Hi-Tech Implants Offer Hope for Medical Disabilities

It sounds like science fiction, but neural prosthetics are a reality, with the potential to change the lives of individuals with a range of medical disabilities including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and spinal cord injuries.

Neural prosthetics are miniature bioengineered devices that are implanted in the brain. The prosthetics serve as replacements for damaged nerves, just as a prosthetic arm or leg replaces an amputated one, or a cochlear implant simulates the auditory nerve in a deaf ear.

The ongoing research and development of neural prosthetics is a multidisciplinary effort involving neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, materials scientists and mechanical engineers.

America Gets Ready to Celebrate Engineering

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – February 19-25, 2012, is Engineers Week, or EWeek, a celebration of the engineering profession and a focal point for public awareness programs showcasing engineering and technology. This national event is held each year during the week of President George Washington’s Birthday; many consider George Washington to be the nation’s first engineer.
Schools, corporations, museums, government and media groups and technical organizations across the country will join together in the outreach effort, sponsoring various programs and activities to spotlight engineering and promote careers in the field.
A focus of EWeek 2012 will be science, technology, engineering and math education awareness, better known as STEM education, and many organizations will carry out programs that aim to create visibility for the profession in the precollege education sector. For instance, ASME (the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) will conduct the Inspire Innovation workshop, which will bring together engineers and K-12 teachers for a daylong program of fun, enrichment and knowledge-sharing.
“A thrust of the workshop is to motivate K-12 students to consider careers in the engineering profession, and also to inspire K-12 teachers to incorporate engineering into lesson plans as well as learn about tools and resources that can influence effective classroom instruction,” said Victoria A. Rockwell, the president of ASME.
In another Engineers Week 2012 program, ASME is launching the “DiscoverE Educator Recognition Awards” to teachers in grades 6-12 who demonstrate success in inspiring students to discover engineering. The awards will be presented in Washington, D.C., site of other EWeek events, including the Future City competition.
While the nation’s capital will host several Engineers Week 2012 activities, towns and communities everywhere are encouraged to join in the celebration. Other staples of Engineers Week include “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” and the announcement of the “New Faces of Engineering,” which features rising stars of the profession.
Experts believe that the United States is facing a shortage of scientific and engineering talent and skills required to develop next-generation technologies enabling the U.S. to compete in the global market. Engineers Week goes a long way toward solving this problem, while also celebrating the many ways that engineers and engineering contribute to the betterment of our quality of life across the world. For information, visit www.asme.org.

America Gets Ready to Celebrate Engineering

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – February 19-25, 2012, is Engineers Week, or EWeek, a celebration of the engineering profession and a focal point for public awareness programs showcasing engineering and technology. This national event is held each year during the week of President George Washington’s Birthday; many consider George Washington to be the nation’s first engineer.
Schools, corporations, museums, government and media groups and technical organizations across the country will join together in the outreach effort, sponsoring various programs and activities to spotlight engineering and promote careers in the field.
A focus of EWeek 2012 will be science, technology, engineering and math education awareness, better known as STEM education, and many organizations will carry out programs that aim to create visibility for the profession in the precollege education sector. For instance, ASME (the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) will conduct the Inspire Innovation workshop, which will bring together engineers and K-12 teachers for a daylong program of fun, enrichment and knowledge-sharing.
“A thrust of the workshop is to motivate K-12 students to consider careers in the engineering profession, and also to inspire K-12 teachers to incorporate engineering into lesson plans as well as learn about tools and resources that can influence effective classroom instruction,” said Victoria A. Rockwell, the president of ASME.
In another Engineers Week 2012 program, ASME is launching the “DiscoverE Educator Recognition Awards” to teachers in grades 6-12 who demonstrate success in inspiring students to discover engineering. The awards will be presented in Washington, D.C., site of other EWeek events, including the Future City competition.
While the nation’s capital will host several Engineers Week 2012 activities, towns and communities everywhere are encouraged to join in the celebration. Other staples of Engineers Week include “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” and the announcement of the “New Faces of Engineering,” which features rising stars of the profession.
Experts believe that the United States is facing a shortage of scientific and engineering talent and skills required to develop next-generation technologies enabling the U.S. to compete in the global market. Engineers Week goes a long way toward solving this problem, while also celebrating the many ways that engineers and engineering contribute to the betterment of our quality of life across the world. For information, visit www.asme.org.

