Welcome to the year 2016, where robots are giving dogs and diamonds a run for their money as humanity’s best friend! Robots are used in a diversity of industries and for countless uses, some of which are explored in UOIT’s Mechatronics and Robotic Systems Laboratory, or the MARS Lab for short. Dr. Scott Nokleby founded the MARS Lab in 2005. Since then, it has seen a wide variety of projects from undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D. students. UOIT’s MARS lab consists of two separate rooms, one in UA and the other in the Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) building, and many of the projects involve autonomous robots.
Climate change is a hot topic right now (no pun intended)! Nations came together at the 21st International Conference on Climate Change in Paris with one goal in mind: figure out how to keep global warming from rising 2°C.
One possible way to reduce pollution and slow down (or even halt) climate change is to use fuel cells for many of our energy needs. Fuel cells, like batteries, produce electricity. The main difference is that batteries use stored energy inside of them to generate electricity while a fuel cell uses electricity from an external fuel tank of hydrogen gas to do so.
What’s so great about fuel cells, besides the fact that they run on what is literally the number one element on the periodic table, is that fuel cells tend to last longer than batteries, which reduces environmental waste. You can also refill a hydrogen tank in much less time than it would take to charge a battery. However, the best thing about fuel cells is that when you put hydrogen and oxygen gas into a fuel cell, you get water! Can you imagine a car that only emits water?
Red warning lights are lighting up the control panel.
You find it difficult to decipher warnings being flashed on the screens.
Alarms are going off.
You are told that a plane has just crashed into a transmission tower not too far away, with the potential of creating havoc on the electrical grid, and you have less than a minute until the real damage could begin.
Luckily, this isn’t a real emergency, but rather my first experience seeing a nuclear power plant simulatior in action.
With great (nuclear) power comes great responsibility. Can you imagine being responsible for providing electricity to millions of Ontarians? It's certainly not a simple job, so it’s no wonder that great measures go into the training of experts running nuclear power plants.
Did you know that if you were inside a nuclear reactor you would receive the same level of radiation as drinking a banana smoothie?
Radiation is prevalent in our everyday lives, so much so that we can use a fruit as a comparison for the doses we could receive from living near a nuclear reactor, flying to Europe or even getting an X-ray or a session of radiotherapy (can you imagine eating 20,000,000 bananas at once for the last one?).
UOIT is a university that prides itself on its innovative programs in science and technology. We have two engineering faculties with a wide range of programs: the Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science and the Faculty of Energy Systems & Nuclear Science. While engineering is a popular program at UOIT and many other universities across Canada, there are still many misconceptions of engineers and the profession. To remedy this, I have compiled a list of some interesting facts that you may have previously not known about engineers.