Industry Market Trends

Report Highlights Chicago’s Manufacturing Job Growth

February 28, 2013

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

Industry Market Trends

Industrial Machinery to Drive U.S. Export Growth

February 28, 2013

Industrial machinery is expected to become the top driver of U.S. export and import trade over the next several years, as global demand for advanced equipment continues to grow, particularly in emerging markets. Read More

Industry Market Trends

What’s Happening to Retirement?

February 27, 2013

A majority of employees age 60 and older say they will delay their retirement, and some workers do not think they will ever be able to retire, a new survey reveals.   Read More

Industry Market Trends

Global Steel Production Rises

February 27, 2013

Worldwide crude steel production increased on both a month-to-month and year-over-year basis in January, but the steel industry may be facing headwinds from unstable demand and a growing overcapacity problem. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Are Small Modular Reactors a Better Nuclear Solution, or Just More of the Same?

February 27, 2013

babcockSMRIt hasn't been easy to be a pro-nuclear power supporter over the past few years. It seems like each year brings a new series of setbacks or "bad news" stories. 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

Industry Market Trends

Biofuel from Algae Part Two: The Way Forward

February 26, 2013

While biofuel made from algae shows strong promise over fuel made from food crops – it can be cultivated on wasteland and produce more energy per square foot than any other crop – it has seen a number of roadblocks along the way. For this reason, many of the companies that have pursued it have failed. The players that have continued R&D on algae biofuel have struggled, and some have had to stay financially afloat by producing and selling into smaller, niche algae markets such as skincare products. Experts call this period from early research and development to commercial success “The Valley of Death,” and so it has proved to be for many companies. Algae-based biofuel will need to be produced on a huge scale to lower costs enough to enable it to compete with petroleum. The two most common targets for advancement of algae biofuel are the growth media (open pond vs. closed bioreactor) and methods to remove the intracellular components of the algae. There are several organizations that have continued to press on. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Graphene: The Quest to Mass Produce the Next Miracle Material

February 26, 2013

The nano-material graphene could prove to be the most important synthetic material since plastic, but producing it is cost-prohibitive. However, several teams of researchers around the world are trying to crack the code to produce industrial quantities of the super material. Read More