• Magnetic freight delivery concept could slash road congestion

    A hyperloop-inspired goods delivery concept that uses linear motors to propel crates along a nation-wide network of pipes could help remove polluting freight traffic from roads and revolutionise the delivery of goods.  
    The system will send delivery crates through pipes at speeds of around 31mphThis is the claim of Magway, a London based-start up behind the scheme that has already received almost £1.5m of seed funding and grants since it was founded in 2017, including a £650,000
  • Airbus reports progress on Euclid space telescope

    Assembly is now underway on the main telescope of Euclid; the highest-performance optical instrument that Airbus has ever constructed
    The entire silicon carbide primary structure of Euclid in the Toulouse cleanroom. Image: AirbusThe Euclid mission aims to map the geometry of the “dark universe” – the regions which are too cold to emit visible light. Its telescope, the most complex that Airbus has ever designed and built, according to Philippe Pham, head of Earth observation, na
  • Brain implant electrode material shows MRI compatibility

    An alternative electrode material for brain implants has been shown to be MRI compatible and more durable compared to metal implants.
    Side-by-side look at platinum (left) and glassy carbon (right) thin-film electrodes for deep brain stimulation (Image: SDSU)Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes into the brain to produce electrical impulses that control abnormal movement, but current implant materials can present anomalies when the patient requires further medical evaluation via a
  • ABB subsea system opens new offshore opportunities

    A new subsea power distribution and conversion system could help transform offshore energy production, according to its owner, ABB.
    The subsea power unit has just completed a 3,000-hour shallow water test at a sheltered harbour in Vaasa, FinlandIn development since 2013, the new unit will allow offshore operators to access up to 100MW of power, over distances of 600km and at depths of 3,000m. This is all facilitated via a single cable from the shore, with the entire system requiring little or no
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  • November 1867: HMS Hercules

    Hyperbole and awe: the Hercules was the most powerful ship in the Royal Navy, as Jason Ford writes
    The rise of the ironclads
    The Hercules was laid down at Chatham in 1886 and emerged 337ft long with a 70ft 6in beam and a displacement of 5,226 tons. The vessel was propelled at speeds up 14 knots per hour by its giant 1,200-horsepower engines.Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard is home to a technology first that was once the toast of the nation but would be obsolete a decade after she was launche
  • May 1937: HMS Hercules

    Hyperbole and awe: the Hercules was the most powerful ship in the Royal Navy, as Jason Ford writes
    The rise of the ironclads
    The Hercules was laid down at Chatham in 1886 and emerged 337ft long with a 70ft 6in beam and a displacement of 5,226 tons. The vessel was proelled at speeds up 14 knots per hour by its giant 1,200-horsepower engines.Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard is home to a technology first that was once the toast of the nation but would be obsolete a decade after she was launched
  • Energy skills event targets students across East Anglia

    Students from Norfolk and Suffolk will be able to get a taste of careers in the energy industry at an upcoming skills event in East Anglia.Skills for Energy 2019 is taking place on Wednesday 27th November in the new £11.4m Energy Skills Centre at East Coast College, Lowestoft. According to the organisers, the event will aim to inspire the next generation of energy professionals with interactive STEM-based activities including virtual reality experiences, robot and ROV control, nautical cha
  • Super-repellent coating helps toilets save water

    Engineers at Penn State University have developed a super-repellent coating for toilets that leads to cleaner and more efficient flushing.More than 141 billion litres of water are used just to flush toilets each day, with millions of people around the world affected by water scarcity at the same time. According to the Penn State team, its coating can reduce the amount of water required to flush a toilet cleanly by 50 per cent, from six litres to just three litres.
    Engineering consumer technology
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  • Teams announced for world’s first electric air race

    Eight international teams are set to take part in next year’s Air Race E competition, the world’s first electric air race.
    The UK’s Team Condor aircraft was unveiled at the 2019 Dubai AirshowThe competition, which will see electric race planes fly wing tip to wing tip around a 5km circuit, just 10 metres above the ground and at speeds of upto 450kmh has been hailed by Air Race founder Jeff Zaltman as a significant milestone for the aviation industry that will will provide a tes
  • This week’s poll: the benefits of Bloodhound

