Browsing: Transportation

I recently had the chance to talk with the legendary Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the internet. We had a wide-ranging discussion about the past, present and future of the internet, network security and what it would take to successfully, safely and reliably merge the digital and physical worlds, a concept known as the “Internet of Things,” or IoT. As its name suggests, the internet of things will connect all kinds of things, bringing us a wealth of data about, well, everything that we can use to improve our lives. For example, internet-connected smart parking meters are helping people find available parking spaces, saving time, fuel and probably more than a few relationships. People are using fitness…

The creation of a new material has long been either an accident or a matter of trial and error. Steel, for instance, was developed over hundreds of years by people who didn’t know why what they were doing worked (or didn’t work). Generations of blacksmiths observed that iron forged in charcoal was stronger than iron that wasn’t, and iron that was forged in a very high-temperature, charcoal-fired furnace and rapidly cooled was even stronger, and so on. While we’re still learning things about steel, we now have all kinds of recipes that we can use to make steels with different properties depending on the application, but those recipes took a lot of time, sweat and toil to develop. Wouldn’t it…

For as long as we have had automobiles, we have had traffic accidents. Even the vehicles that we depend on to take care of us in the event of an accident — ambulances — get into accidents nearly every day. Because ambulances are basically a small emergency room on wheels, the occupants in the back are at perhaps even more serious risk of being injured or killed during an accident than those in other vehicles. This is especially true when you consider that ambulances are often weaving through traffic at high speed on the way to the hospital. According to a 20-year National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study (PDF), there is an average of 4,500 crashes involving ambulances every…

Depending on whom you ask, May (or August or April, it would be great if someone were to standardize this … we’re going with May) is National Inventor’s Month. Lots of people have dreams of being a famous inventor. Even I’ve had “ideas” for inventions before. For instance, back in the 1990s, after finally finding my keys in the refrigerator more than once and spending more time looking for the remote than I care to admit, I thought it would be great if I could build a little alarm that you could attach to such easily misplaced items that would beep incessantly until you were able to find them. Owing partly to the technological limitations of the day, but mostly…

Today in Taking Measure we asked Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipient Adam Creuziger a few questions about his life and work. Adam was recognized for his impact on U.S. automobile manufacturing because of his expertise in the measurement and analysis of materials being evaluated for lightweighting vehicles. What brought you to NIST? As I was nearing the end of my graduate work, I still wasn’t sure which career path I wanted to pursue: academic, industrial, or national lab. Another student in my advisors’ research group recommended looking into the National Research Council (NRC) Research Associate program. He had applied for a fellowship a few years before I graduated and invited me out to Gaithersburg, Md.,…

1 2