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Engineering & Technology

Issue 7 • Date August 2013

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 44
  • Engineering & Technology - Cover

    Page(s): c1
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    Displays the front cover. View full abstract»

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  • Page plan [Home Page Contents]

    Page(s): 3
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    Displays the table of contents. View full abstract»

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  • Editor's letter [Opinion Editorial]

    Page(s): 4
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    Are you reading this on a plane on your way to sunnier climes? Have you noticed the ride is a bit bumpier than it used to be? In this month's cover story we hear how global warming is creating more turbulence on transatlantic flights. Does that matter? It sure matters to some passengers who don't much like flying in the first place but it also matters to those who want to get their fast: more turbulence means longer journey times. It also means higher fuel consumption and more carbon emissions. View full abstract»

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  • World News [News Briefing]

    Page(s): 6 - 7
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  • The bigger picture [Transport XploreAir XI]

    Page(s): 8
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    Upwardly mobile British commuters got a glimpse of the future last month when the designers of the XploreAir XI unveiled what's claimed to be the world's first flying bicycle during Green Transport Week. View full abstract»

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  • News

    Page(s): 10
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    The civil aviation authorities of Indonesia and Myanmar have instructed Merpati Nusantara Airlines and Myanmar Airways to ground their Chinese-made MA-60 aircraft fleets for airworthiness checks following a series of accidents. View full abstract»

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  • The graphic [News Briefing]

    Page(s): 12
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (16874 KB)  

    Nasa's twin Voyager spacecraft 1 and 2 are now on their way to leave the Solar System. Their journeys have taken almost 36 years. View full abstract»

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  • Element six focuses diamond R&D on Harwell

    Page(s): 13
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (790 KB)  

    Element Six, the industrial synthetic diamond subsidiary of De Beers, has consolidated its R&D operations at a UK site close to the Rutherford Appleton laboratories in the hope that by bringing a number of teams together it will open up more applications for diamond and similar ultra-hard materials. With three high-temperature presses already in place able to develop pressures up to 8GPa - today commercial synthetic diamonds are made with pressures of less than 6GPa -the centre has space for eight and will install a 10GPa-capable machine in the near future. As a result, services such as power played a key role in site selection. View full abstract»

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  • Medical devices need tighter regs - but how much tighter?

    Page(s): 13
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (790 KB)  

    Recent scandals have made the EU think again about its medical device regulation. Legislation is afoot to tighten up the rules as to what medical devices - from pacemakers to breast implants and artificial hips - are allowed on to the European market. But are European lawmakers about to go too far? Could we end up with the sclerotic approval system they have in the US, where products take years to get to market? The medical device manufacturers and some experts seem to think so. View full abstract»

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  • News

    Page(s): 14
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  • Business focus [News finance]

    Page(s): 16
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    Judging by its recent financial figures, software services giant Oracle looks as if it is being buffeted by the headwinds of the growing cloud computing market. View full abstract»

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  • Special Report: 50th Paris Air Show [NEWS BRIEFING]

    Page(s): 18 - 19
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    Mark Williamson and Mark Venables report from the 50th Paris Air Show, held at Le Bourget in June. View full abstract»

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  • Manufacturers must face up to a stark choice: adapt or die [News Analysis]

    Page(s): 20 - 21
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    The manufacturing sector has borne the brunt of recent technological advances, but according to an exhaustive report conducted by Oxford economics for software giant PTc, and unveiled at PTc Live global in Los angeles, that change will intensify. View full abstract»

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  • 'Game-changing' british car in solar challenge [News Briefing]

    Page(s): 22
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    A SOLAR-POWERED vehicle featuring innovations in almost every area of its design will be the only British entry in the World Solar Challenge, a gruelling 3,000km race down the length of Australia from Darwin to Adelaide, starting in October 2013. View full abstract»

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  • Comment [Opinion First Person]

    Page(s): 23
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    NEWS OF the recent summit talks between US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, provoked perhaps unrealistic optimism that the growing issue of cyber espionage - widely considered to be high on the agenda - would reach some conclusion. View full abstract»

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  • Your Letters [Opinion Feedback]

    Page(s): 24
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  • For and against [Debate Digital Privacy]

    Page(s): 26 - 27
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    As 'e-tailing' and social media services get to know more and more about our behaviour patterns, we ask two experts whether the gathering of personal data is an invasion of our privacy. View full abstract»

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  • Do grads make the grade? [Careers Graduate Skills]

    Page(s): 28 - 31
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1714 KB)  

    Demand for engineers in general is growing, from industry, commerce and the public sector. However, relatively few new graduates end up pursuing engineering as a career. Attempting to remedy this problem, Semta - the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies - has helped to boost apprentice numbers and the value of engineering apprenticeships. The problem remains encouraging people into the profession. The government and engineering organisations have launched initiatives such as the 'Big Bang Fair', the `Make It In Great Britain' initiative and the `Tomorrow's Engineers' programme, promoting the profession and drawing people to consider it as a career. View full abstract»

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  • New ways to pay [Communications Near Field]

