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VOL.134/NO.3 MARCH 2012 | WWW.ASME.

ORG
THE MAGAZINE OF ASME
Reanimating
Dinosaurs
Next Wave of
Engineers
Systematic
Safety

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01
Focus on complex systems
28 COMPLEXITY BY
DESIGN
As engineered systems grow,
its imperative to understand
them well enough to forestall
unexpected failures.
By Shannon Flumerfelt, Gary
Halada, and Franz-Josef Kahlen
34 TRAINING FOR THE
NEXT WAVE
The increasing complexity of technology
requires new methods to prepare
engineers and the workforce.
By Ahmed Noor
38 THINGS HAPPEN
An excerpt from To Forgive Design:
Understanding Failure.
By Henry Petroski
features
d
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p
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r
t
m
e
n
t
s
6 Editorial
8 Letters
10 News & Notes
14 Global Window
16 Washington Window
18 Computing
22 Software Exchange
24 Tech Focus
Power Transmission & Motion Control
51 Bookshelf
52 Standards & Certication
53 New Products
58 Positions Open
61 Ad Index
63 ASME News
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2 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
42 A SYSTEM APPROACH TO SAFETY
A report recommends ways to avoid a repeat of the
Macondo well blowout.
By Alan S. Brown
S44 FOSSILS AND FEA
Paleontologists use an engineering technology to explore
animal evolution and see how extinct animals behaved.
By Jean Thilmany
48 ME 2011: INDEX OF ARTICLES
64 INPUT/OUTPUT
Cross Country on CNG
By Jean Thilmany
03 12
VOLUME 134 /NO.3
ON THE COVER:
Dynamic systems, mechanical or otherwise, are challenging
in their complexity. The cover graphic was created by Forrest
Stonedahl for research work involving the use of evolutionary
search processes to explore multi-agent simulations of complex
adaptive systems. The image is a ray-traced visualization of a viral
marketing simulation on part of the Twitter network. The space
imagery in the background was retrieved from the Hubble Space
Telescope.
comsol.com/reactor
STRUCTURAL DAMPING: This model performs a structural analysis
of a damper made from a viscoelastic material. The picture shows the
displacement in one axial direction (color plot), while the shape plot
illustrates the overall displacement. The graph shows the extent of the
variation of the viscoelastic moduli with frequency.
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me.hotims.com/40244-02 or circle 02
From a mechanical point of view the automobile of today
is rapidly breaking its traditional connection with the car
of yesterday. Free wheeling, which was introduced for the
rst time into the American automobile market last year,
has spread like wild-re, until now it is used by practically
every companywith the exception, however, of one large
manufacturer of a popular low-priced carwhich is not
surprising in view of the great advantages which this device
possesses. ...
The employment of free wheeling has led to further
developmentthat of the automatic clutchwith the result
that gear shifting has lost most of its terrors, especially for
the novice in driving.
In this connection reference may be made to another device
which thus far has been introduced only on a small scale
on buses, and that is the backslide lock, a contrivance that
prevents a car from sliding backwards unless the gear
shift is in reverse. The convenience of such a device will
be appreciated by those who have acquired the knack of
coordinating the brake and the clutch.
Another novelty which seems to be nding favor with the
automobile manufacturers is the so-called red control,
for the rst time introduced on an American car last year.
By means of this device, which is actuated by a slight
movement of a handle, the rigidity of hydraulic shock
absorbers can be modied, with the result that their
action can be adapted to the kind of the road over which
the car is traveling.
4 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
what our community is saying online
Mechanical Engineering (ISSN 0025-6501) is published monthly by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Three Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016-5990. Periodicals postage paid at New York, N.Y., and additional mailing ofces.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mechanical Engineering, c/o The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 22 Law Drive, Box 2300, Faireld, NJ 07007-2300. Return Canadian undeliverable addresses to P.O. BOX 1051, Fort Erie, On,
L2A 6C7. PRICES: To members, annually $32 for initial membership subscription, single copy $7; subscription price to nonmembers available upon request. COPYRIGHT 2012 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Canadian Goods
& Services Tax Registration #126148048. Printed in U.S.A. Authorization to photocopy material for internal or personal use under circumstances not falling within the fair use provisions of the Copyright Act is granted by ASME to libraries and other
users registered with the Copyright Clearance Center Transactional Reporting Service, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923. Request for special permission or bulk copying should be addressed to Reprints/Permissions Department.
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THIS MONTH ON WWW.ASME.ORG


Look for us here!
>>
With hundreds of new applications being launched for tablets
and smart phones every month, its hard to decide which is
the most useful for your engineering job. ASME.org presents a
roundup of APPS FOR THE IPAD that could make your work easier.
>>
By linking EIGHT VIBRATORY PILEDRIVING HAMMERS into
one large unit, a U.S. equipment manufacturer succeeded in driv-
ing 120 72-foot-diameter, 130-foot-long steel piles to form two
circular seabound walls in the South China Sea. The giant piles are
the largest ever driven and the walls will form the bulkhead for two
articial islands for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Seaway project.
80 years ago this month in Mechanical Engineering magazine
from the vault
March
1932
The Cars of 1932
Things seen at the recent National Automobile Show
in New York: free wheeling
Both ASME.ORG and
EngineeringForChange.org are
commemorating their first anniversary.
Re: EngineeringForChange.org
Happy birthday,@Engineer4Change!
The collaborative forum for change turns 1!
Get involved: http://bit.ly/seIgkM
Erik Hersmans PopTech talk recirculated on
social media again this month when
Paul Polak tweeted that its One of my
all-time favourite @WhiteAfrican talks.
Hersman helped found Nairobis iHub and
Ushahidi, and Polak founded iDE and wrote the
book Out of Poverty.
At least 1 billion people could be infected with
hookworm, ringworm, or similar parasites,
but installing latrines can cut the infection rate
by half, a new study has found.
Theres one good way to electrify the homes of
the more than 1 billion people who lack energy
access: Launch a global solar power initiative.
#BoPDesign the Webs home for low-cost tech
& crowd-sourced design is turning 1 year old.
Happy B-Day, @Engineer4Change
In honor of @Engineer4Changes 1st
anniversary, learn how to
put your skills to use: http://bit.ly/seIgkM
Mechanical Engineering digital is now in
the Knowledge Base area of ASME.ORG
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THE GOOD NEWS is that complex
systems rarely fail. The bad news
is that, inevitably, things happen.
The unenviable challenge lies in
guring out a way to mitigate the
risks of occurrence and the efects
of the aftermath.
The consequences of large com-
plex system failures are mostly and
undeniably catastrophic, yet we
must remind ourselves that most
complex systems have a strong
record of reliability.
It is not only the celebrated sys-
tems like aircraft, energy plants,
and large infrastructures that are
complex; even seemingly modest
designs can prove very complex.
But it is when the large systems
fail that the public rightly pays the
most attention because these are
the spectacular cases of failure
that bring dire consequences.
One of the complexities about
these large systemsbeyond the
design itselfis that if they fail, the
reasons are as multifaceted as the
system itself is complicated. Al-
though many things can go wrong
with a complex system, usually
most things go consistently right.
Failure can be traced to engineer-
ing, operations, outdated infra-
structure, human error, or often a
combination of causes.
The mere thought of a complex
system failure keeps engineers up
at night because engineering is ex-
act, but failure, not so much. Clear-
ing the hurdle to build efective
complex systems is an engineering
challenge. Designers design for
systems to work, not fail. But by
nature most complex systems are
hazardous.
So how do we make sense of
failure? The answers lie as much
in engineering books as they do
in the annals of philosophy. After
all, how does one predict what is
unpredictable? Risk and volatility
are not linearly tied to engineering
performance, and this month we pry
deeply into the whys and why-nots.
Were still learning the lessons
from recent examples where com-
plex systems failed or where natural
disasters jeopardized their perfor-
mance. One of the lessons learned is
clear: Engineers must remain vigi-
lant over the design, development,
and operations of large-scale, com-
plex, dynamic human-engineered
systems. This includes assessing
the ethical responsibilities associ-
ated with process management and
maintenance.
ASME has been on the forefront
in collaborating with stakeholders
to keep engineers actively vigilant
in assessing critical factors related
to risk from engineered systems.
Next month, for example, ASME,
along with Chinas State Adminis-
tration of Foreign Experts Afairs
and the Chinese Academy of
Engineering, will hold a forum on
disaster prevention and mitigation
in Beijing.
Despite the technology develop-
ments, we remain very much at the
whim of Mother Nature, as recent
disasters in Japan, Haiti, and Chile
remind us. Managing the impact of
natural disasters on infrastructure
is where engineers come in.
As layers of technology defenses
are being developed as safeguards,
the same thought must be given to
address cognitive issues associ-
ated with human factors. Active
training and rening the skill
sets of those working on complex
systems is as important a piece of
the puzzle. A conversation about
complex system failures cannot oc-
cur if both areas are not given the
same priority.
6 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
Editor-in-Chief
John G. Falcioni
Executive Editor
Harry Hutchinson
Associate Editors
Alan S. Brown, Jean Thilmany,
Jeffrey Winters
Electronic Publishing Editor
Benedict Bahner
Art & Production Designer
Teresa M. Carboni
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and Publishing Development
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Anthony Asiaghi
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Managing Director, Publishing & Unit Support
Philip V. DiVietro
Online
www.asme.org
(212) 591-7783; fax (212) 591-7841
E-mail: memag@asme.org
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
President Victoria A. Rockwell
President Elect Marc W. Goldsmith
Past President Robert T. Simmons
Governors Richard C. Benson, Betty L. Bowersox,
Julio Guerrero, Said Jahanmir, Robert N. Pangborn,
Thomas D. Pestorius, Edmund J. Seiders, J. Robert
Sims Jr., Charla K. Wise
Executive Director
Thomas G. Loughlin
Deputy Executive Director
Michael K. Weis
Secretary and Treasurer
Wilbur J. Marner
Assistant Secretary
John Delli Venneri
Senior Vice Presidents
Standards & Certication Kenneth R. Balkey
Institutes Dilip R. Ballal
Knowledge & Community Thomas G. Libertiny
Public Affairs & Outreach Stacey Swisher Harnetty
ME Editorial Advisory Board
Robert E. Nickell, Chairman; Harry Armen;
Leroy S. Fletcher; Richard J. Goldstein;
Thomas G. Libertiny
For reprints, contact
Edward Kane, (866) 879-9144, ext.131
edk@fosterprinting.com
Opinions expressed in Mechanical Engineering
magazine do not necessarily reect the views of ASME.
COMPLEX SYSTEMS IN PERSPECTIVE
John G. Falcioni, Editor-in-Chief
falcionij@asme.org
twitter.com/johnfalcioni
>>
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8 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
letters
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To the Editor: The article Renewables
Disruptors or Disrupted? in the December
issue gave a good status of the development of
renewables. However, like most information
on renewables, this article did not address
the impact to the electricity grid of variable
energy resources, namely wind and solar. The
electricity grid must be viewed as a very large
system with high public expectations for reli-
ability and precise operational requirements
to maintain power quality. Wind and solar generators can change output
quickly, and accuracy in forecasting output is limited, raising two expensive
operational problems.
First, the grid requires fast response reserves, probably gas-red, to com-
pensate and stabilize the ow of electricity as these renewable sources vary.
Typically, electricity systems are built with 15 percent reserves to respond
to fossil fuel or nuclear outages. Wind resources, however, must be backed
with 80 to 90 percent reserves. Consequently, a second backup generator
must be available and maintained on immediate standby. The true installed
cost of wind and solar resources is far higher than the cost of the renewable
generator itself.
Second, moment-to-moment changes in wind speed and solar insolation
mean that the compensating fossil fuel generators are not operated at a con-
stant optimum design point resulting in higher fuel and maintenance costs,
and emissions, per unit of electricity. Therefore, on a system basis, any
claim that renewables deliver free and totally clean energy is misleading.
In addition to these operational considerations, the best sites for wind and
solar generators are typically far from load centers. Transmission infrastruc-
ture must be installed that is not required for traditional electricity sources.
Electricity from renewable sources has a place in our energy future, but
it is not a panacea for economic or environmental problems. Any consider-
ation of renewables must look beyond the generator output terminals to ad-
dress the serious integration issues.
WILLIAM B. NORTON, P.E.
BIRMINGHAM, ALA.
Renewables and the Grid
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Mechanical Engineering
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Letters can be typewritten or
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authors full name, address, and
telephone number. Address your
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M
any analysts are pinning their hopes on natural gas
extracted from widespread shale strata to provide
cheap and abundant fuel in the coming decades. The
growth in shale gas production in the United States
over the past ten years has more than offset declines in conven-
tional gas production, so much so that gas, which was selling
for more than $15 per million Btu at the end of 2005, dipped
below $2.50 in January.
But shale gas may not be abundant as some recent reports
have estimated, according to new projections from the U.S.
Energy Information Administration. In an early draft of
the Annual Energy Outlook 2012 distributed in January, the
EIA reported that the shale gas resource in the Marcellus
Formationa region of sedimentary rock that stretches from
Virginia to upstate New Yorkis substantially below the
estimate used for AEO2011.
Drilling in the Marcellus region has been occurring at a break-
neck pace thanks to technical advances that include hydraulic
fracturing. That has generated a stream of data that enables
researchers to better characterize the resources available in
the shale bed.
Until recently, those revisions had been upward: the United
States Geological Survey, for instance, had raised its estimates
of the Marcellus shales technically recoverable gas resource
from 2 trillion cubic feet in 2002 to between 43 trillion and 144
trillion cubic feet in 2010. The EIA had been even more optimis-
tic, pegging the recoverable resource at 410 trillion cubic feet,
enough fuel to power the entire U.S. economy for four years.
The new EIA estimate for the technically recoverable gas
resource in the Marcellus shale formation is 141 trillion cubic
feet, and the estimate for all shale gas in the U.S. is 482 tril-
lion cubic feet. Thats still a lot of gas, and the EIA expects that
by 2035 shale formations will be producing half the nations
natural gas.
The full report of the Annual Energy Outlook 2012 will be
released later this spring.
10 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
Gas Leak
NEWS&NOTES
A Detroit-area law rm has
introduced a web page devoted to
legal issues arising from hydraulic
fracturing. The rm, Foley, Baron &
Metzger PLLC, says it set up the page
at www.fmlaw.com/blog in response
to mounting claims and lawsuits
from incidents related to hydraulic
fracturing.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking,
is a method of drilling for natural gas
reserves, oil, and geothermal energy
in deep shale formations. The process
involves injecting large quantities of
water into wells under pressure to frac-
ture the shale and release gas. The uid
used for hydraulic fracturing is mostly
water, with sand or other proppant
added to keep the ssures open. Chemi-
cal additives, amounting to perhaps less
than half a percent of the total uid, are
in the mix as friction reducers, scale
inhibitors, iron controls, and biocides.
Fracking has become the subject of
controversy, in which claims have been
made that it can harm water supplies.
Among the features of the site are
links to the websites of regulatory agen-
cies and to other information resources,
and a list of recent news articles related
to hydraulic fracturing.
Richard Baron, the environmental
practice group leader at the rm, said
that the idea for the site arose after
he spoke about hydraulic fracturing
issues at a gathering of insurance
professionals.
Baron said the rm wants to estab-
lish a resource to help professionals
manage the complexities that surround
the process. This includes the circum-
stances that arise from fracking-related
events such as a surface spill caused by
a natural disaster or pollution from the
negligent release of hazardous waste
materials.
Foley, Baron & Metzger PLLC, is based
in Livonia, Mich.
Fracking is a growing area of poten-
tial litigation, and other law rms have
weighed in on the issue. For instance,
two attorneys, Matthew Francois and
Earl Hagstrm, of the San Francisco
ofce of Sedgwick LLP have written a
book that is highlighted on the rms
website, www.sdma.com. The title is
Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus
Shale Strategies for Legal and Regula-
tory Compliance.
An international law rm, Fulbright
& Jaworski LLP, has formed a shale and
hydraulic fracking task force. According
to the rms website, www.fulbright.
com/fracking, The task force consists
of lawyers experienced in representing
U.S. domestic and international energy
companies in investing in shale plays
across the U.S. and in navigating the
contentious production issues, chief
among them the environmental con-
cerns related to hydraulic fracturing.
Law Firm Launches Web Resource on Fracking
VFoley, Baron & Metzger's fracking page.
me.hotims.com/40244-06 or circle 06
Standing Tail Flip
A
long tail might seem like a
dangerous appendage for a
lizard. After all, the more of
the lizard there is, the more
there is for a predator to grab.
But biomechanical researchers have
found that a lizards tail has an impor-
tant function: It helps the animal keep
its balance. When running at full speed,
a lizard uses its tail to adjust its attitude
and recover from stumbles. It even
works when the lizard ips.
Could a tail do the same for scurrying
robots? Researchers at the University
of California, Berkeley added a tail to
a robotic car they named Tailbot, but
they discovered that maintaining bal-
ance isnt as simple as throwing ones
tail in the air, said team leader Robert
Full, a professor of integrative biology.
The research team was made up of
undergraduate and graduate engineer-
ing and biology students.
Robots and lizards have to adjust the
angle of their tails just right to counter-
act the efect of a stumble, Full said.
We showed for the rst time that
lizards swing their tails up or down to
counteract the rotation of their bodies,
keeping them stable, he said.
Full and his students used high-speed
videography and motion capture to
record how an African redhead agama
lizard handled leaps from a platform
that had diferent degrees of traction,
from slippery to rough. The researchers
coaxed the lizards to run down a track,
vault of an obstacle, and land on a verti-
cal surface. When the friction on the
obstacle was reduced, lizards slipped,
potentially causing their bodies to spin
out of control.
The team
found that the
lizard must
swing its tail
upward to pre-
vent a forward
pitch, the kind
that could send
it head-over-
heels into a tree, Full said.
Next, the researchers created a math-
ematical model to better understand
the reptiles skills and to see how they
could be translated to a robot.
With a tail, but no sensors to give
feedback about its body position, the
robot took a nosedive when driven
of a ramp, which mimicked a lizards
takeof, Full said.
When body attitude was sensed and
fed back into the tail motor, however,
Tailbot was able to stabilize its body
in midair. The actively controlled tail
efectively redirected the angular
momentum of the body into the swing
of the tail, he said.
Inspiration from lizard tails will
likely lead to far more agile search-and-
rescue robots, as well as ones having
greater capability to more rapidly
detect chemical, biological, or nuclear
hazards, Full said.
The teams ndings appeared in the
Jan. 12 edition of the journal Nature.
Virtalis of Cheshire, England, has launched a range of virtual reality glasses, which are
known as ActiveWorks 3D and used for stereoscopic viewing. /// NVIDIA of Santa Clara,
Calif., has released an upgrade to its CUDA parallel computing platform used by engineers,
computational biologists, chemists, physicists, geophysicists, and other researchers for
simulations and computational work. /// Shannon Lucid, one of the earliest U.S. women
astronauts, has retired after more than three decades with NASA. Lucid made ve space
ights and logged more than 223 days in space. From August 1991 to June 2007, she held
the record for the most days in orbit by any woman in the world. Lucid is the only American
woman to serve aboard the Russian Mir space station.
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VBiologists and engineers at the University of California, Berkeley
studied agama lizards, and how they use their tails. They used that
knowledge for the Tailbot robot and its tail.
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NEWS & NOTES
M
ost electric motors and generators turn only one way. Yet nearly all of
them are designed to ofer equal performance rotating in either direc-
tion. Could they be more efcient if they were designed to rotate in only
one direction?
Dionysios Aliprantis, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineer-
ing at Iowa State University, believes they would be. He is half way through a ve-
year, $400,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop a methodology for
optimizing motors to rotate in only one direction.
Im looking for a little bit of increase, maybe 5 percent or 1 percent, he said. But
multiply that number by the number of hybrid cars, lets say, and you could get sav-
ings in the billions of dollars. The potential here could be huge.
Aliprantis and doctoral student Yanni Li have created a computer modeling
program that incrementally changes the design of stator and rotor surfaces to
alter the electromagnetic eld in the air gap and the motors electromechanical
torque.
They are looking at the teeth that hold the wire coils within an electric motor.
They are typically symmetrical to achieve equivalent performance in either direc-
tion. By making the teeth asymmetrical, Aliprantis and Li hope to boost power and
efciency when rotating in the preferred direction.
We are trying to develop a systematic way of getting to the right shape, Alipran-
tis said. This idea is very simple, but motors are still being designed using tech-
niques that are essentially one hundred years old.
Aliprantis is also developing models that do a better job of predicting how difer-
ent power electronics and control technologies afect motor performance.
Seeking Efciency in One-Way Motors
EVs in the U.K.: Building Infrastructure
One of the disincentives to becoming
an early adopter of technology is the
lack of supporting infrastructure.
Thats especially true with electric
vehicles: a drained battery far from
home might leave an owner stranded.
The potential market of EVs can be
linked to the growth of recharging
stations, making an array of initiatives
going on in the United Kingdom espe-
cially noteworthy. According to a recent
report by the research rm Frost &
Sullivan, 7.8 million in funding by the
U.K. Ofce for Low Emission Vehicles
will help northeast England estab-
lish an integrated network of electric
vehicle charging stationsas many as
1,500 by the end of next year.
Whats more, the report predicts that
London will become the European
capital of EVs, with a 9.3 million award
from OLEV leading to the deploy-
ment of 25,000 charging stations by
2015. Already, there are more than 500
charging stations in London.
According to the report, the British
government has set ambitious targets
for building EV infrastructure. The gov-
ernment, working with private sector
partners, hopes to place EV charging
stations along curbsides, in parking
garages, and in parking lots.
According to the Frost & Sullivan
report, the market for EV charging
infrastructure is expected to grow
rapidly over the next ve years, with
2012 to 2015 becoming the most cru-
cial years.
According to Frost & Sullivan's nd-
ings, Europe as a whole is expected to
have around 2 million charging points
by 2017; of those, nearly 400,000 will be
in the U.K. Countries such as Belgium,
Estonia, and Portugal may join the U.K.
in most actively promoting EVs with
subsidies and discounts.
In spite of this support, the research
report found that sales of EVs in the
U.K. were slow in 2011. But it expects
that new electric vehicle models reach-
ing the market in the next couple of
years, together with the growth in the
supporting infrastructure, will lead to
greater adoption of the new technology.
A
nuclear power company executive predicts that Chinas rst AP1000
nuclear power reactor, in Zhejiang province, will begin operating on
schedule in 2013, according to a report carried by Xinhua, the Chinese
news agency.
Wang Binghua, board chairman of the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp.,
said construction on the countrys third-generation nuclear reactors is on
schedule and that the experience of the Japanese nuclear crisis last year will not
derail plans to bring the rst plant online on schedule.
The country started to construct its new pressurized water reactors in 2009,
the rst to use AP1000 technologies developed by Westinghouse.
Construction progress was slowed after the earthquake and tsunami dam-
aged the reactors at Fukushima in Japan last March. Safety concerns resulted
in delays ranging from six to twelve months for reactors under construction
in Chinas coastal areas, Wang said. Wang said there were also delays due to
design adjustments during construction.
