Eden Flix Presents 'GasLand'

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The Eden Flix series of thought-provoking documentaries on an environmental theme begins again for the 2013-14 academic year with a screening of the Academy Award nominated 2010 film GasLand, introduced by Dr. Diganta Das, Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, at 3pm on Wednesday, 20th November, at the Cope Auditorium.

With the concept of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, becoming increasingly considered as a key source of fuel for the UK, strong opinions supporting and opposing the process are fervidly arising amongst scientists, corporations and environmental activists causing widespread confusion among the population. Concerns speculate that fracking could cause carcinogenic pollution to water and earth tremors and they also elaborate that the shale gas extracted is ultimately, not a long-term nor sustainable option. The reality is that sufficient evidence hasn’t yet been produced to make calculated decisions, despite the seemingly convincing cases made by both sides – exemplified by Josh Fox’s work in GasLand.

Dr. Diganta Das will introduce this screening and open the floor for discussion afterwards. The screening will commence at 3pm and is free for all students and staff to attend, although booking is required as space is limited. You can do this via this link.

Eden Flix presents a series of highly acclaimed, thought-provoking and inspirational documentaries on issues related to engineering, design and social consciousness, and is sponsored by the Centre for Engineering and Design Education as part of the Engineering and Design Educators Network series of events in collaboration with Loughborough’s long-established Flix Society. Watch out for details of further films next year.

World Space Week 2013

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The theme of this year’s annual World Space Week is a world that has long fascinated and inspired scientists and artists alike of every description, the Red Planet Mars.

Over the next week there will be a global celebration of mankind’s exploration of Mars, and how by studying our diminutive but intriguing red neighbour we learn more about our own planet. Indeed, the highlight of the week, a world-wide simulation of a manned landing and survey of Mars, will seek to define how to create a world to live in from scratch with only limited natural resources to work from.

Launched specifically on this date by the UN General Assembly to mark the succesful launch of Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, on October 4th 1957, and the signining of the ‘Treaty on Principles Governing the Activites of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies’ on October 10 1967, World Space Week has been held every year since 1999, and seeks primarily to educate people about the positives of space exploration and encourage better public understanding and support for space programmes.

The Library has quite a range of material about space exploration among our aeronautical engineering section, including several books on the topic of the Red Planet – H.G. Wells seminal alien invasion adventure War of the Worlds among them! We also have access to NASA’s Scientific & Technical Information (STI) web site among our extensive array of Aeronautical databases.

To find out more about World Space Week and the activities that are happening, visit their website here.

SAE Papers Online Access Expanded

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A new subscription deal comes into effect from today (July 1st) which has increased our range of access to the SAE Digital Library. We now have access to Technical Papers from 1998 to the present plus all 4 SAE International’s Technical Paper Backfiles – A, B, C and D – covering the period 1906 to 1997.

Our subscription to the SAE Digital Library references thousands of SAE Technical Papers covering the latest advances and research in all areas of mobility engineering including ground vehicle, aerospace, off-highway, and manufacturing technology. Sample coverage includes fuels and lubricants, emissions, electronics, brakes, restraint systems, noise, engines, materials, lighting, and more. The SAE service includes detailed summaries and complete documents in PDF.

To start searching, follow this link:

http://digitallibrary.sae.org/quicksearch/

For off-campus access please login to the Library pages after downloading the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client.

Please note that you will not have full-text access to all the items in the database. Also please remember to logout after use and to abide by the Licence Agreement terms and conditions.

Free Eden Flix Screening of 'A Crude Awakening'

crudeNext Wednesday (1st May) Dr. Andrew Watson from Loughborough’s Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering will introduce Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack’s hard-hitting documentary A Crude Awakening that delivers a grave warning about the oil industry. Andrew will also host a Q&A session afterwards.

Eden Flix are a series of highly acclaimed, thought-provoking and inspirational documentaries on issues related to engineering, design and social consciousness. All staff and students at Loughborough are welcome to attend these screenings which are shown in the Design Studio on the first floor of the Keith Green Building (West Park, building 16 on campus map) and are sponsored by the Centre for Engineering and Design Education as part of the Engineering and Design Educators Network series of events.

For further information about the film, including a trailer, how to register your place, and further details of the Eden Flix schedule, follow this link:

http://cede.lboro.ac.uk/edenflix_crude

World Water Day 2013

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“Water, water everywhere, only if we share!”

No, that’s not a general statement on weather conditions at the moment, but the winning slogan in a competition organised for this year’s World Water Day, which is celebrated today.

Every year since its establishment in 2003, UN Water helps countries attempt to achieve water preservation goals and promotes key messages to the world in general. This years’ theme seeks to highlight the importance of cooperation in striking a balance between different water needs and priorities, in order to share water equitably across the globe.

The University plays a significant role in preserving global water resources through the invaluable work of WEDC (Water, Engineering and Development Centre), based in the School of Civil & Building Engineering. WEDC is one of the world’s leading education and research institutes for developing knowledge and capacity in water and sanitation for low- and middle-income countries.

For our part, we have access to a range of online resources on the subject, including Aqualine, Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management, and Water Resources Abstracts, as well as a large number of books and journals among our civil engineering collection on Level 1.