Engineers Bring Hope to Developing Nations

Medical professionals, missionaries and other volunteer organizations work to bring emergency relief to natural disaster and poverty victims. But other career fields can provide aid as well. For example, engineers often build emergency shelters and design sustainable technology to provide assistance and hope throughout the developing world.

Humanitarian engineering is defined as “design under constraints to directly improve the well being of underserved populations.” It has roots dating back to the French Revolution, when a group of engineers at the Ecole Polytechnic decided to use their technical skills to work for social justice.

Engineers Bring Hope to Undeveloped Nations

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Humanitarian outreach to the victims of natural disasters and poverty oftentimes includes the work of medical professionals, missionaries and other volunteer organizations in an effort to bring emergency relief, aid and comfort. Now, engineers are responding to the growing need to serve in humanitarian roles, building emergency shelters and designing sustainable technology systems to provide assistance and hope in many areas of the developing world.

Humanitarian engineering has come to be defined as “design under constraints to directly improve the wellbeing of underserved populations.” It has roots dating back to the French Revolution, when a group of engineers at the Ecole Polytechnic debunked Napoleon’s military aims and sought instead to employ their technical skills to work for social justice.

More than 200 years later, engineers remain dedicated to helping those in need. Today’s

socially conscious engineers, particularly students, are working on the scene in underdeveloped communities around the world, to help create a new future for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. For example, seven engineering students at Dartmouth College recently visited the village of Banda, Rwanda, to design and build a small-scale hydropower system to provide lighting for local residents. After the system was installed, the students trained the villagers on its operations and sustainable maintenance.

Recently, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) created a Web-based open-source project hosted by Western Kentucky University, in which engineers and engineering students collaborated on the design of a human-powered water purifier for use in remote regions of the developing world and locations affected by natural disasters and other catastrophes.

ASME is a partner with the group Engineers Without Borders-USA, which operates more than 400 projects in water treatment, renewable energy and sanitation in about 45 developing countries worldwide. Academic institutions, such as Valparaiso University in Indiana and the Colorado School of Mines, are teaching the value of the engineers’ worth to society by establishing a humanitarian engineering minor within the core curriculum.

At ASME, a good mechanical engineer is many things, among them a public servant. Going forward, ASME will encourage engineers to use their skills and expertise to create lasting solutions to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities in need. For information about ASME, visit www.asme.org.

Engineers Finding Work Despite Economy

Recent surveys on the U.S. labor market point to favorable employment opportunities for engineers and scientists, even in today’s struggling economy.

According to statistics compiled at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the nation’s engineering workforce of more than 1.7 million professionals is expected to increase by 11 percent through 2016. In addition, studies of the science and engineering labor force conducted by the National Science Foundation note that the strong growth in technology jobs over the past two decades will continue, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the total labor market.

Positive Trends in the Engineering Workforce

<b>Positive Trends in the Engineering Workforce</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Recent surveys on the U.S. labor market point to favorable employment opportunities for engineers and scientists, even in today’s struggling economy.

According to statistics compiled at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the nation’s engineering workforce of more than 1.7 million professionals is expected to increase by 11 percent through 2016. In addition, studies of the science and engineering labor force conducted by the National Science Foundation note that the strong growth in technology jobs over the past two decades will continue, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the total labor market.

Engineers and scientists are earning good starting salaries as well. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 12 of the 15 highest-earning college degrees are in engineering. Starting salaries in petroleum engineering average $83,121, while mechanical, aeronautical, and industrial engineers can expect offers in the mid to high-50,000’s.

The positive employment trends and boost in salaries are encouraging indeed for ASME and other organizations that advocate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. ASME also encourages ongoing continuing education and skills enhancement, which foster sustained career development and enrichment.

Early-career engineers as well as more seasoned engineers have many resources for continuing education and professional development, including ASME, which offers short courses in a variety of disciplines like power engineering and bioprocess technology. In addition, the Professional Practice Curriculum at ASME allows engineers, particularly those in the early stages of their careers, to access learning modules on topics ranging from intellectual property and negotiation to team building and risk assessment.

