Engineering
Top stories summarized by our editors
5/17/2018

Inspired by the movie "Big," the advice of a toymaker and his dream of designing toys, Jeffrey Harry pursued a degree in mechanical engineering. Now he's vice president of marketing and fun at Play-Well TEKnologies, specializing in a curriculum that introduces children to engineering with projects that use Legos.

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ASME
5/17/2018

A package of sensors to detect characteristic human markers -- ammonia, acetone and isoprene as well as carbon dioxide and moisture -- have been combined in what researchers say is the tiniest and least expensive electronic nose. Scientists at ETH Zurich say their invention can help find survivors buried under debris from disasters such as earthquakes and avalanches.

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ETH Zurich
5/16/2018

The light-bouncing qualities of the water droplets in even a light fog tend to thwart the sensing technologies that autonomous cars use to see the road ahead. Researchers at MIT are working on a lidar-based solution that effectively distinguishes between the light that returns directly from fog-hidden objects and the light that bounces around among the fog's water droplets.

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MIT
5/16/2018

A waterborne robot made of a temperature-sensitive polymer can propel itself in response to temperature variations in water. The robot's developers, engineers at the California Institute of Technology and ETH Zurich, believe that future robots can be designed to respond to different kinds of stimuli, such as pH or salinity.

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ETH Zurich, Caltech
5/16/2018

FedEx is betting that blockchain technology will transform the delivery business by allowing all parties involved in a transaction to access data, according to CEO Frederick Smith. "We're quite confident that (blockchain) has big, big implications in supply chain, transportation and logistics," he said at the Consensus 2018 conference.

5/15/2018

New photos show the extent of toxic green-blue algae blooms in Wisconsin's Lake Mendota after recent heavy rains. The runoff from nearby land carries vast loads of phosphorous and other pollutants into the lake, creating the blooms.

5/15/2018

Work has resumed on repairs to California's Oroville Dam spillway, with an expected completion date of Nov. 1. Dam work has been underway for more than a year to correct the design, construction and maintenance problems that caused the structure to fail in February 2017.

5/15/2018

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority's $41 million program to address flooding in the Junction Hollow area of Greenfield uses mainly green solutions. Plans also include the expansion of Panther Hollow Lake and an open trench system to channel water into the Monongahela River.

5/15/2018

Park officials in South Carolina's Hunting Island have agreed to work around the season for sea turtle nesting in plans for their beach restoration project. But a launch date remains to be set for the plan to pump 1.2 million cubic yards of sand onto the beach, as the plan may face a challenge in court.

5/15/2018

Texas' Cow Trap Lake Project brought together federal and state agencies, conservation groups, businesses and charities to restore and enhance wildlife and natural resources in the area. The project involved the creation of islands and terraces, as well as a 2,000-foot reef built with more than 770 tons of crushed stone.