Part 2: Self-driving Cars Expand the Fight Over Airwaves


Engineers Say Public is Hungry for More Wi-Fi Capacity, the telecom industry is looking to snatch control of underutilized airwaves reserved for the auto industry. But this is coming just as carmakers begin to make progress on developing and adopting technologies for connected and autonomous cars that currently rely on that spectrum. The Big Picture: Tech and telecom companies have been fighting for years over spectrum to support exploding demand for mobile services and smartphones. Automakers have had exclusive access to a band of spectrum for almost 20 years but haven't done much with it, prompting telecom [...]

Part 2: Self-driving Cars Expand the Fight Over Airwaves2019-09-13T15:17:11-07:00

Part 2 – Mechanical Engineers Recommend 7 Features on ‘New Age” Refrigerators


Mechanical Engineers Update Tomorrow’s Refrigerator: Here are Your Choices  Black Board Models  Black board models are ideal for young families. Shopping list, school timetable and forthcoming doctors' appointments – all readily visible because they are stuck to the door of a refrigerator using fridge magnets. A black board fridge-freezer is a more stylish way of displaying your messages and reminders as you can write directly on the door using school chalk or liquid chalk markers. The black board material makes it easy to wipe away the writing.      2.    Glass Fronts New fridge models are doing away with [...]

Part 2 – Mechanical Engineers Recommend 7 Features on ‘New Age” Refrigerators2019-09-13T15:18:49-07:00

Mechanical Engineers Say Proper Ventilation is Crucial for Your Small Business


Engineers Explain How Good Ventilation Helps Your Business We’ll start with a fact that often startles people: (indoor air quality is a major health threat in the country).  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air quality inside buildings is often 3 to 4 times worse than the air outside. This goes against what most people think air pollution is like— fumes from cars and smoke stacks casting dark clouds over cities.  Heavy wall insulation, tightly fitted, non-opening windows ( Window Efficiency ), and commercial synthetic carpeting in modern buildings allows for the rapid build-up of contaminants inside without the chance [...]

Mechanical Engineers Say Proper Ventilation is Crucial for Your Small Business2019-09-13T15:19:52-07:00

Mechanical Engineers Recommend Home Drainage – Winter Months are Coming !


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 [...]

Mechanical Engineers Recommend Home Drainage – Winter Months are Coming !2019-09-13T15:20:19-07:00

Engineers Develop Ways to Ventilate Your Home


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 [...]

Engineers Develop Ways to Ventilate Your Home2019-09-13T15:28:43-07:00

Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Cars


Up and Coming Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Automotive Use If you haven’t heard about hydrogen and fuel cells before, then now is your chance. These technologies are bursting on to the scene and can solve some of the biggest problems in energy ranging from commercial buildings to transportation. While most people are more familiar with solar, wind and battery power, keep your eye on these up-and-coming technologies that could add to our nation’s diverse energy mix. Here Are A Few Things to Know About Hydrogen and Fuel Cells. Electric cars can run on batteries, hydrogen, solar, or any source [...]

Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Cars2019-09-13T15:21:17-07:00

Flat Panel and LCD Screens: Part 1


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 [...]

Flat Panel and LCD Screens: Part 12019-09-13T14:56:16-07:00

Wind Load CFD Modeling for Rooftop Elements Compared to ASCE 7


  Wind Load Comparison between CFD and ASCE 7 for Rooftop shapes Welcome back to our blog series on the phenomenon called Wind Load CFD Modeling and how it affects civil and mechanical engineers.  Wind Load is the force that blowing wind exerts on any device or structure that extends above ground level.  After an initial introduction to the factors that affect wind load on an object, I compared three different sets of wind load calculation methods using three simple objects, hypothetically placed on a 100-foot-tall building.  Starting with generic drag equation for the first equation, added two modification coefficients [...]

Wind Load CFD Modeling for Rooftop Elements Compared to ASCE 72018-02-20T11:28:46-08:00

Wind Load Calculations and Modeling


 Part 1 of our Wind Load Series “Wind load” is a calculated value representing the total force on a structure or object cause by pressure from wind moving over it.  In this blog series, we will discuss different methods for wind load calculations, the factors that influence its magnitude, and the effects a high wind load can have on a structure.  Wind load is most commonly addressed by civil and structural engineers when designing buildings, but mechanical engineers can encounter the effect when designing tall objects like cranes, telescoping communications masts or wind turbine towers. Wind Load Essentials As a [...]

