Everyday Engineering
Understanding the Marvels of Daily Life

Everyday Engineering - Understanding the Marvels of Daily Life
Show More

36 episodes in this series

Episode 1 Engineering and Technology in Your World
Start the course by considering how engineering and technology influence your daily life--not just high-tech devices but also ordinary machines, buildings, and infrastructure that most people take for granted. In…
Episode 2 Your House as an Engineered System
In the first of four lectures on your house as a technological system, review the eight engineered subsystems that go into modern dwellings. Then discover the miracle of building codes,…
Episode 3 Three Structural Systems for Load Bearing
Examine one of the most important aspects of modern building codes: the design of a house for structural load carrying. Focus on two of the three major approaches to this…
Episode 4 Platform-Framed Housing Construction
Turn to the third major technique for building a house: platform-framed construction, which is a flexible arrangement of lightweight modular floor platforms, wall panels, and roof trusses. This efficient approach…
Episode 5 The Building Envelope
Now that your house is framed, it needs a building envelope that can shed rainwater and melting snow, and also keep precipitation from entering through the foundation. Learn about the…
Episode 6 Site Design and Storm Runoff
What happens to the precipitation that falls on your house, your lot, and your neighbors' properties? Study the problem of site design, focusing on how storm runoff is directed away…
Episode 7 Dam, Reservoir, and Aqueduct Design
Now consider the water that you want in your house--for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Examine the technologies that collect water from a watershed and transport it to a municipality. Explore…
Episode 8 Water Treatment and Distribution
Learn how raw water from nature is treated to make it safe for drinking. Then trace the distribution system that supplies water under pressure to users. Professor Ressler demonstrates two…
Episode 9 Wastewater Disposal and Treatment
What happens to the 150 gallons of water that the average person uses and then sends down the drain each day? Delve into wastewater disposal and treatment. Among the details…
Episode 10 Fossil Fuels: Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas
Coal, oil, and natural gas power the vast majority of electrical generating plants in use today. Learn how fossil fuels are extracted from the earth and how new technologies such…
Episode 11 Power Generation from Coal
Focus on the dominant source of electricity in the U.S. today: coal. Begin by reviewing concepts from thermodynamics that explain how power plants work. Then follow the processes that turn…
Episode 12 Oil, Gas, and Nuclear Power
Probe the tradeoffs of oil, natural gas, and nuclear fission for generating electrical power. For example, natural gas is plentiful and flexible, but it involves fracking and produces carbon dioxide…
Episode 13 Renewable Sources of Electricity
Survey the three most important sources of renewable energy: hydropower, wind power, and solar power. Look at the inner workings of hydroelectric dams, wind turbines, solar-thermal power stations, and photovoltaic…
Episode 14 Electrical Power Transmission: The Grid
Study the technological marvel called the grid--the system that transmits electricity from its point of generation to users. Learn why electrical transmission lines come in threes, why AC power is…
Episode 15 Electrical Power Distribution
Trace the distribution of electrical power from a substation to your home. Begin with the transformer, discovering how this crucial device functions. By the end of this lecture, you will…
Episode 16 Everyday Thermodynamics: Refrigeration
Unravel the secret of refrigeration by focusing on the connection between heat, temperature, work, and energy. Then see how these thermodynamic concepts apply to the vapor-compression cycle in your refrigerator…
Episode 17 Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning
Explore heating, ventilating, and air conditioning--known as HVAC. Begin by learning how thermostats regulate temperature. Then review how heat transfer takes place, and investigate the pros and cons of heating…
Episode 18 Home Energy Efficiency
Delve into the green building movement, which promotes structures that use natural resources more efficiently while reducing environmental impact. Focus on minimizing energy consumption through a well-insulated, airtight building envelope;…
Episode 19 Passive Solar and Net-Zero-Energy Homes
How much energy can you save with a properly designed house? Would you believe all of it? Trace the trend in passive solar and net-zero-energy homes that are engineered to…
Episode 20 The Plain Old Telephone Service
Begin the first of four lectures on telecommunications technology by tracking the landline telephone system, known in the trade as "plain old telephone service." Follow the pair of copper wires…
Episode 21 The Global Telecommunications Network
Investigate the beauty and complexity of the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Optimized for transmission of the human voice, it comprises a vast array of conventional phone lines, fiber-optic cables,…
Episode 22 Cellular Phone Technology
Why is cell phone service sometimes so unpredictable? Get inside the cellular network to learn how clever engineering makes a surprisingly large number of two-way conversations possible over a very…
Episode 23 Satellites and Satellite Communications
Take wireless communications to a higher level: space. First master the rudiments of rockets, orbits, and satellite operations. Then focus on commercial satellite services such as television, radio, Internet, telephone,…
Episode 24 Simple Machines around the House
Nothing embodies everyday engineering like simple machines--the basic mechanical devices used for thousands of years that we rely on more than we may realize. Probe the wonders of the inclined…
Episode 25 User-Centered Design
Using the faucet as an example, study the bewildering number of ways that hot and cold water can be delivered into a sink, reflecting the challenges of designing everyday things.…
Episode 26 The Internal Combustion Engine
Begin the first of four lectures on automotive engineering by exploring that marvel of mechanical sophistication: the internal combustion engine. Professor Ressler uses homebuilt models to demonstrate the ingenious design…
Episode 27 Torque, Power, and Transmission
Trace the path of mechanical power from pistons to the engine crankshaft, then through the flywheel and clutch assembly to the transmission gearbox. Focus on the relationships between torque, rotational…
Episode 28 The Drivetrain
Follow the transfer of automotive power from the gearbox through the driveshaft to the differential and drive-wheels. Study working models of the universal joint and differential. Also explore the design…
Episode 29 Suspension, Steering, and Braking
Conclude your survey of automotive engineering by studying the three systems that control a vehicle: suspension, steering, and braking. Begin with the technology that's vital to all three: your tires.…
Episode 30 Highway Engineering
Step into the work boots of a highway engineer, tasked with designing a freeway across hilly terrain to connect two other highways. Discover that features of a safe road that…
Episode 31 Traffic Engineering
Traffic engineers help to ensure the safe and efficient movement of vehicles and pedestrians within a road system. Focus on their approach to intersection design, examining the many factors that…
Episode 32 Everyday Bridges
Find that everyday highway overpass bridges are more interesting than they appear. These ubiquitous structures deserve to be admired for their simplicity and practicality. Plunge into the principles of multi-girder…
Episode 33 Tunnel Engineering
Delve into tunnel engineering, a discipline every bit as impressive as bridge building, only less visible. Consider the challenges presented by the type of soil or rock being excavated for…
Episode 34 The Railroad
Ride the rails to learn why rail transportation continues to thrive, two centuries after the modern railroad was introduced. Trace the origin of the standard rail gauge used in the…
Episode 35 Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling
Compare the three main methods of dealing with the 700,000 tons of solid waste generated every day in the U.S.: landfill, incineration, and recycling. Explore the distinction between recycling, which…
Episode 36 The Future: Engineering for Sustainability
Look beyond recycling to the higher goal of sustainability. Then close the course by considering the Great Northeast Blackout of 2003. Caused by inadequately pruned trees and a software bug,…

