Engineering

Category

Engineering News (December 2018)

Virgin Galactic finally kick starts the commercial space age They’ve done it. Virgin Galactic’s fourth and latest test flight has successfully reached the edge of space and has returned safely. SpaceShipTwo reached an altitude of 82.7km, close to where Earth’s atmosphere ends and space begins. The flight however didn’t reach the 100km Karman Line, the official industry benchmark for the boundary between the Earth and Space. “Today we have shown Virgin Galactic can open space to the world,” Sir Richard Branson told the world. Branson first formed the commercial spaceflight company back in 2004, hot on the tails of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos who formed SpaceX and Blue Origin...

Engineering News (November 2018)

The International Space Station turns 20 Happy birthday wishes to the International Space Station, the ISS, who turns 20 years old this month. On the 20th November 1998, a Russian Proton Rocket was launched carrying the ‘Zarya’ module from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This module was the first piece of the ISS, with NASA sending up the ‘Unity’ component 2 weeks later, to begin the construction of the ISS which would continue until the final planned module was fitted in 2011. Just 23 months after the launch of Zarya into orbit, 3 Astronauts and Cosmonauts would arrive to live on the ISS as it was and continue the construction...

Engineering News (October 2018)

Elizabeth’s Jump Jets get green light for sea trials Finally, after eight years, fighter jets have been launched and deployed from a British aircraft carrier. Trials of the F-35 Lightning IIs from HMS Queen Elizabeth have begun, and will be conducted over the next 11 weeks, with plans to make more than 500 takeoff and landings over that period. Flight trials on the vessel will also involve a number of rotary wing aircraft, of which, the Wildcat HMA2 helicopters began tests last month. The Wildcat HMA2 is the replacement of the Super Lynx attack helicopter, which was retired from service after nearly forty years. The introduction of the F-35s hit...

Engineering News (September 2018)

House of Lords report calls for overhaul of the construction industry It is a common headline, based around reports that the housing and infrastructure needs of the UK cannot be met efficiently by the construction industry as it stands. Now there is also an evidence led report published by the House of Lords concerning the off-site manufacture in the construction sector calling for a ‘radical overhaul’ of the industry to make it more collaborative. The report praises the new ICE ‘Project 13’, an ICE business and working model offering a new way of thinking to reduce costs to the public over the lifecycle of assets, less disruption during construction and...

Engineering News (August 2018)

A shift towards predictive maintenance minimises downtime in manufacturing The move from reactive maintenance to predictive maintenance is happening throughout many areas of industry. Construction uses sensors to monitor the structural health of buildings or how they react to certain conditions, in new constructions, but also with retrofitted sensors in historic buildings. The same is happening in other sectors such as monitors in utility networks (new and retrofitted), the automotive sector, the chemical industry and life sciences to name but a few. One of the biggest benefits of a shift from reactive maintenance to predictive maintenance can be seen in the manufacturing industry which often uses complex machinery. A fault...

Engineering News (July 2018)

A new window on household electricity supplies Building trends that that are environmentally friendly have been boosted through the popularity of specially coated windows which are able to keep the heat in and the cold out. This technology has in turn inspired scientists and engineers to create thin, translucent solar cells that can turn windows into small electricity generators. Chinese researchers have since combined these two systems into one and produced a window that has the facility not just to be energy efficient but to provide a house with enough energy on a daily basis. Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Hin-Lap Yip based at the South China University of...

Engineering News (June 2018)

Large 3D objects are being constructed in Cellulose Cellulose, is an abundant organic compound and can be used for a fascinating number of applications. The first 3D object to be completed using Cellulose is a turbine blade that measures 1.2m and has a weight of 5.2kg. Cellulose combined with a material called Chitosan was used to fabricate this. There are several variables that have stopped Cellulose being used in this manner previously, due to the difficulty in scaling down Cellulose, and the high cost to produce it are two of the main issues related to this as a 3D material. Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), think that they...

Special Report: The General Data Protection Regulations

Cheryl Dyer Ballard examines the The General Data Protection Regulations, which will come into force on Friday, 25th May 2018. Here, Cheryl examines the implications, what exactly is involved, the whys, ways and means of this landmark EU legislation, why you need to act in accordance with it by the deadline, and what it means for you as an individual.   Introduction You may have noticed in your inboxes the large amount of emails that you are receiving from companies that you have registered your details with at some time or the other. Personally, I’m ignoring quite a few of them as they’re from companies that I don’t even recognise –...

Engineering News (May 2018)

UK researchers literally squeeze more power from solar cells Researchers led by Professor Marin Alexe at Warwick University, have demonstrated a way to produce more energy using Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels. The short explanation is that by deforming the crystals in the semiconductor materials by pressing on them – a process that utilises the PV’s anisotrophic properties –  the efficiency of the PV panel can be increased. In traditional solar cells, that use the p and n  junction system, light is absorbed by the cell and the charge carriers are sent off in different directions along the semiconductors producing a current and a voltage. The new solar cells, using something...

Tech Update (April 2018)

Andy Cormack gives us the heads up on what’s on the horizon in hardware and technology, giving you the lowdown on the next big thing.   In April’s update, Andy looks at some literally lunatic ideas for 4G on the Moon no less, putting the brakes on Hyperloop, hotels in space and  robot bees. It almost feels like the 1960s again.  Read on…   Audi, Vodafone, and Nokia plan Lunar Mobile Phone Network While 5G is on the horizon, some companies have their heads set firmly beyond the clouds as Audi, Vodafone, and Nokia are partnering on a project to implement a 4G network on the Moon, one that may...