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August 7, 2019
After doing so many episodes about great inventors throughout time, we decided to figure out which country has produced the most great inventors of all time. Though there were many great choices, and a few not so great ones, in the end we were able to decide who outranks them all. Take a listen to find out where your country ranks, let us know if we missed any, and tell us if you agree with top 10.
July 31, 2019
It is a rare topic when Luke actually is the one educating James, but when it comes to camping gear and technology, that's just what happened. We take a look at some of the latest technology that makes camping a little less miserable, the top in class products you can buy, more affordable options for people who don't make podcast money, and some top tips to survive in the wild.
July 24, 2019
Have you ever looked at your tires and asked, "How were these made?!" Yeah, probably not, but Luke sure has...and that is why we are investigating this topic today! You may have actually asked, "What do all those numbers and letters on my tire mean?" Fortunately, we'll cover that as well, not to mention the entire process from raw material to finished tire, vulcanization, and more!
July 16, 2019
We got the chance to sit down with Greg Paulsen, Director of Application Engineering, at Xometry to discuss what exactly Xometry is, how it is helping to revolutionize manufacturing, and how you can join their growing team of manufacturing partners. Learn how to instantly access the production capacity of over 2,500 manufacturers with wide-ranging capabilities and certifications across 50 states. From your desktop. Get DFM feedback, lead times, and pricing in a matter of clicks, not days. If you have any questions on the process, or would like more information on joining their partner network, feel free to reach out to us at unprofessionalengineering@gmail.com, or head over to www.xometry.com to learn more!
July 10, 2019
Biofuel is making a big push in recent years with the rise in oil prices, but is this a good thing? We take a look at how biofuel is created, how it is used for vehicle use, investigate if it is bad for your engine, and look into if it is actually better for the environment than traditional fossil fuels.
July 3, 2019
When it comes to people who shaped the way we think, Galileo Galilei lead the charge in a number of ways. The concept of heliocentric vs geocentric could be the biggest step in the right direction of all time when it comes to astrology, but there is so much more! In addition to his advances in the fields of astronomy and astrology, he was also a great inventor, improving on the telescope to see the distant moons of Jupiter, the concept of hydro-static balance, and improved thermometers. Even the military loved him, as he helped them to understand launch trajectory for their cannons! Join us for a brief walk through time to understand why Galileo Galilei is one of the great inventors of all time.
June 26, 2019
Our friends at HBO reached out to us to help explain the details that they glossed over in their his miniseries, Chernobyl. OK, so they didn't reach out, but we decided to look into the science behind the Chernobyl disaster anyway. In this episode we discuss what lead up to the disaster, how the test that caused it all to go wrong was supposed to go, and give a detailed explanation of what really caused the explosion. We also discuss what has been done to help keep us safe from this area, as well as how you can go visit Chernobyl on your next vacation.
June 19, 2019
Taking a wrecking ball to an old house isn't so bad, but what do you do when you have to bring down a giant skyscraper? Or get rid of a huge bridge? Blow it up!!! The art of controlled demolition not only helps to blow up these structures, but it does so in a way that keeps people and the surrounding area safe. Take a listen and learn what all goes into an implosion, as well as what happens when things go wrong.
June 12, 2019
We depend on batteries to power a nearly endless list of things we use each day, but have you ever taken the time to think about how that Duracell is made, or how your Energizer actually works? Don't worry, we've done the thinking for you! Join us to learn the basics of battery operation, many of the different battery options out there, the different components to make a battery, and of course the history of the design!
June 5, 2019
We felt the history of Ford, GM, and Chrysler were too intertwined to possibly split them apart. We walk you through how each of the companies got their start, the various acquisitions, firings, rehirings, and everything else that got the Big Three where they are today.
May 28, 2019
Let's take a trip back in time and look at the many great things that came about from the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. Also known as the Columbian Exposition (celebrating Christopher Columbus), we can thank this extravaganza for showing that Tesla/Westinghouse electricity isn't something to be scared of, and that a ferris wheel truly is (or was) a marvel. What else went on? Well the architecture and engineering of the White City alone was something to see. When you take into account the amazing inventions like Cracker Jacks, Aunt Jemima Panckae mix, the zipper, Wrigley's chewing gum, the moving walk way, and equal rights for women, the expo was a huge success! OK, so PBR showed up too (yes, that PBR), so maybe not everything was perfect.
May 22, 2019
In this episode of the "Companies That Built the World" series, we take a look at the history of Boeing. From planes for delivering mail, to military supplier, and now the leading provider of airplanes around the world, Boeing is one of the most influential manufacturers around. In addition to history, we take a look at the other branches of Boeing, like the space and defense divisions, as well as their own financial institution! Yup, they help companies finance planes. We also give a quick overview of the current issues they are having with the 737 Max and what is causing it to crash.
May 15, 2019
Are you thinking about going to college to become a Civil Engineer? Maybe you are wondering what other career options you have in the field? Or perhaps you just want to know if you should be getting paid a little bit more as a Civil Engineer? We've got what you need! Sure, most of a Civil's job is dumping cement on stuff (yeah yeah, concrete) to make it stronger, but there actually is a little more that goes into it. From building construction and foundation laying, to road design and waste water management, a Civil is needed everywhere!
May 8, 2019
Are you interested in how one of the richest men in the world got to where he is? We walk through the life of our close, personal friend, Bill Gates. Everything from his childhood, to dropping out of college (like all millionaires it seems), all the way to why he is giving away all of his hard earned cash!
May 1, 2019
After our smash hit success of an episode, "How Paper Currency Is Made" we figured we should follow it up on how coins are minted. We discuss how coins used to be created using a screw press, the decades that the USA let other countries coins be spent since they couldn't produce enough of their own, and how coins are pumped out today. We also discuss the most valuable coins around, the mystery of the 1943 penny, and James plays a game with Luke to test his knowledge of mint location marks.
April 24, 2019
I'm thinking we all know the end result of the Manhattan Project, but not everyone knows the means to that end. From petitioning the president to unknown laboratories around the country (and world!), there are endless secrets to unpack. And hey...why is it even named the Manhattan Project when the work happened in Los Alamos?? We break down how the Manhattan Project came to be, leaks of national secrets, the cost associated, and so much more!
April 18, 2019
It is hard to believe how much it costs to make money! From the hand engraving to the numerous security features, it can take years to have the final prints ready for a new bill. Once they are ready to start printing though, it doesn't stop! Millions of dollars worth of cold hard cash is printed each day from the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Interested in learning more about how currency is made? Join us for a detailed breakdown.
April 10, 2019
Looking for a new hobby that will likely catch you on fire, blow you up, or at the very least make the neighbors concerned about their house? Model rockets are for you! We walk through the basics of how a model rocket works, the different parts, the stages of flight, how close they are to the real deal, engine types, and we answer the age old question of do the fins really matter? Take a few minutes and join us to learn all about what might be our next hobby and what kills us.
April 3, 2019
We spend a lot of time time and episodes talking about the great inventors that changed the world, most of which designed and patented numbers creations. But what about those who didn't hog all the good ideas and only came up with 1 to make them rich and famous? In this episode, we take a look at the top 1 hit wonder engineers, like Willis Carrier who invented the air conditioner, or Margaret Knight, the woman who invented the paper bag (even though a man tried to claim he did, since "a woman can't invent things"). Of course, there's also the story of the bendy straw... Did we miss a one hit wonder of engineering? Let us know!
March 27, 2019
Do you consider yourself a video game expert? Are your Fortnite skills unmatched? Can you beat anyone at Mario Kart? What about your knowledge of where those games evolved from and how video game consoles were first created and how they have evolved over the years? In this episode, we explore the first console (the "brown box"), how we evolved past Pong, to the Atari, when Nintendo took over, why the industry changed from cartridges to discs, and why cartridges might be back again!
March 20, 2019
Thinking about getting into Electrical Engineering? Wondering what jobs are out there for you when you graduate or looking to change up your career? Curious if you are making enough money as an EE (per Glassdoor)? We're here for you! We take a look at a number of the subcategories of Electrical Engineering to help understand what it is they actually do, the classwork necessary to get a degree, the money you should expect to make, and so much more! Sure, they're not as cool as Mechanical Engineers, but we won't hold that against them.
March 12, 2019
For those who don't know, 3D Hubs help engineers worldwide to cost-effectively source custom parts. Upload your parts to their online platform to get an instant quote and send your parts into production in less than five minutes. Their main manufacturing technologies are 3D printing, CNC machining, and Injection Molding. We were lucky enough to sit down with Ben Redwood, the Director of Supply Chain at 3D Hubs and the author of the 3D Printing Handbook, to discuss how 3D Hubs is revolutionizing manufacturing. We talk all about 3D printing, CNC machining and milling, and injection molding, all available through 3D Hubs! We also have a special offer!! Head over to www.3dhubs.com/podcast/unprofessionalengineering/ and pick up your free sample of The 3D Printing Handbook!!
March 6, 2019
It's Mardi Gras time!!! And what's Mardi Gras without amazing floats?! Thanks to the design and engineering of Kern Studios and the money of the various Mardi Gras Krewes you can enjoy some of the most amazing floats and parades right in the streets of New Orleans. Want to learn about the history of Mardi Gras, how the float design process has changed over the years, or how to land a spot in a parade next year? Take a few minutes and take a listen!
February 27, 2019
Welding is a skill that every engineer should know at least a little something about. In fact, most amazing universities like Penn State require MEs take a class to get you some hands on time with the various types of welding technology out there. In this episode, we take a look at TIG, MIG, flux and any other type of welding you might be interested in! Wondering which welding option is right for you at home? We talk about that too! Plus, we'll even tell you how much a setup will cost you.
February 20, 2019
Anyone who listens to Unprofessional Engineering probably is thinking, "Yup, James and Luke are pretty much the epitome of public speaking excellence." And you would be right. That being said, we might not be the best people to go to if you are looking to improve your own public speaking. That's where our friend Neil Thompson, founder of Teach the Geek and author of Teach the Geek to Speak, comes in. Neil Thompson is a speaker, writer, and entrepreneur. He started out his career as a product development engineer, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees.Currently Neil has his own ideas on what makes an effective speaker, specifically for STEM professionals like himself. He has presented at SCORE San Diego, the Society for Biomaterials, and the Biomedical Engineering Society, among others. In addition to his public speaking appearances, Neil also hosts a podcast that focuses on public speaking, and he writes a weekly blog on public speaking topics. Learn More: https://teachthegeek.thinkific.com/courses/teach-the-geek-to-speak
February 13, 2019
It's here! Our first female great inventor (sorry it took so long). And how can it get any better?! Not only did Marie Curie (if that really is her name) win the Nobel Prize in Physics, but she also won it for Chemistry!! AND, her daughter bagged a Nobel Prize as well! Wow! In this episode, we walk you through her tough childhood, what got her to France in the first place, her award winning discoveries, the role she (and her daughter) played in saving lives in the World War and how her legacy lives on today.
February 6, 2019
Do you ever wonder how the weather person can get their predictions wrong half the time and still keep a job? Well, when you actually take a at all of the different science and technology that goes into those predictions, you might be a little more forgiving. Just a little. Meteorology is actually a complex field of study that requires more than just standing in front of a green screen and guessing if it will rain. I mean, some people just do that, but actual meteorologists are hardcore scientists. Satellites, radar, barometers, and even chaos theory come into play in their field of work. We take a look at everything that goes into predicting the weather, the way it was done in the past, and if we will ever get past the accuracy of Groundhog Phil.
January 30, 2019
Did you know that over 1.5 billion cell phones were purchased last year? Or that we're making over 45 tons of e-waste each year?! What is even worse, only 20% of this waste was disposed of properly. In this episode, we take a look at the options you have to recycle your electronic products, companies that will help, the current recycling process, the adverse effects that the hazardous chemicals in electronics have on your health, and how you can turn your pile of electronic junk into a fortune of gold, right at home!
January 25, 2019
We have all heard about the Challenger disaster, about something as small as a gasket failing and resulting in the explosion. But do we really know what went on in the backrooms before the disaster happened? Thanks to movie writer and director Nathan VonMinden, we get a chance to see how things shook out. Even better, TV's superman (Dean Cain) and national championship winning coach Les Miles join you for the journey! We got the chance to sit down with Nathan to learn more about The Challenger Disaster, what he learned from creating the movie, and how an engineer can turn into a director. Go check out The Challenger Disaster on demand now to get a better understanding of this piece of history.
January 22, 2019
Perhaps the most significant engineering feat in the past decade, the Mars Insight Lander has successfully landed on Mars. But what's next? We take a look at what the lander has been up to in the weeks since it made it to Mars, and the plans that NASA has for it while it hangs out on the red planet.
January 16, 2019
Why do some cities seem to have a vibrant downtown while others seem to close up after the work day is over? It is become some cities are more livable than others. What does this mean? It is a combination of being pedestrian friendly, walkable, safe, great public transportation, city housing and more. In this episode, we take a look at how euclidean planning destroyed the concept of a neighborhood and what we need to do to make cities livable once more.
January 9, 2019
As Unprofessional Engineering is liking going to win a Nobel Prize at some point, we thought it would be a good idea to investigate what goes into the process, as well as look back on the man who created the prize. From physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, peace and economics, there are countless amazing winners of the Nobel Prize. Well, not countless...more like 900 some. But still, way more brain power than one can appreciate. Learn how Alfred Nobel earned all his money to fund the prizes, how the winners are selected, and some of the biggest winners and snubs in history.
January 1, 2019
George Westinghouse is an underappreciated inventor, making major strides in the railway and electricity industries. His creation of the railway air brake was probably his greatest invention, but electricity really set him apart as an amazing industrialist. Plus, he got to take advantage of Tesla, which is pretty cool! Learn everything you've ever wanted to know about the life of George Westinghouse, right here!
December 26, 2018
We take a look back at the month of December, 2018, to investigate some of the coolest happenings of the past 30 or so days. Some of these include finding water on an asteroid, creating the substance that filled the universe seconds after the big bang, and a mechanical device that farts glitter on unsuspecting present thieves. What more could you be looking for?!
December 19, 2018
Are you excited for Aquaman?! Us too! In preparation for the DC release, we have decided to take a look at the history and efforts to find his home; the lost city of Atlantis! From the original stories from Plato, all the way up to Google Ocean trying to find the city, we investigate the top theories, and James even provides his own theory on what happened to Atlantis.
December 12, 2018
We all love the sounds of jingle bells around the holidays, and hanging candy canes on the Christmas tree, but do you ever take the time to think about the manufacturing process that goes into making these things? Of course not! You're too busy enjoying your eggnog and fruit cake. In this episode of Unprofessional Engineering, we take a look at how some of our holiday favorites are created, including the candy cane, nut crackers, jingle bells, eggnog and fruit cake!
December 5, 2018
Are you looking to put a little technology under the tree this Christmas? Or maybe you want to get your kids into STEM for Hanukkah? We've picked out some of our favorite tech gifts of the year for people of all ages! From Nest thermostats to LEGO robots, all the way to dog tree launching cameras, there is a little something for everyone!
November 26, 2018
We're kicking off a new series here at Unprofessional Engineering where we look at the most amazing technology of the past month. In November of 2018 we lucked out with a ton of great engineering and technology topics to discuss such as the Mars Insight Lander successfully traveling over 300 million miles to land on Mars, prosthetics that not only allow someone to use their hand but feel what they are grabbing, record setting Black Friday sales, electricity producing mushrooms with the thanks of 3D printing, and much more!
November 21, 2018
One of the greatest inventors of all time, as well as being one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin had a pretty good run at it. But come on, who goes by Benjamin and not Ben?? That's like going by James and not Jim... wait a minute... He helped to draft the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, and even ended the Revolutionary War with the 1783 Treaty of Paris, but what we really care about are the things he invented, and those he gets credit for that he didn't really have create. Some of his more famous inventions include the Franklin Stove, the lightning rod, and bifocals, where as he gets credit for the first street lights, the odometer and daylight savings time. Take a listen to learn more about his amazing life.
November 15, 2018
We got the chance to sit down with Mr. Neil Cross of TFI CAD Tips, live at Autodesk University, to discuss everything CAD. Stretching back to the early versions of AutoCAD up through CAD in the cloud and future looking predictions, we have it all! No matter the CAD package you use, this will be for you.
November 6, 2018
Making the Mississippi what it is today. Overseeing the Panama Canal. Constructing the Pentagon. Creating the King Khalid Military city. These are just some of the major contributions from the Army Corps of Engineers over the years. In this episode, we walk through civilian and military personal included in the Corps, work they do around the world, as well as the various wars that they played a key part of including the Revolutionary War and both World Wars!
October 31, 2018
Next time you're filling your car up with gas, take a minute to think about all the work it took to get it to the pump for you. Better yet, why not take 30 minutes and listen to us explain the entire process?! From upstream exploration and production processes, to collection and transportation, all the way to downstream chemical processing, refining, and distribution, we cover it all!
October 24, 2018
Have you ever gotten a glass of water and taken the time to think about the love that goes into each drop? Probably not, and it might be best if you don't think about it too much. In this AMAZING episode, we take a look at how water goes from your toilet, through the purification process and back into your house. For you city planners out there, we also discuss pump houses, why we still have water towers all over the place, as well as a little bit about the pipes going into your house and through your walls for the DIY'ers out there. Interested in learning more and impressing your friends? Take a listen!
October 17, 2018
Are you interested in taking a trip into space? Maybe spend a week or two floating around the moon in a 5 star space hotel? Or just a quick flight up to feel what life is like without gravity? We might not be too far away! Companies like Blue Origin, Virgin and SpaceX (as well as many others) are well on their way to making space tourism a reality, and some are already sending people up for a quick trip. Interested in learning where it is all going, what options you will have in the next few years, and just how much it will cost? Take a listen!
October 10, 2018
One of the most important inventions of all time, the printing press has changed the world forever. From its humble beginnings in China, to the design of Johannes Gutenberg that we've all heard about, we wouldn't have the civil rights and freedoms we now have without it, or the wealth of books. Moving a little further into the modern era, we now have presses that can run thousands of pages per hour to keep up with the demand of newspapers and magazines. Sure, most people read them online now, but for some reason we still print them. Interesting in learning more about how it was designed, how it works and how it changed the world? Here you go!
October 2, 2018
Continuing with inventors we love, we've finally hit on a guy that was an amazing engineer and inventor but just terrible at marketing and entrepreneurship in general. Enter Nikola Tesla. Without him, we basically would still be living in the dark, or with a powerhouse ever mile to turn the lights on. Sure, he wasn't real good at the business side of things, and he did end up going crazy and talking to pigeons, but that doesn't mean he didn't have a huge impact on the world. Did I mention that he was thought to be working on a death ray as well?! Yeah, you'll probably want to learn all about his life right here.
September 25, 2018
In the third part of our civilization smack down, we head to ancient Egypt to see what type of engineering and technology that the Egyptians created for the world. Since we all know about how amazing the Sphinx is, and of course the Great Pyramid, we spend some extra time on their invention of paper, hieroglyphs, advanced mathematics, and some of their crazy complex tools for their time such as the tubular drill and lathe. We also discuss how they were able to make perfectly symmetric designs such as the statues of Ramses II. Curious how they stack up against the Aztec and Mayan civilizations? Take a listen!
September 18, 2018
In part 2 of our civilization smack down, we take a look at the engineering contributions of the Mayan civilization. Or is it Maya? Mayan? Hmm…well, whatever it is, they had some amazing engineering. One example would be the written language of the Mayans. Unlike English, it is created from 800 or so glyphs representing a syllable or word. Sure, this means most words could be spelled a few different ways, but how many languages have you created? They also nailed the 365 day calendar and created tens of thousands of paper books. Masters of hydrology and the blast furnace, in many ways the Maya were ahead of their time, even if they decided that the wheel was of no real value. Interested in learning more about their history? Take a listen!
September 12, 2018
Welcome to the civilization smack down!! Over the next 3 episodes, we'll be looking into how 3 great civilizations (Aztec, Mayan and Egyptian) contributed to engineering, the impact of their discoveries, and how they have withstood the test of time. The first civilization that we will look into is the Aztecs. Some of their notable contributions include: required education for all, advanced astronomy, the canoe, drills, and floating gardens. Want to learn more about what they created and what is left for us to go see? Take a listen!
September 5, 2018
Are you thinking about getting into engineering but don't know what flavor is right for you? The answer is simple: Mechanical Engineering. Sure, just because we are a couple of ME's might make us biased, but it does make sense. Job opportunity is high, pay is good, work is interesting...or at least it potentially can be. NASA, Boeing, SpaceX. They all need Mechanical Engineers! In this episode we break down what it takes to be a ME, looking through the courses you would have to take, the types of jobs you would land, the pay you could expect, and settle the debate once and for all that ME is the superior engineering degree.
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