Now more than ever it is important that we take the time to do something we enjoy. It is also the perfect time to catch up with some of the engineers who are doing fascinating work on the internet. And so, to help you spend some time, I am going to take a look at a few blogs, podcasts and videos that you might have missed.
Let’s start with someone you might have seen before. Grant Imahara is a well-known engineer and technology presenter whose career serves as an inspiration to geeks everywhere. After graduating, Grant worked for Lucasfilm and can boast Star Wars, The Matrix and Terminator on his resume.
He came to public attention as part of the MythBusters team. If you have some time to spare, the entire MythBusters back catalogue is an ideal way to spend it, but Grant now works with US company Mouser on their Empowering Innovation series. Mouser has been redefining the electronics distribution market for a decade now, and they have embraced their engineering customer base with a huge range of technical marketing content.
Tackling topics from drones to the International Space Station, this channel is worth exploring in depth. You’re bound to find something interesting to immerse yourself in.
The Engineering Edge
Another company providing excellence in the distribution field is RS Components. A decade ago, RS launched its engineering community called DesignSpark, aimed directly at engineering customers. DesignSpark continues to provide a huge range of tools that help make engineers’ lives easier. The website offers free software, technical articles and interviews with big names in the industry.
One of the latest series is the Engineering Edge, a podcast hosted by Professor Lucy Rogers PhD. Lucy will be well known to geeks in the UK as one of the judges on the BBC show Robot Wars. In the latest podcast, Lucy investigates a laser system for use in the next generation of atomic clocks.
You can find the Engineering Edge podcast on Podbeam, Spotify, YouTube or Apple.
DesignSpark is also home to a whole range of other podcasts, videos and interviews, including the upcoming Geeks, We Are Your Fathers. I’m in that one.
Born To Engineer
The Born To Engineer (B2E) website is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of engineers. B2E provides the latest in news and developments and supports these with outreach programs in schools and workplaces.
I came across the B2E website having met Richard Browning. Richard is the founder of Gravity, a company that seeks to develop “human-propelled transportation”. You may know him better as the real-life Iron Man.
For a slightly more light-hearted approach to engineering, you might find Colin Furze entertaining. Colin is a British inventor who creates ever-crazier machines. He holds at least two world records – one for the longest ever motorcycle, and another for the fastest ever Bumper Car, which achieved an average of over 100 miles per hour during testing.
Sometimes working with sponsors, Colin has completed a number of projects that involve quite major construction. Being a geek, my favourite has to be the jet powered land-speeder that Colin made from a golf cart.
I do have a warning for you: while Colin’s videos are totally family-friendly, they are very loud. I recommend turning your speakers down if you have company.
Will It Blend?
I couldn’t create a list of my favourite videos without including this final entry. It has less to do with engineering and technology, but as an exercise in marketing, it is fantastic. More than that, it makes me laugh.
Blendtec is a US company based on the shores of Lake Utah. The company’s founder and CEO Tom Dickson has created a series of videos that have taken YouTube by storm. I don’t know whether it’s Tom’s wonderful on-screen personality or the bizarreness of what he is doing, but any Blendtec video is almost guaranteed to make me smile. My personal favourite is the glow sticks edition – the perfect blend of science, gadgets and silliness.
These are just a few of the websites, blogs, videos and podcasts that I enjoy. Please take a look, and maybe drop a comment below with links to other blogs that fellow engineers (and geeks) might enjoy.
And if you fancy becoming a blogger, podcaster or YouTuber, creating your own technology project, take a look at the range of components kits that Samtec can supply to help spark your imagination.