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New & notable sites for Engineering

Steam car to make world speed record bid & British team claims world steam speed record

New content on IEEE Xplore from the American Institute of Physics and AVS

Cogitate, a game of gravity presented by the IET

A Touch of Ingenuity, An inexpensive pressure-sensitive pad could make surfaces smarter

Engineering Values in IT.

Producing tiny inorganic LEDs in bulk

Experiment Reveals Conductor-insulator Transition

Electrical circuit runs entirely off power in trees

Engineering in K 12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects

Traffic waves sometimes one driver can vastly improve traffic

Sir James Dyson: Why the World Needs More Engineers

Sudoku played by a robot

Steam car to make world speed record bid & British team claims world steam speed record
"The 25ft-long British Steam Car - dubbed the "fastest kettle in the world" - is aiming to beat a speed of 127mph reached by American Fred Marriott in a Stanley steam car in 1906 at the Daytona Beach Road Course. It is the longest officially recognised land speed record, but the British team hope to overhaul it by reaching a target velocity of 170mph with their car at Edwards Air Force Base in California." & "The car achieved an average speed of 139.843mph on two runs over a measured mile at Edwards Air Force Base in California yesterday morning. It actually peaked at 151mph on the second run."
Read the articles at http://kn.theiet.org/news/aug09/british-steam-car.cfm  and http://kn.theiet.org/news/aug09/steam-speed-record.cfm

New content on IEEE Xplore from the American Institute of Physics and AVS
There is now access for students and staff of the University of Auckland to the world’s leading applied physics research from the American Institute of Physics and AVS via Applied Physics Letters (AIP)—the #1 cited journal in applied physics Journal of Applied Physics (AIP)—the #2 cited journal in applied physics Review of Scientific Instruments (AIP) Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films (AVS) Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures (AVS)
Search these at http://www.library.auckland.ac.nz/databases/learn_database/public.asp?record=ieeexplore

Cogitate, a game of gravity presented by the IET
"Manipulate actual LEGO TECHNIC gears, beams, conveyor belts and motors to complete the ten pre-built puzzles. Enjoy viewing player solutions and challenge yourself to achieve them with the fastest time, lowest cost or highest score. Only the top 20% of players so far have reached the final level. Take on the challenge."
Play the game at http://cogitate.theiet.org/

A Touch of Ingenuity, An inexpensive pressure-sensitive pad could make surfaces smarter.
"By Kate Greene. Now that more and more smart phones and MP3 players have touch-screen interfaces, people have grown accustomed to interacting with gadgets using only taps and swipes of their fingers. But on the 11th floor of a downtown Manhattan building, New York University researchers Ilya Rosenberg and Ken Perlin are developing an interface that goes even further. It's a thin pad that responds precisely to pressure from not only a finger but a range of objects, such as a foot, a stylus, or a drumstick. And it can sense multiple inputs at once."
Read it at http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/23169/?nlid=2298&a=f

Engineering Values in IT. A joint study by The Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the British Computer Society
"This report addresses the specific issue of the need for professionalism in IT systems development. In particular, it will set out the contribution that engineering skills, capabilities and values can make in addressing IT challenges."
View the report at http://www.raeng.org.uk/news/publications/list/reports/Engineering_values_in_IT.pdf

Producing tiny inorganic LEDs in bulk
"A team of researchers in the US has developed a new technique to shrink the size of inorganic LEDs so they can be used as pixels in display screens. The novel process could allow these tiny light sources to be easily mounted on a range of materials – such as glass, plastic and rubber substrates – for the first time. This breakthrough could lead to affordable and eco-friendly applications, including computer screens and flexible displays, claim the researchers. LEDs emit light across a narrow band of frequencies when their electrons combine with holes to form "excitons". Conventional LEDs are made using inorganic materials and are usually created from a stack of thin semiconductor layers that are grown onto circular substrates that are diced up to form thousands of small chips. Blue and green LEDs are made from gallium nitride (GaN) and indium gallium nitride (InGaN) layers, and red equivalents are based on aluminum indium gallium phosphide (AlInGaP)."
Read it at http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/40161

Experiment Reveals Conductor-insulator Transition
"University of Chicago physicists have, for the first time, directly observed a group of atoms transform from a conducting state into an insulating state. “It opens up much richer phenomena to explore,” said Cheng Chin, an assistant professor in physics at the University. Chin’s team conducted the experiment as the first step in a project to simulate the dynamics of electrons in a solid. “How you can make the transition from a conducting material to a non-conducting material is difficult to conceive,” said Chin. But his team actually observed such a transition using super-cooled atoms to simulate the behavior of electrons."
Read more at http://www.newswise.com/articles/experiment-reveals-conductor-insulator-transition

Electrical circuit runs entirely off power in trees
"There's enough power in trees for University of Washington researchers to run an electronic circuit, according to results to be published in an upcoming issue of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Transactions on Nanotechnology. "As far as we know this is the first peer-reviewed paper of someone powering something entirely by sticking electrodes into a tree," said co-author Babak Parviz, a UW associate professor of electrical engineering. A study last year from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that plants generate a voltage of up to 200 millivolts when one electrode is placed in a plant and the other in the surrounding soil. Those researchers have since started a company developing forest sensors that exploit this new power source. The UW team sought to further academic research in the field of tree power by building circuits to run off that energy. They successfully ran a circuit solely off tree power for the first time."
Read about it at http://uwnews.org/article.asp?articleID=51869

Engineering in K 12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects
"Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other "STEM" subjects--science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student learning and achievement in science and mathematics, increase awareness of engineering and the work of engineers, boost youth interest in pursuing engineering as a career, and increase the technological literacy of all students. The teaching of STEM subjects in U.S. schools must be improved in order to retain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy and to develop a workforce with the knowledge and skills to address technical and technological issues. Engineering in K-12 Education reviews the scope and impact of engineering education today and makes several recommendations to address curriculum, policy, and funding issues. The book also analyzes a number of K-12 engineering curricula in depth and discusses what is known from the cognitive sciences about how children learn engineering-related concepts and skills."
Link to the fulltext from http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12635

Traffic waves sometimes one driver can vastly improve traffic.
"I live in Seattle and my two daily commutes last about 45 minutes. (That's when I'm lucky; sometimes it's more like two hours each.) This has given me an immense amount of time for watching the interesting patterns in the cars. Boredom led me to fantasize about the traffic being like a flowing liquid, with cars acting as giant water molecules. Over many months I slowly realized that this was not just a fantasy. Why had I never noticed all the "traffic fluid dynamics" out there? Once my brain became sensitized to it, I started seeing quite a variety of interesting things occurring. Eventually I started using my car to poke at the flowing traffic. Observation eventually leads to experimentation, no? There are amazing things you can do as an "amateur traffic dynamicist." You can drive like an "anti-rubbernecker" and erase slowdowns created by other drivers."
See it at http://trafficwaves.org/

Sir James Dyson: Why the World Needs More Engineers
"I have always advocated for investment in engineering – to both improve society and stimulate economies. It’s true that as engineer myself I have a vested interest. But following the financial fallout this is no longer just a point of view. It’s a necessity. President Obama believes invention and technology are key to moving forward, out of the current crisis and beyond. What is stopping us? Perception is a problem. There needs to be an ideological shift in the way we view engineering."
Read his thoughts at http://www.cnbc.com/id/32658090

Sudoku played by a robot
If you are frustrated with playing this game, then watch a robot solve it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp8Y2yjV4fU&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fengineering%2Ecuriouscatblog%2Enet%2F&feature=player_embedded

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