News

Morandi Bridge

Another bridge has collapsed and it could have been avoided. Well, that is what at least one engineer thinks. This one came down near Genoa in Italy, just this week. Euronews reports that an engineering professor, back in 2016, had urged the authorities to ‘completely rebuild’ the Morandi Bridge because of deterioration.

On the 14th of August 2018, the bridge came plummeting down causing at least 35 fatalities. And many more are feared missing. In total, 200 meters of the 1.1 kilometer bridge...

Digital Fabrication

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

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

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

Plastic Roads

The war against plastic is gathering force.

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

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

Origami

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

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

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

...

Melbourne

Melbourne: word on the street is that it is the education and technology capital of Australia and the most popular Australian study destination for international students.

And there is more: there are murmurings that tech giants are looking to develop a city within greater Melbourne, dubbed the ‘Australian Education City’ it will mimic the success of that launch-pad of many business start-ups: Silicon Valley, in California. If they get the green light, the Melbourne version is set to cost...

Quantum Battery

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

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

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

“If one...

IIOT

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

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

Electric Buses

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

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

Underwater Robots

A lot of infrastructure lies underneath bodies of water. Take, for example, the SEACOM Subsea Cable system that provides Internet infrastructure to the African continent — any maintenance on it is done undersea. Presently, a fleet of ships remain ready to be sent out when a fault occurs, with repairs performed by divers.

Underwater bridge and structure inspections are also vital activities conducted by engineering specialists. Oil rigs and wind turbines are no different — they too need to be...

Overworked

Dear Colleagues

As we all know – at various times one can be absolutely overwhelmed with work and ‘issues’ to deal with. Nothing unusual in the engineering workforce especially with project type work and harsh deadlines to meet. Examples of stress include: you may feel that you can’t cope with yet another email as you have this seemingly unlimited list of tasks to do; the phone is ringing with urgent requests; people are shouting at you for your decision on a crucial project; you have to...

Sasol Solar Car Challenge

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

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

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

Enlil_VAWT

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

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

The engineering company...

Felipe Gabriel - Red Bull Content Pool

Those kids with their laptops could just change the world!

Millennials are the first generation to have the best of technology at their fingertips. Some are using it to tackle projects in a world of aging and often inadequate infrastructure.

With climate change overwhelming drainage systems all over the world, for instance, a downpour can lead to flooding. South Africa, Japan, and the United States have recently seen flooding in areas with infrastructure that was designed for more moderate...

Dear Colleagues

I believe most of us get to some stage in our lives where you start asking the inevitable questions such as: am I doing the right thing; am I in the right company or career; am I progressing somewhere; am I going to be financially secure when I am older; isn’t this work somewhat predictable and boring; should I be doing something more exciting and rewarding…. ?

This is where you are seeking more meaning, fulfilment and satisfaction in your career (and indeed, life) against...

BP Australia

BP’s Kwinana Oil Refinery in Western Australia is the largest refinery in the country, producing 8300 megalitres of oil per year.  Crude oil is shipped in from the Middle East, West Africa, New Zealand, Indonesia and north-west Australia. This refinery provides all the fuel to transportation vehicles in Perth and the South West — including petrol, diesel and jet fuel. Fuel is also shipped to South Australia and Tasmania.

The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was looking for another location for a...

Robots the size of a human egg cell, with the ability to sense their environment, have been created by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It’s hoped that they can eventually be used to monitor pipelines in the oil and gas industry to check for leaks and other issues. It’s also possible that they could be used for diagnostic purposes, by passing through the digestive track to check for inflammation or other signs of disease. 

These robots consist of tiny...

Dear Colleagues

When I am discussing a critical issue with a colleague and confirming that he has ‘got it and agrees with my sentiments’, I also look carefully at his body language and I am never disappointed. Arms folded tightly, a quizzical frown and avoiding a direct glance are sure signals that what I have said hasn’t gone down well and disagreement is in the air.

You need to study body language – that interesting combination of facial and eye movements and limbs -  perhaps...

Eclipse

If you’re brave enough to face the cold in the early hours of Saturday morning, you’ll be able to witness the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century.

The moon will be joined by Mars, which will be at its brightest and closest to Earth in 15 years according to Dr Tanya Hill, an astronomer from Melbourne Planetarium.

“The reason that Mars can vary in brightness so much is because it’s our neighbour in space and it follows quite an elliptical orbit. Throughout 2017, Mars was fairly dull as it...

Tatenda Nherera
Picture: Inspecting, testing and fixing a variable frequent drive for a roller iron at Livingston Hospital in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Tatenda Nherera is an EIT graduate, having obtained his Advanced Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation (E&I) Engineering for Oil and Gas Facilities (DEI). He grew up in Gweru, Zimbabwe, but now lives in South Africa.

I asked him when the engineering bug bit. He believes it was when he was just 10 years old: he would pick through the...

