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ASME TechCast

ASME TechCast

By Mechanical Engineering Mag
Bringing you the innovators, the innovations, the issues and topics that are advancing engineering.
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Advances in Low-Cost Energy Generation

ASME TechCast

NREL’s Walt Musial Talks Offshore Wind
The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s new report shows offshore wind generation growing in the U.S. and globally. Turbines are getting larger and developers want to site them in ever deeper water. Design of floating foundations has advanced to where deepwater sites are feasible, while fixed foundations may prove more economical in deeper water. NREL’s Walt Musial, principal engineer and offshore wind lead, talks about the offshore market and what can be expected in the coming year in this podcast.
November 20, 2020
The Expanding Role of Digital Engineering in Manufacturing
Technology writer Jean Thilmany has followed software-enabled engineering for decades. In this episode of ASME TechCast, Thilmany talks with Jeffrey Winters, editor in chief of Mechanical Engineering magazine, about how digital engineering is expanding into the manufacturing sector.
November 4, 2020
Preparing the Workforce for Digital Transformation
The CEO of Protolabs, Vicki Holt, has almost 40 years of experience in world-class manufacturing companies in various executive roles. In this episode of ASME TechCast, she provides insights into the digital trends shaping manufacturing and how companies can prepare the current and future workforce for this rapid transition accelerated by the pandemic.
October 21, 2020
Lockheed Martin’s Digital Twin Journey
Lockheed Martin designed and built the new OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) spacecraft. The spacecraft will collect samples from the asteroid Bennu which may provide insight into our solar system’s early formation. To help construct the spacecraft, Lockheed Martin Space utilized the power of the digital twin. Lockheed’s journey with the digital twin can serve as an example of how other organizations can adopt the digital twin methodology for a more efficient design. Noah Fehrenbacher, digital twin portfolio manager for Lockheed Martin Space, speaks with ASME TechCast on how Lockheed Martin uses the digital twin as an advanced design tool.
October 9, 2020
The Unknown Strengths of Fluid Power
The term "fluid power" was adopted more than sixty years ago to describe hydraulic and pneumatic systems for transmitting power. Often, engineers learn about mechanical and electric power transmission as part of their formal education. Unfortunately, most engineering schools in North America do not fully cover the capabilities and strengths of fluid power. Fluid power is a versatile method of transmitting power, capable of moving satellite dishes and heavy construction equipment, and refined enough to operate aircraft and automation systems. Alan Hitchcox, longtime editor-in-chief of Hydraulics and Pneumatics magazine and recent inductee into the International Fluid Power Society 2020 Fluid Power Hall of Fame, sits down with Mechanical Engineering magazine to discuss the strength of fluid power and how engineers are using it today.
September 23, 2020
Engineers Make Microscopic Robots Walk
A collaboration between Cornell and Penn Engineering has resulted in the first microscopic robots that incorporate semiconductor components, allowing them to be controlled—and made to walk—with standard electronic signals. In future, these microbots could be injected into human blood for medical treatments. In this podcast, Itai Cohen, professor of physics, who is leading the research at Cornell, discusses the cross-disciplinary research that led to this breakthrough.
September 10, 2020
Is There an Alternative to China?
Chinese factories produce a huge chunk of the world’s manufactured goods. Recently, global companies have begun to reconsider their dependence on China. Some have looked at bringing critical manufacturing to the United States, while others have set up factories in Vietnam and Mexico. Mechanical Engineering magazine editor in chief Jeffrey Winters asked senior editor John Kosowatz to explain the issues and whether it was possible for multinational firms to leave the China market. 
August 21, 2020
Ergonomic Tools for Manufacturing
NASA recently recognized Robo-Glove, a soft robotic exoskeleton for the hand, as its commercial invention of the year. Its original application was meant to assist astronauts by making it easier to perform simple tasks that become more cumbersome in space. Its potential, however, is beginning to be realized in manufacturing and health care. General Motors co-developed the system, now being commercially produced as IronHand by Sweden’s Bioservo. In this episode, Stephen Krajcarski, GM’s senior manager of global ergonomics, talks about how the company is testing the glove and other exoskeletons on the factory floor.
August 5, 2020
Lely’s Chad Huyser on Automation Innovation in Dairy Farming
Chad Huyser is the regional director and North America president of Lely International. Lely was founded in the Netherlands and, for over the last 70 years, has introduced new mechanized methods to help eliminate redundant processes or labor requirements on the farm, particularly in dairy farming. Lely’s latest Astronaut-5 is a milking unit that uses automation and artificial intelligence for cows to feed and milk themselves. Huyser shares his thoughts on automation in farming today, how COVID-19 impacted the supply chain, and how the future may look like as farmers transition to new automation techniques.
