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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.

November 11, 2013 | Innovations

Engineers at the University of Washington have designed a system that enables wireless devices to be operated without the use of batteries. The system works by making use of what is known as "ambient backscatter"; or the TV and cellular transmissions that surround us every day. The engineers equipped pairs of small devices about the size of  credit cards with antennas, enabling them to detect TV signals, convert them to electrical power, and then reflect them to one another to communicate in a manner somewhat akin to Morse code. The engineers were able to get the devices to successfully communicate even when 6.5 miles away from a TV tower; and with a transmission rate large enough to send and receive data such as a sensor reading, text, or contact information when 2.5 feet apart outdoors. Examples of applications of this technology might include monitoring bridge integrity, wearable devices, smart homes, or autonomous sensor networks. 


October 22, 2013 | Student Opportunities

To coincide with the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Valeo is inviting students from engineering, technical and science schools and universities from around the world to take an active role in automotive innovation by designing equipment that will help build smarter and more intuitive cars by 2030. Students from engineering, technical and science schools and universities will have the opportunity to develop daring and revolutionary solutions for the future.

Up for grabs: €100,000 for the winning team. And 2nd and 3rd place teams will also get €10,000 each!

Complete information about the contest as well as the online application form can be found at: www.valeo.com in the valeo-innovation-challenge section: https://valeoinnovationchallenge.valeo.com

Entries may be submitted beginning Wednesday, September 11, 2013 and must be received by 8:00 pm CET on Friday, February 14, 2014. 

October 18, 2013 | Announcements

Explore what

October 15, 2013 | Student Opportunities

Rockwell Automation invites FIRST teams participating in FIRST LEGO League (FLL), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), and FIRSTRobotics Competition (FRC) to create and submit a short video (1 minute or less) that answers the question: What could your team engineer that would have a positive impact on your community and our world?

Teams have the chance to win team grants totaling up to $10,000 to be split among the winning teams.

Entries must be received by 31 October 2013.

Enter today!

October 10, 2013 | Innovations

Disney researchers have developed technology that can generate electric current by simply tapping a piece of paper with one’s finger. The system, known as The Paper Generator employs an electrode made up of a sheet of Teflon between two conductive sheets of metallized polyester. Teflon is an electret, meaning that it can carry a semi-permanent electric charge. Therefore, when paper is rubbed against the Teflon sheet an electric charge is accumulated. Moving the electrodes relative to each other against the sheet generates a tiny alternating current of  just a few hundred microamperes but up to 1000 volts. This can be used to light LEDs, activate e-ink paper displays, sound a buzzer, or trigger actions by a computer. Check out a demonstration in the video below!


September 27, 2013 | Announcements

education fair logo

Mark your calendars! Learn about free pre-university engineering, computing and technology education resources at the IEEE Education Fair, 21–24 Oct 2013.

Register today for free at http://bit.ly/16XUKwt†

September 13, 2013 | Innovations

Researchers at Washington State University’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering are working to engineer safer sports balls. The group developed a virtual softball model

September 6, 2013 | Innovations

model helicopterEngineering and computer science researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are developing an unmanned aerial vehicle that can collect water samples in dangerous or difficult-to-reach places. The six-rotor copter is designed to †collect three 20-milliliter samples in a single trip. The researchers are working to program the vehicle to perform onboard analysis of samples; enabling it to keep viable samples and discard those that are not useful or interesting. Eventually, the researchers envision that the copter will be completely autonomous, allowing scientists to simply enter desired global positioning data which the drone would then follow to collect its samples. In the upcoming year, the researchers will also be working to develop algorithms to improve the copter’s safety and reliability.

August 12, 2013 | Innovations

Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University recently received grant funding from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to study the effect of Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) on the body, and drugs to counteract those effects using its Organs-on-Chips technology. Organs-on-chips are tiny microfluidic devices lined with human cells that mimic the complex physiology of organs such as the heart, lungs, or stomach. ARS is a serious illness that occurs when the body receives a high dose of radiation, usually over a short period of time, such as in a nuclear disaster. Earlier this year the team modeled human pulmonary edema using Lung-on-a-Chip technology. Organs-on-Chips technology could help avoid the ethical and accuracy concerns involved with conducting testing on animals. The technology could be used in future research to model disease, test pharmaceuticals, and screen for environmental toxins.

August 1, 2013 | Innovations

Engineers at the


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