"Engineering is not the handmaiden of physics any more than medicine is of biology" What…
“We must ensure this never happens again.”
This is a common reaction to instances of catastrophic failure. However, in complex engineering systems, this statement is inherently paradoxical. If the right lessons are learned and the appropriate measures are taken, the same failure will most likely never happen again. But, catastrophes in themselves are not completely preventable, […]
“Engineering is not the handmaiden of physics any more than medicine is of biology”
What is science? And how is it different from engineering? The two disciplines are closely related and the differences seem subtle at first, but science and engineering ultimately have different goals.
A scientist attempts to gain knowledge about the underlying structure of the […]
Earlier this year, I had the privilege of working on a research project at NASA’s Langley Research Centre. Apart from interacting with world-renowned scientists and engineers, what impressed me most was the mind-blowing heritage of the site.
NASA Langley is the birthplace of large-scale, government-funded aeronautical research in the US. It was home to […]
“Big data” is all abuzz in the media these days. As more and more people are connected to the internet and sensors become ubiquitous parts of daily hardware an unprecedented amount of information is being produced. Some analysts project 40% growth in data over the next decade, which means that in a decade 30 times the […]
When I was travelling in Chile a short while ago I took a flight from the capital Santiago de Chile to the city of Calama in the Atacama dessert. What was interesting about this flight, was that on its way to Calama the airplane landed for a short stop in Copiapó. Immediately after leaving the runway […]
Adrian Bejan is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University and as an offshoot from his thermodynamics research he has pondered the question why evolution exists in natural i.e. biological and geophysical, and man-made i.e. technological realms. To account for the progress of design in evolution Prof. Bejan conceived the constructal […]
Vanity Fair recently featured an excellent article on Air France Flight 447 that crashed into the Atlantic in 2009. It is a long read, but if you have 30 min to spare it will be a great educational investment.
The author, William Langewiesche, does a good job at weaving multiple aspects of aeronautics, […]
This blog has focused much on the technical side of aviation. One of the biggest drivers in civil aviation is passenger safety and the last 40 years have brought tremendous advances on this front, with aviation now being the safest mode of transport. A lot of this has to […]
Nassim Nicholas Taleb coined the term “Antifragility” in his book of the same name. Antifragility describes objects that gain from random perturbations, i.e. disorder. Taleb writes,
Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure , risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the […]
The flight envelope of an aeroplane can be divided into two regimes. The first is rectilinear flight in a straight line, i.e. the aircraft does not accelerate normal to the direction of flight. The second is curvilinear flight, which, as the name suggests, involves flight in a curved path with acceleration normal to tangential flight […]
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