To make an iPhone, Apple fetches parts from 43 different countries across the globe. This demonstrates the extraordinarily complex and far-reaching supply chain needed to manufacture the world's most iconic phone. Such a complex web of suppliers is not out of the ordinary for most of the world's products.
As the initial COVID-19 stress subsides and working from home slowly becomes more familiar, it seems like a good time for engineers to begin to refine these new routines and ensure that we all continue doing our best work.
U.S. officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have accepted a proposal for a small commercial nuclear reactor for the first time. According to Scientific American, the small modular reactor (SMR) will be built by NuScale Power and is the first of its kind in the U.S.
In 1962, when Woodrow Wilson Bledsoe created a measuring system to identify faces, he may not have realized how widespread facial recognition would eventually become.
The continuing emergency in the western U.S. are a reminder to everyone just how unpredictable and devastating wildfires can be. Large fires can cause $1B or more in property damage in addition to the cost of firefighters and equipment. This year, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy reports that as of October 6, 2020, there are about 22,000 firefighters and support personnel assigned to 69 wildfires (39 of which are large and uncontained) in the west that have burned over 4.6 million acres. Added to previous fires this year that were put out, there have been 45,196 wildfires that have burned 7,928,100 acres in 11 states, including fires in 4 parks under the control of the National Park Service and others under the control of the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The current fires in California have burned over 4M acres, destroyed 9,200 structures and claimed 31 lives. More acreage burned as a result of the current California fires than in the last 3 years combined, and more than any other year on record according to CalFire.
Among others lessons the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that there are weaknesses in the U.S, supply chain. As a nation, we have become sorely dependent on foreign sources for medical device components and other vital medical supplies. A significant problem with this is that foreign powers can leverage our dependence during an emergency. This frightening possibility signals that some manufacturing be brought back to the U.S.
Atmospheric manipulation (also known as “solar radiation management” or SRM) involves reflecting sunlight to reduce global warming. The reflectivity of a surface is known as albedo. A highly reflective surface has a high albedo and reflects a lot of solar radiation back into the atmosphere, while a surface with a low albedo absorbs little of the sun’s radiation, thus absorbing it. A good example of the reflection versus absorption concept is the choice of clothes to wear. Light colors reflect more of the sun’s rays, while dark clothing absorbs more. This is why people tend to avoid dark colors in very hot weather. Ice has a high albedo. It reflects most solar radiation back into the atmosphere. This helps to keep ice cold. As surface temperatures increase due to rising water temperatures, though, icebergs in the sea are melting. Fewer iceberg mean more of the ocean’s surface is exposed to sunlight. Since liquid water has a lower albedo than ice, more sunlight is absorbed, thus raising the temperature of the water even more. This, in turn, causes more ice loss in a cycle of global warming. In this article, we will consider SRM projects designed to reflect sunlight to reduce global warming and assess the feasibility and potential dangers of these methods.
Charles Bolden, a former space shuttle commander and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”) Administrator from 2009 to 2017, dreamed of being the first person on Mars when he first checked in for astronaut training in 1980. At the time, NASA thought that a crewed Mars mission was thirty years away. Of course, we know now that prediction was overly optimistic. Yet there have been technological advancements and a renewed interest in human exploration of the Red Planet recently. For example, SpaceX tested its newest ship that can carry as many as 100 “colonists” to Mars and the U.S., the UAE and China have launched satellites to there. Here, we explore some emerging technologies to support a Mars mission and the fringe benefits of the new space race for us Earthlings.
The U.S. population is aging, and the availability and affordability of home healthcare is a national issue. According to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, 16% of the U.S. population was 65 and older in 2018, and the median age of citizens was 38.2 in 2018 (an increase of 1 year from 2010). At the present rate of population growth, seniors will outnumber people under 18 in this country by 2035 (readers who want to track the projected growth of both population cohorts can click here). The average life expectancy at birth for males in America is 76.1 years, and for females 81.1 years (2017 data). Males who reach 65 live, on average, 18.1 more years, and females who live to 65, live an average of 20.6 additional years.
Manufacturing Day (“Mfg Day”) is held each year on the first Friday in October, but events associated with Mfg Day continue throughout the month. The purpose of these events is for educational institutions and companies to showcase modern manufacturing careers to students, parents, teachers, and community leaders. Experts predict that there will be 4.6 million new high-skill, high-tech jobs in the next 10 years, and Manufacturing Day is a great excuse for manufacturers to join together to encourage and inform students and adult learners to consider careers in the field to address the job market demand and highlight the benefits to communities of having qualified workers to meet the demand.