has advanced alongside the growing capabilities of technology. With new landscapes to be explored the tires needed to be more versatile and durable.

Despite...

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Instead of entrusting a handful of engineers to design and build, why not open it to a world of engineers, or those who are enthusiastic about all things engineering?

Thanks to low-cost cloud computing, it is all possible. Collaborative engineering design was seen as far back as 2008 in the automotive industry, the company involved was Local Motors.

Founded in 2007 in Phoenix, Arizona, Local Motors became an open-source motor vehicle design and manufacturing company.

Source: Local...

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It is almost that time of the year again, the moment that sees out the old and welcomes in the new, on New Year’s Eve. In the seconds that take 23:59 in 2017 to 00:00 in 2018, bursts of fiery light will appear in the night skies around the world as displays of fireworks are triggered.

 

Some of the world’s grandest fireworks happen on Australia’s Sydney Harbor, on the United Kingdom’s London Eye, on France’s Eiffel Tower in Paris, and  on Brazil’s Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, to name...

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The world’s most powerful man’s house was built by a woman. A new documentary is attempting to make sense of the unorthodox and unexpected trajectory of Donald Trump; a complicated story of a man who went from property mogul to President of the United States.

After inheriting the family business, Donald Trump began his rise to prominence in New York City.

New York was in an unprecedented economic slump in the 1970s - but that didn’t deter Donald Trump from asking for tax abatements or...

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Zimbabwe could be at the dawn of a political revolution. It could also be business as usual. Amid a confusing week of political spring cleaning in the country, students working towards attaining qualifications in the tertiary sector have spoken out, painting a truly dire picture.

A few days ago BBC News described Zimbabwe as ‘cash-strapped and impoverished’. Despite this the powers that be were poised to initiate a raft of projects in honour of the recently deposed President, Robert...

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Whilst optimized curriculum vitae look good, professional licensing also speaks volumes to employers. But is the professional engineering status necessary? Can you call yourself an engineer without the formal designation of Professional Engineer?

 

In the fourth industrial revolution, with automation replacing many repetitive roles, a more fluid and dynamic set of engineering skills may be necessary. The future is very likely to require engineers to amass as many skills as...

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Yahama is taking self-driving cars a step further: self-driving motorbikes. Meet MOTOBOT, a motorbike driving robot that has been engineered to surpass humans; to beat them at their own sport.

 

After months of trial and error, the engineers at Yamaha were ready to pit their self-driving robot against a human - a professional biker named Valentino Rossi. But the road to getting a robot driving a motorbike had to start with one crucial function: balancing.

Image: Honda’s...

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The methods used by the architects and engineers in the ancient world often remain mysterious and enigmatic. How the Great Pyramids of Giza were built, for example, still manage to stump engineers and other experts from around the world.

 

Neither the tools nor the techniques used to construct these complex and giant edifices can be fully explained. It is this fact that makes them one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

 

The Lighthouse at Alexandria or Pharos of...

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The Great Pyramids of Giza are a complex of ancient monuments dating back to 2,000 BCE. They have taken their rightful place as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world; monuments that reflect astonishing ancient engineering skill and precise architecture. The pyramids are also the last of the seven wonders of the ancient world to remain standing.

They have been extensively researched, prodded and explored; despite this the manner in which they were constructed is largely unknown...

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President Xi Jinping of China has earned official recognition as the Communist Party’s leader. An honor bestowed last to Mao Zedong and his successor Hua Guofeng. This means that the leader has garnered the utmost respect of all members within the party.

 

Xi Jinping can therefore put his recently unveiled Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) into action. The initiative is a $US1 trillion plan to revolutionize manufacturing and construction in the country. The government hopes to create...

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3D printing – the possibilities really are endless of where this technology can take us in the future.

An example of this is with Peter Armstrong, a mechanical engineering student from Colorado who was inspired by a family friend who underwent a double amputation to the lower limbs. Through years of research and various prototypes, Peter has been able to apply his knowledge and skills to produce low-cost prosthetics using 3D printing technology.

He foresees these prosthetics, costing an...

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Attrition rates are a bone of contention within tertiary education institutions. There is an inevitable desire to deny that the number of students dropping out of courses is too high, let alone rising.

