Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Next Mars Land Rover- Curiosity

So I don't know about everyone else, but I'm totally excited for the next edition of Mars Discovery- Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity. It's five times as large as the previous rovers and contains ten times the instruments.   It is mainly looking for the ingredients for life:like methane and microbial life.  Launch is planned for Saturday, and it won't land on Mars until NEXT AUGUST!!!  If you are doing nothing on Saturday, make sure to watch the launch! For more information, click HERE.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

National Academies

So I don't know how many of you have even heard of the US National Academies.  Yeah, me neither until I came to Washington DC. BUT! through my research of trying to find a job in DC, I realized how awesome the academies are!  Here's an overview:

There are 4 Academies: National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council.

They are honorary service organizations. Basically, you need to be nominated to get into the "club."  Isn't that cool?!

A main point of the Academies is to educate the public.  It's great that there's an organization with 300 Nobel Laureates (that's right! 300!) to come together and get other people excited about science.

They help to consult the US Government on matters involving science (with means pretty much anything). So those people within the academy have a duty to show their view on the scientific matters.

The Academies publish about 200 reports every year. These reports help to influence public policy.  Think, you could write a report on, say, obesity, and the it's possible that this would get the attention of the media and Congress.  If interested in the up-and-coming trends of engineering, this may be a good resource.  

For more information, visit the National Academies.  Check it out, there may be something that peaks yoru interest. I'm also thinking of a field trip in the near future. :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Who Do You Aspire to Be?

I've found that one of the greatest sources of aspiration lies from someone else's achievements.

Who do you aspire to be? 
Senior Director?
Someone who has a patent?

How much respect do you give to these people?  Despite the growing suspicion against authority and those people who have "titles," you know that these people get a LOT of respect.  To be honest, I want to be one of these people.

One of the things on my bucket list is to have a patent.  Currently, UC Davis' Chancellor Linda Katehi has 17 patents.  Crazy!!! To be honest, I don't care if it gets popular.  I just want to be the person who invents something that I perceive to be useful.

After College

College is all about preparing you for the "real world."  A graduate student once described to me that the engineering classes that you take is a "new tool for your toolbox."  I love this interpretation!!! Again, engineering is able solving new problems...not having them solved for you in school.  From one of my favorite bloggers, here is a link to what you don't learn in college. Check it out. :-)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Baltimore, MD

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Baltimore.  It's about 30 miles from Washington DC.  However, it's an entirely different city in terms of industry.  I would describe it as similar to Detroit (as quoted by one of the friends, "Baltimore is Detroit 30 years ago.") with its aging of manufacturing.  It should be noted that the unemployment rate of young men (under 30 or so) is 30%.  This is very similar to the Great Depression. This is what happens when you move from manufacturing to a very technological age.

I do wish to note that Baltimore did remind me why my major is in mechanical engineering.  Manufacturing is a great industry. It truly shows a country's economic development.  There are so many different products that we encounter everyday, and we don't even think twice about how the item came to be in my hands.

Look at all the factories! Think about the number of people needed for this type of work.  I don't care if something is animated.  You still need people to organize other people and machinery to make something in a very quick, efficient way.  The transportation, manufacturing, food, beverages, movement of money, movement of raw materials, the energy needed to conduct all of this business! To be honest, I don't think the importance of engineering is marketed enough, especially in the country that we live in! We now have the ability to rely on other service items for our source of "innovation."  But our true innovation relies on the manufacturing that still exists today.  Sure, I know it's on the decline.  However, if you lose your backing of manufacturing, the country needs to rely on other countries for its sustenance.

From my manufacturing class, the three tiers of a economy:
1. Agriculture
2. Manufacturing
3. Service

Currently, the United States has moved more into the service industry.  However, it is reliant on those countries in the other two tiers.  Think about where America stand and your role in it as a proud member.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I think this post will be devoted to nerdy things I find throughout the week.

"Newton and Gauss created everything.  Everyone else is simply tweaking what they said." - Professor Rocke

This last one is actual due to the amount of protest from the group on Facebook called "Trust me, I'm an Engineer."  Although a little bit borderline, I'm glad that someone (a female) updated the picture to show that there ARE female engineers out there. Grassroots at work.