Jack Uldrich
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The Coming "Rift" in the Future of Education

Posted in Business as Unusual, Construction, Disruptive Technology, Education, Future, Health Care, Higher Education, Life Science/Pharmaceutical

Yesterday, I delivered the opening keynote presentation at the American Technical Education Association’s 51st annual meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota. The title of my talk was “The Ten Trends Transforming the Technical Education of Tomorrow.” To demonstrate how fast the world of technical (and higher) education is changing I explained how Oculus Rift–a promising virtual…


In the Near Future, Time Will "Self-Heal" Many Small Problems

Posted in Automobile/Aerospace, Construction, Disruptive Technology, Future, Future Proof, Futurist, Innovation, Nanotechnology

In 2003, I authored a book on nanotechnology, The Next Big Thing is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business. In it, I speculated that self-healing materials would soon become commonplace and, to be honest, I was a overly optimistic in the timing of my projections. Nevertheless, LG has just released…


Illuminating the Future

Posted in Construction, Do the Impossible, Food, Future, Futurist

In his wonderful book, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, Matt Ridley reminds us that the amount of artificial light produced with an hour of work has increased a staggering 43,200-fold since the recording of the first sesame-oil lamp in Babylon in 1750 BC. Here’s another way to think of this: In 1750 BC it…


3D Manufacturing's Accelerating Future

Posted in Construction, Future, Futurist, Manufacturing

Yesterday, it was reported that two students at the University of Virginia had created a 3D-manufactured airplane capable of cruising at a speed of 45 miles per hour. More impressive was the fact that the students created the 6.5 foot airplane in four months at a cost of $4,000. To appreciate the significance of this…


Nanotechnology in Action: "Solid Smoke"

Posted in Construction, Manufacturing, Nanotechnology

I speak frequently to officials in the building and construction trades and I’ve telling them about aerogels and “frozen smoke” (or “solid smoke”) for some time. Alas, it’s true that a picture (or in this case a video) is worth a thousand words. Please observe the scene with the blow torch. It’s impressive stuff. In…


Unlearning the Grid

Posted in Construction, Energy, General, Manufacturing, Speaking, Transportation, Wind Power

I'm in Eugene, Oregon today to give the keynote presentation at the conference celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Eugene Water and Electricity Board. The gist of my message is that as impressive as progress has been in the past century it will pale in comparison to what is coming in the next two decades….


Unlearning the Bridge

Posted in Architecture, Construction, Design

Is there a better way to build a suspension bridge? According to researchers at Sheffield University the  answer is "maybe." As this article explains, engineers may soon be able to build a more structurally sound bridge using less material. The only unresolved issue is whether the more complex design will offset the material cost savings…


Unlearning the Hospital

Posted in Architecture, Construction, Health Care, Hospitals

For the past two days I have been in California working with a well-known construction company and architectural firm designing the hospital of the future. Due to the proprietary nature of project, I can't go into specifics with this post but I always begin such projects from the premise: What must we unlearn?   For…


Unlearning New Road Construction

Posted in Construction, Politics, Transportation

About the only thing I hate more than being stuck in traffic is being cut off by some idiotic driver who is yakking away on his or her cellphone and, thus, isn’t paying attention to the road. It might then surprise you to know that I’d actually like to see more cellphones being used by…


Unlearning Home Construction

Posted in Architecture, Buildings Trade, Construction, General, Manufacturing, Plastics, Real Estate, Retail

One of the things I really enjoy about studying emerging technologies is that the field constantly challenges my thinking and forces me to think differently about the future. To this end, I invite you to read this article on a new “print-a-house” construction technology. In the near future, it is possible that homes will be…


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