Issue 2: 12 February 2014
Russian traffic police officer

Dilemmas of Russia's £30bn winter Olympics

The Sochi Olympic Games combines genuine technological achievements with persisting old myths, unprecedented costs and the heaviest ever security.

Aerial shot of Sochi

As all eyes have turned to a worryingly snow-sparse Sochi as it readies itself for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Many environmental organisations are questioning whether Russia has delivered on its green Games and'lasting'legacy promises.

Mobile fruit graphic

Motion control has come on in leaps and bounds (and swipes and punches) in recent years, and hardware companies are getting all e-motional in a bid to engage with users. But do we really know what to use it for yet?

Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã

Stadiums and other key engineering projects needed for a smooth Brazilian World Cup will be ready just in time - literally.

Sochi Winter Olympics
E&T cover image 1402

With the Sochi Winter Olympics underway, we take a look at where the estimated $51bn (equivalent to around £30bn) has been spent; the engineering that went into the supporting transport infrastructure and its environmental impact; and the modern technology involved when building new sports stadia. Away from the world of sport, we also meet an engineer who made an unusual career change, from avionics to jewellery designer; we report on the latest trends in biomimetics, in which engineering is inspired by the natural world; we learn of a new way of storing energy from intermittent alternative sources; how motion control has come on in leaps and bounds (as well as little hops and jumps); plus as much more of this sort of thing as we could squeeze in to the pages of this issue.

The E&T podcast: Visiting the Belgian Hops Museum

Vitali Vitaliev raises a glass with Luc Dequidt at Belgian’s Hop Museum and hears about the country's 1,400 beers.

Download the Belgian Hops Museum podcast now

Also in this issue
Though a major bitcoin exchange declared bankruptcy this month, this does not necessarily mean the end of the digital currency

Analysis: Why reports of bitcoin’s demise missed the point  ET arr

Mt. Gox's demise rocked the bitcoin community, but, like San Francisco's occasional earthquakes, it was not entirely unexpected.

Embedded world faces up to growing security challenge  ET arr

Security has become an even more major concern for the makers of processors and software for embedded systems in the rush to connect them to wireless network – and even the wider Internet. It is driving a rethink in the way devices are designed to prevent network-based attacks and attempts to reverse-engineer the firmware inside.

Samsung has combined biometric authentication with NFC technology, giving the user a ‘securer’ way to pay

MWC: NFC evolves with biometrics, but what will users think?  ET arr

Samsung created a buzz at Mobile World Congress with an embedded biometric fingerprint scanner that lets users to pay online at the touch of a finger.

Hand held GPS

Mission-critical location-based services  ET arr

Location-based services on mobile devices used to be the preserve of app-happy shoppers and geo-social networking. Now, their usefulness is being explored for more serious – even mission critical – situations.

Industrial cyber-physical graphic

Embedded technology powers cyber-physical systems  ET arr

The embedded computers used to control industrial machinery are starting to talk among themselves – and it's a process that could change the way we program managing systems.

London’s Piccadilly Circus

Display technology: coming to a screen near you  ET arr

Digital signage and display screen technologies are getting closer together – and are now integral to helping us find our way in the world.

Bernie Meyerson

Turing Lecture 2014 speaker interview: Dr Bernard Meyerson  ET arr

IBM’s vice president of innovation Dr Bernard Meyerson wants to change the future. Not simply in the direction of IT, but in using computers to sidestep traffic gridlock, deadly diseases, and energy blackouts. 

Munic’s iconic stadium

Photo Essay: Sports stadia around the globe  ET arr

Whether architectural masterpieces or cripplingly expensive white elephants - or both - the iconic stadiums at the heart of major sports events are always controversial. We take a look at some structures from the recent past to see how well they’ve blended in after the big game...

Diccon Bewes

Diccon Bewes: 'Slow Train to Switzerland'  ET arr

The Swiss rail network's reputation for efficiency and punctuality owes much to British engineering. We talk to Diccon Bewes, whose book 'Slow Train to Switzerland' explains why.

The Barclays Center, New York

The architecture industry takes a cue from manufacturing  ET arr

With the concept of 'legacy' now the number one priority in designing and building cities of the future, could architects learn from the manufacturing industry?

Lynne MacLachlan

Interview - Lynne MacLachlan, Engineering 3D printed jewellery  ET arr

Lynne MacLachlan is a former aerospace engineer who switched careers to become a jewellery designer. With her extensive use of CAD systems, 3D printing and complex geometries, she is setting a new trend on the catwalk.

A curled leaf

Biomimicry - the next engineering revolution?  ET arr

The natural world and its inhabitants are expert at developing energy-efficient and flexible designs. Engineers can learn a lot from Mother Nature's survival processes.

Green battery graphic

Quinone-based batteries for better energy storage  ET arr

The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources renders their energy output difficult to store, but researchers believe they have the solution: the low-cost flow battery.

Hüttinger-designed Schaeffler Concept Bike, Hannover Messe 2013

Hannover Messe 2014  ET arr

E&T magazine is again a preferred media partner for this year's Hannover Messe showcase of industrial and engineering technology innovation. This second of three previews surveys in brief the technology-specific trade shows that make-up Hannover Messe 2014 - and includes details of FREE ENTRY for IET members.

Mobile fruit graphic

Motion control - wave to the future  ET arr

Motion control has come on in leaps and bounds (and swipes and punches) in recent years, and hardware companies are getting all e-motional in a bid to engage with users. But do we really know what to use it for yet?

IBM presentation slide

Business Focus: IBM's standard server sale marks strategic shift to the Cloud  ET arr

Global giants in computer services and oil exploration both look to offload assets as they focus on new strategies.


Debate: Should there be laws for exploring the moon?


There needs to be a legal framework to protect investment on the Moon

Profile: Professor Ian Crawford

Ian Crawford is professor of planetary science and astrobiology at Birkbeck University College London and sits on the European Space Agency (ESA) Human Spaceflight and Exploration Science Advisory Committee (HESAC). He is a contributing author to the book ‘Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon’.



The legal framework can wait: we should first protect the Earth’s environment

Profile: Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE

Robin Hanbury-Tenison, OBE, was named by the Sunday Times as one of the ‘greatest explorers of the 20th century’. He has been on over 30 expeditions, including leading 115 scientists to study the rainforests of Sarawak. His book ‘Mulu: the Rainforest’, started the international concern for tropical rainforests.

Should there be laws for exploring the moon?

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The big picture
Built in 1819, Piccadilly Circus is famous for its illuminated displays, with the Perrier sign being first illuminated in 1908
Big Numbers
Acer C720P

First touchscreen Chromebook laptop

Breezie tablet

A standard Galaxy Tab 2 10.1in Android tablet reskinned with simplified front-end and redesigned key apps

Osprey Portal series

Bag shut - tablet protected; bag open - tablet instantly usable with touchscreen window under the main padded flap

Teac LP-P1000

The retro Teac LP-P1000 boasts 35/45/78 turntable, CD and MP3/WMA, AM/FM tuner and Bluetooth

Weye Feye

Control your dSLR camera with your smartphone or tablet

Zendure external battery pack

These external high-capacity (at least 9,600mAh) smartphone battery packs are crush and drop-proof


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