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Engineer grows giant ice pyramids to store water

Sonam Wangchuk is an engineer who has come up with an innovative way to provide fresh water to villages in Ladakh, one of the high-altitude deserts in the world located in the Himalayas.

Wangchuk sources water from streams and uses it to create artificial glaciers, which store fresh water until it’s needed in springtime.

The inventor—whose past projects include solar-powered buildings and efficient cookstoves—won a Rolex Award for Enterprise in 2016. He is using the winnings to establish a pan-Himalayan research university that will address the region’s environmental concerns.

Wangchuk hopes that if locals adapt now, their descendants won’t become climate refugees. “We in the mountains are minorities, not just ethnically but climatewise,” he says. “Things that work in New York or New Delhi do not work in the mountains. We have to find our own solutions for our problems.”

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World’s first electrified road opens in Sweden

The world’s first electric road, which can charge commercial and passenger vehicles while on the move, has opened in Sweden.

The road, which is right outside of Stockholm, recharges batteries of electric cars and trucks by transferring energy from two tracks of rail underneath the vehicles. As cars and trucks drive a moveable arm detects their location and automatically moves into contact with them. The road is connected to the power grid and is divided into sections that only receive and provide power when there are vehicles present. The system is set up so that the cost of however much electricity is used gets charged to the individual drivers.

The project has been pioneered by eRoadArlanda, a consortium of 22 companies including Sweden’s national postal service, PostNord, and energy giant Vattenfall.

It is estimated that the innovation can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent and could help Sweden meet its target to significantly decarbonise its transport sector. The government has a target of reducing carbon emissions by 70 percent in the sector by 2030.

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The darkest building on earth: An Olympic pavilion sprayed in Vantablack

The darkest building on earth: An Olympic pavilion sprayed in Vantablack

Architect Asif Khan designed a pavilion for the PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony coated in Vantablack VBx2, a highly coveted pigment which consists of carbon nanotubes that absorb 99% of light, making it difficult to make out shapes and textures on its surface. Khan creates a starry sky effect with the addition of thousands of illuminated rods extending from the facade.

Vantablack is perhaps most famous for being licensed exclusively to the sculptor of Anish Kapoor, a controversial designation that hasn’t made Kapoor too popular with his fellow artists and spawned some passive-aggressive sparring. Ben Jensen of Surrey Nanosystems, which created the material, says Vantablack will never be a retail product because it has to be applied by specialist contractors using a technique that forms a consistent nanostructure.

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Saudi Arabia Vision 2030: Growth, Diversification & Transformation of the Economy

Saudi Vision 2030

Saudi Vision 2030 is an economic roadmap which will end the Kingdom’s dependence on oil revenue.

The historic vision was developed by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which is chaired by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It includes a number of goals and reform strategies for the Kingdom’s long-term economic success, including reductions in subsidies, the creation of a sovereign wealth fun, opening Saudi Aramco to private investment through a partial IPO, and reforms to several industries including tourism and defense.

The vision is built around three primary themes: a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation.

In order to achieve a vibrant society, Saudi Arabia will focus on its people and the Islamic faith. This will happen through a series of commitments, including:

  • Increasing the number of Umrah visitors from 8 million to 30 million annually.
  • Establishing the largest Islamic museum in the world.
  • Doubling the number of Saudi heritage sites registered with UNESCO.
  • Promoting the growth of cultural and entertainment opportunities within the Kingdom.
  • Encouraging healthy lifestyles so that the number of citizens who exercise once a week increases from 13 to 40 percent.
  • Developing Saudi cities so that three are recognized in the 100 top-ranked cities in the world.

In order to achieve a thriving economy, Saudi Arabia will diversify its economy and create dynamic job opportunities for its citizens. This will happen through commitments to education, entrepreneurship and innovation, including:

  • Diversifying the Kingdom’s economy through the ongoing privatization of state-owned assets, including establishing a sovereign wealth fund that will be financed through the partial IPO of Saudi Aramco.
  • Unlocking underdeveloped industries such as manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism. This includes localizing more than 50 percent of Saudi military spending by 2030 to decrease the dependence on foreign military contracts.
  • Modernizing the curriculum and standards of Saudi educational institutions from childhood to higher learning. By 2030, Saudi Arabia will have at least five universities among the top 200 universities in the world.
  • Refocusing on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by encouraging financial assistance. Increasing the contribution of SMEs to GDP from 20 to 35 percent by 2030.

