Despite sweeping job cuts in manufacturing nationwide, Chicago remains a prime location for jobs, high wages, and specialized industries. According to a new report, the metropolitan area has gained manufacturing jobs more rapidly than the country as a whole in the last two years. Read more
While renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind are far from new, it is only in the past decade — and in particular the past five years — that they are seeing wide-scale acceptance and implementation. As such, there are a number of issues and challenges that are only now beginning to come to forefront of engineers’ minds.
One of these is the issue of corrosion. As energy generation systems and supporting structures sit around in extreme conditions such as high desert heat and salt-water seas they become vulnerable to natural processes.
Richard Grant, principal and owner of Russell Corrosion, knows all about this. He and his team have been tackling corrosion of mechanical systems for 20 years. More recently, he has become increasingly involved in helping renewable energy equipment manufacturers maintain the life of their products. He and Steve Nikolokakos, P.E., senior corrosion engineer and alternative energy practice leader, sat with IMT Green & Clean to talk about this issue and the solutions that exist. Read more
But in the last few years the U.S. Department of Energy and some enterprising major companies, along with politicians like Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), have begun developing new models for small modular reactors (SMR) that just might be nuclear’s future.
Last November the DOE promised a mammoth $452 million in funding to companies that can help design a working model of an SMR that can be mass-produced, transportable, and serve as a low-carbon substitute to oil and natural gas power. Read more
The long-term effort to revitalize manufacturing and boost the industry image has spread to the Web. The recently launched “Manufacturing is Cool” website encourages student from grades K-12 to be original thinkers, and features need-to-know information and videos for students, parents, and teachers to get a better understanding of the industry. Read more