Wang said that the project designers have strengthened the safety evaluation
after the incident in Japan. Both the State Nuclear Power Technology Corpo-
ration and Westinghouse have agreed that the new reactors would be able to
survive the same shock experienced by the Japanese plant, he said. The two
companies are considering further steps to ensure nuclear safety.
14 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
New Reactor on Schedule in China
GLOBAL
WINDOW
EUROPE LAUNCHES
A GREEN TRAFFIC
MANAGEMENT PROJECT
Research clusters in ve European
regions will work together to ease
road congestion during a three-year
project launched by the European Union.
Researchers and engineers from the Uni-
versity of Leicester in England, the Univer-
sity of Molise in Campobasso, Italy, the Pol-
ish Institute of Geodesy and Cartography in
Warsaw, and elsewhere will participate.
The project, with the unwieldy name of
Trafc-Health-Environment Intelligent
Solutions Sustaining Urban Economies,
or THE ISSUE, will be funded with 2.7
million euro as part of the E.U.s Regions
of Knowledge initiative. The aim is to
improve trafc management systems
to increase mobility through European
cities, many of which were designed and
built well before the introduction of the
automobile, and to reduce the impact of
trafc on human health and safety and on
the wider environment.
Some of the approaches that are expect-
ed to be investigated include integrating
computer intelligence and satellite naviga-
tion data into existing trafc management
systems and deploying hydrogen fuel cell-
powered cars to reduce emissions.
The European regions participating are
the East Midlands of England, Molise in
Italy, Mazovia in Poland, and the Midi-Pyre-
nees and Aquitaine, both in France.
Guangxi Zhuang autonomous
region has become Chinas leading
importer of coal after handling
more than 27 million metric tons
in 2011, according to a report in the
Peoples Daily.
Citing the customs authority in
the regional capital of Nanning, the
paper said that the volume of coal
going through the ports of Guangxi in
2011 represented an increase of 61.3
percent from the previous year and
accounted for 15 percent of Chinas
total coal imports.
Guangxi is not a coal-producing
region and is sufering a prolonged
drought, which has curbed its capac-
ity for hydroelectric power. The
province has experienced increasing
demand for power from local indus-
trial users.
Chinas largest coal producer, China
Shenhua Group Co. Ltd., has signed
an agreement with the Guangxi
regional government to build a ther-
mal power plant in Beihai city. It will
have eight units with a capacity of one
gigawatt each.
The chief executive of an Indian information technology
provider has predicted that his $6 billion company will
create 10,000 jobs in Europe and the United States
over the next ve years, The Economic Times has reported.
According to the publication, a supplement to The Times of
India, Vineet Nayar, vice chairman and CEO of HCL Tech-
nologies, said in an address to the World Economic Forum
that the company would work with schools, governments, and
customers to create the jobs.
In the context of a rapidly changing world, the expectation
from businesses is evolving to balance pursuits of prot with
social and individual imperatives in order to create a sustain-
able growth model, Nayar said. HCL is now taking those
eforts to the next level by positively impacting the com-
munities through local job creation and development of an
ecosystem to support and encourage innovation.
Nayar said HCL is taking various initiatives, including
establishment of Global Centers of Excellence, to recruit and
train college graduates and to provide platforms for develop-
ing IT skill pools in local communities.
Regions Coal Imports Top 27 Million Tons
Indian IT Firm Says It Will Create 10,000 Jobs in West
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B
udget season is in full swing in the nations
capital and advocates for science and engineer-
ing research programs are once again working to
shore up support amid the clamor of election year
politicking.
The research community is coming of of what can only
be viewed as a major win given the austere scal envi-
ronment over the last few years. In recognition of their
importance to U.S. economic competitiveness, research
programs fared surprisingly well last year. While overall
government spending for scal year 2012 was cut by $7
billion from the previous year, basic and applied research
accounts at federal agencies generally
saw at funding or slight increases.
Some construction and applied research
accounts sufered, but Congressional
leaders and the White House managed
to come to an agreement that preserved
and strengthened the funding for core
research activities at agencies like the
Department of Energy, Department of
Defense, National Science Foundation,
and the National Institute of Standards
and Technology.
The year ahead may not prove so
generous to science and engineering
programs.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 set
tight spending limits through scal
2021. Under this legislation, the discre-
tionary budget limit for scal 2013 has
been set at $1.047 trillion $4 billion
above the scal 2012 level. Even with the
increase, discretionary spending will
remain below the scal 2011 level of $1.050 trillion.
The $4 billion increase will be devoted entirely to non-
security spending. Even so, the budget is expected to yield
at funding levels, or slight reductions when adjusted for
ination.
In addition, the act provides for automatic sequestra-
tion cuts that are slated to begin in January 2013. These
automatic cuts are the result of the failure of last years
Joint Select Committee on Decit Reduction to reach a
broad agreement to reduce the decit by $1.2 trillion over
the next ten years.
The automatic spending cuts of the Budget Control Act
are designed to be a painful incentive for Congress to
achieve an agreement on $1.2 trillion in savings. Congress
still has until January to stave of automatic cuts, yet given
the election year, a sweeping agreement seems unlikely.
Even so, many are contemplating ways to avoid signicant
cuts for their favored portfolios, and the indiscriminate
nature of the cuts is still a powerful incentive for action.
Assuming Congress cannot reach an agreement on $1.2
trillion in savings, non-security spending would face an
additional 7.8 percent cut in scal 2013, while security
spending would face a roughly 10 percent cut.
According to the Congressional Budget Ofce, cuts of
this size would amount to reductions of about $55 billion
for each category of spending, and similar cuts would
follow in each year for the next ten years.
By 2021, the nal efect of automatic
cuts, adjusted for ination, would bring
spending for non-security accounts to
the equivalent of 2.8 percent of Gross
Domestic Product.
The Congressional Budget Ofce notes
that non-security spending has totaled
approximately 4 percent of GDP over
the last 40 years. Funding for defense,
which has averaged 3.4 percent over the
last decade, would total 2.7 percent of
GDP after the reductions. CBOs gures
exclude expenses for the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan, because they are consid-
ered emergency spending, so the actual
cuts for defense would be much larger.
According to Defense Secretary Leon
Panetta, at least one million defense-
related jobs would be lost in a seques-
tration scenario, including military
and civilian employees of the Defense
Department as well as hundreds of thousands of jobs in the
defense industry. Additional impacts would be felt at small
businesses and universities around the country, due to
fewer new research grants and a scaling back or cancella-
tion of existing research programs.
In light of the strict limits on spending imposed by the
Budget Control Act, Congress may spend the remainder of
the year debating how to achieve its decit-reduction goals.
Paul Fakes is an ASME government relations representative.
He can be reached at fakesp@asme.org. Links to more
legislative and regulatory information are at http://bit.ly/
MEWashingtonWindow. For ASMEs views of public policy issues,
visit the ASME Advocacy & Government Relations Website at:
http://www.asme.org/about-asme/advocacy-government-relations.
Researchers Brace for a Tough Budget Year
BY PAUL FAKES
WASHINGTON
WINDOW
The automatic
spending cuts
of the Budget
Control Act
are designed
to be a painful
incentive for
Congress to
achieve an
agreement on
$1.2 trillion in
savings.
16 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
MESHING
JOHUNL`V\YWLYJLW[PVUVM
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THlS lS NOT THE SOClAL
PART OF THE PROJECT.
G||dd|ng |s a |one|y o0s|ness. Eve|yoody o0ts
o|ess0|e on yo0 to gene|ate mes|es q0|c||y and
acc0|ate|y, o0t |t's 0o to yo0 a|one to get |t done.
We've oeen |n t|e mes||ng o0s|ness fo| a |ong
t|me, and o0| exoe||enced tec|n|ca| s0ooo|t
staff |s stand|ng oy to o|ov|de yo0 w|t| oe|sona|,
o|ofess|ona| s0ooo|t. Yo0'|e not a|one anymo|e.
Ca|| 0s fo| a f|ee eva|0at|on. We'|e |eady to |e|o.
POlNTWlSE.
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Report on Mercury Standard
Sees No Danger of Blackouts
A report released by the Congressional Research
Service analyzes emissions standards for mercury
and other toxic pollution completed by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency in December 2011. The report
found that claims of widespread blackouts due to the new stan-
dards are grossly overstated.
The standards seek to reduce mercury and other toxic emis-
sions from electric generating units by approximately 90 per-
cent. The EPA estimates that the annualized cost of maximum
achievable control technology could total $9.6 billion. It also
predicts that the rule will save $37 billion to $90 billion, largely
by avoiding 11,000 premature deaths annually.
According to the report, EPAs Utility MACT: Will the Lights Go
Out? the rules costs will fall primarily on older coal-red units
that do not have state-of-the art pollution controls.
The CRS report reviews industry data on planning reserve
margins and potential retirement of units that do not currently
meet the standards. Based on these data, it appears that,
although the rule may lead to the retirement or derating of
some facilities, almost all of the capacity reductions will occur
in areas that have substantial reserve margins.
The EPA estimates that the rule will raise the average price of
electricity nationally by 3.1 percent by 2015.
High-Tech Manufacturing Jobs
Have Taken a Hit in the Past Decade
T
he United States remains the global leader in sup-
porting science and technology research and devel-
opment, but only by a slim margin that could soon
be eliminated by rapidly increasing investments in
Asia, according to the National Science Board.
The NSB, the policymaking body for the National Science
Foundation, makes the prediction in Science and Engineering
Indicators 2012 , a study of the science, engineering, and tech-
nology workforce, education eforts, and economic activity.
According to the study, the largest global science and
technology investment gains occurred in the Asia-10 coun-
triesChina, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines,
Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Between
1999 and 2009, the U.S. share of global research and develop-
ment dropped from 38 percent to 31 percent, while it grew
from 24 percent to 35 percent in the Asia-10.
U.S. employment in high-technology manufacturing
reached a peak in 2000, with 2.5 million jobs. The recession
of 2001 caused substantial and permanent job losses, the
report said. By the end of the decade, more than a quarter of
the jobs were gone.
NSF initiatives designed to better position the U.S. globally
focus on enhancing international collaborations, improving
education, and establishing new partnerships between NSF-
supported researchers and those in industry.
Next-Day Dreams
I
magine watching your nightly dreams the morning after.
On YouTube.
Whether you nd the notion intriguing or cringe-induc-
ing, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, said
such a thing will one day be possible via a blend of brain
imaging and computer
simulation software that
will also serve a variety
of altruistic needs beyond
dream reconstruction.
Through use of functional
magnetic resonance imaging
and computational models,
the university researchers
have been able to decode
and reconstruct peoples
visual experiences, said
Jack Gallant, a professor of
neuroscience at the school.
He coauthored a paper about
his groups work, which was
published in the Sept. 22,
2011, online version of the
journal Current Biology.
As yet, the system only reconstructs movie clips people
have already viewed, Gallant said. But the work paves the
way for reproducing the movies inside our heads such as
dreams and memories, he added.
The technology could give doctors and scientists a better
understanding of what goes on in the minds of stroke vic-
tims, coma patients, and others who cant speak. It may also
lay the groundwork for a brain-machine interface so that
people with cerebral palsy or paralysis, for example, can
guide computers with their minds.
Our natural visual experience is like watching a movie,
said Shinji Nishimoto, a post-doctoral researcher in Gallants
lab. In order for this technology to have wide applicability,
we must understand how the brain processes these dynamic
visual experiences.
Nishimoto and two oth-
er research team mem-
bers served as subjects for
the experiment, because
the procedure requires
volunteers to remain still
inside the MRI scanner
for hours at a time.
They watched two sepa-
rate sets of Hollywood
movie trailers, while the
scanner measured blood
ow through the visual
cortex, the part of the
brain that processes visu-
al information. The brain
activity recorded while
subjects viewed the rst
set of clips was fed into a computer program that learned,
second by second, to associate visual patterns in the movie
with the corresponding brain activity, Nishimoto said.
Ultimately, Nishimoto said, scientists need to understand
how the brain processes dynamic visual events that we
experience in everyday life.
We need to know how the brain works in naturalistic
conditions, he said. But for that, we need to rst under-
stand how the brain works while we are watching movies.
COMPUTING
This section was written by
Associate Editor Jean Thilmany.
S
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18 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
m The top row shows segments of a Hollywood movie trailer that a subject
viewed while in the MRI. The bottom row shows the reconstructions of
these segments from brain activity measured using fMRI.
The complicated organization of the
livers interior is tricky to reproduce in
a laboratory-grown culture of cells.
To study the molecular underpin-
nings of a disease, scientists often rely
on an animal model of the disease or
cells grown in a Petri dish. But neither
of these methods has shed much light
on hepatitis C virus, which affects the
liver. Because its exclusively a human
disease, animal models are limited.
And liver cells dont survive in typical
cell cultures, confounding scientists
who want to grow them in the lab.
Now, Sangeeta Bhatia has designed a
workaround: a system that allows liver
cells to thrive in the lab. Bhatia, a tissue
engineer at the Massachusetts Insti-
tute of Technology, creates what she
calls micro-livers by using computer-
engineering tools to visualize and then
to dot microscopic patterns of liver cells
on glass slides.
The tools Bhatia developed allow sci-
entists to create an organized environ-
ment that lets the cells ourish outside
the body.
Bhatia and her team showed that liver
cells grown in their micro-liver system
could be infected with hepatitis C for up
to two weeksenough time to poten-
tially screen drugs or test how the virus
behaves inside the cell culture.
Bhatia said the technique for applying
organization to liver cell cultures may
also work for studying other cell types
outside the human body.
In-Lab Liver Cells
F
aced with a seemingly immove-
able objectin this case the
enormous steam generators of
a nuclear power plantengi-
neers at Perkins Specialized Transpor-
tation Contracting of Northeld, Minn.,
needed to build an irresistible force.
And what they came up with is a very,
very long truck.
The engineers at Perkins, which
makes transportation vehicles for long,
heavy, and oversize objects, designed a
400-foot-long truck.
The transporter trailer has 192 wheels
and 48 axles, each of which can turn
independently, enabling the truck to
effectively navigate sharp turns and
different road grades, said Neil Perkins,
president of the company. The truck,
which took nearly three years to design,
recently carried four immense steam
generators from the San Onofre Nuclear
Generating Station in southern California
to a disposal site in Clive, Utah.
With a project this large, there is no
do-over if the truck fails halfway through
its journey, Perkins said. You only get
one shot to get it right.
Engineers at the company used digital
prototyping software from Autodesk of
San Rafael, Calif., to carry out the proj-
ect. They started with 2-D sketches of
the transporter created in AutoCAD soft-
ware, then brought them into Autodesk
Inventor software to model them in 3-D
and to perform motion analysis and
check for interferences as the various
axles turned and rotated, Perkins said.
A
U
T
O
D
E
S
K
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 19
q A truck longer than a football field
and boasting 192 wheels recently carried
four steam generators from a nuclear
generating station in southern California
to a disposal site in Clive, Utah.
Many Wheels Rolling
Follow us online.
For more information: info@cd-adapco.com
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me.hotims.com/40244-11 or circle 11
V
ideo games have their good
and bad sides, according to
researchers who recently
collaborated on an article
that looked at the games from various
perspectives.
The article, for which six research-
ers wrote independent perspective,
appeared in the December issue of
the online journal Nature Reviews/
Neuroscience. The article looked at
current understanding of the positive
and negative efects of playing video
games on cognition and behavior, and
talked about how the games can be
harnessed for educational and reha-
bilitative purposes.
In the article, University of Roch-
ester researchers Daphne Bavelier
and C. Shawn Green looked at a
study they did on the futuristic
rst-person shooter game Unreal
Tournament, in which they found
players improved perceptual and
attention skills by playing. In a rst-
person shooter, players shoot from
their own perspective, as if theyre
holding the shooting device.
For his part, Douglas Gentile, an
associate professor of psychology
at Iowa State University, said hes
found both positive and negative
efects from playing video games.
If content is chosen wisely, video
games can actually enhance some
skills, Gentile said. But overall,
the research has demonstrated that
theyre far more powerful teaching
tools than we imagined. But the power
can be both good and bad.
For instance, the evidence that playing
video games induces criminal or serious
physical violence is much weaker than
the evidence that games increase the
types of aggression that happen every
day in school hallways, Gentile wrote.
As a developmental psychologist,
I care deeply about the everyday
aggressionverbal, relational, and
physicalwhereas critics of the
research seem to be mostly interested
in criminal violence, he wrote.
The games ofer signicant promise
for education, particularly since they
have been found to be such efective
teaching tools, he wrote. But while
studies of educational software dem-
onstrate that children do learn from
playing educational games, Gentile
said that the amount of money spent
on educational games is a tiny fraction
of the amount spent on commercial
entertainment games.
Therefore, most educational games
arent as interesting, fun, or good as
even a mediocre commercial game,
he wrote.
In addition to Bavelier, Green, and
Gentile, also quoted in the article
were Doug Hyun Han, a researcher
in the department of psychiatry
at Chung Ang University in Seoul,
Korea; Perry Renshaw, researcher in
the department of psychiatry and at
the Brain Institute at the University
of Utah; and Michael Merzenich,
researcher at the W.M. Keck Founda-
tion Center for Integrative Neurosci-
ence at the University of California,
San Francisco.
BRI EFLY NOTED
SolidCAM of Washington Crossing, Pa., has released InventorCAM 2012, the latest version
of its CAM system, which integrates with Autodesk Inventor from Autodesk of San Rafael,
Calif. /// Mentor Graphics Corp. of Wilsonville, Ore., has acquired the Flowmaster Group
of Northants, England, which makes computational uid dynamics software for system
design. Mentor Graphics also makes software for electronic design. /// CCE of Farmington
Hills, Mich., has released EnSuite 2012, which provides access to CAD data regardless of
which CAD system was used to author it. /// Aveva of Cambidge, England, has released
Aveva Surface Manager 12.1, which is part of the developers marine portfolio.The soft-
ware allows the transfer of surfaces to and from external systems by the use of neutral
standards. /// Schroff Development Corp. of Mission, Kans., has released the book Engi-
neering Design with SolidWorks 2012 by David and Marie Planchard. /// The SolidWorks
reseller Computer Aided Technology Inc. of Buffalo Grove, Ill., has acquired the Solid-
Works business from reseller Tridaq Inc. of Kansas City, Mo. Tridaq clients in Missouri,
Kansas, and Illinois will now be served by Computer Aided Technology.
COMPUTING
20 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
Gaming Pros and Cons
E
P
I
C

G
A
M
E
S
l People who play the first-person shooter game "Unreal
Tournament" have increased perception and attention, according
to a study from the University of Rochester in New York.





designs will be converted to the IGES
format.
Cost: $19.95 per month subscription
for Local Motors community members.
Anyone can join this community by
registering at www.local-motors.com.
www.me.hotims.com/40244-72 or circle 72
VIEWER APP
Capability: The three-dimensional
le viewer TurboViewer App allows
viewing of three-dimensional drawing
les on the iPad and iPhone, including
the viewing of Autodesk, AutoCAD,
and Drawing Exchange format, or DXF,
les. Updated features include support
for AutoCADs SHX font and memory
optimizations. Other features include
the capability to restore saved Auto-
CAD views to display the best vision of
a design and to navigate by touch while
panning, zooming, and orbiting.
Hardware: iPad or iPhone.
Developer: IMSI/Design, 25 Leve-
roni Court, Novato, CA 94949; (415)
483-8000; fax (415) 884-9023; www.
imsidesign.com.
Cost: Free at App Store at www.iTunes.
com/AppStore.
www.me.hotims.com/40244-73 or circle 73
22 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
CONVERT AND PRINT
Capability: VariCAD Viewer 2012-1.0.3
is a viewer, convertor, and printer soft-
ware that works with two-dimensional
Drawing and Drawing Exchange les,
with three-dimensional STEP les,
and with both 2-D and 3-D VariCAD
le formats. VariCAD is CAD software.
The viewer allows a user to convert
DWG to DXF or vice-versa, convert
STEP to 3-D IGES or STL formats,
print 2-D DWG, DXF, or VariCAD
formats, and use batch print or batch
conversions. All conversions are also
available between the VariCAD format
and other listed formats. Users can set
the 3-D display methods to account
for light source or perspective. The
3-D display also can be exported into a
high-resolution bitmap le.
Hardware: PC running the Windows
operating system.
Developer: VariCAD s.r.o., Husova
678/42, Liberec 460 01, Czech
Republic; +420 485 100 529;
www.varicad.com.
Cost: Free.
www.me.hotims.com/40244-71 or circle 71

CAD FOR CARS
Capability: The CAD system Solid Edge
Design1 has been introduced through
Local Motors, a Siemens PLM Software
partner, exclusively to the Local Motors
global design community for a monthly
subscription price. Local Motors cus-
tomers build a customized vehicle with
professional assistance and have an op-
tion for limited production at its micro
factory in Phoenix. Solid Edge Design1
is based on the same technology found
in the full function version of Solid Edge
and includes capabilities such as core
assembly and 3-D part modeling.
Developer: Siemens PLM Software,
5800 Granite Pkwy, Ste. 600,
Plano, TX 75024; (800) 498-5351; www.
plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/.
Hardware: PC running the Windows
or Macintosh operating system. CAD
PLASTIC MOLD
Capability: Project Scandium Tech-
nology Preview3 for Moldow makes
available new solver technologies for
the plastic injection molding simula-
tion software Autodesk Moldow
Insight 2012. Users can ofer their
feedback on the solver technologies.
The technology preview is only for use
with an existing Autodesk Moldow
Insight 2012 license. New features
included in Preview 3 include the
capability to simulate mold tempera-
ture uctuations during the molding
cycle or over many cycles of produc-
tion start-up. This capability is now
available for 3-D thermoset molding
and for dual domain thermoplastic
molding. The new long-ber breakage
feature calculates the resultant ber
length of long-ber composite materi-
als as a result of breakage during the
lling process.
Hardware: PC running Windows 7,
Vista, XP, or Windows Server 2003
or Server 2008 and Moldow Insight
2012.
Developer: Autodesk Labs, 111 McIn-
nis Pkwy., San Rafael, CA 94903; (800)
964-6432; http://labs.autodesk.com.
Cost: Free at http://labs.autodesk.
com/utilities/moldow_scandium/.
www.me.hotims.com/40244-70 or circle 70
SOFTWARE
EXCHANGE
Describe the software program
in detail, following the format
shown here.
You may include artwork.
Send your submissions to:
Software Exchange
Mechanical Engineering
Three Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016-5990
fax: (212) 591-7841
e-mail: memag@asme.org
ME does not test or endorse any software
program described in this section.
+
submissions
for software
exchange
A
U
T
O
D
E
S
K
SAutodesk Moldow Insight offers plastic
injection molding simulation for digital proto-
types, above. Now a technology preview from
Autodesk Labs lets users try out and com-
ment on new solver technologies to accom-
pany future versions of the Moldow software.
join us for this
free webinar!
