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ASME TechCast

ASME TechCast

Author: Mechanical Engineering Mag

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Bringing you the innovators, the innovations, the issues and topics that are advancing engineering.
39 Episodes
The term "fluid power" was adopted more than sixty years ago to describe hydraulic and pneumatic systems for transmitting power. Often, engineers learn about mechanical and electric power transmission as part of their formal education. Unfortunately, most engineering schools in North America do not fully cover the capabilities and strengths of fluid power. Fluid power is a versatile method of transmitting power, capable of moving satellite dishes and heavy construction equipment, and refined enough to operate aircraft and automation systems. Alan Hitchcox, longtime editor-in-chief of Hydraulics and Pneumatics magazine and recent inductee into the International Fluid Power Society 2020 Fluid Power Hall of Fame, sits down with Mechanical Engineering magazine to discuss the strength of fluid power and how engineers are using it today.
A collaboration between Cornell and Penn Engineering has resulted in the first microscopic robots that incorporate semiconductor components, allowing them to be controlled—and made to walk—with standard electronic signals. In future, these microbots could be injected into human blood for medical treatments. In this podcast, Itai Cohen, professor of physics, who is leading the research at Cornell, discusses the cross-disciplinary research that led to this breakthrough.
Chinese factories produce a huge chunk of the world’s manufactured goods. Recently, global companies have begun to reconsider their dependence on China. Some have looked at bringing critical manufacturing to the United States, while others have set up factories in Vietnam and Mexico. Mechanical Engineering magazine editor in chief Jeffrey Winters asked senior editor John Kosowatz to explain the issues and whether it was possible for multinational firms to leave the China market. 
NASA recently recognized Robo-Glove, a soft robotic exoskeleton for the hand, as its commercial invention of the year. Its original application was meant to assist astronauts by making it easier to perform simple tasks that become more cumbersome in space. Its potential, however, is beginning to be realized in manufacturing and health care. General Motors co-developed the system, now being commercially produced as IronHand by Sweden’s Bioservo. In this episode, Stephen Krajcarski, GM’s senior manager of global ergonomics, talks about how the company is testing the glove and other exoskeletons on the factory floor.
Chad Huyser is the regional director and North America president of Lely International. Lely was founded in the Netherlands and, for over the last 70 years, has introduced new mechanized methods to help eliminate redundant processes or labor requirements on the farm, particularly in dairy farming. Lely’s latest Astronaut-5 is a milking unit that uses automation and artificial intelligence for cows to feed and milk themselves. Huyser shares his thoughts on automation in farming today, how COVID-19 impacted the supply chain, and how the future may look like as farmers transition to new automation techniques.
The Chief Executive Officer at Girl Scouts of the USA, Sylvia Acevedo, is a woman engineer, rocket scientist, author, entrepreneur, and more. Since becoming the CEO, she has led the organization’s largest rollout of 125 new Girl Scout badges that include 42 new STEM badges such as cybersecurity, robotics, design thinking, coding, data analytics, and space science. In this episode of ASME TechCast, Acevedo shares her passion for all things engineering and talks about the long-term benefits of a focus on STEM, especially for girls. Girl Scouts of the USA now offers 109 STEM badges and award programs compared to 22 in 2014.
Metal pipes have dominated the pressure piping market for decades. Today, however, innovations in material science have resulted in companies considering plastic pipes that can support high pressures and temperatures. Many companies have started to shift from metal to plastic for several high-pressure applications across a range of industries. In this podcast, Charles Henley, chief engineer, piping and material applications, Kiewit, talks about ASME’s new standard that could help simplify nonmetallic pressure piping projects. Henley is also vice chair of ASME’s nonmetallic piping standards committee.
Lisa Seacat DeLuca is a Distinguished Engineer and the director of IBM Watson’s Internet of Things division and one of their most prolific inventors, with more than 500 patents to her name. In this episode, she discusses the future of IBM’s IoT goals, how STEM is vital to the future of engineering, and how her works in children’s literature were inspired by her want to provide STEM awareness to her children.
For decades, utilities have been concerned with reliability, which is a measure of how well the grid can avoid short-term blackouts. But resilience goes deeper and covers multiple, intersecting factors. It’s not just preparing to recover from devastating storms, but also taking steps to avoid a pandemic from incapacitating utility control rooms. To learn more about what companies are doing to build a grid that can bounce back quickly from multiple, unexpected challenges, ASME’s Carlos González talks with two engineers with a deep understanding of resilience issues. Mike Bryson is senior vice president for operations at PJM, the regional transmission organization for the mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. And Nirmal Paudel is a consulting R&D engineer at ABB, the global manufacturer of electrical and electronic equipment.
Mechanical Engineer Matt Carney, who recently completed his PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, works at the MIT Media Lab Biomechatronics Group, where he designs and builds personalized bionic limbs. In this podcast, Carney discusses his interest in humanoid robots as well as the importance of design aesthetics and user experience in developing prosthetics.
