From the first effective nuclear-fusion energy experiment, to lab-grown brain cells playing the classic video game Pong – science and technology has once again been busy in 2022.
And 2023 looks set to be just as exciting, as many engineering-led sectors ramp up their research and development as the pandemic and other uncertainties are put behind us.
As a supplier of gas measurement and control technology to innovators in many key sectors, we thought we’d take a little look at what might materialise in the year ahead:
In 2022, the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russian energy added more pressure to aviation, with fuel prices rising skyward.
With climate change already forcing innovation, this has injected fresh impetus into the search for more efficient flight.
2023 will see continued development of both more efficient conventional jet turbine powered flight and emerging electrified flight alternatives.
We’ve been very excited to be involved in key projects on both sides and believe that announcements on significantly more efficient gas turbines and commercially viable electrified passenger flight aren’t too far away.
Outside of propulsion, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to play a bigger role than ever in aviation in 2023.
AI technology has not only been integrated into the systems which help pilots fly aircraft but is aiding aircraft development too. Like AR (more on that in a moment), AI is increasingly helping engineers find quicker solutions to complex aerodynamic challenges.
With tens of thousands of scheduled flights taking off every day, AI is also predicted to see greater application in air traffic control in an effort to not only improve safety but efficiency.
On the ground, the role-out of new scanning technology in 2023 will mean that some passengers will no longer need to separate or dispense fluids into 100ml containers. Something we will all welcome!
Augmented Reality in Engineering
Whilst AI may grab more headlines in aerospace this year, Augmented Reality looks set to be something which is increasing present in all engineering in 2023.
Augmented reality (AR) superimposes computer-generated images, sounds and other outputs into the real world.
Within engineering, AR has the potential to revolutionise the way engineers design and test. As well as exploring products on a two-dimensional screen, engineers will be able to enter a three-dimensional environment to gain new viewpoints and insights.
One area where it may have particular relevance is the assembly of complex systems, where engineers will have greater freedom to experiment to find optimum solutions.
AR has already been used in training and could become a common sight in many high-tech engineering environments by helping model real-life scenarios.
Though you may not have spotted it, there was a significant moment in motorsport engineering this year. For the first time since 1983, ground force effect was permitted to be used and exploited in Formula 1.
As the underside of the car gets closer to the road, the gap or cross-section under the front of the vehicle reduces, air passing under the vehicle accelerates and pulls the vehicle into the road, increasing grip.
Our pressure scanning products have been utilised by a number of leading F1 teams to test the impact in both wind tunnels and on track.
2023 looks set to be the year in which design and race engineers refine this effect further, integrating into more effectively into the overall aerodynamic design for the season ahead.
The slow but steady switch to electric vehicles (EVs) is expected to continue growing in 2023.
This is being driven by factors including concerns about climate change, the declining cost of batteries and new government incentives across the world.
The biggest area of focus is likely to be battery technology, where both increasing capacity and reducing manufacturing costs are seen as critical to enticing the average motorist into an all-electric car. Notably higher vehicle range figures are possible from many manufacturers in 2023.
Charging infrastructure also remain a concern in even the most developed markets like the UK and Europe.
Some believe that engineers in 2023 may look for more radical solutions, including self-contained renewable energy recharging sites and ride-share apps which maximise battery use.
Again, fuelled by the sanctions against Russia fuels, investment in renewable energy saw another leap in 2022. In 2023, this investment is predicted to rise again.
With technology such as wind turbines and social panels well established, the engineering thrust is once again on effectiveness and efficiency.
Wind turbine manufacturers will be focusing on aerodynamic effectiveness of the blades, whilst the optimisation of the internal turbine is aimed at reducing energy loss.
With the UK and Europe’s temperate climate, the focus of many solar engineers in 2023 is to maximise the efficiency of panels in sub-optimal grey conditions.
Following the amazing success of the global development of COVID-19 vaccines, this winter has seen the pharmaceutical sector under fire for a critical shortage of key drugs, including antibiotics.
However, as a new norm is established, 2023 is anticipated to see an increase in R&D both into new drugs and their manufacturing.
Pharmaceutical companies are rethinking how to approach research to better meet patient needs and increase profitability.
Precision medicine is an emerging term seeking to engineer better drugs based on a deeper understanding of the patient. Natural language processing (NLP) is playing a critical role in reviewing health records to better identify disease variants.
Innovative models such as open-source projects, innovation hubs and public-private partnerships offer opportunities for pharmaceutical companies to reduce the high costs of research.
Blockchain (the primary form of Distributed Ledger Technology) is also set to further streamline drug production and distribution in 2023. Benefits include increasing visibility, ensuring compliance, improve traceability and simplifying transactions.
As a provider of gas measurement and control technology to many in the pharmaceutical industry, we’re excited to see what innovation occurs in 2023.
Chell in 2023
Here at Chell Instruments, 2022 was an exciting year, supporting engineers with many new projects – and a number previously delayed by the pandemic.
2023 looks set to be another exciting year, with many sectors now back to a new-normal and keen to deliver the engineering innovation the world demands.
We ourselves have a number of key new product launches planned for 2023 and are set to be involved in supporting exciting projects in sectors including aerospace, motorsport and pharmaceuticals.