Archive for October 6th, 2009

Smart Speed Bumps

Smart Speed Bumps Address Environmental, Safety Concerns.

USA Today (10/6, Hawley) reports that “concerns over the environment – and the utter annoyance of having to brake and accelerate frequently – have prompted one Mexican state government to embrace a ‘smart’ speed bump that could make driving smoother, without sacrificing safety.”  The smart bump, “being developed by Mexico-based Decano Industries, automatically lowers into the ground when drivers go the speed limit or slower.  Drive too fast, and the bump stays up.”  With this speed bump, said Decano Industries President Carlos Cano, “people will feel rewarded for obeying the law.”  USA Today notes, “The technology is relatively basic:  The speed bump is formed by two steel plates that form a triangle sticking out of the pavement.  When a car tire touches the plate, a patented device under the triangle measures the force of the impact.”

Reposted from the October 6, 2009 ASEE First Bell briefing.

Sustainable Energy Future Speaker Series

A Strategic Perspective on the “Biology” of Smart Grid by Clement Chen

Smart grid is commonly viewed as the “internetization” of the electric power system that promises to help enable a sustainable energy future.  The question that is not often asked is what happens when millions of new entities join the grid as “micro” utilities and start interacting with an infrastructure that is becoming highly networked with ever-increasing automation.  This trend points to an environment that may become increasingly “biological” and lend itself to unintended consequences.

This talk will occur on Friday October 9, 2009 at 3 PM in room 205 of the Mechanical Engineering Building.  The event is free and everyone is invited to attend.  Refreshments will be served.

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October 2009