According to the Wall Street Journal, the average starting salaries of 2014 college graduates are 7.5 percent higher than salaries for the 2013 class. Engineers topped the list with average salaries for 2014 starting at $62,891, although this represented just 1.3 percent more than last year’s engineering class earned.
Other disciplines that saw big increases were those in communications disciplines and computer science. The paper also reported that students’ expectations for starting salaries are low, and that students have a “bleak outlook” on the job market.
The Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition honors promising collegiate inventors around the country, undergraduate and graduate, who have inventions in either the categories of healthcare or consumer technology. Inventions can address issues in both developing and developed economies.
Undergraduate teams can win up to $10,000 and graduates can win up to $15,000. Applications are open for the 2015 year and are due by January 30, 2015.
HybridCars reports on University of Denver mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Eva Hakansson, who set several speed records in her homemade, streamlined electric sidecar called KillaJoule. The vehicle clocked in at 241.9 miles per hour, beating the previous sidecar speed record by 25 mph. The car is 19 feet long and weighs more than 1,500 pounds, and is completely powered by Lithium batteries.
KillaJoule is also the world’s fourth fastest battery-powered vehicle. Hakansson, daughter of a champion racer, has degrees in mechanical engineering, business, and environmental science. According to the article, she built most of KillaJoule in her two-car garage in Colorado over the course of five years. She currently works as a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well.
Following in the footsteps of several other universities around the nation, the University of Texas, Austin’s engineering school has received its first 3-D printer for mechanical engineering students, according to KXAN in Austin. The printer, according to the article, would be used as a “vending machine” for students to print out parts, after uploading their own CAD designs via a web portal.
“This is really lowering the barriers to 3-D printing to students. If they have a U.T. identification card they can print out a part,” said Carolyn Seepersad, associate professor of mechanical engineering at U.T.’s Cockrell School of Engineering, in the article.
Four materials science and engineering students from North Carolina State University are developing a nail polish that changes color when exposed to common date-rape drugs. They hope it will help women detect the colorless, odorless compounds if they’ve been slipped into drinks.
Someone would only have to dip a finger in a contaminated drink to find out, according to CBS News. The team has named their project “Undercover Colors” and plans eventually to take it to market, although they are still in the development and testing phase right now.