Engineering is Awesome

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?

Solar panels on Blackfriars bridge in LondonSolar panels on Blackfriars bridge in London Photograph: /Network Rail

After nearly five years in the making, Network Rail has today cut the ribbon on the world’s largest solar-powered bridge at Blackfriars Bridge across the River Thames.

As part of a project with solar installation firm Solarcentury, the roof of the bridge has been covered with 4,400 photovoltaic panels, providing up to half of the energy for London Blackfriars station.

First Capital Connect, which runs Blackfriars, expects the panels to cut the stations’ carbon emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes a year, further reducing the carbon footprint of its train routes to the south east of England.

futurescope:

Panasonic plans to make 1000 exoskeleton suits in 2015 for $5000 a piece

From Nextbigfuture:

Yahoo Japan via Japancrush reports that the first affordable, mass-produced robotic exoskeleton will be on sale next year from Panasonic. For 500,000 yen, or slightly under $5,000, this full-body power garment will let you hoist 100-kilo (220-pound) objects and move at speeds up to 8 kph (5 mph).

Activelink, the Panasonic subsidiary responsible for the suit, plans to begin rollout of the first batch of 1000 starting in 2015. At its heart will be a lithium-ion battery pack that can provide for several hours of general purpose activity.

[read more]

mashable:

With the help of new Kickstarter project Strawbees, anybody, even kids, can harness their inner engineer.