Industry

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Industrial engineering and IIoT expansion

Experts have been wondering if 2017 is indeed the year where the complete worldwide movement toward smart factories begins. The Internet of Things is slowly making its way into the factory, interconnecting everything inside of it, and producing large swathes of performance and operational data that needs to be analyzed by factory employees. The intertwining of internet and industry has produced a new name for IoT in industry: The Industrial Internet...

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Should we be afraid of the oncoming deluge of automation technologies that are being engineered in the world? These technologies are certainly having a massive impact already; what do they augur for the future of employment?

 

The White House released a report in December 2016 entitled: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automation, and the Economy. An excerpt of the report reads:

 

Today, it may be challenging to predict exactly which jobs will be most immediately affected by...

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Cybersecurity has become one of the most important topics of conversation for business, governments and the general population, all those striving for the security and privacy of their data, some of which is stored in the cloud.

 

There are measures that can be taken to protect data, but the situation is worsening. Entire industries are being threatened with ransomware - one of the most malignant hacking enterprises - as criminal ‘businesses’ pop up around the...

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An environmental engineer would surely agree that when it comes to public health, noise pollution is a dangerous threat to a person's wellbeing. It has been well researched and proven that citizens of a country who live near airports have higher blood pressures than those who live elsewhere. People's health is directly affected by noisy engineering design. 

The Federal Aviation Authority says that an aircraft's noise output should, at maximum, be 65dBA, observed at...

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Our buzzword for your engineering career this year is INVESTMENT. The modern world of business centers on the principles of investment. You put something in, and hopefully (with copious amounts of elbow grease) get something out. 

When someone looks to invest their hard-earned money, the most important factor they consider is growth potential. The question they ask themselves is: Will my invested money grow? 

Pursuing engineering as a career involves just...

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

 

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

 

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


Steve Mackay, Dean of Engineering at EIT and sister company, IDC Technologies enjoys writing his weekly blog including useful tips and current industry matters for his fellow engineering colleagues. With a loyal and expanding following base reaching over 600,000 people around the world, click here to read all of Steve's blogs over at EIT's sister company, IDC Technologies.
 

Digitally Hunting for an Engineering or Technology Job

Have you experienced the frustration and futility of...

Could you visualise a world without technical drawing software? Showing the inner workings of something you engineered by hand sketching the details as accurately as possible. CAD software is the lifeblood of design engineers. Most modern engineers applying for patents for their tirelessly engineered innovations use CAD programs to create their technical drawings. Other design engineers will use the programs to show a mockup of what an eventual product design may look like, and can introduce...

W. Richard Bowen, author of Engineering Ethics: Challenges and Opportunities, says that engineers are in charge of several industrial operations that have the power to change the society they live in. He lists some of the ingenuities that engineers have designed: “Clean water production and sanitation, energy generation, large-scale pharmaceutical manufacture, hygienic food processing, functional buildings transport infrastructure, mechanical devices, medical diagnostic equipment...

 

When the United Kingdom famously opted to exit from the European Union this year, what was the dominant feeling among them? The question sounds like the unanswerable million dollar question at the end of a trivia show. The answer is: uncertainty. They felt that the country had isolated itself from the rest of the world and that engineering endeavor and business was going to be wrapped up in...uncertainty. Engineers are in an era of uncertainty. The world wants new, shiny, efficient...

Globally, there will be two billion people aged over 60 years old and older, by 2050. That figure is given to us by the United States government, who use the estimations to build policy around the elderly in their country. How many of these two billion will still be employed in 2050? It is perhaps impossible to say. How many will be let go because of their age? That is also an impossible question to answer. It was George Orwell who famously said: “Each generation perceives itself to be more...

President of the United States, Barack Obama decided to veto the application and in turn canceled the project. Some experts believed it was politically motivated, however, activists had expressed their concerns pertaining to the pipeline. Activists said that “tar sand transport” would have released toxic chemicals into the air, having an adverse effect on the health of the people of Oklahoma. Additionally, the 850,000 barrels of oil that the pipeline would have transported, per day, would have...

