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TryEngineering Today!

TryEngineering Today! is dedicated to providing the latest news and information for students, parents, teachers, and counselors interested in engineering, computing technology and related topics.

August 29, 2014 | Announcements

Check out some innovative videos about how engineering enhances the quality of life and serves the needs of society, and vote for your favorite as part of NAE's Engineering for You Video Contest. The contest commemorates the 50th anniversary of the National Academy of Engineering. 

Voting closes 1 September 2014. 

Vote here: http://www.nae.edu/e4u/#youtubeVideoListId

The IEEE Power Electronics Society together with Google present a challenge to design a smaller power converter that could impact the future of power electronics. The Little Box Challenge is not only a grand engineering contest but also a chance to make a big impact on the future of power electronics by designing a much smaller but higher-power density inverter.

The Little Box Challenge is designed to spur innovation that can drive a 10x or greater reduction in the size of power inverters, devices that convert electricity from direct current into alternating current. These technology advancements can lead to higher efficiency, increased reliability, and lower energy costs. For example, a smaller inverter could help create low-cost microgrids in remote parts of the world, or allow people to keep the lights on during a blackout via their electric car’s battery.

Registration is due 30 September 2014. Eligible academics may also register and apply for grants to assist in the development of their devices. For more information or to enter the Little Box Challenge, visit www.littleboxchallenge.com.

Spark Music Issue
June 26, 2014 | Announcements

Tune into this issue of IEEE Spark to learn how engineering and technology are applied in the music industry. Learn how engineers make music sound better, meet a music technology maestro, design your own loudspeaker, and discover free online tools to make music at home.  

June 24, 2014 | Student Opportunities

Google, along with Chelsea Clinton, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab, National Center for Women & Information Technology, SevenTeen, TechCrunch and more, Google has launched Made with Code, an initiative to inspire girls to code. The program includes:

  • Cool introductory Blockly-based coding projects, like designing a bracelet 3D-printed by Shapeways, learning to create animated GIFs and building beats for a music track.
  • Collaborations with organizations like Girl Scouts of the USA and Girls, Inc. to introduce Made with Code to girls in their networks, encouraging them to complete their first coding experience.
  • A commitment of $50 million to support programs that can help get more females into computer science, like rewarding teachers who support girls who take CS courses on Codecademy or Khan Academy.

Check it out here: https://www.madewithcode.com/




Touchscreen Film
June 9, 2014 | Innovations

Researchers at the University of Akron have developed a transparent electrode that could put an end to cracked screens on smartphones and tablets. Touchscreen devices on the market today use a coating of indium tin oxide (ITO) which is expensive to produce and likely to shatter. The screen material developed by the researchers is made up of transparent electrodes attached to a polymer surface. It is just as transparent as ITO screens but much more conductive. The researchers have completed several tests of the screen including repeated bending and scotch tape peeling. They discovered that the material was able to maintain its shape even after being bent 1000 times! Since the screen is flexible it can be manufactured in large cost-effective rolls. The material has the potential to someday replace conventional touchscreens leading to more economical, more durable handheld devices. 

water bead on hydrophobic surface
June 3, 2014 | Innovations

Engineers at Brigham Young University have created a surface with extreme water-repelling properties. Known as super-hydrophobic surfaces, these materials are so waterproof that water molecules can be bounced off of them like a ball. The surfaces are also "self-cleaning" in that as water beads up on them, it picks up dirt and just rolls it away. Engineers created the surfaces by combining micro-etched patterns of channels or posts with a hydrophobic coating such as Teflon. The surfaces have a plethora of potential uses including self-cleaning tubs and toilets, more efficient ship hulls with less drag, and ice-resistant plane wings. The surfaces can also make power-generation more efficient and less costly by speeding up the condensation process. The researchers are currently experimenting with the widths and angles of the channels and posts to optimize performance of the surfaces.   




May 27, 2014 | Innovations

An electrical engineer at Stanford University has developed a way to wirelessly power and charge electronic implants safely within the body, without the need for batteries or clunky recharging mechanisms. Known as mid-field wireless transfer, the system combines both near-field and far-field electromagnetic waves. Using roughly the same power as a cell phone, the system can be used to run small electronics such as pacemakers, sensors, or nerve stimulators. Implantable medical devices can be powered and charged using a credit card-sized power source placed on the skin over the devices. This technology may someday allow doctors to use electronics to treat disease and monitor health, also known as electroceutical techniques. For example, small microimplants can be used to monitor vital systems, change neural signals in the brain, and target the delivery of drugs within the body. 

May 12, 2014 | Innovations

Researchers at the 

TryEngineering Logo
May 9, 2014 | Announcements

You may have noticed that there have been some exciting changes to TryEngineering.org! We have given the content you know a fresh new look, simplified layout, and friendlier navigation. To make TryEngineering more compatible with mobile devices, stay tuned for a mobile version of the site set to launch later this year.

We hope you enjoy these enhancements and would love to hear your feedback. For questions or comments, please contact us at tryengineering@ieee.org.

Discover the Creative Engineer in You!


The TryEngineering Team

May 6, 2014 | Innovations

What can you do if a tornado strikes and you don't have access to a storm shelter or basement? Researchers from the Department of Material Science and Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham may soon have a solution. The researchers have developed special panels that can be retrofitted for spaces like closets or bathrooms to create a tornado shelter right inside your home. During a tornado, a person or family would enter into the paneled space and latch the door. Tests have shown that the panels can protect against the force of 15 pound two-by-fours traveling at 100 miles per hour. The panel system, which passed inspection by the National Storm Shelter Association, is in the process of being manufactured, and will soon be available to the public. Check out this video of the panels being tested by the researchers in 2012.

Video courtesy of UAB News


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