Engineering news

New coalmine questioned and high-density hydro planned: 10 top stories of the week

Professional Engineering

How the new Cumbria coalmine could look (Credit: West Cumbria Mining)
How the new Cumbria coalmine could look (Credit: West Cumbria Mining)

High-density pumped hydro could store energy in small hills

Professional Engineering

Thousands of hillsides around the UK could host a new type of pumped-hydro energy storage system, its developers have claimed. Unlike conventional hydro power, the system from RheEnergise uses dense liquid instead of water. The fluid is two-and-a-half-times denser than water, and could therefore potentially provide two-and-a-half-times the power of equivalent conventional systems.

Cumbria coalmine permission to be reconsidered

The Guardian

Cumbria County Council is to reconsider planning permission for a controversial coalmine project, which would be the first such deep coalmine in the UK for three decades. The council will reconsider planning permission in light of new information about the government’s ‘carbon budgets’ and net-zero aims.

‘Walking car’ will drive, walk and fly

Professional Engineering

A new ‘ultimate mobility vehicle’ (UMV) will use wheels, legs and an attachable drone to traverse the most inhospitable and remote environments. Designed to carry deliveries, aid packages or scientific equipment, the uncrewed Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot (Tiger) is being developed by Hyundai Motor Group in California.

How printed human organs will speed up future drug development

Professional Engineering

Complete printed human organs are coming ever closer, thanks to some innovative engineering. Before being implanted in patients, they could radically transform drug development by replacing animal testing and human volunteers, helping speed up the process massively.

United Airlines plans flying taxi fleet

The Engineer

United Airlines is partnering with Archer Aviation on a fleet of up to 200 flying taxis. The four-passenger tilt-rotor taxis have a predicted range of about 100km. They could fly from Manhattan to JFK airport in just seven minutes.

’Nano-chisel’ sculpts bone tissue replica

E&T

A team of researchers from New York University and New York Stem Cell Foundation have precisely replicated natural bone tissue using biothermal imaging and a heated ‘nano-chisel’. The system could be used for studying drugs and diseases, or creating orthopaedic implants.

Career plans on hold for many young people

Professional Engineering

More than 40% of people aged 16-24 are putting their career or education plans on hold until the pandemic is over, a new survey has found. The research, commissioned by BAE Systems to mark National Apprenticeship Week, found a fifth (21%) said they are more confused about their career path than before the pandemic, with 20% saying the industry they had wanted to work in has been deeply impacted.

Trial uses AI to control hydrogen storage

Renewable Energy Magazine

A new trial from H2GO Power, the European Marine Energy Centre (Emec) and Imperial College London is using artificial intelligence (AI) software to control hydrogen storage technology. The system will make real-time asset management decisions to optimise renewable energy integration.

Plastic-nanotube composite ‘tougher and lighter than similar forms of aluminium’

Professional Engineering

A new form of 3D-printed material made by combining common plastics with carbon nanotubes is tougher and lighter than similar forms of aluminium, its developers have said. The team, led by University of Glasgow engineers, developed a new ‘plate-lattice cellular metamaterial’. It could lead to the development of safer, lighter and more durable structures for aerospace or automotive.

‘Mindset change needed to boost apprenticeship numbers’

Professional Engineering

Schools, parents and businesses should “collectively push” the message that apprenticeships are of equal value to traditional academic routes, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has said. Skills and education lead Stephanie Baxter called for a shift in perception after IET research revealed that a third (32%) of engineering companies are still looking to recruit and train apprentices and graduates to fill skill gaps.


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