Reading List – The Paralympics, engineering education, and Europe in 12 lessons

Europe in 12 Lessons

The Paralympic games in Rio is now underway. During the next week, the world will have the chance to see a range of technologies designed to make life for the disabled easier. Prosthetic limbs provide mobility to Paralympic athletes – but artificial limbs are far from perfect. A new prosthetic limb has incorporated robotic control in the knee and the foot. A number of sensors help this limb adapt to different types of terrain, making life for amputees that little bit easier. Read more about this smart technology based on biological systems in Ingenia.

There is an ongoing debate around the use of Neonicotinoids. In 2013, the EU banned these substances because of the link between their use and bee deaths. A recent study by researchers investigated the link between their use on oilseed rape seeds and bee populations. This will be one of many pieces of research that will support a review by the European Food Standards Agency on the dangers posed by neonicotinoids to bees.

To what extent should engineering education at UK universities be based on engineering practice? One of the criticisms of engineering degree courses is that they place too much focus on theoretical engineering, and not enough on practical engineering skills. This issue is explored in an article “experience: the father of wisdom,” published in The Chemical Engineer. Many engineering students do not go on to become professional engineers. Some engineering departments may respond to this shift by moving away from teaching skills demanded by the engineering sector. This could change engineering as we know it. Read more.

This cool infographic shows how cutting edge methods, materials and technology are improving the environmental performance of buildings, and speeding up how they are built.

What has the European Union done for us? You may have already seen Monty Python’s The Life of Brian explain what the EU has ever done for us, but do you really understand how the EU works, and why it was set up? Europe in 12 lessons explains all this – time to brush up on your knowledge of the EU.

If you’ve reached the bottom of this reading list and haven’t clicked a single link… Just Imagine.