WEBINAR SERIES
magazine
Conjugate Heat Transfer with
COMSOL Multiphysics
Conjugate Heat Transfer with
COMSOL Multiphysics
March 28, 2012 2:00 p.m. E7 l 11:00 a.m. P7
kegister today at: http:llbit.lylwNNK1U
Sponsored by:
MODERATOR:
JOHN FALCIONI
Editor-in-Chief,
Mechanical Engineering
SPEAKER:
NIKLAS ROM
Vice President Engineering,
COMSOL
Register today at http://bit.ly/wNNK1U
Of all physics, perhaps heat transfer is one of the
most central phenomena to the analysis of
engineering and scientific systems. Most analyses
include some form of heat effect and this effect is
frequently central to the accuracy of the simulation.
How hot something gets is of critical importance,
but so is the effect on other physics of temperature
varying material properties, or swelling due to
thermal expansion, or the temperature effects
on the kinetics of chemical reactions to name
just a few. Thermal analysis is key to many
multiphysics problems.
This webinar will explore heat transfer analysis
in combined fluid and solid systems, sometimes
referred to as conjugate heat transfer. The primary
simulation goal is explored and how it frequently
links to other physics in multiphysics simulations.
We will conclude the presentation with an
example analysis in which we show, step by step,
how to solve this class of problems with
COMSOL multiphysics.
me.hotims.com/40244-16 or circle 16
T
wo decades ago, eldbus networks began to
invade manufacturing facilities. Not only did
they deliver real-time distributed control for
complex systems of automated equipment, but
they simplied installation. Instead of wiring
each sensor and actuator individually, engi-
neers connected eldbus-capable devices to
a single eldbus cable. The eldbus network
instantly recognized them and did the rest.
It was a revolution in control. Unfortunately, though, it stopped
at the control box. Inside the cabinet, switches, contactors, cir-
cuit breakers, and other digital
and analog inputs had to be
wired the old fashioned way, by
hand. The typical result, at least
for large cabinets, is a complex
jangle of wires that takes hours
to connect, test, and verify.
Now Eaton has extended
distributed intelligence to the
control panel. The companys
new SmartWire-DT uses a
single eight-wire cable and
smart modules to connect motor control components inside the
cabinet. Technicians crimp the modules to connect them to the
wire. SmartWire-DT recognizes the components when it starts
up, and acts as a gateway between cabinet components and the
eldbus network of programmable logic controllers.
It really does change the landscape, Eatons product man-
ager, Richard Chung, said. While the cost of individual compo-
nents is higher than conventional control panel devices, they let
technicians duplicate panels seven to ten times faster, Chung
claimed.
Simplifying wiring also avoids error. The more wires you
have, the more mistakes youre prone to make, and the more
likely something will to go wrong in the future, he said.
Eaton has built its system around two components. The rst is
the slim at wire used to connect devices. Each of its eight rib-
bons is 24 gauge. Fieldbus cables, on the other hand, are round
and much larger. Imagine trying to make a connection in a
panel box and then turning that cable around to connect the next
row. Its not feasible, he said. We intentionally kept our wire
gauge small and exible so we
could wire it in tight spaces.
The other enabling technol-
ogy is the inexpensive chip
used to identify each device
and control its I/O. Its truly
distributed processing. You
connect all the devices, turn on
the power, push the auto con-
guration button, and it checks
the devices on the gateway and
maps them, Chung said.
Engineers can use software to prevent unauthorized wiring
changes. SmartWire-DT connects to PLC eldbuses, such as
Probus-DP, CANopen, Ethernet/IP, and Modbus TCP.
Chung noted that one customer switched to SmartWire-DT
and reduced the time needed to wire a control panel with 12 pilot
devices to less than one hour, from an entire day. He estimated
that the system achieves breakeven in cabinets with 15 to 25
devices, depending on the types of devices and PLCs.
24 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
TECHFOCUS
This section was edited by
Associate Editor Alan S. Brown
Power Transmission & Motion Control
Control Panel Wiring Made Simple
E
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r SmartWire-DT automatically
recognizes control panel
devices clipped onto it.
A new voice coil motor from
Equipment Solutions of Sunnyvale,
Calif., uses a exure bearing to
provide precise positioning in a very
compact package. The RVC-5 was
designed to tilt a mirror or grating in
laser and optical systems.
Potential uses include laser mark-
ing, cutting, and welding, as well as
light shows, semiconductor fabri-
cation, optical testing, scanning
microscopy, and anywhere engineers
need to manipulate optical elements.
The motor was originally created
for diode-pumped lasers. According
to Equipment Solutions president,
Paul Swanson, the frequency of these
lasers drifts during operation. By
shining the light beam onto a grating
before it exits the laser and manipu-
lating the gratings angle, the device
can correct for drift and keep the
laser tuned to a single frequency.
The device has two elements, a
voice coil motor and a exure bear-
ing attached to a lever. The motor
consists of a magnetic housing and
coil. Applying voltage causes the coil
to move linearly along the length of
the housing. As it moves, it pushes or
pulls a exure bearing. This moves
the lever, which tilts the mirror plus
or minus 5 degrees.
Small Voice Coil Motor Drives Laser Mirrors
I
s energy harvesting ready for prime time? It is certainly
getting closer, according to Silicon Laboratories, which
develops low-power wireless transmitters, and IDTechEx,
a consultant in the eld.
Energy harvesters are devices that capture or recapture
energyvibration, heat, solar, electrostaticthat is otherwise
lost. Most often, harvesters store the energy and reuse it later
for power. Common technologies range from small piezoelec-
tric devices that convert machinery vibration into enough
electricity to power a small
wireless sensor to regenera-
tive braking systems that
recharge batteries for use
when starting a car.
One popular applica-
tion is wireless sensors. As
Silicon Laboratories noted
in a white paper, Running
mains power to wireless
sensors is often neither
possible nor convenient, and
since wireless sensor nodes
are commonly placed in
hard-to-reach locations, changing batteries regularly can be
costly and inconvenient.
Until recently, this was a problem most engineers had to live
with. Energy harvesting devices simply could not generate
enough electricity to power wireless communications. This
has begun to change.
Piezoelectric devices, among the most common energy
harvesters, have grown increasingly efcient. Four years ago,
they broke through the microwatt barrier and into the mil-
liwatt regime. This is the power domain were most microcir-
cuits operate.
Its not just energy harvesters that are getting better
though. Its also power consumption requirements that are
coming down, IDTechEx technology analyst Harry Zervos
noted. Wireless sensors are increasingly integrating func-
tions into single chips to minimize power draw. They sleep
between measurements to conserve power. When they do
broadcast, they used stripped-down protocols to minimize
the amount of information they need to send, and may adjust
their range to available power.
Intels prototype Claremont microprocessor actually
adjusts its workload when it has less power. When running
on solar power alone, it draws less than 10 milliwatts. While
the Claremont is a research demonstrator, Intel could adapt
the technology for commercial chips, the companys chief
technology ofcer, Justin Rattner, said.
The combination of improved harvesters and low
powered electronics have yielded new products.
Last year, Germanys Micropelt introduced two
sensors based on its thermoelectric technology.
The rst, developed with MSX Technology, is a
sensor for pots and pans that
controls kitchen cooktop tem-
perature. It can reduce energy
use during cooking by up to 50
percent. The second, qNode,
created with Schneider Elec-
tric, is a wireless machinery
condition monitor.
Zervos expects future harvesters to generate more power.
Last November, for example, the National Institute of Aero-
space demonstrated a multilayer piezoelectric device that can
harvest four times more energy than conventional piezoelec-
tric systems. The researchers, led by Tian-Bing Xu, hope to
demonstrate harvests of up to 1 watt in 2012.
Researchers at the Stony Brook University in New York at
led by Lei Zuo have developed small generators that harvest
electricity from the motion of shock absorbers. Zuo estimated
that a passenger car traveling down a smooth highway could
generate 100 to 400 watts of energy under normal driving
conditions.
Such energy could power a vehicles auxiliary electrical
systems. Or a system could store electricity in supercapaci-
tors and use the energy to drive an electric motor that assists
vehicles accelerating from a full stop.
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 25
E
Q
U
I
P
M
E
N
T

S
O
L
U
T
I
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N
S
S
I
L
I
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O
N

L
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O
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I
E
S
According to Swanson, the
exure bearing will last the life of
the motor. It can oscillate or move
to any xed point, and achieves a
smooth, linear velocity prole free
of friction and stiction. An absolute
angle electrooptic position sensor
directly monitors the motion of the
attached mirror or grating with
microradian resolution and high
repeatability.
Restricting the rotational angle
to a maximum of 5 degrees enabled
Swanson to shrink the size of the
motor. By restricting motor and
sensor operation to a narrow range
of angles, Swanson was able
to build a motor that responds
faster and has more accurate
sensor resolution.
The entire package, motor and
integrated sensor, is tiny. It mea-
sures only 25 mm (1.0 in.) wide by
40 mm (1.5 in.) long. It is much
more compact than the galva-
nometers used for this application,
and less costly. While its performance
is not quite as high, it can t into any
pumped diode laser, Swanson said.
Energy Harvesting Comes of Age
m Motor keeps laser from drifting.

l Above, a thermal har-
vester powers an electrical
condition monitor. Right,
Intel's Claremont chip runs
on solar power.
26 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
TECHFOCUS
W
I
B
U
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S
Y
S
T
E
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V
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W
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Simplifying Shop Floor PLC Security
Belt Tension Constant for Cars Lifetime
Not so long ago, companies
protected trade secrets by limiting
knowledge of critical elements to a
small circle of insiders. Yet as factories
grew more automated, engineers had to
encode those trade secrets into the pro-
grammable linear controllers that ran
their processes. Once that happened,
industrial spies could steal the data and
reverse engineer the process.
This vulnerability is why we are likely
to see more partnerships like the one
signed between two German
rms, Wibu-Systems,
which makes software
encryption tools, and
Smart Software Solutions,
developer of CoDeSys, a
popular European PLC programming
software. Their new product, CoDeSys
Security, enables engineers to add
security features within their standard
programming environment.
CoDeSys conforms to the Interna-
tional Electrotechnical Commission
61131-3 standard. It provides a com-
mon program structure and set of tools
(from ladder logic and function blocks
to structured text and instruction lists).
Working with this one software pack-
age, engineers can program controllers
from diferent vendors, as long as
they conform to the 61131-3
standard.
Wibu-Systems CodeMeter encryp-
tion tools are completely integrated
into the CoDeSys development environ-
ment. CodeMeter encrypts executable
code and communications, and man-
ages who has access to make changes.
Wibu-Systems also provides a
smartcard-based hardware key that
uses encryption algorithms for an
additional layer of security. Accord-
ing to Wibu-Systems CEO, Oliver
Winzenried, the card provides a
high level of security, exibility, and
robustness within factory envi-
ronments, and at the same time
ofers a variety of form factors
that retrot easily into exist-
ing PLCs.
One surprising aspect of
the new platform is that
it makes it possible for
machinery manufactur-
ers to program advanced
functions into their PLCs
and machinery, and charge users on
a pay-per-use or feature-on-demand
basis. The use of Internet-connect-
able hardware would enable them
to create and supply the required
licenses for customers as needed.
m Encrypted smart cards improve PLC security.
A
new auxiliary drive system developed for Volkswa-
gens Up features a V-ribbed belt designed to last for
the vehicles entire service life and achieve constant
tension without an automatic tensioner. In
addition, the new drive system is easier to
install and maintain than conventional units.
"With this design, we have reached a new
performance class," Klaus Schtte, Con-
tiTech Power Transmission Group's head of
application engineering, said.
The Up is a subcompact, four-passenger car
designed primarily for city use. It went into pro-
duction December 2011, and features a 1.0 liter,
three-cylinder engine. The auxiliary drive uses a
fraction of the engine's output to power the alterna-
tor and hydraulic system.
The system consists of two parts. The rst is
ContiTech's Elastic Plus V-ribbed belt, which it
developed especially for Volkswagen. Its elastic-
ity provides the tension needed for the drive. According to Philip
Nelles, who heads the group's original equipment manufac-
turer segment, "Use of an optimized tensile member enables
the belt to transmit more power. This makes it suitable even
for demanding drive units and reduces fuel consumption." The
optimized tensile member is ber reinforcement.
The system's second component is a xed eccentric pulley
developed by Schaefer Technologies. Running the elastic belt
around the xed point provides all the tension the system needs.
The design replaces the conventional automatic ten-
sioner, whose location oats to provide constant
tension as typical V-belts wear and stretch.
The elimination of the automatic tensioner
yields several advantages, Nelles said. "The
tensioner pulley makes possible fast, easy,
and safe mounting on the factory assembly line
as well as in the replacement trade.
"What is more, the stability of the system
throughout the lifetime of the engine results
in reduced forces from the very beginning. This
advantage over conventional drive units with
elastic belts reduces CO
2
emissions. Alongside this,
there is less wear and tear on the power units
and on engine components like the crankshaft
bearing," he said.
ContiTech has several other mechanical products on the new
Up. These include a timing belt for the camshaft, shock absorb-
er mounts to reduce vibration, and membranes to regulate fuel
ow. The company's Benecke-Kaliko unit makes upholstery for
the car's interior. It contains none of the antimony trioxide and
heavy metal stabilizers used to keep the material pliant.
m An auxiliary belt lasts the
life of the motor.
March 2012 - Houston
CH139 Conceptual Development and Capital
Cost Estimating Mar. 5-6
CH764 Fuel Process for Fuel Cells
by Microprocess Technology Mar. 5-6
PD621 Grade 91 and Other Creep Strength Enhanced
Ferritic Steels Mar. 5-7
PD190 BPV Code, Section IX: Welding
and Brazing Qualifcations Mar. 5-7
PD513 TRIZ: The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving Mar. 5-7
CH751 Fuels Blending Technology and Management Mar. 5-7
PD448 BPV Code, Section VIII, Division 2:
Pressure Vessels Mar. 5-8
PD632 Design in Codes, Standards and Regulations
for Nuclear Power Plant Construction Mar. 5-8
PD644 Advanced Design and Construction of Nuclear
Facility Components Per BPV Code, Section III Mar. 5-8
CH758 Project Evaluation and Cost Estimating
Combo Course Mar. 5-8
PD598 Developing a New Inservice Testing Program Mar. 5-9
PD013 B31.1 Power Piping Codes Mar. 5-9
CH140 Project Evaluation: Operating Cost Estimating
and Financial Analysis Mar. 7-8
PD391 ASME B31.4 Pipeline Transportation Systems
for Liquid Hydrocarbons and Other Liquids Mar. 8-9
PD445 B31 Piping Fabrication and Examination Mar. 8-9
PD575 Comprehensive Negotiating Strategies Mar. 8-9
March 2012 - Las Vegas
PD475 The New Engineering Manager: Moving
from Technical Professional to Manager Mar. 19-20
PD107 Elevator Maintenance Evaluation Mar. 19-20
PD539 Bolted Joints and Gasket Behavior Mar. 19-20
PD449 Mechanical Tolerancing for Six Sigma Mar. 19-20
PD231 Shock and Vibration Analysis Mar. 19-21
PD349 Centrifugal Pump Design and Applications Mar. 19-21
PD268 Fracture Mechanics Approach
to Life Predictions Mar. 19-21
CH173 Emergency Relief Systems (ERS) Design
Using DIERS Technology Mar. 19-21
PD620 Core Engineering Management Mar. 19-22
PD184 BPV Code Section III, Division 1: Rules for
Construction of Nuclear Facility Components Mar. 19-22
PD601 Bolting Combo Course Mar. 19-23
CH032 Flow of Solids in Bins, Hoppers, Chutes
and Feeders, Level 1 Mar. 20-21
PD386 Design of Bolted Flange Joints Mar. 21
PD512 Engineer as Coach Mar. 21-22
CH501 PSM: Requirements and the Development
of Management Systems Mar. 21-23
CH033 Pneumatic Conveying of Bulk Solids Mar. 22
CH090 Industrial Fluid Mixing Mar. 22-23
CH138 Project Management for Chemical Engineers Mar. 22-23
PD577 Bolted Joint Assembly Principles
Per PCC-1-2010 Mar. 22-23
PD623 Dynamic Loads in Industrial Facilities Due to
Terror Blasts and Vapor Cloud Explosions Mar. 22-23
CH757 Multi-Disciplinary Process Development:
From Lab to Plant Mar. 22-23
April 2012 - Orlando
PD382 How to Predict Thermal-Hydraulic Loads
on Pressure Vessels and Piping Apr. 2-3
PD595 Developing a 10-Year Pump Inservice Testing
Program Apr. 2-3
PD467 Project Management for Engineers
and Technical Professionals Apr. 2-4
CH756 Integrated Process Synthesis: CO
2
Emissions
Reductions Apr. 2-4
PD584 Centrifugal Compressor Performance Analysis Apr. 2-4
PD401 The Layout of Piping Systems
and Process Equipment Apr. 2-4
PD622 BPV Code: Plant Equipment Requirements Apr. 2-5
PD629 Project Management Combo Course Apr. 2-6
PD389 Non-Destructive Examination-Applying ASME
Code Requirements (BPV Code, Section V) Apr. 2-6
PD591 Developing Confict Resolution Best Practices Apr. 4-5
PD013 B31.1 Power Piping Code Apr. 4-6
PD597 Risk-Informed Inservice Testing Apr. 4-6
PD496 Preparing for the Project Management
Professional Certifcation Exam Apr. 5-6
PD532 Professional Responsibility, Ethics
and Legal Issues Apr. 5-6
REGISTER NOW. 1.800.843.2763 or www.asme.org/education
Spring 2012 Training Courses for Engineers and Technical Professionals
ASME In-Company Training
Select from any of our courses to create a
customized training program delivered to
your companys site, anywhere in the world.
Contact Pau| Francis, Manager, Corporate Deve|opment
phone. +1-973-244-2304 or emai|. francisp@asme.org
28 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 29 March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 29
COMPLEXITY
by
DESIGN
complex systems have to understand how the various
components of a system t together and anticipate
how the interactions between these components could
lead to failure. Instead of shrugging at the opacity of
the technology, engineers have to use tools that make
the inner workings transparent. Those
tools may be bits of technologyor
they may be bodies of knowledge that
engineers tap into.
Complex systems come in all sizes.
For instance, consider the system
that routes customer baggage through
a modern airport. In such a system, users rely
unquestioningly on an almost inconceivable level of
sophistication.
Twenty years ago, after a bag entered the system
at the check-in counter, its exact whereabouts in
the baggage system running on conveyor belts was
largely unknown. Locating a particular piece of lug-
gage in transit between planes or from a plane to the
baggage claim could take several hours. This level
of uncertainty reduced the ability of
airlines to schedule connecting ights
with less than a 45-minute window to
transfer bags, and even then, lost lug-
gage was a fact of air travel.
To speed luggage transfer and reduce
uncertainty in the location of bags, new
systems were designed in the 1990s that combined high
speed carts to replace conveyor belts and automated
barcode readers. One of the rst large-scale experienc-
es with such system came in 1993 when the Denver In-
Shannon Flumerfelt is an endowed professor of Lean and director of Lean Thinking for Schools at
The Pawley Lean Institute at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. Gary P. Halada is an associate professor
in materials science and engineering at Stony Brook University in New York. Franz-Josef Kahlen is an associate
professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
By Shannon
Flumerfelt,
Gary Halada, and
Franz-Josef Kahlen
W
e encounter engineered systems every day, whether we
realize it or not. The logistics that deliver your cup of cofee
or the technology that enables you to place a call on a smart
phone are incredibly complex.
And yet, most people dont take time to consider the
workings of these systems. Either they workand are thus ignored
or they fail and are seen as too opaque to understand.
Engineers dont have the luxury of ignorance. We who design these
As engineered systems grow, its imperative to understand
them well enough to forestall unexpected failures.
30 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
ternational Airport opened up. The scale of the airport
required a new type of baggage system, but this did not
become apparent until just two years before the facility
was to open. The baggage system had to accommodate
the existing arrival and departure hall architecture
rather than have those be built around the system, and
the short time table meant that the system was not vali-
dated and that no backup system was prepared.
The rst test runs of the newly installed, automatic,
remote barcode readers were a disaster; luggage was
delivered to other ights, disappeared totally, or was
shredded. Indeed, the opening of the airport was
pushed back by more than one year but the auto-
mated baggage system never worked as designed and
was nally decommissioned 10 years after the airport
opened.
Another, more successful example of a complex sys-
tem is the computer hard drive onto which digital data
are stored. These are a marvel of electromechanical
integration: Data are written onto disk drives in narrow
tracks by a magnetic recording read/write head held in
place by a suspension system capable of maintaining a
stand-of distance to the actual disk of less than 10 nm.
The complex design pa-
rameters for these suspen-
sions in disk drive systems
involve at least two levels
that computer users gener-
ally dont appreciate. First,
because disk drives operate
at several thousand RPMs,
the data must be written to
and read from the disk drive
quickly, all the time, every
time. Considering the disk
drive diameter and typical
RPMs, and the requirement
to maintain a stand-of dis-
tance to the actual disk of
less than 10 nm at all times,
the task of the suspension
can be scaled up to a Boeing
747 ying just two inches of
the ground.
The second level of com-
plexity is introduced by
aerodynamic consider-
ations inside the disk drive.
The angular velocity at the edge of the SCSI disk drive
can reach Mach numbers of around 0.4 to 0.5. The de-
sign parameters for the suspension then must account
for torsional stifness against aerodynamic efects as
well as longitudinal bending. Obviously, minimal mis-
calculations of the torsional stifness or the longitudi-
nal bending will lead to unreliable data storage on the
disk drive.
Given those conditions, its a triumph that hard drive
manufacturers can mass produce these miniature com-
plex systems with a failure rate of just four per million.
H
ow do engineers design complex systems to
remain reliable? Some of the most important
tools for system design and optimization have
been computer-aided engineering or comput-
er-aided design. Engineers have used CAE or CAD tools
extensively for the past forty years to draw and more
recently simulate and test engineering designs. The
development of commercial graphics software starting
in the 1960s revolutionized engineering design in large
companies in the automotive, defense, and aerospace
industries, but the impact was limited. Early computer
mainframes and their accompanying software and in-
put devices were expensive and required detailed train-
ing. Thus, at rst, only the largest companies develop-
ing complicated engineered systems could justify using
these computer-based
design systems.
Throughout the 1970s
and 1980s, professionals
in both academia and the
private sector worked to
create more-advanced
packages capable of han-
dling the increasingly
complex demands of in-
dustry. Simple stick gure
drawings were eventually
replaced by surface model-
ing and textures, and then
by solid modeling. By the
late 1970s, solid models
would serve as the basis for
computer-assisted milling
machines to produce real
objects. In time, the per-
sonal computer revolution
opened the doors of the
drafting room and inte-
grated CAE into every as-
pect of the design process.
