14 July, 2020

Superhero powers can be real, say engineers

01 December, 2016

The Batmobile

Even the Batmobile is closer to reality than you may think according to the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year finalist and Jaguar Land Rover engineer, Emma Wilding: “The process of designing a Batmobile would be very similar to that of any car. After the design phase, various features, including blast and nuclear protection and weapons packaging, would be tested through Computer Aided Engineering (CAE). Finally, the buyer would be able to select the interiors.”

Superman

Solar panels are bringing us closer to developing powers akin to Superman, whose powers are fuelled by Earth's yellow star, according to Naomi Mitchison: “Superman is essentially a giant solar battery. You can already buy a coat fitted with solar panels to charge your phone, and there’s even a new fabric that uses sunshine and movement to generate electric current. As solar panels get lighter and more flexible, this technology could be used to keep us warm and help us move in the future.

The Invisible Woman

In the future, fabricated artificial materials called ‘metamaterials’ could allow engineers to harness the power of Marvel’s The Invisible Woman. According to Will Stewart: “Engineers have recently worked out how in principle to ‘cloak’ objects to make them invisible – by bending the light around them and back onto its original path, they can block the view of the object to the eye.”

Will Stewart, vice president of the IET, commented: “The #EngineerASuperhero initiative is part of our wider Engineer a Better World campaign which aims to inspire children, especially girls, and their parents to think about engineering as a rewarding career choice. We were thrilled to partner with Mumsnet for this project, which allowed our inspiring engineering experts to share their insight directly with parents and children.”




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