Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Engineer's Week - 2009

Yes, it is this week. My apologies for being late in announcing it via this post, but hopefully you were reminded by the official channels prior to missing half of the events. And if you are not participating in any eweek activities, this is still a good week to remind others about the existential pleasures of engineering.

Eweek was founded by NSPE in 1951. It usually takes place in mid February and this year is being held between Feb 15 - 21. Engineering colleges and universities nation wide typically have special events and competitions during eweek. If you've though about a visit back to your alma mater, this would be an excellent week to attend.

You can learn more about events for the remainder of eweek 2009 through NSPE's website.
http://www.nspe.org/PartnersStates/eweek.html

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Future Engineers - Hydro Roller Coaster

This was spammed to me this morning. Although obviously not real, it is just too good to not share. Rather than spamming your inboxes, I'll just let you ignore this one on your own time.

Egg-drop contest? Not nearly as exciting.
Toothpick bridges? They don't measure up.
Robot wars? That was so last decade.
Extreme engineering? At it's finest!

Now if a bunch of high school aged kids could put together something like this, why can't Hollywood? Talk about a means to get kids excited and interested in engineering. Worried that your children mimic the violence and crime they see on tv and video games? Give them something like this to ponder, but be careful on your next AmTrak ride.

video

Monday, February 16, 2009

Peterson's Stress Concentrations - errata

The 3rd edition of Peterson's Stress Concentration Factors is on the bookshelves and it is time for an upgrade.

A team at the University of Tulsa used Finite Element Analysis to overcome some of the inaccuracies of the original 1953 analysis (repeated through the 1997 release of the 2nd edition book, resting comfortably on my bookshelf). The inaccuracies can be as high as 24%, based on the Machine Design article used as inspiration for this post.

The team used FEA to derive coefficients for a new set of Stress Concentration Factor equations that are more accurate than those of the prior release. Not only do the SCF result in a more accurate stress analysis, but the location on the fillet of the maximum stress concentration can also be calculated now as well.

For over 50 years Peterson's Stress Concentration Factors has been a must-have resource for Mechanical Engineers. Now it appears that the 3rd edition is the new must-have reference. And you can finally level out your coffee table, since there are no other uses for the 2nd edition.