Industry

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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...

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“It is focused relentlessly on the national interest and assuring that temporary migration visas are not a passport for foreigners to take up jobs that could and should be filled by Australians. Australian jobs for Australian’s first - that’s the focus.” - Malcolm Turnbull

In an unexpected move, Malcolm Turnbull, the Prime Minister of Australia, has announced changes in the immigration policies of Australia. The amendment to the law stipulates that temporary visas will be outlawed for...

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In our modern world engineers are tasked with finding and designing solutions to the key challenges that population growth poses. Building vital infrastructure, which does not harm the planet, for an ever-growing global population is one of the most important challenges engineers face today.

There is one thorny problem to overcome before sustainable solutions can be found:

 

Our linear economy is impeding the sustainability of engineering invention and manufacturing. Hence, an...

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The United Nations’ State of World Cities report in 2013 estimated that the number of urban residents around the world would grow by 60 million yearly. They also predicted that more than 60% of the world’s population would be living in smart cities by 2050. To accommodate this large influx of human beings, the world’s cities don’t necessarily need to become bigger - they just need to become smar

ter. The opportunities for engineers in the Smart City boom are immeasurable.

A book by...

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Virtual labs

 

Remote engineering, also referred to as online engineering, is a fairly recent development in engineering and science. Its aim is to facilitate the shared use of equipment, resources, and specialized software such as simulators.

 

The expansion of the internet as a tool for training and actual work has thrust remote engineering into a position of importance. The world of engineering is after all a connected world; every engineering component is connected to...

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Proof that adding ‘googly eyes’ to your next engineering design will improve customer satisfaction is here. In Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States, engineers have added eyes to a solar powered, trash-eating water wheel. They have subsequently given it a name as well: Mr Trash Wheel.

 

Image Credit: CBS News Baltimore

 

The creators of Mr Trash Wheel explain how it works on their website: “The river’s current provides power to turn the water wheel, which lifts...

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“It’s a big problem this place. I’ve lost a lot of money. I lost about a million five years ago. So, I stopped for five years. I learned a lesson. Why did they build this place here? To give money away? They’re here to make money. It’s not to give you money. ” - Anonymous.

 

“All that the capital city needed and more! Pretty awesome.” - Facebook commenter.

These were the mixed reactions to Africa’s second-largest casino. Sun Times Square, a casino that cost USD$289 million to...

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Space travel is heating up again. The tongue-in-cheek way people are choosing to treat this new boom in space pioneering, is by calling it the second space race. Except this time it’s billionaire versus billionaire. Business giants like Virgin’s Richard Branson and Amazon and Blue Origin’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, are looking to the skies, and hoping to define the future of space travel. Another one of the esteemed gentleman at the helm of the new age of space travel is South African born Elon...

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  A grim reality the world has had to face in the modern age is the fact that the planet’s waterways are overwhelmingly polluted. Much of it is unfortunately thanks to the technologies and products engineered in the past.

 

Humans need to put their waste somewhere; most of the time it is the ocean that gets the tough task of handling it all.

 

The National Ocean Service at the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that most ocean pollution begins on land. In fact, 80%...

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 It was the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

 

(The Chernobyl Disaster 2015).

 

The catastrophic Chernobyl disaster occurred on 26 April, 1986. Chernobyl, the nuclear power plant in Ukraine, is responsible for thousands of deaths, including large numbers of people suffering from premature cancers linked to exposure to the deadly radiation (The Chernobyl Disaster 2015).

The accident occurred during an experiment to test a way of cooling the core of the reactor in an emergency situation (The...

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China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has announced that all construction projects for new coal power plants will be cancelled, effective immediately. Instead, the NEA is investing $361 billion into expanding renewable energy technologies in an effort to reduce the crippling smog levels in many cities in China. The number of coal power stations that will be halted, according to Reuters, is “over 100”.

 

The Independent predicts that the move from coal to renewable power will...

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 “The future wars will be fought over water.”

 

Are we heading for a future where those who have the cleanest and most abundant water will be the most prosperous? As it stands, to discern which countries are first world and which are third the cleanliness of drinking water is a consideration.

 

To conserve clean water some have been thinking outside the box. California’s county of Los Angeles has been through a long drought so is ready to go ‘balls to the wall’ to try...

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The breakthroughs in the biomedical engineering industry were staggering in 2016. The world moved closer toward wearable systems that could continually monitor human health, and even produced studies for ingestible robots, designed to be powered by human stomach acid.

 

 

With biomedical engineering technologies becoming more apt at generating data about the human body and with more accuracy, the world is edging closer to more precise medical...

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What are they and can they provide the solution to the ‘skill gap’ conundrum?

One can earn a micro-credential in a specific, targeted skill or acquire a number of them – part of a broader, inclusive skill set.

Udacity, one of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) providers refer to those micro-credentials which form a skill set as nonodegrees and describe them as  curriculums designed to help you become job ready’.

Krista Moroder, a software engineer, states that...

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In 2013, Nicolene Murdoch, the executive director for teaching and quality at Monash South Africa - a higher education institution - said that historically only 15 to 20% of South African students at universities end up graduating.

 

More recently, in 2015, the Council of Higher Education calculated the dropout rate (or more formally, the attrition rate) of students that had been studying five year degrees countrywide. The research found that 18% of the country’s 18 to 24 year olds...

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Calling all Mechanical Engineers! We need tougher robots.

 

A clean-up and decommissioning of three of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors, that fell victim to meltdowns after a powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2011, is underway. The clean-up will cost the equivalent of USD$190 billion.

 

The first step to decommissioning is locating the spent, melted nuclear fuel. No human can withstand the radiation levels in the reactors. As a result, radiation-resistant...

