Engineering is Awesome

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.

jtotheizzoe:

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

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


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.

If you’re a University or College student who is interested in learning how to use solid modelling and simulation software, then this link is for you.

Autodesk, publishers of AutoCAD, Inventor, Maya and much more, provide free access to their suite of engineering and design software.

All you need to do is provide your school email address and register.

This is a great way to learn the basics of solid modelling. Even if you wind up using a different piece of software at school or at work, the fundamental skills and design processes are the same.

Did I mention it’s free?

Elon Musk announces more info on his Hyperloop high speed transportation system

A high speed transportation system known as Hyperloop has been developed in this document. The work has detailed two version of the Hyperloop: a passenger only version and a passenger plus vehicle version. Hyperloop could transport people, vehicles, and freight between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 35 minutes. Transporting 7.4 million people each way and amortizing the cost of $6 billion over 20 years gives a ticket price of $20 for a one-way trip for the passenger version of Hyperloop. The passenger plus vehicle version of the Hyperloop is less than 9% of the cost of the proposed passenger only high speed rail system between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
An additional passenger plus transport version of the Hyperloop has been 
created that is only 25% higher in cost than the passenger only version. This version would be capable of transport passengers, vehicles, freight, etc. The passenger plus vehicle version of the Hyperloop is less than 11% of the cost of the proposed passenger only high speed rail system between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Additional technological developments and further optimization could likely reduce this price.

SpaceX   
PDF Report Link

Elon Musk announces more info on his Hyperloop high speed transportation system

A high speed transportation system known as Hyperloop has been developed in this document. The work has detailed two version of the Hyperloop: a passenger only version and a passenger plus vehicle version. Hyperloop could transport people, vehicles, and freight between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 35 minutes. Transporting 7.4 million people each way and amortizing the cost of $6 billion over 20 years gives a ticket price of $20 for a one-way trip for the passenger version of Hyperloop. The passenger plus vehicle version of the Hyperloop is less than 9% of the cost of the proposed passenger only high speed rail system between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

An additional passenger plus transport version of the Hyperloop has been 

created that is only 25% higher in cost than the passenger only version. This version would be capable of transport passengers, vehicles, freight, etc. The passenger plus vehicle version of the Hyperloop is less than 11% of the cost of the proposed passenger only high speed rail system between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Additional technological developments and further optimization could likely reduce this price.

SpaceX   

PDF Report Link

#1 Frequently Asked Question

Do you have advice for someone starting in  ______ engineering?

Getting Started:

The only things that we can really recommend for someone looking to get into engineering is to take all the science and math classes you can if you are still in high school.  Research all the areas and consider what you might like to do whether it’s building electronics, programs, machines, or buildings, etc.  

Also check out your school’s STEM programs.  Stem stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  There are many high school stem programs as well so ask a science or math teacher about them and they should be able to direct you to a few different programs your school might offer. FIRST Robotics is one of these programs a great way to learn about physics, mechanical, and electrical engineering while still in high school.  

If you are in college and not in an engineering major and thinking about switching majors talk to other students and professors in the engineering department.  Again take as much math and science as possible.

If you are thinking about going back to school for engineering the same information applies.

Definitely get a tour of a close college engineering department and talk to a professor about enrolling.  They work with many students and should be able to answer your questions or direct you to someone else who can.

Apply for scholarships. School is expensive and while engineering pays well, you do not want a massive amount of student loans to pay off when you graduate.  If you are able to get multiple scholarships, any extra over the tuition will go directly to you.

Some cannot get into a large university so they start out in a community college.  If you have to take this route, take the time to make sure all or most of the classes you plan to take will transfer with the university.  Go to its website or talk to someone with the school to double check.

Types of Engineering:

Deciding your major doesn’t have to be done before you start, most engineering disciplines have extremely similar first year curriculums that introduce you to a variety of fields. From there you can decide which area you enjoy most.

On that topic, we would suggest avoiding the trap of choosing a discipline based on job opportunities and pursue the field that you enjoy most.  While a well paying job is nice, money will not make you like a job that you do not enjoy.

Engineering - Wikipedia and List of Engineering Branches

note: there are many subbranches of engineering and many overlap between two fields.

Coursework:

If you have made into an engineering program you are not stupid. There will always will be someone smarter than you.  Do not try to outperform them and beat yourself up.  Try your hardest but don’t try to match someone else’s performance.

Just embrace it early that you will lose most of your social life when getting into engineering.  It is possible to balance both school and friends but school will rule much of your life.

You will want to quit many times while getting your degree, just keep working.  Early classes are meant to weed out the ones who do not want to put in the work.  You will have multiple tests the same day, loads of homework,and projects that turn into all-nighters regularly.  Just prepare to make caffeine your friend and work with your classmates.

Develop study habits. You should work with friends as much as possible, and talk to the professor or a teaching assistant if you have a question.

