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Issues

Issue 77

December 2018

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A person holding an Owlstone Medical device that captures breath samples.
  • Health & medical
  • Issue 77

An easier way to diagnose disease

A breathalyser that can save lives and money won the 2018 MacRobert Award. Breath Biopsy®, the chemical analysis of volatile compounds in exhaled breath, lies behind this innovative approach to medical diagnosis. Science writer Michael Kenward OBE learned about the clever engineering behind the technology and how it is being used to collect and analyse breath samples on a wider scale.

The front of Claridge's hotel, with flags such as the British, Irish and American flag hung above the entrance.
  • Civil & structural
  • Issue 77

Going underground underneath London’s Claridge’s hotel

Engineers are completing a new five-storey basement underneath London’s Claridge’s, with no interruption to the hotel overhead. This extraordinary achievement has been made possible by traditional mining techniques and state-of-the-art structural and geotechnical engineering.

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  • Technology & robotics
  • Issue 77

Speech recognition

Speech recognition is a machine or program’s ability to recognise spoken words and phrases and convert them into a machine-readable format. The software is now a common feature in several devices, including smartphones, computers and virtual assistants.

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  • Energy
  • Materials
  • How I got here
  • Issue 77

Q&A: Rahul Mandal

Dr Rahul Mandal is a Research Associate in the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield, and winner of The Great British Bake Off 2018.

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Two hands playing the ROLI instrument, stretched out across the silicon touchpad.
  • Arts & culture
  • Electricals & electronics
  • Innovation Watch
  • Issue 77

A new way to make music

A team of engineers has developed a range of instruments that is changing the way people make music. ROLI combines digital technologies and pressure-sensitive silicone so that users can generate sounds with the lightest touch.

A young female engineering apprentice works on a circuit board.
  • Issue 77

Collaboration is key for degree apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are often seen as a less prestigious route into engineering than university study and a degree. However, with the introduction of placements that include a bachelor’s or master’s qualification, this looks set to change. Richard Hamer, Education and Skills Director at BAE Systems, believes that closer partnership between key stakeholders presents a real opportunity to make degree apprenticeships a great success.

Professor Sir Saeed Zahedi OBE FREng standing on a stage in front of a microphone, giving a talk, with a board saying 'Innovation is great Britain' behind him.
  • Health & medical
  • Profiles
  • Issue 77

Developing the first integrated prosthetic leg

Professor Sir Saeed Zahedi OBE RDI FREng combined his interest in mechanical engineering and medicine during a time where biomedical engineering only had a few research groups. He is now Chief Technology Officer and Technical Director of the Blatchford Group, running a team that developed the first integrated prosthetic leg.

An earth observation image of Europe.
  • Software & computer science
  • Issue 77

The evolution of Earth observation

Satellite images are used to monitor changes in Earth’s natural and built environments, with applications in areas as diverse as land use, natural disasters and climate change. Developments in technology are making this data more widely accessible and easier to use. Science writer Tereza Pultarova spoke to companies that are using the data to solve problems on Earth and how artificial intelligence is helping them to do that more quickly.

The empty chairs and football field at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
  • Civil & structural
  • Sports & leisure
  • Issue 77

The football pitch in three pieces

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is part of a regeneration project that has transformed the stadium and surrounding area. As well as being home to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the stadium will host NFL games in the UK, and to accommodate both sports, the stadium boasts the world’s first dividing sliding pitch.

A person in a williams' racing suit and helmet in a supermarket, holding a basket of groceries.
  • Design & manufacturing
  • Energy
  • Issue 77

Warm response to fluid dynamics

Technology that makes racing cars go faster is now saving energy in supermarkets and reducing the ‘frozen aisle’ effect often found near the chiller cabinets. An established engineering company and a startup business worked together to bring this new engineering to the market.