The third episode of the Create the Future podcast is out now! Joining us this month to discuss what our future cities might look like are Larissa Suzuki, senior product manager for automatic machine learning at ORACLE, and honorary associate professor at UCL; and Andrew Comer, director of the cities business unit at BuroHappold Engineering.
In this month’s episode, Smart Cities: all hype or a platform for change?, we look back on the technological and economic successes of the 2012 Olympic Games; debate the implications of using people’s data to improve city infrastructure; and highlight the need to ensure that smart city technology is developed to be inclusive, not a commodity. Click below to hear more!
People often associate engineering with bridges and buildings, but, in fact, engineering is all around us. From sustainable coffee cups and people-powered pavements to new medical technologies, quantum computers, and the internet of things, there is a huge range of engineering wonders that we encounter in our day-to-day. The sheer variety of these innovations never fails to amaze me, but two of my favourites are an incredible paint called Inesfly, and a videogame called MalariaSpot. Both of these – while entirely unknown to most – save thousands of lives from insect-borne diseases every year.
The future of the human race relies, in part, on water sustainability. Malthusian theorists predict water will become the most valuable commodity traded and accessible to only the highest bidders; while this might sound farfetched and dystopian, consider that freshwater scarcity affects approximately 4 billion people globally, according to the United Nations World Water Development Report 2019.
A prevalent misconception is that water shortage only truly affects resource-poor parts of the world. When you think of a water shortage in the UK, for example, you picture hosepipe bans affecting the growth of people’s lawns and flowerbeds. While this might be annoying for some, it certainly doesn’t compare with other environmental issues such as the amount of plastic in our oceans and the rising temperature of the planet.
In March 2019, water scarcity hit UK headlines when Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, warned that England will run short within 25 years. There are similar estimates elsewhere in the world; according to The Guardian, 50% of the world will be living in water-stressed areas by 2025.
We’re excited to announce the launch of our new podcast series, Create the Future! *NEW LINKS UPDATED BELOW*
Create the Future
Engineering is everywhere. From nanotechnology and the Internet of Things to autonomous vehicles, healthcare, and even your morning cup of coffee – engineering shapes the world around us. Engineers launched us forward from our first use of tools to an era of space exploration, and they will play a central role in solving the challenges of our future. Create the Future explores the wonderful world of skill, creativity, and innovation that is engineering, and highlights how engineers impact our lives each and every day.
Hosted by Sue Nelson, each episode will look into a different area of engineering and bring together the knowledge, experiences, and ideas of both industry experts and young professionals.
The unprecedented pace of innovation today leaves many people wondering about our future. Whether robots will take our jobs; whether AI-based decisions about our security, finances, and health are obscure or biased; and whether our increasing energy demands will drive the Earth’s climate to the edge of catastrophe – these questions occupy the forefront of contemporary discourse.
Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, argues in ‘Make, Think, Imagine’that we need not and must not put the brakes on technological advance. Civilisation is founded on engineering innovation; all progress stems from the human urge to make things and to shape the world around us, resulting in greater freedom, health and wealth for all. Below is an excerpt from the book.
From the outside looking in, China’s internet landscape can look unnecessarily restricted and censored. However, the situation on the inside of the country’s famous firewall may be quite different from how it is often portrayed in the media. In fact, the censorship model is starting to be replicated in other parts of the world, even in areas independent of the influence of Beijing. So, what is the infamous firewall, and why is it spreading?
From face recognition on our phones to Alexa virtual assistants — our lives are being fundamentally revolutionised by waves of new tech. We are developing smart cities, littering roads and traffic systems with sensors to monitor carbon monoxide levels and push traffic along, and our vehicles are soon to be autonomous. In the business world, new innovations are automating time-consuming and repetitive tasks, creating efficiencies and enhanced productivity never previously imagined.
But whilst hyper-connectivity and the Internet of Things produce a myriad of benefits, they also leave us more vulnerable to an increasingly sophisticated cyber-threat landscape.
The Internet is one of the most revolutionary technologies ever developed, producing a level of hyper-connectivity that has fundamentally changed the way we behave. Unfortunately, this connectivity is also the Internet’s greatest weakness. Trishank Karthik Kuppusamy, Chief Security Solutions Engineer at Datadog, Inc. talks us through the security landscape and outlines how new software developments can help to keep drivers safe on the roads.