Our ten most read news stories of 2017

Presented in order of the number of views they received on The Engineer website, the ten most read news stories represent a good cross-section of the subjects and industries we cover.

molten salt thorium reactor

1. New dawn for thorium reactor research

Our most read story covers nuclear energy, with news of the first tests of molten thorium-salt reactor technology in over 45 years.

2. GKN unveils “world’s most advanced” electric driveline concept

Automotive is one of the UK’s most important engineering sectors in terms of employment, exports and R&D, and this article on the development of a drive system for electric vehicles was the subject of much interest.

Alcraft Motor

3. British EV startup Alcraft Motor unveils first design

Another automotive story covered a new UK-developed vehicle making its debut. The crowdfunded development is due to enter full production next year.

4. Wood group swallows AMEC Foster Wheeler

A business story of great relevance to the nuclear programme in the UK, the effects of the takeover of AMEC in March last year are now beginning to be felt.

5. Siemens successfully tests 3D printed gas turbine blades

Industrial technologies continue to be of interest to our readers, with additive manufacturing remaining perhaps the most significant new development of the decade, as this story from February shows.

6. Dream Chaser test takes it one step closer to spaceflight

The year’s top space story dates from September, with this piece about a project to revive completely reusable crewed spacecraft.

Malloy Aeronautics' Hover Bike

7. US Army flies UK built hover bike

Right back to January for this story, which saw the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle from Malloy Aeronautics coming under scrutiny from the US army research laboratory for supplying battlefield troops.

8. McLaren forms dream team with BMW and Bath

Britain’s newest and perhaps most innovative premium car manufacturer links up with German giant BMW, Ricardo, castings specialist Grainger and Worrall, Lentus Composites and Bath University to develop new internal combustion engines with reduced CO2 emissions in this February piece.

(Credit: Jaren Wilkey/BYU)

9. Origami Kevlar shield stops .44 Magnum

An intriguing materials research story also from February, this article covered a development from Brigham Young University and attracted much discussion from readers.

10. New UK facility to test space-plane engines

Reaction Engines is one of the UK’s most intriguing and ambitious companies, and this article from May about its plans for testing its SABRE hybrid turbojet/air-breathing rocket engine held promise for future flight tests of the proposed Skylon spaceplane.