For more information about World Water Day and the work of UN Water, visit their website here:

http://www.unwater.org/water-cooperation-2013/events/world-water-day/en/

World Space Week

Today marks the beginning of World Space Week, an annual international celebration of the many benefits of the exploration of outer space.

This year’s theme for the event is “Space for Human Safety and Security”, which seeks to extol the virtues of how much Earth observation, navigation and telecommunication satellites are used everyday to protect humans and safeguard our environment.

Chosen specifically for this date by the UN General Assembly to mark the succesful launch of Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, on October 4th 1957, and the signining of the ‘Treaty on Principles Governing the Activites of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies’ on October 10 1967, World Space Week has been held every year since 1999, and seeks primarily to educate people about the positives of space exploration and encourage better public understanding and support for space programmes.

We’re very keen on space in the Library, and not just the kind students look for for studying in! We possess a large range of material about space flight and the history of astronautics, including access to NASA’s Scientific & Technical Information (STI) web site among our extensive array of Aeronautical databases.

For more information about World Space Week, including an opportunity to participate in a ‘Tweet-up’ with legendary Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, visit their website here:

http://www.worldspaceweek.org/wsw/

A Second Prize That's Not to be Sniffed At

Loughborough’s athletes weren’t the only ones to carry home a major prize this month – our very own Water Engineering & Development Centre (WEDC) claimed second prize in a prestigious competition to produce the next generation in… toilets.

The Reinvent the Toilet Challenge was set last year by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and asked engineers to come up with a more ecological sustainable design to surpass the present flush toilet model created by a Scottish watchmaker, Alexander Cummings, over two centuries ago.

The California Institute of Technology wiped out the opposition with a solar-powered design that breaks down water and human waste into hydrogen gas for use in fuel cells, claiming the first prize of $100,000. WEDC’s design for a toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals and clean water surfaced for the second prize of $50,000, while the University of Toronto bubbled under for third place with a design that sanitises faeces and urine, and recovers resources and clean water.

Joking aside, it’s estimated that only 63% of the world’s population have access to improved sanitation facilities – that’s a staggering 2.6 billion people without the facilities we tend to take for granted. The billionaire Microsoft chief set universities around the world the challenge to come up with a method of improving this dire situation.

To found out more about the competition, visit the Foundation’s site here. Or to find out more about WEDC’c work, visit their site here.

Image by Robert Ganzer, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

Mars, Bringer of… Curiosity!

NASA took another giant step forward in mankind’s exploration of the Solar System this morning following the successful landing of a new robot explorer, named Curiosity, on Mars.

Curiosity’s primary assignment is to look for signs of life among the frozen red sands of our enigmatic near-neighbour. It is the fourth robotic rover NASA have landed on Mars since 1997, but Curiosity’s size and the sophistication of its hardware dwarfs all previous missions, as it includes a plutonium battery with a ten-year plus lifespan, two on-board laboratories to analysis soil and rock samples, and laser system to help identify such samples to the minutest atomic detail. Costing a mere $2.6 billion dollars, hopes are high that this project will prove the most revealing exploration of Mars yet, possibly even paving the way for a manned mission in future.

Curiosity landed successfully in the Gale Crater at just after 6.30AM amid scenes of great jubilation back in NASA mission control in Pasadena and almost immediately began to transmit pictures of its new ‘home’. You can follow the passage of the mission via NASA’s website here.

The Library has quite a range of material about space exploration among our aeronautical engineering section, as well as several books on the topic of the Red Planet, including H.G. Wells seminal War of the Worlds. Let’s hope Curiosity finds something a lot friendlier than Mr Wells’ Martians…!!

Earth & Mars image courtesy of bluedharma, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

Fifty Years of Europe in Space

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the European Space Agency (ESA).

Established through an agreement between the various Western European states on June 14th 1962, the ESA initially began life as two seperate organisations, ELDO (European Launch Development Organisation), which tackled the thorny issue launching men and materials into space, and ESRO (European Space Research Organisation), which, as its title suggests, carried out space research. It wasn’t until 1975 that the two organisations were merged to form what is now the ESA.

Although European space exploration has remained very much in the shadow of the more illustrious (and better funded) United States and Russian space programmes, the ESA has achieved many notable successes, including the Ariane commercial launch vehicle, and has since gone on to form partnerships and collaborations with both NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency on a variety of projects.

Indeed, the first ESA astronaut into space was the German Ulf Merbold in 1983, who was part of a NASA mission to help set up the ESA designed Spacelab laboratory which would be re-used to good effect during 22 Space Shuttle missions between ’83 and 1998.

The Library has a current subscription to the ESA Bulletin, in addition to a wealth of information about astronautics and space flight technology among our hard-copy and electronic resource aero-auto engineering collections. Plus you can find out a lot more about the ESA and its history from its web site here:

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/index.html

Image shows the International Space Station, courtesy of NASA, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

Presentation skills

speech bubble and  smiley faceDo nerves always get the better of you in presentations? Do you end up talking too much – or drying up? Gain practical advice on giving a talk including planning, using visual aids, controlling nerves and effective use of your voice at this workshop.

Come along to Library Training Room 1 on Wednesday 16th May at 2pm-2.50pm

Book a place on the Get the Know-How module on Learn LBAOO1

Icon courtesy of alessandro rei at www.iconfinder.com