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Abstract The SR-71 “Blackbird” was a Strategic Reconnaissance aircraft designed in the late 1950’s and built in the early 1960’s [2]. It was born out of a necessity for high performance and stealth as Soviet Union missile technology began to threaten the safety of United States Air Force pilots working
Abstract There’s a lot of research built around the field of sleep, such as the role it plays for our body from a biological standpoint (i.e. regulating metabolism, flushing out toxin build-up in the brain, consolidating learning and memory). However, one essential part of sleep is not discussed as widely
If your phone is anything like most phones these days, it probably has four buttons, and I could probably name them all, regardless of model or manufacture. Volume up, volume down, silent mode, and lock. Four buttons is not a lot to work with, yet your phone is capable of
When asked about the connotation of words such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain, most would point to lofty, technical, and even futuristic concepts: Robotics. Self-driving cars. Cryptocurrency.  For the most part, these highly functioning digital technologies are considered to be designed for the advanced, by the advanced, with

Editors’ Note – Volume XXIV Issue II

Posted by Steve Bucher on  August 28, 2023
Category: Issue II, Volume XXIV
Understanding the way we interact with engineering in our lives starts with how we perceive it– through our senses. In this issue, dive deep into the human senses with five impressive articles surrounding the use of touch, sound, and sight.    Our first article, The Powers of Melanin, showcases the
To our readers, With the rise of powerful AI text and image generation tools such as OpenAI’s Chat-GPT and DALL-E, many media organizations are grappling with how these tools should or should not be incorporated into their content. In this light, we at Illumin believe that it’s important to present
Abstract Although computers have made great jumps in efficiency and speed in the past several decades, recent developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence applications are increasingly challenging the efficiency of  powerful computers. The tremendous pressure in the computer hardware industry to significantly improve performance with each new generation of

How to Build a Dragon

Posted by Kaisey McCallion on  March 3, 2023
Category: Issue I, Volume XXIII
Abstract Dating back to the late 1800s, visual effects have long fooled film and television audiences. Modern filmmakers and VFX engineers have since taken the industry to new heights, with the Game of Thrones franchise breaking new ground with its digital implementation of three lifelike dragons. The intensive dragon-engineering process
Abstract: The engineering aspect of computer-generated imagery (CGI) is a cross-disciplined area involving computer science, physics, and mathematics. The verisimilitude of CGI is often achieved by various techniques that lead to our amazement. I will introduce four commonly used techniques in CGI production: ray-tracing, physics-based animation, randomized noise, and machine
Abstract Space films are often praised for being visually stunning and thought provoking, with a strong emphasis on realism and scientific accuracy. Part of the magic of these films are zero-gravity scenes that add to the immersive experience of the story. Simulating zero gravity is difficult, and the methods used
Abstract It is easy to see how today’s media-rich internet runs on the JPEG algorithm just by seeing how many image file names end in “.jpeg”. Since JPEG is decades old,  the fact that our internet still uses it should be strange. However, this testifies to how monumental the JPEG
Each season, we see new fashion trends emerge. Recently in women’s fashion, we’ve seen bright bags, mini skirts, and low-rise pants return to the spotlight. These items were also in style in the 90s and early 2000s but were deemed gauche by the late 2000s. Who, or what, decides these
Abstract Chili peppers can be found everywhere, incorporated into colorful dishes across continents and around the world. They have also been analyzed by scientists in various ways: the factors that influence the degree of pungency, the evolutionary theories behind their spicy nature, ways to measure their spiciness levels, how humans
Abstract The design of the volleyball has had many iterations over the years since its creation. The evolution of the ball is not simply an aesthetic change. Traditional volleyballs have six distinct panels and a smooth synthetic leather surface and are still widely used and produced. Newer volleyballs utilize rougher
Abstract Competitive swimwear has increasingly become more high-tech since the 1990s. Recently, most medals won at the Olympics were won by swimmers wearing high-tech and highly engineered swimsuits. Likewise, most world records broken in the past 10 years were broken wearing high-tech swimsuits. As such, it is important to understand
Abstract The evolution of orbital observatories has and will shape the way we learn about the universe. Ever-increasing improvements in space flight and the advancement of instruments and technology have led NASA to many groundbreaking developments and discoveries. Discussing three of NASA’s many orbital observatories, the evolution of these space
Abstract Steel is an integral part of society, having countless purposes ranging from being the building materials for buildings in our cities to the kitchen forks on our dinner tables. While its relevance emphasizes the dire need to include steel in the future of the modern world, the production process
Abstract  As global temperatures rise to record highs, one major consequence our planet must face is increasing sea levels. Rising seas threaten coastal communities and small islands through erosion of their land. To prevent further damage, engineers are experimenting with various defense methods such as building large structures and planting
Abstract  As an integrated civilization, we have long sought a cashless society in which sophisticated technological advancements help prevent financial fraud. While the conservative banking industry constantly weighed the cost of production and maintenance against consumers’ unceasing demand for more expediency and security, payment cards evolved from stripes to chips
Abstract A QR code has two dimensions that can support different kinds of data. Numeric data, alphanumeric characters, and Kanji are the three main data types. The components of the QR code include indicators and data code. The QR code has many applications in our life, such as payment, product
Abstract We encounter retroreflective materials every single day: at street corners, on crosswalks, and almost anywhere that cars can go. They mostly go unnoticed during the day, but under the cover of darkness, the roads become an optical playground. Light on the road is designed to go back towards the
Abstract  The development of Bluetooth technology has had a revolutionary effect on  simplifying everyone’s lives, erasing the need for wires. When this concept was first introduced, engineers recognized that this technology could be applied to a variety of devices. From there, they tested it on headphones, ultimately transforming the technology
Abstract NFTs, which stands for Non-Fungible Tokens, have seen explosive growth in recent years for their involvement in the exchange of expensive digital items. However, it is important to note that NFTs are not a currency. Instead, they are tokens that can represent any virtual good and prove their uniqueness

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