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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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Dear Colleagues

I bumped into an engineering friend the other day – unfortunately he has been out of work for a number of months and is in his late fifties. He was becoming somewhat despondent about the employment situation and at his age it is undoubtedly tough. Employers are very cautious about employing engineering ‘veterans’ no matter how good they are. Unless the employers have a specific need for the specialised skill that you may have.

My take on it is that if you are idling...

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Hadi Harb is a qualified Engineer, research scientist, consultant, and business owner. He lends his invaluable knowledge to the Engineering Institute of Technology as a lecturer too. His typical subjects are Programming (C++), Process Control, and sometimes he covers modules relating to data communication, and to anything involving data analysis and signal analysis. He also lectures on topics which touch on research and practice, and practical project management.

Originating from...

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Engineers have IQ mastered, but do they have emotional intelligence (EQ)?

An engineer takes to a popular engineering online forum and writes: “I can’t get a job because I’m too awkward. Has anybody else been turned down for a job because they lack people skills and/or emotional intelligence?”

The big question is: Do engineers need well developed EQs? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. As the forum writer above points out: the need for it begins with the interview. Then there are engineers...

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Dear Colleagues

 

As you all know – common sense is NOT so common around here when it comes to avoiding industrial failures. Often these failures are caused by avoidable (always) strategies such as good maintenance, better quality equipment and better training for staff.

Historically, a hundred years ago a telegraph problem  could have disrupted a few people’s lives – however the scale today of the impact of an electrical failure (power or communications) can be...

We are happy to announce that our 4 Bachelor of Science programs have been approved for on-campus delivery.  Students are now able to apply for an International Student Visa to study at our Perth, Western Australian campus.

The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is the only college dedicated to the fields of engineering and technology, and ultimately to your success in learning

Our campus is in Perth, the sunny and friendly capital city of Western Australia, and we would like...

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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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In an effort to partner with universities, with the IET (one of the world’s largest multidisciplinary engineering bodies) and with other educational entities in the engineering space, Steve Mackay visited the UK on a whirlwind trip this month.


There is much chatter about the online, digital age of learning and as we know Steve is not only passionate about the opportunities that this platform of learning offers to students, but is a staunch proponent. He is poignantly aware that there are...

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Dear Colleagues

 

As you all know, the global workforce is rapidly growing. And it is rapidly becoming more multicultural and multinational. We all have our own cultures, skills, behaviours and attitudes about life and work which are generally focussed on our local environment or town. However companies are increasingly straddling borders or are required to work with suppliers/clients and partners in different countries. Fortunately for some of us, the English language is becoming...

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There are more than enough photographs of abandoned buildings on the internet to fill tome, but the history behind them is often overlooked. Oftentimes abandoned buildings speak of a troublesome past - a past where engineers, among others, were involved in constructing the next great thing which did not stand the test of time for various reasons. Engineers from a subsequent generation are then employed to take the abandoned husk of past infrastructure, and turn it into something...

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The world’s first floating farm off Scotland’s north-east coast

The trial Peterhead wind farm, named Hywind, is estimated to provide power to 20,000 homes, with the turbine output expected to equal or surpass generation from current ones. This breakthrough technology will see wind power being harvested in waters that are too deep for the current conventional bottom-standing turbines.

Below: the wind turbines are currently being put in place. Image credit: BBC.com

 

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List of cool engineering jobs

We have all heard of the common engineering jobs such as Electrical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Mechanical Engineer and Software Engineer; let’s take a look at some of the uncommon and perhaps ‘cool’ engineering jobs that actually do exist.

 

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Dear Colleagues

 

In the past few years; we have seen some spectacular collapses of buildings and bridges. This is quite inexplicable to today’s structural designer and engineer who puts enormous effort into the careful use of materials and huge safety margins. In addition, it is not only about care in design but also in putting into place monitoring mechanisms for the life of the structure.

However, when a designer is operating at the limit of their expertise; mistakes still...

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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...

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Are you willing to travel internationally for work and study?

 

This is a loaded question. A range of considerations would be pondered and include family, need for excitement, ambition, prospects etc.

 

Few academic qualifications have the global allure that engineering does. And some engineers are characterized by their determination to acquire those credentials which enable them to take on the world.

Most people, however, are more content to remain in their...

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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Dear Colleagues

 

As an old pal of mine, once remarked about his career: ‘Find out what you enjoy doing which adds value to other peoples’ lives and never ever work again’. What he was saying is that if you can do something at work  which gives you meaning to your life and which you truly enjoy; you really have a great job which is the same as your hobby.

 

Corporations Spend Millions

Corporations spend millions of dollars on trying to motivate their staff and...

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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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Dear Colleagues

 

Ferocious and violent arguments are the part of life in engineering. Needless to say, they are rarely productive. And often very damaging to relationships and self esteem. A few suggestions on breaking an argument in its tracks and focussing on positive productive outcomes  follows….

 

An Argument over Defective Software

I have been involved in many meaningless arguments which have got heated and always regretted the unproductivity of them all. I...

Since 2012 the North-West University (NWU) in South Africa has been competing in solar car challenges. The NWU solar car project stands out as a symbol of engineering excellence in the pursuit of energy efficient transport technology. This flagship inter-disciplinary project of the Faculty of Engineering at NWU, not only focuses on research and the application of new technologies in renewable energy, but also aims at inspiring communities and prospective students to engage with renewable...

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Dear Colleagues

As you bump (race?) up the ladder of an organization, keeping a journal can be really useful. No, I am not referring to making an accounting journal entry but a ‘diary entry’ as we in the Commonwealth English speaking world often refer to it. Or in shipping parlance, sometimes referred to as the ‘captain’s log’.

