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Articles on Engineering

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Magnetic fusion reactors contain super hot plasma in a donut-shaped container called a tokamak. dani3315/iStock via Getty Images

Nuclear fusion hit a milestone thanks to better reactor walls – this engineering advance is building toward reactors of the future

In January 2022, the JET fusion experiment produced more power over a longer period of time than any past attempt. Two physicists explain the engineering advancements that made the result possible.
Minority STEM majors are more likely than their white peers to switch fields. andresr/E+ via Getty Images

4 ways to help STEM majors stay the course

Colleges don’t have to sit by and watch STEM majors leave for other fields. Two Ph.D. biology students share tips for encouraging students to stick with STEM despite the difficulty involved.
Without a diverse range of test subjects, some new technologies could fail to work as intended for many people. John Paul Van Wert/Rank Studios/Flickr

Building machines that work for everyone – how diversity of test subjects is a technology blind spot, and what to do about it

It’s easy for researchers to fall back on using test subjects from the communities around them – students and employees. Branching out is key to avoiding technology that fails certain populations.
Engineering classes at the University of San Diego have started integrating discussions of the social impact of technology like drones. Gordon Hoople

Future engineers need to understand their work’s human impact – here’s how my classes prepare students to tackle problems like climate change

Solving mathematical equations is only part of the job. Students should be spending more time thinking about the human dimensions of the problems they are trying to solve.
Female engineers were more likely to ask for help from their female than male colleagues. alvarez/E+ via Getty Images

For engineers, asking for help at work is influenced by gender

In the male-dominated engineering industry, where women represent only about 11% of the workforce, gender influences whom individuals turn to for answers to questions.
Low-cost air-ventilation systems have been installed in many classrooms across the U.S. to help reduce COVID-19 transmission. Halfpoint Images/Moment via Getty Images

COVID-19 has spurred investments in air filtration for K-12 schools – but these technologies aren’t an instant fix

Air-ventilation upgrades have been badly needed in U.S. classrooms since long before the pandemic. Low-tech filtration systems that cost about the same as a textbook per student can make a big difference.

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