PROJECT CROWDSOURCING, phase 1 ends this month

Mechanical Engineering Magazine’s Project Crowdsourcing is nearing the end of Phase I. If we haven’t heard from you yet, please send us your input by the end of February so you can have a say on the editorial content of the December issue of the magazine. Leave your input here, or send us an e-mail at MEMAG@ASME.ORG.

This is how Project Crowdsourcing works:

Phase I. Until the end of February we are conducting an online discussion to collect your ideas for articles and themes based on ASME’s three strategic initiatives–energy, engineering workforce development, global impact and outreach. At the end of February we will unveil a list of potential articles from the feedback you’ve given us.

Phase II. In March and April you will have the opportunity to vote on these article ideas and determine which six you want us to publish.

Phase III. From May through November we will recruit authors for the articles and work with them to prepare the articles for publication.

Phase IV. In late November, the December 2011, crowdsourced issue of Mechanical Engineering magazine will be mailed to subscribers.

You can provide your comments via four methods:

[1] Here on MEMagazineBlog.org (leave your comments below)

[2] Visit the Mechanical Engineering magazine Facebook page at on.fb.me/MEMAGAZINE (please use caps)

[3] E-mail us at memag@asme.org

[4] Post a comment on Twitter.com/johnfalcioni and use the hashtag #MEcrowdsource

Crowdsourcing reminds us that the ability to influence change rests within us. We look forward to your input and to what we hope will be an important dialogue.

MORE INFORMATION ON CROWDSOURCING AND OUR INITIATIVE (adapted from the December 2010 magazine’s Editorial):

Hours following the earthquake in Haiti last year, streams of text messages flew throughout the ravaged island nation with cries for help. Reports of trapped people, fires, polluted water sources, and requests for food, water, and medical supplies were transmitted in real time. Web sites were set up to help first responders react to the needs on the ground.

Two years earlier, during a post-election crisis in Kenya, a Web site, Ushahidi—meaning “testimony” in Swahili—was developed to map reports of violence. Since then the site has grown into a platform collecting and visualizing information and bringing awareness to crisis situations throughout the world, including Haiti.

These are examples of crowdsourcing, which uses the power of unconnected people with similar interests and empowers community voice toward a specific goal. In the case of Ushahidi, the Web site utilized human resources on the ground to inform authorities and the world of violence in Kenya. In Haiti, eyewitnesses strengthened relief efforts by acting as on-the-ground reporters for authorities and agencies deploying help to the earthquake’s victims.

Driving the process of crowdsourcing is social media. Twitter and Facebook, along with cell phones, are its tools. The messages are curated to deploy necessary resources and a move to action ensues.

We have embarked on a unique initiative called Project Crowdsourcing. The end result will be that our readers will determine the content of the December 2011 issue of Mechanical Engineering magazine.

We don’t presume that our crowdsourcing experiment has the depth of social impact that the projects in Haiti and Kenya have had. Our motivation is to build on the engineering esprit de corps. We are empowering our community of readers to tell us what’s important.

The only parameter to this project is that the ideas for articles be focused on at least one of ASME’s three strategic initiatives. That is, they should be related to energy, engineering workforce development, or global impact and outreach.

20 Responses to “PROJECT CROWDSOURCING, phase 1 ends this month”

  1. 1 Tapobrata Bag
    February 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    DEVELOPMENT OF A FRESH ENGINEER out of college INTO A ENGINEER WITH STRONG TECHNICAL BACKGROUND & WAYS to bring out the best in them!!!!!!>(a very important step for our society)

    Most of us do remember our very 1st jobs.For some it was a very sweet experience for others it was not.It has certainly affected us in becoming what we are today and maybe even our tommorow.