Do the homework ASAP so that you can ask for help when you need it. Also reading textbooks is a time sink, but they can be extremely helpful if your professor does not speak english as a first language.  

Attend class even if you do not understand the material or the professor. Take notes. Boring material is often a lead-up to a big logical jump that may catch you by surprise.

Pick up a graphing calculator like a ti-89 and a regular scientific calculator, because a graphing calculator on some exams are considered cheating.

Projects:

At any level, you should be working on as many teams and projects as you can.  These are great for learning more teamwork, leadership, new information and skills.  Also they look great on resumes.  Here are a few of the most popular engineering societies.  Each of them have projects and competitions you can help with.

Engineering Organizations: AIAAACM, AIEEAICE, ASCE, ASME, IEEE, EWB, SAE, and SWE

Do not be afraid to get your hands dirty.  Get into the lab and get a feel for what is going on.  You will have lots of labs during classes and these help you apply the theory you learn in class to the real world.  Be sure to put in plenty of work on outside projects.  The bare minimum will let you get by but diving in and seriously helping will help both you and the other students in both grades, friendship, and the reward of a successful project.

Talk to professors about research opportunities (where you conduct remedial aspects of research for them) and internships. Look online or at career fairs for internships. Make sure to be doing something engineering-related during the summer before your final year.

Keep a portfolio of projects and papers.  An engineering portfolio is a collection of your projects and papers either in a nice hardcopy or a simple powerpoint type file where you can show photos of your work along with technical details including who, what, where, when, and why you did this thing.  The portfolio can also include your awards, certificates, and grades as well.   Anything that might help you show your skills and accomplishments should go in this.  This makes applying for other projects, internships, and eventually jobs a whole lot easier.  

Career:

In the spring before summer break while in college you should get in contact with your colleges career services office and try to get a summer internship or co-op in your major.  This also applies in high school as some companies with engineering departments have high school internships to introduce teens to the field.

Definitely get your resume on monster, careerbuilder, and indeed.  Also check out glassdoor to see what other employs think about the company and its atmosphere.  

Watch for your school’s career fair and maybe even your engineering department’s fair.  Plan ahead and print our your resume and be prepared to talk to a lot of representatives of nearby companies that are looking to hire new engineers.  

Links:

Girlscounts Imagine Engineering

ASME Early Career Advice

MSU - Engineering is Hard, Notes

Engineering School Rankings

Reddit/Engineering Students

R/EngineeringStudents Compile Bestof Tips

Wolfram Alpha - knowledge engine

Instuctables - Projects

Another reddit question

How many of you are ready for some advice for getting into engineering?

We have a great post that covers a lot currently queued up.

The Future Of Flight: A Congestion-Killing Aircraft - PopSci

Aircraft design is often overlooked in discussions of the FAA’s multibillion-dollar NextGen initiative, the elaborate mélange of satellite-based guidance, arrival, and departure technologies intended to modernize the outdated and much-criticized national airspace system by 2025. Yet a team led by researchers at California Polytechnic State University found that one of the easiest ways to improve system efficiency may be to reengineer the plane itself.
As part of a five-year NASA research project, the team designed a 100-passenger Cruise Efficient, Short Take-Off and Landing (Cestol) airliner that could arrive and depart at steep angles to and from 3,000-foot-long runways. “This plane was designed with a circulation-control wing, which generates higher lift at lower speeds,” says David Marshall, an associate professor with Cal Poly’s aerospace-engineering department. “We can reduce the field length by 50 percent.”

cnce:


How It Works: The Cestol Airliner
Over-the-Wing EnginesScientists at Cal Poly mounted the Cestol’s turboprop engines above the wing—as opposed to underneath it—for two reasons. First, exhaust passing over the wing increases lift. Second, the wing deflects engine noise, shielding communities below. “NASA wants aircraft noise reduced by 52 decibels,” Marshall says. “So far, we’re already looking at a 30-decibel reduction.”
Circulation ControlConventional wings often have multiple flap elements, which rotate downward to increase the curve of the airfoil. The Cestol has a single flap, augmented by a narrow slot that runs the length of the wing. When the flap rotates downward, the slot channels high-pressure air over the top of the wing and directs the wind stream downward, increasing lift.
Deflecting Jet ExhaustTo combine the effects of engine exhaust and circulation control, the team moved the turbofans to the front of the wings. When the flaps rotate down, the exhaust is pulled into a low pressure region, which increases lift and allows for even slower and steeper ascents. “With this design, we can generate lifts five to 10 times higher than a conventional wing,” Marshall says.

The Future Of Flight: A Congestion-Killing Aircraft - PopSci

Aircraft design is often overlooked in discussions of the FAA’s multibillion-dollar NextGen initiative, the elaborate mélange of satellite-based guidance, arrival, and departure technologies intended to modernize the outdated and much-criticized national airspace system by 2025. Yet a team led by researchers at California Polytechnic State University found that one of the easiest ways to improve system efficiency may be to reengineer the plane itself.

