Technology & Engineering

Technology and Engineering bridge the gap between what the mind can imagine and what the laws of nature allow. While scientists seek to discover what is not yet known, engineers apply fundamental science to design and develop new devices and systems—technology—to solve societal problems. Technological and engineering innovations then return the favor by affecting human—as well as other animal species'—the ability to control and adapt to their natural environments.

NSF Science Now: Episode 50

In this week's episode, we learn how AI uncovers insights into cancer, how loops give toughness to spider silk, a newly released database of stars and finally, we investigate a novel water testing technique. Check it out!

Women’s History Month: Engineer Erin Bell is designing ‘living’ bridges

Engineers at the University of New Hampshire are raising the bar on what 21st century infrastructure systems can do. With support from the National Science Foundation, they're outfitting the Memorial Bridge, which links Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Kittery, Maine, with sensors to monitor everything from structural stability to traffic to environmental health. It will even be powered by tidal energy, a renewable energy source. They call it a 'living bridge,' and it exemplifies the future of smart, sustainable, user-centered transportation infrastructure.

Reconfigurable materials

What if a material could contain within its structure, multiple functions and easily and autonomously switch between them?

Vehicle electrification

Jeremy Michalek, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses several aspects of vehicle electrification: technology, life cycle, consumer behavior and public policy.

Rapid analysis of disaster damage

Researchers are harnessing "deep learning" algorithms and powerful computer vision technology to dramatically reduce the time it takes for engineers to assess damage to buildings after disasters.

The Flint water crisis: Engineering researchers find answers for alarmed residents

In 2015, engineering researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) helped to uncover the dangerously high lead levels in Flint water, and listened to a community in distress. Through a NSF Rapid Response grant awarded to Virginia Tech civil engineering professor Marc Edwards, researchers received federal funding to collect data on the chemical content of residents' drinking water, providing vital insight into one of the worst human-made, engineering disasters in recent U.S. history.

Making dreams come true

Northern Illinois University (NIU) engineering and technology student Oluseun Taiwo spent the summer printing prosthetics on a 3-D printer at NIU to help Sarah Valentiner, an eighth-grader born with one hand, have more range of motion while she plays the violin.

Drinking water

Safe, clean drinking water is a fundamental human need. Orlando Coronell at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is developing improved membrane technology to purify drinking water more effectively and efficiently.

Fuel cells for electric vehicles

Associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Shawn Litster, discusses his research on fuel cells and how they may be used for electric vehicles in the future.