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The Top Engineering Achievements of 2013

July 23rd, 2014

The engineering world typically produces accomplishments that benefit many. The scope of this rewarding work ranges from improving the bottom lines of many engineering companies, to making life better for the human race as a whole. The year of 2013 was no exception, as the feats of talented engineers once again earned accolades.

Here is a list of some of the top engineering achievements of 2013. Maybe they will inspire or at least amaze you?

A State of the Art Helicopter — Powered by Humans

Fred Flintstone enjoyed a human powered “automobile” when traveling around his prehistoric world, but the stuff of Hanna-Barbara cartoons actually became reality in 2013. A Canadian team won the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition last year with a design capable of sustained flight for over one minute.

The copter only reached a height of 10 feet, so don’t expect it to serve traffic reporting needs anytime soon, but it was the first design to actually win the award in the competition’s 33-year history. Impressive!

Thought-controlled Medical Devices make Headway

Brain-computer interfaces saw much advancement in 2013, bringing “The Six Million Dollar Man” closer to reality. A thought-controlled wheelchair gives mobility to quadriplegics like never before; while moveable prosthetic limbs improve the quality of life for amputees. Expect continued advancements in this area of medical technology by the end of the decade.

Driverless Cars on the Highway

Google has been in the news for their own driverless car project — not bad for a company that derives most of its revenue from a web search engine. An actual automobile manufacturer, Volvo, is also developing a robotic car with a stated goal to completely eliminate driver fatalities. Volvo’s “Drive Me” project expects to bring 100 driverless 2014 Volvo XC90s to the roads of Sweden by 2017.

There remains little doubt that the practice of engineering gives the opportunity to change the world for the better in many different ways. If you want to be part of this exciting time, talk to the folks at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in the Seattle area, they offer the insight to take your career to the ultimate level; helping you make a difference. Schedule time with them today and find about some great Seattle engineering jobs!

Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 21st Century?

February 9th, 2012

The National Academy of Engineering, in 2003, published A Century of Innovation: Twenty Engineering Achievements that Transformed our Lives, which showcased the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century.

Here are the top 20:

1.         Electrification
2.         Automobile
3.         Airplane
4.         Water Supply and Distribution
5.         Electronics
6.         Radio and Television
7.         Agricultural Mechanization
8.         Computers
9.         Telephone
10.       Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
11.       Highways
12.       Spacecraft
13.       Internet
14.       Imaging
15.       Household Appliances
16.       Health Technologies
17.       Petroleum and Petrochemical Technologies
18.       Laser and Fiber Optics
19.       Nuclear Technologies
20.       High-performance Materials

You’ll see that the benefits were largely universal, affecting people across the globe and at all economic levels. The technologies were diverse and depended on timely parallel accomplishments in science, mathematics and medicine.  And, the devices that enabled all these innovations were made in such quantity and quality that they were affordable and relatively universally available.

We can’t really know what engineers will achieve between now and 2101, but one engineer is willing to guess.

Inspired by the NAE’s book, engineer and Senior Intel Fellow Eugene S. Meieran, decided to make a list of predictions. Over the course of several years, he mentioned the list in presentations at universities, conferences, and industrial seminars, and took suggestions from other professionals.

Without further ado, here are the areas where Meieran believes the greatest achievements will happen in the next 88 years:

1. Energy conservation
2. Resource protection
3. Food and water production and distribution
4. Waste management
5. Education and learning
6. Medicine and prolonging life
7. Security and counter-terrorism
8. New technology
9. Genetics and cloning
10. Global communication
11. Traffic and population logistics
12. Knowledge sharing
13. Integrated electronic environment
14. Globalization
15. AI, interfaces and robotics
16. Weather prediction and control
17. Sustainable development
18. Entertainment
19. Space exploration
20. “Virtualization” and VR
21. Preservation of history
22. Preservation of species

What do you think? Is Meieran right on the money, or not even close?

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