Mechanical Engineering

Are Your Headphones 3D Enough?

2019-11-13T11:43:59-08:00 August 27th, 2019|Electrical Engineering, Entertainment, Issue IV, Mechanical Engineering, Music, Volume XIX|

Written by: Lauren Lawson About the Author: Lauren is a junior at USC, studying biomedical engineering. In her free time she volunteers for the Make-A-Wish USC chapter, participates in the executive boards of multiple on-campus organizations, and is in Alpha Gamma Delta. Introduction Imagine the ultimate headphone experience: just like listening to your favorite song [...]

Bottling the Problem: Drinking Water

2019-11-13T11:39:30-08:00 July 1st, 2019|Energy & Sustainability, Food & Drink, Industrial Engineering, Issue III, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XIX|

Written by: Augustine Au Augustine is a junior studying Business Administration at the University of Southern California. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and aspires to use his knowledge to positively impact his community. Abstract The development of bottled drinking water has revolutionized the way in which the world has acquired and consumed water. This article [...]

The Magic Touch: Human Anatomy Inspires Robotic Hand Design

2018-10-31T12:34:35-07:00 October 30th, 2018|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue III, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XVIII|

Abstract For decades, the field of robotics has progressed slowly in attempts to develop a robotic hand as dexterous as the human hand. However, recent research efforts are entertaining the idea that the key to creating a dexterous robotic hand may be in artificially re-creating the muscle- and tendon-based approach that controls the human hand. [...]

Touchscreen: an Engineered Harmony between Humans and Machines

2018-10-31T12:34:55-07:00 October 30th, 2018|Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, History & Society, Issue III, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XVIII|

Abstract Touchscreens change the way we interact with computers and machines. They remove physical buttons, make computers and machines easier and more fun to interact with, and integrate more technology into our everyday lives. Touchscreens also allow us to humanize or anthropomorphize devices because it reduces the barrier between the user and the device. While [...]

To Float or Not to Float?

2018-11-05T12:10:38-08:00 October 26th, 2018|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume XVIII, Water|

Abstract Norway is a Northern European country made up of thousands of fjords— expanses of water often surrounded by steep cliffs. For more than a century, the country has been using a combination of road, rail, and ferry crossings to span the trail from southern to northern Norway, a trip that takes over 20 hours [...]

From Shark Skin to Speed

2017-11-29T17:11:19-08:00 March 21st, 2017|Biomedical Engineering, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Lifestyle, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Volume XVIII, Water|

Sharks inspire a feeling of awe in many people, partly due to their natural speed and representation of power. Through modern biomimicry, scientists have been able to imitate shark skin and design speed-enhancing technologies to benefit transportation, medicine, and apparel design. Introduction When visiting a local aquarium, there is no lack of spectacles that may [...]

The Future of Food: 3D Printing

2018-01-19T06:15:02-08:00 October 5th, 2016|Issue III, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XVII|

3D printing is the process of building up a 3D object by depositing materials layer by layer onto the print bed of a 3D printer. The materials most commonly used to produce the 3D objects have been plastics and metals, but recently researchers, engineers, scientists and food connoisseurs have begun to experiment with edible materials. [...]

Hoverboards: Gliding to the Future

2018-01-19T06:28:42-08:00 May 20th, 2016|Electrical Engineering, Issue II, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XVII|

Hoverboards have been a dream put into people’s imagination by movies and other science fiction works, but now they have become a reality. By using the concepts of magnetism, hoverboards have been developed that levitate a few inches off the ground while allowing the rider to maneuver across metal surfaces. This technology would not just [...]

From Ship Navigators to Agent 007: Cultural and Engineering Significance of Mechanical Watches

2018-01-19T06:27:32-08:00 May 20th, 2016|Issue II, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XVII|

Although today, they are primarily known as fashion statements, mechanical watches have a long history of being a significant piece of mechanical engineering. Their development enabled long-distance ship travel, and for hundreds of years, they were the superior method for timekeeping. With up to hundreds of moving parts, mechanical watches are one of the most [...]

The Artificial Natural “World”

2017-10-26T18:20:18-07:00 March 1st, 2014|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue I, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XVI|

Dubai intrigues the world with its luxurious artificial islands. These man-made paradises display the innovative strategies of modern engineering as it involves the collaboration of the most notable engineering firms for land reclamation. The most famous island, Palm Jumeirah, attracts thousands of vacationers a day, and with this increase in tourism, the ruler of the [...]

