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The Engineer
December 2004 Online

  • When I'm 64

    23 Dec 2004

    Dave Wilson describes some new software that that reproduces the natural effects of ageing, taking into account changes in skin texture, hairline and hair colour.

  • Multi-faceted hydrated electrons

    22 Dec 2004

    Scientists have identified two distinct forms of negatively charged water clusters, thereby providing new insight into the fundamentally important interaction between electrons and water.

  • Temperature data logging system

    21 Dec 2004

    Land Instruments International has introduced a data logging system that allows users of its Cyclops portable infrared thermometers to download and analyse temperature measurements.

  • Trains for Vienna

    21 Dec 2004

    Bombardier Transportation today received a 69 million Euro order from Vienna's local operator Wiener Linien for the construction of 38 low-floor light rail vehicles.

  • Chelton buys Remec for $260 million

    21 Dec 2004

    Remec has sold its Defense & Space subsidiary, which specialises in battlefield communications equipment, to Chelton Microwave for approximately $260 million in cash.

  • Building nanoscale structures from RNA

    21 Dec 2004

    Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara are using assembly and folding principles of natural RNA to build potentially useful artificial structures at the nanoscale.

  • Cisco acquires Protego Networks

    21 Dec 2004

    Cisco Systems has expanded its Self-Defending Network initiative by entering into an agreement to acquire Protego Networks of Sunnyvale, California for $65 million.

  • Hewitt welcomes new Ford jobs

    20 Dec 2004

  • Bridgestone to build in Brazil

    16 Dec 2004

    Bridgestone Firestone do Brasil Industria e Comercio, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Holding, has announced plans to build a new $160 million tyre plant.

  • World's smallest non-volatile flash memory cell

    16 Dec 2004

    Scientists at Infineon have built the world's smallest non-volatile flash memory cell. The new development would make non-volatile memory chips with a capacity of 32 Gbit possible within a few years.

  • PAD promotes penurious production

    16 Dec 2004

    Scientists in the US have developed a novel method for creating high performance, inorganic metal-oxide films using polymer-assisted deposition, or PAD.

  • Ultra awarded £200 million 7E7 contract

    16 Dec 2004

    UK-based Ultra Electronics has been awarded £200 million to supply key elements of the Wing Ice Protection System for Boeing's new 7E7 Dreamliner.

  • Big future for molecular electronics

    17 Dec 2004

    Scientists in the US say the emerging field of molecular electronics - using nanoscale molecules as key components in electronic devices - is in excellent health and has a bright future.

  • Water from waste heat

    17 Dec 2004

    University of Florida researchers have developed a way to significantly reduce the cost of desalination in some parts of the world.

  • Real results from artificial soil

    17 Dec 2004

    University of Missouri-Columbia and Continental Cement Company have initiated an in-depth monitoring program to assess the long-term effectiveness of 'artificial soil' as a waste containment system.

  • Rolls-Royce extends its reach

    17 Dec 2004

  • Microsoft buys Giant

    17 Dec 2004

    Microsoft Corp announced yesterday that it has acquired Giant Company Software, a provider of anti-spyware and Internet security products, for an undisclosed fee.

  • $13.5 billion software merger

    17 Dec 2004

    Software providers Symantec and Veritas have entered into an agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $13.5 billion.

  • DNA may solve data storage snags

    20 Dec 2004

    The DNA molecule may hold the key for the information technology industry as it faces demands for more compact data processing and storage circuitry.

  • BP to close Pasadena plant

    20 Dec 2004

  • Wyle buys General Dynamics unit

    20 Dec 2004

    Wyle Laboratories has signed an agreement to acquire the Aeronautics Services business of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a subsidiary of General Dynamics.

  • UK increases funding for solar projects

    20 Dec 2004

    UK Energy Minister Mike O'Brien today announced that 15 new solar photovoltaic (PV) energy projects across the UK will receive almost £1 million in funding.

  • Merger creates USA's biggest utility

    20 Dec 2004

    Exelon and Public Service Enterprise Group announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement to create Exelon Electric & Gas, the USA's largest utility.

  • Hot optocouplers

    20 Dec 2004

  • Little festive cheer for manufacturers

    13 Dec 2004

    The Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) latest monthly Industrial Trends survey shows that manufacturers' output expectations are now at their weakest for 18 months.

