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Mark Fowler | April 25, 2014

Born 140 years ago today, Guglielmo Marconi was a Nobel Prize-winning electrical engineer and an Italian inventor who is best known for pioneering long-distance radio transmission and the commercial success of radio.

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Andrew Griesmer | March 24, 2014

Born 179 years ago today, Josef Stefan was a brilliant Austrian physicist who studied radiation. He is credited with empirically deriving the relationship between the radiant energy of a blackbody and its temperature, known as the Stefan-Boltzmann law.

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Phil Kinnane | February 21, 2014

It must be an impressive sight. For people driving through the Mojave Desert from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, the world’s largest solar-based thermal power plant can be seen on the way. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generation System consists of almost 350,000 garage door-sized mirrors, all pointing the sun’s rays to large boilers at the top of three 33-story tall towers. The result is a 390 MW power station — about a fifth the generation capacity of the Hoover Dam.

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Fanny Littmarck | February 19, 2014

On this day, in the year 1473, now famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Torun, Poland. His main contribution to science was the controversial concept of a heliocentric universe. Five hundred years later, we not only accept the sun as the center of our solar system, we even support new theories of planets orbiting two stars at once.

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Fanny Littmarck | February 5, 2014

Rockets have been refined over the past 150 years or so. Until the 1920s, when liquid-fuel rockets were invented, rockets were powered by solid propellants and oxidizers. Both these bring forth issues in how they’re handled on the ground or in flight. Private space flight companies are now working on hybrid rocket innovations to solve this problem.

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Fanny Littmarck | January 13, 2014

It’s easy to navigate from place to place thanks to GPS, but what about once you actually get there — what about navigating indoors? From venues of leisure to buildings in flames, there are many situations where indoor location tracking is useful. GPS technology does not work inside buildings, but there are now other methods under development that will make indoor navigation possible as well.

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Fanny Littmarck | December 13, 2013

You’ve heard the story: a couple of scientists discovered graphene when they repeatedly pulled a strip of adhesive tape off a layer of graphite. Graphene has been all the rage due to its incredible strength, low weight, and electronic properties, but it’s not the only material of its kind. There are plenty of other 2D materials to consider for electrical applications — some of which may work together with graphene, and others that can be used in its place.

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Alexandra Foley | December 4, 2013

In the past, we’ve discussed a few of the extraordinary uses of 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) technology by some innovative engineers, and even printed a few of our COMSOL models. In one of our previous posts on 3D printing, we discussed some of the limitations that this technique poses from both a consumer and manufacturing stand-point — you can only print one material at a time. Now however, as was mentioned in an article in Desktop Engineering, not only […]

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Alexandra Foley | November 25, 2013

At the COMSOL Conference in Boston, Lam Research Corporation held a keynote talk about Moore’s law and its role in computational modeling. The keynote touched on how Moore’s law has not only impacted the advancement of simulation tools, but also how the development of these tools have themselves allowed Moore’s law to hold true. The concept was something that interested me, and I know it’s been on the minds of many electrical engineers as well. Case in point, when browsing […]

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Fanny Littmarck | August 20, 2013

The same window that allows natural light into your home also brings about an increase in your air-conditioning bill. While certain measures have been taken to improve the energy efficiency of windows, they still account for a large portion of buildings’ energy costs. As unfavorable as that is, we ultimately want our buildings to have windows, and tend to accept the sunlight in/energy bill up trade-off. However, advancements are currently underway to improve this trade-off by lessening the energy charges […]

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Fanny Littmarck | July 25, 2013

From supporting research to creating custom prosthesis, what doesn’t 3D printing seem to promise these days? We all know 3D printing has arrived, and the technology is already being put into practice by companies and tech-savvy consumers everywhere. It seems there’s a new 3D printing success story published every day, and no matter how fascinating, it makes you wonder about the wider repercussions and limitations of 3D printing.

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