Wind Load Calculations and Modeling2018-02-20T12:26:27-08:00

Flat Panel and LCD Screens, Part 2


Figure 1: Unpowered Sony Ericsson S500i LCD screen at 200x magnification In our last blog post, I wrote about some of the physics and materials science principles that go into the design and manufacture of liquid-crystal display (LCD) screens.  The eponymous liquid crystals (LCs) in such a display have to be quite small in order to create a seamless image; as I mentioned in the last entry, the subpixels (the red, green and blue elements comprising a pixel, visible in Figure 1) can be smaller than a red blood cell.  Each of these subpixels needs its own [...]

Flat Panel and LCD Screens, Part 22018-02-22T10:23:01-08:00

Layered Composite Heaters for Semiconductor Processing


Figure 1: Composite layered heater from patent  US 9,224,626 B2 Alexander Glew, Ph.D., P.E. recently contributed to a new patent on an advanced thin-film electric heaters, layered composite heaters, for CVD semiconductor processing and related technologies titled “Composite substrate for layered heaters”.  Watlow Electric, based in St. Louis, hired Glew Engineering and Dr. Glew to help develop this heater technology due to his experience in the Silicon Valley’s semiconductor industry.  As a semiconductor equipment expert and materials engineering consultant, Dr. Glew’s familiarity with semiconductor manufacturing meant he understood both the limitations of common semiconductor chuck heating methods and the techniques that [...]

Layered Composite Heaters for Semiconductor Processing2018-02-20T12:34:14-08:00

Thermal Expansion in a Glass and Aluminum Window: Part 2


Figure 1: Simplified model of an aluminum-glass window   In last week’s blog, Thermal Expansion in a Glass and Aluminum Window: Part 1, we introduced the basic concept of thermal expansion in solid materials.  Since CTE mismatch can impose extremely high stress, during mechanical engineering design one must consider the temperature exposure and expansion or contraction of a material.  In order to help the read gain insight, we used a simplified aluminum-framed window to demonstrate that a hot summer day would be enough to shatter glass if the window wasn’t equipped with a flexible gasket between [...]

Thermal Expansion in a Glass and Aluminum Window: Part 22018-02-20T13:29:14-08:00

Thermal Expansion in a Glass and Aluminum Window: Part 1


Equipment designers must accommodate thermal expansion (CTE)of dissimilar materials, especially when they are subject to large temperature changes.  This problem is often called "CTE mismatch."  In this blog, we give the fundamentals of thermal expansion calculations used in thermo-mechanical analysis. These calculations are simple but useful, and easy enough to perform by hand or with a spread sheet. For more complicated shapes, one must use computer modeling.  As an example, we perform a finite element analysis (FEA) in a later blog, of a glass and aluminum window and frame to show where the stress is [...]

Thermal Expansion in a Glass and Aluminum Window: Part 12018-02-21T10:38:23-08:00

Italian Masters: Galileo’s Stellar Science and Engineering


Portrait of Galileo Galilei Justus Sustermans [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons I’d like to return to our previous series on the Italian Masters, focused not on the usual masters or painting and sculpture but on the masters or science, mathematics, and engineering.  So far in the series I’ve written about the accomplishments of Volta, Cassini, Venturi and Torricelli.  Today, I’d like to look at one of the greats: Galileo Galilei.  Galileo is most famous today for standing up for heliocentrism against the Catholic Church and spending the last years of his life under house arrest as [...]

Italian Masters: Galileo’s Stellar Science and Engineering2018-02-21T10:55:17-08:00

Italian Masters: Volta Jump-Starts Electrical Engineering


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 Engineering2017-11-07T16:51:43-08:00

12 Years a Martian: Mechanical Engineering on Mars, The Red Planet


Figure 1: Mars Exploration Rover mobility testing By NASA

12 Years a Martian: Mechanical Engineering on Mars, The Red Planet2018-04-10T16:24:41-07:00

12 Years a Martian: Materials Science on the Red Planet


Figure 1: Diagram of the scientific equipment on MER-B Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover Launches Press Kit, June 2003, p. 41 [i] I mentioned in a blog last week that Mars Exploration Rover B (FIgure 1), more affectionately called Opportunity, recently celebrated the 12th anniversary (in Earth years) of its landing on Mars.  12 years without maintenance on the hostile surface of another planet is incredible, considering the original operational time was planned for only 3 months.  Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity currently gets the most press, with its larger tool library and fancier cameras, but there are still [...]

12 Years a Martian: Materials Science on the Red Planet2017-11-09T10:25:54-08:00

12 Years a Martian: Engineering Challenges on the Red Planet


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 [...]

12 Years a Martian: Engineering Challenges on the Red Planet2019-09-12T14:35:47-07:00
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