As part of a five-year NASA research project, the team designed a 100-passenger Cruise Efficient, Short Take-Off and Landing (Cestol) airliner that could arrive and depart at steep angles to and from 3,000-foot-long runways. “This plane was designed with a circulation-control wing, which generates higher lift at lower speeds,” says David Marshall, an associate professor with Cal Poly’s aerospace-engineering department. “We can reduce the field length by 50 percent.”

cnce:

How It Works: The Cestol Airliner

Over-the-Wing Engines
Scientists at Cal Poly mounted the Cestol’s turboprop engines above the wing—as opposed to underneath it—for two reasons. First, exhaust passing over the wing increases lift. Second, the wing deflects engine noise, shielding communities below. “NASA wants aircraft noise reduced by 52 decibels,” Marshall says. “So far, we’re already looking at a 30-decibel reduction.”

Circulation Control
Conventional wings often have multiple flap elements, which rotate downward to increase the curve of the airfoil. The Cestol has a single flap, augmented by a narrow slot that runs the length of the wing. When the flap rotates downward, the slot channels high-pressure air over the top of the wing and directs the wind stream downward, increasing lift.

Deflecting Jet Exhaust
To combine the effects of engine exhaust and circulation control, the team moved the turbofans to the front of the wings. When the flaps rotate down, the exhaust is pulled into a low pressure region, which increases lift and allows for even slower and steeper ascents. “With this design, we can generate lifts five to 10 times higher than a conventional wing,” Marshall says.

'Pacific Rim' Is An Engineer's Worst Nightmare

The scale of Pacific Rim is overwhelming. Giant monsters fight giant robots while being slammed with waves that appear to be hundreds of feet high. The combatants trample their way through major cities, while doing things like using an oil tanker as a baseball bat! When you see something like that, your brain tells you two things. First, this is awesome. Second, there’s no way that’s possible.

What follows are the thoughts of a real-life engineer when faced with this information.
Business Insider

'Pacific Rim' Is An Engineer's Worst Nightmare

The scale of Pacific Rim is overwhelming. Giant monsters fight giant robots while being slammed with waves that appear to be hundreds of feet high. The combatants trample their way through major cities, while doing things like using an oil tanker as a baseball bat! When you see something like that, your brain tells you two things. First, this is awesome. Second, there’s no way that’s possible.

What follows are the thoughts of a real-life engineer when faced with this information.

Business Insider

TI89 Emulator for Android - Free.
This might be beneficial to many of our followers.  Its an emulator for the TI-89 graphing calculator.  While this is good for homework and projects, it will most likely not be allowed in class.  Let us know if this comes in handy.
Install Graph 89 from the Play Store, then download and install the Ti-89OS from TI.
Instructions - Reddit.

TI89 Emulator for Android - Free.

This might be beneficial to many of our followers.  Its an emulator for the TI-89 graphing calculator.  While this is good for homework and projects, it will most likely not be allowed in class.  Let us know if this comes in handy.

Install Graph 89 from the Play Store, then download and install the Ti-89OS from TI.

Instructions - Reddit.

Hey r/engineeringstudents after seeing many posts about interviews I decided to create this post to help others and share the resources and knowledge that I have gained from several successful and unsuccessful interviews.

Mary Lou Jepsen encourages Google X attitude in hardware engineering - SlashGear
This week at a fireside chat during Google I/O 2013, Mary Lou Jepsen – currently the head of the Display Division at Google X – let it be known that “there’s no more silicon in Silicon Valley – it’s all iPhone apps.” She quickly added – “or Android apps, I should say.” An overarching theme from her set of words in the extended chat made it clear: she’s not satisfied with the current atmosphere for hardware innovation, particularly when it comes to startup funding.
Jepsen was joined by serial entrepreneurs Julia Hartz, co-founder and president of Eventbrite, Slava Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Indegogo, and Caterina Fake, founder and CEO of Findery and co-founder of Flickr. It was on this panel that Jepsen made the case for not just a broken device hardware startup model, but for new entrants into this startup world to be aiming for the moon. It was from within Google X, after all, that Google Glass originated.

Mary Lou Jepsen encourages Google X attitude in hardware engineering - SlashGear

This week at a fireside chat during Google I/O 2013, Mary Lou Jepsen – currently the head of the Display Division at Google X – let it be known that “there’s no more silicon in Silicon Valley – it’s all iPhone apps.” She quickly added – “or Android apps, I should say.” An overarching theme from her set of words in the extended chat made it clear: she’s not satisfied with the current atmosphere for hardware innovation, particularly when it comes to startup funding.

Jepsen was joined by serial entrepreneurs Julia Hartz, co-founder and president of Eventbrite, Slava Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Indegogo, and Caterina Fake, founder and CEO of Findery and co-founder of Flickr. It was on this panel that Jepsen made the case for not just a broken device hardware startup model, but for new entrants into this startup world to be aiming for the moon. It was from within Google X, after all, that Google Glass originated.