Computers also revolutionized the process of me-
chanical and electrical analysis of engineered struc-
tures and circuits, starting with analog computers in
the 1930s and 1940s at MIT. Those early systems could
analyze the forces in structures with 200 to 2,000
Because disk drives operate
at several thousand RPMs,
the data must be written to
and read from the disk drive
quickly, all the time, every
time. Considering the disk
drive diameter and typical
RPMs, and the requirement to
maintain a stand-off distance
to the actual disk of less than
10 nm at all times, the task of
the suspension can be scaled
up to a Boeing 747 ying just
two inches off the ground.
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 31
degrees of freedom, sufcient for simple systems and
components but not for real world, complex problems.
Finite element methods, developed in the 1950s
and 1960s, could do much
morebreaking a large
computer model of an
object into many small
elements and then using
mathematical expressions
for physical properties,
solved at the nodes be-
tween elements, to solve
for overall systemic re-
sponses to a stress or a load
at a particular location.
That technique found im-
mediate application in the
aerospace industry where it
was critical to understand
structural responses to
stress. By the late 1970s,
the integration of FEM and
graphical drawing and mod-
eling software resulted in
an improved way to design
and test simultaneously in
order to enhance perfor-
mance and hence reliability.
But to expand this concept to complex systems, soft-
ware had to be developed to simulate a wide range of
responses, not only in the case of a static stress at a
point, but also for motion, transmission of signals and
energy, and other dynamic input. Engineers needed
to visualize how a system would respond to variations
in design criteria, how it would operate in whole or in
part. Programs like ABAQUS and ANSYS (both devel-
oped in the 1970s) were designed to allow engineers to
expand on FEM and CAD to be able to solve so-called
multiphysics problems, involving mechanical, thermal,
electromagnetic and vibrational forces in a design.
Software for electronics simulation and uid dynam-
ics and electrical control, such as Simulation Program
with Integrated Circuit Emphasis, or SPICE, followed.
Using computational uid dynamics programs, de-
signers could not only understand uid ow through a
complex system, but also could simulate surges in pres-
sure, rapid temperature changes, and other dynamic
changes that can afect overall system performance.
In recent decades, as the computing power of desktop
systems expanded, creating simulations of motion,
forces, ows, and operation became a commonplace
tool for design engineers. They now had the ability to
simulate the operation of electronic circuits through
readily available programs, analyze forces resulting
from impact or stresses using nite element model-
ing, and observe the ow of water, power, or informa-
tion through pathways.
Control systems could
be modeled with popular
mathematical software
combined with graphi-
cal block diagramming
software that can be used
to link components and
functions together to cre-
ate dynamic simulations.
Such software packages
can also be used to train
engineers in operation
of systemsas long as
the computing speed and
power are sufcient to
create a realistic simula-
tion of the engineered
system. Thats a critical
requirement: if the infor-
mation used to create the
simulation is insufcient
or wrongthe predicted
operation, including the
result of any faults or overloads or other extreme
conditions, will be inaccurate.
C
ontrol system design and modeling tools can
do more than simply provide ow and analysis
functions. Software designers and engineers
have begun to incorporate functions into
those applications specically to limit the possibility
of failure. For example, a new software application for
designing energy production systems also allows en-
gineers to test what-if scenarios, such as what might
happen during a transient power spike that might
cause system stress and failure or how the entire sys-
tem responds to increasing demand over time.
The development of sophisticated expert system
software that can provide rapid and intuitive ac-
cess to vast amounts of data on materials and design
features of available components also enables an
individual engineer to tap into the expertise of many
others. This is critical in helping to avoid failure from
lack of knowledge.
Some automated control and feedback systems use
embedded sensors and extremely rapid response
mechanisms to prevent or limit damage from a failure
far faster than a human operator could. This is, in a
Software can be used to
train engineers in operation
of systemsas long as the
computing speed and power
are sufcient to create a
realistic simulation. If the
information used to create the
simulation is insufcient
or wrongthe predicted
operation, including the result
of any faults or overloads or
other extreme conditions, will
be inaccurate.
32 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
sense, a biomimetic model for damage control, as most
biological systemsincluding humansconstantly un-
dergo stresses, damage, and corrective actions on a mo-
lecular level. Failure of these automatic detection and
repair processes lead to many, if not all, diseases. En-
gineers have begun incorporating such self-healing
processes, involving embedded detection, feedback,
and correction, in a number of systems.
Many computer assisted design, operation, and main-
tenance tools have been developed over the past two
decades. These can provide both designer and on-site
engineer with key knowledge to help limit the possibil-
ity of failure. But these tools are only as good as the
data they have access to, and engineers and engineering
companies must make a conscientious and thorough
efort to ensure that, to the best of industry standards
and available knowledge, the information provided by a
program is correct and appropriate to the task at hand.
Results should be crosschecked if possible, with addi-
tional calculations, and software should be chosen with
the need for reliability and accuracy held paramount.
C
omputer simulations and automated control
systems are not the only means for engineers to
reduce the potential for failure. When consid-
ering how to mitigate the likelihood of failure
in engineering, and in complex systems in particular,
the proper use of comprehensive probabilistic risk as-
sessment is critical.
As dened by Michael Stamatelatos of the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration, probabilistic
risk assessment is a systematic and comprehen-
sive methodology to evaluate risks associated with
every life-cycle aspect
of a complex engineered
technological entity from
concept denition, through
design, construction, and
operation, and up to re-
moval from service. PRA
has proven to be extremely
valuable in a host of com-
plex engineered systems,
ranging from chemical pro-
cessing facilities and nu-
clear power plants to waste
storage and treatment fa-
cilities and aerospace mis-
sions and devices.
The process of perform-
ing PRA, in particular dur-
ing the design phase of a
system, mirrors the engineering design process itself.
It introduces key factors which need to be taken into
account during concept generation and selection.
While a number of representative equations have
been developed to express what is most important in
developing a PRA of an engineered system, there are
three primary factors:
QThe probability of failure, usually the
likelihood of failure of individual components
combined to express the degree of vulnerability
or risk of failure for an entire system;
multiplied by
QThe degree of loss or magnitude of severity
of the consequences of failure, and divided by
QThe degree of preparedness or nature of
preventive measures put into place.
As a formula, this is often written,
where R is the overall risk from failure, Pf
n
is the
probability of failure of an individual component or
subsystem (in a system composed of n independent
components or subsystems), M
n
is the magnitude or
severity of consequences of failure of that component
(in relation to the entire system), and Prep(sys) is a
general term related to what measures have been taken
to enhance preparedness for system failure.
Obviously, a three-factor equation for risk involves
vast simplication, and it incorporates an assumption
that all components of the
system are independent
from one another. In reality,
failure of one component
most likely leads to failure
of others. Both intentional
and unintentional interac-
tions often exist among
components, subsystems,
and functions, and these
interactions often lie at the
heart of failure mechanisms
in complex systems.
Further, the concept of
preparedness is a some-
what abstract one and re-
quires an engineer to make
many assumptions about
future use, possible site
R | {
-
(Pf
n
M
n
) } Prep (sys)
n
1
Failure of one component
most likely leads to failure of
others. Both intentional and
unintentional interactions
often exist among
components, subsystems,
and functions, and these
interactions often lie at the
heart of failure mechanisms in
complex systems.
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 33
risks, and even human nature. Preparedness or precau-
tionary activities may also be looked at in the context of
risk management as well as assessment. Juergen Weich-
selgartner, a researcher at the Institute for Coastal
Research in Geesthacht, Germany, and an expert on nat-
ural disasters, includes pre-
paredness, physical hazards,
degree of exposure of indi-
viduals and infrastructure,
prevention, and response
all as the key factors which
dene the degree of vulner-
ability. Weichselgartner fur-
ther denes preparedness as
all precautionary activities
and measures which enable
rapid and efective response
to hazard events.
In general, useful and
accurate application of
PRA to complex systems
must take into account
characterization of uncer-
tainty. This uncertainty
arises from both random, or
probabilistic, causes as well
as from uncertainty in the
appropriateness and nature
of the model used for PRA.
As has been found in many cases of failure, uncertainty
due to human factors, including behavioral, psycho-
logical, and organizational is both difcult to quantify
and hard to predict.
Adaptive risk management structures, such as those
used in high-reliability organizations, which rely on
expertise, planning, and communication, can help to
reduce the uncertainty of human factor risk. Embed-
ded computer systems and sensor networks can also
reduce the time required for a corrective response to
a failure or an out-of-control process, also reducing
risk due to human factors. More accurate models of
systems based on expert system programs with broad
and deep knowledge bases of expertise and ever im-
proving intelligent inference engines also can serve
to reduce risk from uncertainty due to use of inaccu-
rate models for risk assessment and management.
T
here are other ways to improve the human side
of risk management and to avoid catastrophic
failure in complex systems. One is to focus on
the development of knowledge within indi-
vidual engineers and to enhance the capacity for this
within organizations via knowledge management.
Knowledge development begins with trying
to understand the system and how it relates to
other systems and the outside world. Systems
operate under the principle that the sum of the
interdependent elements
holds inherently diferent
characteristics and
outcomes from those of
the individual elements;
this is the crux of complex
adaptivity. In other words,
one may understand
elements of a system
and have the ability to
respond to the state of
those individual elements,
but a systems approach
requires the ability to
envision and grasp all of
the elements and their
synergistic properties as
holistic thinking.
Dealing with the
complex adaptivity of
systems leads to a deeper
understanding of risk
management of systems,
not as a trade-of position
between redundancy and efciency, but to treating
redundancy and efciency as possible interdependent
system attributes that may serve concurrently
as barriers or enablers to system performance.
Redundancy and efciency can be considered as both
confounding and stabilizing to a current systems
state of resilience, depending on the condition of
complex adaptivity at the time.
To do this, engineers have to examine the systems
elements, map the state of interdependence between
and among those elements, and measure the metrics
that the elements and their interrelationships pro-
duce in order to realize a system view of operations.
The better that engineers understand the complex
system they are designing or working onthat is,
whether elements are missing or defective, not prop-
erly interfacing or misaligned, or not performing cor-
rectly or adapting to subpar metricsthe more they
can minimize the potential for failure. This is as true
for organizations as it is for individuals.
The rise of complex systems creates a challenge to
traditional ways of engineering. Fortunately, we are
developing the toolsboth as technology and as pro-
fessional practicesthat can meet this challenge. Q
The better that engineers
understand the complex
system they are designing
or working onthat is,
whether elements are missing
or defective, not properly
interfacing or misaligned, or
not performing correctly or
adapting to subpar metrics
the more they can minimize
the potential for failure. This is
as true for organizations as it
is for individuals.
34 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | February 2012
TRAINING FOR
Design teams are also growing more complex as
the variety of technology in a system requires in-
creasingly interdisciplinary collaboration.
Interaction among the members of diverse teams
can be further complicated by geography. During
the course of a project key members may rarely,
perhaps never, meet in person.
The workforce is short of people skilled to excel
under these conditions. High-tech companies are
having increasing dif culty lling positions of stra-
tegic importance to maintain their competitive po-
sition in the global market. This is particularly true
for manufacturing of complex systems, requiring
workers with competency in science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to oper-
ate, maintain, and repair sophisticated computer-
driven machinery or industrial robots. It is also
true for workers servicing complex systems, such as
advanced aerospace or automotive vehicles.
Traditional engineering disciplines and formal
engineering programs have often proved to be
inadequate for meeting the challenges of both the
current and emerging complex systems and the
workplace. For one reason, established disciplin-
ary boundaries do not mix well with the interdis-
ciplinary nature of complex systems. Also design
approaches, based on traditional top-down systems
engineering, which work for the fully predictable
response of the system in a well-understood envi-
ronment, break down.
New bottom-up engineering approaches are need-
ed for complex systems consisting of many inter-
acting components and operating in an unpredict-
able dynamic environment. Examples of complex
systems range from smart vehicles to smart power
grids, intelligent transportation and healthcare sys-
tems, and virtual enterprises.
Rather than attempting to design the system as a
whole, the components of the system are equipped
with needed capabilities, and their interactions are
enabled to meet dynamic goals. The role of the en-
gineer is that of an enabler to support and guide the
evolution of the system.
Several STEM improvement and pilot academic
engineering programs have been proposed to ad-
dress some of the needs and challenges of the
high-tech workforce. For example, the NSF Cyber-
infrastructure Training, Education, Advancement,
and Mentoring for Our 21st Century Workforce
program was created for improving STEM com-
petencies through collaborations among universi-
ties, schools, government, industry, professional
societies, and international partners. The program
aims at creating a comprehensive infrastructure for
formal and informal learning, training, and profes-
sional development of engineers and other profes-
sionals working on future complex systems.
The nanoHUB, a multiuniversity network led by
Purdue university, is one of the products of that
program. It provides extensive online interactive
Ahmed K. Noor is Eminent Scholar and William E. Lobeck Professor of Modeling, Simulation,
and Visualization Engineering at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.
By Ahmed K. Noor
34 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
The engineering profession is facing a number of major challenges.
As technology advances, systems are generally reaching new levels
of complexity. A modern aerospace vehicle, for example, is a system
in which embedded devices are networked to sense, monitor, and
control physical hardware components. More than half the cost of
the vehicle is for embedded devices, software, and system integration.
That is in addition to the traditional aerospace issues of structures,
aerodynamics, propulsion, guidance, navigation, and control.
Autonomous vehicles may cooperate in a new
type of super-smart urban mobility network.
Those who design, build, and maintain such
complex systems will need advanced skills.
THE NEXT WAVE
As the complexity of systems increases, the preparation of
engineers and the workforce will need to keep pace.
36 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
educational, simulation, and collaboration facilities for vari-
ous aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology, including
manufacturing of complex nanomachines. Researchers and
educators can access more than 160 on-line simulation tools,
which let them analyze and visualize results through an ordi-
nary Web browser.
Companies have launched their own educational pro-
grams to address some of the reskilling and large-scale
system integration needs of complex systems. For example,
Boeing manages about 12,000 engineering and other
courses, for a total of 49,000 hours of instructional mate-
rial. In 2009, Boeing instructors provided over 7 million
hours of instruction to 150,000 employees in 45 countries.
The courses are intended to complement, through practical
applications and lifelong learning, the formal engineering
education at academic institutions, and to provide the skills
needed for the Boeing workforce.
However, despite these and other eforts made over the last
decades, the inadequacy of engineering programs to meet the
challenges of complex systems and a general decline in STEM
skills among high school graduates persist.
Recently, holistic approaches were proposed for addressing
the engineering and STEM education needs for the workforce.
The holistic approaches address some of the needs for the
workforce, including interdisciplinary collaboration, new de-
sign approaches for complex systems, and the characteristics
of entrants to the workforce and their learning styles.
Learning science experts such as the late Craig Newell of
Simon Fraser University, in Burnaby, B.C., have suggested
viewing education as a complex adaptive system, in which
individual components are peopleinstructors and learners
who interact and communicate with each other. They adapt to
changes within the system, such as the changing composition
of the groups, or in the environment, as learning technologies
or spaces change.
Over time, an emergent organization develops, taking a
shape that cannot be fully predicted at the start. If the compo-
nents and their interactions with each other and the environ-
ment are properly designed, the system dynamically evolves
into a coherent, efective learning experience. For example,
groups of geographically distributed learners need not be
restricted to receiving knowledge, but they can be trained to
work as teams, and encouraged to generate new knowledge.
Last year, senior managers at Boeing proposed an eco-
system approach for addressing the challenges facing the
engineering workforce, and accelerating STEM capacity. The
development of such an ecosystem requires interdisciplin-
ary collaborations among teams from academia, industry,
research, and government organizations. The proposal was
motivated by research at Boeing, and other organizations, on
engineering education and training. The proposed ecosys-
tem uses a complex adaptive systems perspective for learn-
ing. It will connect formal and informal learning, through
linking the competencies and learning strategies taught in
the formal environment with learning and performance in
the workplace. It provides an engaging learning environ-
ment which supports learning by doing (applying the knowl-
edge acquired in assigned projects at the company).
The proposed ecosystem and complex system approach for
training and education are steps in the right direction for ad-
dressing challenges of the workforce. However, there is a need
for a panel of thinkers from academia, industry, professional
societies, and government to develop a more comprehensive
education and training strategy for complex systems.
The overall goal of the strategy should be to enable generat-
ing, analyzing, and sharing information pertaining to complex
systems on a much larger scale, and in much less time than is
currently possible. Such activity would foster innovation, dis-
covery, and economic development.
Intelligent Ecosystems
A step towards the implementation of the comprehensive
strategy is the development of Intelligent Cyber-Physical En-
gineering Ecosystems to advance collaboration among engi-
neering and research institutions, industry, professional soci-
eties, and other stakeholders working on complex systems.
The ecosystems will consist of large numbers of distributed
interacting components that are continually updated and
expanded. They include networked smart devices, cogni-
tive robots (with high-level reasoning, planning, and deci-
sion- making capabilities), cyber collaboration and collective
intelligence facilities, blended physical and immersive virtual
environments, and novel interaction technologies.
The ecosystems are expected to grow and to reach unantici-
pated levels of complexity because of the relations among the
continually expanding individual components. The ecosys-
tems cannot be fully dened a priori, but rather emerge from
the interactions among the components, as well as with the
environment. Therefore, the design of the ecosystems cannot
be based on the traditional top-down systems engineering ap-
proach. Rather, a bottom-up emergent engineering approach
is used, in which the components are designed and the inter-
actions are engineered to enable the system to change and
expand as needed.
Specically, the ecosystems would provide knowledge-rich,
immersive environments for integrating engineering practice
with learning, training, and workforce development needed
for complex systems. They will also serve as platforms for
developing new interdisciplinary elds and for expanding the
scope of current ones. A new interdisciplinary eld, for exam-
ple, is cyber engineering for future smart vehicles, which will
require integrating novel electronic devices and sensors with
communication networks and mechanical components.
Some of the key components of the ecosystems, which are
not currently available in the NSF-supported cyberinfra-
structure, are knowledge customization and information
visualization facilities, visual simulation tools with 3-D ste-
reo capability, and advanced multimodal interaction with
the digital environment.
The knowledge-customization facilities should provide the
right knowledge for the right purpose at the right time. They
should incorporate intelligent question-answering systems
that go beyond the capabilities of the current search engines
to provide answers to technical questions, in an intuitive man-
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 37
ner, using the available digital information. It could leverage
the technologies developed by the research teams at Wolfram
Research for the computing search engine, Wolfram Alpha;
and the IBM Watson project.
Three-D stereo provides for interactive experiences with
visual simulations of complex systems.
Multimodal interactions might include new mobile and
wearable devices, interfaces using voice or gesture, and me-
dia-rich communication tools.
The ecosystems would amplify human cognitive and per-
ceptual capabilities, revolutionize learning, and enable the
engineering workforce to perform increasingly complex and
imaginative tasks of synthesis and creativity. Engineers can
be working with experts in articial intelligence and other
technology teams on transforming many current products,
industries, and practices into complex adaptive systems. Some
day, bridges and oil platforms may be able to alert their human
minders that they need repair before failure occurs.
Smart Transportation
New concepts of complex adaptive systems-of-systems, such
as urban mobility and intelligent transportation, can emerge.
The concept is based on networking autonomous vehicles and
equipping them with sophisticated sensors, machine learning,
information processing, built-in custom software, and other
technologies. The cyber-connected vehicles can access, cre-
ate, and share real-time trafc, and other information, with
passengers, public infrastructure, and other vehicles. The cars
can be aware of their locations and the location of other vehi-
cles, and can self-organize to avoid collision, optimize trafc
ow, and increase general mobility. The experiences provided
by the networked vehicles can go well beyond driving, with
several signicant benets, including enhanced safety, faster
transportation, improved productivity (turning commute into
productive time for the passenger), and lowered emissions.
Networked autonomous vehicles will provide all the ben-
ets of individual autonomous vehicles and will also ofer
individual mobility to people who cannot or should not drive.
For example, a person unable to drive because of age-related
inrmities can remain mobile over long distances in a driver-
less vehicle. Automakers can work with healthcare companies
to develop in-vehicle health-monitoring sensors to transmit
data about the passengers health in case of emergency.
New business models may be possible, as in a new mobility-
provider industry for shared cars. The result would be the
convergence of digital lifestyles and cars. Vehicle navigation
systems will incorporate up-to-date maps and real-time trafc
information. New business opportunities will emerge from
adapting the relevant digital technologies to the car.
The proposed ecosystem can accelerate the training that
the engineering workforce needs to realize and sustain the
intelligent transportation and urban mobility concept. It can
provide timely, engaging training needed for follow-up devel-
opment of integrated multimodal transportation systems.
The innovations that can be realized in the proposed ecosys-
tems extend well beyond anything we can currently imagine.
New patterns of organized culture, new interdisciplinary
elds, new paradigms of engineering practice, and new models
for virtual universities and organizations may emerge within
these ecosystems, and support those in the real world. O
I
ncreasingly modern vehicles are
growing in complexity with integrated
sensors, electronics, software, and
mechanical components. Options
have been demonstrated that will allow
drivers to hear Twitter updates read
aloud. Such features are entertaining
at best and distractions at worst. But
technology can also increase the safety
and efciency of driving.
Major automotive companies are
working on enabling cars to communi-
cate information about road conditions,
weather, and trafc problems with one
another. Starting next August a number
of automakers, including Ford, will be
testing vehicle-to-vehicle communica-
tion to enhance safety and reduce acci-
dents. The study will include 3,000 cars
able to broadcast their position, speed,
and direction, to other vehicles over a
Wi-Fi network. The Wi-Fi signals, which
go out in all directions, would warn the
driver of pedestrians, other vehicles,
immediate stops, or dangers in the way
of the vehicle.
A future possibility is a driverless
caran autonomous robotic vehicle
capable of fullling the human transpor-
tation capabilities of a traditional car.
The car integrates a number of sensors,
technologies, and hardware to navigate
and drive itself, and passengers, around
with no human input.
An early concept of a driverless
car was presented by the industrial
designer Norman Bel Geddes in the
Futurama exhibit sponsored by Gen-
eral Motors at the 1939 Worlds Fair
in New York. Recently, there has been
an increasing interest in developing
and testing driverless cars by the
Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency, Google, and several automo-
tive companies, including, Mercedes-
Benz, General Motors, BMW, and Audi.
Google has developed a test eet of
autonomous cars that have driven
over 140,000 miles. It has now been
awarded a patent on some of the
technology used in the driverless car.
The patent application outlines sen-
sors used to identify when the vehicle
stops on a so-called landing strip, then
a second set of sensors take over and
receive data that tells the car where it
is positioned and where it should go.
In addition to the enhanced safety,
and the convenience of relieving the
occupant from driving and navigation,
autonomous cars have a number of
other advantages, including alleviating
the problems associated with parking.
The car can park itself away from the
passengers and return, as needed, to
pick up the passengers.
Connected (Possibly Driverless) Vehicles
38 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic
Professor of Civil Engineering and a
professor of history at Duke University.