Engineers are being forced to work remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help these engineers as they transition to the home environment, Siemens Digital Industries Software is looking to provide manufacturing solutions for those engineers working at home. By using the power of the Internet of Things, data analytics, and the digital twin, Siemens is helping engineers connect via a digital manufacturing network, from the factory floor to additive manufacturing products. We spoke with Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO of Siemens digital industries software and Robert Meschel, Director at Siemens Additive Manufacturing Network about how they are tackling the ongoing challenges.
Durable, fast-charging batteries are essential to the development of electric vehicles and evolution of the smart grid. StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf talks about the breakthrough in battery technology, eliminating carbon and using nano and other materials to make a battery that can charge an electronic device in 60 seconds. The next step is overcoming obstacles to a full-sized battery.
With no vaccine expected for Covid-19 anytime soon, preventing its spread could be as important as treating it. In this special edition of ASME TechCast, Managing Editor Chitra Sethi speaks with Professor Qingyan Chen, the James G. Dwyer Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, who has researched the spread of viruses through ventilation systems in passenger vehicles. He believes cruise ship air conditioning systems are not designed to filter out particles as small as the coronavirus, allowing the disease to rapidly circulate to other cabins. Prof. Chen’s lab is currently developing a ventilation system that would prevent the airborne transmission of pathogens like Coronavirus by allowing each person to breathe in only his or her own air.
Antleron nv is a Belgian life sciences firm building a living therapy factory designed to bring biomedical solutions to eventual commercialization. Most 4D materials and applications are still in research and development labs. CEO Jan Schrooten talks with about building a process to produce 4D materials for medical applications that differs from existing strategies and layouts.
This year’s Hannover Messe, arguably the world’s most important industrial trade show, has been postponed due the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. Now scheduled to take place on July 13 through 17, Hannover Messe will welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors and will focus on industrial transformation. Join Editor-in-Chief John Falcioni in this edition of ASME TechCast as he previews the Fair and speaks with representatives from Harting and igus about what they will be showcasing in Germany.
The Caribbean island of Bonaire is an idyllic vacation spot, but its power generation and grid system was unreliable. When ContourGlobal bought the energy assets it knew the system had to be reworked. The result was a 24-MW system using wind and solar, along with backup diesel generators, coupled with a lithium-ion battery storage system. A digitalized management system ties it all together, providing greater efficiencies in producing and storing renewable energy, and eliminating brownouts that plagued the old system. In this edition of ASME TechCast, Risto Paladanius of Greensmith, a Wartsilla company that provided the management system, and Giorgio Narminio of ContourGlobal, described the project at PowerGen International.
From clean energy and climate action to good health and quality education, Siemens has been at the forefront of supporting and advancing United Nation’s sustainable development goals for 2030. In this episode of ASME TechCast, Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA, talks about the role digital technology plays in building a sustainable world and improving lives. She also offers advice to young engineers on how they can get involved in addressing some of the biggest challenges facing humankind. Siemens and Engineering for Change recently announced a new call-to-action for socially minded engineers and hardware innovators to address two of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals—zero hunger and clean water. The program is called Innovate for Impact: Siemens Design Challenge and you can learn more about it on:
When it comes to digital transformation, the aerospace industry is pursuing model-based engineering, digital twins, simulations, and agile methods for design and manufacturing. Raytheon Missile Systems, the industry’s giant, is also adopting these technologies. In this episode of ASME TechCast, Laura McGill, vice president of engineering at the company, talks about the many job opportunities available for young engineers in the aerospace industry, her own career path, as well as offers management advice for large multi-generational engineering teams that have to work together in the new digital era.
Smart cars work through sensors and technology that give the driver safety and road information. Eventually those IoT systems will connect to other vehicles, leading to the development of an overall traffic monitoring system—a building block of smart cities. In this episode of ASME TechCast, Rob Tiffany, vice president of IoT strategy for Ericsson, talks about the issues affecting connectivity between vehicles and everywhere else, as well as the development of smart cars.
Climate scientists see a clear relation between global warming and extreme weather events such as the catastrophic Australian bushfires that have devastated New South Wales and surrounding areas for months. What will have to happen before the society takes climate change seriously? What role will engineers play in building solutions to fight climate change? Let’s find out from Professor Steven Chu of Stanford University, who was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997 and has devoted his scientific career to the search for new solutions to our energy and climate challenges. Prof. Chu served as the Secretary of Energy from January 2009 until April 2013, where he was charged with helping implement President Obama’s ambitious agenda to invest in clean energy and address the global climate crisis.
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