engineers

Ancient Persian engineers made their own freezers that kept ice cold - even during desert summers. By 400 BCE, they’d perfected the ‘yakhchal,’ which which are made of thick, heat-resistant materials with vents that funnel breezes to an underground storage area and push warm air out through the top. Ice brought in during winter was used to make chilled treats in the summer. Source

Women are better coders, research shows

Researchers from the computer science departments at California Polytechnic State University and North Carolina State University gathered data from nearly 1.4 million GitHub users, and the results are in: Women are better at writing code. The researchers also found proof of a specific bias.

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theverge.com
Apollo software engineer Margaret Hamilton receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
President Obama awarded his last Presidential Medal of Freedom - the highest US honor given to a civilian - in a packed ceremony on Tuesday, according to The New York Times.
By Anisa Purbasari

“Margaret Hamilton, the woman behind the onboard flight software for NASA Apollo lunar modules and command modules, was among the 21 recipients.

Hamilton, who invented the term “software engineer,” began her career as a computer programmer at MIT in the 1960s. In August 1961, NASA issued a contract to MIT to design the spacecraft’s guidance and navigational system. Hamilton presided over the in-flight software group, which included overseeing the alarm system that would give a warning when the computer was overloaded, but at the same time allowed it to switch its focus to critical tasks and stop doing non-critical tasks.

This alarm system proved to be crucial in the moments leading up to Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong’s Moon landing when it rang due to a faulty radar. But it allowed Aldrin and Armstrong to continue with the landing as the computer informed the crew that it was shedding its less-important functions to focus on steering the engine during the spacecraft’s descent.

During the award ceremony, Obama said Hamilton represents “that generation of unsung women who helped send humankind into space.” Her prominence as a woman in technology came into focus at the end of 2015, when an image of her was tweeted in reference to IBM’s awkward and much criticized #HackAHairDryer campaign.

Read the full piece here

CONGRATULATIONS MARGARET HAMILTON!!!

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Today the Mars Orbiter Mission, better known as Mangalyaan, was inserted into a Mars orbit. The successful insertion makes India the fourth nation to reach Mars after the US, the Soviet Union and Europe. In the pictures are ISRO scientist and engineers celebrating its success.

Congratulations to ISRO and its scientist and engineers!

Images sources: x, y

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All-female high school engineering team creates breakthrough device for people in wheelchairs

A group of female engineers at Berlin High School in New York are building a way for people with disabilities to participate in physical activity.

Their invention is essentially a control panel with a robotic mount and arm that will allow a disabled person without a full range of motion to throw a small object like a ball back and forth. The device is on its way to MIT.

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Telegraph Jobs made an impressive database of women in space. It features both astronauts, engineers and scientist. And all entries have a bit of information about the person.

If you are not on there, fear not, they encourage women active in space science or engineering to contact them to make their list more impressive.

As they say it themselves:

We would love to hear from all you women out there and would like to encourage more females to make an impact around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), to take the opportunity to study in these fascinating fields and to venture off into deep space.

The world, planets and space awaits you, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Go check it out!

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Engineering student Matthew Nelson is leading an effort to graduate 10,000 black engineers annually

Matthew Nelson, 32,  is an engineering student and national chairperson for the National Society for Black Engineers, or NSBE. NSBE is a student-governed nonprofit that seeks to connect black engineers with STEM careers and increase networking opportunities within the black community. Nelson’s big goal is to get 10,000 black engineering graduates annually by 2025. How? Exposure.

In collaboration with the U.S. Air Force

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This startup is manufacturing 3D printers out of a garage in Nairobi, Kenya

Roy Ombati is no ordinary engineer. Last year, when he was 26, he co-founded African Born 3D Printing (AB3D) with his classmate, Karl Heinz, from Cameroon. When you meet these young men and a young lady co-worker, Wendy Banja, you see in their eyes and demeanour the passionate entrepreneurs that they are.

[…]

They decided to take part in a project that was supported by a Dutch non-governmental organisation, Hivos, dubbed “Happy Feet”, which was supposed to print customised shoes for people with feet deformed by jiggers.After printing a number of shoes, they wanted to scale up and take the printers nearer to the people who needed the service most.

Due to the high capital cost of purchasing several 3D printers at Sh500,000 for each location, they abandoned their dream and decided to make their own printers in the hope that they would one day be able to make larger printers and distribute them throughout the country.

Since then, they have manufactured more than 40 printers, sourcing all materials locally. They sell each printer for Sh35,000, way cheaper than similar imported ones, which cost more than Sh200,000. They supplement their sales through printing car parts, plastic prototypes and other plastic gadgets. They also manufacture the raw material used to print a product.

The raw material is made from waste plastics, so AB3D closely works with garbage collectors to harvest the plastics and shred them into pellets, which are then converted into a strand that feeds into the printer to create a product. They also collect e-waste and use most of it to build printers.