Industry

In the 1800s the United States was industrializing to the point where New York and San Francisco, states that were quite literally on opposite sides of the country, needed to figure out a central point at which they could trade with each other. They would, via their respective railroads, meet in the middle at a trading port in New Orleans. However a lake stood in their way, Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain. 

The railway, at over nine kilometres long, is the longest railway crossing over...

Wireless charging technology has had a serious hit or miss relationship with the mobile industry. With some standards being cleared, some technology being engineered and some being still stuck in pre-production, it’s hard to know what’s going on sometimes. However new developments might mean we are closer than we think.

Qi is the charging standard that defines wireless power transfer using inductive charging methods. The increasing development of this technology has gotten engineers minds...

Nokia wants to show the world what is possible with 5G networks and automated factories. Not only is the company now manufacturing mobile technologies with 5G embedded within their architecture, but they are also using it to automate their factories.

Based in the Finnish city of Oulu, Nokia has built a factor which they consider to be the future of modern industrial production and manufacturing. Whilst the plant has always belonged to Nokia, the company has now retrofitted the plant with new...

It was a story of ineptitude, willful ignorance, and oncoming catastrophe. But that didn’t stop civil engineers in the state of California from bouncing back and rectifying what had been neglected. In February 2017, Oroville Dam’s main and emergency spillways were damaged due to heavy rains which exposed the ill maintenance and general corrosion of the main and emergency spillways.

The reservoir is California’s second-largest provider of water. The dam’s capacity is 4.363537 km3, which...

Roads are something we use every day. Whether it’s for going to work, school or anything in-between, the quality infrastructure of roads are detrimental to our safety. So what do you do when they start to fall apart?

Road infrastructure in Johannesburg, South Africa, is currently under threat. 94% of bridges are in just fair to extremely poor condition meaning out of 902 bridges, only 6% are acceptable. 707 bridges are categorized as poor to very poor in terms of structural integrity. These...

As the world begins to demand increasingly sustainable and renewable methods of power, engineers are having to rise to the challenge to change the routines of established industries that have been operating the same way for hundreds of years.

Some of the oldest trades in the world which have constantly evolved to keep up with newer engineering technologies are eagerly looking to cut down on the amount of emissions they produce.

One of those trades is the art of cheese making.

If you...

Plagiarism is any creative industry is an incessant problem, allowing people to get away with ideas that are not rightfully theirs. This is particularly evident in China, who is notorious for their knockoffs of products from around the world. However a landmark victory in a recent court case might be changing that as China’s engineering industry is put under the spotlight.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) celebrated the victory which is being called a ‘first’ for the global car industry in which they...

It survived the French Revolution and two world wars. The landmark is part of Paris’ soul, embodying the city’s history and partially shaping its identity through its religious and architectural significance. The Notre Dame de Paris, a jewel in the French crown, and a marvel of civil engineering, has suffered extensive damage due to fire.

The stunning monument has stood for over 850 years, which made watching it go up in flames so quickly on live television all the more devastating. It has...

Taking a high-rise structure from concept to completion is no easy task — structural and geotechnical engineers usually face an array of design-related challenges. From vulnerability, to seismic activity, to understanding the risks of underlying soils, designing a tall building is a feat within itself.

However, engineers in Kenya can rejoice as The Britam Tower in Nairobi has been named as having the best in mechanical and electrical engineering by The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban...

Scientists believe if we’re going to combat climate change, we need to electrify all forms of transport. In fact, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization, the demand for air travel by 2050 could increase aviation sector greenhouse gases by 700 per cent compared to emissions in 2005.

As it stands, aviation is responsible for two percent of the world’s carbon emissions. While at cruising altitude, conventional aircraft release nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, which also...

Judith Resnik never planned on being an astronaut. Her dreams were initially set on being a professional concert pianist. However, in the end, she was neither. Resnik was an American electrical engineer, software engineer, biomedical engineer, pilot, the first Jewish American in space and the fourth woman in space.

Born in 1949 to Sarah and Marvin, both Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, Resnik grew up in a simple home in Akron, Ohio. Her father was an optometrist and her mother a former legal...

Multinational oil and gas corporation Exxon Mobil is working towards a clean energy future. They are embarking on a process of introducing technology into industrial plants that will make them more sustainable into the future.

A new television advert from the company shows that their engineers and scientists are working towards refining carbon capture technology for industrial plants. By replicating the real process of how plants capture carbon dioxide, they are hoping industrial plants and...

The Paris Climate Agreement is ringing alarm bells for engineering industries around the world. The message of the agreement seems clear: transition or die. Extreme weather events, rising sea levels, smog pollution and deforestation issues are no longer something we can undermine.

Australia was one of the participating nations who signed the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. The Australia Labor Party made a promise to the public that they would cut emissions by 26 percent by the year 2030 if...