    As the Bloodhound LSR team prepares to return from the Kalahari Desert after its successful opening round of high-speed testing, The Engineer asks what the most important benefits of the project are likely to be
    Driver Andy Green at the wheel of Bloodhound LSR on Hakskeen Pan in South Africa. Image by Charlie Spedding
    Take Our PollIt’s been a long road for Bloodhound, and The Engineer has been following the project since the very beginning. Through its design phases, the slow process of bu
  • Last week’s poll: Formula One’s zero carbon pledge

    We asked readers of The Engineer for their thoughts on Formula One’s pledge to reduce its net carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2030.Formula One has committed to making the entire sport carbon neutral by 2030 through increasing the efficiency of its racing engines and making further improvements to the energy efficiency of its factories and offices. It will also offset the carbon dioxide emissions generated by moving cars and equipment around the world to races by planting trees, working
  • Late, Great Engineers: Gustave Eiffel

    Best known for his eponymous tower in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York, Gustave Eiffel’s career was a mixture of technical achievement, public scandal and obscurity, as Nick Smith explains 
    Gustave Eiffel, 1832-1923Despite being one of the most important engineers and aerodynamicists of his age, Gustave Eiffel’s reputation ultimately rests on two instantly recognisable landmarks: the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. His monumental career spanned seven decades,
  • Britain’s approach to security and war needs a radical rethink | Letters

    Diana Francis and Richard Reeve respond to an article by Simon JenkinsIt’s a relief to read Simon Jenkins’ excellent question (We face no real threat, so why are we at war?, Journal, 15 November). Why indeed? And where does our senselessly militaristic culture come from? As Jenkins points out, the UK’s wars do it no good and inflict terrible damage on people and planet, and its opportunity costs are immense.Increasingly in recent years there has been popular questioning of indi
  • War crimes claims against UK troops need ICC scrutiny, says Labour

    Ministers urged to answer allegation that they stifled war crimes investigationsLabour has urged ministers to respond to claims of stifling war crimes investigations after it emerged that no prosecutions have been launched relating to allegations of abuse at a British army base in Iraq in 2003.The shadow attorney general, Shami Chakrabarti, said the allegations of murder, torture and sexual abuse deserved “anxious scrutiny” by the international criminal court (ICC). Downing Street de
  • No 10 denies claims it covered up war crime allegations

    ICC may investigate after claims British troops implicated in killing and torture of civiliansDowning Street has said claims the government covered up allegations of unlawful killings and abuse by British soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq are “untrue”.Details of a joint investigation by the BBC’s Panorama programme and the Sunday Times, released at the weekend, presents evidence which they claim implicates British troops in the killing of children and torture of civilians. Conti
  • Bloodhound tops 1,000 km/h in final Kalahari test

    Bloodhound has rounded out its Kalahari test programme in style, hitting 628 mph (1,010 km/h) in its final 2019 run across the Hakskeen Pan track in South Africa.Run Profile 8 saw the vehicle hit a number of pre-defined parameters, with Bloodhound reaching maximum velocity in 50 seconds. Driver Andy Green lifted off the throttle at 615 mph (989 km/h), stabilised the car and then deployed a drag parachute to slow the car safely to a halt at the 11 km mark. The four weeks of testing in the Kalahar
  • Squid discovery could revolutionise molecular engineering

    The “marvellous molecular machine” that enables a Pacific squid to change its appearance may have implications for pharmaceuticals and energy applications
    Cephalopods are fascinating creatures. Possessed of great intelligence of a form entirely alien to humans, octopus and squid have physical abilities that often defy belief. Among these is their ability to change their appearance thanks to structures in their highly complex skin that control colour and texture. Studies of the mechan
  • Engineering consumer technology: Royal flush

    Japanese toilets incorporate a fascinating array of technologies and are starting to take off in the UK. Andrew Wade reports
    Japan’s electronic toilets are something of a cultural touchstone for the rest of world. They embody the country’s forward-thinking, futuristic society, as well as its deep respect for water and ritual ablution, rooted in the Japanese ethnic religion of Shinto. For many in the west, these high-tech toilets are as quintessentially Japanese as sushi or karaoke. Y
  • War crimes court considers investigation into British military

    BBC’s Panorama alleges state covered up killings of civilians in Afghanistan and IraqThe international criminal court may investigate the British military for the first time after allegations that war crimes had been committed, the BBC has reported.The broadcaster’s Panorama programme has claimed killings of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq have been covered up by the state. Continue reading...
  • UK army accused of covering up war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan

    BBC’s Panorama alleges to have evidence of child killings, sexual abuse and tortureThe international criminal court may investigate the British military for the first time after allegations that war crimes had been committed, the BBC has reported.The broadcaster’s Panorama programme has claimed killings of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq have been covered up by the state.Continue reading...
  • Killer drones: how many are there and who do they kill?

