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Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

Jun 20, 2018

Students make first ever live interview with astronaut from the ISS

Posted by in categories: engineering, space

Filipinos have achieved yet another milestone after contacting with the International Space Station, even interviewing an astronaut on board the habitable artificial satellite.


By Dhel Nazario

Filipinos have achieved yet another milestone after contacting with the International Space Station (ISS), even interviewing an astronaut on board the habitable artificial satellite.

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Jun 17, 2018

Combining Laser And Particle Beams For Interstellar Travel

Posted by in categories: engineering, particle physics, space travel

By jan mcharg, texas A&M university college of engineering

A new technology combining a laser beam and a particle beam for interstellar propulsion could pave the way for space exploration into the vast corners of our universe. This is the focus of PROCSIMA, a new research proposal by Dr. Chris Limbach and Dr. Ken Hara, assistant professors in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University.

NASA has chosen the proposal “PROCSIMA: Diffractionless Beam Propulsion for Breakthrough Interstellar Missions,” for the 2018 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) phase 1 study. PROCSIMA stands for Photon-paRticle Optically Coupled Soliton Interstellar Mission Accelerator, and is meant to evoke the idea that interstellar travel is not so far away.

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Jun 14, 2018

Second Annual Spaceport America Cup Scheduled for June 19–23 at Spaceport America

Posted by in category: engineering

LAS CRUCES, NM (Spaceport America PR) — Student rocketeers from around the globe will gather at Spaceport America June 21–23 for the Second Annual Spaceport America Cup, the world’s largest Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition for student rocketry teams. The public in invited to meet the team and see their projects on June 19 in nearby Las Cruces, NM. Spaceport America is located between the cities of Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

More than 130 teams from US and international colleges and universities – including Canada, Egypt, Great Britain, India, Mexico, Poland, Turkey, Switzerland, as well as 31 of the 50 US States, plus the District of Columbia, and four of 13 Canadian provinces and territories – are registered. The competition will be challenging for the participants and exciting for spectators, as students will be launching solid, liquid, and hybrid rockets to target altitudes of 10,000 and 30,000 feet.

Among the events open to the public, under the auspices of the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association and Spaceport America, are:

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Jun 14, 2018

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. Wins Chicago Airport High-Speed Train Bid

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, engineering, transportation

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. is the winner in a bid to build a multibillion-dollar high-speed express train to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The result gives the young company a big boost in legitimacy as it tries to get transportation projects underway in Los Angeles and Washington.

The company beat out a consortium that included Mott MacDonald, the civil engineering firm that designed a terminal at London’s Heathrow Airport, and JLC Infrastructure, an infrastructure fund backed by former basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson, people with knowledge of the matter said. The city is expected to announce the news as soon as Thursday, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

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May 30, 2018

Elon Musk Called Nanotechnology BS

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, engineering, nanotechnology, solar power, sustainability

In case you missed it, Elon Musk called BS on the field of nanotechnology last week. The ensuing Twitter spat was admittedly rather small on the grand scale of things.

But it did throw up an important question: just what is nanotech, and where does the BS end and the science begin?

I have a sneaky suspicion that Musk was trolling with his initial nano-comment. After all, much of the tech in his cars, solar cells and rockets relies on nanoscale science and engineering.

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May 30, 2018

Microbes in Space: Bioengineered Bugs Could Help Colonize New Planets

Posted by in categories: alien life, engineering, sustainability

As humans spread out into the cosmos in search of life, the most alien organisms we encounter may be those we bring with us. Researchers at NASA and elsewhere are engineering microbes so they can carry out many of the functions needed to support human life off-planet.

Humans have been harnessing microbes to do useful work for us for millennia. We’ve used them to make bread, beer, and cheese, and more recently they’ve been put to work to produce medicine, provide fertilizer for crops, and even generate biofuels.

But the emerging field of synthetic biology holds the promise of greatly expanding the things microbes can do for us. Advances in gene editing technology are allowing scientist to re – engineer microbes’ genomes to carry out entirely novel functions like producing chemicals not found in nature, acting as biosensors, and even carrying out computation.

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May 30, 2018

Engineers invent a noninvasive technique to correct vision

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is an increasing problem around the world. There are now twice as many people in the US and Europe with this condition as there were 50 years ago. In East Asia, 70 to 90 percent of teenagers and young adults are nearsighted. By some estimates, about 2.5 billion of people across the globe may be affected by myopia by 2020.

Eye glasses and contact lenses are simple solutions; a more permanent one is corneal . But, while vision correction surgery has a relatively high success rate, it is an invasive procedure, subject to post-surgical complications, and in rare cases permanent vision loss. In addition, laser-assisted vision correction surgeries such as laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) still use ablative technology, which can thin and in some cases weaken the cornea.

Columbia Engineering researcher Sinisa Vukelic has developed a new non-invasive approach to permanently correct vision that shows great promise in preclinical models. His method uses a femtosecond oscillator, an ultrafast laser that delivers pulses of very low energy at high repetition rate, for selective and localized alteration of the biochemical and biomechanical properties of corneal . The technique, which changes the tissue’s macroscopic geometry, is non-surgical and has fewer side effects and limitations than those seen in refractive surgeries. For instance, patients with thin corneas, dry eyes, and other abnormalities cannot undergo refractive surgery. The study, which could lead to treatment for myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and irregular astigmatism, was published May 14 in Nature Photonics.

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May 23, 2018

Single-system solar tech cuts clean energy costs in half

Posted by in categories: engineering, solar power, sustainability

Generating power from the sun isn’t the problem. The technology has been there for decades. Storing that power efficiently, however, has been a challenge.

That’s why the Department of Energy has awarded $3 million to engineering researchers at The University of Texas at Austin to overcome the Achilles’ heel of the story since Day One: how to store its energy.

To date, most major systems are bulky and expensive, with inefficient storage capacity. Energy coming from existing must be housed in storage systems outside of the generators that create the power. In other words, two separate systems are required to ensure successful operation.

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May 14, 2018

Six 3D Printing Companies Changing the Future of Humans in Space

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, engineering, space

Engineering.com lists some of the most exciting companies that are using 3D printing to take humans into space.

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May 4, 2018

Membrane can better treat wastewater, recover valuable resources

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering, sustainability

A membrane made up of block polymers has the customizable and uniform pore sizes needed for filtering or recovering particular substances from wastewater, researchers say in a review published in npj Clean Water.

Some parts of the world have an increasing need to generate drinkable water from wastewater due to excessive chemical discharge into typical water sources or lack of rainfall. Researchers from Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame believe that a block membrane could not only improve desalination and filtration of wastewater, but could also be used in forthcoming hybrid water treatment processes that simultaneously recover substances for other purposes.

“Current nanofiltration membranes used for desalination tend to separate things based on size and electrostatic interactions, but not chemical identity,” said Bryan Boudouris, Purdue’s Robert and Sally Weist Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering. “If we tailor the right membrane to the right application to begin with, then less energy is used.”

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