Nicole Sharp: Taking Fluid Dynamics to a Whole New Level

Fluid Art
Nicole Sharp is a wind tunnel jockey. “What’s that?” you ask. The short answer involves crawling around in wind tunnels big enough for a human to get around in, but not hot or windy enough to bake said human and blow them away. The longer answer is a whole lot more interesting. Sharp is a 27-year-old aerospace engineer and Texas A&M Ph.D. student and Amelia Earhart Fellow in fluids research. She spent her childhood in Arkansas and later lived in… continue…

Twitter Adds Mobile-App Developer Tools

Twitter has upgraded its Cards system to accommodate mobile-app developers and retailers. continue…

Facebook Details the Software Engineering Behind Graph Search

Facebook’s new, powerful search platform required a lot of engineering work, and a system known as Unicorn. continue…

IT Automation Jobs Require Cross-Platform Skills

As IT environments grow more complex, companies are increasingly looking to automate business processes across myriad platforms. That’s fueling a demand for engineers who can tie it all together. “Companies have been scheduling these processes manually or doing it through custom scripting, and inevitably they reach a tipping point where it becomes too much,” says Colin Beasty, marketing manager for automation vendor Advanced Systems Concepts. “[They’re looking for] a way to more easily build and automate these processes across different… continue…

New Engine Could Fly London to Sydney in 4.5 Hours

Posted In Living in Tech
Rocket Plane
The British company Reaction Engines is working on an engine technology that could make air travel faster–much faster. You can’t accuse the developers of false modesty: They call their Sabre engine “the biggest breakthrough in propulsion since the jet engine.” If it manages to do everything that it’s been designed to do, they could turn out to be right. The magic in the Sabre comes from a compressed helium cooling system that’s able to cool air entering the engine from… continue…

Autodesk’s Fusion 360 Takes Simulation Further into the Cloud

Posted In Cloud
Autodesk’s Fusion 360 enables engineers to build 3D designs in the cloud. continue…

Elizabeth Hughes: Words, Beer and Combat Simulation

Posted In Living in Tech
Elizabeth Hughes
Sometimes the path to an interesting career is circuitous and a little rocky. An example is this month’s Featured Geek Elizabeth Hughes, a defense industry publications manager at ACME Worldwide Enterprises in Albuquerque. In another life Elizabeth, now in her 30s, aspired to write about the runways that feature clothes, not jets. After graduating Hughes was sure she’d be writing about fashion but that didn’t work out so well. She dove into technology writing – specifically about semiconductors and combat… continue…

New Glasses Protect Pilots from Laser Strikes

Posted In Living in Tech
Britain’s Ministry of Defense is developing a novel type of eyewear that’s capable of reflecting certain wavelengths of laser light. For pilots and passengers, the dazzling effect of a bright laser light directed into a darkened cockpit could have lethal consequences. It’s fair to say that this is facing a growing problem.In 2005, 283 incidents of laser cockpit strikes were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This year, the FBI expects complaints to top 3,700. In response, the FBI… continue…

This Robot Doesn’t Want to be Your Overlord

Posted In Living in Tech
Baxter the Robot
Boston-based Rethink Robotics may soon help smaller manufacturers take advantage of newer, friendlier mechanical colleagues. Until now, small- to medium-sized businesses have faced significant obstacles to robot use. Money, comes to mind. But with Baxter, its two-armed robot, Rethink may have overcome these obstacles. First, and most importantly, Baxter is capable of “learning” to perform through actions rather than code. To teach Baxter a task, a human worker guides it through the actions it has to perform. Another significant problem… continue…

Beating the Odds: Helping Girls Become Engineers

Posted In Living in Tech
Girl Computer - Feature
As classes begin at colleges and universities throughout the country, the odds of finding a female engineering student is slim. Come next summer, the odds of finding a graduating female engineering student is even slimmer. Consider these statistics, says Catherine Didion, director of the National Research Council’s Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine: More than 50 percent of all students going into four-year colleges are women. But only 3 percent of all first-year students are women majoring in… continue…