  • Restoring amputee limb function

    13 Dec 2004

    An MIT professor and colleagues from Brown University and the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center have begun a multidisciplinary project to restore arm and leg function to amputees.

  • Repairing torn cartilage

    13 Dec 2004

    Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School say they are developing an injectable gel that could speed repair of torn cartilage, a common sports injury.

  • Flying high with Boeing

    14 Dec 2004

    Goodrich has been selected by Boeing to supply the cargo handling system for the new 7E7 Dreamliner. The contract is expected to generate over $450 million through to 2028.

  • Efficiency boost for organic solar cells

    14 Dec 2004

    Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new approach to creating lightweight organic solar cells that could potentially power RFID tags, iPods and laptop computers.

  • Malaysia Airlines picks Rolls-Royce Trent 900

    14 Dec 2004

    Rolls-Royce confirmed yesterday that Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad, the parent company of Malaysia Airlines, had chosen the Trent 900 engine to power its fleet of Airbus A380 airliners.

  • $15 million for Goalkeeper

    14 Dec 2004

  • Cargo conversion

    14 Dec 2004

  • Shooting up

    15 Dec 2004

    E-commerce presents a host of benefits to businesses and customers alike. For one brave but foolhardy entrepreneur it led to nothing but an early demise. Dave Wilson explains.

  • A first for resistors

    15 Dec 2004

    Vishay has released the VSMP1206 surface-mount, Bulk Metal Z-foil resistor, the first device to combine a power rating of 300 mW and load life stability of 0.01%.

  • What's cooking?

    15 Dec 2004

  • Connecting driverless trains

    15 Dec 2004

    Alcatel has been awarded a multi-million Euro contract to design and deploy a communication system for the new driverless metro in Brescia, Italy.

  • TACA orders Airbus aircraft

    15 Dec 2004

    Latin American carrier Transportes Aereos del Continente Americano has signed a firm contract for the purchase of 14 additional single aisle Airbus aircraft.

  • Perpendicular recording

    16 Dec 2004

    Toshiba Corporation has unvieled what it claims are the world's first hard disk drives based on perpendicular recording, a technology that boosts the capacity of a single 1.8-inch hard-disk platter to 40 gigabytes.

  • Friendly coatings

    16 Dec 2004

  • Technologies for the blind

    16 Dec 2004

  • Phones on planes?

    16 Dec 2004

    The US-based Federal Communications Commission has proposed to relax its current ban on the use of cellular telephones on airborne aircraft.

  • Tuneable windows

    16 Dec 2004

    Researchers at the University of Warwick have devised a method of producing tuneable surfaces that can selectively block signals from wireless networks from spilling out of the office.

  • Take the strain

    16 Dec 2004

  • A scarecrow with brains

    16 Dec 2004

    Two University of South Australia researchers have developed software that has the potential to save the fruit industry millions of dollars each year by limiting the damage birds cause to fruit crops.

  • Billion dollar sprinklers

    16 Dec 2004

    Hartford, CT-based United Technologies is to acquire UK fire and safety products vendor Kidde in a $2.8 billion cash takeover.

  • Streaming video processing

    16 Dec 2004

    Celoxica, the UK provider of C-based design and synthesis solutions, has added an algorithm IP and a block-based graphical design entry platform called Pixelstreams to its portfolio of electronic system level design tools.

  • Real-Time digital screen recorder

    16 Dec 2004

    Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing's Sentric is a commercial-off-the-shelf real-time digital high-resolution screen recorder.

  • Johnson & Johnson to buy Guidant

    16 Dec 2004

  • Improving HexSight

    16 Dec 2004

  • Research and development

    13 Dec 2004

    The top 500 companies in the EU invested a total of 100 billion Euros in Research and Development during 2003. But investment in 2003 was lower than in 2002, and non-EU companies are investing more.

  • Biological sensors from carbon nanotubes

    13 Dec 2004

    Protein-encapsulated single-walled carbon nanotubes that alter their fluorescence in the presence of specific biomolecules could generate many new types of implantable biological sensors.

  • Power over Ethernet

    13 Dec 2004

  • Honeywell to acquire Novar

    13 Dec 2004

    Honeywell has made an offer of $1.2 billion to acquire UK-based Novar, a month after the company had rejected an offer from Melrose.