Before the submarine telegraph cable was first laid between Java and Port Darwin in 1872, Australia’s only communication with the outside world happened via letter carried by ships from overseas. This meant it took months for any news to arrive. 


Australia was behind the rest of the world when it came to the installation of the telegraph line. The first telegraph message in the world was sent via Morse code in 1844; however the first line in Australia wasn’t constructed until 1854. This linked...

Canning Dam

The Canning Dam is a popular tourist attraction in Perth. The stunning scenery makes it the perfect picnic spot, and there are a number of different walks visitors can complete in the area. These range from short strolls, to longer hikes — look out for the signs that explain the historical significance of the area. There is even a wide path along the dam wall, which means you can take in the view of water on one side and dry land on the other.  Engineers Australia have marked this feat of civil...

Global Engineering organizations have created cross-cultural spaces wherein all races, religions, and personality types coexist. And with more first world countries looking to take their engineering education and training beyond their borders, the meeting of cultures will increasingly occur. Today it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, if you have the knack for engineering you can be educated and trained up to a global spec.

As early as the turn of the millennium, the year 2000...

EbenezorOpoku-Yeboah.jpg

Ebenezer Opoku-Yeboah is an engineering enthusiast working in the mining industry. He is a registered engineering superintendent with Ghana Chamber of Mines. He obtained his sectional engineers certification in April 2011, but has twenty years of experience in both mobile and fixed plants, specifically focusing on maintenance and installation works.

He is presently employed by Gold Field Ghana Tarkwa as Chief Engineer and is presiding over Maintenance and Projects. He has been with them for...

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

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

Source: Volkswagen Group

The VW team challenged the PIKE...

Elon Musk, as we know, is a renowned billionaire responsible for behemoth engineering companies such as Tesla Motors and SpaceX. He has also shown a tenacious attitude towards figuring out complex problems using his engineering prowess, as world events occur.

He recently, in a string of two tweets, said:

“Engineering is magic. Or at least the closest thing to magic that exists in the real world.”

And it’s that same magic that humans employ when disaster strikes.

Elon tweeted that...

There are a number of fun activities to do in Perth, such as laser tag, rock climbing and super golf. Here are some of our favourites.

 

Latitude

This indoor aerial super park features over 100 interconnected Olympic-grade trampolines, where you can show off your backflips and other acrobatic tricks or just enjoy bouncing around.There are also a number of aerial activities, such as pink stepping poles and a high ropes course. Don’t forget to try out the rock climbing and abseiling as well...

BATLESS

Battery life. If we could figure out how to lengthen it exponentially, the world would be a better place. And that seems to be what the researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have - almost –achieved. They have invented a smart microchip that can continue powering a device even when the battery of the said device has been depleted.

In the not-so-distant future the technologies associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) will demand connectivity around the clock; to assure...

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

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

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

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

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

In the 22 March edition of the Nature Partner journal of Flexible Electronics, a report was published that might just redefine our clothing of the future.

The Swedish School of Textiles and research institute, Swerea IVF, conducted studies on how electrostatic power can be generated from textiles. Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology put those studies to the test.

The researchers used what is known as a piezoelectric material. These are materials that generate an electric charge...

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

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

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

Imagine for a second the kinds of innovation that could occur if MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and BMW joined forces. Well, stop imagining. The two have joined forces. But, not necessarily in the way you might have thought. The university and the car manufacturer have linked arms, and are ready to harvest their latest obsession: air.

The engineers from MIT’s Self Assembly Lab and BMW have created a new 3D printed structure utilizing a process known as ‘Liquid Printed...

Last month we took a look at the (new) tallest building in the world which belongs to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is The Jeddah Tower, which is set to trump the previous record holder for the tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa. But, this isn’t the only impressive feat of civil engineering currently solidifying its place in the history books.

The projects detailed here are all projects that are utilizing new technologies, using new design philosophies, or simply becoming the...

The world’s first driverless ferry is set to replace footbridges in the Norwegian city of Trondheim. Soon pedestrians will be able to cross the canal that separates the Ravnkloa fish market and the Vestre Kanalhavn dock much quicker than they’ve ever been able to before.

With the population growing steadily, engineers have been faced with the challenge of creating more river and canal crossings — however bridges can be costly to build and obstruct the flow of boat traffic. A team at the...

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

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

The Tottenham Hotspur Football Club has recently announced their new stadium has been “future-proofed” to accommodate safe standing, should the legislation in the UK change.

Standing during games has been banned at in the top two divisions of English football since 1989, when 96 Liverpool fans were killed in the Hillsborough disaster. However, a 2016 inquest into the tragedy found the crush was not caused by standing.

As a result, the Football Supporters’ Federation launched a petition to...

Did you now an interactive LEGO brick exhibition has arrived in Perth?

