Today, most of our power comes from either oil, coal, or solar and wind. And while these have seen us through the last two hundred years, one day they will provide enough energy to meet our ambitions. Continue reading “Future Sources of Energy”
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.
For hundreds of years engineers have been working on medical projects that are designed to make our lives easier and healthier. These life saving ideas came to be after much research, and they continue to change our lives in so many ways.
Engineering is an extremely expansive subject, and there are many different types of engineering to choose from. This can be a bit of a problem for those that are trying to choose what type of engineering to begin studying.
Almost all kinds of engineering involve solving problems, creating solutions to those problems, and then putting the solutions into practice.
For those that are looking to break into the engineering world for the first time, these are the top branches of the subject that are popular right now.
This branch deals with the design, construction, testing, research, development, and technology of all things that can fly. It’s a math-intensive form of engineering, and can take a number of years to acquire an adequate degree or certification.
Those that wish to begin studying aerospace engineering will need to be strong in math, physics, and problem solving, and need to have a keen interest in the mechanics of modern flight or space travel.
Computer engineering involves the design, construction, and prototyping of hardware and software computer systems. This is a combination of computer science and electrical engineering, and it’s possible to get into the field by studying one or both of these.
It’s a fascinating branch of study, and sees the engineer enter the world of modern computing, dealing with creating new and powerful systems that may eventually be released into the public domain, such as video games, or online casino Singapore platforms.
Electrical and electronic engineering is concerned with the application of electricity into a number of different ways, such as electrical infrastructure or simple electronic design, support, and repair. It’s a field that has seen growth in recent years as more and more countries seek out qualified electricians and engineers to keep their power grids running smoothly.
Those that wish to get into the world of electrical engineering will need to have an interest in how electricity works, how it can be applied to different systems. Modern electrical engineering puts a lot of focus into creating circuits, such as those used by computers.
Chemistry is an extremely interesting field of study, and deals with chemical and biological processes that are used to create substances and materials.
There are many sub-fields of study in the chemical engineering world, where some engineers might be responsible for creating modern medicines, while others may be involved with the refinement of fuels or the development of new energy sources.
It’s perhaps one of the broadest of the engineering fields, and would be best suited to those that have a strong interest in microbiology, biochemistry, biology, economics, and mathematics.
This type of engineering is directly linked to the buildings and infrastructure that we see around us.
This can be either on a small scale, such as the creation and development of buildings and roads, or on a much larger scale, such as nationwide transportation or water supply networks. Those in this field sometimes undertake architectural studies.
The world of written literature is very broad indeed, so it stands to reason that even engineering enthusiasts will find a wide selection of books that suit their individual tastes perfectly.
Books are an endless source of knowledge and entertainment as well, and if you want to learn as much as possible about engineering and science, then they should be your go-to guides!
Here are 5 must read books that every engineer should pick up at least once in their lives.
#1: Zero to One – Peter Thiel
This is an essential read on economics, start-ups, business design, and the future of technology. Engineering and the business world are closely interlinked, and this book puts their links into perspective while teaching you how to build your business skills as you build new things.
The book also speaks about productivity, effectiveness and efficiency, shedding light on these topics in a whole new way. Zero to One is all about teaching you how to be effective at business, engineering and science to achieve the best possible results in the field you are passionate about.
#2: Engineer to Win – Caroll Smith
Smith is a foremost expert in the field of racing technology, and she covers a wide range of racing car forms and topics for those who are interested in the mechanical side of things. This book explains and analyses topics like metal fatigue, metallurgy and the general technology of different materials, along with more niche topics like stress relief, heat treatment, aerodynamics, brakes, tools, and ground effects.
Any book written by a legend in the Formula-1 community has got to be worth a read, and this one is particularly succinct and easy to understand. If you are interested in mechanical, aerospace, systems, materials, or Mechatronics engineering, this one is for you.
#3: Set Phasers on Stun – SM Casey
This book was recommended to first-year systems design engineers at Waterloo to give them a good framework for their studies. The gist of the book covers that confusing moment when you have designed something and for some reason, everything starts to go wrong.
In order to correct this, you will need to understand the underlying complexity of what you have designed, and this often means including an interface between the user and the system at hand.
Experts have hailed this is a very important read due to the lasting impression it leaves, especially in terms of the importance of safety and accuracy in the engineering world.
#4: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life — Chris Hadfield
Long-time astronaut and Chief of the ISS Chris Hadfield has managed to take space travel from a reserved science to a public spectacle that has changed the face of astronomy forever. His novel is packed with insights on happiness, determination and commitment, as well as what it takes to be an astronaut, both among the stars and back on home terrain.
It might not be a factual tome packed with engineering information, but An Astronaut’s Guide to Life touches on the more emotional side of the craft, especially for those whose jobs entail space travel, plenty of risk, and a distinct lack of online slots Singapore fun.
#5: The Design of Everyday Things – Donald Norman
This classic engineering book has been through a number of editions to date, as people just can’t get enough of its amazing array of information. It focuses on the design process, but also on ergonomics, people, and the way we use everyday objects.
