Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Engineering Innovation

The National Academy of Engineering has worked with the Washington, D.C. region's most listened-to radio station — the all-news format WTOP Radio — and the nation's only radio station specifically dedicated to covering news related to the federal government — WFED 1500 AM — to provide weekly features highlighting engineering innovations and stories that add technical context to issues in the news. Hear some of our stories in the links below.


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  • Aerospace 34
  • Chemical Engineering 45
  • Electronics/Computing/Internet 201
  • Energy 73
  • Environment 111
  • Health/Medicine/Biotechnology 252
  • Infrastructure 32
  • Manufacturing and Systems 34
  • Materials 97
  • Mechanical Engineering 56
  • Practice of Engineering 60
  • Sound 20
  • Sports 29
  • Structures and Traffic 45
  • Transportation 24
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  • Covid-19 Severity Detector
    Posted July 10, 2020
    Researchers are working on a way to predict when symptoms from the novel coronavirus might turn dangerous.
  • Wildfire Preventer
    Posted June 26, 2020
    As wildfire season starts, engineers are developing a new tool to stop them in their tracks.
  • Boosting Vaccine Efficiency
    Posted June 19, 2020
    Making enough COVID-19 vaccine to immunize the world will be a challenge, but a new vaccination method, without the typical needles, may help.
  • Covid-19 at Home Test
    Posted June 12, 2020
    Re-opening during the pandemic would be easier to safely manage if we had a quick at-home test, like a pregnancy test, for COVID-19 infection. Engineers may be close.
  • Art Framing Climate Issues
    Posted June 5, 2020
    A growing number of artists are creating works that pull people into thinking more about climate change…and the pros and cons of possible solutions.
  • Public Carbon Capture
    Posted May 28, 2020
    The National Science Foundation recently announced finalists of a public competition for bold ideas to guide their long-term planning. One of the Grand Prize winners wants to get us all involved in tackling climate change.
  • Small Modular Reactors
    Posted May 22, 2020
    Since nuclear power plants don’t emit greenhouse gases, many think they are a solution to climate change. So a push is now on to boost worldwide nuclear energy production by deploying more – but much smaller – reactors.
  • Clean Hand Check
    Posted May 14, 2020
    As restaurants re-open, now you’ll want their employees’ hands to really be clean. A new device could help. While it doesn’t yet check specifically for coronavirus, it can spot other dangerous pathogens.
  • Fake News Filter
    Posted May 8, 2020
    While political views differ, democracy depends upon a basic agreement about facts. Can technology help people sort truth from trash in social media?
  • Nose for Infection
    Posted May 1, 2020
    Researchers are now exploring whether dogs can detect a person infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by smell. Trace odors have already been connected to other infections.
  • Heart Cap
    Posted April 24, 2020
    Engineers are working on a removable heart pump that might one day let patients with end stage heart failure not only survive longer, but recover.
  • Spotting Methane Leaks
    Posted April 17, 2020
    We mostly talk about carbon dioxide as the culprit of climate change. But methane is actually about a hundred times more powerful as a greenhouse gas.
  • Rebuilding Antarctica
    Posted April 9, 2020
    Antarctica is melting faster than expected…and a recent U-N report says, unless something is done, sea levels will likely rise higher by the end of this century than previous estimates. Some scientists say it may be time to think of radical solutions.
  • Smart Stethoscope
    Posted April 3, 2020
    Diagnosing lung diseases ideally uses tools like chest X-rays and blood tests, but in times when the healthcare system is stressed the stethoscope may be the only tool.
  • Smartphone Drug Delivery
    Posted March 26, 2020
    Brain implants can treat diseases ranging from Parkinson’s to depression, but patients must generally be tethered to machines. The key to a new solution might be in your pocket.
  • Mars Life Support
    Posted March 19, 2020
    Mars has a harsh environment. So, in anticipation of human travel there, engineers are working on ways to make parts of the planet more hospitable for life.
  • Computer Game Attacks Coronavirus
    Posted March 13, 2020
    If you want to help researchers fighting the coronavirus, even while you’re hunkering down at home, we’ve got a video game for you!
  • Potomac Treasure Part 2
    Posted March 6, 2020
    Thirty years ago, a bacteria from the Potomac River was found to produce its own tiny wires that conduct electricity. Just last month, an even more surprising discovery was announced.
  • Potomac Treasure Part 1
    Posted February 28, 2020
    More than thirty years ago, a new type of bacteria was discovered in the mud of the Potomac River. Now it could provide a key to producing clean energy.
  • Replacing Batteries
    Posted February 21, 2020
    A new technique might soon allow you to stream High Definition video from a camera so small it could be attached to your glasses.
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