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States (NASA) has said that after 136 years of global temperature record keeping, 2016 is irrefutably the hottest year on record. The revelations come after September’s data showed that the month was the warmest month in history, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). They reported that September was 0.91 degrees celsius warmer than the mean September temperatures from 1951 to 1980. The warmer global...

Under the headline "Labor Shortage Persists In Some Fields," the Wall Street Journal (2/7, Light; subscription required) reports the number of people looking for jobs may number almost 14 million, but so far there are still four open computer engineering jobs at startup firm Gowalla Inc. of Austin. The company wants more programmers to add to a 27-member staff, but finding those people is difficult. CEO Josh Williams said, "Most people we want are employed somewhere already." The scenario is...

Just a few years ago IDC Technologies decided to trial the concept of offering a selection of its engineering and technology courses via distance education using the latest live video and web conferencing e-Learning techniques. Demand for these courses has grown by an average of 117% growth rate over each of the past 3 years - pretty exciting results for a “trial concept” considering many industries have struggled through the GFC.
 
IDC has now launched this trial concept into The...

The Western Mail (Wales) (12/2) reported that "more than half a million engineers and manufacturing workers will be needed over the next eight years in [UK] industries ranging from transport and construction to aerospace and defence." The industry promoter EngineeringUK in its report "highlighted barriers to achieving the figure, including a rapidly diminishing pool of talent, a fall in engineering lecturers and fewer students studying for manufacturing and engineering degrees." The study...

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German nuclear engineering firms are within their rights to claim damages and receive compensation for the country's plans to shut their nuclear facilities, a senior judge has ruled. The Constitutional Court found that government's impending interference with nuclear plants violated property rights. The country's government has set the date for complete nuclear decommissioning; 2022./

The German utilities and their engineers will be seeking compensation that will amount to billions of euros...

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Network Rail Causes Christmas Chaos in London

Have you submitted your annual leave form for the festive season yet? Some engineers in London aren't going to be that lucky this year. Five major London railway stations will be undergoing 42 engineering improvement projects (27 daytime and 15 nighttime) from the 19th of December, stretching through to the 2nd of January, 2017.

The number of passenger journeys that utilize the railway between 19 December and 2 January? 20 million.

...

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

The main engineering company attached to the project is WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff. There are six

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A referendum on the subject of scrapping forty-five-year-old nuclear plants in Switzerland has resulted in a categorical NO. Put forward by the country's Green Party, the motion was denied by 54.2% of voters. Green Party president, Regula Rytz, said: "The high number of yes (to dismantle nuclear plants) votes confirmed that citizens wanted to opt out of nuclear power in the long run."

The country's energy minister Doris Leuthard was also quoted saying that the vote showed that some citizens...

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Flash floods have been plaguing the planet in 2016. In June, flash floods forced the government of France to close the Louvre in Paris and 25,000 people were left without power. 500 miles away, Germany also experienced flash flooding that caused 5 deaths and left several people missing. Lest we forget the 2015/16 floods of Ireland and Great Britain. Storm weather also battered South Australia at the end of September, this year. Engineering industries were shut down due to the weather. Power...

Sinkholes. They swallow houses, they devour cars. They eat up road, and they're happening around the world. A section of a five-lane street in Japanese business district Fukuoka was swallowed on Wednesday in what is being called a sinkhole. Subways were delayed and 800 houses were left without power. The sinkhole happened uncomfortably close to other buildings, so officials evacuated the people in the surrounding area to minimize the chance of any injury due to exploding gas lines or any...

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The U.S. Presidential Election has finally arrived after one of the longest campaign cycles in recent history. The winner of this presidential election will become the leader of the free world and have a monumental task ahead of them. There are only a few hours to go before the leader in the polls is announced, and as a result becomes the president. The stock market nervously waits in the wings to either congratulate or deflate depending on who wins. The reality is, some engineering industries...

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A pipeline explosion in the United States on Monday has forced the Governer of Alabama, Robert Bentley, to declare a state of emergency. The pipeline explosion killed one and injured six workers. The subsequent fire as a result of the explosion has caused damage to what is known as the Colonial Pipeline which delivers gasoline to millions of customers. The South and Eastern United States regions will face gas price hikes and some will face shortages due to the pipeline's damage. The...

