Mechanical Engineers Recommend Home Drainage – Winter Months are Coming !

2018-10-10T09:50:13+00:00

How Do Engineers Handle Rainwater? Engineers can help with proper fitting of gutters, or eaves troughs as they are called in some parts of the country. They are an important part of the drainage system around your house.  If yours are nonexistent, in poor condition, or improperly placed on your house, they could be causing problems and putting your home at risk of water damage. Gutters need to be installed properly so that they catch the water coming off your roof and channel it away from your house and its foundation.  Your eaves troughs should have a downward slope of 1/2 inch for every 10 feet of run to ensure they drain completely.  If your house is more than [...]

Mechanical Engineers Recommend Home Drainage – Winter Months are Coming ! 2018-10-10T09:50:13+00:00

Engineers Develop Ways to Ventilate Your Home

2018-09-25T15:38:05+00:00

Why ventilate? For centuries homes weren’t ventilated, and they did all right, didn’t they? Why do we need to go to all this effort (and often considerable expense) to ventilate houses today?  Engineers have developed several reasons that ventilation is more important today than it was long ago. Most importantly, houses 100 years ago were leaky. Usually they didn’t have insulation in the walls, so fresh air could easily enter through all the gaps, cracks, and holes in the building envelope., the building materials used 100 years ago were mostly natural products that didn’t result in significant off gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, flame retardants, and other chemicals that are so prevalent in today’s building materials, furnishings, [...]

Engineers Develop Ways to Ventilate Your Home 2018-09-25T15:38:05+00:00

Engineers Test “CHP” – Combined Heat and Power

2018-09-04T12:40:22+00:00

Figure 1. Self Sufficient Home with Combined Heat and Power Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Engineers combined heat and power (CHP) systems, also known as cogeneration, generate electricity and useful thermal energy in a single, integrated system. CHP is not a technology, but an approach to applying technologies. Heat that is normally wasted in conventional power generation is recovered as useful energy, which avoids the losses that would otherwise be incurred from separate generation of heat and power. While the conventional method of producing usable heat and power separately has a typical combined efficiency of 45 percent, CHP systems can operate at levels as high as 80 percent. Some micro-CHP technologies use mechanical engines, such as internal combustion [...]

Engineers Test “CHP” – Combined Heat and Power 2018-09-04T12:40:22+00:00

Material Engineers : Pros and Cons of Solar Powered Cars

2018-07-25T09:17:33+00:00

Figure 1.  Solar Powered Cars in the Future Although a solar power car may not be commercially viable right now, there are ways that solar power can be added to existing designs to make vehicles more efficient. Material Scientist examine the pros and cons of this technology, it can continue to move forward in development to help save on fossil fuels, and the electric grid and pollutions. Solar-powered vehicles (Solar Cells ) have zero emission level, as they don’t utilize non-renewable resources and burn fuel. The electric motors generate electricity (See Figure 1.) that doesn't emit any greenhouse gases or any other pollutants. These cars are quieter than the vehicles powered by conventional fuels, which don't cause noise pollution as well. Lets [...]

Material Engineers : Pros and Cons of Solar Powered Cars 2018-07-25T09:17:33+00:00

Electric Vehicle Battery: Electronic Materials, Cost, and Lifespan

2018-07-03T15:48:21+00:00

(Figure 1 - Electric Vehicle on Fire)  Electric Vehicle Battery Materials Most electric vehicle batteries are lithium based and rely on a mix of cobalt, manganese, nickel, and graphite and other primary components, can be very dangerous, battery fires could occur (See Figure 1. Above).  Some of these materials are harder to find than others, though none should be classified as "rare earth metals" ( http://glewengineering.com/the-impact-of-chinese-export-restrictions-on-rare-earth-elements/) . Over 60% of the  global supply for cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which has a poor human rights track record; international organizations have denounced for years the exploitative labor practices involved in cobalt production.  Cobalt deposits can be found throughout the world and are most prominent in the African Copper [...]

Electric Vehicle Battery: Electronic Materials, Cost, and Lifespan 2018-07-03T15:48:21+00:00

Semiconductor Worldwide: Samsung Takes Over

2018-06-22T11:44:20+00:00

Samsung topples Intel as top dog semiconductor market share  Gartner beancounters say price rises driven by memory shortages propelled Samsung into the lead based on semiconductor vendor revenue, vaulting past Intel and its CPUs. The largest memory supplier, Samsung Electronics, gained the most semiconductor market share and took the No. 1 position from Intel – the first time Intel has been toppled since 1992. Memory accounted for more than two-thirds of all semiconductor revenue growth in 2017, and became the largest semiconductor category.  DRAM prices rose 44 per cent from 2016 to 2017, and NAND flash prices went up 17 per cent year-over-year for the first time. (See Figure Below)   A Gartner table provides the numeric nitty-gritty [...]