Automotive Active Safety Systems

2017-11-03T17:33:24-07:00 May 1st, 2013|Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Ergonomics, Issue III, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume XV|

Automotive active safety systems have saved many thousands of lives since their introduction. From simple headlights to automated emergency braking, active safety systems use advances in engineering to make driving safer. By making a vehicle more visible to other drivers, better informing a driver of road hazards, and even taking total control of an automobile [...]

Smoking without Smoke: Engineering the Cigarette

2017-11-03T17:08:03-07:00 December 14th, 2012|Electrical Engineering, Health & Medicine, History & Society, Issue I, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XV|

Electronic cigarettes deliver the same nicotine as traditional cigarettes but with fewer additives. They offer themselves as an alternative to traditional cigarettes and possibly as an effective nicotine replacement therapy. Being that they are less harmful to our environment, electronic cigarettes are a strong example of how engineers are seeking to reshape our world for [...]

Mommy, I Want a Jetpack

2017-11-10T18:40:01-08:00 August 7th, 2012|Aerospace Engineering, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Transportation|

Since the 1920s, science fiction has glamorized the jetpack as futuristic technology. After almost one hundred years and only moderate levels of success, people today are left wondering if the jetpack will ever become a reality. By exploring its origins and analyzing recurring design flaws, one can understand the jetpack’s slow development. The success of [...]

Uncovering the Secrets of the Mariana Trench

2017-11-10T14:55:38-08:00 May 2nd, 2012|Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Space, Transportation, Volume XIV, Water|

In March 2012, James Cameron became the third person in history to dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the lowest point on earth. The conditions in the bottom of the ocean are very harsh due to intense hydrostatic pressures and a lack of light. Nevertheless, deep sea diving allows us to study the [...]

Space-Based Solar Power: A New Path Towards Sustainable, Clean Energy?

2017-11-10T18:45:54-08:00 April 21st, 2012|Aerospace Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue III, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Power, Security & Defense, Space, Volume XIV|

Space-based solar power (SBSP) is an idea that has been alternatively promoted and ignored since its inception in 1968. A space-based solar power system is essentially a satellite comprised mainly of solar panels that beams electrical energy down to a collecting station on Earth, which then distributes that energy to the domestic power grid. The [...]

Power-Generating Fashion: A Look into Smart Textiles

2017-11-11T17:31:33-08:00 December 7th, 2011|Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Ergonomics, Issue III, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Volume XIII|

Technology has advanced the functions of clothing to a new level through the creation of power-generating textiles. These materials are made of solar cell or piezoelectric fabric that will allow enough electricity to be generated to recharge a small, portable electronic device. With additional engineering and research, clothing that can recharge any portable electronic device [...]

The Dog’s Nose Knows…Or Does It? Explosives Detection by Mechanical and Electrical “Noses”

2017-11-10T14:51:19-08:00 December 1st, 2011|Electrical Engineering, Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Security & Defense, Volume XIV|

Explosives have been and continue to be a major threat to airports and military personnel across the globe. With the endless amount of information available on the Internet and with technology advancing at an incredibly rapid rate, dangerous weapons have never been so easy to manufacture. Not only are newly made explosives a concern to [...]

Stealth Characteristics of the F-22 Raptor

2017-11-10T14:49:38-08:00 December 1st, 2011|Aerospace Engineering, Issue II, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Security & Defense, Volume XIV|

The F-22 Raptor was developed by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Boeing. Though initially developed to serve as an air superiority fighter, which meant that it would take control of enemy airspace and destroy any opposition, it has developed into more of a multi-role vehicle. The F-22 is an overwhelming vehicle with capabilities that enable [...]

Flying Cars and the Future of Civil Transportation

2017-11-11T17:15:49-08:00 July 13th, 2011|Aerospace Engineering, Issue I, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume XIII|

Though many have tried and failed, those attempting to combine ground and sky with street-legal aircraft are presented with a new window of opportunity through which they can feasibly offer their innovations to the masses. Joint exploratory research conducted by NASA and the FAA has created the groundwork for an overhaul of our nation’s airspace [...]

