Engineering
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/18/2017

Flow rates and flavorings are among the factors that Risa Robinson, head of the mechanical engineering program at Rochester Institute of Technology, is measuring to evaluate the effect of e-cigarettes on their users' habits and health. The heating coils and vaporization technology of these devices hold the potential to turn flavorings that are harmless in edibles into toxins that can harm human cells, Robinson notes.

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ASME.org
1/18/2017

A new technology using a 1920s discovery keeps a laser's light waves confined in an open system and could lead to smaller, more efficient lasers. The laser developed by researchers at the University of California at San Diego takes advantage of a phenomenon known as bound states in continuum, identified in 1929 but not studied well until the 1970s.

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New Atlas
1/18/2017

Engineers have traced the problem that hobbled the USS Zumwalt to a water leak from the vessel's lube oil coolers and are working on a solution. The issue is particularly frustrating because "we've had lube oil coolers since Noah had an ark, so what's the cause there?" said the Naval Sea Systems Command's Vice Adm. Thomas Moore.

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USNI News
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USS Zumwalt, Naval Sea Systems, Noah
1/18/2017

Creating robust networks that incorporate multiple modes of transportation that are easily and instantly accessible is key to the success of new transportation infrastructure, contends Bob Graves, associate director of the Governing Institute. Cities considering transit, bike or ride-sharing solutions must offer complete solutions, or users will not give up personally owned vehicles, he says.

1/17/2017

A goal of giving customers more control over production of circuit boards eventually pointed to 3D printing as a solution, according to Voltera co-founder Jesus Zozaya. Now, after a Kickstarter campaign and experimentation to find the right extrusion process, special inks and ability to solder, Voltera has created a printer that allows users to prototype circuit boards for as little as a dollar or two apiece.

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ASME.org
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Voltera
1/17/2017

GE Oil & Gas will use condition-based maintenance powered by digital technology under a 10- to 12-year contract with Transocean for its pressure-control equipment on seven rigs. GE said the technology, which leverages the industrial internet, should allow for greater equipment uptime, with even a marginal improvement leading to substantial gains in oil production.

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Rigzone
1/17/2017

In the not-too-distant future we may be able to use a laser-based technology to set up deflective force fields and, more prosaically, enhance electromagnetic communications by artificially producing various effects that sometimes occur naturally. BAE Systems says its Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens would work by briefly altering sections of the atmosphere to create lenslike structures that boost or change the path of electromagnetic waves, much like mirages in the desert.

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New Atlas
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BAE Systems, Atmospheric Lens
1/13/2017

Robots that whip up hot beverages were among the more pleasing contraptions demonstrated at last week's CES 2017. The three machines had in common large articulating arms, but their specialties in coffee and tea and the types of service they offered varied, although Patrick Holland judged the pour-over coffee from the Denso robot the best of the brews.

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CNET
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Patrick Holland, Denso
1/13/2017

A nearly 12-foot-thick slab of reinforced concrete emerged practically unscathed in a test in which an F-4 Phantom jet fighter on rails was slammed into it at 480 mph. The spectacular demonstration was carried out by Sandia National Laboratories for the federal government to show whether and how a nuclear power plant could withstand such an impact.

1/13/2017

The growing acidity of the oceans as they absorb ever more carbon dioxide, a factor exacerbated in the winter, raises concerns for the most basic marine life. An Antarctic study of the bottom of the ocean's food chain involves a mooring as tall as the Empire State Building submerged at 1,600 feet and equipped with sensors recording temperature, dissolved carbon dioxide, salinity and pH.

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New Atlas