Batteries power our world, from the smartphones in our pockets to the electric cars that are gaining immense popularity. But the batteries that we make use of every day aren’t the most efficient, and many scientists around the world are hard at work creating new types of next-gen batteries to fulfil a growing need for more powerful batteries. Continue reading “The Batteries of The Future”
Based in Slovakia, AeroMobil is determined to make a flying car that works. They’re on their fourth prototype at the moment. All prototypes are loosely referred to as “AeroMobil,” and in 2020 the first of the cars should be shipped to private owners.
So far, global political efforts to curb climate change have been slow and fraught with delays. In the meantime, scientists across the globe have turned their attention to geoengineering to try and find solutions in time to save our planet from rising greenhouse gas emissions.
Scientists and engineers have suggested a few different approaches to protecting the atmosphere, and ultimately, geoengineering is the largest-scale intervention we have to counteract climate change within earth’s natural systems.
On July 23, 2019, it was officially revealed by the Planetary Society that LightSail 2 had deployed its cutting-edge solar sails. The innovation is intended to further humanity’s plans for space exploration, and its launch came as a huge milestone for The Planetary Society – the world’s largest non-profit space exploration organisation.
Our lives would be a lot more tedious, tiresome, and treacherous without engineered products!
From practical items like zippers through to life-saving medical marvels like the artificial heart, engineers have been behind countless innovations that have vastly improved and prolonged our lives.
While many believe that the rocket is a product of a modern world, the technology actually dates back to 11th century China, where early chemists at the time were discovering the power of gun powder.
Over the years, many scientists around the world have taken the technology and refined to the point where rockets are able to generate enough thrust to not only lift off of the ground, but to propel themselves out of the planet’s orbit.
With the increased seriousness of climate change and the amount of carbon emissions that we are putting into the air, it’s become imperative to create alternative, renewable forms of energy production that both meet our power needs and are not harmful to the environment.
Many countries are starting their own projects that will not only meet those two criteria, but ensure a safer future for all.
Quantum computing has been a phrase that’s been working its way around the science world for the last few years. The basic idea behind a quantum computer is to create a machine that is capable of calculating processes many times faster and more efficiently than even the most advanced computers we currently have. Continue reading “The Most Promising Quantum Computer Projects Being Worked On”
Although there have been multitudes of engineering success stories, there have also been some spectacular failures.
Not every building is designed to offer the best end result. Take a look at some of the biggest disasters ever to befall the engineering world.
1. Quebec Bridge
The Quebec Bridge was opened to the public in 1887 and was a national intercontinental railway project that spanned the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada. But this engineering feat failed not once but twice, and on its first opening to the public it collapsed only 15 seconds later.
A second chance saw it collapse again in 1916 before both the engineers that oversaw it were jailed.
2. Hyatt Regency Hotel Walkway Collapse
In 1981 the Hyatt in Kansas City hosted a tea dance that over 1600 people attended. Sadly, the walkways between the buildings were not spec’ed to hold anywhere near these volumes of people and they collapsed, killing a total of 114 people.
The accident was declared one of the worst in engineering history, as it could have easily been avoided.
3. Lotus Riverside Complex
China is known for its impressive buildings and many of them are sheer feats of engineering ingenuity. But the Lotus Riverside Complex, despite its amazing design, had several fatal flaws and it collapsed in June 2009, with several recorded fatalities.
In the end, blame was aid solely at the feet of the engineers who had moved huge sections of land to accommodate a multi level underground car park, thus destabilising the entire area.
4. Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2E
France’s Charles de Gaulle airport opened its terminal 2E amidst great fanfare in 2004. Sadly, on the same day a huge section of the terminal collapsed and killed 4 people.
Initially, an expert team of engineers couldn’t find any fault with the building, but it later emerged that the roof simply wasn’t strong enough to support the structure, and this had led to its collapse.
Possibly one of the most famous disasters ever, Chernobyl wiped out an entire city and to this day remains a disaster zone.
Bad safety features were blamed for the blast that effectively saw hundreds of thousands of people flee the area, leaving 31 dead and many to suffer the awful after effects of radiation exposure for years to come.
America’s first space station, Skylab launched in 1973, but even at the initial launch many were wary of its design.
Engineers expressed concern over the loss of solar panels and the lack of meteoroid protective shield, and eventually the space station returned to earth, as it never really performed as intended and it cost the program more than $3.5 million just to keep it afloat.
No list of engineering disasters is complete without the Titanic. This infamous ship was said to be sinkable, but the engineers behind it were proved to be fatally wrong. In 1912 the ship hit an iceberg and sank and took over 1500 people down with it.
In the end, an investigation revealed that there was no adequate protection system in place and the ships engineers had greatly over estimated its infallibility.
Human beings have a distinct love of taking what they’ve created on paper and making it a physical reality. This is especially true when it comes to the large, international engineering projects that we’re currently working on around the world.
Many of these are being built for the benefit of mankind as a whole, hoping to provide a number of advantages to the many millions that will prosper once these projects have been completed.
1. Gotthard Base Tunnel
The Gotthard Base Tunnel, which was technically completed in 2016 but is till being worked on, is a series of the biggest underground tunnels of all time that have been created to connect Switzerland and Italy.
Drilled underneath the Alps, the tunnel was created to reduce travel times between Zurich and Milan while also cutting down on the amount of commercial and passenger traffic that has been clogging up the mountain highways above ground. More than 2500 works spent a total of 14 years to connect the tunnels from end to end.
2. The Three Gorges Dam
China, having both a massive industry and a massive population, quickly found that their power consumption was too high for conventional means of power production.
Thus began the Three Gorges Dam project, which is the world’s largest hydro-power dam, reaching more than 1.3 miles wide, and consisting of 32 turbines that are able to generate as much electricity as 18 nuclear power stations.
It’s been built to resist a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, and can allow 10000-ton ocean frigates to sail from the interior of China to the open sea.
3. The Marmary Project
As one of the largest transportation projects in the world, there are four main components that make up the Marmary Project.
It consists of a 13.6 kilometre tunnel that will be spanning underneath Istanbul and the Bosporus Straits to connect Asia to Europe that will feature a modern train system that will see passengers travelling beneath the ocean once the tunnel has been fully completed.
This will allow passengers to travel in luxury while they commute to work and enjoy online pokies Australia or the latest TV series in comfort..
4. Andasol Solar Plant
The Andasol Solar Plant is the world’s very biggest solar power station, and can be found in Andalusia, Southern Spain. The plant is made up of over 600,000 solar panels that are spread over 126 acres of open land.
They use massive tanks of molten sand to store the energy that the panels produce over the day, converting the solar radiation into heat energy.
The power station is currently providing power to over 450,000 residents of Spain, making it one of the most environmentally friendly power stations globally, and the blueprint for many in the future.
5. Masdar City
Masdar City is set to be the world’s first zero carbon city, and is being constructed in Abu Dhabi.
The city will ban all automobiles, and will instead rely on mass public transport running completely on renewable energy, with the biggest solar farm in the middle east supplying the city’s energy needs.