If You Can Think It, You Can Print It: Exploring the Possibilities of 3D Printing

2017-11-11T17:25:55-08:00 April 6th, 2011|Computer Science, Issue III, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XIII|

Utilizing precision computer control and harnessing advances in materials science, the development of the three-dimensional (3D) printer has opened up a new realm of manufacturing possibilities. The 3D printer is a device which can create three dimensional objects from plastics and metals. Complex geometries and surfaces are now reproducible. While initially developed for the manufacturing [...]

Drag Reduction: The Pursuit of Better Fuel Economy

2017-11-03T17:50:23-07:00 April 4th, 2011|Aerospace Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Mechanical Engineering, Power, Transportation, Volume XIV|

Aerodynamics was first used to increase vehicle performance in race cars during the 1970s. Race car engineers realized that air flowing around the vehicle could be used to increase downforce and reduce aerodynamic drag on the car. As fuel economy became a strong factor in road vehicle design, engineers soon realized that the methods of [...]

The World’s Most Attractive Magnet that is not Attracting Attention

2017-11-03T17:59:18-07:00 March 11th, 2011|Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XIV|

Invented in 1983, the neodymium magnet, though not well-known, is the world’s most powerful permanent magnet. Composed of approximately 70% iron, 5% boron, and 25% neodymium, neodymium magnets are utilized in electric motors, smart phones, hard drives, headphones, speakers, and many more applications. Compared with its predecessor, the Samarium Cobalt magnet, it is 1.5 to [...]

Engineering Super Strength: Combining Man and Machine

2017-11-12T22:48:40-08:00 June 15th, 2009|Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Security & Defense, Volume XI|

The strength of famous superheroes may at last be within our grasp, as engineers develop powered exoskeletons to augment the abilities of the human body with mechanical force. Combining the principles of hydraulic pressure and computer simulation, these suits allow the wearer to complete feats of strength previously confined to comic books and the silver [...]

The Science Behind Tennis Racquet Performance and Choosing the Right Racquet

2017-11-11T17:18:44-08:00 November 4th, 2005|Entertainment, Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Sports & Recreation, Volume VIII|

The quest of finding the perfect tennis racquet can be very arduous. There are so many factors to consider when choosing a racquet. One's playing style along with various features of a racquet should all be taken into consideration. The sweet spot, moment, torque, torsion, impulse reaction, shock, work, power and control are important aspects [...]

Atomic Clock: The Atlas of Our Time

2017-11-03T10:57:32-07:00 November 4th, 2005|History & Society, Issue II, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Volume VIII|

In man's quest to capture time, no innovation has come closer to measuring time with precision than the atomic clock. Using Cesium-133 atoms, scientists and engineers have implemented atomic clocks in a variety of experiments and systems. Since the 1960s, atomic clocks proved to be more precise than other timekeeping methods and being so, the [...]

The Violin: The Art Behind the Sound

2018-11-07T16:38:31-08:00 October 24th, 2005|Entertainment, Issue I, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Volume VII|

The violin is regarded as one of the most important musical instruments in history, perhaps because of its fundamental role in an orchestra or the inspiration and emotion transferred to the listener upon hearing its powerfully romantic sound. While its construction concentrates on producing impeccable sound, had the violin not adhered to the laws of [...]


2017-11-11T04:06:03-08:00 October 3rd, 2005|Energy & Sustainability, Issue III, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume IX|

Turbocharging, a technology originally developed for use in aircraft, is a current trend among automobile enthusiasts. Applying a turbocharger to an internal combustion engine increases the power output of that engine, allowing for greater acceleration and higher maximum speeds. Turbochargers increase an automobile's power-to-weight ratio by harnessing the exhaust from the engine. They can also [...]

The Trebuchet

2017-11-11T03:08:48-08:00 September 5th, 2005|History & Society, Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Security & Defense, Volume IX|

The medieval battlefield was dominated by large artillery weapons, and among these the trebuchet was king. This massive weapon was eventually capable of throwing massive boulders over 250 meters, but it did not start that way. It took over 1000 years of innovation, experimentation, and modification to transform a moderately effective projectile-throwing machine into an [...]

