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Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(05):30-35. doi:10.1115/1.2013-MAY-1.
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This article discusses the importance of mechanical engineers and their various roles in projects. Experts in the industry agree that mechanical engineers are integral to device design regardless of its complexity. The engineers work with a number of people from different backgrounds—physicians, marketers, and engineers of other disciplines—during the development process and come up with creative solutions that make many advances in medical treatment possible. Mechanical engineers are often creating the practical foundation on which a project rests to develop a medical device. Students studying to be mechanical engineers can expect the medical device business to offer plenty of opportunity in the years ahead, according to practitioners in the field. Engineers are not only involved in design, they also help drive development of the entire device these days. Experts believe that engineers will be stronger players if they can truly hear a doctor or patients’ problems and design for them; otherwise, a lot gets lost in translation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(05):37-41. doi:10.1115/1.2013-MAY-2.
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This article explores the advantages of gas turbines in the marine industry. Marine gas turbines, which are designed specifically for use on ships, have long been one of the segments of the gas turbine market. One advantage that gas turbines have over conventional marine diesels is volume. Gas turbines are the prime movers for the modern combined cycle electric power plant. Both CFM International (a joint venture of General Electric and France’s Snecma) and Pratt & Whitney are working on new engines for this multibillion dollar single-aisle, narrow-body market. Pratt & Whitney’s new certified PW1500G geared turbofans will have a first flight powering the first Bombardier CSeries aircraft. On land, sea, and air, the surge in gas turbine production is remarkable. The experts suggest that what the steam engine was to the 19th century and the internal combustion engine was to the 20th, the gas turbine might be to the 21st century: the ubiquitous prime mover of choice.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(05):42-47. doi:10.1115/1.2013-MAY-3.
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This article describes various aspects of advanced waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies for converting trash into a clean and valuable resource. Renewed interest in WTE is largely driven by new technologies, improved economic models, energy trends, and policy changes. Gasification of municipal solid waste is gaining attention as new technological advances make this process more affordable. Gasification is the partial oxidation of the organic content in the municipal solid waste (MSW) feedstock to produce a synthesis gas, or syngas, rich in hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Covanta Energy, a major player in the waste-to-energy field, has developed and commercialized a gasification process for unprocessed, post-recycled MSW, in an air-based process requiring no other reactants or energy inputs. Another WTE approach is converting waste into solid recovered fuels—blends of non-recycled waste that are engineered into a fuel-pellet feedstock. This technology is especially suitable for plastics such as disposable diapers that are difficult to recycle, or those that decompose slowly in landfills.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2013;135(05):52-60. doi:10.1115/1.2013-MAY-4.
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This article presents an overview of developments that happened over 75 years since the formation of ASME Heat Transfer Division (HTD). Through the years, the HTD explored and implemented many ways to expand its programs and reach both academic and practicing members of the division. The HTD had an Exhibits Committee, and conference exhibits were held at the National Heat Transfer Conferences (NHTCs) from 1988 to 1992. The HTD has had a long and impressive record of leadership within the Division from its inception. However, the Division has also provided a strong contingent of leadership for the entire Society going back at least to the 1970s. From a single professional group in 1938, the Division has grown significantly; there are currently 13 technical committees and several administrative committees including the Executive Committee. The first International Heat Transfer Conference (IHTC) was held in London, England in 1951.

Topics: Heat transfer
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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