July 29, 2020
Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo on Sparking STEM Curiosity
The Chief Executive Officer at Girl Scouts of the USA, Sylvia Acevedo, is a woman engineer, rocket scientist, author, entrepreneur, and more. Since becoming the CEO, she has led the organization’s largest rollout of 125 new Girl Scout badges that include 42 new STEM badges such as cybersecurity, robotics, design thinking, coding, data analytics, and space science. In this episode of ASME TechCast, Acevedo shares her passion for all things engineering and talks about the long-term benefits of a focus on STEM, especially for girls. Girl Scouts of the USA now offers 109 STEM badges and award programs compared to 22 in 2014.
July 8, 2020
Simplifying Nonmetallic Pressure Piping Systems
Metal pipes have dominated the pressure piping market for decades. Today, however, innovations in material science have resulted in companies considering plastic pipes that can support high pressures and temperatures. Many companies have started to shift from metal to plastic for several high-pressure applications across a range of industries. In this podcast, Charles Henley, chief engineer, piping and material applications, Kiewit, talks about ASME’s new standard that could help simplify nonmetallic pressure piping projects. Henley is also vice chair of ASME’s nonmetallic piping standards committee.
June 23, 2020
The Future of IoT and STEM with IBM’s Lisa Seacat DeLuca
Lisa Seacat DeLuca is a Distinguished Engineer and the director of IBM Watson’s Internet of Things division and one of their most prolific inventors, with more than 500 patents to her name. In this episode, she discusses the future of IBM’s IoT goals, how STEM is vital to the future of engineering, and how her works in children’s literature were inspired by her want to provide STEM awareness to her children.
June 11, 2020
Building Resilience into the Electrical Grid
For decades, utilities have been concerned with reliability, which is a measure of how well the grid can avoid short-term blackouts. But resilience goes deeper and covers multiple, intersecting factors. It’s not just preparing to recover from devastating storms, but also taking steps to avoid a pandemic from incapacitating utility control rooms. To learn more about what companies are doing to build a grid that can bounce back quickly from multiple, unexpected challenges, ASME’s Carlos González talks with two engineers with a deep understanding of resilience issues. Mike Bryson is senior vice president for operations at PJM, the regional transmission organization for the mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. And Nirmal Paudel is a consulting R&D engineer at ABB, the global manufacturer of electrical and electronic equipment.
May 26, 2020
Designing Next-Generation Bionic Limbs
Mechanical Engineer Matt Carney, who recently completed his PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, works at the MIT Media Lab Biomechatronics Group, where he designs and builds personalized bionic limbs. In this podcast, Carney discusses his interest in humanoid robots as well as the importance of design aesthetics and user experience in developing prosthetics.
May 7, 2020
Digital Solutions During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Engineers are being forced to work remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help these engineers as they transition to the home environment, Siemens Digital Industries Software is looking to provide manufacturing solutions for those engineers working at home. By using the power of the Internet of Things, data analytics, and the digital twin, Siemens is helping engineers connect via a digital manufacturing network, from the factory floor to additive manufacturing products. We spoke with Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO of Siemens digital industries software and Robert Meschel, Director at Siemens Additive Manufacturing Network about how they are tackling the ongoing challenges.
April 27, 2020
Fast-Charging Batteries Depend on Nanotechnology
Durable, fast-charging batteries are essential to the development of electric vehicles and evolution of the smart grid. StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf talks about the breakthrough in battery technology, eliminating carbon and using nano and other materials to make a battery that can charge an electronic device in 60 seconds. The next step is overcoming obstacles to a full-sized battery.
April 16, 2020
Ventilation System to Prevent Virus Spread
With no vaccine expected for Covid-19 anytime soon, preventing its spread could be as important as treating it. In this special edition of ASME TechCast, Managing Editor Chitra Sethi speaks with Professor Qingyan Chen, the James G. Dwyer Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, who has researched the spread of viruses through ventilation systems in passenger vehicles. He believes cruise ship air conditioning systems are not designed to filter out particles as small as the coronavirus, allowing the disease to rapidly circulate to other cabins. Prof. Chen’s lab is currently developing a ventilation system that would prevent the airborne transmission of pathogens like Coronavirus by allowing each person to breathe in only his or her own air.
