engineering

Floating Nuclear Reactors Might Make More Sense Than You'd Think

At a symposium held by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers this week, a team of MIT engineers will present an idea that seems to tempt fate: a floating nuclear reactor, anchored out at sea, that would be immune to tsunamis and earthquakes. Is it really that crazy of a plan?


Google X's Crazy Failures: Space Elevators, Hoverboards, Teleportation

We’ve all wondered excitedly about exactly what Google might be cooking up in its X lab. But now, Fast Company has taken a peek inside its workshops to found out what happens to the ideas that don’t make it off the drawing board.


Is Moore's Law Dying?

Moore’s Law — the observation that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years — had held true for 40 years. But can engineers keep up that rate of progress?


Can Lasers Protect Buildings From Lightning?

The standard advice authorities offer when lightning starts crackling across the sky is for people to take shelter inside buildings. Through lightning rods affixed to the roof, electrical wiring, and plumbing that can direct the electricity away from occupants and into the ground, substantial structures offer protection.


Six Women Who Paved The Way For Female Engineers And Architects

The Brooklyn Bridge was an awesome feat of engineering that required not just scientific prowess but political strength. For 14 years, the construction of the bridge was overseen and managed by a woman named Emily Warren Roebling, who took over the role as chief engineer after her husband fell ill.


Intel Is Experimenting With Fully Immersed Cooling For Computers

Forget your water-cooled gaming rig: Intel is experimenting with a cooling system which fully immerses the entirety of a computer’s electronics in liquid to increase efficiency.


Self-Destructing Electronics Are Here, And They Are Awesome

A renegade professor and his team just unveiled a mind-bending new technology. Put bluntly, they have created self-destructing electronics: gadgets that disappear with the flip of a switch. And, yes, it’s just like Mission Impossible.


How Huge Subterranean Grids Could Protect Cities From Earthquakes

French engineers have been experimenting with a technique that could redirect seismic energy away from structures such as cities, dams and nuclear power plants, sparing them from damage. It involves digging large, cylindrical boreholes into the ground, forming a defensive geometry of lace-like arrays that, researchers hope, could deflect seismic waves and thus make whole landscapes “invisible” to earthquakes.


The Floating Super-Factories Spawned By Our Insatiable Hunger For Gas

The world’s ever-growing demand for gas is driving companies deeper and further into the ocean to drill for it. And, to do so, they’re building a new type of ship: small city-sized floating factories that drill, process, refine and barrel gas while still out on the open sea. Think of them as one-stop gas shops that, crucially, can operate in international waters.


Neil Armstrong's Amazingly Inspiring Nerd Manifesto

Neil Armstrong was commander of Apollo 11, the first astronaut to ever set foot on the moon, and a man whose accomplishments were legendary and far-reaching. But he was also an irrepressible nerd in love with mathematics, science and engineering. This is his manifesto.