    Most of the students just out of college have a lot of dreams in their mind.Some dream about being a good R&D engineer while others dream of becoming the CEO.Lets for example take a story of a average 22 year old boy say Rahul.He is just of out of one of the top institutions of India completing his B.Tech in mechanical engineering.Got selected in Campus recruitment into a company with a turnover of almost Rs 1000cr.
    With a hefty pay of Rs 30000 per month he is very happy as a GET(Graduate Engineer Trainee).
    From his very childhood he had dreamt of becoming a good R&D engineer who would invent new ideas and new products.However from the day he joins the job his view changes.He is rather placed in the production department & his target is to achieve a production worth Rs 100 crore within a certain span of time and using a certain number of resources.Even was never ever even interested in this kind of job in the first place.All that happens is that he starts losing his interest in his job.The worst part is that after 1 year his C.V shows that he has developed experience in Production and planning which makes it all the hard for him to join any other company in the R&D department.This makes him all the more frustrated and he develops neither skills.
    All these negative things and feelings gets a catalyst when he has a Boss with a mean heart!!!

    So lets think of a way to prevent this.
    May be we can follow the given procedure:
    1.Put the freshman in the kind of job he wants or has passion for 6 months to 1 year.Monitor his performance and accordingly see whether he fits into that role or not.If he does not fir into that department ,put him in another department.

    2.Make sure he gets a boss who has a big heart .Not someone who is very well reputed troughtout the company.

    Note:Putting a Boss with a mean heart may create extra profit in the short term(say 5 years) but in the long term it is really going to destroy the company and create a negative impression in the young mind.

    3.To be sure that he or she is treated with respect by everyone in the company and no one treats like a 1st year of junior high.

    4.Here’s the most important part.Time to time one should share his work if he feels a little overloaded to make him a feel a little happy or less tensed.

    5.Spend an hour or so behind a problem that he has faced along with him.Try to explain to him the problem.If we defnitely spend a lot of time with him he will definitely fell important.

    6.While giving him a job ask him whether he will be able to do it or is he overloaded with work.However one should not do this act very often in which case the young mind can think that just to make him do that extra work the boss is putting on with such a pretending face.

    If we do follow these guideline I guess maybe we can convert the fresh engineers out of college into very good ones.
    Overall we should remember a very important thing.These young engineers that we develop today will be our tomorrow.If today we don’t help them out we will be spoiling our own future in our own hands.

    • 2 Alan E. Belcher
      February 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm

      The following “Letter to the Editor” was published in Vermont Business Magazine on the date stated. These folks (and the same Editor) have kindly given me permission to submit it here.

      The letter was in response to a previous one in which the writer felt that, providing an employer paid the money, any employee would stay. In other words, everyone had a price and could be “bought”.

      I should explain that this all took place in my native Argentina and the company, Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co. as it was known at that time, was American through and through. About a year later the company was forced to close its branch in Argentina and we were all given six month’s advance warning of the impending move that might become reality if a solution could not be found to keep that branch viable. Our pay was cut in half but anyone not wishing to stay on, with no guarantee of a job after the six months, would get full company support in finding other employment. Out of the payroll of about 58 people as I recall, one man stepped forwards — yes, just one, and we all knew that he had little choice due to illness in his family!

      I was so lucky to have started my working career with that outfit. Somehow it seems relevant to your situation in India. Yes, I firmly believe that this form of management is valid and should be applied whenever and wherever possible.

      November 16, 1995

      The Editor
      Vermont Business Magazine
      2 Church Street
      Burlington, VT 05401-4445

      To the Editor,

      Your cover story “Chasing a paycheck in Vermont” (VBM November 1995) necessarily focuses on economic and demographic issues. I would like to expand upon a comment made in the first paragraph regarding loyalty.

      Loyalty between an employee and employer, and vice-versa, cannot be enforced, bought, or mandated – it is earned. It is earned by the respect shown by management towards employees at all levels. It is earned by the complete trust vested by management in the workforce. It is acknowledged by a simple, but honest “Thank you” for a job well done. Will our bright young graduates, clutching their MBAs, or whatever their accreditation, ever have a chance to witness excellence of “people management” in action?