March 27, 2020
Moving Toward 4D Printing
Antleron nv is a Belgian life sciences firm building a living therapy factory designed to bring biomedical solutions to eventual commercialization. Most 4D materials and applications are still in research and development labs. CEO Jan Schrooten talks with about building a process to produce 4D materials for medical applications that differs from existing strategies and layouts.
March 23, 2020
Hannover Messe 2020 Preview: What to Expect
This year’s Hannover Messe, arguably the world’s most important industrial trade show, has been postponed due the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. Now scheduled to take place on July 13 through 17, Hannover Messe will welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors and will focus on industrial transformation. Join Editor-in-Chief John Falcioni in this edition of ASME TechCast as he previews the Fair and speaks with representatives from Harting and igus about what they will be showcasing in Germany.
March 13, 2020
Building Energy Resiliency in the Caribbean
The Caribbean island of Bonaire is an idyllic vacation spot, but its power generation and grid system was unreliable. When ContourGlobal bought the energy assets it knew the system had to be reworked. The result was a 24-MW system using wind and solar, along with backup diesel generators, coupled with a lithium-ion battery storage system. A digitalized management system ties it all together, providing greater efficiencies in producing and storing renewable energy, and eliminating brownouts that plagued the old system. In this edition of ASME TechCast, Risto Paladanius of Greensmith, a Wartsilla company that provided the management system, and Giorgio Narminio of ContourGlobal, described the project at PowerGen International.
February 28, 2020
Siemens CEO Barbara Humpton on What’s Humanly Possible
From clean energy and climate action to good health and quality education, Siemens has been at the forefront of supporting and advancing United Nation’s sustainable development goals for 2030. In this episode of ASME TechCast, Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA, talks about the role digital technology plays in building a sustainable world and improving lives. She also offers advice to young engineers on how they can get involved in addressing some of the biggest challenges facing humankind. Siemens and Engineering for Change recently announced a new call-to-action for socially minded engineers and hardware innovators to address two of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals—zero hunger and clean water. The program is called Innovate for Impact: Siemens Design Challenge and you can learn more about it on:
February 20, 2020
Skills You Will Need for Aerospace Careers of Future
When it comes to digital transformation, the aerospace industry is pursuing model-based engineering, digital twins, simulations, and agile methods for design and manufacturing. Raytheon Missile Systems, the industry’s giant, is also adopting these technologies. In this episode of ASME TechCast, Laura McGill, vice president of engineering at the company, talks about the many job opportunities available for young engineers in the aerospace industry, her own career path, as well as offers management advice for large multi-generational engineering teams that have to work together in the new digital era.
January 31, 2020
Connecting Cars with Smart Cities
Smart cars work through sensors and technology that give the driver safety and road information. Eventually those IoT systems will connect to other vehicles, leading to the development of an overall traffic monitoring system—a building block of smart cities. In this episode of ASME TechCast, Rob Tiffany, vice president of IoT strategy for Ericsson, talks about the issues affecting connectivity between vehicles and everywhere else, as well as the development of smart cars.
January 17, 2020
How Engineers Can Help Fight Climate Change
Climate scientists see a clear relation between global warming and extreme weather events such as the catastrophic Australian bushfires that have devastated New South Wales and surrounding areas for months. What will have to happen before the society takes climate change seriously? What role will engineers play in building solutions to fight climate change? Let’s find out from Professor Steven Chu of Stanford University, who was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997 and has devoted his scientific career to the search for new solutions to our energy and climate challenges. Prof. Chu served as the Secretary of Energy from January 2009 until April 2013, where he was charged with helping implement President Obama’s ambitious agenda to invest in clean energy and address the global climate crisis.
January 6, 2020
Top 5 Emerging Technologies of 2019
Each episode of ASME TechCast brings you the innovators, the innovations, and the issues that are advancing engineering. This episode, perhaps the most quintessential ASME TechCast, presents you the top innovators in bioengineering, robotics, clean energy, manufacturing, and pressure technology for this year. Editors of the Mechanical Engineering magazine examine ASME’s core technologies annually and select one innovation from each that has successfully moved from the lab to the cusp of commercialization. Here are the Five Emerging Technologies Awards 2019.
November 21, 2019
Exploring Space and Inspiring Future Explorers
Lockheed Martin’s Danielle Richey has a very exciting job: She’s working on sending humans out to the Moon and to Mars. She is also very engaged in inspiring and mentoring young women to pursue careers in STEM fields. John Falcioni, editor-in-chief of ASME’s Mechanical Engineering magazine, caught up with Richey to discuss her own career journey.
