Category Archives: Education

THE MAGIC PROPERTIES OF WAVES AND THEIR EFFECT ON OUR BUSINESS AND DAILY LIFE

V. E. “Bill” Haloulakos,  Aerospace Science Consultant/Professor; AIAA National Distinguished Lecturer and Legacy Member; Distinguished Engineering Educator Award Winner

* Sound and light waves allow us to talk to and see each other

* Ultrasound and radiation waves have many applications in medicine

* Electromagnetic waves have given us radio, television, cordless and cell phones and all the gadgetry and allows us to text to and follow each other

DISCUSSION

All or most of us have either given or received the advice of “don’t make waves”. What this means is “don’t create a disturbance” because in physics the definition of a wave is “a disturbance that once created it travels in its own way and unique speed and cannot be altered”. How many of us wish if we could only take back something that we said…

There are many types of waves. There are the sound waves, which allows us to communicate with each other. As we speak we create a disturbance that travels through the air at the speed of sound (345 meters per second (m/s)) to the ears of all around us. Then we have water waves that we see in the rivers, ponds and the sea. And nature is full of electromagnetic waves (EM), visible light being part of the EM wave family its only special characteristic being that it excites our retina and allow us to see things. Other wise light is of the same nature as x-rays that destroy our retina. One peculiarity of all the different waves is that they are described by the same mathematical equation, very appropriately called “the wave equation”, a subject upon which we shall not elaborate here, but we shall note that the only difference is their speed of propagation (travel). As noted above sound waves travel at 345 m/s whereas EM waves travel at the speed of light or 300,000 kilometers per second (km/s) (186,000 miles/s).

It travels seven and a half times around the equator in one second!

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It’s Not a Sin to Get Your Hands Dirty

David ColeDr. David Cole is the Chairman of AutoHarvest (autoharvest.org), a web based tool to accelerate innovation in the auto industry. Dr. Cole is Chairman Emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research and a former Professor of Engineering at the University of Michigan where he taught courses related to the automotive field for over 25 years. He is a fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Engineering Society of Detroit and Society of Manufacturing Engineers and was recently elected to the Automotive Hall of Fame.

One of the great challenges facing our economy today and into the future is the availability of an appropriately educated and skilled workforce. In a Wall Street Journal article on Ft. Wayne, Indiana we saw a snap-shot of a broader national issue: the shortage of talent in manufacturing regions. In Ft. Wayne they have high unemployment and a large number of job openings suggesting a mismatch between the needs and skills available. In fact one of the most severe shortages is for skilled trades and technicians, skills that are taught in a local community college. The community college in Ft. Wayne was using only about 70% of its capacity to educate young people in these disciplines.

In Michigan, at a recent Summit on Jobs organized by the governor, the number one shortage of talent in Michigan was skilled trades and technicians. In second place were engineers with mechanical/electrical abilities. One important fact about both of these is that you have to “get your hands dirty”. Another way of looking at it is that it doesn’t necessarily mean getting oil and grime on your hands and clothes but you really must know how things work and have a deep understanding of how things work in the real world of manufacturing.

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