Three Cutting-Edge Areas of Engineering

Bill Rybinski
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With each new technological advance, the possibilities for engineering research and development are becoming more exciting and innovating. For professionals who are looking for challenging, stimulating careers, cutting-edge engineering fields are an excellent choice. By keeping an eye on the top areas of innovation, you can choose a company and a discipline that suits your education and interest.

For engineering professionals, the most cutting-edge work often occurs at the intersection of engineering fields and other disciplines. An obvious example is the combination of mechanical engineering and biomedical science, which resulted in exciting prosthetic devices and surgical implants.

Today, one of the most exciting engineering fields is nanotechnology. Nanotechnology engineers deal in systems at the nanoscale, which are too small for the human eye to see. Nanotechnology is a cross-disciplinary field of study, meaning that engineers may work with chemists, biologists, and physicists, among others.

Some of the most exciting developments in nanotechnology engineering involve taking full-size systems and shrinking them down to make them easier and safer to deploy and use. One potential application is toxin sensing, where miniscule sensors are embedded on a chip and shot into danger zones. In comparison to full-size sensors, which are often the size of a small dog, the nanoscale sensors are small enough to shoot from a distance, protecting people using them from potential exposure.

As the world moves toward a smarter, more efficient grid system, energy is quickly becoming one of the most cutting-edge engineering fields. Experts agree that the world's demand for fossil fuels will soon outstrip the supply, which leads to an increased need for alternative energy sources. From finding ways to harness and transmit sustainable energy to developing an efficient grid, engineers have a number of challenges to tackle. As the United States takes steps to update the existing transmission system, engineering jobs will be available in a range of energy-related areas.

For people who are looking for technology-based engineering jobs, computer engineering provides more opportunities than other engineering fields. Advances in the area of computer design and development have multiple applications, from gaming to security. According to a recent story from Science Daily, researchers at MIT have developed a 3-D tracking technology that uses radio signals to enable fast, accurate motion detection. The technology has the potential for use in applications that range from video games to fall detection in elderly patients.

Whether you're just starting out in your career or you're looking to change disciplines, it is beneficial to keep an eye on the most innovative engineering fields. In doing so, you can spot patterns and use your own experience to develop unique, cutting-edge solutions.



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