The opinions of Contributors.

These are exciting times

As David Moyes found out at Manchester United, taking your place in a winning team can have its pitfalls - I am therefore taking nothing for granted as I join Eureka as its Editor. And beyond the obvious 'challenge' and 'great opportunity', which don't become any less true despite their clichéd status, this is a very positive time to be joining the team. For many reasons, these are exciting times.

Why the engineering sector needs to embrace technological advances to become more efficient

Inspections invariably occur in the context of tangible infrastructure, such as machinery, buildings, vehicles, trains, roads, and so on. These assets, and the inspections on them, are often viewed as being in the domain of "engineering", however the inspection cannot be seen in isolation from the pre-inspection preparation and administration, nor from the post inspection data processing, reporting, and escalations that may occur.

De-railing the hype train

New technologies are brilliant but, for better or worse, all of them are susceptible to the twisting, labyrinthine, eldritch machine known as the Hype Train. It's also called the Gartner Hype Cycle, if you want to be clever about it. Here, Jonathan Wilkins, marketing manager at European Automation, marks the dizzying highs and lows product innovations take during this epic journey.

How to improve the surface finish of your AM component

One of the drawbacks of Additive Manufacturing (AM) or 3D Printing (3DP) is the quality of the surface finish. Building parts layer by layer will naturally result in visible layering or 'stair stepping' as it is often known.

The importance of engineering to the UK economy

British engineering leads the world in fields ranging from engineering design to aerospace and nanotechnology to plastic electronics. The work of engineers across all sectors contributes over £481billion a year to the UK economy, with engineering firms employing over 5.4million people across the UK.

Competition Fuels the Service Transformation in Europe

The Service Council's (TSC) service market outlook research for 2014 highlighted that increasing competition was tabbed as the top challenge for organisations looking to emerge from years of financial and global economic uncertainty. This competition was initially felt in the sale of product and equipment but is now increasingly being felt in the service and support space as companies vie for profitability on the service side of the business.

Engineering superheroes

Should engineers be worthy of a Nobel Prize? Has the engineering industry impacted modern society in such a way that it deserves a higher recognition than it currently receives? If there were Nobel Prizes for engineers who would you want to see win an award?

Product Innovation… More than a Bright Idea

Early this morning I endured my second session of shockwave therapy for a painful case of plantar fasciitis. While biting my knuckles and holding back tears, the following thoughts crept into my head: Why did I ever decide to train for a half marathon? Who figured out shockwaves could help cure foot afflictions? Were they sadists?

Is a patent a must have for protecting your product idea?

The numbers are telling; patent applications filed in the United States have risen every year since 1978 - and rising quickly. Submissions have doubled since 1998 to over a staggering half a million applications. In this blog, I'll discuss this and other valuable insights into what inventors and designers need to know about the world of patents.

Brollies up! Kickstarter’s raining on the product development parade

Whilst the concept of crowdfunding is still new to a lot of people, and many product developers are only just coming round to the exciting possibility that ideas can be taken straight to the masses, Kickstarter, the world's biggest crowdfunding platform, has already rained on the parade and dampened the hopes of hardware startups.

The volume curve

If you are looking for production plastic parts, then injection moulding is a very cost effective solution for quantities down to and even below 100.

Andy Green’s Bloodhound project diary – August 2012 update

I've just had a very odd experience – someone's sent me a video of myself appearing on Foreign Secretary William Hague's Facebook page. To try and explain this rather strange event, I'll start with my recent visit to the Bloodhound track in the Northern Cape of South Africa.

Andy Green's Bloodhound Project diary

In last month's Bloodhound diary I outlined the various methods we have for stopping the world's first 1000mph car – airbrakes, drag parachutes and wheel brakes. We've had a lot of feedback since then, mostly on the airbrake mechanism – including: how we are going to balance the two hydraulic rams, so that they work together?

Andy Green’s Bloodhound Project diary

The thing about setting a land speed record is that speeding up is only half of the problem. Once you've gone flashing through the timing lights of the measured mile at over 1000mph you are faced with stopping a heavy, very high speed vehicle in a limited distance (about 5½ miles on our chosen track on Hakskeen Pan in South Africa). 5½ miles sounds like a long way, but if you're doing a mile every 3½ seconds, it doesn't seem that far at all!

Andy Green’s Bloodhound Project diary

What's the fastest and scariest thing you've ever done? For me, they are two different events. The fastest is, of course, driving Thrust SSC to the current World Land Speed Record of 763 mph, way back in 1997. The scariest thing, however, is an annual event that feels almost as fast – racing on the Cresta Run.