Getting more energy from the sun: how to make better solar cells

  Global demand for energy is increasing by the hour as developing countries move toward industrialization. Experts estimate that by the year 2050, worldwide demand for electricity may reach 30 terawatts (TW). For perspective, one terawatt is roughly equal to the power of 1.3 billion horses. Energy from the sun is limitless – the sun … Read more

‘Digital twins’ can help monitor infrastructure and save us billions

  Urban infrastructure – bridges, roads, railways, pipelines, power transmission towers and so on – must be inspected regularly to operate safely. Imagine if we used advanced technologies available to us, such as wireless sensors, mobile apps and machine learning, to remotely inspect and maintain this infrastructure. This could eliminate the need for regular daily … Read more

  The future impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) on society and the labour force have been studied and reported extensively. In a recent book, AI Superpowers, Kai-Fu Lee, former president of Google China, wrote that 40 to 50 per cent of current jobs will be technically and economically viable with AI and automation over the … Read more

How to train 21st century engineers for tech discoveries

The year is 1985. Portable CD players like the Sony Discman are the epitome of consumer technology: a battery-operated device that allows you to listen to music anywhere (provided you brought the CDs as well). A recent graduate from electronics and computer engineering programs understands how the portable CD player works. They cannot build it … Read more

Whisper it – jet engines are getting quieter

  With no sign of our appetite for air travel diminishing, we need to create quieter aircraft that are easier to live with. In fact, while those living near airports may beg to differ, data included in the Airports Commission report into a new runway for London shows a very significant reduction in aircraft noise … Read more