  • BlueMoon for Infineon

    13 Dec 2004

  • Magnesium opportunities

    13 Dec 2004

  • Cells welcome nanotubes

    13 Dec 2004

    In some of the first work documenting the uptake of carbon nanotubes by living cells, researchers in the USA have selectively detected low concentrations of nanotubes in laboratory cell cultures.

  • The Boys from Beijing

    1 Dec 2004

    When outsourcing, it's important not to rely on an outside supplier if it is developing a safety critical part of your system. Dave Wilson tells the tale of a company that made that mistake.

  • Testing times for transistors

    1 Dec 2004

    Researchers have created a "unified model" for predicting the reliability of new designs for silicon transistors, a tool that could save tens of millions of dollars annually in testing costs.

  • Rolls signs-up with Chilean Navy

    1 Dec 2004

    Rolls-Royce has signed orders with the Chilean Navy worth an initial £5 million to service gas turbines on five new ships in its fleet for the next 20 years.

  • Siemens to modernise power supply

    1 Dec 2004

    Siemens has secured $40 million from the Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company to modernise and extend power supplies and distribution equipment of a gas liquefaction plant on Das Island.

  • Parker acquires seal manufacturer

    1 Dec 2004

    Parker Hannifin today announced that it has acquired Advanced Products Company, a privately held manufacturer of metallic and polymer spring energised seals.

  • Kentucky leads clean coal project

    1 Dec 2004

    A University of Kentucky-led team recently signed an agreement to begin work on a $9 million project under the first round of the USA's Clean Coal Power Initiative.

  • Custom I/O modules

    2 Dec 2004

    Engineers now can extend the National Instruments CompactRIO reconfigurable embedded system platform by creating their own custom I/O modules for applications requiring unique and specialized I/O signal types.

  • Universal solution

    2 Dec 2004

    ABB is now able to offer control equipment in one standard version with a neutral fieldbus-independent interface called the FieldBusPlug (FBP).

  • Plastic fantastic

    2 Dec 2004

  • Brits breathe easy

    2 Dec 2004

    Scott Health & Safety has recently been awarded a contract that could exceed $200 million to supply the UK's Ministry of Defence with a new military respiratory protection kit.

  • Flames in chaos

    2 Dec 2004

  • Job losses hit Hull

    2 Dec 2004

    BP this week announced plans to exit from its DF2 and DF3 acids and acetone manufacturing operations at Saltend, Hull resulting in 190 job losses.

  • Thermoplastic fuel cell

    2 Dec 2004

    Ticona has introduced the first fuel cell prototype made solely of engineering thermoplastics, an advance it claims lowers fuel cell cost at least 50% versus those fabricated with other materials.

  • BOC leads hydrogen challenge

    2 Dec 2004

  • Nuclear bombshell

    2 Dec 2004

    The European Commission is to check whether the establishment of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority by the UK Government complies with EC Treaty competition rules.

  • Eel aids paralysis research

    2 Dec 2004

    Researchers are unravelling the circuitry in an eel's spinal cord to help develop a microchip implant that may help paralysed people walk again.

  • Prototypes from powder

    3 Dec 2004

  • PEG palliates paralysed pooches

    3 Dec 2004

  • Bankruptcy setback for ABB

    3 Dec 2004

    A court in the US has ruled that engineering giant ABB's bankruptcy plan of reorganisation for its US subsidiary Combustion Engineering is to be reviewed again.

  • Fatal attraction

    3 Dec 2004

  • Memory for cars

    3 Dec 2004

    Integrated Silicon Solution has announced a complete line of serial EEPROM devices for the automotive market.

  • Fibre link handles record optical transmission

    3 Dec 2004

    Alcatel and partners today announced the successful completion of a field trial achieving a Terabit per second transmission over a fibre link in France Telecom's network.

  • Acrobat 7.0 debuts

    3 Dec 2004

  • Streamlining tyre design

    3 Dec 2004

  • Power direct

    3 Dec 2004

  • Sunflowers in Shandong

    8 Dec 2004

    Dave Wilson discovers that electrical waste is being shipped to China for recycling. UK researchers might have an answer to the problem, but it's only half the answer.

  • Moving into the big league

    6 Dec 2004

    Smiths Group announced today that it has agreed to acquire the privately held US medical device company, Medex in a transaction valued at $925 million.