In order to be an ambitious nation, Saudi Arabia will focus on accountability, transparency and effectiveness in its governing strategy. Sustainable success can only be achieved with solid foundations. In order to realize this potential, the Kingdom will:

  • Establish zero tolerance for all levels of corruption.
  • Boost transparency by expanding online services and improving governance standards.
  • Establish the King Salman Program for Human Capital Development in order to train more than 500,000 government employees in best practices.
  • Bolster the non-profit sector through increased efficiency and impact.

The Saudi Vision 2030 plan is the first step towards achieving Saudi Arabia’s economic aspirations and transforming the lives of citizens.

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Artificially-intelligent robots. Self-driving cars. Neuro-technological brain enhancements. Genetic editing. The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed.

Previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different. It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.

-World Economic Forum

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Greater Sydney: A metropolis of “three cities”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the NSW State Infrastructure Strategy, the Future Transport Strategy 2056 and the Greater Sydney Region Plan.

The Vision for Greater Sydney

By 2056, Greater Sydney will be a metropolis of ‘three cities’ – an Eastern Harbour City, Central River City and Western Parkland City. Residents will be able to access jobs and services within 30 minutes. Newcastle, Wollongong and Gosford will be important economic hubs with key transport and freight gateways, and strong service-based industries.

To meet the needs of a growing and changing population the vision seeks to transform Greater Sydney into a metropolis of three cities:

• the Western Parkland City
• the Central River City
• the Eastern Harbour City

Greater Sydney

The vision brings new thinking to land use and transport patterns to boost Greater Sydney’s liveability, productivity and sustainability by spreading the benefits of growth. As the population of Greater Sydney is projected to grow to 8 million over the next 40 years, and with almost half of that population residing west of Parramatta, rebalancing economic and social opportunities will leverage that growth and deliver the benefits more equally and equitably across Greater Sydney. Residents will have quick and easy access to jobs and essential services. Housing supply and choice will increase to meet the growing and changing needs of the community. The environment and precious resources will be protected. Importantly, infrastructure will be sequenced to support growth and delivered concurrently with new homes and jobs.

Having three cities, each with supporting metropolitan and strategic centres, will put workers closer to knowledge intensive jobs, city-scale infrastructure and services, entertainment and cultural facilities. In an inclusive Greater Sydney freedom of expression and creativity will be supported and acknowledged as part of the innovation economy. Managing and retaining industrial land close to centres and transport will ensure critical services are available to support businesses and residents. Green infrastructure such as urban tree canopy, green ground cover, bushland, waterways, parks and open spaces will be valued for its economic, social and environmental benefits and will help to establish the Greater Sydney Green Grid, a network of walking and cycling links that will become increasingly important in daily travel arrangements improving sustainability and the wellbeing of residents.

The vision of A Metropolis of Three Cities will be achieved by collaborations between all tiers of government, and between governments and key stakeholders including the community, interest groups, businesses, industry groups and non government organisations. The Western Sydney City Deal, a partnership of the Australian Government, NSW Government and the local governments of the Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Penrith and Wollondilly will be instrumental in delivering on the aspirations of the Western Parkland City.

Greater Sydney is already an outstanding global city with a reputation for liveability and cultural diversity that attracts international investment and appeals to visitors.

A Metropolis of Three  Cities will build on its social, economic and environmental assets to improve the quality of life for all its residents and to uphold its status as one of the top cities of the world.

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Falcon Heavy and Starman

Falcon Heavy and Starman

This video is a glimpse of our future as a civilisation. Elon Musk and his brilliant team at SpaceX are visionaries and we cannot wait to see where they will take us next!

When Falcon Heavy lifted off, it became the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)—a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.

Following liftoff, the two side boosters separated from the center core and returned to landing site for future reuse.

Falcon Heavy put a Tesla Roadster and its passenger, Starman, into orbit around the sun. At max velocity Starman and the Roadster will travel 11 km/s (7mi/s) and travel 400 million km (250 million mi) from Earth.

Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)—a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9.

Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.

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10 most powerful female engineers of today

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’d like to highlight ten of the most powerful female engineers of the modern world.

Microsoft’s Peggy Johnson

Peggy Johnson currently serves as Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Business Development. Before joining Microsoft, she held the position of Executive Vice President and President of Global Market Development at Qualcomm. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from San Diego State University

 

Google’s Diane Greene

Diane Greene is leading a new team in Google that combines all of the company’s cloud businesses. Google’s goal is make its cloud business bigger than its ad business by 2020. Greene holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont.

