Congratulations! You made it through another week! Your reward? Reviewing some of the most interesting engineering technology articles that broke during the last seven days here’s what has piqued my curiosity.
STEM To Steam: How Coffee Is Perking Up Engineering Education
In Senegal, young women challenge boundaries through coding
SpaceX says rocket launches could resume as soon as November
Elon Musk’s futuristic supersonic train Hyperloop may just be test-run in Pune
Robot operates inside eye in world first
Let’s help to wake you up with some coffee. Actually, a couple of professors from the University of California, Davis, used coffee – or more correctly, a coffeemaker – to help keep students interested in engineering.
Seeing a number of students abandoning engineering majors following rounds of math classes, professors William Ristenpart and Tonya Kuhl decided to shake things up. The offered a class where students had to solve a particular engineering challenge: taking apart a coffeemaker. When you think about it, coffeemakers reflect several engineering disciplines, including chemical, mass transfer and fluid dynamics.
Maybe instead of Mr. Coffee, we should be calling it Dr. Coffee!
Keeping with the STEM theme, Senegal is encouraging girls to embrace technology through the creation of smartphone apps. Like much of the developing world, the vast majority of the country is reliant on mobile phones. At the same time, most girls are turning their backs on STEM education.
But a Women in Technology program is looking to reverse that second trend by capitalizing on the first. The program trains girls in coding mobile apps, and even finances some of the completed projects.
The excitement over the Hyperloop has sparked the imagination of engineers, travelers and science fiction fans around the world. This futuristic train, which sends pods through tubes approaching the speed of sound, is in the early testing phases (having already been proven through engineering simulation).
Now the Indian Union Transport Minister is lobbying to have Pune test the Hyperloop. During a visit to the United States, Minister Nitin Gadkari met with officials at Tesla, whose CEO is Hyperloop visionary Elon Musk. Another government official confirmed discussions, though no announcement is expected soon.
More news from another Elon Musk-run company. The aerospace industry was shocked by the Sept. 1 explosion of a SpaceX rocket. But now the company hopes to get back into the air in a matter of weeks, as it continues to investigate what went wrong on the Cape Canaveral launchpad.
Musk called the explosion the “most difficult and complex failure” in SpaceX’ history.
Closing with medical news, imagine learning that you have to have surgery. Then imagine finding out that a robot was going to assist in the operation. That didn’t faze Bill Beaver, who had to have a tiny membrane removed from his eye at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital in the United Kingdom.
While robots are used in surgeries, this is the first time one has been used inside an eye, where precise movement is critical to avoiding damage to the organ. The solution was the appropriately named Preceyes surgical robot.
That’s it until next week!