Morphing Origami Improves Structures

The use of origami-based patterns in a variety of applications have improved the outcomes for solar array deployments, sounds systems, and crash protection systems. 

Glaucio Paulino and researchers from Georgia Tech have developed a new type of origami that can change from one pattern to another to optimize the structural benefits depending on the application or type of loading. According to Paulino, “This hybrid origami allows for reprogrammable mechanical properties and the ability to change those properties while the material is in service,”

These designs could have the potential to make structures lighter, stronger, and cheaper than previous designs. – Daniel Findley, DTC Civil Transportation Instructor

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

Dr. Tom’s Classroom – Achieve the Extraordinary

FEATURED TESTIMONIAL – Exactly What I Needed

“I took the exam several times and even took a class, but it wasn’t until I found this online classroom that I was able to finally pass. This style and organization was exactly what I needed, not to mention I just had a baby on top of taking the course. I wish I had started with this program in the very beginning. Thank you! Thank you!!!” – Ashley Ryan Pardo, PE, Houston, TX

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

Dr. Tom’s Classroom – Achieve the Extraordinary

Stronger than a Speeding Bullet

The invention of bullet-proof vests did a great deal to make our police officers and military personnel safer, but even if a vest stops a bullet, there is still a change of internal injuries from the impact. I recently read an ASME article about a new material being developed that can stop a military grade .50 caliber bullet and also absorbs 75 percent of the energy of the impact.

This innovative metal foam material is being developed by a team led by Dr. Afsaneh Rabiei, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. The material contains hollow spherical steel balls in a matrix of more steel. When sandwiched between a ceramic faceplate and an aluminum backplate, the composite weighs considerably less than the armor currently used by the military. “It has the strength, and resistance to heat, of metal, but the cushionability of Styrofoam”, says Dr. Rabiei.
 
It turns out that this material can also block neutrons and high energy radiation, and dissipate heat better than steel used as armor today. Commercializing its manufacture is now one of the big challenges facing the team. Another example of innovative engineering research with one design goal (saving lives) that could have applications in many other situations once it’s available. – Dr Tom  

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

Dr. Tom’s Classroom – Achieve the Extraordinary

Mechanical Engineers! Time Is Running Out! Take the PE Exam Now!

The October 2019 Mechanical PE Exam is the very last chance you have to take the pencil-and-paper PE Exam. The three Mechanical PE Exams will covert to the year-round Computer-Based Testing (CBT) format starting in April 2020 (https://ncees.org/exams/cbt/). This change in the testing method for the PE Exam has huge consequences for anyone taking the exam.

Please read this article in which Dr. Tom has outlined the implications of the CBT exam. Here’s the bottom line up front – take the Pencil-and-Paper exam in October 2019, before it’s too late!

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

Dr. Tom’s Classroom – Achieve the Extraordinary

Dr. Tom’s PE Civil Exam Strategy Starts with Choosing the Right Exam

Many of you may already know which PM Exam you will be taking, but I recommend that you view my Civil Exam Strategy – Part 1 video for the general information about the exam. I go over the exam format, and I discuss the importance of thoroughly reviewing all the areas covered in the AM exam and the review time required to obtain the 56 points needed to pass the exam. I also look at the pros and cons of choosing each of the Civil PM Exams. – Dr. Tom

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

Dr. Tom’s Classroom – Achieve the Extraordinary

Jakarta Is Sinking – A Structural Nightmare

Jakarta, Indonesia is at risk of sinking into the sea, but not for the reason you may think. Though the capital city sits on the edge of the Java Sea and is susceptible to rising water levels, the government is warning development and aquifer mismanagement as the main sources of concern. High rise structures, built on top of the swampy land have been sinking due to the inability of the soil to support the heavy loads.

Additionally, despite having 13 rivers through the city, residents tend to draw drinking water from the ground because of heavy pollution leading to further compression of the soil. The government has warned that at the current rate of sinking, 95% of Jakarta could be underwater by 2050 and are moving ahead with plans to build a sea wall. – Shannon Warchol, DTC Civil Structural Instruct

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

Dr. Tom’s Classroom – Achieve the Extraordinary

FEATURED TESTIMONIAL – Thumbs Up for the Fast Track!

“I thought the Fast Track Review Course was excellent. It provided the structure, practice, and review that I needed 25 years after receiving my mechanical engineering degree. I loved Dr. Tom’s teaching – his style & strategy tips made the learning process very enjoyable. The class format and hand-outs were also excellent. I  would strongly recommend it to others taking the ME PE exam.”
Joel Lemke, PE, Emerson, Chanhassen, MN

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

Dr. Tom’s Classroom – Achieve the Extraordinary

Will Blue Become the New Green?

One of the watch words of the 21st Century is “Green Energy.” Scientists at Stanford University are working on what they are calling “Blue Energy.” The idea was first proposed by British Engineer R E Pattle in the journal Nature in 1954.
 
The process involves mixing fresh water with seawater. Salt is chemically a combination of sodium and chlorine and, when brought into solution, disassociate into their respective positive and negative ions. A steady current can be generated with appropriate electrodes – one made of Prussian Blue (which is used as a pigment for paints and in medicine and is the basis of the term “Blue Energy”) and the other a conducting polymer like polypyrrole (which is already found in batteries and other devices).
 
A prototype tested at a wastewater plant in San Francisco Bay maintained a 97% effectiveness in capturing energy to flush out effluent from the plant. Dr. Kristian Dubrawski, a civil and environmental engineer at Stanford said that “Blue energy is an immense and untapped source of renewable energy.” One cubic meter of freshwater that mixes with seawater produces 0.65 kW-hr of energy, enough to power a US house for half an hour. The mind staggers at the potential of this source of energy.
 
One of my hobbies is water coloring and my favorite color just happens to be Prussian Blue. If “Blue Energy” becomes as successful as it appears to be heading, then I might need to ration my Prussian Blue. In fact, maybe I need to stock up now. – Dr. Tom

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

Dr. Tom’s Classroom – Achieve the Extraordinary

The Clock Is Ticking – Time to Jump on the Fast Track

If you’re going to take the October 2019 PE Exam, it’s time to jump into your preparation with DTC’s Fast Track Review. If you start now, you will have 10 weeks to get through the course and 3 weeks for your final review. And trust us, you’re going to need it. Don’t wait another minute. SIGN UP and start your review today!

“Dr. Tom’s Fast Track Review has an aggressive schedule, but I can’t argue with the results. I worked hard (30-40 hours a week) to “knock off the rust” my skills had collected over the years and get caught up. Being nearly 20 years out of college, I was VERY intimidated to attempt the PE exam. I can say with absolute certainty that Dr. Tom’s review course was the key to my success. The organized approach (study schedule, practice problem selection, and reference binder structure) allowed me to focus on learning the content for the exam instead of wasting time trying to figure those out on my own and just studying the MERM. I was doubtful that I could get back up to speed on so many of the subjects that I spent years studying in college, but it worked!” – Brent V., PE, Houston, Texas

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

Dr. Tom’s Classroom – Achieve the Extraordinary

Talk About an Accelerated Schedule for Concrete Construction!

Check out this cool time lapse video in which Dutch builders put a tunnel under a highway in 48 hours. Normal cast-in-place concrete construction would have taken weeks/months to construct. – Jason Savage, DTC Construction Instructor

Mechanical Engineers – Change Is Coming!
You Should Take the PE Exam Now.
Learn the Latest Here.

Dr. Tom’s Classroom – Achieve the Extraordinary