Engineering in the news and around the ‘net

Hello and welcome to a quick scoot around the Internet as I bring to you some stories that have inspired and excited me recently. Please forgive me as I’m going to start with something that is not exactly engineering, but is technology / science related so I’m including it…

Explore the Antarctic with Google Maps Street View

I love Google Maps Street View. I find it really useful when visiting somewhere new to have a quick look at the location to get a feel for what I am looking for – I much prefer it to driving very slowly along a street looking for the house numbers, and is invaluable if it is going to be dark when you get to your destination! It is also a very interesting tool, bringing many parts of the world to your monitor. Recently I’ve had a look at Sydney in Australia where my sister is going to spend the next 3 years doing a PhD, and investigated a friend’s holiday destination.

I’ve just stumbled across the view of Antarctic penguins that appears was released a while ago but even better Google have released panoramic photos of locations such as Shackleton’s and Scott’s huts and the official South Pole. What a fabulous way to learn about places of scientific and historic importance!

South Pole from Street View

 

Scotland increase renewable energy output

Last month it was announced that Scotland’s renewable energy output had increased in the first 3 months of 2012 by 45% compared to the same period of 2011. Whilst I’m a bit skeptical of the percentages involved (after all 45% sounds a lot but 45% of not a lot isn’t much!), the article goes on to say that in 2011, 35% of Scotland’s energy requirements was met by renewables – a slight improvement on their target of 31%. It is refreshing to see a target actually exceeded and hopefully the industry receives suitable investment to reach the 100% target in 2020.

Wearable computing

According to the Guardian this is the next big thing in technology circles – wearable technology such as goggles that display information in front of the wearers eyes like Google’s Glass project . Never mind tablets, such technology could make a big impact in our daily lives in the future, like smart phones have in recent years.

Formula Student

As Peter explained in his blog post, last weekend Silverstone played host to the UK round of Formula Student. Congratulations to all the teams who took part – especially Chalmers University who took overall victory by only 2.4 points!

£9bn UK railways investment

I can’t finish without mentioning the £9billion investment in electrification of and improvements to railways announced this week. I was impressed that in hard times the government is pushing ahead with investment, if only it could be across the board with health and education services! This is where Twitter comes into its own – people were soon commenting that part of the announcement had been made a few years previously and it wasn’t all new at all. Hopefully the plans aren’t just a lot of hot air and empty promises and the investment goes ahead. Read more about the plans here.

 

I am a vehicle performance engineer working in F1 after graduating from Oxford Brookes University in 2009 with an MEng in Motorsport Engineering. As an Associate member of the IMechE, a member of the Women’s Engineering Society and a STEM Ambassador, I’d like to help raise the profile of engineering.

Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Flickr