Things
Happen
In his 17th book, due for release
this month, Henry Petroski
returns to a subject he has
explored before: the inevitability
of failure and the role it plays
in the advance of technology.
His latest work is To Forgive
Design: Understanding
Failure, published under the
Belknap Press imprint of
Harvard University Press. In
his preface, the author calls
it a sequel to his rst book,
To Engineer Is Human:
The Role of Failure in
Successful Design,
published in 1985 and still in
print. The following excerpt
from To Forgive Design is
taken from Chapter Two,
Things Happen.
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 39
I
t should not surprise us that failures do oc-
cur. After all, the structures, machines, and
systems of the modern world can be terribly
complicated in their design and operation.
And the people who conceive, design, build,
and interact with these complex things are
unquestionably fallible. They sometimes em-
ploy faulty logic, inadvertently transpose digits in
a numerical calculation, mistakenly overtighten
a bolt or undertighten a screw, casually misread
a dial, or hurriedly push when they should pull.
They also can fail to concentrate, to anticipate,
and to communicate at critical moments. At other
times, accidents can occur because people cease
to be honest, to be ethical, and to be professional.
For whatever reason, accidents happen, and ac-
cidents invariably lead to or from the failure of
something or someone. What should surprise us,
really, is not that failures occur but that they do
not do so more often. When they do happen on
our watch, we tend to defend ourselves against
accusations; we try to shift the blame. Our faults
are all too often imputed to the things we design,
make, sell, and operate, not to the people who de-
sign, make, sell, and operate them.
Technology has always been risky business, but
quantifying that risk is a relatively new phenom-
enon in the worlds of engineering and manage-
ment, which should be more integrated than
they often are. The space shuttle program clearly
needed large numbers of engineers and manag-
ers to accomplish its mission, and for planning
purposes it also needed a sense of how successful
it could be. Each shuttle consisted of millions of
parts, which only suggested the degree of com-
plexity of the entire system of hardware, software,
and operations. In the early 1980s, managers at
the National Aeronautics and Space Ad-
ministration (NASA) estimated that the
ights would be 99.999 percent reliable,
which represents a failure rate of only
1 in 100,000. According to the physicist
Richard Feynman, who was a member
of the commission that investigated the
January 1986 Challenger accident, in
which the shuttle broke apart shortly
into its ight, killing all seven astronauts
on board, this would imply that one
could put a Shuttle up each day for 300
years expecting to lose only one. He
wondered, What is the cause of man-
agements fantastic faith in the machin-
ery? Engineers, who were more familiar
with the shuttle itself and with machines
in general, predicted only a 99 percent
success rate, or a failure every 100 launches. A
range safety of cer, who personally observed test
rings during the developmental phase of the
rocket motors, expected a failure rate of 1 in 25.
The Challenger accident proved that estimate to
be the actual failure rate, giving a success rate of
96 percent after exactly 25 launchings.
The failure of Challenger understandably led
to a rethinking of the shuttles design details and
operation, and changes were made on the basis
of lessons learned. After a twenty-month hiatus,
missions resumed and the shuttle eet ew suc-
cessfully until the 113th mission, which ended in
Columbia s disintegration upon reentry into the
Earths atmosphere in 2003. The historical record
then proved the success rate, which had been at
99.11 percent just before Columbia , to be 98.23
percent. This gure increased to 98.48 percent
as of May 2010, when Atlantis returned from its
nal scheduled ight. This left the space shuttle
program with only two remaining planned ights,
and with their completion
the success rate the program
achieved was 98.51 percent,
short of even the engineers
prediction. According to a
minority report from a group
that had monitored progress
in shuttle safety after the Co-
lumbia accident, managers at
NASA lacked the crucial abil-
ity to accurately evaluate how
much or how little risk is asso-
ciated with their decisions. No
matter what the technology is,
our best estimates of its success
tend to be overly optimistic.
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Richard Feynman,
as a member of the
Rogers Commission
investigating
the failure of the
space shuttle
Challenger, asked:
What is the cause
of managements
fantastic faith in the
machinery?
BY HENRY PETROSKI
40 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
Indeed, We were lucky was the way NASA
summarized the results of a shuttle program
retrospective risk assessment released in early
2011. The chance of a catastrophic failure oc-
curring in the rst nine shuttle missions was in
fact as high as 1 in 9, representing a success rate
of less than 89 percent. In the next sixteen mis-
sions, which included the Challenger mission
of 1986, the odds of a failure were 1 in 10. The
odds changed throughout the program because
modications to the system were constantly be-
ing made. For example, when the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of
Freon, NASA had to stop using it to blow insu-
lating foam on the external fuel tank. The com-
pound used to replace Freon did not allow foam
to adhere as well to the tank, resulting in more
foam being shed during liftof and ight. This
increased the risk of an accident, such as the one
that would eventually destroy the shuttle Co-
lumbia. For the nine shuttle missions that were
own in the wake of the Freon ban, the odds of a
disaster increased from 1 in 38 to 1 in 21.
Of course, engineering and technology are not
spectator sports, judged by the nal score. Pre-
paring and launching a space shuttle involved
many teams, which were expected to work in
concert rather than in competition with one
another. The teams had a single objective: the
successful completion of each mission, from
which the aggregate record would follow. The
opponent, so to speak, was not another team or
set of teamsalthough it was the Soviet Union in
the case of the race to the Moonbut nature and
natures laws, of which the eighteenth-century
poet Alexander Pope wrote in an epitaph intend-
ed for Isaac Newton:
Nature and Natures laws lay hid in night:
God said, Let Newton be! and all was light.
As much as he was lionized, Newton himself re-
alized that he was but part of a team, comprising
perhaps some contemporaries but most impor-
tantly predecessor colleagues in mind and spirit
who had wondered about the same mysteries of
the universe as he. As Newton wrote in a letter to
his scientic contemporary Robert Hooke, If I
have seen further it is by standing on the shoul-
ders of Giants. We all stand on the shoulders of
giants who preceded us in our continuing quests
for whatever is forever to be achieved beyond
the horizon. In engineering the holy grail is the
perfect design, something that always functions
exactly as intended and that never needs any im-
provement. Of course, if we could achieve it, the
perfect design would never fail.
For Newton, all may have been light, but it
was also heavy. The struggle of the space shuttle
against the force of gravity was evident in the
agonizingly slow early seconds of liftof during
each launch from Cape Canaveral. Of course, once
the struggle had been won, gravity became an
ally, keeping the shuttle in low Earth orbit even
as it wanted to follow its velocity of on a tangent.
When the space age had dawned in the second
half of the twentieth century, the basic physical
laws necessary to design and y spacecraft were
believed to have been more or less fully illumi-
nated. Otherwise, manned ights into orbit and
beyond would have been a much riskier endeavor,
if not just a fanciful dream. The trick was to ex-
ploit the laws properly. But just knowing the laws
of nature is not suf cient to eld a team to com-
pete successfully against them. It takes the cre-
ative genius of engineering to design a spacecraft
like the shuttle that will not only be launched
successfully but also orbit Earth, reenter the
atmosphere, and glide to a safe landing. Success
demanded the integration of a great amount of
specialized knowledge and achievement by teams
of engineers engaged in the intricacies of rockets,
combustion, structures, aerodynamics, life sup-
port, heat transfer, computer control, and a host
of other specialties. Each member of each team
had to contribute to the whole efort. There had to
be give and take among the teams to be sure that
no aspect of their singular goal worked at cross
purposes to another.
In any project, large or small, each engineers
work is expected to be consistent and transparent
so that another engineer can check itby follow-
ing its assumptions, logic, and computationsfor
inadvertent errors. This constitutes the epitome
of team play, and it is the give and take of concepts
and calculations among engineers working on a
project that make it successful. Of course, slips
of logic do occasionally occur, mistakes are made
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Nature and Natures
laws lay hid in night:
God said, Let Newton
be! and all was light.
Newton himself realized he
was part of a team including
predecessors who pondered
the same mysteries that he
explored.
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 41
and missed, resulting in a awed design, which
may or may not lead to an immediate failure.
If the project involves a building, for example,
an underdesigned beam or column might re-
veal itself during construction. It might bend
noticeably and so not look quite right to a eld
engineers trained eye, which might send the
designer back to the drawing board,
where the error might be caught. Un-
fortunately, not all errors are caught,
either in the design of ce or on the
construction site, and those that are
not can indeed lead to failures.
Parking decks are familiar struc-
tures that do fail now and then, and
the failures can often be traced to
something out of the ordinary in
their design or construction. Such
collapses might never have occurred
if the structures and everything sur-
rounding them had been exact copies
of those that had stood the test of
time, but even repeated success is
no guarantee against future failure.
In fact, prolonged success, whether
it be in a space shuttle program or
in the design and construction of parking ga-
rages, tends to lead to either complacency or
change, both of which can ultimately lead to
failure. As one engineer has put it, every suc-
cess sows the seeds of failure. Success makes you
overcondent. When we are overcondent and
complacent, satised that we have been doing
everything correctly because we have had no
failures, we also tend to become inattentive and
careless. We begin to take chances, and good luck
like the kind that was had in launching shuttles
with faulty O-rings runs out. Or, if we are expe-
riencing a string of successful projects involving
parking garages, say, we begin to think that we
can make them a bit more competitive by using
lighter beams or by introducing a more ef cient
construction technique. Then, the structural
aws that had lain hidden from sight can become
revealed in the collapse that lets in light.
In the spring of 2010, the oil well blowout that
led to the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon
drill rig, its sinking, and the subsequent pro-
longed oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico took every-
one by surprise in part because few remembered
that anything quite like it had ever happened
in the area. But in fact, three decades earlier, in
1979, the Ixtoc I exploratory well that was being
drilled by a semisubmersible rig operating in
little more than 150 feet of water experienced a
loss of conning pressure, and the subsequent
blowout continued to leak oil over the course of
almost a year. Ultimately more than three mil-
lion barrels of crude oil gushed into the Mexican
waters of the Gulf and beyond. In the immediate
wake of that accident, the oil industry operated
with a heightened awareness of the possibility of
well failure, and so took extra precautions and
more care with operations. Over time, however,
and with a growing record of successful drilling
for and extraction of oil from Gulf waters, oil rig
and well operations grew lax, and this produced
the kind of climate that set the stage for the
Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent
environmental catastrophe. It was no accident
that these two unfortunate events occurred
about thirty years apart, for that is about the
span of an engineering generation and of the
technological memory for any industry. Dur-
ing such a career span, we can expect periods of
success punctuated by incidents of failure, and
depending when in the cycle a young engineer
enters the industry, he or she can be more sen-
sitized by one or the other. This sensitization
tends to dominate design and operational behav-
ior for a period, but in time a paradigm of success
tends to suppress one of failure, and an atmo-
sphere of overcondence, complacency, laxity,
and hubris prevails until a new failure provides a
new wakeup call. O
Three decades before a well blowout destroyed
Deepwater Horizon, a similar accident left the Ixtoc I
well leaking oil for months off the coast of Mexico.
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Excerpted from To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure,
by Henry Petroski, published by The Belknap Press of
Harvard University Press. Copyright 2012 Henry Petroski.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
42 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
I
t will take a systems approach to ofshore drilling
safety to reduce the risk of catastrophic explosions
and oil spills, according to a new report, Macondo
Well-Deepwater Horizon Blowout: Lessons for Improving
Ofshore Drilling Safety. The study was conducted by the
National Academy of Engineering and National Research
Council, and led by former Navy Secretary Donald
Winter, now a professor of engineering at the University
of Michigan.
The reports systems approach for hardware would
include better risk assessment, improved design
guidelines, more realistic testing and modeling, and
an enhanced systems-level understanding of ofshore
drilling equipment.
On the human resources side, the report calls for
A System
Approach
to Safety
A report recommends ways
to avoid a repeat of the
Macondo well blowout.
BY ALAN S. BROWN
Alan S. Brown is an associate editor of Mechanical Engineering magazine.
42 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 43
creation of corporate safety cultures and improved operator
training. It also recommends consolidating all responsibility
for safety with the operating companies and all government
oversight of safety within a single agency.
The committee drew its recommendations from an
analysis of the Macondo Well blowout, which destroyed
the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20, 2010. The
accident killed 11 workers and released 5 million barrels of
oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The committee estimated that
the event cost billions of dollars. Its ecological impact is still
being measured.
The Macondo well was difcult to drill. Its total depth was
nearly four miles down. Moreover, its highest reservoir pore
pressure was very close to the fracture gradients of the forma-
tion. In other words, it was primed for a blowout. This became
clear during drilling in March and April, when
the Deepwater Horizon experienced several
kicks due to hydrocarbon ows and lost circu-
lation due to formation fracturing.
In April, Deepwater Horizon began to cap the
well, sealing it of for future use while BP built
the infrastructure needed to transport oil to the
shore. The industry typically caps wells by us-
ing a combination of cemented liners or casings
and additional cement or mechanical plugs.
These provide multiple barriers to hydrocarbon
ow. The team chose to use a production casing
that extended from the seaoor to the bottom
of the well and cement it in place with low-
density, foamed cement slurry.
The team ran into a number of problems, such
as closing the check valves at the bottom of the
casing. The crew determined mistakenly that it
had cemented the casing in place successfully.
It then ran a series of negative pressure tests to
check the integrity of the cement job. Every test
showed inconclusive and confusing results.
Yet the crew misinterpreted these warning signs, and began
capping the well. As it began to displace drilling mud with
lighter seawater, hydrocarbons began to ow out of the well.
It took more than 50 minutes for the crew to realize it had
lost control of the well.
At that point, the crew activated the blowout preventer.
This was a tower of valves and rams that sat on top of the well.
It was designed to close of any ow of hydrocarbons. Crew
members activated the blind shear ram, a last-resort ram
designed to crush and sever the drill pipe and seal the well. It
failed.
The reliability of shear rams had been questioned well be-
fore 2010. Two reports by West Engineering, one in 2002 and
the other in 2004, paint a troubling picture. They noted drill
pipes have grown larger and their walls thicker as explor-
ers drilled in deeper water. They found that blowout shear
rams had difcultly cutting through the new pipes, and also
through heavier sections of smaller pipes, such as drill collars
and tool joints.
Moreover, shear rams are designed and tested on the sur-
face to cut pipe in tension. When West tested six rams under
hydrostatic pressure in compression, only three sheared a
test pipe. West did not test whether the ram could actually
seal the pipe.
In 2009, Det Norske Veritas, a leading Norwegian maritime
risk rm, published a more optimistic study. Even so, it esti-
mated that a blowout preventer using two shear rams would
have only a 70 percent chance of successfully sealing a well.
The Deepwater Horizons blowout preventer had only one
shear ram.
A forensic analysis of the Deepwater Horizon explosion by
Det Norske Veritas suggested that the pipe, under compres-
sion, had moved from the center to the side of the blind shear
ram. When called upon, it jammed the ram and prevented it
from fully closing. Within minutes of trying to activate the
ram, natural gas had surged through the Deep-
water Horizons derrick. It formed a huge cloud
of combustible gas around the vessel that, in
the words of the report, made ignition all but
inevitable.
The crew had other options. It could have
used other types of cements or completion
styles. Yet economic pressures pushed the crew
to complete its work quickly to minimize costs
and enable it to move on to another project.
While the crew misinterpreted the results of its
integrity tests, it had few instruments to help
it understand what was happening in the well.
When the crew did try to disengage, the blow-
out preventer failed.
The committee made several recommenda-
tions to deal with these issues. Improved design
guidelines to protect against all credible risks.
It asked for better testing procedures for ce-
mented seals, subject to near-real-time reviews
by a competent authority. In addition to more
reliable blowout prevention systems, the com-
mittee asked for formal maintenance and testing procedures
and better operator training.
The panel also called for more instrumentation and com-
puter-based expert decision aids for emergency warnings, as
well as autonomous systems to shut down wells in emergen-
cies. It requested better ways to cap and contain blowouts
once they have occurred.
On the regulatory side, the committee called for a single
government agency to take responsibility for system safety,
and formal regulatory review and approval during well con-
struction and abandonment.
The committee recommended that operating companies be
held responsible and accountable for well safety and integrity.
It supported the creation of a shared safety culture among of-
shore operators and contractors, as well as improved industry
safety reporting (including anonymous tips).
Finally, the report recommended expanded safety R&D to
improve design, testing, modeling, risk assessment, safety
culture, and systems integration. It also supported educating
and training personnel to implement system safety. Q
The blowout preventer was
retrieved weeks after
it failed to save
Deepwater Horizon.
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March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 43
44 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
F
nalysis dates to around
n its developers sought a
mplex elasticity, airframe,
yses. Recently, a group of
scientists without an engineering background
have turned to the method to help analyze
structure and stress within extinct animals,
and to get a look at how animals evolved.
FEAs use in studying the evolution of
animals, including dinosaurs, dates to around
ve years ago. Or at least thats when the push
to enumerate past FEA eforts in the elds of
paleontology and zoology began, with the goal
of furthering its use in animal studies.
Through use of a meshwhich looks rather
like a netplaced over a digital model of the
object to be studied, the analysis technique
and
Fossils
Jean Thilmany is an associate editor of
Mechanical Engineering magazine.
by Jean Thilmany
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When nite element
analysis is applied
to models of jaws
and skulls,
dinosaur
skeletons
like that of
Allosaurus
(above) can ofer
up clues to how extinct
animals moved and ate.
One Ph.D. student
will use the FEA
technique
to study
ichthyosaur
fossils (below).
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 45
Paleontologists use
an engineering
technology to explore
animal evolution and
see how extinct
animals behaved.
calculates the deformation in a structure when forces act on
it. The points of mathematical analysis are the nodesthe
points where corners of the mesh triangles meet.
Since its inception, the analysis method has been contained
within a large number of software packages and has gone
from helping specially trained engineering analysts study
structural and elasticity problems to everyday use across a
number of mechanical related elds.
Through the years, engineers in the biomechanical eld
have adopted the method. Engineers at Geass in Udine, Italy,
for example, use the Femap FEA system from Siemens PLM
Software of Plano, Texas, to design dental implants.
So perhaps it wasnt too outlandish when a handful of pa-
leontologists and zoologists came up with a way to use the
method to analyze, retroactively, complex systems that were
once alive. And no bones about it, dinosaurs were certainly
complex in their structure and in their behavior.
With a strong push in 2007 from an Earth science professor
at the University of Bristol in England, scientists have applied
the method to determine how dinosaurs originally looked
and functioned, and how they and other animals changed and
evolved through the years.
Dinosaur Stress
FEA is now routinely used to interpret skeletal forms for
function in both medical and biological applications, accord-
ing to Michael Fagan, a professor of medical and biological
engineering at the University of Hull in England. Fagan has
coauthored a number of articles on the use of modeling and
simulation in his eld. Recently an article he coauthored in
the January 2012 edition of the journal Biomechanics and
Modeling in Mechanobiology looked at a way to account for
muscles that have been wrapped with bandages when using a
certain type of FEA to model a persons frame.
But the biomechanical eld expanded even further. In 2007
the Earth science professor from the University of Bristol,
Emily Rayeld, published a paper that charted FEAs use
within the study of vertebrate evolution and its adoption by
FEA
The fossilized Erlicosaurus skull
(above, left) was scanned by
chromatic tomography (above
right) at University of Bristol and is
now ready for FEA for further study.
Through such analyses on the
dinosaurs jaw (left), paleobiologists
will shed light on what the
Erlicosaurus ate and how it evolved.
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46 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
zoologists and paleontologists. That study appeared in the
May 2007 issue of the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary
Science and it pulled together much of the research done us-
ing FEA in the elds of paleontology and zoology.
The analysis methods use in those elds was in its infancy in
2007, Rayeld wrote in that paper.
FEA is now widely used to assess the biomechanics of the
human musculoskeletal system, including soft-tissue me-
chanics, heat transfer, and computational uid dynamic prob-
lems such as blood ow, Rayeld wrote. Until very recently,
however, its potential to engage in questions of vertebrate
biomechanics and evolution remained largely unexplored.
Crucially, a signature of loading history and hence func-
tion is recorded within bony tissue. Therefore, any technique,
such as FEA, that enables us to reconstruct stress and strain
within the skeleton allows us to explore questions of how that
skeleton functioned and why evolution shaped it in a particu-
lar manner, she wrote.
The process through which the load on a body inuences
skeletal geometry is known as mechanical adaption and
many experiments have shown that an animals bones evolve
and change in response to the loads imposed on them, Ray-
eld wrote.
FEA is a good tool to reconstruct the mechanical behavior
of the muscle and skeletal system in zoological and paleon-
tological studies because its noninvasive and reconstructs
stress at multiple sites and depths throughout the skeleton. It
can be used to study extinct animals by way of their fossilized
remains and can deal with complex geometries and load con-
ditions, she wrote.
Since that publication in 2007, Rayeld and her colleagues
have gone on to regularly use FEA in their work, particularly
in analyzing bone structures reconstructed from fossils.
From these models we can get an idea of the type of behav-
ior an extinct animal could perform, and why its skeleton was
shaped in a particular way, Rayeld writes on the website she
maintains at seis.bris.ac.uk/~glejr/.
Other students at the University of Bristol are also calling
upon the method in their own work with fossilized remains,
including Benjamin Moon, a Ph.D. student in the school of
Earth sciences.
As Im sure many of you will have noticed, animals have a
tendency to move about. This can be by walking, running,
jumping, swimming, and ying, he writes on the blog he
maintains at ichthyosaurs.wordpress.com. To do all of
these, the animal must use its muscles and skeleton to ap-
ply forces through the feet, tail, and arms. When the ani-
mal works harder, more force is applied: doing a full press-
up is more difcult than bending at the knees.
Using muscles and bones to apply forces, doesnt just
make for movement, the bones themselves bend slightly
too, Moon added. The greater the forces, the more the
bone is deformed. If the force is too great, the bone breaks.
To study deformation, stress, and strain, Rayeld and her
colleagues in the Palaeobiology and Biodiversity Research
Group (palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk) rst take computer tomography
scans of a fossilized skull, which they assemble into a three-
dimensional digital dataset.
They overlay that 3-D model with an FEA mesh composed
of a number of xed points.The model is put through FEA
software that applies forces to it.The software species the
location and direction of the forces and nds any joins, su-
tures, and pivots on the skull.
The researchers can then calculate the stress and strain
the skull once experienced, when it was part of an animal,
Rayeld said.
The technique jibed exactly with Moons modern-day sen-
sibilities. Moon had been fascinated with dinosaurs since
youth, but by the time he began working toward becoming a
professional paleontologist, he was glad to see the eld had
moved on from simply naming animals.
The eld is now more concerned with how extinct animals
lived and interacted, Moon said.
The chance to study this in ichthyosaurs was too much of
an opportunity to pass, Moon said.
How They Ate
He plans to use FEA to study the skulls of ichthyosaurs, re-
covered from the Oxford Clay Formation in south England.
Ichthyosaurs were giant marine reptiles that looked like
dolphins. They rst appeared about 245 million years ago
and disappeared about 90 million years ago, about 25 million
years before all dinosaurs became extinct, Moon said.