      To illustrate my point I will recount a short anecdote. Let’s call it, “Walt’s Lesson”. I was only a few months into my first-ever job. I was a trainee mechanic. One of my tasks was to check and tune up new bulldozers prior to their delivery to customers. I had just finished one of these beauties when the shop foreman came over and asked me to leave the engine running. Moments later I saw Walt Hebler, our General Manager, come out of the office section and head out across the shop floor, right in my direction. Walt had worked his way up through the ranks. He was one the best mechanics I have ever known. I respected him and perhaps even feared him. Understandably, I was quaking in my boots. He walked around the machine, listening, observing, checking. Then he climbed up onto one of the tracks, reached over and yanked the throttle a couple of times to rev the engine. He climbed down. Then, turning to me, he uttered some words that I still remember as though they were said yesterday, “Son, you’ve done a fine job here. You can shut it down, now”. Then, turning on his heel, he made his way back to his office. His actions made it plain to everyone that he had come specifically to see my work – not as something done “in passing”, but as his only goal at that moment.

      Yes, at the time I was but an 18-year old kid and the event did “make my day”, but more importantly I learnt something very valuable which I have endeavored to apply over and over again. Can we all apply some of “Walt’s Lesson”? No monetary investment is required, but the benefits in terms of loyalty, satisfaction, trust, and security are immeasurable. These should never be issues of mere “fashion”. They are as valid today as they were fifty years ago,


      Alan E. Belcher.

        February 7, 2011 at 9:48 pm

        Thanks for sharing that wonderful story.It is very true that loyalty and trust can never be brought and once this trust is earned an employer will work for his company from the will power coming from the bottom of his heart!!!!!
        Lets hope this happens in every company!!!

  2. 4 Luis Albanes
    February 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Hi, what I would propose is to add videos on youtube to the magazine´s content, also would be great to write articles on members at their work.
    Thank you

  3. 5 Alan E. Belcher
    February 4, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    In his post to the Crowdsource Forum (January27, 2011) George Mahl has suggested the following, and I quote, “I suggest that this paper (ES2010-90006) be published in the Mechanical Engineer to promote a discussion of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and the infinite supply of energy which this re-evaluation will lead to”.

    He has very kindly sent me a copy of his paper and, while I am not qualified to critique the content of this document, I do feel that my experience as a technical translator does allow me to comment on the very high quality of same.

    Here is a beautifully written paper which, in precisely four pages of text and graphics (for the purist, a tad over 2,000 words), challenges the very basis of our much-beloved Second Law of Thermodynamics. It is very readable and understandable, super presentation, and generally excellent on all counts.

    This said, I would like to second George’s motion and plead with the powers that be, that this work be published in Mechanical Engineer magazine. I think we would all stand to gain much by reading it, regardless of which side of the argument we may align with.

      February 5, 2011 at 12:05 am

      It would be great if you could upload the contents of that paper over here since everyone does not have subscription to the journal as it is extremely costly.

      February 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      Just googling does not at times provide the full content of the Technical briefs
      At times we may not get the exact one that we are searching.

  4. 9 Alan E. Belcher
    February 11, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Very encouraging news regarding the Crowdsourcing Project on page 4 of the February 2011 issue of ME Magazine. However, the second paragraph does raise some concern with the statement, “….. significant input has come from different sources, mostly through e-mail. A few respondents have also posted comments on MEmagazineBlog.org”. This suggests that those of us who have posted our comments to the MEmagazineBlog.org are a distinct minority compared to the e-mail contributors.

    Phase I distinctly refers to the desire for dialogue to take place between respondents from the engineering community. Consequently, a valid question is, where is this dialogue taking place? Where are the e-mails referred to being shared? In an e-mail to ME Magazine I did raise the issue of where the inputs from four different sources would be gathered, but I have not had a reply as yet.

    My belief is that, for this crowdsourcing project to work, there should be only one ongoing Forum. Do other respondents agree with me, or have I missed a critical announcement somewhere?