 

Apple’s Tara Bunch

Tara Bunch is vice president of AppleCare, Apple’s technical-service and support organization. Bunch joined Apple in 2012 after a 20-year career at Hewlett-Packard, where she was a senior vice president of global customer service and support operations. Bunch graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

 

Bechtel’s Barbara Rusinko

Barbara Rusinko is president of Bechtel Nuclear, Security & Environmental, Inc. (NS&E).  Barbara is a registered professional engineer with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of South Carolina, and a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Alabama – Huntsville. She serves on the corporate partnership council of the Society of Women Engineers.

Pilot’s Jessica McKellar

Jessica McKellar is founder and CTO at Pilot, a bookkeeping service. Prior to founding Pilot, Jessica was director of engineering at Dropbox and a major figure in the world of Python, a popular web-development programming language. McKellar attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and studied computer science and chemistry.

Ford’s Reates Curry

fords-reates-curry

Reates Curry has been at Ford Motor Company since 1995 working with the Driving Simulator Team. Her expertise is in the area of human-machine/computer interaction with an emphasis on developing metrics for safe and efficient in-vehicle technology design and testing of human-machine interfaces (HMIs). Curry has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University where she did her research in the area of Machine Vision.

 

Amazon’s Sharon Chiarella

Sharon Chiarella is the Vice President of Community Shopping at Amazon where she leads the team responsible for iconic Amazon experiences including Customer Reviews and Wish Lists. Prior to joining Amazon in 2007, Ms. Chiarella held leadership positions at Microsoft, Yahoo!, Kodak, and Presto Services.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Manhattan College and her MBA from Harvard Business School.

Google’s Anna Patterson

Anna_Patterson

Anna Patterson, PhD has been described as one of the most important women in technology. She is currently Founder and Managing Partner at Gradient Ventures and Vice President of Engineering at Google. Patterson received her B.S. in Computer Science and another in Electrical Engineering from Washington University and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and was a Research Scientist at Stanford University in Artificial Intelligence working with John McCarthy on Phenomenal Data Mining and Carolyn Talcott on theorem provers.

VMware’s Yanbing Li

Yanbing Li is senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s Storage and Availability business unit. The group’s products are used by over 7,000 companies, VMware says, and the team has 1000 people in 5 countries. Li has a PhD in electrical engineering and computer engineering.

Make in LA’s Noramay Cadena

noramay-cadena

Noramay Cadena is a cofounder of Make in LA, a startup accelerator focused on hardware projects. Prior to that, spent over 12 years working across multiple business units at The Boeing Company. She led process improvement strategies across large development programs to help the company break the cost curve associated with bringing large programs to market. Noramay holds an MBA, a Master’s in Engineering Systems and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering – all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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Autonomous Road Painting

Road painting is a natural fit for automation because it requires precise execution according to clear standards. Road painting jobs are can be dangerous and are very labour-intensive. But these automated systems can increase speed, cut cost and improve consistency. It’s definitely the way forward. What do you think?

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The ultimate skyscraper is becoming a reality

A key innovation in building the ultimate skyscraper is making the buildings progressively more and more intelligent…

The building on the video is the 70-storey Trump Tower which according to its structural engineer, Ahmad Rahimian is currently the world’s tallest residential tower. It’s 862 feet high or about 263 meters. In order to build a building of that height, there were a lot of new technologies introduced into the building. A key innovation is how it deals with wind, it does more than just resist it. It actually cancels it out. How does it cancel it out? By using an ingenious device called Tuned Mass Damper. A tuned mass damper is in effect a huge counterweight, a massive 600 tonne block of solid steel surrounded by shock absorbers. The device cancel the wind pressures that apply to the building and suppress the building’s motion.

In 100 years, skyscrapers like the Trump Tower have expanded to 1o-storey bricks to 100+storey steel. All of the skyscraper’s weight is eventually transferred down to the ground, this ultimately takes the strain. The buildings of the modern skyscraper begins out of sight, deep below the earth. Today’s skyscrapers can have foundations more than 100-feet deep but the nature of the ground they rest upon is a crucial factor.

But the big change is still to come. We are going to see buildings in the future  progressively become more and more intelligent. The next level of technology is going to be 100+ storeys using active control systems. This technology is already well and truly integrated into our cars, anti-lock brake system, traction control etc. It’s just a matter of time before it becomes standard features to our buildings.

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