    From lightweight surveillance devices to heavily armed attack weapons, pilotless drones are rapidly becoming a favoured tool of warfare. But are they accurate? Ethical? Here to stay?Drones – remotely piloted craft – first appeared in the 1990s when they were used for military surveillance by the US. Familiar advances in miniaturisation and cost mean they are now used for all kinds of purposes – for recreation, filming, monitoring conservation or to deliver vital medicines in re
  • Ministry of Defence response to allegations relating to the conduct of UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan

    Ministry of Defence response to allegations relating to the conduct of UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • British government and army accused of covering up war crimes

    Alleged evidence implicates UK troops in murder of children in Afghanistan and IraqThe UK government and the British army have been accused of covering up the killing of children in Afghanistan and Iraq.Leaked documents allegedly contain evidence implicating troops in killing children and the torture of civilians. Continue reading...
  • RAF Museum in row over children’s exhibition’s link to arms giant

    Critics claim interactive maths show promotes missile manufacturerOne of the country’s most prestigious military museums is at the centre of a row over its decision to host an exhibition for young children which promotes an arms giant whose missiles are being used in Yemen. The RAF Museum in north London has been criticised for hosting MathsAlive!, an immersive interactive exhibit aimed at children aged seven and over that is presented by Raytheon, the world’s third largest arms manu
  • Catching a comet

    Fast show: Andrew Wade reports on an exciting new UK-led project to intercept a long-period comet for the first time.
    Graphic concept illustrating the mission’s journey from L2 to intercept a tagret (Credit: ESA)There’s an assumption with space missions that they must be years in the planning before they’re approved for launch. In the case of Comet Interceptor, a new UK-led project to observe a long-period comet up close for the first time, that assumption couldn’t be mor
  • Lightweight heat shield protects superfast aircraft

    Carbon nanotubes form the basis of “buckypaper” material to protect hypersonic aircraft in flight
    While passengers endure 19 hour non-stop flights from London to Sydney, aerospace researchers are working on ways to speed up flight. Materials scientists from Florida State University (FSU) reports in the journal Carbon that they have developed a thin, lightweight material that they believe could help shield aircraft from the intense heat that they would experience flying at  aroun
  • Qantas flies London-Sydney direct in research flight

    Australia’s flagship airline Qantas has flown a Boeing 787 Dreamliner non-stop from London to Sydney as part of a new research programme. The flight, which touched down in Sydney after 19 hours 19 minutes, is part of the airline’s Project Sunrise, which is pushing the limits of ultra long haul passenger flight in an effort to open up new direct routes. Last month saw Qantas fly non-stop from New York to Sydney in 19 hours 16 minutes. The third and final research fight will be fr
  • Wearable wireless sensor monitors baby blood oxygen

    Researchers are developing a wearable sensor to measure a baby’s blood oxygen levels, a vital indication of the lungs’ effectiveness and whether the baby’s tissue is receiving enough oxygen.
    Prof Ulkuhan Guler shows off an early prototype of the miniaturised, wearable device that will one day monitor infants’ blood oxygen levels (Image: WPI)Prof Ulkuhan Guler, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of Worcester Polytechnic Institute’
  • The US and Britain face no existential threat. So why do their wars go on? | Simon Jenkins

    Endless conflicts in the Middle East have cost us dear, yet all we hear are absurdities about ‘keeping our streets safe from terror’Why does no one mention the war? The most militaristic, belligerent and chauvinist country I know – and also love – is the US. People fly flags from every post and see “bad guys” under every bed. When the president, Donald Trump, vows to leave the Middle East he is condemned as a traitor even by his fans.The second most belligeren
  • Swiss team develops more sustainable reinforced concrete