The Metro: The Engineering Behind Madrid’s Most Valuable Asset

2017-11-11T02:55:02-08:00 July 20th, 2005|Civil Engineering, Issue II, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume VIII|

Almost every major metropolis around the globe has a mass transit system. When executed properly, these can be the most economically and physically efficient means of moving large populations through a city. Unfortunately, only a few of these systems in the United States have been designed or operated well enough to merit recognition; namely, Boston [...]

UAVs: Engineering in Action

2017-11-11T02:57:10-08:00 May 3rd, 2005|Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Security & Defense, Volume VIII|

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are a fusion of many engineering disciplines. They are the premier platform for advanced communication, surveillance, and propulsion technologies. While they have recently garnered most of their press on the battlefield, an emerging commercial sector is attempting to make them part of everyday life. Introduction Anyone paying even the slightest attention [...]

The Changing Face of Paintball

2019-01-10T10:49:13-08:00 December 7th, 2003|Issue V, Mechanical Engineering, Sports & Recreation, Volume V|

At its essence, paintball is about marking other players with gelatin capsules filled with colored dye shot from a gun powered by compressed gas. While the fundamentals of the game have not changed since its inception, the technologies behind many of its principles have advanced. Fuelling this change is the development of newer, more sophisticated [...]

Collaborative Engineering Creates Artificial Mega-Structure at the Port of Los Angeles

2019-01-10T11:52:29-08:00 April 4th, 2003|Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Issue III, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Volume V|

It is not uncommon to see distinctions drawn between civil and environmental engineering projects. Preconceptions are regularly formed over what truly constitutes an environmentally friendly task, and these preconceptions rarely include the work of civil engineers. However, many engineering wonders exist primarily due to the interaction between these two disciplines. One such marvel, the Port [...]

The Quest for the Perfect Racket: Advances in Tennis Racket Design

2019-01-10T11:58:32-08:00 December 6th, 2002|Issue I, Mechanical Engineering, Sports & Recreation, Volume V|

The tennis racket has experienced continuous improvements to meet the performance demands of professional players. In designing a better tennis racket, engineers and scientists need to understand exactly what happens when the ball collides with the racket. The racket frame, strings, and tennis ball experience energy transfer, resulting in deformations of all three components. With [...]

Formula One Race Cars: Blurring the Lines between Art and Science

2018-11-07T13:20:19-08:00 April 1st, 2002|Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Sports & Recreation, Volume VI|

In order for the Formula One industry to produce some of the fastest cars in the world, art, science, and engineering must find common ground. Fierce competition and numerous regulations necessitate new design approaches in order to gain the few milliseconds that can separate the winners from the losers. Designers, engineers and computer scientists utilize [...]

Dynamics of the M16 Assault Rifle

2017-10-27T11:30:50-07:00 October 1st, 2001|Issue II, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Volume I|

The news media has recently portrayed assault rifles as an evil of society. However, the assault rifle is often a misunderstood device. The M16, the standard assault rifle used by the United States military and many other defensive forces throughout the world, derives its popularity from its durability, efficiency, accuracy, and variable fire rate. The [...]

Minerva: A Pioneer in Everyday Robots

2017-10-30T11:32:02-07:00 November 11th, 2000|Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Volume III|

Robots are often relegated to the realm of fantasy. But Minerva, an interactive tour-guide robot, which was successfully exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum, has brought robotics to everyday life. Robots: Cuddly or Deadly? From the terrifying annihilators of Terminator II to the cute, artificial creature of Short Circuit, contemporary science fiction has done so much to shape people's [...]

The Engineering Behind the Perfect Cup of Joe

2017-10-30T11:40:37-07:00 September 16th, 2000|Chemical Engineering, Food & Drink, Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Volume III|

From perfecting the coffee bean preparation process to creating the various machines used to brew the java, it has taken hundreds of years of scientific knowledge and engineering to bring the process of coffee making to the state it is in today. Creating new systems for roasting coffee beans requires that many chemical and mechanical [...]

Roller Coasters

2017-10-26T18:41:57-07:00 April 1st, 2000|Aerospace Engineering, Issue I, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Sports & Recreation, Volume I|

Millions of people ride roller coasters every year and have turned the roller coaster business into a billion dollar industry. Usually, while the passengers are whizzing around on the hills of the coaster they aren't thinking about the designers that made the rides possible or the laws of physics that coasters are based on. Roller [...]