Taking Measure is the official blog of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Unlike some of the other NIST blogs, which are confined to a particular niche, Taking Measure covers a wide range of science and technology areas, and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the government agency’s research and programs.
In each post, NIST researchers and staff share their work, and the reasons why they do it. The writing is clear, concise, and approachable from any skill level. You can follow NIST on Twitter for more.
Written by a professor of engineering at Texas State University, Engineering Ethics is one of the longest running, most unique, and highly personal engineering blogs on the web. The focus here goes far beyond the nuts and bolts of cutting edge tech, and looks at the ethics behind today’s engineering feats.
Engineering Ethics is an old blog, but it’s still actively maintained, and the issues it covers are as relevant as ever: a 2016 post on the impact of Twitter on extremism was first posted in relation to ISIS, but has found new meaning in the wake of a surge of right-wing violence.
Hackaday is focused on the original creativity and elegance associated with the term ‘hack’, and its blog may help engineering students get back in touch with the engineer’s builder spirit. Each post isn’t meant to be simply read, but acted upon: readers can get started hacking old Sega Dreamcasts and 3D printers, or building their own chain link fences and ergonomic keyboards.
And despite the name, the posts come at a quicker cadence than once a day. You can stay updated with Hackaday by following them on Twitter.
Machine Learning Mastery is a blog that helps those interested in machine learning get started with, and get good at, machine learning processes. It’s run by Dr. Jason Brownlee, who has advanced degrees in artificial intelligence and has worked on machine learning systems for the defense industry, for startups, and for severe weather forecasting.
Dr. Brownlee started his journey as an interested amateur, and he runs his blog for a similar audience: posts include tutorials, walkthroughs, and self-study programs in machine learning. You can stay updated with the blog on Twitter.
X is Google’s moonshot factory: a place where engineers are given a wide latitude to dream big. The goal of X is to invent and launch breakthrough technologies that have the potential to solve the world’s biggest problems.
But unlike other skunkworks programs, X isn’t as secretive as its name might imply. And their blogs aren’t as overly tech-focused as some other companies’: here you’ll find posts from some of the brightest engineers on the planet, talking about how they think and how they work. For regular updates, you can follow the team at X on Twitter.
The Airbnb Tech Blog gives readers a deeper look at how Airbnb’s engineers and data scientists work. More than many other companies, the engineering team at Airbnb puts a premium on the concept of inclusivity, and many of their blog posts are dedicated to combining that inclusive perspective with issues of technology.
Netflix is the poster child of a disruptive and adaptive engineering ethos. The company could’ve ended up obsolete, but instead it’s made many of its old competitors obsolete: what started as sending DVDs through the mail has grown to become the world’s largest streaming service.
On the Netflix Tech Blog, readers can learn how the company’s engineers think and work. They can also get the personal perspectives of Netflix engineers through a regular interview series.
For aerospace engineering students, the NASA blogs are a way to keep abreast of what’s going on at the American space agency as it launches independent missions and partners with private companies like SpaceX.
Some of the writing can be sparse and dry, leaning towards the aggressively literal (they’re engineers!), but the occasional retrospective missive from a NASA veteran is potent enough to fuel several engineering students’ dreams. For moment-by-moment updates (and plenty more sparse, literal writing), you can follow NASA on Twitter.
SciTechDaily has been a valuable resource for engineering students since its inception in 1998. It collects the best-informed science and technology coverage and analysis available, pulling from a wide range of reputable sources. While it lacks the personal analyses of traditional blogs, it helped define what’s come to be known as a ‘porthole’ site: a curated feed of subject-specific news and developments.
And though some porthole sites are aggregated via algorithm, SciTechDaily maintains an esteemed editorial board that selects and filters content to high, engineering-level standards. You can keep updated by following SciTechDaily on Twitter.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is an association of over 128,000 engineers and experts with a focus in mobility, including the aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicle industries.
The SAE blog includes posts by engineering thought leaders and advances the conversation around mobility knowledge. Here you’ll find in-depth looks at cutting edge areas like autonomous vehicles, blockchain, diversity, and how they all fit together. You can stay up to date with SAE on Twitter, too.
Engineers might be the only group of people where you can give them a problem—and they can consider it a gift. The engineering mind thrives on hunting for elegant solutions to complex tasks. That doesn’t mean you should give an engineering student a homework assignment for the holidays, but it does mean you can have some fun with the gift you eventually select.
Engineering internships are an increasingly important part of the transition from student to engineer. Internships provide an opportunity to put theoretical skills to work in hands-on environments. They also give engineering students valuable work experience, networking opportunities, and future career options.
Not long ago, self-driving cars were science fiction. Today, not so much. Influential companies like Tesla, Uber, Apple, and Google boast dynamic auto-drive programs, and many new startups are following their lead.
Students with a penchant for mathematics and the sciences might consider pursuing coursework in engineering at a private research university. Programs in engineering vary widely, but all of them train students to analyze, interpret, and build solutions for commercial and societal needs.
Why are women underrepresented in engineering, the top-paying undergraduate major in the country? Why does a disproportionate amount of engineering research funding go to men? Which schools are actively creating opportunities for women? Which female engineers are leading the way? Find out here.