October 31, 2019
John Browne on Engineering
John Browne, former CEO of BP and chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, discusses his new book, Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilisation.
October 14, 2019
Engineering the Future of Fashion
Stephanie Depalma, AddWorks Lead Design Engineer at GE Additive, and Eric Utley, Protolabs Application Specialist Engineer, talk about the collaboration with Zac Posen, the famous fashion designer and founder of the House of Z, and how exactly does one produce fashion clothing using 3D printing.
October 1, 2019
Hardhats and Holograms
Trimble’s mixed reality manager Jordan Lawver talks about partnering with Hololens to bring augmented reality to workers with a hardhat that lays drawings over the physical jobsite. 
September 16, 2019
Targeting Breast Cancer
Engineers and pathologists won a challenge to develop an automated method to detect breast cancer cells by training an algorithm used for automotive and defense applications. David Chambers talks about the collaboration and the challenge.
September 9, 2019
Robert Langer: Edison of Medicine
He’s described as the Edison of Medicine, whose inventions have saved or improved lives of more than two billion people. His laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the largest biomedical engineering lab in the world. He was awarded numerous prizes, including the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. He is the most cited engineer in history. In this episode of ASME TechCast, MIT’s Bob Langer explains how he manages to achieve so much and shares insights into his latest discoveries.
September 8, 2019
Advances in Low-Cost Energy Generation
Aaron McClung is leading the Southwest Research Institute’s work into proving supercritical carbon dioxide technology with a $119-million, 10-MW pilot plant being built on SwRI’s Texas campus. In this episode, he talks about the pilot plant and the promise of this low-cost energy generation technology.
September 7, 2019
The Past, Present, and Future of the Robotics Market
In this episode of ASME TechCast, Bob Doyle, VP of the Robotics Industries Association, discusses the robotics market and how robots are changing the manufacturing landscape.
September 6, 2019
Going Back to the Moon
Fifty years after humans first set foot on the Moon, Astrobotic is one of the companies selected by NASA to go back to the Moon to carry payloads and instruments and set the stage to potentially colonize the planet. Mechanical Engineering magazine Editor-in-Chief John Falcioni talks with Astrobotic’s CEO John Thornton.
September 5, 2019
Engineering the Apollo 11 Lunar Module
Thousands of engineers worked on the Apollo program. In this episode of ASME Tech Cast, we listen to some of those engineers and technologists as they recount the emotion, excitement, and triumph of building the Apollo 11 lunar module.
September 4, 2019
Bill Nye the Science Guy on STEM, Feeding the World, and Things that Scare Him
William Sanford Nye, also known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, talks with John Falcioni on ASME TechCast about the need for diversity in STEM, feeding the world, and the technology that scares him.  
August 9, 2019
Breakthrough Could Bring New Cancer Treatment
Stanford mechanical engineer Ovijit Chaudhuri talks with Jeff O’Heir on ASME TechCast about breakthrough research that could lead to new treatments for cancer.  
August 8, 2019
How a Young Engineer Helped A Wounded Marine
Learn how high-school senior Ashley Kimbel built a special prosthetic foot for a wounded U.S. Marine.  
August 7, 2019
The Benefits and Challenges of Developing Solar Farms and Grids
Listen to ASME TechCast to hear about the challenges and benefits of creating solar farms and other sources of renewable energy in big cities and rural environments.   
August 6, 2019
MIT’s New Head of Mechanical Engineering, Evelyn Wang, on the Future of Education and Grand Challenges
This week we speak with Evelyn Wang, who was recently named the head of MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. We talk about some of the new educational models and grand research challenges she’s implementing into the curriculum. 
August 5, 2019
The New World of Biomaterials Opens Opportunities for Engineers
Entrepreneurial engineer Robert Giasolli, founder, CTO, and vice president of R&D for Cagent Vascular, speaks with Jeff O’Heir, ASME’s senior content manager, about his work to improve communications between engineers and doctors in emergency rooms. 
August 4, 2019
How Engineers Close Communication Gaps with New Colleagues
Featuring entrepreneurial engineer Robert Giasolli of Cagent Vascular.
August 3, 2019
Building the Case for a Diversified Engineering Workforce
Featuring Roma Agrawal, engineer and author of “Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures”. Hosted by Jeff O’Heir,’s Senior Content Manager, and Chitra Sethi, Managing Editor of Mechanical Engineering Magazine.
August 2, 2019