Engineering
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/22/2018

A drone that dispenses bugs over strawberry fields is designed to do battle with spider mites that plague growers and their crops. The Bugbot, developed by April Van Hise, a graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California at Davis, uses a paddle wheel to dispense the predator mites, with further work aimed at adjusting distribution for wind patterns.

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ASME
1/22/2018

Researchers at Northwestern University have used the lithography commonly employed in the manufacture of computer chips to control the particle structure and appearance of large swaths of material. The lithography creates nanosize holes into which are deposited DNA-modified gold particles that, when exposed to ethanol, change color.

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New Atlas
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Northwestern University
1/22/2018

The fourth year of the ASME INSPIRE digital STEM course for middle and high school has begun, with new, enhanced program content and a record number of schools incorporating the course in their curricula. Over the past three years, this award-winning online, in-class student experience of using early algebra and coding skills to successfully complete 16 missions has engaged more than 100,000 middle and high school students. Learn more.

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asme.org
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ASME
1/19/2018

Charismatic leadership isn't always necessary to keep employees engaged, as some people are motivated by solving compelling problems. Problem-led leaders may have less polished approaches to their positions, but they still need to be good at collaboration, writes Leigh Buchanan.

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Inc. online
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Leigh Buchanan
1/19/2018

A new low-cost black form of silicon reduces its reflexivity from more than 20% to about 5%, thus holding great promise for much more efficient solar cells and other applications, such as thermal imaging and batteries. The key is the substance's nanotexture, created with metal-enhanced etching, reactive ion etching and laser processing.

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ASME
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solar cells, other applications
1/19/2018

Viruses designed and produced to deliver disease-fighting engineered genes into a patient’s cells are in short supply as the highly promising field grows from experimentation to real-world application. But a solution may be forthcoming as a number of companies focus on engineering new ways to gear up production.

1/19/2018

If you're looking for a simple way to get airborne and have no handy runway, Franky Zapata's Ezfly platform may be just the ticket. The vertical-takeoff-and-landing jet-powered system is configured as a Segway-like platform that can be maneuvered with a joystick and shifts of body weight.

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New Atlas
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Franky Zapata
1/18/2018

Mud recovered from mudslides in Montecito, Calif., is finding a new use on nearby beaches. Up to 300,000 cubic yards of mud is being trucked to serve as an erosion bulwark in the surf zone at Goleta and Carpinteria beaches.

1/18/2018

The USS Portland plans to demonstrate the Navy's new laser weapons system at this year's Rim of the Pacific war games in Hawaii. The system, under development for three years, is due to be installed soon on the amphibious vessel.

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Navy
1/18/2018

The Newport Division of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center is drawing heavily on partnerships and collaboration with local entities "because no single government, industry or academic institution can succeed alone," writes Donald McCormack, the center's director. "Collaboration leads to innovation," McCormack writes, and "innovation leads to more collaboration" that creates a whole greater than the sum of its parts.