Archive for November 13th, 2010

13
Nov
10

E4C TO go live IN JANUARY

ASME’S innovative approach at touching the lives of millions of people living at the “bottom of the pyramid,” known as Engineering for Change (E4C), is scheduled to be released in January, the project’s director, Noha El-Ghobashy, told the Board of Governors.

To read my earlier editorial on E4C, click here.

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13
Nov
10

new membership model being developed

The ASME membership area is researching ways to developed tiered levels of membership in order to meet Executive Director Thomas Loughlin’s vision of 300,000 members for the Society in five years.

A staff team, with support from a team comprised of volunteers, is looking at various ways to leverage ASME’s strengths to increase membership into the Society.

A proposed plan is scheduled to be completed in time for presentation to the Board of Governors next summer.

13
Nov
10

Protein Nanocluster Coating Strengthens Implant Attachment

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience have devised a coating technique that could strengthen the connection between titanium joint-replacement implants and a patient’s own bone.

The stronger connection–created by manipulating signals the body’s cells use to encourage growth–could allow implants to last longer. The research team, led by professors Andres Garcia and David Collard, coated titanium implants with floral-bouquet-shaped clusters of an engineered protein that mimics fibronectin, the body’s own celladhesion material. They first covered clinical-grade titanium with a high density of polymer strands. Then they modified the polymer to create selfassembled clusters of the engineered fibronectin, which contained the arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) sequence that infegrins (receptors that attach to the fibronectin and direct and enhance bone formation around the implant) bind to.

13
Nov
10

Carbon Nanotube Antennas Funnel Solar Energy into PV Cells

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MlT) have used single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) to concentrate solar energy. They believe such nanotubes could serve as antennas to capture and concentrate sunlight, allowing much smaller and more powerful solar arrays. They might also be useful for other applications that require light to be concentrated, such as night-vision goggles or telescopes.

“Instead of having your whole roof be a photovoltaic (PV) cell, you could have little spots that are tiny photovoltaic cells, with antennas that would drive photons into them,” says chemical engineering professor Michael Strano.

13
Nov
10

PLANETARY ROVER COMPETITION

NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace announced a new planetary rover engineering competition called Exploration Robo-Ops Student Challenge, according to NASA.

NASA’s actual Mars rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, are mobile robots that have been exploring Mars since 2004.

University teams are eligible to win up to $10,000 for designing and building a planetary rover, then demonstrating its capability to perform a series of tasks at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Rock Yard in Houston, Texas.

Graduate and undergraduate engineering teams with a faculty advisor are eligible to compete. Teams are required to submit a project plan proposal by Dec. 15.

13
Nov
10

new asme.org on schedule for March launch

The new ASME.ORG is scheduled to launch March 2011.

A year-long project to turn the Society’s Web site into the “center of the engineering conversation” continues on schedule, said developers of the site.

The new site will be clean and modern, with new and regularly updated content. More information will be released in the coming weeks.

13
Nov
10

Supercomputers will be smaller and greener

Future supercomputers will be smaller, but more importantly, a Swiss researcher says, they will be “greener,” consuming less energy as they work.

Bruno Michel of IBM’s Zurich labs says future computers will have many processors stacked together and cooled by water flowing between them.

The aim, he says, is to reduce computers’ energy use rather than just to shrink them.




The Editor

John G. Falcioni is Editor-in-Chief of Mechanical Engineering magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

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