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Mechanical Engineering. 2005;127(12):26-31. doi:10.1115/1.2005-DEC-1.
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This article reviews a much younger standards committee that has revamped the way it does business in order to make sure its message embraces Europe and Asia. This committee’s standards address bioprocessing, the use of living organisms to create products. ASME’s Bioprocessing Equipment Standards Committee attempts to define a minimum set of engineering practices that will ensure the safety and reliability of bioprocessing systems. The most comprehensive changes in the 2005 edition fall under Design for Sterility and Cleaning. Its compendial water section includes more detail and graphics on ways through proper design to minimize microbial growth in highly purified water handling systems. The Bioprocessing Equipment Standards Committee is running hard to keep up with the needs of its fast-changing industry. In only a few years, it has come a long way in both the depth of its standards and participation of engineers from around the world.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2005;127(12):32-34. doi:10.1115/1.2005-DEC-2.
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This article discusses that how mechanical engineers will pair their already-familiar computer-aided design software with not-so-familiar three-dimensional (3D) displays for true 3D design. This is in accordance to a number of vendors' intent on supplying the newfangled computer monitors, within the next two decades. Although some of the devices are already on the market, affordable 3D monitors and displays seem to be more than a decade away, according to one university professor at work on such a project. Widespread adoption is still hindered by factors such as cost, software availability, and lack of a mouse-like device needed to interact with what’s on screen. Over the past 25 years, mechanical engineers have witnessed evolutionary change in design methods-from pen and paper to two-dimensional software and now to 3-D computer-aided design. While software makers have stepped up with sleeker and faster modeling capabilities, visualization lags. Computer users two decades out will carry out all business, web surfing, and gaming on 3-D displays. That next generation may well find the very idea of 2-D monitors to be as dated as record albums seem to teenagers today.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2005;127(12):35. doi:10.1115/1.2005-DEC-3.
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This article focuses on variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s airframe and structure required by the services’ different missions. The Air Force needed a tough, lightweight aircraft that could operate from fields close to combat zones. This is the conventional takeoff and landing variant. The Marines needed a plane with short takeoff and vertical landing. This aircraft, which has a 50-inch-diameter lift-fan behind its cockpit powered by the F-35’s turbine engine, has also been ordered by Britain’s Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Assembly of the F-35 at Fort Worth has been highly automated and centers around three assembly systems. The biggest of them assembles three variants of wings. Standing about 30 feet high, the assembly systems automatically accommodate different components. Subcontractors and other Lockheed Martin plants are handling most of the detailed parts fabrication and subassembly.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2005;127(12):36-38. doi:10.1115/1.2005-DEC-4.
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This article highlights that depending on whom you ask, we are building a future in which everybody enjoys a share of the world’s wealth, or we are eroding the economies of the developed nations in pursuit of cheap wages. It is not likely to stop any time soon. In a worldwide economy, everyone is a potential partner and potential competitor. Factory workers in the United States or Germany compete for jobs with counterparts in Korea and Indonesia. Even the not-for-profits compete. After watching the European Union make headway with its standards in China, ASME led a drive to form the Consortium on Standards and Conformity Assessment. Over the years, ASME and the engineering profession were shaped by many influences-by wars, depression, and the coming of cars, electricity, rockets, and computers. Each has had a hand for good and bad in shaping the world. Globalization is only the latest development in a long tradition.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2005;127(12):40-41. doi:10.1115/1.2005-DEC-5.
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This article reviews a permanent display on the first floor of the Potter Engineering Center that showcases pre-digital analytical marvels at Purdue University in West Lafayette. The display includes about 200 slide rules from Purdue alumni, including astronauts Neil Armstrong, Jerry Ross, Richard Covey, and Roy Bridges. Another Purdue alumnus, Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, has promised to send his slide rule, as well. The exhibit is indicative of the attachment—some might say outright affection—that these and other engineers have for an old standby with a long history. The calculator and the computer may have usurped the slide rule’s place in the engineer’s toolbox, but that does not mean the old rule has been forgotten. The oldest slide rule in the exhibit does not date back quite that far, but it does hail from the mid-1800s. In addition to antique specimens, the exhibit includes slide rules made of metal, wood, bamboo, paper, and plastic, as well as two 7-foot-long rules. The oversize slide rules were used in classes to teach students how to use them.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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