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The prosperity of many industries hinges on the sucess of engineering innovation and endeavor.

 

Unfortunately engineers are often only remembered once their well oiled machines, that thrust society forward, stop working. And sometimes they don’t get the recognition they deserve. The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering has tried to change that disappointing fact.

First awarded in 2013, the QEPrize sets out to aard engineers for their innovation in engineering, with specific...

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Chances are, if you work in an office environment, you’re faced with the temperature dilemma: you are either too hot or too cold. This is exacerbated in an open plan office space; an environment where the aircon’s remote becomes a highly disputed weapon. And it’s all thanks to engineers!

 

According to renowned Australian author and science commentator, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, the world sees 20% more air conditioning unit sales yearly.

 

He makes a very interesting assertion...

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Strides are continually being made in road safety engineering. Making roads safer and more efficient is the work of civil engineers across the globe. The safest option would be automating all cars around the world. Ford, Google, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Uber are looking at their implementation in the United States by 2021, but that is still some time away and there are still a few kinks that need to be addressed.

 

 

Consequently, engineers are in charge of producing...

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Engineers and scientists have a profound impact on society. The businesses that utilize STEM careers are the tools that build the gross domestic product of a country. Their inventions and innovations change the way the world does things all the time.

 

However, in the modern day blur of news from media outlets, we seldom hear of the engineers who are tirelessly innovating and working to keep things running. Mostly the focus is on the individuals who preside over engineers, the Elon...

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Sin City just became ‘holier than thou’. The gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas, is now completely powered by renewable energy. Or is it? It seems that Las Vegas’ plans to move toward 100% renewable energy has produced some misinformation.

Popular Mechanics, a well known engineering news magazine, posted a fake story about Vegas back in December 2016. The story professed that Las Vegas was “the largest city in the country to run entirely on renewable energy.”

The city does indeed...

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In 2016, the United Nations declared that the internet was to be considered a human right, like running water.

 

The U.N. has enduringly struggled to enforce international law so for this issue the ruling was met with some criticism. Widespread access to the internet is further complicated in certain countries, such as North Korea and China, who regulate their telecommunications.

 

The Internet of Things - and the oncoming fourth industrial revolution - will be exposing...

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When natural disaster strikes, infrastructure suffers: buildings, roads, power supplies, water, lighting.... In the aftermath, the helping hand of others is sometimes the only thing that can soften the blow. But in some cases, in the long term, it can do more harm than good.

 

 

Foreign aid has often been likened to ‘giving a fish to a person who is hungry’. Philanthropy, on the other hand, is more about ‘teaching someone how to catch a fish so that he can fish in the...

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Automated systems are changing our world daily. New technologies make their way into workplaces annually, changing the way a company operates and changing the face of its workforce. Sometimes, automated software crunches the numbers. But, increasingly, in engineering applications, the changing face is a robot.

 

Robots are the 24/7 worker. No lunch breaks. No toilet breaks. No sick leave. They do, however, need a unifier, to enable them to work together. They need a...

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Graphene, a carbon compound discovered in 2004, is now known as one the strongest materials in the world. At only one atom think it is also one of the most lightweight.

 

Impressively, it has further benefits; it conducts electricity and is water-repellent too.

These qualities make it very attractive for product design, but engineers have had trouble converting it from 2D to 3D applications.

 

The US Army is so impressed with this microscopic sheet of carbon that they...

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The Syrian War has reached its fifth year with the death of an estimated 400,000 people. It is also responsible for the biggest refugee crisis in documented history. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 4.8 million Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring countries, with another 6.6 million displaced in Syria itself. They also report that “hundreds of thousands” have fled to Europe.

 

Photojournalists have shown that many Syrian cities are uninhabitable, with basic living and...

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Creating infrastructure on a large scale for a vast country with a growing population has, by necessity, been China’s focus. And they are very good at it. Many nations struggle to keep pace with the needs of their citizens and China is no different. It has, however, made some brave, but perhaps somewhat audacious investments in projects for the future.

One of the world’s biggest photovoltaic solar farms now exists in China. Construction began in 2013 and at completion the plant cost was...

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A primary and emergency spillway at Lake Oroville, California, have eroded to the point where repair is immediately required. Water levels have risen to historic levels resulting in worried authorities evacuating more than 190,000 people from the valleys below; they fear that the dam won’t hold.

 

The reservoir is California’s second-largest provider of water. The dam’s capacity is 4.363537 km3, which equates to 1.75 million Olympic swimming pools.

The dam recently reached...

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Here’s a question you’ve (likely) never asked anyone before: Where does Bermuda get its drinking water from?

 

A rudimentary question, at best. However, a closer investigation into the topic, a legacy is revealed. A legacy of water engineering and management that the world could learn from.

 

Bermuda is essentially a series of small islands that are joined via bridges to make up a large land mass. The islands were built upon porous limestone mountain ranges produced by a...

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A solar storm has been brewing in Australia. The country’s homeowners and business owners have lent themselves to renewable energy technologies. More specifically, they are investing in solar photovoltaic energy generation technologies.

 

Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, speaking on Q&A on March 22, 2106, stated that, “Nearly 15% of Australian households have solar panels on their roofs. That’s the highest number of solar panels on people’s roofs per capita anywhere in the...

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Altering leave days, with both men and women employees in mind, may help companies retain women in their jobs, particularly those with positions in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

 

PAE is an American engineering firm that designs “high-performing environments” that are designed with a focus on nature, but especially on water and energy conservation.

PAE’s Director of Employee Experience, Shiloh Butterworth, says that they are testing a method to keep...

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.