    Replacing steel in fibre reinforced concrete with stiff polyethylene and adjusting concrete mix reduces carbon footprint without compromising strength or consistency of wet mixture
    If human history can be divided into ages named after materials, we could now be said to be in the steel-and-glass age. But the artefacts of our previous epoch, the concrete age, are still all around us, and concrete underpins the shining structures now being built. It also comprises much of our road and rail infrastr
  • Prototyping: new methodology reduces risk and drives value

    Dominic Tribe explains how production-oriented prototyping can help reduce costs and risks for manufacturers by integrating design resources
    Until now, the upfront costs associated with the production of prototypes and the lack of an industry-wide approach to their development, has limited their potential as a cost-reduction strategy. However, this could all change with the rise of production-oriented prototyping (POP).
    Involving the same team of component and full assembly designers responsible
  • MarinaTex bioplastic wins international Dyson prize

    Lucy Hughes has been named the international winner of the James Dyson Award for her MarinaTex bioplastic material.MarinaTex looks and feels like clear plastic but is made from fish waste and agar, produced at temperatures below 100 degrees Celsius, and takes just over a month to biodegrade. With nearly half of the five million tonnes of plastic used in the UK each year coming from packaging, Lucy hopes MarinaTex can replace some of this, while also finding a stream for the half a million tonnes
  • Electrospinning device sprays bandages directly on wounds

    Researchers in the US have developed a portable electrospinning device that can manufacture a bandage and apply it directly to a wound.
    CREDIT: L.G. HUSTON AND E.A. KOOISTRA-MANNING, MONTANA TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITYThe technology, devised by a group at Montana Technological University, is based on the electrospinning process, a method for developing polymer fibres for a wide variety of applications if biocompatible materials are used, the fibres produced can be used for biomedical applications.
  • Flooding in England

    Update on current flooding situation and how the government is responding.
  • Hyundai tech reduces cabin noise by three decibels

    Hyundai has revealed details of its new noise cancellation technology, a claimed world-first that’s been six years in the making.  
    Known as RANC (Road-noise Active Noise Control), it uses velocity sensors, amplifiers and microphones to calculate vibration and noise from the road, then uses a digital signal processor (DSP) to produce an inverted soundwave to mitigate that noise. According to the Korean car giant this process takes just 0.002 seconds. By contrast, it takes around
  • Hyundai tech reduces cabin noise by 3 decibels

    Hyundai has revealed details of its new noise cancellation technology, a claimed world-first that’s been six years in the making.  
    Known as RANC (Road-noise Active Noise Control), it uses velocity sensors, amplifiers and microphones to calculate vibration and noise from the road, then uses a digital signal processor (DSP) to produce an inverted soundwave to mitigate that noise. According to the Korean car giant this process takes just 0.002 seconds. By contrast, it takes around
  • Perovskite solar cells have new potential thanks to materials study

    Researchers in Saudi Arabia have used computational modelling to determine the best materials for perovskite solar cells, an advance that could add commercial viability to the promising power source.
    Perovskite solar cells can be cheaper and easier to produce compared to silicon solar cells, but they lack long-term stability, and this has hindered their progress. The most-studied perovskites for solar applications comprise a negatively charged lead-halide inorganic skeleton, partnered with posit
  • Perovskite solar cells have new potential

    Researchers in Saudi Arabia have used computational modelling to determine the best materials for perovskite solar cells, an advance that could add commercial viability to the promising power source.
    Perovskite solar cells can be cheaper and easier to produce compared to silicon solar cells, but they lack long-term stability, and this has hindered their progress. The most-studied perovskites for solar applications comprise a negatively charged lead-halide inorganic skeleton, partnered with posit
  • 200 UK troops deploy to support flood relief

    Two hundred UK Armed Forces personnel have deployed this morning to South Yorkshire to support flood relief efforts.
  • Superconducting wind turbine passes first test

    The turbine, which uses high-temperature superconductors in its generator, could form the basis of future high-capacity wind energy systems
    A Denmark-based consortium called EcoSwing has designed, developed and manufactured a full-size superconducting generator for a 3.6 MW wind turbine, and subjected it to its first trial in which, as they report in the journal Superconductor Science and Technology, it exceeded expectations. The team conducting the test suggests that superconducting turbines mi
  • Interview: Alan Newby, director of aerospace technology and future programmes, Rolls-Royce

