Category: Societal Impact

The Unstoppable Changing of the Electricity Guard

By on December 20th, 2017 in Commentary, Environment, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact

Twenty-five years ago we didn’t know that solar energy, including modular photovoltaic (PV) plants ranging in size from 1 kW to hundreds of megawatts, along with increasingly larger, electronically-aided wind generators (up to 8-MW offshore units), would become in just 25 years the cornerstones of a revolution in power production that is drastically changing the face and fate of power systems.

Engineers and Social Acceptance of Renewable Energy

By on December 16th, 2017 in Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact

Unmet local concerns related to renewable energy projects can result in costly project delays or cancellation. Strong political and financial incentives encourage state authorities and renewable energy developers to address issues of social acceptance.

BOOK REVIEW: Facist Pigs

By on October 20th, 2017 in Book Reviews, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact

In today’s world of climate denial and vaccine skepticism, one would be forgiven for assuming that an anti-intellectual, anti-expertise, anti-truth wave is sweeping the globe, and that the rise of the far right necessarily spells an end for science-informed policy.

LETTER: Licensing Engineering Professionals

By on October 12th, 2017 in Magazine Articles, Societal Impact

Licensing of Engineering Professionals: Is there any validity to this practice? The Education Department of the State of New York says — there is. IEEE Policy also says there is. The reality, I have come to continuously over four decades in practice as an electrical power engineer in the service of more than a dozen U.S. firms — is that there is none!

The Next Generation of Socio-Technical Systems

By on September 29th, 2017 in Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact

The next generation of socio-technical system can be seen as a kind of “focal point” for the convergence of a number of current trends in computing, information systems, and information technology. These trends include the technology-driven instrumentation of infrastructure by ubiquitous computing and/or “intelligent” devices, with the prefix “smart” now taking precedence over the prefix “e-,” i.e. SmartGrids, SmartCities, SmartMotorways, etc., rather than the e-commerce. e-health, e-learning initiatives commonplace at the turn of millennium.

Virtual reality apparatus used in mining.

On Country

By on September 26th, 2017 in Editorial & Opinion, Magazine Articles, Robotics, Societal Impact

Mining has had an impact on many Aboriginal communities in Australia. As we move to a mining sector where dump trucks, underground excavators, loaders, and conveyor systems are transformed into partial or fully autonomous systems, there is little or no human labor required other than to maintain equipment or provide oversight using a range of distant surveillance technologies.