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Engineering News

Rethinking data center design for Singapore

LT CLAY In September, we broke ground on our new data center in Singapore, our first custom-built data center in Asia. Planning a hyperscale data center for a small island nation presented new opportunities for both design innovation and efficiency. Joining our portfolio of hyperefficient facilities, the Singapore data center was designed from the ground up with features that minimize the use of land, energy, and water. When siting data centers, we look for locations with robust infrastructure, an excellent…

Research on metamaterials transforms satellite communications

Doug Werner, John L. and Genevieve H. McCain Chair Professor in Electrical Engineering at Penn State (left), and graduate student J. Daniel Binion. Credit: Pennsylvania State University Groundbreaking innovations on antenna technology, based on a collaboration between Lockheed Martin Space and Penn State, are now under consideration for use in the next generation of GPS satellite payloads. Douglas Werner, John L. and Genevieve H. McCain Chair Professor in Electrical Engineering, along with his current and former graduate students, J. Daniel…

Accurately predicting fracture mechanics can help industry optimize pumping, fracturing-fluid viscosity, other parameters — ScienceDaily

A new computational model could potentially boost efficiencies and profits in natural gas production by better predicting previously hidden fracture mechanics. It also accurately accounts for the known amounts of gas released during the process. “Our model is far more realistic than current models and software used in the industry,” said Zden?k Bažant, McCormick Institute Professor and Walter P. Murphy Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering. “This…

‘Nowcasting’ technique enables highly accurate local flu surveillance — ScienceDaily

Influenza is highly contagious and easily spreads as people move about and travel, making tracking and forecasting flu activity a challenge. While the CDC continuously monitors patient visits for flu-like illness in the U.S., this information can lag up to two weeks behind real time. A new study, led by the Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP) at Boston Children’s Hospital, combines two forecasting methods with machine learning (artificial intelligence) to estimate local flu activity. Results are published today in Nature…

Microbes screened with a new microfluidic process might be used in power generation or environmental cleanup — ScienceDaily

Living in extreme conditions requires creative adaptations. For certain species of bacteria that exist in oxygen-deprived environments, this means finding a way to breathe that doesn’t involve oxygen. These hardy microbes, which can be found deep within mines, at the bottom of lakes, and even in the human gut, have evolved a unique form of breathing that involves excreting and pumping out electrons. In other words, these microbes can actually produce electricity. Scientists and engineers are exploring ways to harness…

3D printing 100 times faster with light — ScienceDaily

Rather than building up plastic filaments layer by layer, a new approach to 3D printing lifts complex shapes from a vat of liquid at up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing processes, University of Michigan researchers have shown. 3D printing could change the game for relatively small manufacturing jobs, producing fewer than 10,000 identical items, because it would mean that the objects could be made without the need for a mold costing upwards of $10,000. But the most…

Curricular changes show success by fourth year — ScienceDaily

In a four-year study, a group of science faculty finds that student buy-in to a new curriculum, and therefore satisfaction, increases with each successive undergraduate cohort — and learning gains did not suffer. The researchers say the results of their longitudinal study should help encourage college faculty and administration to create, adapt, and support innovative courses for their students. Over the past few decades, biologists have learned that the most effective ways of teaching biology are to move away from…

Making ammonia ‘greener’ — ScienceDaily

Ammonia, a compound first synthesized about a century ago, has dozens of modern uses and has become essential in making the fertilizer that now sustains most of our global food production. But while we’ve been producing ammonia at a large scale since the 1930s, it has been accomplished mainly in hulking chemical plants requiring vast amounts of hydrogen gas from fossil fuels — making ammonia among the most energy-intensive among all large-volume chemicals. A pair of researchers at Case Western…

Our Donations for 2018 – Kickstarter Engineering

At Kickstarter, we use a lot of open-source software. We pledge in our PBC charter to support a more creative and equitable world, and that our operations will reflect our values. As part of that ethos, we try to do our share to support the open-source ecosystem by making a financial contribution to select projects. To choose these organizations, we surveyed all of our engineers asking for nominations. They were more than eager to help, and as a result we…

Binge eating and smoking linked to bullying and sexual abuse — ScienceDaily

People who ever suffered bullying or sexual abuse have a lower quality of life similar to those living with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression or severe anxiety, a new study from the University of Adelaide has found. They are also far more likely to display harmful behaviours like smoking dependence and binge eating. The study, published in BMC Public Health, investigated around 3000 South Australians who took part in face-to-face interviews using self-labelling questions to measure the age…