[Image above] Credit: InstituteForApprenticeships; Flickr CC BY 2.0
This week is National Engineers Week—a weeklong celebration of all that engineers do to make our world a better place. Of course, we strive to appreciate all that engineers and engineering do for our world all year round. But this week in particular is specifically dedicated to engineers and to increasing public visibility of engineering.
It’s not hard to find engineering’s effects on our daily lives. Nearly everything that is likely to be around you—from your device or computer, to your method of transportation, to your office building or home, and nearly everything in between—is there thanks to various forms of engineering. From planning our cities to discerning the molecular structure of materials, engineers make our world possible.
For example, materials engineers develop, process, and test the materials that make up products from electronics to aircraft engines to ceramic hip implants. By using the properties and structures of particular materials, materials engineers select and design which materials are suitable for a particular application.
Plus there are many other kinds of engineers—including aerospace, automotive, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, mechanical, and structural engineers. So it’s no surprise that engineering is an incrediblely diverse field, with engineers working in nearly all corners of the earth on nearly all types of projects imaginable.
For example, scientists and engineers are working in a laboratory underneath a football stadium in Arizona to engineer some of the most impressive glass mirrors that will eventually help build the world’s largest optical telescope—the Giant Magellan telescope.
Plus, engineers at Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) are designing some impressive protonic ceramic fuel cells and researchers at Brown University (Providence, R.I.) are engineering titanium-based materials for tandem lead-free perovskite solar cells—both of which move us closer to feasibly providing sustainable, clean energy solutions.
And engineers at Boston Dynamics keep pushing the limits on what robots can do—or more accurately, what they can’t do. One of the company’s latest videos shows its Spotmini robot adeptly and politely opening a door for its robot friend. Can you imagine all the incredible engineering that went into building, testing, programming, and teaching this complex robot?
Credit: BostonDynamics; YouTube
As part of Engineers Week celebrations, robots are also on display at Walt Disney World in Florida this week to promote engineering and related science fields.
Murata’s cheerleading robots have been performing this week at the theme park’s SpectacuLAB, a live demo show that promotes science and innovation.
Murata’s dancing robots, which use advanced sensing and gyroscopic technologies, “represent several years of design and development, numerous trial and errors, and tireless efforts from a team of more than 20 engineers,” according to a company press release. “The achievements of these engineers demonstrate that collaboration, perseverance, and innovation are cornerstones to advancements in technology.” Watch the Murata robots perform at Disney here.
But these are just a few examples. There is incredible engineering all across the globe—big and small, old and new. So thank you to all the engineers out there, for all that you have done and continue to do to make this world amazing.
And if you’re anywhere near an IMAX theater, consider celebrating Engineers Week by going to see Dream Big, a film that reveals the incredible engineering and engineers behind some of the world’s most impressive engineered structures—from the tallest building to a bridge beyond the clouds. Check out the trailer below, and click here to find out if Dream Big is showing in a theater near you.
Credit: MacGillivray Freeman; YouTube
Happy Engineers Week!
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