0

IN THIS ISSUE


Select Articles

Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(04):33-37. doi:10.1115/1.2013-APR-1.
FREE TO VIEW

This article discusses various features of ENGAGE, a program funded by the National Science Foundation in 2009. Modeled afterc cooperative extension services at land grant institutions, ENGAGE identifies evidence-based retention strategies and develops ways to use them in the classroom. It recognizes that professors are pressed for time, so it develops turnkey tools and resources that implement retention strategies without spending time on course development. ENGAGE focuses on three evidence-based, easily implemented strategies to improve retention: (1) Integrate everyday examples in engineering into courses; (2) identify and remediate students with weak spatial visualization skills; and (3) improve how faculty and students interact inside and outside of the classroom. ENGAGE is currently working with more than 50 engineering schools and plans to expand to more than 65 schools this year. ENGAGE strategies support their efforts and facilitate student success.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(04):38-42. doi:10.1115/1.2013-APR-2.
FREE TO VIEW

This article is a case study on BrightFarms, which is a company in Midtown Manhattan that brings fresh, locally grown produce to underserved urban areas by engineering green gardening on a commercial scale. Based in Midtown Manhattan, BrightFarms builds and operates hydroponics greenhouse farms across the United States, mostly at supermarkets. The company tries to use renewable energy sources and waste energy from a host building. BrightFarms now focuses on commercial clients that can handle the high volumes of produce that come out of the greenhouses. The BrightFarms team has expertise spanning horticultural sciences, engineering, ecology, energy analysis, environmental education, and produce marketing. While much of BrightFarms’ work has focused on New York City till date, it is trying to build facilities not only wherever it makes economic sense, but also where it makes sense in the food system.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(04):45-47. doi:10.1115/1.2013-APR-3.
FREE TO VIEW

This article focuses on breadth and depth of skills needed by candidates for engineering jobs. Adaptability—that is, the ability to keep up with the rapid pace of change—and practical skills rank high with today’s employers. Recruiters are finding that breadth of knowledge and experience trumps depth in the form of overspecialization in engineering; in recruitment, this means finding the engineer who fits a job opening ‘to a T.’ The best jobs are won by candidates who demonstrate a breadth of knowledge and experience in their own discipline and the disciplines related to it. According to the experts, systems engineers are specialists in simplifying complexity, resolving ambiguity, and focusing the creativity of others—but they are not generalists. The present day’s engineering students learn to define system boundaries, goals, and functions. They also learn to anticipate failure modes, to plan for mitigation and recovery, and to define and manage interfaces. Engineers with multidisciplinary skills are much more adaptable, and more in demand; but in engineering, there still are more specialists than generalists. The demands of today’s competitive business environments tilt the balance toward breadth. As technologies mature, the balance will tilt back toward depth.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(04):51-54. doi:10.1115/1.2013-APR-4.
FREE TO VIEW

This paper presents a review of gas turbines and Honeywell, a company based in Phoenix, history. The article through the review and historical analysis intends to provide perspective on the status of geared fan engines. The addition of a fan to a jet engine, first proposed by Frank Whittle, one of the inventors of the jet engine, increases thrust and reduces fuel consumption. Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce were the first to develop a dual spool engine for more efficient operation over a range of flight conditions. Work started on the geared fan TFE731 at the Garrett AiResearch Phoenix Division in 1968. The TFE731 gearbox resulted in a gear reduction of 1.8:1, to power the fan for a 2.5 bypass ratio, which was very high for the 1960s. Honeywell also has another geared turbofan engine, the ALF502. It was developed by AVCO Lycoming in Stratford, Connecticut, and has a 6000–7000 lbt thrust range. Honeywell’s successful 45-year record of producing geared fan small gas turbines gives promise of a bright future for geared fans on large commercial jet engines, providing lower fuel consumption and less noise.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(04):52-54. doi:10.1115/1.2013-APR-5.
FREE TO VIEW

This article focuses on the multiple medium flocking bird test and also presents a memoir of Robert S. Mazzawy, Principal Engineer, Trebor Systems, LLC. Multiple requirements for demonstration testing of bird ingestion tolerance at takeoff power for new commercial transport engines have also been discussed in the article. For the engine test set up, the engine is configured only with production level instrumentation necessary for the engine control – rotor speeds, fuel flow, burner pressure, exhaust gas temperature, etc. The dynamics of the fan/booster decelerating more slowly than the core compressor created a situation in which the flow capacity of the core compressor drops below the level necessary for stable operation of the booster compressor. In recognition of these dynamics, engines are designed with a surge recovery bleed between the booster and core compressor to compensate for this flow mismatch. The key to resolving this dilemma is to have the engine control recognize that additional surges after normal closure of the surge recovery bleed are indicative of damage to the fan and loss of flow pumping.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In