Hispanic Engineering Students

Posted on January 15, 2007  Comments (0)

A Future Engineer:

While they are the largest minority group in the United States at 14.5 percent of the population, only 4 percent of engineers in the workforce in this country are Hispanic. Just 7 percent of the bachelor’s degrees in engineering, 5 percent of master’s degrees and even fewer doctoral degrees are awarded to Hispanics

To this end, several universities host summer camps to expose young Hispanics and other minorities to STEM subjects. New Mexico State University’s College of Engineering, for instance, brings 180 middle and high school students to campus each summer for intense math and science workshops. “We target demographics that we really want to push engineering on,” says Castillo, who became interested in engineering himself at a summer camp at rival University of New Mexico. “It’s been an extremely successful program for us.”

Related: Mexico Engineering GraduatesDiversity in Science and EngineeringStudy on Minority Degrees in STEM fieldsEngineering Jobs in Mexico

Edinburgh University $115 Million Stem Cell Center

Posted on January 15, 2007  Comments (1)

Stem cell centre plan confirmed

Additional Scottish Executive funding of £24m will allow Edinburgh University to develop the £59m centre in collaboration with Scottish Enterprise. The Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM) is thought to be equalled only one in Kobe, Japan. Prof Ian Wilmut, formerly of the Roslin Institute, will be the director.

The state-of -the-art facilities are expected to house 220 academic researchers and will include a centre for “scale-up” development and manufacture of cells. Space will also be made available for commercial regenerative medicine. It is hoped that the SCRM, which will be part of the new Centre for Biomedical Research at Edinburgh’s Little France, will create about 560 jobs and generate £18.2m per year for the Scottish economy.

Related: Harvard Plans Life Sciences CampusChina’s Gene Therapy Investment

via: Univ. of Edinburgh Launches $115 Million Dollar Stem Cell Research Center

Concrete Houses 1919 and 2007

Posted on January 15, 2007  Comments (6)

Concrete Edison House

Robo-builder threatens the brickie [the broken link was removed]

Is the writing on the wall for the brickie? Engineers are racing to unveil the world’s first robot capable of building a house at the touch of a button. The first prototype — a watertight shell of a two-storey house built in 24 hours without a single builder on site — will be erected in California before April.

Brickie?: a search seems to indicate that is a bricklayer.

By building almost an entire house from just two materials – concrete and gypsum – the robots will eliminate the need for dozens of traditional components, including floorboards, wooden window frames and possibly even wallpaper. It may eventually be possible to use specially treated gypsum instead of glass window panes. Engineers on both projects say the robots will not only cut costs and avoid human delays but liberate the normal family homes from the conventional designs of pitched roofs, right-angled walls and rectangular windows.

Edison patented a process for constructing concrete buildings in 1908 (1917 issued). Photo is of a concrete Edison house being constructed in one day in Union, NJ on October 9th, 1919. See more photos of concrete houses and much more at the great National Park Service Edison photo gallery [sadly the NPA broke the link and it has been removed].

Related: Thomas Edison’s Remaining Concrete HouseEdison Patent ListGoogle Patent SearchUW- Madison Wins 4th Concrete Canoe CompetitionLight transmitting concrete

More from the article:

Inspired by the inkjet printer, the technology goes far beyond the techniques already used for prefabricated homes. “This will remove all the limitations of traditional building,” said Hugh Whitehead of the architecture firm Foster & Partners, which designed the “Gherkin” skyscraper in London and is producing designs for the Loughborough team. “Anything you can dream you can build.”

The robots are rigged to a metal frame, enabling them to shuttle in three dimensions and assemble the structure of the house layer by layer. The sole foreman on site operates a computer programmed with the designer’s plans. The researchers in Los Angeles claim their robot will be able to build the shell of a house in 24 hours. “Compared to a conventional house, the speed of construction will be increased 200-fold and the building costs will be reduced to a fifth of what they are today,” said Khoshnevis.

The rival British system is likely to take at least a week but will include more sophisticated design features, with the computer’s nozzle weaving in ducts for water pipes, electrical wiring and ventilation within the panels of gypsum or concrete.

Harvard Plans Life Sciences Campus

Posted on January 15, 2007  Comments (2)

Harvard Unveils Plans for 250 Acre Stem Cell and Life Sciences Campus:

During the first 20 years of the expansion, Harvard would build 4 million to 5 million square feet of buildings and create at least 5,000 jobs, university officials said. Construction in Allston could begin this summer when Harvard hopes to break ground on a 500,000-square-foot (46,450-square-metre) science complex that will house the school’s stem-cell researchers and other institutes. The science complex, university officials said, would be the nucleus for new interdisciplinary research and is expected to go a long way toward boosting Boston’s economy by encouraging partnerships with biotechnology firms that may displace the region’s long-fading manufacturing base.

5,000 jobs is a huge number (even looking out 20 years). Manufacturing is still a huge economic factor (for the USA and the world) but investing in creating science and engineering centers of excellence is critical in determining where strong economies and good jobs will be 30+ years from now. They don’t explain what those 5,000 jobs are, but it seems that thousands could be for science and engineering graduates. The value of that to Boston’s economy is huge.

Related: Engineering the Future EconomyDiplomacy and Science ResearchIncreasing American Fellowship Support for Scientists and EngineersThe Future is EngineeringChina’s Economic Science ExperimentChina’s Gene Therapy InvestmentSingapore Supporting Science Researchers