This book might just change the way you think about the products you use on a daily basis, and also about your part in creating new products for others to use and enjoy.
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.
While modern engineering has certainly created some of the world’s most impressive structures, there have been many incredible feats of engineering throughout history which were once deemed impossible.
Not only impressive in terms of achievement, but these 6 structures also solved the riddle of some of modern day life’s most complex challenges. Fulfilling needs and implementing audacious measures, these famous engineering projects changed the world forever.
Constructed between 1863 and 1869 and first known as the Pacific Railroad and later the Overland Route, the First Transcontinental Railroad was a 3,077km continuous railroad which connected the existing eastern U.S. rail network with the Pacific Coast on San Francisco Bay.
Revolutionising the settlement and economy of the American West, the Transcontinental Railroad made transporting good and passengers from coast to coast much faster and considerably less expensive.
In order to create the Hoover Dam, the Colorado River had to be diverted through an almost 5,000m series of tunnels, 17m in diameter, dug inside the canyon walls. Once the diversion had taken place, engineers had to create a structure strong enough to sustain future generations and keep the mighty Colorado River under control.
Upon its completion in 1935, the Hoover Dam – standing at 221m tall – was the world’s largest concrete structure and the foremost electricity producing facility.
The longest tunnel with an undersea section in the world, the Channel Tunnel is a 50.45km rail tunnel beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover – an area populated with online blackjack lovers – which connects Kent, England to Pas-de-Calais, Northern France.
Bored through chalk marl stratum, the structure consists of three separate tunnels connected by cross-passage links and took 6 years to construct. The tunnel is used to transport passengers, vehicles, and goods and is one the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
Spanning the Tarn river valley near Millau in Southern France, the Millau Viaduct is currently the tallest vehicular cable-stayed road bridge in the world. Standing at 343m, the Millau Viaduct is almost 20m taller than the Eiffel Tower and was opened in December 2004.
Designed by Michel Virlogeux, a structural engineer, and Norman Foster, an architect, the viaduct took 3 years to construct at a cost of approximately €394 million.
Owing to its height and location, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai was created with the windy terrain and projected human demands on the building in mind.
Currently the tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai stands at 829.8m tall and was built as the centrepiece of mixed-use development which includes homes, hotel, and parks.
Prior to the opening of the Panama Canal in August 1914, a ship sailing from New York to San Francisco would have to sail around Cape Horn, at the tip of South America, which meant the journey took 67 days in total.
Upon the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, the 82km waterway provided a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans which significantly improved the conditions maritime trade.
While much of today’s technology was impossible just 50 years ago, modern inventions have completely revolutionised life as we know it in the 21st century. From the first motorcar to today’s electric cars, grand ideas have shaped our world, but there are many inventions which never saw the light of day. Join us as we explore 5 engineering inventions shrouded in mystery.
Wirelessly Transmitting Electricity around the World
While many may be familiar with the name Nikola Tesla who is credited with creating many life-altering inventions, not all of his ideas came to fruition. One such idea was a low-cost global power and communication system which Tesla hoped would wirelessly power the world.
Tesla was outspoken about this idea from the mid-1890s and by the end of the 1900, he had secured an investment from banker J.P. Morgan to fund the project. However, J.P. Morgan for reasons unknown withdrew the funding and the project was subsequently abandoned in 1906.
A Machine to Peer into the Past
In 1972, some strange news arose from the Vatican in Rome of a machine invented by Father Pellegrino Maria Ernetti in the 1950s. Revealed in an Italian newspaper, the details of this secret machine known as Chronovision shocked the world entirely as it claimed to allow users to see into the past.
Ernetti was originally a physicist and he apparently took the Chronovision machine with him to the Vatican when he later became a priest and many believe that the machine is still kept in the vaults of the Vatican today – far more mysterious than NZ betting!
An Indestructible Material
Developed in the 1980s by hairdresser and amateur chemist Maurice Ward, this material was believed to withstand extreme heat and acted as both a protectant and insulator. Known as Starlite, Ward claimed that his invention could withstand everything from blowtorches to laser beams, but he took the secrets of the material to his grave when he passed in 2011.
Ward’s family are apparently privy to its composition, but this is as yet unconfirmed.
An Enigmatic Digital Coding System
In 1995, Romke Jan Bernhard Sloot, a Norwegian electronics engineer, claimed to have invented a digital coding system which could compress a video file to just 8kb of data. The computing world was taken by storm and Sloot soon had many offers to purchase the coding system.
However, shortly before the transaction took place, Sloot died of an unexpected heart attack and his claims could never be verified.
The Incredibly Efficient Carburettor
In April 1977, Tom Ogle revealed his invention to the world – a carburettor which massively increased the efficiency of fuel injected engines. Installed into a 1970 Ford Galaxie which typically only achieved 6km per litre, the modified Galaxie could suddenly get 53km per litre of fuel.
Shortly after the carburettor was unveiled, journalist Ron Laytner asked the inventor if was worried about oil companies coming after him and Ogle replied that he was not. Unfortunately, Ogle died under mysterious circumstances just 3 years later and the details of his incredible invention died with him.