Engineers may also choose to augment technical skills with skills and aptitude in marketing, strategic planning, accounting, financial systems and project management. With innovation becoming increasingly important, companies require managers who can speak the language of both technology and business to effectively manage and negotiate projects in the global marketplace.

For an engineer in a workplace that is demanding ever-changing skill sets, education goes beyond a college degree. Learning must be a lifelong endeavor. For information on engineering workforce development, contact ASME at www.asme.org.

Engineering a Greener World

<b>Engineering a Greener World</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Having pushed its way to the forefront of the national news, the green movement and energy debate have set into motion ambitious initiatives and programs, ranging from the increased use of electric vehicles to the further development of bio-fuels for electric power generation. Now, joining in on the movement are America’s engineers.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), in collaboration with IEEE-USA, developed a “National Energy Policy Goals Proclamation” outlining critical national energy priorities that the two societies would like to see implemented by Congress within the upcoming years.

Considered by many to be on the frontlines for a response to the nation’s energy challenges, the engineering industry rose to the occasion in overwhelming support of this proclamation. In total, 21 engineering societies, representing more than 1 million engineers, embraced the proclamation’s message.

One of the top messages that the proclamation pushes is for the modernization of the nation’s electric transmission grid. “The electric grid that exists in the country today has served the country

well for decades, but a redesigned and re-engineered system is needed that builds on the grid that is in place and makes use of the most advanced control technology available. It must support bringing electricity generated by new sustainable, economic and environmentally acceptable technologies to load centers around the country.”

While many groups call for abandoning all nonrenewable resources, engineers know that it’s not that easy. Engineers want to find eco-friendly energy sources, like biomass, solar and wind power. The proclamation emphasizes drawing energy from a broad range of sources, including coal, petroleum, nuclear, natural gas, solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydroelectric power.

By creating concise, effective measures to adapt to climate change through carbon mitigation, the proclamation aims to provide a long-term commitment to energy research, development and demonstration.

ASME has many members who work in the energy sector, and during the 129-year existence of the organization, it has been a source of new ideas and knowledge. As such, ASME is a credible and trusted player in the energy industry. For more information, visit www.asme.org.

Sir Isaac Newton, Baseball Coach

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Many baseball coaches and trainers believe that one of the keys to good performance and career longevity for pitchers is proper form and mechanics. Coaches go to great lengths to teach pitchers, even those in Little League, the correct rotation of the hips during delivery, the proper release point of the pitch and other nuances, as well as to point out the mechanical flaws that a player might display when throwing a baseball.

Instructional approaches vary from coach to coach and team to team. Mike Marshall, the former major league baseball hurler, teaches an interesting pitching methodology. It is based on Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion.

Marshall, who played in the major leagues for 14 years and won baseball’s most prestigious pitching honor, the Cy Young Award, in 1974, believes “pitchers of all ages would be very well served by learning and applying the three laws of motion correctly,” he says in Mechanical Engineering magazine.

Proper biomechanics based on Newton’s law of inertia, law of acceleration, and law of reaction, says Marshall, could solve basic flaws in pitching delivery and promote physical health and career longevity. Marshall, the recipient of a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Michigan State University in 1974, believes that traditional pitching methodologies advanced by baseball coaches at all levels contradict the laws of physics.

Marshall applies Newtonian principles to every aspect of a baseball pitcher’s windup, arm and leg movement, delivery and follow-through. Mastery of the three laws, says Marshall, could erase flaws in leg thrust, rotation of the body, release point of the baseball toward home plate and position of the shoulders, forearm and elbow of the throwing arm.

Marshall’s approach is to reduce “the unnecessary force that bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles must overcome” when a pitcher throws a baseball, according to Mechanical Engineering, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The report concludes: “According to Marshall, the traditional pitching techniques are almost always taught with a minimal understanding of the underlying biomechanics — this practice must be replaced with the vastly increased knowledge and understanding we have acquired through medical science.”

ASME, through the organization’s Bioengineering Division and other programs and activities, explores the application of mechanical engineering knowledge and principles to the life sciences, including human health and rehabilitation. For more information, visit www.asme.org.