Engineering legacies are all around us. They are constant reminders of the hard work done by engineers who came before us and how, against all odds, they were able to create incredible industries, build amazing marvels, and improve the world that they lived in.

What kind of engineers paved the way for the industries we know and love today? Well as it turns out, they were no different to the engineering students who are endeavoring to change the world we live in today.

Henry Royce never...

World Water Day (22 March) has come and gone - blink and you would have missed it. However, an organization that didn't miss it was The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in the United Kingdom. They used this day to celebrate the civil engineers making a difference in the world of water infrastructure.

ICE hosted an exhibition with real-life engineers, both active and retired, who dressed up as engineering-inspired superheroes. They hosted two exhibitions named ‘Invisible Superheroes' and...

A priority of all engineering companies is the implementation of workplace safety and with the development of new safety technologies, industrial environments are closing than ever to achieving accident-free workplaces.

British-Dutch oil and gas company Shell has pledged for the last five years to continually ensure impeccable safety across every level of their company.

It all started with their Goal Zero ambition to achieve no harm and no leaks across all of their oil-related operations...

India’s government is under scrutiny after a bridge collapse in Mumbai left at least six people dead and 36 people injured.

This is the third foot-overbridge tragedy India has seen in just two years, placing a harsh spotlight on the shortcomings of India’s infrastructure sector who struggle to stay up to date with modern practices and maintenance requirements.

Source: Bhushan Koyande

Shirish B Patel, an urban planner and civil engineer, says that what’s happening in the case of the...

At the Mobile World Congress 2019, Microsoft came out swinging. They announced the second iteration of their mixed-reality headset, the Microsoft HoloLens. It is aptly named the HoloLens 2.

The new headset will cost US $3,500 but will only be available to companies - and not consumers - for now. The HoloLens is a head-mounted (wearable) technology that integrates 3D virtual elements within the field of view of the wearer.

The HoloLens only weighs 1.25lbs (0.57kg) and fits comfortably on...

It seems engineering terms are becoming buzzwords within the industry.

For example, words like The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, the Blockchain — and more — are all misused in quickly rattled off articles and political speeches.

In fact, it seems that the people peddling these terms are not actually aware of their meaning. It is easy to refer to the Fourth Industrial Revolution without giving credence to the technologies that are bringing...

A decade of corruption, mismanagement, sabotage, poor power station designs, and a recent natural disaster has led to the implementation of more rolling blackouts in South Africa's energy sector.

At the end of 2018, Eskom admitted that they were unsure when the next break in transmission was going to be. Initially, they wanted to ensure that South Africans would not be in the dark during their Christmases.

During that time, an intensive investigation into the problems Eskom was...

Remote invigilation - otherwise known as online proctoring - might just be the critical factor when measuring the success of online higher education. Online education without digital supervision would naturally be a sticking point for education accreditation boards across the globe. It is not surprising, therefore, that online proctoring solutions are growing.

Curtin University and the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) have been hard at work developing the Intelligent Remote...

Twenty-five percent of engineering graduates are jobless in India, according to a study published by the All India Professionals Congress. Whereas a study published 1,618 miles away, in the United Arab Emirates, indicates that there are not enough graduates to go around. This is in a region where engineers are highly sought after.

The study in the UAE was named ‘Majors in Demand’ and was conducted by the Ministry of Education. The study took a look at over 13,000 graduates from government...

Conflict and war are commonplace around the world and civilians are inevitably trapped in the midst of them. It is gratifying to report that engineering skill, in conjunction with technology, are working to alleviate some of the fall-out for the people caught up in these situations.

This doughty combination of technology and skill is making relief efforts more manageable: getting food, water, and medicine to those regions effected by war. It is also proving remarkably effective in remote...

South Africa is a country with 27% of its population without work. Spirits have not been high for at least a decade; a struggling economy has been limping around entrenched and widespread governmental corruption. Thanks to a recent discovery, however, followed by an announcement by integrated oil and gas company Total, the country has perked up a little. Total said in a statement:

“We have made a significant gas condensate discovery on the Brulpadda prospects in the Outeniqua Basin, 175...

It is never pleasant to focus on engineering industry shortcomings. However, when new aircraft fall out of the sky, with multiple fatalities the result, the ugly business of discovering the faults commences.

On Sunday, 10 March 2019, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 (flight ET302) belonging to Ethiopian Airlines crashed just six minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa. It went down on its way to Nairobi, Kenya, crashing into a town known as Bishoftu. Of the 157 people onboard, there were no...

Planet Labs has launched 146 satellites into space — officially it's the largest fleet of satellites in human history. The company began engineering the satellites with the intention of making each one roughly the size of a loaf of bread. They each weigh 12 pounds (5 kg).

The satellites are engineered by former NASA employees. Unlike when they were working for NASA, the turnaround time for the creation of these satellites is much shorter. They are as easy to design and build as a smartphone...

Toshiba Corp and General Electric have unveiled the robot that will again try to achieve what no robot has been able to accomplish before it; locating and removing the spent, melted nuclear fuel of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor number three.

