Reasons why megaprojects fail

Academics at UCL have identified 18 reasons why megaprojects such as HS2 and Crossrail often fail, as well as 54 preventative solutions. For the first time, academics developed a systematic literature review of the causes and cures of poor megaproject performance. They identified six key themes and looked at areas where a project might fail, … Read more

Ancient Mediterranean seawall first known defense against sea level rise and it failed

Ancient Neolithic villagers on the Carmel Coast in Israel built a seawall to protect their settlement against rising sea levels in the Mediterranean, revealing humanity’s struggle against rising oceans and flooding stretches back thousands of years. An international team of researchers from the University of Haifa, Flinders University in Australia, the Israel Antiquities Authority and … Read more

Can we develop computer chips that run on light?

Just beyond the horizon of practicality, researchers are trying to develop a new generation of chips that would control photons as reliably as today’s chips control electrons. But after years of effort they’re still grappling with a crucial step: identifying the best material to trap and tame light. Jelena Vuckovic has already devoted some 20 … Read more

Armored with plastic ‘hair’ and silica, new perovskite nanocrystals show more durability

Perovskite nanocrystals hold promise for improving a wide variety of optoelectronic devices – from lasers to light emitting diodes (LEDs) – but problems with their durability still limit the material’s broad commercial use. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated a novel approach aimed at addressing the material’s durability problem: encasing the perovskite … Read more

Industrial bread dough kneaders could use physics-based redesign

Bakers have been crafting bread for more than 6,000 years with four simple ingredients: flour, salt, water and yeast. Apart from using high-quality ingredients, the kneading process and amount of time the dough is given to rise ultimately determine the bread’s quality. During kneading, air is incorporated into the dough matrix, which develops the gluten … Read more

Light-trapping nanocubes drive inexpensive multispectral camera

Researchers at Duke University have demonstrated photodetectors that could span an unprecedented range of light frequencies by using on-chip spectral filters created by tailored electromagnetic materials. The combination of multiple photodetectors with different frequency responses on a single chip could enable lightweight, inexpensive multispectral cameras for applications such as cancer surgery, food safety inspection and … Read more

3D imaging of computer chips for security, quality control and reverse engineering

Any object, whether natural or not, has essential features that can range anywhere between millimeters to nanometers. For example, if we want to study a computer chip, we need to get a 3D view of its overall structure as well as its integrated circuits – and we need to do that without destroying it. However, … Read more

Researchers advance organ-on-chip technology to advance drug development

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed an organ-on-an-electronic-chip platform, which uses bioelectrical sensors to measure the electrophysiology of the heart cells in three dimensions. These 3D, self-rolling biosensor arrays coil up over heart cell spheroid tissues to form an “organ-on-e-chip,” thus enabling the researchers to study … Read more

Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

Smartphones that don’t scratch or shatter. Metal-free pacemakers. Electronics for space and other harsh environments. These could all be made possible thanks to a new ceramic welding technology developed by a team of engineers at the University of California San Diego and the University of California Riverside. The process, published in the Aug. 23 issue … Read more