Semiconductor Worldwide: Samsung Takes Over 2018-06-22T11:44:20+00:00

Flat Panel and LCD Screens: Part 1

2018-02-13T16:36:45+00:00

Liquid crystal display (LCD) screens are omnipresent in our technologically saturated lives.  Having largely displaced the older CRT screens, LCDs make up a large portion of the digital imaging we see all around us.  They are present in everything from our ubiquitous smartphones and computer screens to digital billboards, wristwatches and vehicle and aircraft instrumentation.  How do flat panel LCD screens work? One can often find videos and articles documenting eager teardowns of new devices, but few delve beyond the hardware and into the materials and design behind the screen itself.  For this series of blog posts, we will be review some aspects of display technology , why they work, and how they are assembled.  To illustrate my points, I’ve disassembled a legacy Sony Ericsson® S500i phone [...]

Flat Panel and LCD Screens: Part 1 2018-02-13T16:36:45+00:00

Italian Masters: Leonardo da Vinci – Artist, Engineer, Scientist

2018-02-20T13:14:29+00:00

Figure 1: Leonardo da Vinci, by Francesco Melzi Over the course of this blog series, I have written about a number of Italian Masters of science and engineering, from astronomers like Galileo and Cassini to physicists like Torricelli and Venturi.  I’ve saved the best for last, however: Leonardo da Vinci.  He is the quintessential renaissance man who fits both our running definition of “Italian Master” as well as being included in the standard list of Masters with Rafael, Donatello and Michelangelo  Leonardo’s incredibly broad array of talents and interests have long been the subjects of movies, books, TV shows, and, of late, video games.  Throughout his life, he had one hand in the arts, ranging from painting, sculpting, music, history, and literature, [...]

Italian Masters: Leonardo da Vinci – Artist, Engineer, Scientist 2018-02-20T13:14:29+00:00

Italian Masters: Volta Jump-Starts Electrical Engineering

2018-02-21T10:28:40+00:00

Italian Masters: Volta Jump-Starts Electrical EngineeringFigure 1: Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576) Welcome back to our series on Italian Masters of math and science.  Last week I wrote about Galileo’s extensive accomplishments both in the field of astronomy and beyond.  This week, I’ll take a look at another renaissance polymath who dabbled in astronomy, along with his work in mathematics, medicine, biology, chemistry, philosophy, and gambling (yes, seriously): Girolamo Cardano.  Cardano is a less well-known figure than Galileo or some of the other scientists I’ve written about who have famous equations or units of measurement named after them, like Volta or Torricelli.  He is regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians of his age, however, and made a great many contributions to science, [...]

Italian Masters: Volta Jump-Starts Electrical Engineering 2018-02-21T10:28:40+00:00

Italian Masters: Volta Jump-Starts Electrical Engineering

2017-11-07T16:51:43+00:00

Figure 1: Allesandro Volta We’ve been taking a break from hard-hitting mechanical engineering and materials science blogs with some pieces on the Italian masters of science, mathematics and engineering in the 16-19th centuries.  I’ve previously explored the lives and contributions of Evangelista Torricelli, Giovanni Venturi and Giovanni Cassini.  For this blog, I’m focusing on Alessandro Volta, who helped revolutionize our understanding of electricity and electrochemstry it in the late 18th century.  […]

Italian Masters: Volta Jump-Starts Electrical Engineering 2017-11-07T16:51:43+00:00

12 Years a Martian: Engineering Challenges on the Red Planet

2018-08-29T12:57:38+00:00

Figure 1: Mars Exploration Rover By NASA/JPL/Cornell University, Maas Digital LLC [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Depending on which Facebook pages or Twitter feeds you follow, some of you may have caught wind that Opportunity (Mars Exploration Rover B, Figure 1) recently passed its twelfth anniversary of its landing on the red planet.  Opportunity’s ongoing trek across Mars represents a fantastic accomplishment in engineering.  At the time I’m writing this, the rover has been in continual operation for over 4,300 Earth days (that’s about 4,185 Sols, or Martian days).  Considering its original planned mission time of 92 Earth days, Opportunity has exceeded its design lifetime by 4,700%.  Imagine having a car that, instead of a [...]

12 Years a Martian: Engineering Challenges on the Red Planet 2018-08-29T12:57:38+00:00

High-Purity Gas Panels Part 10: Pressure Transducers in Semiconductor Equipment

2017-05-31T11:56:37+00:00

An article on pressure transducers used in semiconductor fabs and semiconductor equipment.

High-Purity Gas Panels Part 10: Pressure Transducers in Semiconductor Equipment 2017-05-31T11:56:37+00:00

Project Management Elements Part Two: The Engineering Specification

2018-02-28T14:30:49+00:00

Engineering project management and the importance of the Engineering Specification

Project Management Elements Part Two: The Engineering Specification 2018-02-28T14:30:49+00:00

Engineering Consulting Firms and Hollywood Share a Common Bond

2018-04-05T16:23:36+00:00

Consulting engineers and Hollywood share a common bond in breathing new life into projects.

Engineering Consulting Firms and Hollywood Share a Common Bond 2018-04-05T16:23:36+00:00

Materials Science News: 2-D Phosphorus-The Future for Solar Cells?

2018-08-07T14:16:50+00:00

Materials science research shows that 2-dimensional phosphorus could be the future for the semiconductor industry.

Materials Science News: 2-D Phosphorus-The Future for Solar Cells? 2018-08-07T14:16:50+00:00