Archive for September 13th, 2013

With the start of a new government fiscal year upon us and the end of the calendar year right around the corner, it is time to review and approve the budget for the upcoming year. Businesses are always looking for creative ways to reduce their costs while continuing to offer the same (or better) level of service and support to customers. Funding for training programs is unfortunately one of the first areas of the budget to be subjected to cuts. Annual training programs are beneficial to both the employee and the business, so instead of reducing the budget, why not utilize a training consortium to receive the maximum benefit from your training dollars? A training consortium benefits your business in the following ways:
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Credit: Apple Inc.

The newest model of the Audi A5 will feature higher aluminum content, reducing the weight by 200 lbs. Credit: Audi.

The newest model of the Audi A5 will feature higher aluminum content, reducing the weight by 200 lbs. Credit: Audi.

In this series, we’re examining various materials used in the construction of automobiles including: steel, aluminum, polymers, and magnesium, to try to gauge their relative merits in attaining compliance with new federal emissions standards. We started last week with a look at advances in steel technology. Today, we’ll focus on aluminum.

Aluminum is gaining share in the vehicle market, despite its premium cost, due to performance advantages that are reflected in fuel efficiency and vehicle lifecycle which car buyers are finally beginning to appreciate. I spoke with Kevin Anton, Alcoa’s former chief sustainability officer who is retiring from the company at year-end, and Kevin McKnight, the company’s new vice president of environment, health, and safety (EHS), who succeeded Anton as CSO on September 1.  They have provided much insight into the story of aluminum’s growing role in the automotive business.  Read more


In this week’s episode of This Week in Engineering, hosts Dan Hedges and Vince Penman talk about the takeoff of NASA’s LADEE, brain-to-brain communication, a skyscraper that melts cars, DNA-assembled graphene transistors, the MagLev train speed record, and heartbeat biometrics.  Read more

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