Related videos

The Science of Information - From Language to Black Holes
The science of information is the most influential, yet perhaps least appreciated field in science today. Never before in history have we been able to acquire, record, communicate, and use information in so many different forms. Never before have we had access to such vast quantities of data of every…
Robotics Series
Robots. The mere word conjures up a bevy of mind-bending images pulled straight from popular science fiction tales. But robots aren't just the stuff of entertainment. They're real. They're everywhere around you. Yet for all their seen (and unseen) prevalence, robotics remains mysterious to most of us. Take an in-depth…
The Nature of Matter - Understanding the Physical World
Discover how the immense variety of matter--stars, mountains, plants, people--is made by a limited number of elements that combine in simple ways. In the engaging lectures of The Nature of Matter, no scientific background is needed to appreciate everyday miracles like a bouncing rubber ball or water's astonishing power to…
Understanding the World's Greatest Structures - Science and Innovation from Antiquity to Modernity Course
The Giza pyramids. Brunelleschi's dome. The Brooklyn Bridge. Each of these structures is iconic. They are visited by millions of people each year because they provoke a sense of awe and wonder. They are as beautiful to behold as they are fascinating to study: just how did the engineers who…
Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime - Understanding Gravity Course
Gravity rules the universe. Without it, everything would dissolve into a gas of randomly interacting atoms. Yet gravity is one of the least understood forces in nature. Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime introduces you to key ideas in gravity research over the past 400 years. It's an awe-inspiring journey…
The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know
As recently as 1990, it seemed plausible that the solar system was a unique phenomenon in our galaxy. Thanks to advances in technology and clever new uses of existing data, now we know that planetary systems and possibly even a new Earth can be found throughout galaxies near and far.…
Secrets of Mental Math
One key to expanding your math potential--whether you're a CEO or a high school student--lies in the power to perform mental calculations. Solving basic math problems in your head offers lifelong benefits including a competitive edge at work, a more active and sharper mind, and improved standardized test scores. Discover…
Chemistry, 2nd Edition Course
Many students struggle in high school chemistry. Even if they succeed in earning a good grade, they often still feel confused and unconfident. Why is this? And what can be done to help every student succeed in this vitally important course? Success in chemistry, according to veteran science teacher Professor…
Geometry - An Interactive Journey to Mastery
Inscribed over the entrance of Plato's Academy were the words, "Let no one ignorant of geometry enter my doors." To ancient scholars, geometry was the gateway to knowledge. Its core skills of logic and reasoning are essential to success in school, work, and many other aspects of life. Yet sometimes…
Mind-Bending Math: Riddles and Paradoxes
Discover the timeless riddles and paradoxes that have confounded the greatest philosophical, mathematical, and scientific minds in history. Stretching your mind to try to solve a puzzle, even when the answer eludes you, can help sharpen your mind and focus - and it's an intellectual thrill!
Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time Series
Time seems to be woven into the very fabric of the universe. But why? In 24 riveting half-hour episodes, Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time shows how a feature of the world that we all experience connects us to the instant of the formation of the universe--and possibly to a multiverse…
Physics and Our Universe: How It All Works Series
Physics is the fundamental science. It explains how the universe works! All you need to begin exploring physics is a grasp of high-school algebra. These lessons are intensively illustrated with diagrams, animations, graphs, and other engaging visual aids and introduce you Newtonian mechanics, oscillations and waves, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism,…