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From Bits To Atoms And Back-3D Printing

Still far from the Star Trek replicator materializing objects and edibles at voice command 3-D printing is becoming more and more accessible to the individual.  There are 3-D shops materializing around the country giving access to self doers and professionals that can make anywhere from cups to machines.  “This online ‘universe of things’ consists in a repository of mostly open and free digital designs for physical objects, i.e, models that can be downloaded and then materialized using fabrication tools such as 3D printers…As of mid 2011, ‘Thingiverse’ contained over 8000 models ( contributed both by highly skilled designers and beginners, some of which are children and adolescents) and included a bit of everything from kitchenware, toys, and jewelry to machine parts, electronics, architectural models and eye glass frames.”  The technology has been mature  for quite some time but this democratization of manufacturing started around 2007 with a cultural trend towards Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movement with high tech manufacturing capability.

You might find interesting these articles for further information:  The New York Times article 3D Printers May Eclipse Tradition for Designers by Alice Tawsthorn June 9, 2013 and The Rise of Personal Fabrication  by Catarina Mota

Wind turbines withstand tornado and power down energy prices

  1. Wind turbines withstand tornado with nearly 300-mph winds, June 6, 2013


    Wind Energy Industry: Turbines Power Down Energy Prices

    September 26, 2012

    DES MOINES, Iowa – Home and business energy costs have been falling in the Midwest – and the wind industry is claiming partial credit. While it’s a win for consumers, says Bob Fagen, a senior associate at Synapse Energy Economics, other energy sectors aren’t pleased, and that’s why they’ve begun a campaign to try to derail renewal of the wind-production tax credit, which is pending in Congress. “When the wind is built and is available, it runs. When it runs, that generally means that natural gas-fired or coal-fired plants do not run. So, it puts downward pressure on prices.” Iowa’s wind-power production is at more than 4,500 megawatts – enough for about 1.1 million homes. The production tax credit has been in place for about 20 years, and has seen bipartisan support, although this year it’s being debated on the campaign trail. Fagen says the wind-production tax credit isn’t a loan or a “freebie” because there is no benefit until after production happens – and that means manufacturing jobs. “The real issue is that wind is a clean, inexpensive energy resource – homegrown – and it makes a ton of sense to continue to promote the wind industry.” Exelon Corp. is urging that the credit be discontinued, saying government funding should go to research and not production of components.

    Richard Alan, Public News Service – IA  From the IWEA News/Updates

Engineering Jobs how to

The 1937 resume yearbooks were so successful the entire College of Engineering adopted the scheme the following year. Simply titled Senior Class of 1938, College of Engineering, the small book—it could almost fit into a shirt pocket—began with a brief “Dear Sir” letter from Ralph M. Barnes, Director of Personnel. The purpose of the “plan,” Barnes said, was to “better acquaint employers with our senior students.” The College provided copies to faculty members and graduating seniors, and then forwarded the rest to “those industries and organizations, which we think will be interested.”

Happy Birthday Ellen Ochoa Director Johnson Space Center.

Ellen Lauri Ochoa is a former astronaut and current Director of the Johnson Space Center. Ochoa became director of the center upon retirement of the current director, Michael Coats, on December 31, 2012.  She was born May 10th, 1958 in Los Angeles and educated at Stanford University.  For more in depth information check out

Engineering Library resources on flight: 



Extended hours, Free Coffee, Interim!

Final Week Hours. Open till Midnight! starting Sun, 2:00 pm-Midnight. Mon, May 13- Thurs, May 16 8:30- Midnight. Fri, May 17: 8:30 am-5 pm….Closed May 18th & 19th.

Free Coffee and Hot Chocolate. Mon, May 13-Thurs, May 16th- 8:30 am- Midnight. Fri, May 17: 8:30-5 pm.  Until supplies last

Summer Break Hours:  May 20-June 10, 2013–Mon-Fri 8:30-noon. 1:00-5:00.  Saturday and Sunday Closed.  Regular hours resume June 11.

Zipper Day–the mechanical wonder!

“It was a long way up for the humble zipper, the mechanical wonder that has kept so much in our lives ‘together.’ On its way up the zipper has passed through the hands of several dedicated inventors, none convinced the general public to accept the zipper as part of everyday costume. The magazine and fashion industry made the novel zipper the popular item it is today, but it happened nearly eighty years after the zipper’s first appearance.”  Check out the History of the Zipper at  At this website you can check out the pictures of the inventors.

It’s Earth Day!


National Library Week

Celebrate National Library Week, April 14-20, 2013, with Honorary Chair Caroline Kennedy.

Communities matter @ your library

Every day across the country, libraries open their doors to everyone: students, parents, seniors, teachers, writers, artists, job seekers, entrepreneurs, readers, gamers, movie lovers and travel buffs.

Head to your library during National Library Week to see what’s new and take part in the celebration.   Libraries across the country are participating.

Just in time for National Poetry Month and National Library Week: Check out Poetry Beats Studio, an interactive studio designed for students, educators and poetry lovers, where they can explore the rhythm and sound of spoken word. Poetry Beats Studio is in support of Caroline Kennedy’s new book, Poems to Learn by Heart.


ebrary new titles

ebrary currently hosts 630,401 documents with 13, 634 added in the past 30 days.  This month, ebrary added more than 5,500 e-books from Encyclopedia Britannica, Peter Lang Publishing, University of California Press, World Scientific College Press and other leading publishers to their growing catalog of over 399,700 titles for purchase.  ebrary has already added 13,5800 new titles in 2013!  At the Engineering Library find:  LinkMembrane and desalination technologies with access limited to ebrary affiliated libraries and other ebrary e-book