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Design007-Aug2019

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AUGUST 2019 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 27 Ferrari: Years ago, several of the chapters used to hold open forums for local high schools; it has to start there. I went around to several high schools, speaking to their student guidance counselors. Re- member, high school students have to decide in their junior year if they want to go to college, and if so, which one and what kind of field they're in- terested in pursuing. I asked them, "What oppor- tunities do you have on your list for printed wiring board design?" because those occupations do not exist on their list. How do you encourage a stu- dent to go into printed wiring board design if the profession doesn't exist? Shaughnessy: Most high school guidance counsel- ors have no clue about this job. What can we do to break through? Ferrari: Some Designers Council chapters brought in a CAD supplier with computers. The students loved the challenge of routing those conductors like a Pac-Man game from years ago. We brought in assemblers with assembly videos and samples, and we did the same for fabricators. These events were very successful. Now, we are in a generation where technology is going crazy. Currently, the in- dustry does not have replacements for older de- signers reaching retirement age. Seeking replace- ments at the college level is worth a try, but I think it's too late by then. You have to reach them at the high school level so they can select appropriately when looking at further education. We have several Designers Council chapters now that are looking into being able to provide that, and I think it goes along with what we are talking about with the technology. It all starts with design and the younger generation. Who's flying all of our drones over in Asia and the U.S.? They keep plucking them out of the schools. Shaughnessy: Well, I'm glad to see design and de- signers are getting a little bit more respect. Ferrari: Let's see if it keeps up. Shaughnessy: It has been great talking to you, Gary. Thanks. Ferrari: Thank you. DESIGN007 Making Robots Sweat With Smart Surfaces That Act as Artificial Skin The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has award- ed three million euros to seven early-stage re- searchers in physics and chemistry through the START-UP programme. Among them, Danqing Liu, assistant professor at the Department of Chem- ical Engineering and Chemistry of TU/e. Liu re- ceives nearly 411,000 euros, which will be used to develop smart surfaces that can secrete fluids and absorb them from their environment, in re- sponse to light or to electric fields. These surfac- es will be used to study friction during motion, for self-cleaning systems, and for robotic and health care applications. Inspired by the skins of living creatures, Liu develops smart surfaces that can repeatedly re- lease and reabsorb substances under environ- mental stimuli, such as light and electricity. In robots, especially in humanoid robots plac- ing high torque demands on their motors, the generated heat represents a major constraint on their performance. Currently, engineers solve this problem by using fans or bulky radiators, which take up space and add mass. In the future, the smart surfaces developed by Liu might be used to develop artificial skins which could "make robots sweat, cool down and perform better." Liu attempts to fill the gap between molecular sciences and material science. "I develop new materials like silicones, hydrogels and liquid crys- tal polymers, at submicrometer length scales," she explains. These materials are "responsive," meaning that they can sense external stimuli and adapt to those via built-in sensory systems. (Source: Eindhoven University of Technology)

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