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The first worker to die of a "work-related" incident at one of Qatar's World Cup 2022 stadiums, has been mourned by the organizers of the tournament.  The worker was reportedly hit by a water truck at the Al Wakrah stadium and has become the first person to die whilst physically working at a Qatari stadium. "It is with deep regret we announce a work-related fatality on one of our projects. A full investigation is underway to determine the factors which contributed to the death of one of...

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An engineer from the automaker Volkswagen has spilled the beans. James Robert Liang (62) has pleaded guilty to the very first criminal charges in the '#Dieselgate' scandal. Liang reportedly agreed to a plea deal for charges handed down by U.S. prosecutors. The prosecutors said Liang admitted to being a part of a "nearly decade-long conspiracy to defraud US regulators and VW customers." He also pleaded guilty to the violation of the Clean Air Act. 

 

Where did it all...

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Lithium-ion batteries are back in the spotlight this week. Samsung's brand new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, is undergoing a global recall that is estimated to cost the company $1 billion. The President of Samsung's mobile business department Dongjin Koh told reporters that there was a "tiny problem in the manufacturing process" that caused the phones' batteries to catch fire. In a YouTube video posted by a man named Ariel Gonzalez, the damage the battery fire causes to the phone...

 

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A skyscraper under construction in Dubai caught fire on Tuesday afternoon, leading to evacuations of not only the structure but also the Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi hotel nearby. This is reportedly the fifth blaze the United Arab Emirates has seen in 18 months. If you recall, on New Year's Eve, the Address Hotel, a 63-storey five-star hotel, caught fire due to what engineers said was an "electrical short circuit". The blazes will no doubt be a topic of conversation between the civil defense...

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Science fiction is a genre completely defined by the theoretical applications of engineering and science in a fictional context, showing what the future of our world (or the worlds after ours) might look like. Fictional stories with fictional engineers have inspired the real-world engineers from all over the world, all wanting to emulate their favorite characters. Moreover, engineers sometimes even look to science fiction to study the effects of what a writer has warned the world of creating...

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The Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Civil Engineers and a list of 33 other engineering organisations have banded together after the results of the Brexit Referendum. The super-group of engineering industries want to collectively pressure the British government into making a good deal with the EU, for the engineering sector. As Britain leaves the European Union, all of the warnings that were issued before June 23rd need to be double...

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It's hard to ignore the effects the Brexit is having on engineering. The first physical marks the Brexit referendum has made on engineering has been shown by Markit, a company that covers global market trends. As the referendum's results were unveiled at the end of June, the construction Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 46.0. To indicate how significant this is, one needs to consider that Britain's index sat at 51.2 in May. The numbers are now the lowest they have been since 2009, which were...

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Is it back to the drawing board for the engineers of Tesla? The company's self-driving technology has claimed its first victim. Tesla driver Joshua Brown, 40, has died in an accident caused by the self-driving technology inside the Model S. The car's self-driving technology was reportedly unable to recognise a white tractor trailer against "the brightly lit sky".
The technology that drives Model S cars is Tesla's own 'Autopilot' software.

"What we know is that the vehicle was on a divided...

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Getting started with PLC programming could make you instantly more valuable as an engineer. Without PLCs, we would not be able to run our industrial factories that contribute to every economy all over the world. We need PLCs to use real-time software to monitor what happens inside an industrial system and control what the results will be. The running joke is that a person could come into contact with a PLC without even realizing it due to PLC uses in elevators, amusement parks, etc.

The PLCs...

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The liquefied natural gas market will see demand double by 2030. The latest numbers have grabbed the attention of Chevron and other oil companies who hope to capitalize on LNG sales, due to decreased investment into fossil fuel energy technologies. Millions of dollars will be invested into LNG imports and exports in the upcoming years due to the fact that governments are encouraging cleaner energy. China's LNG demand is also skyrocketing at an annual rate of 15% over the next six...

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Australia, The United States, and Britain. Who is winning the renewable energy race? Who is doing more to secure green energy in their country? The answer is Germany. They have installed and are achieving 38301 MWp (Mega Watt peak) with photovoltaic devices. They have strategies in place to ensure that their country could run fully renewable energy by 2030. However, how close are the other superpowers and forward thinking countries? Those aforementioned countries that are considered to be big...