 

Journals can be Really Useful

Journals are useful for two reasons, I believe: firstly, to cover yourself when there are disagreements about what...

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The all new DexNet 2.0

Roboticists at UC Berkeley have built a robot that, with a 99 per cent success rate, can grab and move unfamiliar, tangible objects. This new technology may be able to solve the problem of robots not being able to pick up awkwardly shaped objects such as shoes and bottles. With this new nimble-fingered robot, named DexNet 2.0, it is envisioned that such technology could revolutionise the manufacturing and supply chain...

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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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Dear Colleagues

I was fascinated but not surprised about the impact you can make on reducing crime in your local area – simply by being more entrepreneurial and opening a local retail or manufacturing business. Well - any business where people are employed and clients visit you.

 

Recent Research

Worldwide, there has been an uptick in mixed use development – combining residential and commercial properties in the same area. This makes it an easier commute and strengthens the...

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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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“Going to university coincides with a period of immense change and personal development. We know that one in four young people are going to have an issue with their mental health. I just felt it was important to break the stigma attached to things like anxiety and depression.”

Those are the words of James Connolly, a student at the Australian National University. He was the president of the Students Association. He delivered a speech to students in March encouraging them to increase their...

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Dear Colleagues

 

We all know that habits can be powerful in achieving great things (e.g. timekeeping or exercising/studying regularly) or descending into the depths (smoking, drinking or eating too much).When we think of habits, I guess we mainly think of the latter ones. And once you have a bad habit, it is verily a devil to break out of.

Some really great suggestions for good habits are listed below in helping to write great code but they actually apply to any part of working...

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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...

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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...

Quintessential Talks

Tom Davies, is an asset and sewerage manager in Australia. He is working on the implementation of a lower budget online monitoring system for a rural wastewater/sewerage scheme in the Shire of Moora. He studied his Masters of Engineering at the Engineering Institute of Technology.

 

 

 

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...

Tom Davies, is an asset and sewerage manager in Australia. He is working on the implementation of a lower budget online monitoring system for a rural wastewater/sewerage scheme in the Shire of Moora. He studied his Masters of Engineering at the Engineering Institute of Technology. 

 

He chats to us about the older wastewater monitoring systems and how they are being updated with newer, continuously online systems that are not overly expensive and can be implemented in rural...

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This month's May Roundup has some interesting finds...be sure to scroll down for a read.


A printable, flexible and rechargeable battery

Nano-engineers at the University of California (San Diego), have developed zinc batteries flexible and stretchable by using hyper-elastic polymer layers made from isoprene and polystyrene. In this way, the batteries can stretch twice their size without damage. The batteries were also able to be made rechargeable by adding bismuth oxide to the ink, along...

For over 1.3 billion people in the world, electricity can change everything. In Africa alone, 630 million people do not have electricity. We talk to Tristan Kochoyan, the founder of Power On, a for-profit organization that has set up a power grid in Benin, West Africa - and wants to share the secret to a sustainable power grid with the world. They think capitalism and solar engineering technologies are the answer to getting everyone in the world access to prosperity-building...

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Dear Colleagues

I notice with faint amusement that Intel announced last week (rather too confidently) that ‘Self-driving cars will add $7 trillion a year to global economy by 2050’. As one less-than-impressed punter remarked: This was presumably said to boost Intel shares.

What is the impact on us as engineering professionals?

 

Here we go again – ‘Massive Business Opportunities’

The move to the driverless future reminds me of a comment made by another colleague...

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Getting hired at prominent engineering companies is a tough feat. You need the right set of skills and qualifications, together with relevant experience (in most cases) and convince them that you are indeed the right candidate for the job (often in a sea of applicants). Students graduating into the modern day workplace need slick, impressive curriculum vitae in order to catch recruiters’ attentions.

The disturbing part of this is the fact that the recruiter in many companies today is...

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Our Dean, Steve Mackay, attended this day long event on Wednesday 31st May. He met senior students from a number of schools in the south west corner of Western Australia – his first foray into the high school sector.

The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is proudly presenting four sturdy, industry-driven BSc degrees in engineering to students around the world, using our interactive, live online method of learning. With these qualifications and our first campus ready in East...

In-ear EEG devices have become increasingly more popular in the later stages of the last decade. Carel Wessels, the top student of Electronic Engineering at the University of Pretoria for 2016, has now taken on a new challenge. He is designing and developing an in-ear EEG device that will revolutionize industries such as the truck driving industry and the infant care industry.

 

What follows is an in-depth conversation about how electronic engineering and biomedical engineering meet...

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Dear Colleagues

 

Great engineering careers aren’t built around sudden inspiration, profound insight or even incredible technical abilities. I believe they are built around an average person doing ordinary things extraordinarily well coupled with huge persistence and patience.

 

A good example of an ordinary person who did well in engineering and in the military is General Dwight Eisenhower (who later became – arguably a good president). He was an average performer in his...

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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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Dear Colleagues,

 

If you look at the results of most economists, financiers and journalists you will see that their prognostications are never particularly good at predicting the future. It is nevertheless tempting to make a few suggestions about the future of oil and electric vehicles as solid trends are now emerging. Ultimately everything is driven by price - and oil and electricity is certainly no exception.

As engineering professionals you are certainly going to be impacted...

Your engineering qualifications could take you anywhere around the globe. Even to the southernmost continent. 

This week we talk to a South African electrical engineer who overwintered in Antarctica. From December 2015 to February 2017, Paddy Riley, a graduate of the University of Cape Town, tells us how he spent 14 months in Antarctica, assisting with the operating electrical equipment at space weather research base, SANAE IV. 

The South African National Space Agency sends...

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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...

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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