Source: Brickman Awesome

That’s right, Brickman Awesome will be showcasing the tallest LEGO model in the Southern Hemisphere — a NASA SLS rocket, which was constructed using more than 450,000 bricks and measures in at 7.5 metres tall. It took exhibition curator Ryan McNaught more than 500 hours to build the model and it even features a lighting display which creates the illusion that the rocket is blasting off into...

Some highways (and most sidewalks) in the United States are made out of concrete. Mark Weaver, a Professional Engineer in California, writing on website Quora, explains:

“The main reason is that highways have much higher volumes of traffic than surface streets. Highways also have much heavier vehicles traveling on them than surface streets. The combination of higher volumes and higher weights of vehicles causes serious durability issues for asphalt concrete pavement.”

The problem with...

We had a very good response to the seminar which the Engineering Institute of Technology ran in Midrand, South Africa, on the 19th June.

During the presentation Steve set the attendees to work - automating a business in small groups! The feedback was excellent. We all thoroughly enjoyed hearing your ideas which were delivered astutely and often with humour.

The theme of the presentation, in a nutshell, was the disruption being caused by the increasingly digital/automated world. The topic may...

Perth is surrounded by some amazing destinations that are only a couple of hours out of the city. If you’re looking for something to do during your study-break or on the weekend, why not explore some more of Western Australia? Here are some of our favourite day trips.

Araluen Botanic Park
This stunning park is home to 59 hectares of native Australian bushland and 14 hectares of manicured gardens showcasing exotic plants. In the spring, it features more than 100,000 tulips in full bloom...

This winter, get your skates on and brave the cold at winter wonderland events in Fremantle and Elizabeth Quay. If you’re not too keen on ice skating, there will be snow-man building, inflatable slides,

food stalls and markets.

Winterworld 
This outdoor ice skating rink in Fremantle will be complete with falling snow. There will also be a giant inflatable slide and a snow pit, where you can build your own snowman. If you’re feeling cold, don’t worry — inside the National Hotel is a...

Can leadership be inherited? Can leadership be learned? 

In a study published in 2013 by Science Direct, the answer to both those questions is ‘yes’ - but learning how to lead significantly outweighs the likelihood of the former working without some input. The researchers of the paper entitled, Born to lead? A twin design and genetic association study of leadership role occupancy, believe that inheritance contributes little to leadership qualities:

“Employing twin design methods on...

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

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

What modern curriculum vitae should look like is a question that prospective employees are asking themselves all over the world. For those seeking employment in the engineering industries this is a particular challenge because it requires some creative aptitude – not always something that comes naturally to technical gurus.

 

And yet, fierce competition in the modern workplace means that perfecting a CV and marketing oneself as the best possible candidate is critical, despite being...

Paul Celenza is the College Manager at the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT); he has worked for the college for eight years. Upon a recent visit to South Africa, Paul reflected on eight years of change and innovation in the education sector and revealed more about EIT’s novel approach to the future of engineering education and training

EIT’s sister company, IDC Technologies, began offering courses to students over 25 years ago; short engineering professional development courses, on...

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

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

A startup in Melbourne, Australia, has introduced the world’s biggest 3D printer. The company in question is Titomic; they are experts in industrial scale additive manufacturing.

They boast that they also have the industry’s fastest metal 3D printing production line.

Source: Titomic

They specialize in titanium, of course. They print for an assortment of industries. They produce and manufacture metals for space ships, automobiles, skyscrapers, bicycles, military marine vessels, yachts...

If you aren’t utilizing a service that delivers your groceries to your door now, you most likely will use one in the future. Thanks to automation, you won’t have to cast your mind to the nonexistent workers that are packaging all of your groceries up for you - because all of the workers will be robots.

Source: Burst

If it sounds like a persuasive brochure from a futuristic sci-fi novel, it isn’t. It’s already happening. Ocado warehouse in Hampshire, England, utilizes hundreds of...

Food and beverage processing has been achieved by heavy duty machinery controlled by ‘robots’ for many years. Now the world is poised to experience an automated dining experience.

With the rise of automation the kitchen is beginning to look different. Not only are the chefs and kitchen staff being replaced by robots, the kitchen itself is being automated. The front of house is not immune either; the waiting staff are beginning to disappear in some restaurants.

Fast food giant, McDonalds, is...

Ahead of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Brisbane, Australia, a group of engineers from the University of Washington have announced something that might have tongues wagging at the conference.

They are releasing a study they have conducted that will show the feasibility of wireless, flying, robot insects.

Looking like something out of the film ‘Eye in the Sky’ the engineers have created the world’s first wireless flying robot insect. The engineers have said this is...

EIT's Technical Director, Steve Mackay, enjoys keeping his blog up-to-date with useful tips and current industry matters for his fellow colleagues. He has a loyal and expanding following base reaching over 300,000 people around the world.

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