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Mechanical Engineering. 2010;132(11):24-29. doi:10.1115/1.2010-Nov-1.

This article provides an overview of various technologies meant for developing intelligent digital engineering ecosystems. The article also highlights the need to develop new methods for combining visual and haptic impressions to provide a high degree of immersion, and enable touching and moving virtual objects. Some current activities are devoted to studying and improving the relation between humans and computing devices. One of these activities is the Human–Computer Confluence, an interdisciplinary initiative funded by the European Commission, as part of its Future and Emerging Technologies program. Intelligent digital engineering ecosystems will closely link research and academic institutions with industry and policymakers, and will facilitate the networking of innovation knowledge. They will enable the widespread adoption of augmented reality; the seamless integration of virtual and physical worlds; establishing a new baseline for human functionality; and experimentation with novel modalities of expression. They will accelerate advances in neurocomputation, artificial general intelligence, and other novel technologies, as well as the synergistic union of the human brain, intelligent computing devices, and the ambient intelligence environment to usher in the Intelligence Era.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2010;132(11):30-34. doi:10.1115/1.2010-Nov-2.

This article focuses on different research efforts of Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS) for creating biological machines. EBICS’s mission is to create a new scientific discipline for building living, multicellular machines that solve real-world problems in health, security, and the environment. The goal of building biological machines may be achieved through either of two distinct pathways— engineered systems and emergent systems—and the distinctions between them are important and fundamental. While a great deal of progress has been made developing the components for biological machines, one key challenge is the limited understanding of how cells interact with each other and with their environment. In order to create a biological machine, engineers will need to understand the language that cells of different types use to communicate with each other. Biological machines of the future will encompass the complexities of nature, the intricacies of which we are just beginning to comprehend.

Topics: Machinery
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2010;132(11):36-40. doi:10.1115/1.2010-Nov-3.

This article presents an overview of several topics discussed in the Unwritten Laws of Engineering publication. The article also highlights that executives should have their business organized so that they could be away on business or vacation at any time and still have everything move along smoothly. The faculty for reducing apparently complicated situations to their basic, essential elements is a form of wisdom that must usually be derived from experience. It is critical to make sure that all activities and all individuals are supervised by someone competent in the subject matter involved. Experts advise that matrix management considerably leverages knowledge and skills, opening opportunities for employees to branch out from their usual offices and disciplines. One of the most serious responsibilities of managers is to review the performance of their subordinates. An important part of the job of developing engineers is to furnish them with ample background knowledge and, as a rule, this involves a certain amount of travel.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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