Students, wherever they obtain the money, invest it into gaining qualifications; the key they believe, to establishing or furthering their careers. This is a high stakes investment with the idea of dropping out unthinkable for many.

Students failing to complete qualifications, however, is a...

EIT Stock ImageImagine a world where energy is available to all, distributed through a robust system of transmission lines, with a meter system so accurate that it charges consumers for the power  they need, but also allows them to sell excess energy to other consumers.

It is becoming more technically complex for energy companies to supply energy to their growing base of customers. To confirm the purchase of power a number of broker companies are involved to verify that the purchases have been made.
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Dick Morley

Back in 2008, when we were expanding from a company providing courses for professional development into a fully-fledged college of engineering, Dick was not only an enormous support, but his involvement contributed to the success we enjoyed.  He was hearty in his encouragement of our efforts and he shared his expertise generously. Dick’s enthusiasm certainly carried us through those tenuous early years, when doubts can often undermine one’s confidence and dampen persistence.

We, at the...

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Scotland’s world-first offshore ‘floating’ turbine farm has begun producing energy. 20,000 homes on the mainland will be receiving power from this renewable energy source.

 

The operation has been constructed in Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. In a world first the wind turbines have been placed further out to sea than ever before; they are located 25km (15.5 miles) offshore. Why the greater distance you may ask? In an ocean, the deeper the water the more energy there is to be...

Internships

Internships provide the opportunity for a prospective professional to gain the work experience needed in the industry they are aiming to work in. Internships enable students or workers to gain the work experience that is being sought after by employers. Adding ‘work experience’ to the curriculum vitae is an invaluable addition that sets a candidate apart from others who don’t have any, especially in engineering industries.  

Internships are particularly famous for being used to...

Hurricane Harvey


Friday night (the 25th of August) a tropical storm hit Texas in the United States of America. 60cm of rain fell overnight (23 inches) with a total of 50 inches expected before the week was out. Whether or not Texas’ drainage system is able to deal with the volume of water that climate change is bringing will be a pertinent question once relief efforts have been fulfilled. Questions surrounding Houston’s water infrastructure are already being asked.

A New York Times opinionista has pointed...

The NZ pipeline disaster

Pipelines. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

It is rumored that approximately three years ago a swamp kauri mining operation led to the damage of the Ruakaka-Auckland Pipeline (RAP) in New Zealand.

Swamp kauri has 50,000 year old trees that have been perfectly preserved under swamp peat. The extraction of this wood is a tedious operation. It is believed that a digger struck the RAP.

The pipeline has failed; it began leaking and it is alleged that there was increased damage...

EIT Stock ImagePuerto Rico’s aging infrastructure has been suffering under an inefficient government that has not been organizing the appropriate level of maintenance for quite some time.
 
In September of 2016, a fire broke out at the Central Aguirre Power Plant rendering electricity transmission lines useless. 1.5 million people were plunged into darkness. The blackout forced the government to declare a state of emergency. The Puerto Rican government was embroiled in a $9 billion debt crisis in...

Marc Jacobs Whistleblower

Marc Edwards is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.  He is not only an engineer he is also a whistleblower. Along with citizen scientists, and concerned residents, Edwards exposed the Flint Water Crisis which began in 2014 and persists today.

Edwards blew the whistle on the ill practices of entities working to intentionally cut corners in the water infrastructure of Flint, Michigan, and the United States as a whole.
...

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Over the last five years renewable energy technologies have seen more investment than ever before. Many governments have made plans to phase out energy generating technologies that harm the planet, hoping to achieve a world powered by fully renewable energy generating technologies by 2030. Solar and wind are two industries that have particularly skyrocketed - in both research and implementation. An idea that hasn’t seen an equal amount of attention is the harnessing of one of Mother Nature’s...

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360 to 500 buildings and homes are in danger of collapsing days after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked Mexico City. The earthquake rattled the city on Tuesday, the 19th of September 2017. As many as 38 structures suffered catastrophic failure when the earthquake hit, but the concern for civil engineers is that other structures may yet suffer a delayed collapse. The earthquake has already caused up to 355 fatalities.

