Engineers harvest heart's energy to power life-saving devices

Tech Xplore | February 04, 2019

The heart's motion is so powerful that it can recharge devices that save our lives, according to new research from Dartmouth College. Using a dime-sized invention developed by engineers at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, the kinetic energy of the heart can be converted into electricity to power a wide range of implantable devices, according to the study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Millions of people rely on pacemakers, defibrillators and other life-saving implantable devices powered by batteries that need to be replaced every five to 10 years. Those replacements require surgery which can be costly and create the possibility of complications and infections.

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Spotlight

An infographic is a visual representation of a collection of facts, tidbits or pretty much any kind of data. A quality infographic is minimalist in fonts, colors and graphics, yet still pleasing to the eye. Even more important than the way it looks is the way it displays its data. Information must be short and sweet, easy to read, and easy to understand.

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CONSTRUCTION

Trex Commercial Recognized as ‘Trade Contractor of the Year’ by Turner Construction Company

Trex Commercial | June 28, 2022

Trex Commercial, a national leader in architectural railings for commercial applications, has been honored as “Trade Contractor of the Year” by the Cincinnati-Kentucky branch of Turner Construction Company. The commercial products division of Trex Company was nominated by Turner’s jobsite and office staff based on overall job performance, project management, engineering, quality of work, collaboration, pricing and field expertise demonstrated through its work on Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium. “We at Turner believe that our success is in a very large measure attributable to our trade contractors being true ‘partners’ in construction. All too often suppliers hear from the general contractor only when things are going badly. We believe it is also appropriate to recognize our trade partners when their work is outstanding and, as such, we are pleased to pay special tribute to the Trex Commercial team for its performance and contribution to our shared success on this project.” -Susie Yanes, contracts manager for Turner Construction Company. Known as “The Crown Jewel of Cincinnati,” TQL Stadium is a 518,000-square-foot soccer-specific venue that serves as home to Major League Soccer’s F.C. Cincinnati. Completed in 2021, the venue features nearly 20,000 linear feet of Trex Commercial railing, in seven different styles, found both inside and outside the stadium from the seating bowl and suites to the exterior balcony, concourse and surrounding gates. In addition to railing, the Trex Commercial team also custom engineered fencing, gates and other architectural elements to enhance fan safety and promote socialization at the stadium without disrupting visibility of the on-field action. Another distinguishing aspect of this project was the 3-D laser scanning utilized by Trex Commercial for precise modeling of the distinctive railing shapes and contours throughout the venue. This advanced form of field analysis enabled the Trex Commercial team to not only deliver high-accuracy data capture and mapping, but also contributed to seamless collaboration, faster turnaround and reduced rework. “Being recognized by one of the most respected general contractors in the industry is especially rewarding, We understand our role is more than just a fabricator of a designer’s concepts and strive to be a trusted and collaborative partner on all our projects. We greatly appreciate the trust and acknowledgement of the Turner Construction team and are extremely proud of our team members who contributed to the successful result of this high-profile project.” -Laura Rygielski Preston, president of Trex Commercial. About Trex Commercial- Trex Commercial is a national leader in architectural railings for commercial applications. Since 1990, the company has been committed to elevating the abilities of all people to safely access and enjoy amazing life experiences, while building an industry-leading reputation for quality and customer service. Based in Minneapolis, Trex Commercial, Inc. is a subsidiary of Trex Company, Inc. To learn more, visit www.trexcommercial.com. About Turner Construction- Turner is a North America-based, international construction services company and is a leading builder in diverse market segments. The company has earned recognition for undertaking large, complex projects, fostering innovation, embracing emerging technologies, and making a difference for its clients, employees, and community. With a staff of 10,000 employees, the company completes $12 billion in construction on 1,500 projects each year. Turner offers clients the accessibility and support of a local firm with the stability and resources of a multi-national organization.

