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Have you ever seen a car-crash safety test? The airbags always deploy just in time to save the test dummy, which is good news for those of us who travel in cars! What makes the airbag deploy properly? A tiny microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) device called an accelerometer. MEMS devices are used in many applications, from inkjet printer cartridges to neural probes. Typically 1 micrometer (µm) to 1 millimeter (mm) in dimension, MEMS devices require special techniques to make.… Read more
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Earth is our home and is the source of everything that we require to survive and thrive. Earth gives us food, shelter, and energy. One source of energy, found deep within the earth, is oil. Oil drives the world's economy and is an extremely important commodity. Petroleum engineers spend their careers searching for reservoirs of oil and developing methods to efficiently extract it from the earth without damaging the surrounding environment. Read more
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Are you passionate about the environment? Do you like developing and implementing new ideas? Do you enjoy talking with people about how humans impact nature? If these things are true about you, then you may be the ideal candidate for a job as a sustainability specialist. Sustainability specialists work in large and small corporations and universities to design and execute energy and resource conservation programs that reduce their employers' impact on the environment. This is a great career for… Read more
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Every day the Earth provides us with many sources of renewable energy to power our lifestyles. Wind energy is an example of a renewable energy because wind is a naturally replenished source. But how can energy be extracted efficiently from the wind? Sounds like a job for a wind energy engineer! The wind energy engineer works on modeling, designing, and building wind turbines and wind farms. These engineers are passionate about wind, renewable energy, and the environment, and they enjoy applying… Read more
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Soybeans, corn, grass, algae, vegetable oil: What do these things have in common? The answer is that they can be used to create biofuels, which are derived from plants or plant material. These sources are called biomass. The procedure for converting plants or vegetable oil into a biofuel is a chemical reaction that has many steps. The biofuel or biodiesel technology and product development manager is a professional who develops ways to convert the raw material into fuel and improve the types,… Read more
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Have you always loved art? Do you have a good eye for beauty, balance, and form? How would you like to see your designs show up in toy stores? Or in a sporting goods store? Or at a car dealer? Commercial and industrial designers create the shape and form of every type of manufactured good that you can think of—from toys, sporting goods, and medical equipment to high technology products, furniture, toothbrushes, and toasters. They design the form of new products that are as beautiful and… Read more
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Engineering managers not only have to be knowledgeable about engineering, but they also need the right skills to be a good manager. Engineering managers supervise and coordinate a team of engineers. There are many specific engineering fields in which they could work, including manufacturing, electrical design, nuclear engineering, software, aerospace, and many others. Read more
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Did you know that about 700,000 gallons of water flow over the famous Niagara Falls every second? Moving water is a great source of renewable energy, and two hydroelectric power plants built upstream from the Canadian side of the falls and one hydroelectric power plant built upstream from the U.S. side of the falls efficiently exploit the energy from all that water. Such hydroelectric plants use turbines, rotors, generators, and other complicated equipment to supply us with electricity for our… Read more
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Have you ever been in a new city and needed to figure out how to get from point A to point B? Have you ever tried to figure out the best time of the year to go on vacation so that you have good weather? Many people in these situations turn to a map. Maps are important sources of information, and geographic information systems (GIS) technicians are the professionals who gather data from a variety of sources, store it in databases, and use those databases to make accurate maps. Because maps are… Read more
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Essential members of any construction team include mapping and surveying technicians—the "instrument people"—who set up and operate special equipment that measures distances, curves, elevations, and angles between points on Earth's surface. These technicians then take the data gathered by the instruments and create maps and charts on a computer. About half of their work is spent in hands-on, high-technology data collection in the field, while the other half is spent in an… Read more
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