Engineers on popular social media site Reddit have been mulling over this...

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War. What is it good for? Competition.

Smartphone companies have released their latest devices, all vying for a space in your pocket.

 

Smartphones bring together a plethora of engineering and design disciplines to create incredibly multifaceted devices that have no doubt changed the way humans interact with technology. And there seems to be no stopping the effect they have on consumers. We all want a new one, every year or two. And the competition usually sends engineers into...

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Cars are becoming more like smartphones every day. But is that necessarily a good thing? And what does it mean for the engineers who want to make a career out of automotive engineering? The days of the combustion engine seem to be coming to an end. The desire of tech companies and vehicle manufacturers is now to create fully autonomous, environment-friendly vehicles that takes individuals from point A to point B.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors is a good example of where the electric/smart vehicle...

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Mazda has reinvented the wheel. Or rather, they claim they have reinvented the engine which drives that wheel.

They have engineered a ‘SkyActiv-X’ series of engines which purportedly use game-changing technologies which they believe will save the combustion engine from its seemingly inevitable demise.

The new engines use ‘Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI)’. It is thought to be the ‘holy grail’ of combustible engines in a world which demands lower emissions.

SkyActiv-X...

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Friday night (the 25th of August) a tropical storm hit Texas in the United States of America. 60cm of rain fell overnight (23 inches) with a total of 50 inches expected before the week was out. Whether or not Texas’ drainage system is able to deal with the volume of water that climate change is bringing will be a pertinent question once relief efforts have been fulfilled. Questions surrounding Houston’s water infrastructure are already being asked.

A New York Times opinionista has pointed to...

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The United States has just witnessed the first total solar eclipse in 38 years. For some US states people would have observed a partial eclipse, but for 14 other states, the moon would have blotted out the sun completely. 2 minutes and 38 seconds of darkness was experienced in Madras, Oregon.

 

The next total eclipse will appear in American skies on April 8, 2024.

 

 

The power grid effect

An obvious impact of a solar eclipse is on photovoltaic cells that...

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A pedestrian bridge on the N3 road in Bedfordview, in Johannesburg collapsed in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday the 8th of August 2017. The bridge collapsed onto four vehicles, resulting in five injuries with zero fatalities.

 

The highway has been re-opened since the collapse. Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi finds the collapse odd, saying the bridge was deemed safe in 2016. He said: “Sanral did an inspection of the bridge and we were told that the bridge was in a...

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What can house 1,000 passengers, a boatload of cargo, and 850 vehicles? You guessed it. A ferry.

 

The UK Government’s Department of Transport in their 2016 Provisional Sea Transport Report stated that the number of international short sea passengers was estimated at 20.0 million people in that year. Norway also utilizes ferries in a big way. Until the completion of the first underwater tube-shaped floating tunnel, the only way to navigate Norway’s fjords is via...

SERPs for Engineering Companys

It is often difficult for engineers to position themselves into the search engines result pages (SERP's) because of the very competitive nature of the industry. It is dominated by the worlds major companies and the smaller more regional firms often find themselves on the back pages.

It is therefore vitally important that you do a SWOT analysis, that is, an internal study of your strengths and weaknesses as well as your opportunities and threats.

Once you understand yourself, have a look at...

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The Rio-Antirrio Bridge is a modern engineering marvel that, at its heart, relies on engineering expertise and lessons from the past. Opened in August 2004, the bridge wowed engineers because it reflects and marks the progress of bridge building through history. The bridge is one of the longest multi-span, cable-stayed, suspension bridges in the world.

Credit: By Eusebius, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39009078

The bridge links the Peloponnese peninsula to...

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IBM has come a long way since they introduced their first personal computer in 1981. The advent of the device transformed the world. In the 36 years since then engineers have continued to innovate with computer technology, some might say that the effect computers have had on society is beyond measure.

Photo credit: THE Holy Hand Grenade! via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

The history of computers reaches to a period long before 1981, but IBM’s maiden voyage into unfamiliar territory undoubtedly...

