All Engineering Articles
  • F-Gas turns the screw again

    Andrew Gaved Facilities & Grounds

    This column has reported many times over the years on the progress of the F-Gas regulations, as the legislation seeks to achieve its ultimate goal of reducing refrigerant emissions in Europe. But 2020 marks a significant year for both the legislation and the industry that must comply with it. It is expected to change refrigerant buying habits as the once-ubiquitous R404A disappears from wholesalers' shelves. The F-Gas legislation, now in its second iteration, came into force in 2015 and has put the industry under pressure with its unique combination of restrictions.

  • Achieving the promise of reduce, reuse, recycle with chemical recycling

    Kate Gaertner Waste Management & Environmental

    There’s no consensus yet on whether chemical recycling is the silver bullet for the growing plastic pollution problem. What is clear, however, is that a solution needs to be found — and fast. Plastic and the use of plastic are not going away anytime soon. For the foreseeable future, companies will remain bound to plastics in their production cycles. This article will look at how industry can reduce the environmental impact of plastic, reuse material already circulating in the economic value stream, and create a circular recycling mechanism is at the heart and promise of chemical recycling.

  • Tech CEOs hesitant to upskill workforce despite anticipated impact of AI…

    Terri Williams Business Management, Services & Risk Management

    Within the next three years, only 42% of tech CEOs plan to upskill the majority of their workforce, according to a KPMG report. However, the 2018 World Economic Forum projected that at least 54% of employees in all industries will need to be reskilled and upskilled if companies are expected to remain competitive. So, why aren't more tech CEOs reskilling or upskilling their employees — and is this a problem?

  • California rewards climate-friendly automakers amid NHTSA lawsuit

    Michelle R. Matisons Transportation Technology & Automotive

    Ford and General Motors (GM) workers have new UAW labor contracts with some reported positive takeaways. But they part ways on a lawsuit contesting national emissions enforcement authority. For decades, California has enjoyed a Clean Air Act waiver to set its own standards. Suffering under pollution from transportation, industry, and wildfires, California is seeking to reduce pollution to 66 million metric tons per year by 2030. The state has joined 23 others as lawsuit plaintiffs against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

  • Resources to help embed STEM in your school’s culture

    Angela Cleveland Education

    The first week of December is nationally recognized in schools as Computer Science Education Week or "CSEdWeek." This is a week dedicated to providing students in all grade levels with opportunities to learn about computer science (CS). Many websites offer entertaining and engaging ways to introduce algorithms, loops, conditionals, and other CS concepts to students. While hands-on coding activities foster a fun introduction and spark interest, many educators are looking for more ways to embed the value of CS into a school’s physical environment and highlight how CS intersects with other content areas.

  • Companies loosen job requirements, but are they going too far?

    Terri Williams Business Management, Services & Risk Management

    Unemployment is at historically low rates, which is great for employees and the economy. However, when the job market is at — or past — full employment, companies struggle to recruit workers. "In short, companies cannot hire and keep the talent they need," explains Ian Cook, Vice President of People Solutions at Visier. In fact, according to a new survey by Adecco USA, 37% of companies have loosened job requirements to hire in a tight labor market.

  • Palantir, BP develop concerning ‘data-drilling’ techniques

    Michelle R. Matisons Science & Technology

    One of the most recent developments in Big Tech involves news of "data drilling," as evidenced by a contract between CIA-adjacent data-mining company Palantir Technologies and BP (formerly British Petroleum). The wedding of an older industry like oil with data technology is big news for many trying to keep abreast of the climate effects of the international extraction economy as they relate to elections, foreign policy, and intelligence communities; operations. And, vice versa: data mining is moving into unchartered waters here, and more environmental accountability for the uber-wealthy tech sector is a pressing issue.

  • Is there a public utility option for California’s PG&E?

    Michelle R. Matisons Waste Management & Environmental

    Damage from 13 different wildfires has affected California during the past week. Sonoma County’s Kincade fire grew to 77,000 acres, ravaging large land swaths, whole neighborhoods, and grape-ripening vineyards. At 80% contained, it is nowhere near the size of 2017’s Thomas fire, which caused $2.2 billion in damages and heated debate about fire prevention. But all the fires combined will yield more damages incurred for the already embattled energy industry in the state. Poor air quality is now commonplace in the health-focused state, and this issue alone may press more people to consider radical solutions.

  • The blame game surrounding Boeing’s 737 Max debacle

    Michelle R. Matisons Transportation Technology & Automotive

    ​Oct. 29 marked one year since the Lion Air crash of a Boeing 737 Max 8 that killed 189 people in Indonesia. We can directly blame a company’s financial priorities, company employees who decided to leave information out of training manuals, an agency that watched its inspection autonomy wither over decades, or investors pressuring Boeing to compete with France’s Airbus. Or, we can blame all of the above. The international public and crash victims’ families have initiated investigations, released a report, and are pursuing legal action. But will safety concerns trickle down to real-world changes?

  • The UK grapples with its low-carbon heating future

    Andrew Gaved Manufacturing

    Whilst the subject of Brexit is weighing heavily on the minds of U.K. politicians, the heating industry has an equally seismic change of culture to deal with — no less than the prospect of wholesale technology change as it bids to build a low-carbon heating infrastructure. One of the last legislative decisions by former Prime Minister Theresa May was to commit the U.K. to "net zero" carbon emissions by 2050. It is accepted by the HVAC industry that such a stiff target cannot be reached without radically changing its technology approach. What the technology approach should be is currently the subject of fierce debate.