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DESIGN

Sciens Building Solutions Acquires Central California Company

Sciens Building Solutions | July 15, 2022

Sciens Building Solutions ("Sciens") today announced the addition of Lodi, California-based Cen-Cal Fire Systems ("Cen-Cal") to its national portfolio of companies. Cen-Cal is the latest acquisition announcement from Sciens and adds to the company's footprint in the important and strategic Northern/Central California market, where it already has an established presence through its Bay Area Division, Sabah International. Cen-Cal will partner closely with Sabah in this region to deliver more value for their customers through cross-collaboration. "We chose to partner with Sciens to continue the success and growth of Cen-Cal by working alongside its experienced leadership team and leveraging the investment that they will provide to help our business grow while building on our great success, . Sciens' growing national presence, combined with Cen-Cal's established reputation in the Central Valley, positions us to develop even broader customer offerings and employee opportunities in the Northern/Central regions of California." -Byron Weisz, Vice President of Cen-Cal Fire Systems. In 1986, brothers Wayne and Byron Weisz founded Cen-Cal based on their extensive experience and knowledge in fire sprinkler design, fabrication, and installation. They have experience with wet, dry, pre-action and AFFF fire sprinkler systems in commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential applications. Cen-Cal has decades of experience in the specialty sprinkler and suppression markets and bring with them a long-standing respected reputation in the industry. "As we continue on our rapid growth trajectory, I'm pleased to welcome Cen-Cal and its very capable team to the fun Sciens journey, We have enjoyed significant success over the past five years with Sabah International in this region and are delighted to add the considerable sprinkler capabilities that Cen-Cal brings to the table. We have no plans of slowing down and continue to seek partnerships with companies like Cen-Cal that are closely aligned with our vision and core values." -Terry Heath, CEO Sciens'. About Sciens Building Solutions- Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and backed by The Carlyle Group, Sciens Building Solutions is a holding company focused on the fire detection and security services sector. This includes the design, installation, and provision of maintenance services for fire detection and clean agent fire suppression systems in a variety of commercial, institutional, and government facilities. About Cen-Cal Fire Systems- Cen-Cal was founded in 1986, when brothers Byron and Wayne Weisz combined their experience and knowledge in fire sprinkler design, fabrication, and installation to form the company with the business mantra of "doing what you tell people you are going to do." Cen-Cal's portfolio of expertise includes consultation, design, fabrication, installation, and service of underground and overhead fire protection systems. They have experience with wet, dry, pre-action and AFFF fire sprinkler systems in commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential applications.

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ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION

Groupon is Streamlining Its Technology Platform and Embracing Automation

Groupon | June 20, 2022

Groupon, the trusted marketplace where consumers go to buy services and experiences that make life more interesting and deliver boundless value, is taking steps to simplify the company’s technology platform and lean more into automation. Ultimately, Groupon believes these changes will allow it to accelerate its pace of product development and support better customer and merchant experiences. We have amazing talent within our Product and Engineering organization, and I believe that we can do a better job leveraging our significant tech assets to create value for all of our stakeholders. Currently, our platform is too big and too complex, and this is prohibiting us from moving as quickly as I think we can to launch new products and features. So, I’ve empowered the entire tech organization to challenge our long-held thought process of creating a new service for every nuance and fundamentally rethink how we structure our platform––only building and supporting what’s mission critical to drive Groupon’s business forward.” Sachin Devand, CTO, Groupon Devand, who was appointed to the CTO role in May after serving as a consultant since February, is working with the Product and Engineering organization to improve its operating processes and streamline Groupon's tech platform. Some of the team’s big 2022 initiatives include: Embracing Agility –– Reorienting the product engineering organization to be more customer centric. Product roadmaps will better align with providing specific customer solutions, more quickly. To that end, the entire team is embracing Agile software development methods, doing rapid delivery of features versus traditional methods that can take years. In addition, the team uses OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to prioritize these features every 90 days. Migrating to the Cloud –– To date, Groupon has moved nearly 75% of its data center capabilities to the cloud. Groupon is already gaining operational benefits from the move to the cloud, including better monitoring, observability, elasticity and ease of deploying infrastructure. Once the migration is complete, the cloud will enable Groupon to scale infrastructure up and down as the needs of the business change, which should provide even more flexibility and cost savings. The cloud also enables Groupon to use cloud-native services that can unlock additional automation opportunities throughout the company’s marketplace. Re-architecting Services –– The company is re-architecting its services, taking stock of which services are required and which ones can be combined or eliminated. At the start of the year, there were about 700 services operating behind the company’s global marketplace platform, which is too complicated and big for Groupon’s needs. As the move to the cloud continues, Groupon intends to move to a domain-driven design model which will allow for a more nimble architecture with significantly fewer services. Leaning into Automation –– Groupon is automating processes throughout the entire business to create efficiencies and improve productivity. For example, the company is scaling its self-service automation features to enable more merchants to join the Groupon marketplace without human touch. At the end of the first quarter, 65% of new campaigns in North America were created using Groupon’s merchant self-service tool that enables businesses to create and edit campaigns. From a customer perspective, Groupon is doing more to automate insights from search data to create a feedback loop with the company’s sales teams to ensure that its marketplace has the right inventory in the right places. When this work is completed, these actions should significantly reduce the size of Groupon’s tech platform and allow it to accelerate its pace of product development focused on building a larger and more differentiated inventory base and launching products to support better customer and merchant experiences. About Groupon Groupon is a trusted local marketplace where consumers go to buy services and experiences that make life more interesting and deliver boundless value.

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