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A cyber-takedown of the Ukranian electricity grid in December of 2015 has sent the cybersecurity industry spiralling. Since then, governments across the globe have been equipping themselves with cybersecurity firms that will try to ensure a takedown of a similar nature doesn't occur. What is apparent is that governments need some pretty efficient firewalls to ensure that criminals can't take down their country's power grids with complex lines of code. Industrial control systems being...

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Heartbreak, dismay, disappointment. Just some of the words that academics are using to express themselves with after the British public decided that the United Kingdom would not remain in the Europe Union. Universities are now saying they anticipate considerable changes in the future of studies in engineering and science. 

When the referendum's results were announced the Institution of Engineering and Technology immediately demanded discussions be held to measure what kind of...

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The results are in. The British public has decided that they want to leave the European Union. The vote to leave the EU won by 51.9%, compared to the 48.1% who voted to 'remain'. The result will now ensure that the opinions of those who warned that engineering and science industries were in trouble if a 'leave' vote went through, will be given another read through. 

In Support of 'REMAIN' 

Roland Berger says that UK exports rake in GBP390 billion annually and that...

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Industrial control systems need to be protected in a world where automation opens avenues for criminals to exploit them. Air gapped SCADA systems will become more and more difficult to stick to in the era where the Internet of Things is striving to connect and automate industrial control systems. There is just no escaping the fact that networks will have to be connected to a cloud-based solution that could enable cyber criminals. 

Last year, only 24 percent of engineers who took...

Industrial robot sales have skyrocketed in the last two years. In 2015, 248,00 robots were sold globally. That number was 12 percent up from the previous year and made it a record year for industrial robotic purchases. By 2018, 2.3 million industrial robots will be employed in the world. These figures are according to The International Federation of Robotics in a study named 2016 World Robotic Statistics. 

Based on geographical positioning, the IFR conducted a study on which...

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A pair of bills has been passed in Congress that will see America's Homeland Security and cybersecurity engineers working together for the betterment of the cybersecurity situation prevalent in the world today. The interesting distinction to be made here is to notice that Homeland Security will be working with private sector cybersecurity firms. Private security network engineers are understanding more about automation, control and SCADA systems than engineers within the American government...

Elon Musk has fingers in many pies and those pies have been producing major engineering marvels lately. It's difficult to ignore the engineering endeavors he associates himself with because they are so current and so 'now'. From securing a high-speed tube train to developing the next battery-powered cars to landing a rocket, the list truly does go on. 

Musk also has his money in an artificial intelligence company named OpenAI. You guessed it, they develop artificial intelligence...

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This Thursday Britain will make a decision. The decision is whether to leave the European Union or remain in the position they currently fulfill. As the day draws closer, engineering experts have unequivocally supported a 'STAY' vote. Experts say that if Britain does leave the European Union, they might be cutting off their noses to spite their face, especially in engineering industries. And the warnings keep streaming in. 

"The fact that we source talent from the best universities in...

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Cybersecurity for Automation, Control and SCADA systems is becoming one of the most important fields of study in the world today. The industrial world is moving towards Industrie 4.0 and the internet of things, interconnecting entire industrial companies and syncing them to cloud-based solutions. Cyber-criminals are actively making hundreds of thousands of dollars every single day from holding the data from these industries ransom.IBM Security has released a report of how much hacking is...

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Researchers at the Massachusetts Insitute of Technology have tackled one of the biggest questions plaguing the engineering industry: Where are all the women? The last two years have been landmark years for universities that have prioritised closing the gender gap that exists in the engineering world. Some universities ensure to have at least 30 percent female attendance in their engineering courses. Some universities have even ensured that half of the classes are female. However, aside of...

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The International Energy Agency has released their report on liquefied natural gas and how the market is growing. The report, titled 2016 Medium-Term Gas Market Report, says that investment into LNG will grow the market by 45% between 2015 to 2021. Australia will be a big producer, along with the United States, however after Shell's announcement of a slow-down on a lot of projects, the market is looking volatile. The report also stated that global natural gas demand would increase by 1.5%...

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.