    Air of positivity: Rolls-Royce’s Alan Newby believes that the aviation industry needs to be bolder in stressing its positive contribution to the modern world. Stuart Nathan reportsThe aerospace industry isn’t having the easiest of rides in the public eye at the moment. It’s widely seen as an environmental malefactor, responsible for carbon emissions, noise and other pollution misdemeanours, and a movement started in Sweden known as flygskam (or ‘flight shaming’) aim
  • Field Marshal Lord Bramall obituary

    Former chief of the defence staff who served at D-day and was later embroiled in the Metropolitan Police’s Operation MidlandField Marshal Lord Bramall, who has died aged 95, was chief of the defence staff from 1982 until 1985, the pinnacle of a long military career that began just in time to land him on the beaches of Normandy as a freshly minted second lieutenant in the D-day invasion of June 1944.But in March 2015 he was drawn into the saga of claims of historical paedophilia and child a
  • Lord Bramall, former head of British armed forces, dies aged 95

    D-Day veteran was chief of defence staff in 1982 until 1985, when he retired from militaryLord Bramall, a former head of the British armed forces and a D-Day veteran, has died at the age of 95.Field Marshal Edwin Noel Westby Bramall, an Eton graduate, served in nearly all major UK military campaigns between the second world war and 1985, when he retired from the military. Continue reading...
  • If the Tories stop older veterans being held to account, the army is no longer accountable | Samira Shackle

    A pledge to end historic investigations of soldiers is undemocratic. Civilians should be able to interrogate what happens in warOver the past decade, stories about British soldiers facing prosecution for alleged crimes committed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland have steadily appeared in the news. In 2013, “Marine A”, Sgt Alexander Blackman, became the first British soldier to be convicted of battlefield murder since the second world war, after being caught on camera killing
  • Plymouth and Brunel take gold in IMechE Design Challenge

    Students from Plymouth and Brunel universities have been crowned champions of their respective categories at this year’s IMechE Design Challenge.Aimed at engineering students in their first and second years of study, the competition asks teams to design, build and implement a technical solution to a specific mechanical task. This year’s challenge demanded an autonomous device that could climb a 15mm copper pipe, weighed down with increasing loads.
    Following the participation of aroun
  • This week’s poll: Formula One’s carbon-neutrality pledge

    Will the pledge by Formula One’s governing organisation for the sport to reduce all carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2030 be effective?Take Our Poll
    Formula One has committed to making the entire sport carbon neutral by 2030 and will do this by increasing the efficiency improvements it has made in racing car engines in recent years, making further improvements to the energy efficiency of its factories, offices and other activities. It will also offset the carbon dioxide emissions genera
  • Drone mounted scanner can see through walls

    A prototype drone mounted scanner could enable emergency workers to see inside buildings and detect people who may be trapped.
    The technology uses long range radio waves to detect people inside a building. Image: University of LeedsJointly developed by engineers from University of Leeds, University of Massachusetts and Northwestern University in Xi’an in China the so-called WideSee system uses long-range radio waves to scan deep into a building.
    Morphing drone holds promise for s
  • Opioids abated with ‘injectrode’ neuromodulation technique

    An electrode that is injected into a patient as a liquid before curing inside the body could make neuromodulation therapies more reliable, less invasive and more economical.This is the claim of University of Wisconsin-Madison biomedical engineers and their collaborators whose creation – dubbed the injectrode – is described in a paper published online in Advanced Healthcare Materials.
    Neuromodulation therapies involve electrically stimulating nerves to reduce epileptic seizures,
  • Plan for three metre sea level rise, warns IMechE

    The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) is urging governments around the world to plan for sea level rises of up to three metres.
    (Credit: Putneypics via Flickr)In its new report, Rising Seas: The Engineering Challenge, the institution warns that current policies for coastal adaptation to heightened sea levels may not be adequate. IMechE said governments should be planning for sea level rises of one metre this century, but that infrastructure planning should take into account the possib
  • Young entrepreneurs: Sheana Yu of Aergo

    Seating plan: The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Fellowship programme links young engineers with ideas with people who can help turn them into businesses. Stuart Nathan spoke to Enterprise Fellow Hsin-Hua (Sheana) Yu, whose business Aergo helps severely disabled children sit more comfortably
    Sheana Yu suffered discomfort from scoliosis as a child, inspiring her later workLife for disabled children and their families is difficult enough without having to contend with constant dis

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