During their stay, they evolved from still-unidentied land
reptiles and moved back into the water, he added.
The band of strata called the Oxford Clay Formation is
made of very ne-grained sediments and its thought that it
once formed a soup-like mix of water and sediment above the
sea oor, where there was little to no oxygen, Moon said.
When ichthyosaurs died they sank to the sea oor into
the soup, Moon added. The lack of oxygen and soup-like
substrate preserved the ichthyosaur nearly completely and
in three dimensions. Most other ichthyosaurs are attened
FEA modeling
showed that pterosaurs,
(above) could not have fed by skimming the water, as
previously thought. Researchers compared pterosaurs with
mathematical models of modern-day skimming birds (left).
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March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 47
by the weight of the rocks above, but the history of the Oxford
Clay means this didnt always happen.
By using the University of Bristols CT and FEA methods on
skulls preserved in that once soupy mix, Moon hopes to dis-
cover the feeding mechanics of the ichthyosaur.
Ichthyosaurs, especially from the late Jurassic, were shaped
a lot like tuna and probably able to swim and sprint at quite
a speed, he said. The efects of the skeleton and its biome-
chanics on streamlining and coping with the forces involved
will be fascinating.
In vertebrates, the most interesting applications of biome-
chanics center on the skull, as thats where eating takes place,
Moon said. Also, the large number of bones in the skull makes
for complicated, and sometimes unexpected, interactions.
The skulls tell us a lot about how an animal lived; in particu-
lar, what and how it ate and how it could see, he said. Ich-
thyosaur feeding and some other behavior is usually thought
to resemble that of modern dolphins, including their school-
ing behavior, Moon said.
But he wants to see if that usual thought proves true.
Using biomechanics, there have been many changes in
perceptions of vertebrate feeding strategies, he writes on
his blog.
For instance, as a group of researchers wrote in a 2007 paper,
pterosaursa group of ying reptiles that existed between 210
million and 65.5 million years agocould not have skim fed, as
had been thought, Moon said.
The paper, Did Pterosaurs Feed by Skimming? Physi-
cal Modelling and Anatomical Evaluation of an Unusual
Feeding Method, appeared in the July 24, 2007, edition
of the journal PLoS Biology (www.plosbiology.org/article/
info:doi/10.1371/journal.
pbio.0050204#cor1). The
lead author for the paper
was StuartHumphries,
then a fellow in the de-
partment of animal and
plant sciences at the
University of Shef eld in
England, now a lecturer in
marine biology at the Uni-
versity of Hull.
Skim feeding requires
dipping the lower jaw
into water then closing
the jaws when food is
caught, Moon wrote on his blog. A pterosaur that tried to
skim feed would probably break its bill!
Hes intrigued by the chance to study his chosen animals
skull.
Ichthyosaur skulls are very odd for their time, Moon
said. None of the bones are fused, as seen in mammals,
birds, and some dinosaurs, and they possess a unique ar-
rangement of bones at the back of the skull.
He expects that arrangement of bones to prove crucial to
ichthyosaur feeding, as its located at the place where the
jaw forms a joint with the cranium, he added.
Also, ichthyosaurs also have the unusual feature of a
tooth groove rather than the sockets seen in many other
vertebrate groups, including humans, Moon said. The
groove holds teeth poorly: many fossils show that other
dinosaurs lost their teeth completely, he added.
FEA will hopefully allow us to see the efect of eating
hard foods, such as the belemnites with their bullet-shaped
guards, Moon said. FEA will show stresses and strains to
skull.
Belemnites are an extinct type of mollusk.
Hopefully, this work will corroborate the fossils: belem-
nite guards have been found in the stomach region of ich-
thyosaurs so it is assumed that they ate them, he added.
Similar work with FEA is already being carried out at
the University of Bristol on herbivorous dinosaur groups
including sauropodswith their absurdly long necksand
therizinosaurs, which had claws over a foot long, he said.
Unexpected results, he said, would add some spice to his
project.
If it is found that ichthyosaurs have an exceptionally
strong biting force, it may be possible that they preyed
upon the coiled ammonites, he said. Ammonites are an
extinct type of marine invertebrate animal closely resem-
bling the modern Nautilus.
Furthermore, as ichthyosaurs were almost certainly aquatic
animals, it may be possible to study the efects of moving
through the viscous medium of water, Moon said.
CT scans and nite element analysis are giving scientists
ever deeper insights into early forms of life and how they
might have lived in their environments.
FEA allows a far more intricate, accurate, and precise pic-
ture of the bone to be used in studies, Moon said. The ability
to model the body in its true form means that we can success-
fully learn about the lifestyle of organisms, their ecology, and
the ecosystems in which they were part. Q
Benjamin Moon, a Ph.D. student at the
University of Bristol plans to use FEA to study
ichthyosaur bones taken from the Oxford
Clay Formation in England to reconstruct
how the animal moved through water.
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48 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
AGRAWAL, SUNIL K.
Robots for Infants
Some special-needs babies lead lives with limited mobility.
Engineers have begun to build devices that allow these children to
move about independently. March, p. 50.
ANDERSON, DAVID M.
Mass Customizations Missing Link
The demand is there, but to ll it, companies have to know how to
build mass-customized products on demand. April, p. 32.
ARMEN, HARRY, SHANNON FLUMERFELT,
GARY P. HALADA, AND FRANZ-JOSEF KAHLEN
Complexity and Consequence
Discounting the dangers from low-probability events is not only
a human trait, but a technological threat. Organizations such as
ASME are poised to help the public understand risk concepts and
provide resources for engineers to improve risk management and
build resilience in engineered systems. December, p. 46.
BAR-COHEN, AVRAM, AND KARL J.L. GEISLER
Cooling the Electronic Brain
Stacking processing chips can make for more compact computers.
But it will take advances in microuidics to make such dense
number crunching practical. April, p. 38.
BARRAGN, JENNIFER
The Healthy Murmur of Technology
Medical devices save lives, but only if they are appropriate and
functional: Its the challenge of ensuring quality care in limited-
resource settings. December, p. 50.
BASSO, BRANDON, JOSHUA LOVE, AND J. KARL HEDRICK
Airborne, Autonomous & Collaborative
Unmanned aerial vehicles have changed the face of warfare, but
UAVs can do even more when they y in ocks. April, p. 26.
BEEBE, RAY
Alternative Measures
When instruments cant reach the pump, theres another way to
go with the ow. August, p. 42.
BEJAN, ADRIAN
Animals Spinning Their Wheels
Nature anticipated mankind in the development of one of
civilizations fundamental machines. June, p. 44.
Stressing the Science of Engineering
Design, theory, and practice are inherent in our species.
October, p. 40.
BOOKOFF, LESLIE I., AND DINESH N. MELWANI
Property Values
Starting up? Make your IP attractive to investors. March, p. 32.
BORCHARDT, JOHN K.
Birds of a Feather
Companies in the same eld tend to cluster in the same city
or region. Understanding that could help businessesand
engineersmake vital decisions. October, p. 46.
BROWN, ALAN S.
Engineering for Change
A new Web site seeks to connect engineers and humanitarian
organizations to create appropriate, sustainable development
projects. March, p. 26.
Securing Critical Energy Materials April, p. 57.
From Whales to Fans
A second look at a piece of sculpture led to a promising
technology. May, p. 24.
Technology Transfer Awards Show Off Robot Advances
August, p. 72.
Under the Hood at GM
What the automakers resurgence means for American
manufacturing. October, p. 28.
Printing Stochastic Masa October, p. 80.
Sustainability
ASMEs third annual survey nds that engineers are still trying to
understand how sustainability ts into their workow.
November, p. 36.
BROWN, SUSAN IPRI
Rebranding Engineering
If the profession is sliding into commodity status, we have to play a
primary role in changing the public focus.
December, p. 42.
CHENG, HARRY H., GRAHAM RYLAND, DAVID KO, KEVIN GUCWA,
AND STEPHEN NESTINGER
Smart and Modular
Research pursues the design of an autonomous robot that can
reassemble itself for different tasks. September, p. 48.
DICHT, BURTON
Shuttle Diplomacy
The legacy of the worlds rst reusable spacecraft may be an
object lesson in the interaction of politics, economics, and
technology. July, p. 46.
ETTER, DELORES M.
Has the U.S. Lost Its Technical Edge?
By reaching kids at the critical age, the culture of innovation and
creativity may be revived. May, p. 36.
FALCIONI, JOHN
Project: Crowdsourcing
December, p. 25.
FORTENBERRY, NORMAN L.
Teaching the Practical Skills
To operate effectively, next-generation engineers will require a
panoply of interpersonal and management skills, in addition to
technical prociency. December, p. 36.
FRYER, PETER, AND SERAFIM BAKALIS
Engineering Taste
The high-tech challenges in making chocolate. January, p. 30.
GIBSON, TOM
A Turn on the Wheel September, p. 72.
2011 ARTICLE INDEX
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 49
GOLDEN, GARRY
RenewablesDisruptors or Disrupted?
The contribution of wind, solar, and bioenergy systems may be
determined by the cost of materials and of natural gas.
December, p. 30.
GOLDSMITH, MARC
Scale Matters
Its time to reevaluate the way we think about the size of power
plants. April, p. 44.
GRATTONI, ALESSANDRO, SCOTT PARAZYNSKI,
AND FAZLE HUSSAIN
Building Nanoglands
In the search for personalized medicine, nanochannel implants
mimic the bodys natural regulators of health. February, p. 22.
HAYMAN, EDWARD, AND CLYDE NEELY
Solving the Puzzle of Bolted Joints
When bolts, anges, and gaskets dont seem to cooperate, theres
a guide that can reveal the solution. June, p. 48.
HIGHTOWER, MIKE
Energy Meets Water
Two basic needs have a common cause: New technologies to
assure a sustainable future. July, p. 34.
HUTCHINSON, HARRY
Pour Slowly; Its the Good Stuff January, p. 72.
The Fingerprint of Corrosion March, p. 64.
LAIRD, JOYCE
Scrubbing the NO
x
out of Biogas April, p. 72.
When Wind Hits the Wall July, p. 64.
LANGSTON, LEE S.
Mounting Troubles
The rst jumbo jet was an engineering marvel. But it took some
clever design work to keep the planes in the air. March, p. 46.
Powering Ahead
Jet engines dominate the gas turbine industry, but other sectors
are also primed for growth. May, p. 30.
LEARY, ROLFE
Appropriate to the People
A simple technology created for, but not by, the people cant leap
too far ahead. June, p. 38.
MANNING, LYNN
Whats That Noise?
Using FEA to tone down automotive squeaks and rattles.
October, p. 44.
MARCUS, GAIL H.
Nuclear Power after Fukushima
In the wake of a severe plant accident, advanced reactor concepts,
including small modular reactors, are getting renewed attention.
December, p. 26.
MENDEL, ALAN F.
Why Care About PLM?
Care about product quality? About reducing your workload? Then
you should care about product lifecycle management.
March, p. 42.
MICHAUD, LOUIS, AND NILTON RENNO
The Skys the Limit
Thermodynamics puts limits on the efciency of thermal power
plants. Cleverly reconguring cooling towers can lead to a way of
recapturing some of that waste heat. April, p. 42.
MROWCA, BRUCE
Removing Heat From a Reactor in Shutdown May, p. 34.
NOOR, AHMED K.
The World Is More Than Complicated
Complex systems of the future will have to be adaptable, and new
approaches will be needed to engineer them.
November, p. 30.
OLIVAS, JOHN D.
The Perspective From Space
The view reveals how far weve come, how far there is still to go.
July, p. 53.
PERKINS, NOEL C., KEVIN KING, RYAN McGINNIS, AND
JESSANDRA HOUGH
A Sporting Chance
Coaches and athletes can use data from wireless sensors to
improve sports training. July, p. 40.
PETROSKI, HENRY
Engineering Spelled Out
Reections on the state of the art, in alphabetical order.
November, p. 46.
PORTER, BRIAN
Serving Two Masters
It takes judgment and thought to balance the ethical engineer and
capable project manager. August, p. 30.
PRAWEL, DAVID
Lost in Translation
Its the paradox of computer-aided design: More software
systems, more project collaborators, more wasted time.
September, p. 44.
REILLY, JOHN, AND ALLISON CRIMMINS
Myth v. Fact
Before we can embrace appropriate energy policies, we have
to face the hard truths about the technologies available to us.
January, p. 24.
RICE, JAMES B., Jr.
Only as Strong as the Weakest Link
As the effects of the Sendai earthquake and tsunami ripple
through the global economy, companies should shore up their
supply chains to guard against disaster. June, p. 26.
RICHARDSON, JOHN, AND PAMELA WATERMAN
Stemming the Flood
Engineers design new defenses against the threat of rising
waters. July, p. 30.
RORRER, RONALD
Hiring the Newly Minted
A design instructor discusses what to look for in hiring an
engineer right out of school, and whom to ask for a word of
reference. March, p. 35.
50 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
SAITOU, KAZUHIRO
Built to Be Reclaimed
When a plan for efcient disassembly is embedded in a design,
a product leaves less trash and, perhaps, more prot.
September, p. 52.
SCHILE, RICHARD
Engineering a Better Guitar
Close study of a ubiquitous musical instrument reveals potential
means of improvement. February, p. 38.
SCHWER, LEONARD E.
Building Condence in Innovation May, p. 42.
SKAKOON, JAMES, AND MICHAEL WIKLUND
The Human Touch
A fundamental factor in mechanical design. September, p. 38.
SLEDJE, RON
Heads up, Ears Perked
There are things they didnt teach us in school that we need to
know if were going to surviveor excelat our jobs. March, p. 38.
TAAGEPERA, JAAN, AND NATHAN TYSON
A Freeze in Time
An ASME post-construction standard leads a renery maintenance
team through an unfamiliar but efcient repair. August, p. 44.
TESKA, KIRK
Patent Trolls
Even those who make and sell nothing are devising new ways to
make money from U.S. patent laws. August, p. 35.
Patent Atomic Bomb Defused
An appeals court reinterprets a disclosure rule that caused an
explosion of paperwork. October, p. 51.
THILMANY, JEAN
Project + Lifecycle Together
Tying project management with product lifecycle software creates
a bigger picture. February, p. 36.
From Military to Market June, p. 64.
Everyday Fingers
Prosthetic limbs have been around a long time; but until Dan
Didrick came along, working articial ngers didnt exist.
August, p. 39.
The New Bionic Man? November, p. 112.
Pollock the Physicist? December, p. 80.
THOMAS, ABY
The International Language of Codes
A career arc from India to the Middle East was driven by the global
power of standards. January, p. 38.
THORNTON, JACK
All That Noise
It can come from instruments and test designs and even
geometry, and it can add considerable cost to computer analysis.
January, p. 34.
No Testing Allowed
Nuclear stockpile stewardship is a simulation challenge. May, p. 38.
Rebuilding Big Steam February, p. 64.
Total Immersion
Sophisticated systems create digital environments where designs
can be built, used, and serviced before a single part is made.
November, p. 42.
TILBURY, DAWN, AND A. GALIP ULSOY
A New Breed of Robots That Drive Themselves
Thanks to advances in control systems, vehicles can carry out
tasks without human guidance. February, p. 28.
VARADAN, VIJAY K.
An EKG in Your Underwear
Nanostructured sensors, smart phones, and cloud computing
promise a new platform for everyday medical monitoring.
October, p. 34.
VARRASI, JOHN
A Gift for Engineering
A pioneer of FEA donates $1 million to support the Federal
Fellows. February, p. 42.
WAMSLEY, GARY
A Pump War Story: Back to Basics August, p. 48.
WINTER, AMOS
Designing for the Rest of the Global Market
Engineerings new frontier: Nine designers talk about the
challenges to make advanced products for the developing world.
September, p. 30.
WINTERS, JEFFREY
Power Window: Crunch Time April, p. 48.
Automatic Dialer May, p. 72.
Steam Punks
How many of your possessions could you make yourself? A couple
of amateur engineers are working to design and build a set of
tools that would enable the self-reliant to make everything they
need. June, p. 32.
WOODS, ROBERT O.
A Cable to Shrink the Earth
Sixteen hours to send a telegram? That was a technological
revolution in 1858. January, p. 40.
SUPPLEMENTS:
Design Engineering Division
September, p. 55.
International Gas Turbine Institute
February, p. 45.
April, p. 49.
August, p. 49.
December, p. 55.
International Petroleum Technology Institute
May, p. 51.
October, p. 53.
Nuclear Engineering Division
January, p. 45.
May, p. 43.
A Celebration of Engineering
ASME 2011 Honors: A commemoration of individual and
professional contributions toward the advancement of technology.
November, p. 51.
The 2010-2011 ASME Fellows November, p. 77.
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 51
MEBOOKSHELF
INTRODUCTION TO DISLOCATIONS,
FIFTH EDITION.
D. Hull and D.J. Bacon.
Butterworth-Heinemann,
225 Wyman St., Waltham, MA
02451. 2011. 288 pages. $66.95.
ISBN: 978-0-0809-6672-4.
This book provides an introduction
to dislocations and the role they
play in the properties of crystalline
solids. The edition has been fully
updated with the latest develop-
ments and academic references.
The publisher claims that, by incor-
porating later developments in sub-
sequent editions while retaining a
concise, accessible style, Introduc-
tion to Dislocations has become
established as a key resource for
students, graduates, and research-
ers. It is widely recognized as
providing the essential knowledge
base required for further study,
research, and technological ap-
plication in the eld. This updated
version attempts to bring the books
coverage, references, and context in
line with the latest developments in
an efort to ensure it remains a core
reference for all those studying and
working in the eld today.
COMPUTATIONAL METHODS IN
MULTIPHASE FLOW VI.
A.A. Mammoli and C.A. Brebbia,
eds. WIT Press, Ashurst Lodge,
Southampton SO40 7AA, U.K.
2011. 344 pages. $298.
ISBN: 978-1-84564-518-2.
The papers presented at the Sixth
International Conference on Com-
putational and Experimental Meth-
ods in Multiphase and Complex
Flow are contained in this book.
The biennial series of conferences
focuses on combining experimen-
tal and computational techniques
to gain a better understanding of
individual classes of multiphase
ow. Multiphase ows are becoming
increasingly important in many
areasmanufacturing, minerals
extraction, environmental remedia-
tion, and medicine to name just a
fewand technological advances
are constantly occurring. Although
experimental, theoretical, and
computational eforts in the eld
have spanned decades, research-
ers still do not fully understand
the complex behaviors inherent
in multiphase ows. Featured
topics include multiphase ow
simulation, turbulent ow, bubble
and drop dynamics, heat transfer,
incline ows, energy application,
and ow in porous media.

BLADE DESIGN AND ANALYSIS
FOR STEAM TURBINES.
Murari P. Singh and George M.
Lucas. McGraw-Hill Professional,
2 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10121.
2011. 384 pages. $100.
ISBN: 978-0-0716-3574-5.
Blade Design and Analysis for
Steam Turbines provides a concise
reference for practicing engineers
involved in the design, specica-
tion, and evaluation of industrial
steam turbines, particularly criti-
cal process compressor drivers.
This book covers advances in
modal analysis, fatigue and
creep analysis, and aerodynamic
theories, along with an overview
of commonly used materials and
manufacturing processes.
HYDROGEN AND FUEL CELLS:
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES AND
APPLICATIONS. SECOND EDITION.
Bent Sorensen. Academic Press,
225 Wyman St, Waltham, MA
02451. 2012. 512 pages. $79.95.
ISBN: 978-0-12-387709-3.
Supported by illustrations and
extensive references, this text
explores the economic and envi-
ronmental implications of utilizing
hydrogen in energy applications
and provides up-to-date coverage
of conversion, transmission, and
storage technologies. It describes
the techniques associated with
hydrogen and fuel cell systems at a
level suited for both academic and
professional use. Furthermore, this
new edition features expanded cov-
erage of hybrid systems combining
battery and fuel cell technologies to
achieve performance and economic
viability not obtainable by either
power source alone. This book
regards the technologies as efcient
energy sources, and discusses how
they can provide clean power for
heat, electricity, and transportation.
OPERATION OF A CRYOGENIC
ROCKET ENGINE: AN OUTLINE
WITH DOWN-TO-EARTH AND
UP-TO-SPACE REMARKS.
Wolfgang Kitsche. Springer, 233
Spring St., New York, NY 10013.
2011. 158 pages. $129.
ISBN: 978-3-64-210564-7.
This book presents the operational
aspects of the rocket engine on a
test facility. The author intends
it to be useful to engineers and
scientists, and informative to
aerospace students and interested
general readers. He has written
the book to show the reader that
all eforts are merging to operate a
propulsion system of ultimate per-
formance. The comments in the
book reect the experience of two
decades at one of the two largest
test facilities for cryogenic rocket
engines in Europe.
PRINCIPLES AND CASE STUDIES
OF SIMULTANEOUS DESIGN.
William L. Luyben. John Wiley &
Sons, 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ
07030. 2011. 344 pages. $149.95.
ISBN: 978-0-47-092708-3.
The goal of this book is to present
some general design principles in
a concise form that should aid the
engineer in completing the task of
developing an efective owsheet
and control structure. A rich vari-
ety of case studies are presented
that illustrate in an in-depth and
quantitative way the application of
these general principles. Detailed
case studies are presented of ten
complex processes that contain
a variety of features commonly
occurring in many important in-
dustrial plants. In-depth, economic
steady-state designs are developed
that satisfy an economic objec-
tive function such as minimizing
total annual cost of both capital
and energy. Complete, detailed
owsheets and Aspen Plus les are
provided. Conventional propor-
tional-integral (PI) plantwide con-
trol structures are developed and
tested for their ability to maintain
product quality during typically
large disturbances. Complete As-
pen Dynamics les of the dynamic
simulations are provided.
Pipeline Transportation
of Carbon Dioxide
Containing Impurities.
Mo Mohitpur, Patricia Seevan,
Kamal K. Botros, Brian
Rothwell, and Claire Ennis.
ASME Press, Three Park
Avenue, New York, New York
10016-5990. 2011. 480 pages.
$159; ASME Members, $127.
ISBN: 978-0-79-185983-4.
Among the challenges to be
faced for carbon capture and
sequestration is the minimiza-
tion of the constraints imposed
by the CO
2
stream composition
on the development of transport
systems. According to the authors,
the pipeline should be able to
accept as wide a specication as
possible, within the limits imposed
by health, safety, and environ-
mental considerations throughout
the whole CCS chain. In order to
meet this challenge, condence
is required in the models and
procedures currently used in
pipeline design, maintenance, and
operation to ensure that these ap-
proaches can be safely transferred
to a CO
2
pipeline infrastructure.
Many of these considerations are
explored in the chapters of this
book. These technologies involve
capturing or producing the CO
2
,
transporting it, and nally inject-
ing it into the ground and manag-
ing its movement in the subsur-
face. The authors of this book are
from different backgrounds and
organizations related to pipeline
engineering.
