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Newsletter 27

Knowledge is Power

“Knowledge is power” – Sir Francis Bacon. Engineering knowledge can take many different forms. It can be knowledge of why a design or equipment acts as it does, a common …

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Newsletter 26

Inspiration and Talent

Sometimes a significant amount of up-front engineering is required to get to a simple solution. Sometimes the solution is beautiful in itself, such as the safe completion of an automotive …

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Newsletter 25

Understanding Machines

One of the most powerful instruments for engineering is a fundamental scientific understanding of the phenomena behind the operation of a machine. Knowing how something really works allows us to …

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Newsletter 24

Champions of Sustainability

Engineers have an influential position within society for championing sustainability. In some cases this means reusing materials, but it may also mean designing a device so that it is suitable …

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Newsletter 23

What Makes Design Successful?

What makes an engineering design successful? It isn’t just solving technical challenges. The device needs to serve the end user. Subaru designed a simple car that met the needs of …

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Newsletter 22

Outside the Box

Mostly, this newsletter is about thinking outside the box. In particular, it is about testing assumptions, e.g. that standards will give efficient results or that electric cars produce no emissions. …

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Newsletter 21

The Little Details

Mechanical engineering development projects can be difficult beasts. Whether the concept is straightforward or unintuitive, the difficulty is in the details. Successful projects marry a fundamental theoretical understanding with lessons …

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Newsletter 20

Trust Your Gut

Human factors are important in successful engineering; more than just scientific skills are necessary. Although a mathematical model of knots can lead to innovative new applications, the model needs to …

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Newsletter 19

New Innovations

Some breakthroughs, like the elimination of oil changes in an engine, come from continual improvement. Other ideas are entirely new – like generating electricity from air flows inside a building …