      February 11, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      I completely agree with you.I even once tried to send a mail to Mr John C Falcioni.However the mail bounced back showing an error in the email ID.May I know what is his correct email ID.Besides it is a kind request to Mr John C Falcioni to just maintain one column to prevent such problems.

    February 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm



    It’s quite often we see that there is a powerless air ventilator at the roof top of a factory.These ventilators are used to release the heat from the factory shed.Other than that these ventilators are maintenance free.However the heat coming out can be utilized in several ways.There’s a small motion within the hot air.If some very light rotating object could be used then those obect could be used to generate electricity.Other than that there’s always a big temperature difference between the side of the Factory roof that is facing the Atmosphere and that which is facing the heat generated from the cutting of the metals inside the factory.

    We could also very much use this temperature difference.We can place thermocouples on the roofs and this temperature difference could allow the electricity to be generated.

    This could also do a lot of good to the environment by reducing the Global Warming in a environment where global warming is turning out to be a major issue.

    Lets try and make a difference!!!

  6. February 18, 2011 at 5:52 am

    I like your post. Here we provide air ventilator, turbo air ventilator and roof air ventilator in India.

  7. 14 Alan E. Belcher
    February 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    (The following is also being posted to )

    Subject: Crowdsource Article

    This is my contribution to the Crowdsource Project. The manometric engine is based on a fundamentally new method of converting a fluid pressure into rotative motion. It ranks alongside traditional positive-displacement methods such as the sliding piston-connecting rod-crank mechanism, the sliding vane arrangement, and the epitrochoidal engine, plus the many variants of these. The foregoing list is not exhaustive.

    The source pressure can be derived from a head of water as in conventional hydropower, or from the thermal expansion of a gas (air) as in the Brayton cycle.

    The engine’s ability to operate from very low pressure gradients makes it eminently suitable for converting waste heat into zero-emissions electric power. This is particularly relevant to the need for increased electric power generation anticipated for sometime in the near future.

    The white paper, “A Practical Near-term Solution to Reduce GHG Emissions from Thermoelectric Power Generation” will serve as a source of data from which Crowdsource editorial authors can select facts relevant to their contribution. A copy of this paper is already in John Falcioni’s hands and, of course, Alan Belcher will provide assistance in the form of explanations, provision of further documentation, or whatever else is within his capabilities.

  8. 15 Alan E. Belcher
    February 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm


    For reasons unexplained the Blog software failed to print the Crowdsource e-mailaddress. The first line in my main post should read:

    (The following is also being posted to memag@asme.org)

  9. February 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Help for young victims of criminal acts foundation

    7 steps to protecting our children

    Step 1. Learn the facts. Understand the risks.
    Realities not trusts should influence your decisions
    regarding children.
    Step 2. Minimize opportunity.
    If you eliminate or reduce one-adult/one-child situations, youll
    dramatically lower the risk of sexual abuse for children.
    Step 3. Talk about it.
    Children often keep abuse secret, but barriers can be broken
    down by talking openly about it..
    Step 4. Stay alert.
    Dont expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused.
    Step 5. Make a plan.
    Learn where to go, whom to call and how to react.
    Step 6. Act on suspicions.
    The future well-being of a child is at stake.
    Step 7. Get involved.
    Volunteer and financially support organizations that fight the
    tragedy of child sexual abuse.

    Get all the details by visiting: http://www.d2l.org

    Lets take a look at the impact of abuse

    Child sexual abuse: the reality

    On average, in Quebec, 16 sexual assaults are reported to police EVERY DAY.

    And this despite the fact that up to 90% of assaults are not reported to police.

    1 in 3 women has been sexually assaulted at least once since the age of 16.

    1 man in 6 will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

    The 2 / 3 of the victims are aged under 18.

    Over 75% of Aboriginal girls under the age of 18 have been sexually assaulted.

    40% of women with physical disabilities live at least one sexual assault during their life.

    Nearly 8 out of 10 victims know their attacker.

    7 out of 10 victims were sexually assaulted in a private residence.

