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Top 5 Articles of 2023
From sports to space, engineers developed a bevy of innovative solutions throughout 2023.
Engineers lead the way when it comes to finding solutions, no matter the industry. That was particularly evident in 2023, as shown by the top five stories read on ASME.org throughout the year. They also varied widely from 2022's top five articles, which ranged from digital twins to the running of the bulls, and even the use of dead spiders for a gripping tool.

But these are just a snapshot of the hundreds of topics covered throughout the year. Be sure to visit ASME's Content home page to view the latest in mechanical engineering year-round.

Collar Compresses the Neck to Protect the Brain
The most-viewed story of 2023 took a look at a piece of wearable protective equipment that could help athletes in high-contact sports—and even soldiers in the battlefield—avoid some of the most damaging reprecussions from repeated hits to the head. The lightweight, horseshoe-shaped Q-Collar fits around the lower portion of the neck, lightly compressing internal jugular veins, which helps reduce the brain's movement.

Space Station Could Bring Weight to the Weightless
But the year's innovations stretched out beyond Earth's atmosphere as well, as the next highest-viewed story examined one startup's efforts to revive an old idea that will provide astronauts with a sense of up and down. That idea is mimicking gravity by using the centripetal acceleration of a rotating torus is old, which actually predates Robert Goddard’s demonstration of rocketry by some 40 years.

Refueling the Engine
Back on the ground, sustainability topics were top of mind. One feature focused on the idea that if industry could free the diesel engine from petroleum-derived fuels—or even from fuels that are required to be chemically similar to diesel—so that it can operate on any fuel, the engine could meet its essential economic functions while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Researchers Destroy “Forever Chemicals” Using Supercritical Water
Another story examined how to clean water with the development of a reactor that uses supercritical water at high temperatures and pressures to break down dangerous forever chemicals into harmless byproducts. The reactor itself consists of a thick, well-insulated, titanium-lined stainless steel pipe about a foot long and an inch in diameter.

New Nanomaterial Proves Stronger Than Kevlar
Finally, a nano-architected material that can stop microparticles traveling at supersonic speeds, outperforming Kevlar and other protective materials. The material is made with tiny carbon struts that proved to be strong enough to stop these nanoparticles traveling at supersonic speeds. Pound for pound, this material was more effective at stopping a projectile than Kevlar and other materials used in personal protective gear.

 

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