ISA Expo: Sensors help define cold fusion
Cold fusion will be a special keynote topic at ISA Expo 2008 in Houston, Oct. 14-16. Process sensors, instrumentation, and power protection and power control technologies are involved. The potential for a new sensing and instrumentation market with continued exploration and evolution of cold fusion technology will be discussed in the address, “Instrumentation for Low Energy Nuclear Reacti...
Cold fusion will be a special keynote topic at ISA Expo 2008 in Houston, Oct. 14-16. Process sensors, instrumentation, and power protection and power control technologies are involved.
The potential for a new sensing and instrumentation market with continued exploration and evolution of cold fusion technology will be discussed in the address, “Instrumentation for Low Energy Nuclear Reactions,” scheduled as the Rimbach Lecture/keynote address at 9 a.m on Oct. 15. Dr. David J. Nagel, research professor at George Washington University, will present.
An excerpt from the presentation focuses on the history of cold fusion: “Two chemists announced in 1989 that they could produce nuclear reactions and energy under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure. These reactions were termed 'cold fusion,’ even though no one really knew then what nuclear reactions might be occurring. In the years since 1989, hundreds of experiments have been done on what is now called low-energy nuclear reactions, or the Fleischmann-Pons Effect. The total body of experimental evidence shows that it is indeed possible to produce nuclear reactions at low input energies. However, the field remains controversial and poorly understood. There is no satisfactory theory now for what has been observed.”
Experiments require sophisticated instrumentation, including multiple sensors and automated control of relevant conditions. Many believe that understanding of control, optimization, and commercial exploitation of this new way to trigger nuclear reactions will follow in the future. If these advances occur, along with a significant scaling up of power levels, a new nuclear reactor industry will emerge and sensing and control instrumentation will be critical.
For 36 years, Nagel has held positions of increasing responsibility at the Naval Research Laboratory. He has written or co-authored more than 150 technical articles, reports, and book chapters. In 1998, he became a research professor of George Washington University. He is general chairman of the 14th International Conference on Cold Fusion (Washington, DC). His R&D career paralleled developments in MEMS and nano technology. He is recognized as an authority in MEMS and nano-technology-based sensors and wireless sensor systems.
The Rimbach Lecture honors Richard Rimbach (1885-1979), long considered the Father of ISA, for his lifetime of service to the industry and for his leadership in founding the society.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.