    Sexual abuse: the European reality

    According to the organization Innocence in danger:

    We can estimate that 1 in 8 girls and 1 in 10 boys are sexually abused before age 15;

    22% of them are under six years; in four out of ten cases, the child is the victim of repeated assaults.

    Nearly 13,500 children have suffered physical or sexual violence in France in 2001, 40 child victims of sexual assault per day.

    Child sexual abuse: the reality in the U.S.

    According to the organization Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape http://www.pcar.org

    1 in 4 girls and 1 boy 6 will be sexually abused before the age of 18.

    7 victims of sexual assault of 10 knew their attacker before the assault;

    67% of sexual assault victims are aged under 18;

    34% of sexual assault victims are aged under 12;

    14% of sexual assault victims are younger than 6 years;

    Are you REALLY sure your child does not follow a “nice” gentleman in the park to see her little dog a little further and have the chance to walk?

    In 1999, the McCreary Adolescent Health Survey II* found that:

    * 35% of girls and 16% of boys between grades 7 – 12 had been sexually and/or physically abused
    * Among girls surveyed, 17-year-olds experienced the highest rate of sexual abuse at 20%

    In their 2001 report on Family Violence in Canada**, The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics found that children who are exposed to physical violence in their homes are:

    * more than twice as likely to be physically aggressive as those who have not had such exposure;
    * more likely to commit delinquent acts against property
    * more likely to display emotional disorders and hyperactivity

    University of Victoria’s Sexual Assault Centre*** posts the following childhood sexual abuse statistics:

    * 80% of all child abusers are the father, foster father, stepfather or another relative or close family friend of the victim.
    * Incestuous relationships last 7 years on average
    * 75% of mothers are not aware of the incest in their family
    * 60-80% of offenders in a study of imprisoned rapists had been molested as children
    * 80% of prostitutes and juvenile delinquents, in another study, were sexually abused as children.

    Most common types of abuse

    In their 2001 report on Family Violence in Canada**, The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics found that:

    * 69% of substantiated physical abuse involved inappropriate punishment
    * 68% of substantiated sexual abuse involved touching and fondling
    * 58% of substantiated emotional maltreatment involved exposure to family violence
    * 48% of substantiated cases of neglect primarily involved failure to supervise the child properly, which lead to physical harm

    Abusers are commonly known to the survivor

    In their 2001 report on Family Violence in Canada**, The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics found that family members, including relatives, constituted the vast majority (93%) of alleged perpetrators. Another statistical study conducted in 2001 by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics**** found that:

    * among family assaults parents were the perpetrators in 56% of physical assaults against youths and 43% of sexual assaults against youth victims 12 to 17 years of age;
    * siblings were responsible for approximately 25% of physical and 26% of sexual assaults in the family that were perpetrated against youth
    * extended family members committed 8% of physical, and 28% of sexual assaults against youth



    Help for young victims of criminal acts foundation

    Upcoming Programs:

    In cases of sexual abuse coming from the immediate family, the project is to sponsor shelters, which will strive unremittingly to
    encourage, support and secure the young person, to avoid having he / she tossed from a foster family to another.

    Intervene financially to facilitate the achievement of “small miracles” for these young

    PS: If you are located in Canada in or near Montreal or Ottawa Help for young victims of criminal acts foundation accepts donations in all kinds of items like: furniture, toys, bicycles, tools, computers, equipments, books, sporting goods, empty ink cartridges, clothing, gift certificate etc..

    We collect everything you want to give at no fees.

    We all have a responsibility to protect children against all forms of prejudice, it is essential to provide them hope.

    Please help us to maintain our commitment.

    Thanks for your help !

    Check or Money Order should be made payable to the:

    Help for young victims of criminal acts foundation
    Tel: 438-876-2009 Fax: 450-933-1300
    50 lanse Bleue Street, Laval, QC, Canada, H7N 4B1

  10. June 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Having read this I believed it was extremely informative.
    I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time
    both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Editor

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

February 2011

Twitter from John Falcioni

Twitter from Engineering for Change

%d bloggers like this: