Engineering, manufacturing and construction

Due to its distinctive properties graphene has been held out as a game-changing material for a range of industries and applications. The Graphene Flagship initiative was set up as Europe’s biggest ever multi-stakeholder research initiative, to quite literally shape the future of the technology.
District heating based on renewable energy sources is becoming a preferred energy saving solution. One of the biggest challenges, however, is convincing property owners of the long-term value of retrofitting buildings to accommodate this smart solution.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been taking place this week in Las Vegas, showcasing all kinds of weird and wonderful, conceptual and practical technology. Whilst much focus has been on new gadgets for consumer use, other, more far-reaching technological developments, such as advances in quantum computing, have also been trending.
Expanding the zeolite ‘window of flexibility’ offers materials science more control over the design and designation of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for their catalytic properties, introducing new applications.
Perovskite solar cells are cheap to produce and simple to manufacture. Improving their efficiency, as one EU-backed project has just done, makes them an ever-more compelling alternative source of energy.
If wearable electronics are to become commonplace, a breakthrough is required which allows them to be washable, stretchable and breathable. Using conventional inkjet techniques which are cheap, safe and environmentally friendly, researchers recently reported the successful printing of 2D material, creating integrated electronic circuits, directly onto fabrics.
With the release of the next film in the epic ‘Star Wars’ series, one academic has shone a light on the research being undertaken by three EU-funded projects, taking inspiration from that Galaxy far, far away, beloved by millions.
New study shows nanostructures on the surface of flower petals cause light particles to scatter, giving the flower what researchers have called a ‘blue halo’.
An EU-funded project working with ultrafast optics, furthers control over the spatial-temporal quantum states of light, advancing quantum information science.
Before it can take over our streets and homes, OLED lighting needs to be made more accessible. The SOLEDLIGHT project has developed novel multilayer OLEDs thanks to a new process that promises to increase production efficiency by 20 %, thereby reducing its cost.
Turkey faces a wider range of temperatures from hot summer days to very cold nights, which means it has both substantial heating and cooling needs for its building stock. Energy efficiency measures need to be earthquake resistant as the country lies one of the world’s most seismic zones.
A consistent trend across the tech sector is the one-upmanship of increasingly high screen resolution and larger display size. Yet, the fact that the former increases faster than the latter means that manufacturers must achieve ever-higher pixel density. Large OLED microdisplays developed under the LOMID project could help solve that problem, thereby providing Europe with a competitive edge.
Uneven road surfaces cause breaking and variable speeds both of which increase emissions, while low car occupancy rates mean duplicated journeys. An EU project is combining data from trip-sharing communities and phone sensors for feedback on road quality to make road travel greener.
Rapidly modifying magnetic properties is key for low power magnetic devices. The EU-funded MULTIREV project has contributed to a study which exploits magnetoelastic coupling, for the design of strain-controlled nano-devices.
Spider silk has many fascinating mechanical properties which have attracted researchers’ attention. Now a team has matched one of nature’s wonders with graphene, currently the world''s strongest material, thereby opening the door to a new class of bionic composites.
With uncertainty around the risks of nanomaterials hampering the EU’s innovative potential, researchers are working on a safety concept to better monitor this emerging technology.
Advances in the manner in which we can visualise the atomic structures of cells have been recognised in 2017 Nobel prize for chemistry. These increasingly powerful methods shine a light on how we are constructed and now the use of advanced super-resolution microscopy reveals aspects of the interrelation of the genes to the mechanisms which control them.
Scientists supported by EU funding, have created a graphene-based device where electron spins can be injected and detected, with unprecedented efficiency and at room temperature. This opens up possibilities for the realisation of applications which use spin based logic and transistors.
Swarm intelligence refers to natural and artificial systems comprising many individuals that coordinate using decentralised control and self-organisation. The EU-funded project, has designed the first self-assembling multirobot system able to display sensorimotor coordination equivalent to that observed in monolithic robots.
Textiles dating from between 1 000 and 400 BC survive in mineralised forms often found in burial sites. The material was frequently placed in contact with metals conducive to their reservation, buried alongside the bodies in the form of ornaments or tools. New research is unravelling what these fragments can tell us about the cultures that produced them.
Not long ago it was orthodoxy that microscopes could not see images smaller than 200 nanometres. The relatively nascent field of nanoscopy has challenged this, with the EU-funded NANOSCOPY project leading the way.
Fingerprint scanners, iris and facial recognition systems – the world of biometric identification is burgeoning to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for quick, easy-to-use security measures.
Haptic sensors, connectivity and efficient telecommunications are some of the factors that enable the uptake of medical telerobotic systems. Technical capacity is timely as demographics put pressure on health services, while in remote areas, patients of all ages can find it hard to get appointments with specialists.
With food security issues becoming ever more pressing, much research is being done to strike the right balance between high yields and low environmental impact. A major EU-funded project has run a successful pilot bringing together data from sensors and satellites to boost yields while accurately identifying levels of fertilisers needed.
Current methods of measuring electron transfer in photovoltaic panels are ambiguous, but new research supported with EU funding is helping to distinguish between the response of the substrate and that of the sensitiser.
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