Engineering is Awesome

canadian-space-agency:

Chris Hadfield: What I learned from going blind in space

Col. Chris Hadfield is a phenomenal storyteller. This week, at TED 2014 in Vancouver, he spoke about what he learned about fear when he went blind in space. The video of his presentation is a must watch… unless you’re really, really scared of spiders!

Credit : TED

While looking for some new content I found a great search.  This lists basically all the larger social media company’s engineering blogs.  Each company usually posts about some of tasks that they take on to keep their respective services running.  If you have some time click through and check out a few of the blogs.  

Here are a few of them:

While these all mainly deal with web engineering, the concepts of defining the problem, knowing the variables, and building a solution all apply to these sites.  They also outline some of the science and data that go into their systems as well.  Please check them out if you are interested in what goes into the sites that you might take for granted.

jayparkinsonmd:

Sharing a lovely meal with friends and family— it’s one of life’s most beautiful experiences. For healthy people, it’s just so simple. You meet up, eat, drink, laugh, and call it a night. For people who have Parkinson’s Disease, or some other tremor, sharing a meal can not only be embarrassing, it can be impossible. Some tremors are so severe, they can’t even feed themselves. 

Liftware solves this problem. Watch the video. Such an emotional product is extremely rare. I spoke at the same conference with these guys about a year ago and their video floored me. It’s finally out. Really, really nice work.

Engineering is about identifying a problem, characterizing that problem, finding solutions to that problem and getting those solutions into the possession of those that need them. While it still falls short of curing Parkinson’s disease, I’m extremely proud of my brothers and sisters in the field of Engineering that were able to devise this elegant solution. While engineering skills may not be able to find a cure to Parkinson’s, we sure can apply those skills to alleviating some of the issues surrounding it. I really hope this technology can get into the hands of those who need it.

popmech:

Whether you’re a weekend hobbyist, a budding maker, or a would-be entrepreneur, you’ve got to have the right 3D printer.

The Quick Guide to Buying a 3D Printer

For years after the 9/11 attacks, nearly all the activity at Ground Zero was downward—digging through the piles of debris, excavating a vast pit to restore the ruined transit lines, preparing the foundations for the new buildings that would emerge there. Even the memorial that opened in 2011 was an exercise in the poetics of descent—two vast cubic voids, each with water cascading down all four sides, carrying grief to some underground resting place.

The memorial has turned out to be a lovely thing, but what the site still needed was something that climbed, something that spoke to the idea that emotional burdens might not only be lowered into the ground but also released into the air. Now we have it: One World Trade Center, the glass-and-steel exclamation point, all 1,776 feet of it, is nearing completion close to where the Twin Towers once stood. No doubt the new building’s official dedication will open the way to a necessary debate over its merits as architecture and urbanism, its turbulent design history and the compromises made over the long years it took to get the thing built. But in one important respect, One World Trade Center has already succeeded. It has reclaimed the sky. And this is the view from there.

jtotheizzoe:

In case you like troubling news delivered with a side of cute pictures.

Space Elevators Are Totally Possible (and Will Make Rockets Seem Dumb) | Motherboard

It’s the scourge of futurists everywhere: The space elevator can’t seem to shake its image as something that’s just ridiculous, laughed off as the stuff of sci-fi novels and overactive imaginations. But there are plenty of scientists who take the idea quite seriously, and they’re trying to buck that perception.
To that end, a diverse group of experts at the behest of the International Academy of Astronautics completed an impressively thorough study this month on whether building a space elevator is doable. Their resulting report, “Space Elevators: An Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward," found that, in a nutshell, such a contraption is both totally feasible and a really smart idea. And they laid out a 300-page roadmap detailing how to make it happen.

Link to buy the 300 page report
International Space Elevator Consortium 
Nasa Report - August 2000
Wikipedia - Space Elevator

Space Elevators Are Totally Possible (and Will Make Rockets Seem Dumb) | Motherboard

It’s the scourge of futurists everywhere: The space elevator can’t seem to shake its image as something that’s just ridiculous, laughed off as the stuff of sci-fi novels and overactive imaginations. But there are plenty of scientists who take the idea quite seriously, and they’re trying to buck that perception.

To that end, a diverse group of experts at the behest of the International Academy of Astronautics completed an impressively thorough study this month on whether building a space elevator is doable. Their resulting report, “Space Elevators: An Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward," found that, in a nutshell, such a contraption is both totally feasible and a really smart idea. And they laid out a 300-page roadmap detailing how to make it happen.

Link to buy the 300 page report

International Space Elevator Consortium 

Nasa Report - August 2000

Wikipedia - Space Elevator

Build the Future: Discover the world of Engineering

by National Geographic Education

I don’t talk about my work with National Geographic too much on here, but I am one of their Explorers. They made a STEM video about Engineering that I thought was cool enough to share to the tumblrverse. 

txchnologist:

engineeringworldhealth:

globalsnapthoughts:

Printing 3D Arms for Children in Sudan

Learn more at Not Impossible Labs.

Read More

USA SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FESTIVAL, FREE EXPO:.