20
th
International Conference on
Nuclear Engineering
co-located with the
ASME 2012 Power Conference
July 30 - August 3, 2012
Anaheim, California
For more information visit
www.asmeconferences.org/ICONE20POWER2012
20
th
International Conference on
Nuclear Engineering
co-located with the
ASME 2012 Power Conference
ASME Standards & Certication
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ASME Standards & Certication
Three Park Ave., M/S 23E2
New York, NY 10016
ASME maintains approximately 500 codes
and standards. A general categorization of
the subject matter addressed by ASME codes
and standards is as follows:
Authorized Inspections
Automotive
Bioprocessing Equipment
Boilers
Certication and Accreditation
Chains
Controls
Conveyors
Cranes and Hoists
Cutting, Hand, and Machine Tools
Dimensions
Drawings, Terminology, and Graphic Symbols
Elevators and Escalators
Energy Assessment
Fasteners
Fitness-For-Service
Gauges/Gaging
Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing (GD&T)
High-Pressure Vessels Systems
Keys and Keyseats
Limits & Fits
Materials
Measurement of Fluid Flow in Closed Conduits
Metal Products Sizes
Metric System
Metrology and Calibration of Instruments
Nondestructive Evaluation/Examination-
Nuclear
Operator Qualication and Certication
Performance Test Codes
Piping & Pipelines
Plumbing Materials and Equipment
Post Construction of Pressure Equipment
and Piping
Powered Platforms
Pressure Vessels
Pumps
Rail Transportation
Reinforced Thermoset Plastic Corrosion
Resistant Equipment
Risk Analysis
Screw Threads
Steel Stacks
Surface Quality
Turbines
Valves, Fittings, Flanges, Gaskets
Verication & Validation
Welding & Brazing
The ASME Standards & Certication section is
published as submitted to Mechanical Engineer-
ing magazine by ASMEs Standards & Certication
Department.
52 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
ASME STANDARDS & CERTIFICATION
Motor power connector
AMPHENOL INDUSTRIAL, SIDNEY,
N.Y. The traction motor power connec-
tor now includes a color-coded power
mounting ange with built-in locking
keys to prevent the contact cable from
slipping during use.The new single-
pin connectors are designed for power
distribution equipment and traction
motor power supply applications. Utiliz-
ing patented RADSOK technology, the
connector allows for high amperage, and
low T-rise and insertion/removal forces.
Thermoplastic molded panel mount-
ing anges on the connectors have four
mounting holes that allow users to bolt
the connector directly to an aluminum
or stainless steel panel without the
need for mounting boards.The square
connectors meet the NEC ac/dc require-
ments and are designed to be used with
IEEE Type P drilling cables ranging
from 313 MCM to 777 MCM with con-
tacts rated at 1,500 A. The connectors
also feature color-coded mounting bases
and cable side boots to help prevent cross
mating while aiding in electrical phase
identication.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-40 OR CIRCLE 40
Rack-mount
sensing system
KAMAN PRECISION PRODUCTS,
MIDDLETOWN, CONN. The KDM-8206
displacement measuring system is in a
19-inch modularized rack format. The
user can add channels to the system by
installing modular PC backplane boards
into empty rack or bench-top enclosure
slots. Designed for making high-preci-
sion multi-channel displacement, run-
out, and position measurements, the
KDM-8206 is suitable for high-sensor-
count test and development applications
in industrial and laboratory facilities.
The 3U-by-7T Eurocard measuring
module is the fundamental component
of this non-contact measuring system,
and features auto-synchronization of
multiple channels. The KDM-8206
module contains the inductive bridge
and signal conditioning circuits that
produce the measurement output, a lin-
ear voltage proportional to the physical
displacement of the target relative to the
sensor. The system achieves resolution
to 10 microinches or better.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-41 OR CIRCLE 41
Piezoelectric accelerometer
MEGGITT SENSING SYSTEMS, SAN
JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIF. With a
sensitivity of 2.8 pC/g, the Endevco
model 2226C
piezoelectric
accelerometer
features a
top mounted
10-32 recep-
tacle for
installation
within space
constrained
environments. The unit has a mass of
2.8 g. It is designed to operate over a
temperature range of -55 C to 177 C
(-67 F to 350 F). As a self-generating
device, the model 2226C requires no
external power source for operation.
Although signal return is connected
to the case, a user may isolate signal
ground from the mounting surface by
installing the unit with non-conductive
adhesive. A low-noise, exible coaxial
cable, the Endevco model 3060D-120,
is included. Endevco accelerometers
are accompanied by a ve-year product
warranty. In addition, the model 2226C
is available at specially discounted rates
as part of the R replacement sensors
program, with quantities available
for immediate customer shipment as
part of Meggitts Endevco Guaranteed
InStock program.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-42 OR CIRCLE 42
Angle body piston valve
PARKER HANNIFIN, NEW BRITAIN,
CONN. The enhanced 810 Series angle
body piston valve can be used in a
variety of indus-
trial applications
including chemi-
cal, pharmaceuti-
cal, steam, food
processing, water
technology, and
HVAC. The valve
handles millions of
cycles in applica-
tions with high
temperatures and aggressive media.
The product line includes valves with
up to 3-inch port connections, has tem-
perature rating options as high as 430
F (221 C), and features various sizes
of metal actuators that meet operating
pressure ratings of up to 580 psi (40
bar). The valves are constructed with
316L stainless steel or bronze bodies
and come standard with NPT porting;
other connection options are available.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-43 OR CIRCLE 43
Motion controllers
SIEMENS INDUSTRY, ELK GROVE VIL-
LAGE, ILL. Simotion D4X5 multi-axis
controllers have new features such as
onboard Pronet interfaces and high-
speed I/O. A single controller can sup-
port up to 128 axes of motion. Systems
are scalable and have an integrated
drive control based upon Siemens
Sinamics S120 drives. In the Simotion
D445-2 DP/PN and D455-2 DP/PN, the
previously optional Pronet I/O inter-
face has now been integrated as stan-
NEWPRODUCTS
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 53
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54 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
dard. The integration
frees up the option slot
for other expansion
cards. The onboard
interface is equipped
with an integrated
three-port switch and
facilitates diferent
network topologies
such as line, star, or tree structures, without the need for
additional external switches. The interface supports real-
time and isochronous real-time data exchange.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-44 OR CIRCLE 44
Color-coded panel screws
PENN ENGINEERING, DANBORO, PA. PEM C.A.P.S. color
access panel screws integrate a captive screw with an
anti-crossthreading feature and a PC/ABS colored knob to
provide a fastener solution where subsequent access to an
assembly may be required. The spring-loaded assemblies
install permanently in aluminum or steel sheets as thin as
0.036 inch (0.92 mm) and can be supplied in self-clinching,
aring, or oating mounting styles. Their captive-screw
design reduces parts to be handled and eliminates risk
of screws falling out and damaging internal components.
Knobs can be specied in standard black, red, orange,
yellow, green, blue, violet, or metallic. The colors ofer the
capability to designate service access levels for equipment,
color-reference operating and maintenance instructions,
or conform to end-use aesthetic requirements. Custom
colors can be developed. The captive panel screws install by
pressing them into prop-
erly prepared mounting
holes. The shoulder on
the retainer provides
a positive stop. Anti-
crossthreading corrects
of-angle thread mat-
ing and ensures proper
alignment. The hardware
is available in multiple
lengths with thread sizes
from #4-40 through #10-
32 / M3 through M5.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-45 OR CIRCLE 45
Soft motor starters
AUTOMATION DIRECT, CUMMING, GA. The Stellar SR33
Series basic soft starters are designed for general purpose
applications where traditional across-the-line starting or
wye-delta starting would typically be appropriate. The SR33
semi-conductor soft starters, available in 22 A to 482 A siz-
es, are suitable to control three-phase ac induction motors
with a wide variety of motor loads. Models in the series have
a footprint similar
to that of a star/
delta starter. All
units feature two-
phase control,
separately adjust-
able motor start
voltage and start
and stop times,
and depending on
model, fault indi-
cation of four or seven fault types. Suitable for applications
such as pumps, blowers, and conveyors, the SR33 series soft
starters use thyristors for controlled reduced voltage motor
starting and stopping, and then switch to internal contacts
for efcient running at rated speed. Prices start at $490. A
heat-shrink insulation kit designed to maintain UL compli-
ance when connecting eld cables is available for $8.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-46 OR CIRCLE 46

Laser module
PIPELINE ANALYTICS, PITTSBURGH. New for WinCan V8
pipe inspection and asset management software, the Win-
Can Laser module from Pipeline Analytics is designed to
capture pipeline geometry using a video inspection crawler
outtted with practically any laser proling hardware. The
CNC Machining for R&D
Product Information
and online ordering at
Our PCNC 770 mill goes far
beyond any desktop modeling mill,
bringing serious capability to research
and engineering workshops and at a size
that ts any space and a price that ts
any budget.
A rigid frame and robust spindle
allows prototypes to be cut from
the materials you use: Plastic,
aluminum, steel, even titanium
- whatever you need to get the
job done.
PCNC 770
Features:
starting at
$6850
(plus shipping)
www.tormach.com
Vector technology drive
Computer controlled
10000 RPM spindle
Precision ground P4
grade ballscrews
26 x 8 table
Provides both manual
& automatic operations
Integrated options for
digitizing, 4th axis,
CNC lathe and more
Tormach
PCNC 770
3-Axis Mill
Shown here with
optional stand, machine
arm, and accessories.
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 55
WinCan Laser module works in three
modes, depending on the laser hard-
ware used. In parallel laser mode,
the camera heads twin laser dots are
oriented perpendicular to the pipe
wall and then rotated 360 degrees.
In ring mode, the module analyzes
video from the crawler, extracting the
laser ring pattern. In scanning mode,
the module analyzes the laser dot
pattern cast by any properly equipped
side-scan camera, interpolating a ring
to determine diameter and deforma-
tion. The module can be used to verify
proper pipe installation, plan relin-
ing projects, determine remaining
pipe life, monitor erosion and corro-
sion, and analyze partial collapses. It
accepts standard and HD video, and
instantly links collected data to the
asset being inspected.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/4047-40 OR CIRCLE 47
Data acquisition module
OMEGA ENGINEERING, STAMFORD,
CONN. The OM-DAQ-USB-2401 series
of USB 2.0 full speed thermocouple/
voltage input data acquisition mod-
ules are fully compatible with both
USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 ports. This mod-
ule is user programmable for type J,
K, T, E, R, S, B, or N thermocouples or
voltage input and features 8 diferen-
tial or 16 single-ended analog inputs,
and 24 bit resolution with up to 1,000
samples per second throughput. This
module is powered directly by USB
port or an external DC power sup-
ply. It includes Windows software,
drivers for custom programming, and
hardware for benchtop, DIN rail or
wall mounting.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-48 OR CIRCLE 48
Ergonomic pallet truck
MOBILE INDUSTRIES INC., MIS-
SISSAUGA, ONTARIO. The ESET33
handles loads up to 3,300 lbs. with
a battery-powered drive system for
forward and reverse operation. The
ESET33 achieves speeds of 2.8 mph
fully loaded and 3 mph when unloaded.
When the throttle is released the unit
brakes automatically. The handle
me.hotims.com/40244-13 or circle 13
56 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
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allows operation in the centered position. Operation comes
to a stop when the handle is located 20 degrees of the
vertical or horizontal position. A 24-volt battery pack and
charger can operate for a standard 8-hour shift or longer.
Charging can be completed
overnight via a 110-volt
outlet. Fork options include
48-inch fork length with
20.5-inch and 27-inch fork
widths. The manual pump is
operated via an ergonomic
control handle which is
cushioned and raises the
load to full height with ve
cycles. Handle controls
include forward and reverse buttons with a dead man
feature to stop unwanted reverse movement in conned
spaces. The 180-degree steering pivot feature allows use in
conned areas. List price is $3,098.25.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-49 OR CIRCLE 49
Rod-style electric actuators
TOLOMATIC, HAMEL, MINN. ERD rod-style electric actua-
tors now deliver forces up to 500 pounds (2,224 N). The
new ERD20 is designed with a larger diameter ball screw
and a stroke length of up to
24 inches (609.6 mm). ERD
actuators are stroke congu-
rable and ship within ve days
from order entry at the factory.
The products are suitable for
a wide variety of applications,
including product change-
overs, pick-and-place, sorting
and diverting, and pressing.
The ERD actuators are available in body sizes that are
equivalent to non-repairable pneumatic cylinder bore sizes
of 5/8 inch (15.88 mm), 1 inch (25.4 mm), 1.5 inch (38.1 mm),
and 2 inch (50.8 mm). Strokes are available in lengths up to
8 inches (203.2 mm) for the ERD06, 10 inches (254 mm) for
the ERD10, and 24 inches (609.6 mm) for the ERD15 and 20.
Forces range up to 20 pounds (89 N) for the smallest size,
and to 500 pounds (2,224 N) for the ERD20.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-50 OR CIRCLE 50
Pressure transmitters
ASHCROFT INC., STRATFORD, CONN. A2, A2X, and A4
pressure transmitters are designed for rugged heavy duty.
Available in accuracies up to +/-0.25 percent, the A2 is
ofered with a wide variety of electri-
cal connections, analog output sig-
nals, and pressure ports to meet the
requirements of almost any indus-
trial application. TheA2X (explosion/
ame proof) and A4 (intrinsically
safe) congurations are specially
designed for hazardous environments.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-51 OR CIRCLE 51
Shackle pins
QRP INC., LELAND, N.C. Shackle pins are manufactured
from stainless steel (except for their aluminum button) to
promote high corrosion resistance in harsh environments.
Among noteworthy features, the shackles can pivot when
unobstructed to move 90 degrees on both sides of vertical
to correspond with application dynamics. Full visibility
of a contrasting color groove on these pins indicates pin
status as fully locked
to promote safety in use.
The latest design features
a red button allowing for
easy identication and
serving as a caution in
activation. The shackle
pins are body hardened
to 180/210 KSI or ASTM
2759/3. They are available with shank diameter ranges from
inch (handling up to 2,000 lbs. maximum load) to 5/8
inch (accommodating up to 7,000 lbs. maximum load).
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-52 OR CIRCLE 52
Super Fast Curing
Epoxy Adhesive
154 Hobart Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601 USA
+1.201.343.8983main@masterbond.com
www.masterbond.com
High Temperature Resistant
EP65HT-1
High bond strength
Meets NASA low outgassing specifications
Tg >125C
me.hotims.com/40244-14 or circle 14
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 57
Side-mount level switches
GEMS SENSORS & CONTROLS, PLAINVILLE, CONN. Com-
pact, side-mount level switches are made from Gems Versa-
plast engineered plastic for temperature applications up to
300 F (148.9 C). The engineered plastic is compatible with a
wide range of challenging uids such as oils and solvents. The
material enables the new LS-7 Series sensors to provide an
afordable solution for handling high-temperature applica-
tions and corrosive uids. The level switches are CE, UL, and
CUL approved. They can be exposed to methylene chloride
and anti-freeze, and are suited for low-coolant, low-hydraulic
monitoring in of-highway
vehicle and transportation
applications. These new
Versaplast LS-7 Series ver-
sions expand the broad range
of small, side mounted level
switches from Gems Sensors
available for a wide variety
of uids or applications. The
units have pressure capability to 100 psi (6.8 bar), and a oat
arc of just 1.25 inches. Options include internal and exter-
nally installed versions, and metric or U.S. threads.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-53 OR CIRCLE 53
Cavitating jets
DYNAFLOW INC., JESSUP, MD. DynaJets can produce
extremely erosive but controlled environments, enabling
signicant increases in cleaning, coating removal, cutting,
and drilling rates over conventional jet nozzles. DynaJets
employ techniques like cavitation, acoustic excitation, and
jet interruption and structuring to create large high fre-
quency stresses on the target surface or in the liquid. These
techniques primarily rely on passive manipulation of the
ow and interaction of the liquid with the nozzle geometry.
The jets involve no moving parts and no additional power
sources. They can be used for both submerged and in-air
applications such as surface cleaning, paint stripping, rock
cutting, and hydro demolition.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-54 OR CIRCLE 54
Liquid level sensor
COSENSE INC., HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. The SL-630 is a non-inva-
sive sensor for plastic containers. It is installed outside the
container and has no contact with uids. Function is inde-
pendent of the color, transparency, shape, and size of the
bottom of the container. There are several choices of inputs/
outputs, including fail safe. No calibration is required.
The product has multiple mounting optionsdisposable,
non-disposable, and angeallowing for its applicability
in a wide range of operating environments. The standard
product is used on plastic containers from 2 inches (51 mm)
to 8 inches (203 mm) diameter with a wall thickness up to
0.25 inch (6.35 mm).
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-55 OR CIRCLE 55
LED oodlights
COOPER CROUSE-HINDS, SYRACUSE, N.Y. Champ FMV
LED oodlights combine energy efciency and long life
with exceptional lumen output. They are suitable for use
in hazardous, industrial,
and demanding
environments. The
Champ FMV LED
is available in four
models, providing an
equivalent 100 W to
400 W, similar to metal
halide oodlights, but
consuming about half
the energy. LED lamp life
is rated at 60,000 hours. The
oodlights can be used for outdoor or
indoor applications at a wide range of mounting heights.
Optics were specically designed to give the familiar and
industry-accepted buttery beam light pattern. The new
Champ FMV LED oodlights utilize existing SFA6 and
SWB6 mounting adapters. This provides cost-efective and
timely installations as the new oodlights require no new
conduit runs.
WWW.ME.HOTIMS.COM/40244-56 OR CIRCLE 56
me.hotims.com/40244-15 or circle 15
POSITIONSOPEN POSITIONSOPEN POSITIONSOPEN
58 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING WRIGHT
STATE UNIVERSITY Wright State University
(WSU) invites applications for one tenure-track
faculty positions in the Department of Mechani-
cal and Materials Engineering. The position is af-
fliated with the Micro Air Vehicle Center at WSU,
which has state of the art MAV fabrication equip-
ment, and there is also opportunity to work in a
state-of-the-art bench- and fight-science facility to
fabricate and validate the designed vehicles. The
position is at the assistant professor level, how-
ever, exceptional candidates can be considered
for a higher rank. The successful candidate will be
expected to develop a funded research program
and teach courses in Mechanical Engineering at
both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Ap-
plicants must have an earned PhD in Mechani-
cal Engineering or related discipline before the
anticipated start date of August 16, 2012. Appli-
cants for assistant professor are expected to show
propensity for scholarship, generating a research
program, and teaching. Consideration for higher
ranks requires signifcant additional experience
and a demonstrated profciency in scholarship,
sponsored research, and teaching commensurate
with the level sought. Applicants for the MAV po-
sition must apply through Wright State University
website https://jobs.wright.edu/ . Review of appli-
cations will begin April 2, 2012. WSU is a public
institution of over 19,000 students located in a
technologically rich region of southwestern Ohio
adjacent to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The
Department has recently received funding for a
Center of Advanced Power and Energy Conver-
sion and features centers for Micro Air Vehicles
and Computational Design and Optimization.
WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity employer.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-
CHAMPAIGN DEPARTMENT OF MATERIALS
SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING COLLEGE OF
ENGINEERING LECTURER The Department of
Materials Science and Engineering (www.matse.
illinois.edu) invites applications for a full-time, un-
tenured position at the rank of Lecturer. We are
looking for a dynamic, motivated individual who
will contribute to the educational mission of the
department. The Lecturer will develop and teach
courses in hard materials and mechanics that will
be targeted to undergraduate students. In addi-
tion, successful applicants will be expected to be
involved in undergraduate and masters research
programs, capstone design projects and student
advising. The position requires a PhD in Materials
Science and Engineering or a relevant engineer-
ing/scientifc feld. Prior experience with teaching
at the college or university level is preferred. The
position is a full-time, 9 month academic year ap-
pointment. Salary is competitive and based on ex-
perience. The desired starting date is August 16,
2012. The initial appointment will be for one year
with the possibility for renewal on an annual ba-
sis thereafter based on funding and performance
reviews. The closing date is March 31, 2012. Inter-
views may be conducted before the closing date
but no decision will be made until after the closing
date. To apply, please create a candidate profle at
https://jobs.illinois.edu and upload a Curriculum
Vitae with the names and contact information for
three professional references and a letter of inter-
est which includes teaching interests and evidence
of innovative teaching in a university setting. For
further information about the application process,
please contact the department by e-mail at mse@
illinois.edu or by telephone at (217) 333-1441. Il-
linois is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity
Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse
backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who em-
brace and value diversity and inclusivity. (www.
inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu)
MECHANICAL DESIGN ENGINEER, NEWARK,
NJ. Monitor assembly of mechanized bldg equip-
ment, participate in developing structural design of
mechanisms using CAD. BS + 5 yrs experience. 96
Clay Street LLC, 96 Clay St., Newark, NJ 07104.
PRODUCT MANAGER SOUGHT BY DEEPSEA
TECHNOLOGIES, INC. for its Houston, TX loc
to manage all engg & mfg activities during the
complete product cycle including dsgn, mfg,
testing, customer support, product maintenance
& repair of subsea oil & gas products such as
ROV tools, bend stiffener connectors, subsea
insulation systems, UTAs etc.; Lead dsgn team
to dvlp product dsgn/interface as per clients
reqmts, dsgn review & release of controlled
documents; supervise product line department
& responsible for tracking order quantities/stock
material; supervise product installation offshore
& at client-site; responsible for customer inter-
face, planning project sched, testing & FAT
criteria/procedures & critical inspection & hold
points; prep project documentation such as proj-
ect sched, quality control documents, testing/
factory acceptance criteria etc.; regularly attend
project kick-off meetings & update meetings
w/ customers & vendors; apply broad knowl of
dsgng/working of subsea eqpmt, FEA analysis
using ANSYS; dsgn of ROV equipments, weld-
ing procedure & PQRs, material specifcations,
subsea coating procedures, NDE reqmts, DNV
The McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Tulsa invites applications
and nominations for two tenure track faculty positions at the Assistant or Associate Professors
level and for two Instructor positions.
For the tenure track faculty positions, a strong preference will be given to candidates with research
expertise in reservoir engineering, particularly in reservoir simulation and/or enhanced oil
recovery, but anyone with research interest in petroleum engineering related areas is encouraged
to apply. Applicants must have an earned Ph.D. in engineering, geophysics, physics or applied
mathematics. A successful applicant will have the ability to provide teaching excellence in a
variety of petroleum engineering courses, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Successful applicants will have the ability to produce high quality research suitable for publication
in peer-reviewed journals with a high impact factor, develop a funded research program, supervise
M.S. and Ph.D. students and will also have an interest in participating in internal and external
service activities. The terms of appointment will correspond to candidates credentials and to the
TU faculty appointment guidelines.
The Instructor positions are for the 2012-2013 academic year beginning August 20th, 2012. The
successful candidates must have good communication and teaching skills, with minimum
qualifications of either a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering, or a B.S. or M.S. in Petroleum
Engineering with at least 5 years of Petroleum Engineering industrial experience. Teaching
experience is an asset. Responsibilities include teaching at least two undergraduate courses per
semester, in addition to supervision of undergraduate labs. Preference will be given to candidates
with teaching or industrial experience in at least two of the three teaching areas (drilling,
production and reservoir).
