IndustryTap Megatrends – March 2013

By: | March 30th, 2013


Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, is undergoing a major transformation as urban planners are converting unproductive areas of the city into art and technology playgrounds.

A team of MIT researchers was awarded $3.7 million for research on sustainable development in Kuwait. MIT’s architecture, civil and environmental engineering, earth sciences, atmospheric, planetary sciences and nuclear science and engineering departments will participate in the project.

Seoul South Korea is undergoing an architectural and cultural transformation. For example the Samsung Museum of Art is a bigger version of the Whitney Museum and its $256 million National Museum of Contemporary Art will open later this year. The wave of building and new architectural gems is giving sole a distinctive Korean taste and look and major international brands are setting down roots in the increasingly wealthy city.

Grand Central station in New York City is celebrating its centennial this year.

The European Space Agency has come up with a design for a lunar base consisting of domes linked by tubular core doors.


The new smart car promises not only to provide drivers with more information so they can drive more safely and economically but also to integrate with outside systems. For example cyclists can now where Signaling Cyclist Sacks (SEIL) that projects a riders current and anticipated movements relaying them wirelessly to surrounding vehicles which can inform drivers or take immediate action.

Motorcyclists can now purchase Collision Protection Backpacks called SP3 System. This system provides both a functional knapsack and a natural body brace that could help prevent damage to the spine and neck in the event of an accident.

BMC’s Lamborghini, built by Swedish bike maker BMC, is a tribute to the 50th anniversary Edition Impec.


Boeing’s grounded Dreamliners could resume flights within the next few weeks. To major factors are under investigation since: first, is the inherent fire hazards involved with lithium-ion batteries and second, Dreamliner’s were built by a huge consortium of companies where coordination and integration of ideas and systems suffered from poor communication.

American airlines decidedto equip its A320 fleet with air buses and onboard cockpit technology that increases a pilot’s situational awareness called the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS)

Ryanair committed to a $15 billion aircraft order for 175 next-generation 737-800s and Lion Air of Indonesia ordered 234 Airbus A320 aircraft’s.

British researchers gathered data in the Arctic using a research plane called the BAe 146 Atmospheric Research Aircraft  (ARA) in an effort to improve predictions about the region’s future climate. The plane will measure cloud micro physical properties and use dropsondes (whether sensors carried by parachute).


According to a new award-winning McGraw-Hill Construction Study, green building is accelerating globally even through the economic downturn; business imperatives and market demand are driving green building growth. In another report called “World Green Building Trends” 60% of buildings under construction in 2015 will be green.

All of the growth in construction is leading to increased construction material prices. Construction employment has been increasing as well. In the United States 34 states have seen construction employment growth.

The United Nations headquarters in New York City is undergoing a $2.1 billion renovation of two point 5,000,000 ft.² of space on it 17-acre campus. The six-year project includes numerous designers and construction managers and 23 guaranteed-maximum-price (GMP) contracts along with 659 trade contracts and a daily heat worker force of 900. The biggest challenge will be maintaining a low profile and avoiding disruptions to UN activities and its 4,800 person staff.


Samsung’s Galaxy S4 seems to be giving the iPhone 5 a run for its money. The Galaxy has a 13 megapixel camera to 8 for the iPhone 5, eye tracking technology and a way to use the phone without touching the screen. Galaxy has a quad-core processor while the iPhone 5 has a dual core processor making the Galaxy almost 2 times faster. And as we all know the Galaxy screen is significantly bigger.

Samuel Nicz has designed and developed the sun toucher solar powered aircraft, a two-seater that uses solar energy collected from photovoltaic cells installed in its wings to power and AC engine.


Abu Dhabi’s Massive Shams project is now using trucks with robotic arms installed to clean its 250,000 solar thermal mirrors.

A company called Nautical Torque is developing a system that proposes to use the movement of ships in harbors to generate electricity. As the ships rise and fall with the tides and falls back down it spins a turbine installed at the dock. The company has projected that 20 ships equipped with the technology could power half the city of San Francisco. The technology is called “lunar energy”.

A large Chinese photovoltaic manufacturer Suntech filed for bankruptcy declaring that it was in serious financial trouble and becoming the largest and most high profile Chinese company listed in the West to enter U.S. Bankruptcy Court.. An investigation shows that the Chinese government has provided easy loans of up to $18 billion to Chinese solar panel manufacturers who have suffered from both mismanagement and decreasing prices for their products.


Scientists and engineers are discussing the use of inductive charging for road vehicles that would include the development and deployment of wireless inductive charging systems.

Despite the recent economic downturn Defense Department’s around the world are creating opportunities for engineers especially in the defense sector.

There is continued talk of the way that 3-D printing will transform manufacturing. A company in Winnipeg Canada called “Eco-Logic” is applying 3-D printing to the manufacture of an electric car. This means throwing out all of the lessons and manufacturing techniques learned on auto assembly lines. Their vehicle, called the Urbee, is under development and has provided a great number of lessons about the way products may be manufactured in the future.


The it industry defense lab is working on developing new drones and new ways to protect buildings and buses from attacks.

Scientists at Georgia Tech are studying lizards to help program robots to swim through sand.

A report last month listed sources of computer attacks by country. While China gets most of the headlines they are only 12 on the list. The biggest hackers are Russia, by far, followed by Taiwan, Germany, Ukraine, Hungary and the United States.

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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