Newsletter 45

Weird Science

Scientists study the natural world and strive to understand innate processes. Engineers take scientific understanding and work within not only scientific limits, but also social and economic boundaries, while also striving for efficiency. Scientific study is necessary for engineering progress, but is not sufficient in itself to create anything practical. That requires engineering judgement, which is obviously lacking when the end result isn’t very practical. Happy Reading.

Regenerative Braking to Put Direct Air Capture Onto Railway Tracks

Regenerative Braking to Put Direct Air Capture Onto Railway Tracks

This is an interesting concept resulting from out-of-the-box thinking, even if the analysis looks like it was done on the back of an envelope and the "sustainable energy source" is a diesel engine. It looks like a great science fair project, but is perhaps a bit underdeveloped for the real world.

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The Engineer, July 2022


Stop Meeting Like This

Stop Meeting Like This

Meetings hold the potential for important decision making. However, in many cases the most effective decision would be not to waste everyone's time by calling a meeting. Here are five tips for keeping meetings productive, or conversely, to prevent wasteful meetings.

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ASME, September 2022


The Worldwide Water-Lifting Power of Plants Is Enormous

The Worldwide Water-Lifting Power of Plants Is Enormous

Although plants are generally energy minimalists, they need to raise water from their roots to their leaves for photosynthesis. This energy comes from evaporation, not biological energy stores. Mechanical engineers can learn from botanical plants, not just process plants...

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Science News, September 2022


'Necrobotics' Engineers Are Using Spider Corpses as Tools

'Necrobotics' Engineers Are Using Spider Corpses as Tools

At last we have a way to "repurpose deceased spiders". Finally we no longer have to waste that resource. "It's the first step in a new area of research the engineers have dubbed necrobotics." That’s not frightening. Is the lead investigator called Dr. Frankenstein perchance?

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IMechE News, August 2022