    Page(s): 32 - 35
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1353 KB)  

    The way consumers pay for goods has evolved for years, and contactless payment is the just the latest in convenience, but will it ever gain full acceptance? Contactless payment, also dubbed wave and pay' or 'tap and go', offers consumers a different method of paying for lower-valued goods, at £20 and under. Ironically though, `contactless' does not always mean contactless. Transactions require close and sometimes physical contact using a contactless-enabled card or near-field communication (NFC) smartphone over a contactless reader. Credit card companies have issued their own contactless offerings, such as PayPass (Mastercard) and PayWave (Visa), while Barclaycard has taken things a step further and released PayTag - an NFC-equipped sticker that can turn any mobile phone into a contactless payment device. Mobile phone vendors such as HTC, Samsung, Google and LG have manufactured NFC-enabled handsets as an alternative method of payment. Though Apple's involvement in contactless payment has so far been non-existent, it is rumoured that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued the company a patent for a system that uses NFC for its speculated `iWallet', a feature reportedly planned for the iPhone 5S. View full abstract»

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  • Inner voice [Information Technology Voice Recognition]

    Page(s): 36 - 37
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1020 KB)  

    Around 90 per cent of face-to-face communication is commonly believed to consist of body language - and only when you speak or email would you realise this. This explains why, as soon as the telephone was invented, the protocol of the 'telephone voice' was adopted. But a telephone conversation is still preferable to an email if you really want to convey the meaning of a message. There are subtle gradations in how we say things in business and in our personal lives. Thus it has always been a challenge for computers to recognise the human voice and the meaning in a sentence. The pioneering Dragon Speech Recognition software was invented in 1975 and first appeared on PCs for Microsoft DOS a few years later. The technology has advanced steadily in the intervening period and the software has changed ownership several times, most recently acquired by Nuance. View full abstract»

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  • Interview [Design and Production 3D Printing]

    Page(s): 38 - 40
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    "THESE COFFEE CUPS are pretty bog-standard. A tin glaze, ??6 or ??7 to produce." Ceramicist Shane Williams is making a point: the lone potter can't compete with the mass market these days. He's been diversifying. He was up till 3am last night. Not on his wheel but trying to get parts of the 3D printer that he has built working. His is an invention that could see people printing at home cheaply and from varied materials. But more of that later. View full abstract»

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  • Dirty manufacturing [Manufacturing Energy]

    Page(s): 42 - 44
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1261 KB)  

    Despite their best endeavours to become more energy-efficient the global manufacturing sector will not meet its targets for limiting climate change, scuppering any hopes of the UK meeting its 2050 carbon reduction targets. Combined research from the United States and Europe has analysed the potential for energy reduction in manufacturing by looking at the five materials whose production consumes the most energy. These materials - steel, cement, paper, plastics and aluminium - represent roughly half of energy used and more than half of carbon dioxide emitted in the manufacturing sector. View full abstract»

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  • Predicting the elements [Control Disaster Prevention]

    Page(s): 45 - 47
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    On 20 May this year, a massive and powerful tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma. With peak winds of 340km/h, the 2km wide tornado tore through the heavily populated town on a 27km long path across the Oklahoma City region, killing 24 people and ripping down 13,000 homes, schools, farms and businesses. Water supplies were cut, more than 61,500 power outages were registered and Oklahoma Department for Insurance estimates claims will top $1bn. This twister was one of 53 in a large, violent weather system that swept across the midwestern United States and lower Great Plains from 18 to 21 May, killing two more people. What's more, this spate of tornadoes came only a day after a 23-strong outbreak that spanned Texas, Louisiana and Alabama, killing six people. Set these against a back-drop of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and tsunamis that take place worldwide, year in, year out, and one fact becomes very clear; each and every extreme weather event is so very difficult to predict. View full abstract»

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  • Never stop [Control Disaster Management]

    Page(s): 48 - 51
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    It is 25 YEARS since tragedy struck in the North Sea. One hundred and sixty seven people died in the Piper Alpha fire on 6 July 1988, making it the world's worst offshore oil disaster. The majority of the victims suffocated in toxic fumes that developed after a gas leak set off the blasts and sparked the fire. Lessons were taken on board, but are these lessons still at the heart of oil and gas management culture? Recent evidence would suggest that they aren't and that possibly companies still give too much credence to personal safety issues rather than looking at the bigger picture of process safety. View full abstract»

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  • Turbulent times [Transport Aerospace]

    Page(s): 52 - 55
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2416 KB)  

    Climate change has been blamed for a dizzying array of problems - melting ice caps, severe storms, species migration, death and destruction - but one of the more specific phenomena be attribute to it is bumpier flights. Turbulence is the dread of most air passengers. Despite endless reassurances that modern planes can withstand the wildest turbulence the atmosphere has to offer, even the gentlest of bumps has some passengers grabbing their armrests in alarm. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

Engineering & Technology is the IET's flagship magazine featuring analysis, news, innovation announcements, job advertisements and careers advice.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Dickon Ross
IET