0

IN THIS ISSUE


Select Articles

Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(10):24-28. doi:10.1115/1.2009-OCT-1.
FREE TO VIEW

This paper discusses the key findings of the assessment of an elite athlete’s body composition and reaction time to understand how fastest runners accelerate. Previously published research has shown that sprinters have longer fascicles (fiber bundles) in their calf muscles that may permit those muscles to do more work. Enhanced power generation would help a sprinter to reach top speed quickly from a standing start. In the current study, measurements of tendon lever arm were made using a well-established but indirect technique called the tendon excursion method. The ultrasound scans showed that the athlete’s Achilles tendon excursion was only about half of what the research team had earlier seen in similar measurements made in relatively nonathletic graduate student volunteers for the same joint rotation. This meant that rather than being abnormally large, the wide receiver’s Achilles tendon lever arms were substantially smaller than normal. The same strange observation was made for athlete’s right as well as the left legs. A nonathlete that was tested was found to have tendon excursions that were much larger and consistent with what researchers had measured before.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(10):29. doi:10.1115/1.2009-OCT-2.
FREE TO VIEW

This article presents an overview of the Peg Restrained Intrinsic Muscle Evaluator (PRIME) device developed by a team of students at the Rice University to measure the strength of a hand affected by nerve or muscle damage. Members of the PRIME team started work on the device in the fall of 2008. Up to that time, doctors commonly used a manual muscle test to measure hand strength. In this test, a patient is asked to lift each finger while the doctor presses gently down on it. Such a measurement is crude at best and totally subjective. The research team realized that it was important for their new device to rotate freely in the x–y plane and translate freely along the z-axis. Because of this freedom of movement, when the patient pulls on the load cell, the sensor can swivel so that the full force vector is measured. This project won the Innovation Showcase competition, and the team members received $10,000 in seed money.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(10):33-36. doi:10.1115/1.2009-OCT-3.
FREE TO VIEW

This article explains how today's analysis software are helping engineers to quickly solve for more than one physical phenomenon at a time. Today's simulation software mirror real-life behavior. Engineers can now run multiple analyses within the same application or within loosely coupled applications. Other systems allow users to solve for more than one force at the same time. The capability to solve in tandem or to work with integrated systems greatly speeds the analysis process. Analysis advances also allow engineering firms to call upon the analysis software to design complex and never-before-seen products, to test for safety quicker than before, and to cut costs by perfecting designs earlier in the development process.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(10):40-43. doi:10.1115/1.2009-OCT-4.
FREE TO VIEW

This article talks about Iridescent’s “Engineers as Teachers” program that has been designed to teach professional and student engineers how to share their research with the public. Iridescent is a nonprofit educational organization operating since July 2006. Iridescent's mission is to inspire girls and minorities to pursue careers in science and engineering, to lift up their communities, and to tackle some of the world's biggest problems. In the past 12 years, Iridescent has delivered more than 120 multisession courses on real-world topics that reached more than 4000 under-served children and their parents. The courses are made possible by volunteer engineers who worked with Iridescent to develop their communication and curricular skills so they could teach and inspire children. Through Iridescent’s training program, engineers learn how to communicate complex principles in engaging, simple ways. This not only helps them inspire children, but also improves the ability of engineers to communicate the essence of their work to nontechnical professionals.

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