The cleanup and decommissioning of the three nuclear reactors that fell victim to meltdowns after a powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2011 is ongoing. The cleanup will cost the equivalent of USD$190 billion.

The path to...

South Africa's energy utility is in dire straits. On the 11th of February 2019, the utility's engineers implemented Stage 4 load shedding on South Africa's main energy grid. Stage 4 load shedding indicated that the country was short 4,000MW of the peak capacity requirement of 27,000 MW due to what the utility called ‘continued pressure’ on the national grid.

The utility has 45,000 MW of energy capacity installed, but cannot meet the peak demand of 27,000MW. Experts say the current situation...

Today is International Women's Day. EIT is celebrating the women who are currently filling positions in the engineering industry across the globe. However, most experts are cognizant that more needs to be done to encourage women to enter the engineering industry.

The World Economic Forum reports that women account for just 11% of employees globally in architecture and engineering. The number is shockingly low, but the fight for women’s representation in engineering is beginning to gain...

In the United States, the Midwest and Northeast have shivered their way through a winter they won't forget. They are calling it the coldest temperatures in a generation. If boiling water was thrown into the air, it would instantly freeze. The deep freeze is reminiscent of the Sci-Fi film The Day After Tomorrow.

The North Polar Vortex has caused these freezing conditions — it pushed Chicago's temperatures down to -46 degrees Celsius. That is colder than Antarctica, Alaska and the North...

Industrial automation can transform the landscape of a country's workforce and economy.

Countries are transitioning from mining economies, into manufacturing economies with the sometimes unseen fourth industrial revolution's slow march.

Berg Insights reported that 4.6 million wireless devices were shipped globally in 2018 for the purpose of industrial automation. Industrial automation accounted for six percent of newly connected IoT nodes. It also meant that the number of devices...

Making computers think like humans is undeniably the next frontier that scientists and engineers are to trying to reach.

However, machine learning, a field of computer science that programs computers with the ability to learn from data and make informed, adaptive, dynamic predictions, is currently reinventing the wheel in engineering industries.

In the last decade, technology has taken a gigantic leap forward. Machine learning has empowered these technologies, and today we have virtual...

India's most famous civil engineer, Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, once said: ‘Work is worship.'

Gustave Eiffel, the French civil engineer responsible for the Eiffel Tower, said: “Can one think that because we are engineers, beauty does not preoccupy us or that we do not try to build beautiful, as well as solid and long lasting structures? Aren’t the genuine functions of strength always in keeping with unwritten conditions of harmony? Besides, there is an attraction, a special charm in the...

In January 2019, the Consumer Electronics Show kicked off in Las Vegas, Nevada. And it seems mechanical engineering, propped up by artificial intelligence, is the talk of the town.

Mercedes-Benz rolled their latest marvel of mechanical engineering out on the floor, touting some impressive artificially intelligent add-ons. The car’s name is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 Coupe, and the AI software is called MBUX (Mercedes-Benz user experience).

The company’s presentation kicked off calling...

Pearlitic steel, or pearlite, is one of the most durable materials in the world. This microstructure occurs in steel and can be made into steel wire.

You might have seen these wires bundled together into ropes for suspension bridges or steel cords for tire reinforcement. They are also prevalent in piano wires. 

Kanazawa University students in Japan have been studying its atomic structure and have made a few first-time discoveries. They hope the atomic properties present in pearlite...

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been working on nano-electrofuel (NEF) flow batteries for electric aviation.

This means they could eventually power aircraft with non-explosive liquid rechargeable batteries.

The development of these flow batteries is being done by the Armstrong Flight Research Center's Aqueous Quick-Charging Battery Integration for Flight Research (Aquifer) within NASA. The aerospace company has always been innovative in the flow battery space —...

The World Economic Forum is inviting other industrial companies to study nine world-leading smart factories they have identified as having the latest in automation technology.

Not surprisingly, these ‘manufacturing lighthouses' as the WEF call them, utilize the Industrial Internet of Things, and in their opinion show the most promise in Fourth Industrial Revolution implementation.

WEF are helping build seven more to join the other nine already in existence.

Factories are becoming far...

As 2019 begins another year of engineering innovation lies ahead.

This year’s engineering buzzword is: REVOLUTION. The cutting edge technologies that have begun to change the way engineers are educated and the way they perform their tasks in the workplace will only increase.

The Engineer, a UK based engineering magazine, has outlined what technologies will see ongoing development in 2019:

  • Electric-powered mobility
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Artificial...

A substantive reduction in the global workforce - due to automation - is expected to occur in the next 3 years. However, according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), some businesses are more excited than anxious.

The WEF report states that 38% of businesses are positive about the future of jobs; they ‘expect to extend their workforce to new productivity-enhancing roles’. Inevitably the new roles will entail new tasks, so to avoid skills shortages companies and educators need to...

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...

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