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Issue 64

September 2015

An apartment with green microalgae tanks built into the outside of the building.
  • Energy
  • Issue 64

Algae-powered architecture

An apartment block in Hamburg in Germany has been built that uses microalgae placed within its façade to generate heat and biomass. Jan Wurm, an associate director at Arup, was one of the chief designers of the energy system. He talked about the concept, execution and results from the world’s first photobioreactor.

The C-Enduro in the ocean with land in the background.
  • Technology & robotics
  • Issue 64

Autonomous systems

The Royal Academy of Engineering hosted an event on Innovation in Autonomous Systems, focusing on the potential of autonomous systems to transform industry and business and the evolving relationship between people and technology.

Adolescents being taught the mechanics of a bike.
  • Mechanical
  • Issue 64

Bikes help improve skills and attitude

The Archway Project is an independently-funded scheme that is expanding its engineering-based programmes by providing BTEC certificates and diplomas. John Milton, the director of the project, explains what the charity does to help reduce anti-social behaviour and improve employment prospects.

A wind turbine onshore.
  • Energy
  • Issue 64

Digital hydraulics for wind energy and beyond

Research that has helped change the technology for harnessing wind energy has many other applications. The digital hydraulics system devised by Artemis Intelligent Power has received many accolades, the latest being the winner of the 2015 MacRobert Award.

The Eurostar at St Pancreas International station.
  • Electricals & electronics
  • Mechanical
  • Issue 64

High speed evolution

In December 2010, Eurostar International Ltd awarded a contract for 10 new high speed trains to Siemens. The company has used a system developed over decades to maximise the performance and passenger-carrying ability of its 320km/h trains.

Fisherman on a boat with electronic equipment.
  • Technology & robotics
  • How does that work?
  • Issue 64


Useful for scientists, search and rescue operations and military forces, the size, range and orientation of an object underneath the surface of the sea can be determined by active and passive sonar devices. Find out how they are used to generate information about underwater objects.

  • Energy
  • Innovation Watch
  • Issue 64

New energy pioneers

London-based BBOXX supplies solar-powered battery boxes to customers in developing countries. Their remote monitoring and battery management system was one of the winners of the 2015 Bloomberg New Energy Finance Award.

A tractor going over a digital map that has been projected onto a field.
  • Food & agriculture
  • Issue 64

Precision farming

Technologies such as global positioning systems and guided vehicles are being developed to create an era of precision farming. Professor Richard Godwin FREng explains how these initiatives can combine accuracy and control of field operations leading to increased efficiency and yields.

A headshot of Nick Mckeown.
  • Software & computer science
  • Profiles
  • Issue 64

Evolving the internet

He may have given the world the technology that speeded up the internet, but in his next move, Professor Nick McKeown FREng plans to replace those networks he helped create.

Male structural engineer draws on whiteboard.
  • Design & manufacturing
  • Opinion
  • Issue 64

Design and technology- averting a crisis

Design and Technology (D&T) lessons give students practical experience of applying technological solutions to solve problems. Richard Green, Chief Executive of the Design and Technology Association, argues that changes to school league table assessment criteria are damaging the supply line of future engineers.