  • Video compression

    6 Dec 2004

    Broadcom today announced a video decoder/audio processor chip that supports H.264 advanced video compression technology.

  • On route to an alliance

    6 Dec 2004

    Fujitsu and Cisco Systems are entering into a strategic alliance focusing on routers and switches that will enable service providers and enterprises to build advanced Internet Protocol networks.

  • Boeing awarded $25 million space contracts

    6 Dec 2004

    NASA recently selected Boeing to work on seven technology development projects worth almost $25 million as part of NASA's Human and Robotic Technology program.

  • Switches ensure safety and security

    6 Dec 2004

    Alcatel today announced the availability of the new OmniSwitch 6800 family of 1U-high Gigabit switches designed to help businesses make the transition to Gigabit Ethernet at the desktop.

  • Flexible displays

    6 Dec 2004

  • Raytheon receives Sidewinder order

    6 Dec 2004

  • Digital mining

    6 Dec 2004

    Emerson Process Management has won a $3.1 million contract for the digital automation and control of minerals processing at the BHP Billiton nickel/cobalt mine and treatment facility in Ravensthorpe, Australia.

  • Computerised take-off

    6 Dec 2004

  • Siemens lands rail orders

    7 Dec 2004

    Siemens Transportation Systems and its partner CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotives Works have landed an order to deliver 180 double locomotives to the Chinese Ministry of Railways.

  • Steep challenge for Purdue researchers

    7 Dec 2004

    Purdue University researchers have created a method that will enable engineers to design more efficient systems for heating, cooling and other applications in spacecraft.

  • Big money in smaller sensors

    7 Dec 2004

    According to a new report, sensors designed and built using nanotechnology will generate global revenues of $2.7 billion in 2008 and reach $17.2 billion in 2012.

  • Saving silicon

    7 Dec 2004

    Evergreen Solar, a Marlboro, MA-based manufacturer of solar power products, has announced what it describes as a major advance in the development of its String Ribbon manufacturing process.

  • Chemicals tagged and tracked

    7 Dec 2004

    NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, is implementing an extensive wireless, sensor-based system aimed at improving the management of hazardous materials.

  • Toronto places $22 million train order

    8 Dec 2004

    Bombardier Transportation has received a firm order worth $22 million from the Greater Toronto Transit Authority (GO Transit) for 10 BiLevel commuter rail vehicles.

  • Infineon invests $1bn

    8 Dec 2004

    Infineon has announced plans to invest approximately Infineon invests $1bn in the construction of a new front-end power and logic chip production plant in Malaysia.

  • New conditions for manipulation

    8 Dec 2004

    Penn State University researchers have observed a new chemical state that could be used to control the growth and assembly of molecules or to manipulate nanostructured materials.

  • IBM sells business for $1.25 billion

    8 Dec 2004

    China's Lenovo Group and IBM have announced an agreement under which Lenovo will acquire IBM's Personal Computing Division for $1.25 billion in cash and equity.

  • Don't blame business for climate change

    8 Dec 2004

  • BAE Systems awarded Trident contract

    8 Dec 2004

    BAE Systems has been awarded a $62 million contract from the US Navy to provide system engineering and integration support for the Trident missile program.

  • New phase for storage

    9 Dec 2004

    University of Arkansas physicists have discovered a new phase in tiny nanodisks and nanorods that may enable researchers to significantly increase memory storage.

  • Atomic clues to tougher ceramics

    9 Dec 2004

    Scientists in the US have uncovered clues at the atomic level that could lead to a new generation of much tougher advanced ceramics.

  • FALC doubles density

    9 Dec 2004

    Infineon Technologies has introduced OctalFALC, which the company claims is the industry's smallest FALC (Framer and Line Interface Unit Component) offering eight ports per chip.

  • Poisoned water

    9 Dec 2004

    Sevalco, the American owned chemical company at Avonmouth, is to pay £310,000 in fines and costs after it released up to seventeen times its authorised levels of cyanide into the Severn Estuary.

  • Dream topping

    9 Dec 2004

    Kraft Foods is to sell its UK desserts business to Premier Foods, the UK-based grocery product supplier, for $135 million.

  • Major order for Land Systems Hägglunds

    10 Dec 2004

    BAE Systems Land Systems Hägglunds has won an order worth 749 million Euros from the Netherlands for its CV90 armoured vehicle.

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