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Engineers Can Solve Third World Problems — Even Global Warming

May 10th, 2013

As climate change continues to be an important topic, there remains little doubt that engineering plays a relevant part in mitigating the effects of Global Warming. From students at the University of Wisconsin winning first place in the SAE 2013 Clean Snowmobile Challenge, to geo-engineers poised to change the climate at a global scale, engineers remain at the center of innovation.

Engineering Badgers Win 2013 Clean Snowmobile Challenge

It is obvious that the combustion engine is a factor in contributing to pollution all over the planet. Any engineering attempt to lessen this kind of environmental damage remains vital. Students from the University of Wisconsin won this year’s Society of Automotive Engineers Clean Snowmobile Challenge, a yearly event that focuses on lessening emissions while maintaining vehicle performance.

The Badgers team modified a four-stroke Skidoo Ace snowmobile to win the challenge. “We added a turbocharger and engine controls, which allows us to maintain performance and decrease our emissions and make it quieter as well,” said UW team captain Mike Solger. Wisconsin won the title for the fifth time in the competition’s 14-year history.

Geo-engineering the Planet to Stave Off Climate Change

Another group of engineers are at the leading edge of innovation as they research the geo-engineering concepts which they hope can someday reduce the planet’s overall temperature. A variety of ideas are being researched: giant orbital mirrors to manage solar radiation, injecting sulphate particles in the stratosphere to simulate the cooling effects of a volcanic eruption, and giant machines that remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Steve Rayner, James Martin Professor of Science and Civilization at Oxford University in the UK, feels those methods, even if practical, make up only part of what’s necessary to reverse the negative effects of Climate Change. “Generally these ideas are seen as a complement to and not a substitute for adaptation and mitigation”, says Rayner.  “And the challenges are enormous. For example, to put the sulphate injection idea into action would mean we would have to create an enterprise something on the scale of the global cement industry.”

Does that kind of specialized engineering inspire you? Talk to the Talley Group if you are looking to make a positive difference in humanity, while advancing your career in engineering. As one of the leading engineering staffing firms in the Northwest, they have the recruiters on hand to help further your career.

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