The School currently has 11 full time faculty and 1 instructor, and offers bachelor, master, and
doctoral degrees in Petroleum Engineering. Current enrollment includes approximately 325
undergraduate students and 80 graduate students. The University of Tulsa has a strong research
tradition with an average research funding of 6 million dollars per year. Our unique research
strength is evident from 9 research consortia funded by the industry with an excellent balance
between applied and theoretical research.
The University of Tulsa is a private comprehensive university with approximately 4,000 students
enrolled in its four academic colleges. The McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering resides
administratively within the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, which consists of four
engineering departments, four science departments, and the department of mathematical and
computer sciences. More information is available at The University of Tulsa website:
http://www.utulsa.edu.
The Search Committee will be reviewing applications for all positions beginning January 15,
2012. The tenure track positions selection process will continue until suitable candidates are
found. The deadline for applications for the instructor positions is March 30, 2012.
Applicants should submit a complete vita, along with the names and addresses of four references to:
Dr. Mauricio Prado
Search Committee Chairman
McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering
The University of Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104
The University of Tulsa is an EEO/AA employer.
Faculty and Instructor Positions
McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering
The University of Tulsa
POSITIONSOPEN POSITIONSOPEN POSITIONSOPEN
March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 59
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is the largest government-funded tertiary institution in
Hong Kong in terms of student number. It offers programmes at Doctorate, Masters,
Bachelors degrees and Higher Diploma levels. It has a full-time academic staff strength of
around 1,200. The total consolidated expenditure budget of the University is in excess of
HK$4 billion per year.
DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
1) Assistant Professor in Fluid Mechanics
2) Assistant Professor in Control, Dynamics and Acoustics
3) Assistant Professor in Design and Computational Solid Mechanics
The Department of Mechanical Engineering is one of the ve academic units in the Faculty of
Engineering. It offers a wide range of programmes, at both undergraduate and postgraduate
levels, over a large spectrum of topics including product analysis and design, environmental
technology and transportation, aerospace and aviation, design and manufacturing, computer
aided engineering design, etc. To underpin teaching, the Department is presently engaged in
the following research areas: combustion and pollution control, uid-structure interactions,
materials and mechanics, sound and vibration, and product design and development. Please
visit the website at http://www.me.polyu.edu.hk for more information about the Department.
The appointees will be required to (a) teach at undergraduate and postgraduate levels; (b) conduct
research that leads to publications in top-tier refereed journals and awards of research grants; (c)
undertake research, programme/curriculum development and administration; (d) supervise student
projects and theses; (e) engage in industrial and scholarly research/consultancy activities; and (f)
undertake academic and departmental administrative duties.
Applicants should have (a) a PhD degree in relevant disciplines, plus several years of
experience in research and teaching; (b) good publication records; (c) a good network to
facilitate the development of high-level applied research collaborations/consultancy projects
between PolyU and reputable institutions/organizations and industry; and (d) excellent
communication skills and the ability to use English as the medium of instruction.
Remuneration and Conditions of Service
A highly competitive remuneration package will be offered. Initial appointments will be on a
xed-term gratuity-bearing contract. Re-engagement thereafter is subject to mutual
agreement. Applicants should state their current and expected salary in the application.
Application
Please submit application form via email to hrstaff@polyu.edu.hk; by fax at (852) 2364 2166;
or by mail to Human Resources Ofce, 13/F, Li Ka Shing Tower, The Hong Kong
Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong. If you would like to provide a
separate curriculum vitae, please still complete the application form which will help speed up
the recruitment process. Application forms can be obtained via the above channels or
downloaded from http://www.polyu.edu.hk/hro/job.htm. Recruitment will continue until
the positions are lled. Details of the Universitys Personal Information Collection Statement
for recruitment can be found at http://www.polyu.edu.hk/hro/jobpics.htm.
Tenure-Track Faculty Positions
New Jersey Institute of Technology
The Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
invites outstanding applicants for three (3) tenured/tenure-
track faculty positions starting in August, 2012. All ranks will
be considered with appropriate levels of academic excel-
lence and demonstrated research accomplishment.
Successful candidates should have an earned Ph.D. degree
in mechanical, industrial, or materials engineering or closely-
related field and possess a strong enthusiasm and ability to
teach broadly within the department. We are seeking out-
standing candidates with strong research interests with
proven research experience and scholarly accomplishment,
in following areas:
Advanced Processes and Materials - applications in
energetic materials, such as lithium and fuel-cell materials,
biomedical devices, or nano-electronics/digital devices and
hardware considered desirable. Posting # 0600805.
Environmentally Sustainable Production Systems -
including innovative energy technologies, integrated
thermodynamic-based energy storage systems, exergy
techniques, and zero-waste production processes.
Posting # 0600796.
Sustainable Engineering Management Systems -
applications in energy management systems including
eco-efficiency metrics, sustainability and value-chain man-
agement, strategic decision support systems, and/or inno-
vative smart grid management considered desirable.
Posting # 0600804.
Rank and salary will be commensurate with qualifications
and experience. Applications must be posted at
www.njit.jobs . Questions may be directed to Dr. Reggie J.
Caudill; caudill@njit.edu. EOE/AA
NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, NEWARK, NJ 07102-1982
certifcation process etc. Masters deg in Me-
chanical Engg & 3 yrs exp in the dsgn & engg
of subsea products such as ROV tools, bend
stiffener connectors, subsea insulation systems
& UTAs reqd. Familiarity w/ associated ANSI,
ASME, AWS, API, ISO & DNV specs reqd. Mul-
tiple positions open. Mail resumes to HR Mgr,
Deepsea Technologies, Inc., 10811 Train Court,
Houston, TX 77041.
THE ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT AT NEW
MEXICO TECH is seeking applicants for a newly
created, fulltime position of Engineering Educa-
tion Specialist. Job duties will include re-design
of freshman engineering courses, piloting new
engineering courses and development of a new
engineering lab. For a more detailed job descrip-
tion & the application process please access our
web page at http://www.nmt.edu/images/stories/
hr/pdfs/specengedtraindev111-125.pdf
QUALITY ENGINEER needed in Cleveland, Ohio,
to monitor quality of manufacturing lines for auto-
motive and other industries. Resumes: HR Dept.,
Triangle Machine Products, 6055 Hillcrest Dr.,
Cleveland, OH 44125. No calls. EOE.
MECHANICAL ENGINEER, LINDEN. Engineer
installation of bldg systems, solutions for restora-
tion projects. Coordinate repair of machinery and
mechanical works. Review technical submittals.
MS reqd. By mail: Landslovers Corp, 606 Knopf
St., Linden, NJ 07036.
FACULTY POSITION MECHANICAL
ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT VANDERBILT
UNIVERSITY The Department of Mechanical
Engineering at Vanderbilt University invites
applications for a faculty position to begin in Fall
2012. Preference will be given to applicants at the
Assistant Professor level, however applicants at
higher ranks with exceptional records will also
be considered. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. in
Mechanical Engineering or a closely related
discipline. In particular, we seek applicants in
the thermal/fuid sciences with research interests
in bioMEMs/nano-biotechnology or advanced
energy technologies. The successful candidate
will be expected to build a strong, recognized,
externally-funded research program. The
candidate should also have a marked interest in
and talent for teaching in both the undergraduate
(B.E.) and graduate (M.S. and Ph.D.) programs.
Applications consisting of a cover letter, a
complete curriculum vitae, statements of teaching
and research interests, and the addresses of four
references (include email address) should be
submitted on-line at https://academicjobsonline.
org/ajo/jobs/1310. Vanderbilt University is an
Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
P
O
S
I
T
I
O
N
S
O
P
E
N
FACULTY OPENING IN
FLUID MECHANICS AND PROPULSION
The School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University invites applications for
a tenure-track faculty position in the area of Fluid Mechanics and Propulsion. Both
traditional and emerging research areas involving analytical, computational as well
as experimental expertise are of interest. The search is focused on the broad topics
of energy, power generation and bio-uids. Candidates should hold a Ph.D. degree in
Mechanical Engineering or a related eld and have a distinguished academic record,
exceptional potential for world-class research, and a commitment to both undergraduate
and graduate education. Candidates at the Assistant/Associate Professor level are
targeted, but exceptional candidates at higher rank will receive serious consideration.
All applications should be submitted through a single College of Engineering-wide web
portal. For consideration, please complete the online form at https://engineering.
purdue.edu/Engr/AboutUs/Employment/Applications, and submit in electronic form
curriculum vitae, statement of research and teaching interests, and the names and contact
information for at least three references. If you have difculty submitting application to
this website, please contact Ms. Marion Ragland at: ragland@purdue.edu. Review of
applications will begin January 1, 2012 and will continue until the positions are lled.
Established in 1882, the School of Mechanical Engineering is the oldest of Purdues
engineering schools and has granted over 26,000 degrees. Through its past two centuries,
the School has become synonymous with innovation and outstanding accomplishment in
engineering research, education, and global engagement. Its students and faculty form a
vibrant community of scholars who are recognized worldwide for their technical expertise
and the impact of their work. In addition to supporting faculty expansion, the Schools fund
raising has enabled: growth in endowed professorships, with 18 now committed; the newly
opened LEED-certied $34.5M Roger B. Gatewood Wing of Mechanical Engineering,
with substantial space dedicated to design research and education; $30M expansion of
the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories; numerous endowed scholarships and fellowships; and
various innovative programs including global engineering and nanotechnology. Its annual
research expenditures and endowment/trust funds have grown rapidly to about $22M per
year and over $80M, respectively.
Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, a welcoming and diverse community with
a wide variety of cultures, excellent schools, plus ready accessibility to large metropolitan
areas (the University is within two hours of downtown Chicago and within one hour of
downtown Indianapolis).
A background check will be required for employment in this position.
Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/afrmative action employer
fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce.
60 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
FACULTY POSITION IN DESIGN SCIENCE
The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering seeks an outstanding
individual for a tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level in the emerging
field of design science. Appointment at higher rank is possible in exceptional cases.
Candidates discovering the principles, methods and tools for the design of complex
engineered products, systems, and processes are of particular interest. Candidates
with a strong interdisciplinary perspective are encouraged to apply. This perspective
could integrate research from such areas as virtual reality and 3D modeling;
computational geometry; information technology; economics; behavioral, social, and
cognitive sciences; and/or bio-sciences. While a strong design science background is
necessary, applications areas are expected to be broad and could include the breadth
of engineering and systems design activities, including for example; sustainability;
large-scale systems design; design for advanced manufacturing; innovative product
design; reconfigurable, multifunctional, adaptable systems; and bio-inspired design.
Applicants with original and creative visions of research will be given high
priority. The successful candidate will be expected to develop an independent,
externally-funded, internationally-recognized research program, teach graduate-
and undergraduate-level courses, develop new specialized courses, supervise
graduate research and contribute to departmental affairs.
The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Buffalo is the largest and
most comprehensive of the SUNY engineering schools. The Department of
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering currently has 29 full-time faculty and is
expected to grow significantly over the next five years.
Applicants must have an earned doctorate in Mechanical or Aerospace
Engineering or in a relevant science or engineering discipline with a dissertation
on the representative department research areas. Applicants should submit a
curriculum vitae, an integrated teaching and research plan (not to exceed three
pages), and names of at least three references via the UBJobs system, at
http://www.ubjobs.buffalo.edu, referencing posting number 1200074.
Reviews will begin as soon as applications are received and the position will
remain open until filled.
Women and other underrepresented minorities are especially encouraged to apply.
The University at Buffalo is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.
Leaders in Littoral Warfare and Coastal Defense
Join a team of elite scientists and engineers developing cutting-edge
technology for tomorrows Navy!
POSITION AVAILABLE:
Senior Scientist and Technical Expert for Computational Structural Acoustics
ST-0830, $119,554 to $165,300 per annum
Serves as the senior technical/scientific expert at NSWC PCD in
computational structural acoustics as it relates to 3-D complex acoustic
scattering from realistic objects in challenging environments. Responsible
for leading, developing, coordinating, directing, and conducting R&D
programs within the DoD community in the area of computational
structural acoustics involving methods such as finite-element techniques
or other computational techniques suitable for problems involving
complex geometries, with emphasis on concept development, technology
advancement, and Fleet evaluation of technology. Provides vision to
formulate and devise investment plans, strategies, and programs for new
DoD research and development. Pursues innovative research of novel
computational techniques that provide significant advances to the field.
Provides technical oversight to highly-motivated research teams in the
development of 3-D high-fidelity, high speed computer simulations that
accurately predict acoustic signatures of realistic objects in challenging
environments. This position offers a unique potential to advance the
state-of-the-art in the field of computational structural acoustics, with
opportunities to develop massively parallel computing techniques that
accelerate memory-intensive computations associated with the prediction
of complicated target scattering signatures. These new techniques will be
essential in the development of the next generation of sensors systems. To
address future challenges, the selectee will have the opportunity to work
with government agencies, academia, and industry to extend these
techniques to new application areas. Applicants should be recognized as
national/international authorities in computational acoustics/mechanics
and have demonstrated scientific vision and leadership skills needed to
develop and successfully execute long-term programs.
U.S. citizenship is required. The selectee must obtain and maintain a Top
Secret security clearance for this position.
Vacancy information with application instruction is available at
www.usajobs.gov, enter announcement number: NW20830-00-
596472M9259522-S. Announcement dates: March 1- March 30, 2012.
If you need further information please contact Dawn Hilty at
dawn.hilty@navy.mil.
.
NAVY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
NAVAL SURFACE WARFARE CENTER, PANAMA CITY DIVISION (NSWC PCD)
Tenure/Tenure Track Faculty Position in Sensorimotor Neural Engineering
to support new National Science Foundation
Engineering Research Center at San Diego State University
Te College of Engineering at San Diego State University invites applications for a
full-time tenure/tenure track faculty position starting in August 2012. Te search
is open to all academic ranks. For senior-level tenured appointments, a strong
record of scholarly research and signifcant prior external funding is required.
Appointment rank and salary are commensurate with qualifcations. Te new
faculty member in the College of Engineering will be expected to have a research
background and plan that integrates cross-disciplinary activities and eforts within
the new Engineering Research Center (ERC). Qualifcations include a doctorate
in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering,
Biomedical Engineering or closely related area with a research focus associated with
bioinstrumentation, robotics, rehabilitation, interface devices and techniques, or
termed sensorimotor neural engineering. Candidates must be capable of teaching
within the existing Mechanical or Electrical Engineering curriculum. Prior
research experience in a medical setting would be desirable. Practical/experimental
expertises are highly desired this would be evident by specifc prior experience.
For example, an ability to design and build new sensory systems to enable artifcial
limb articulation using brain-based wireless signals. Furthermore, the successful
candidate is expected to lead and/or participate in major research proposals
involving several faculty members. Screening of applications will begin immediately
and will continue until the position is flled. Interested candidates should send hard
copies of complete curriculum vitae, statements of research, teaching goals which
include a vision of integrated activities within the center (Email applications will not
be accepted) and the names and addresses of three references to:
Dr. Kee S. Moon, Search Committee Chair
Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-1323
(619) 594-8660
kmoon@mail.sdsu.edu
SDSU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis
of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression,
marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, medical condition, or covered veteran status.
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March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 61
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This agship event will include more than 900 technical presentations
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March 2012 | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 63
ASMENEWS
Compiled from ASME Public Information dispatches.
Task Force Examines Nuclear Power
ASME Advocates Protecting Intellectual Property Rights
In the ongoing discussion over
public access to federally funded
research, ASME President Victoria
Rockwell sent a letter in January to the
Ofce of Science and Technology Policy
expressing concern that researchers
rights could be jeopardized.
ASME endorses the principle of
providing public access and enhanc-
ing dissemination of federally funded
research results in ways that advance
public safety and welfare, and improve
the quality of life throughout the
world, Rockwell wrote. In so doing,
ASME is resolute on our position that it
is critical to protect the authors rights
to their intellectual property, as well as
the critical functions of peer review.
Rockwell sent the letter in response
to the OSTPs request for information
which appeared in the December 23
edition of the Federal Register.
The request for information pro-
vided the opportunity to recommend
approaches for ensuring long-term
stewardship and broad public access
to the peer reviewed scholarly publica-
tions resulting from federally funded
scientic research.
In the letter, Rockwell expressed
ASMEs opposition to government
mandates requiring that private-sector
scholarly publications be made avail-
able online without authorization and
compensation. Rockwell also cautioned
the OSTP not to establish mandates
that undermine intellectual property
rights without full, voluntary rights-
holder authorization, IP rights protec-
tion, and compensation.
The letter stated that ASME recom-
mends that OSTP carefully review all
approaches and consider the economic
implications of public access models.
Rockwells letter is archived at
http://www.asme.org/about-asme/
advocacy-government-relations/
position-statements.
ASME has changed the name of its
customer service call center to
Customer Care.
Operating out of the ASME service
center in Faireld, N.J., Customer
Care, formerly known as Information
Central, will continue to provide call-
ers worldwide with information about
ASMEs products and services. The
new name, ASME said, reects a com-
mitment to enhancing the customers
experience.
Customer Care will provide infor-
mation on ASME meetings, confer-
ences, and training opportunities, and
will eld inquiries related to ASMEs
portfolio of products, services and
membership benets, as well as
general inquiries about the society.
The service will also accept orders for
publications, journals, or codes and
standards.
Representatives will answer phone
calls promptly and respond to e-mail
inquiries within 48 hours. The toll-free
phone number for Customer Care
remains (800) THE-ASME (800-
843-2763). Operation hours Monday
through Friday are 8:00 a.m. to 5:30
p.m. Eastern Standard Time. E-mail
inquiries to Customer Care can be
sent to customercare@asme.org.
ASME INTRODUCES CUSTOMER CARE
I
n response to the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami
that afected several nuclear power stations in Japan,
ASME President Victoria Rockwell has formed a task force
to provide a high-level, neutral forum for sharing the latest
available perspectives and summary of actions being under-
taken.
The 15-member task force is led by Nils Diaz, former chair-
man of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Regis
Matzie, former senior vice president and chief technology
ofcer of Westinghouse Electric Corp.
The task force will assess over 50 years of nuclear power
reactor experience and will make recommendations on how
to deal with events that exceed the design basis of those
plants. In addition to studying incidents that occurred at
Fukushima Daiichi, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and
Windscale, the task force will address other eventssuch as
tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and oodsthat could
potentially initiate other beyond-design-basis challenges.
The task force has met with and received briengs from
the senior leadership of various nuclear stakeholder groups,
including the Nuclear Energy Institute, the U.S. Nuclear Reg-
ulatory Commission, the Institute of Nuclear Power Opera-
tions, and the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers. ASME
also solicited and received input from the Natural Resources
Defense Council, an environmental action organization.
A key objective of the task force is to develop a report exam-
ining the evolution of commercial nuclear power and recom-
mending steps to enhance the safe deployment and operation
of current and new nuclear power plants. The report will be
available to industry stakeholders, policy makers, and the
general public. To provide as wide an audience as possible, it
is anticipated that the conclusions and guidance developed
in the report will be disseminated in a spectrum of media,
ranging from interactive public workshops and congressional
briengs to summary white papers and a technical report.
The report is expected to be issued before the end of summer.
64 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | March 2012
uring the two years that JT Nesbitt spent
building his car by hand, the only new tech-
nology he used was in the two fuel tanks that
hold compressed natural gas.
Otherwise, theres nothing on this car that
couldnt have been built 100 years ago, said
Nesbitt, an industrial designer and owner
of Bienville Studios, a design studio in New
Orleanss French Quarter. And yet its cleaner than the
cleanest car rolling ofine in Detroit or Tokyo right now.
The car in question is the Magnolia Special, a chrome-and-
black modern-day version of the sleek and stylish Grand-
Prix-style roadsters featured in movies like The Great Race.
It has a cigar shape, open-to-the-
air scooped-out driving compart-
ment, and half-size windshield.
But while those early 20th
century cars ran on gasoline, the
Magnolia Special is powered by
compressed natural gas, or CNG,
contained within the two special-
ized tanks that ride aboard.
I had a bit of a windfall and
decided I wanted to do something
clean, Nesbitt said. Id done
vehicles before, but I wanted to do something environmen-
tally friendly and economically friendly and socially that
had impact.
Natural gas burns clean, is cheap to pump, and can be
sourced in the United States. To demonstrate that CNG
automobiles can travel long distances, he and copilot Max
Materne drove the Magnolia Special from New York to Los
Angeles last fall.
Nesbitt and Materne made the trip in 89 hours. Thats one
day longer than anticipated, due to a few setbacks. For one,
they had a hard time getting sleep, even when exchanging
driving duty, and a 24-hour gas station in North Carolina
where theyd planned to refuel wasnt open as advertised.
Overall, the trip itself was remarkably trouble-free, Nes-
bitt said. I thought the copilot would be able to sleep, but we
lost 12 hours pulling of the side of the road to rest. I thought
wed put a neck collar on and sleep inside of the helmet, but it
didnt work out that way. Lesson learned.
The coast-to-coast journey was the longest continuous
trip made at a reasonable clip in an alternative energy
vehicle, Nesbitt said.
It has been done on CNG by one other guy, but he was on
a vacation and took a month to take the cross-country trip,
he said. Its safe to say this is a record-establishing run.
Part of that is due to the special features of the Magnolia
Special, which was designed to run on CNG with a range of
more than 600 miles before rell.
In a CNG conversion of a normal passenger vehicle, youll
nd your range is under 200 miles because of the storage
issue, he said.
The automobile is a testament to Nesbitts strong feelings
about mechanical design and the future of design and energy.
He steered away from the computerized and the digitized and
the highest technology when designing the Magnolia Special.
When you spend money on mechanical, thats a safer
investment because mechanical things can be heirloom qual-
ity, which give them permanence, Nesbitt said. Electronic
and digital things
are never high qual-
ity. Theyre always
disposable.
Nesbitt rst
sketched designs in
2008 and soon chose
an engine based on
the Jaguar 4.2-liter
inline-six.
CNG requires bulk-
ier tanks than those
designed for gaso-
line. Nesbitt incor-
porated the tanks
into the automobiles
structure to add strength to the aluminum body. A steel cage
surrounds the passenger compartment for safety and alumi-
num covers the underside for aerodynamic efciency.
For the Magnolia Specials lightweight, nostalgic body, he
called upon the superleggera chassis construction system,
wherein a structural framework of small-diameter tubes is
covered by thin alloy body panels.
After it all came together, Nesbitt studied the locations of
CNG refueling stations and believed his vehicle was ready for
a cross-country trip. He proved correct.
JEAN THILMANY
INPUTOUTPUT Cross Country on CNG
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The Magnolia Special
has superleggera
construction and CNG tanks
as structural elements.
ASML verlcauon and
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