Engineering

On January 9, 2023, Spanish aeronautic engineer Juan de la Cierva became the first person to fly an autogiro.

How Quixote’s Windmills Inspired a Spanish Inventor to Envision Vertical Flight

The autogiro finds new fans a century after its first liftoff

Innovators may want to create soft robots that more accurately replicate the dynamics of an elephant’s trunk.

Seven Scientific Discoveries From 2022 That May Lead to New Inventions

Nature is a breeding ground for innovative solutions to everything from aging to plastic pollution

The vaunted unobtanium from Avatar.

The Etymology of Unobtanium

The much-mocked wonder-rock from the 2009 blockbuster 'Avatar' doesn’t have an atomic number, but engineers have used the actual word for decades

When flushed, commercial toilets can spew airborne particles at speeds of up to 6.6 feet per second.

Here's What Really Happens When You Flush a Toilet

Using lasers and cameras, scientists visualized the plume of tiny, aerosolized particles ejected from commercial toilets during flushing

The top ten toys rated by Purdue University engineers help children build spatial reasoning, problem solving, coding and design thinking skills, among others.

Engineers Pick the Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2022

Children can build strategy, critical thinking and resilience during expert-approved play

Shark skin is made of tiny, stiff segments of overlapping, textured dentin and enamel. Shark skin’s distinctive texture gives sharks greater efficiency moving through the water.

Shark Skin-Inspired Materials Have a Long Way to Go Before They Work Like the Real Thing

The predator's distinctive texture is the envy of engineers trying to maximize hydrodynamics

The Quadcopter Mines Detector uses a metal detector to find land mines as it flies above them.

A Ukrainian Teenager Invents a Drone That Can Detect Land Mines

Seventeen-year-old Igor Klymenko worked on his invention while sheltering in a basement from Russian attacks

A mannequin named after Arturo Campos is headed into space on NASA's now-postponed Artemis 1 mission.

How Artemis 1 Honors an Apollo 13 Hero—and a Champion for Diversity in Space

A mannequin that will orbit the moon is named for Arturo Campos, a Mexican-American electrical engineer who worked on several NASA missions

In a small clinical trial involving 20 patients, bioengineered corneas helped improve or restore eyesight.

Cornea Implants Made From Pig Skin Restored Eyesight in a Small Clinical Trial

Fourteen patients who were blind could see again after the surgery, and three of them attained perfect vision

Robert Sansone with his novel synchronous reluctance motor

This 17-Year-Old Designed a Motor That Could Potentially Transform the Electric Car Industry

Robert Sansone's research could pave the way for the sustainable manufacturing of electric vehicles that do not require rare-earth magnets

Experts were unable to pinpoint a cause of death, but three medical witnesses who testified during an inquest into the Somerton Man case agreed that his passing “was not natural.” 

Have Scholars Finally Identified the Mysterious Somerton Man?

New DNA analysis suggests a body found on a beach in Australia in 1948 belongs to Carl Webb, an electrical engineer from Melbourne

The ultrasound sticker

Innovation for Good

This Wearable Ultrasound Sticker Can Continuously Image Organs for 48 Hours

Developed by engineers at MIT, the new technology is about the size of a postage stamp

Quebec’s Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are at the mercy of rising sea levels and increasing storm surges. The fragile dunes, lagoons, marshes, and sandstone cliffs are all at risk of being lost.

The Sea Is Slowly Consuming Quebec's Magdalen Islands

Those living in the doomed paradise face a stark choice: resist, adapt, or give in to the ravenous ocean

Elephant trunks are strong and precise.

Skin Helps Explain Why Elephant Trunks Are So Handy

Researchers discovered that the skin on the top of the trunk is more pliable and can stretch farther than the bottom

Researchers at Northwestern University created an implantable device that attaches to a nerve to deliver pain relief.

Innovation for Good

This Dissolvable Implant Could Revolutionize Pain Management

After some success on rats, researchers are hopeful this device could provide humans a more targeted and less addictive alternative to opioids

The single-engine, single-seat Turner RT-14 Meteor is the "epitome of what a 1930s air racer in the United States would be: big engine, big propeller, small profile,” says the museum's Jeremy Kinney.

The Record-Shattering Airplane Behind a Dashing Pilot’s Meteoric Rise to Fame

Roscoe Turner's air racer takes center stage this fall when newly renovated galleries open at the National Air and Space Museum

Smart windows that tint in response to stimuli such as heat or light, or a user’s preference, are becoming more common, but it may be a while before the tech is mainstream.

What Will It Take for Smart Windows to Go Mainstream?

Specialized glass that keeps heat in during winter and lets it out during summer could make buildings much more efficient

Taste testers involved in a recent study preferred chocolate that shattered in their mouth.

Innovation for Good

Have Scientists Designed the Perfect Chocolate?

Part of a burgeoning field of 'edible metamaterials,' Dutch physicists found that 3-D printed spiral-shaped candies give the ideal eating experience

Benjamin Choi was one of the top 40 finalists of this year's Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

Innovation for Good

This High Schooler Invented a Low-Cost, Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm

Seventeen-year-old Benjamin Choi put his spare time during the pandemic to good use designing an accessible device that doesn't require brain surgery

Oreo cookies helped inspire a new field of study coined "Oreology" by researchers at MIT.

Innovation for Good

Why MIT Researchers Are Studying Oreos

Fluid dynamics experts find that it’s nearly impossible to split the black-and-white cookie’s sweet filling evenly in half

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