April 26 & 27 2014
9am-6pm
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, D.C.
The event is free of charge and open to all ages.
CELEBRATE SCIENCE!The 3rd USA Science & Engineering Festival, the largest science festival in the US, features nationwide contests and school programs, including our popular ‘Nifty Fifty’ science speaker program – presented by InfoComm International. The Festival culminates in a Grand Finale Expo on April 26-27, 2014, with the US News STEM Solutions Conference on April 23-25, and Sneak Peek Friday – presented by the Department of Defense – on April 25. New this year: X-STEM – presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation and MedImmune – an Extreme STEM Symposium for students on April 24.

Adafruit Blog

USA SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FESTIVAL, FREE EXPO:.

April 26 & 27 2014

9am-6pm

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

801 Mt Vernon Pl NW

Washington, D.C.

The event is free of charge and open to all ages.

CELEBRATE SCIENCE!
The 3rd USA Science & Engineering Festival, the largest science festival in the US, features nationwide contests and school programs, including our popular ‘Nifty Fifty’ science speaker program – presented by InfoComm International. The Festival culminates in a Grand Finale Expo on April 26-27, 2014, with the US News STEM Solutions Conference on April 23-25, and Sneak Peek Friday – presented by the Department of Defense – on April 25. New this year: X-STEM – presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation and MedImmune – an Extreme STEM Symposium for students on April 24.

Adafruit Blog

prostheticknowledge:

Project Tango

Google unveils next-generation smartphone device featuring motion and depth sensors. This is really exciting as it offers computational photography to the masses and far more sophisticated Augmented Reality experiences. The prototype device is available now for developers to create something special - video embedded below:

As we walk through our daily lives, we use visual cues to navigate and understand the world around us. We observe the size and shape of objects and rooms, and we learn their position and layout almost effortlessly over time. This awareness of space and motion is fundamental to the way we interact with our environment and each other. We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.

The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.

You can find out more at the Project Tango website here


We almost forgot, It’s Engineers Week!

Most Americans, kids and adults, do not know what engineering is or what engineers do. They don’t know that engineering is a collaborative, creative process that makes a difference in all of our lives—from advances in life-saving medicines to more productive crop yields to clean drinking water.
Engineers Week is a time to make a difference by celebrating our accomplishments and sharing our knowledge, experiences, and enthusiasm. It is a time to turn comments like “I didn’t know that” into exclamations of “I want to do that!”
It is a time to come together and mobilize our colleagues—engineers, engineering students, technicians, and technologist—to volunteer to make a difference by visiting a classroom, recognizing the work of a colleague, or hosting a public event.

We almost forgot, It’s Engineers Week!

Most Americans, kids and adults, do not know what engineering is or what engineers do. They don’t know that engineering is a collaborative, creative process that makes a difference in all of our lives—from advances in life-saving medicines to more productive crop yields to clean drinking water.

Engineers Week is a time to make a difference by celebrating our accomplishments and sharing our knowledge, experiences, and enthusiasm. It is a time to turn comments like “I didn’t know that” into exclamations of “I want to do that!”

It is a time to come together and mobilize our colleagues—engineers, engineering students, technicians, and technologist—to volunteer to make a difference by visiting a classroom, recognizing the work of a colleague, or hosting a public event.

Hackaday - 3D Printering: Making a part in Solidworks

printering1

Brian has graciously allowed me to hop on the 3D Printering bandwagon to write a brief intro to the wonderful world of Solidworks. We’ll be making the same ‘thing’ as done in the previous ‘Making a Thing’ tutorials:

engineeringdrawingblack1

Admittedly, most Hackaday readers probably don’t have Solidworks as it is a very expensive program. The main reason we are posting this tutorial is so that you can understand the work flow and compare it to some of the free/open packages out there.

As Brian has touched on in his FreeCAD post, the part features of parametric models can be modified at any time. For example, let’s say I made a solid block, then added a specific size hole in the center of one face. Later, if I wanted to change the size or shape of the block, the hole would stay the same size and stay in the center of that face no matter the other changes to the object. See the graphic below, all that was changed was the size of the block, the hole stayed the same size and position (center of the face). This is different than if you were to ‘scale’ the entire object as the hole would also become stretched along with the block.

Here is a quick tutorial on 3d CAD in Solidworks.  While most readers don’t have access to it, these same ideas apply to many other cad programs.  The links above list tutorials in mostly free softwares.  123d Design from Autodesk is free and their Inventor program is freely available to anyone with a student email address through their student program, students.autodesk.com.  Another software that could be used for very quick and non technical parts is Tinkercad, it is web based and free.

colchrishadfield:

Fusion power. This is really important; 2 big steps forward from the Livermore scientists. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/nuclear-fusion-hits-energy-milestone-1.2534140

colchrishadfield:

Fusion power. This is really important; 2 big steps forward from the Livermore scientists. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/nuclear-fusion-hits-energy-milestone-1.2534140

Structural steel in bridge design has one fatal flaw — bridges are usually over water, often over salt water, making failure through corrosion almost inevitable.

Even more frustrating, steel bridges usually corrode and weaken at the one place where inspection is costly and difficult, the gusset.

New York-based, HNTB Corp. national chief bridge engineer Ted Zoli had a better idea. Instead of doing what every engineer does and just focus on materials, he thought, why not focus on the design and try to eliminate some of the inevitable costs associated with bridge maintenance?