News
11 July

Benelux students gear up for the World Solar Challenge

Over its 30+ year history, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge has become the most well-known solar-powered car racing event on the globe. Every two years, the challenge brings students and innovators, from all over the world, to Australia for a chance to compete and to push the limits of solar cars.

News
11 July

Turbocharging the silicon solar cell to 35 percent efficiency

Move aside tandem solar cells, there may be a better way to increase the performance of PV systems. Managing to bring into practice a four-decade-old idea, MIT researchers light a path to silicon solar cells with an efficiency of 35 percent.

Opinion
10 July

Is your work meaningful?

As we’re entering the vacation season, many of us are going to take a step back and reflect on where we are in our professional lives. To what extent is our work aligned with our personal goals, norms and values? Does it help us grow and develop as professionals and as individuals? Is the direction of growth still the one that’s the highest priority for us?

Background

Background
1 July

Photonics, a specialty of the Dutch Noord-Brabant area

The Dutch province of Noord-Brabant houses leading global players in photonics: Smart Photonics and Morphotonics.

News & Analysis

News
8 July

ASI image detecting systems capture 2 million in new investment

Amsterdam Scientific Instruments recently revealed that it received two million euros in new investment from, among others, the TechNano Fund. With this injection of capital, the high tech imaging expert is looking to expand and to develop its system for next-generation detection.

Interview

Interview
1 July

Despite advances in technology, systems reliability is getting worse

With a steady increase in global product recalls, highly publicized fines for automotive companies and the recent Boeing tragedies, it’s clear that reliability is a major issue. According to world-renowned expert Michael Pecht, things are getting worse. In fact, he says many of these problems are completely self-created and entirely avoidable – that is, if companies are ready to get serious about reliability.

Background

Background
6 June

Combining disciplines for smart vehicles and machinery

Self-driving cars capture everyone’s imagination. Less common knowledge is that the development of the technology to make machinery and other vehicles autonomous is supported in Flanders. Flanders Make, the research center for the manufacturing industry, maintains close partnerships with the industry to study a wide range of applications: from logistic robots, tractors and weaving machines to assembly cells within production areas. The key to success is a simultaneous design combining mechanics, electricity, electronics, software and control. We give the floor to two researchers.

Interview
25 June

Billions from the gaming world give digital twin momentum

With a game engine under the hood of its digital twin toolbox, Unit040 is leveraging the developments in the gaming industry. The impact of gaming technology on simulation and visualization in high tech has taken the traditional CAD industry by surprise. “We’ve been tapping into the knowledge from the game engine development race for years,” says Guido van Gageldonk, the CTO of Unit040.

Interview
24 June

Polishing raw software talent into industry-ready gems

The company where he did his internship and graduation project was very eager to take him onboard and he got offered not one but two prestigious PhD positions. Yet, Robin Mennens chose to enroll in the PDEng Software Technology program to further develop his technical, professional and personal skills and become a software designer and well-rounded engineer.

Editorial
8 July

Photonic myths

Bits&Chips once met a Dutch local politician who was under the impression that integrated photonics would replace all electronics. Surely, photonics lobbyists didn’t intentionally impart that impression on him, but the sector should take the existence of such misunderstandings to heart nonetheless. Setting expectations so unrealistically high that they can never be met will eventually result in a backlash, endangering the entire effort to build an integrated photonics industry in the Netherlands. Not to mention the fact that it – understandably – pisses off the electronics folks to no end.

Opinion
3 July

Business starts with engineers

On a regular basis, I run into engineers who refuse to talk about business, monetization, customer value and related topics. All they want is to get a requirement specification, put on their headphones and start building. Their perspective is that business is the responsibility of others and that their job is to build what they’re told to build.