Engineering

  • Building material of millennium: Autoclave Aerated Concrete

    Although widespread rebuilding in the hard-hit New York metro region from Hurricane Sandy has not yet begun, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) scientists say when the hammers start swinging, it is time to look at autoclaved aerated concrete; the material, best known as AAC, has been heralded as the building material of the new millennium

  • Microstructural improvements enhance material properties

    DARPA merges structural engineering principles with new fabrication technologies to demonstrate microstructural control of materials at the micron level; the ultimate objective of the agency’s Materials with Controlled Microstructural Architecture (MCMA) program is to be able to develop materials in the future with properties tailored to meet specific mission requirements

  • Serious limitations make boost-phase missile interception impractical

    One of the central elements of President Reagan’s 1983 “Star Wars” ballistic missile defense initiative was boost-phase defense: boost-phase defense systems are intended to shoot down enemy missiles immediately following launch while the rocket engine is still firing; a new congressionally mandated study by the National Research Council study says that to defend against ballistic missile attacks more effectively, the United States should concentrate on defense systems that intercept enemy missiles in midcourse and stop spending money on boost-phase defense systems of any kind

  • Raytheon opens STEM teacher award program

    Raytheon has opened the 2012 application process for its Raytheon-Engineering is Elementary (EiE) Teacher Scholarship Program; during the 2012-13 school year, Raytheon will grant awards of $3,000 each for selected elementary school teachers nation-wide whose applications best demonstrate innovative methods of generating student enthusiasm about engineering concepts

  • Crack-resistant components for bridges, roof structures, cars

    Bridges, roof structures, cars, and more should become increasingly lighter, with the same stability, and thus save energy and materials; the new high-strength steel is superbly suited for the needed lightweight design because it can also withstand extremely heavy stresses; yet these materials also have a disadvantage: with increasing strength, their susceptibility to cold cracking rises when welded; cracks are difficult to predict — until now

  • Many of the U.S. 20 million manholes are in need of immediate rehabilitation or replacement

    The EPA estimates that there are about twenty million manholes in the United States – or one manhole for every 400 feet of pavement on average; many of those manholes are in serious decay or in need of immediate rehabilitation or replacement

  • Testing new pavement materials

    Scientists are trying to determine the durability of recycled materials for use in road construction; a Texas university is building a new accelerated pavement testing center, with the overall road pad at the accelerated pavement testing center could be a little bigger than a half-acre in size

  • Maldives to build floating islands to save country from rising sea levels

    The Maldives Islands, a low-lying chain of twenty-six atolls in the Indian Ocean, are sinking; more precisely: due to global warming, the sea level is rising over the islands, most of which sit lower than three feet above the rising water; the Maldives government has embarked on an ambitious project: build floating islands, anchor them to the ocean floor, then relocate most of the population of 300,000 – and some of the tourist attractions – to them

  • Decline and fall: all built structures are destined to break down or fail

    A series of infrastructure-related accidents in Ontario this summer has caused people to ask: Just how safe are the structures that we build? The answer a materials science and engineering professor offers may not be reassuring: “Nature always looks for ways to use energy in a favorable state — gravity always pushing things downwards is an example. Any built structure naturally goes against nature. Therefore, all structures will eventually be broken or destroyed — given the right amount of time, they will break down or fail.”

  • New STEM education initiative in Virginia

    A 2010 Georgetown University study found that by 2018, Virginia will need to fill more than 400,000 science, technology, engineering, and applied mathematics (STEAM)-related jobs, while the country will confront a shortage of three million STEAM-educated college graduates; Virginia Tech and the Virginia STEAM Academy are forming a strategic partnership to address critical STEAM education needs in the Commonwealth of Virginia

  • Engineering students race first 3-D printed boat in Milk Carton Derby

    University of Washington mechanical engineering students braved uncharted waters as they paddled to the finish line at the annual Milk Carton Derby at Green Lake in Seattle in what they believe is the world’s first boat made using a 3-D printer

  • New method for detecting, measuring bridge damage

    Researchers have created a bridge health index, which is a rating system that more accurately describes the amount of damage in a bridge; the health index can extend beyond bridges and apply to other structures, such as gas pipelines, dams, buildings, and airplanes

  • Ancient design concept leads to new ideas for building durable bridges

    Engineers combine an ancient concrete arch form, dating back to the Roman empire, with a composite shell to create bridge beams which are designed to last 100 years

  • Geoengineering may lead to whiter sky

    One idea for fighting global warming is to increase the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere, scattering incoming solar energy away from the Earth’s surface; scientists, however, theorize that this solar geoengineering could have a side effect of whitening the sky during the day

  • Feminine math, science role models do not motivate girls

    Women who excel in male-dominated science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) fields are often unjustly stereotyped as unfeminine; if women are perceived as having feminine qualities, however, their success may actually decrease interest in STEM, particularly among young girls, according to a new study