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Is it okay to fail? Engineering failure can be and has been a good thing; it is after all how we learn and how engineering designs improve. But it can be catastrophic; the tragic failure of a bridge, for example. There is another sort of failure in engineering: companies which have released products to the masses without adequate take-up have experienced market failure.

Failure for these companies usually means sending product engineers back to the drawing board; it is often very difficult...

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To be cyber secure is becoming increasingly difficult because our interconnected world poses greater risks. The battle continues nonetheless; cybersecurity professionals are emerging in larger numbers and installed cybersecurity software and hardware is now essential across all industries. 

Minter Ellison, one of Australia’s largest corporate law firms, warns universities of the potential data theft that they face due to underinvestment in cybersecurity. The firm’s research showed that...

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Telecommunication technologies have grown in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Gone are the days of outdated wired technologies that supply us with our link to the internet, it’s all about the wireless connection in the modern day telecommunications industry.

 

It was just the other day that 4G LTE technology was being introduced, but now there is a new entrant in the game, due to the large number of devices that are making their way to the cloud.

Credit: Inform.tmforum.org

 

The...

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An engineering company, with an agenda to be part of our daily lives, is setting the bar higher and higher as the need for clean energy technologies sees global demand.

 Rising CO2 levels has been the key motivator for Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, who has made it his life's mission to make sustainable, renewable energy technologies that would inflict less harm on the planet.

 With that dream in mind, Tesla and its subsidiaries have been hard at work at building the prototypical...

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Harnessing the wind to the benefit of mankind has been the concern of the more technically minded for centuries. From the sailboat, to the windmill, humans have been making use of this abundant source of energy, and inventing unique ways of capturing its benefits for power generation.

 But how did we get to the point where engineers are today in terms of the very recognizable wind turbines you see today?

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For the civil, and fire protection engineers, including the everyday people of West London, the 14th of June 2017 will be a stark reminder of the dangers of fire. At 1a.m. local time, a 24-storey apartment block caught fire, leading to at least twelve deaths, with 60 injured as a result of the blaze.
The London Fire Brigade reportedly dispatched 200 fire-fighters, along with 40 trucks to try and contain the blaze. By daylight, the fire seemed to have been contained.

A concerned civil...

Worlds Largest Plane

Sending aviation and aerospace engineers’ pulses racing, the widest aircraft ever built has been unveiled in Mojave, California.  

The Stratolaunch aircraft was funded by billionaire Paul G. Allen in 2011. Allen and Burt Rutan founded the company, Scaled Composites, which is behind the build. They are concerned with making access to space ‘more convenient, reliable, and routine’.  

The plane’s wingspan stretches to 385 feet (117 meters), stretching further than a football field...

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When a pump stops operating, an entire industrial operation can be halted. When they do go down, a level of troubleshooting is necessary before the operation of a pump can be restored. In some cases, an entirely new pump is needed due to the several kinds of erosion that pumps undergo. This hiatus in is always financially challenging.

However, strides are being made to ensure that troubleshooting is as quick and painless as possible. The technology to monitor pumps and their operation is...

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Robots are an integral part of the industrial operation, and as the fourth industrial revolution steamrolls ahead, they are part of the automation of more and more processes than ever before.

 

The reality is that robots cannot be kept apart from the human worker as in years gone by. In industrial operations it is becoming commonplace to see employees interacting with and utilizing industrial-scale and smaller, collaborative robots.

 

Collaborative robots are robots...

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If companies want to capitalize on the future of clean energy, they’re going to have to get at least one foot in the door when it comes to storing that energy. A company who has a little more than a foot in the door is Tesla. It has been in their interest to invest in lithium-ion battery technology because the Tesla business relies on it: electric vehicles and solar storage for homes and businesses. They have made strides in growing their batteries’ lifetimes thanks to a seasoned battery...

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Elon Musk owns many companies that are on the cutting edge of engineering and business endeavor. Most recently he has been working on Mars missions and relaunching used rockets with his company SpaceX. He also designs, manufactures and sells electric cars and solar storage options through Tesla. But now he is boring. He has even named it the Boring Company.

His new company has begun digging a tunnel below SpaceX’s parking lot in Los Angeles. The boring machine, that has arrived and has been...

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.