Engine Czech: This University Partnership Is Set To Propel Turboprop Engineering To New Heights
By Tomas Kellner – GE has spent the last 100 years building GE Aviation into a leading force in the aerospace industry. Since it was founded in 1918, the business unit, which brought in $27 billion in revenue last year, has introduced key innovations: It built the first jet engine in the United States and the largest and most powerful jet engines in the world; supplied engine parts for the largest commercial jetliner; and pioneered new materials and technologies like composites and 3D printing.
But it’s been only in the last decade that its Business and General Aviation unit, which is building engines and other technology for private and business planes, decided to pay close attention to the multibillion-dollar turboprop market.
“The turboprop segment has been underserved for decades,” says Brad Mottier, who runs the GE Aviation division. “Airframe customers and operators alike complained about the lack of innovation.”
This week, Mottier and his business said they are inviting the sharpest young engineers in the Czech Republic to help them transform the way we power small aircraft. The company will partner with Prague’s Czech Technical University (CVUT) to help bring up a new generation of aerospace engineers.
Why Prague? The Czech capital is the place where GE decided to jump into the turboprop engine market in 2008, when it took a bet on a storied but struggling turboprop manufacturer, Walter Engines.
Just like the Wright brothers, founder Josef Walter started out fixing and building bicycles before venturing into aviation. Established in 1911, his company ran aviation factories in Italy, Spain, Poland and elsewhere in Europe that produced record-breaking engines for planes used by 13 sovereign air forces. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Education, History, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Business improvement, GE, History, skill development, Technology, Turboprop
The Allure of Battle: A History of How Wars Have Been Won and Lost, Author: Cathal J Nolan.
By Cathal J Nolan – War is the most complex, physically and morally demanding enterprise we undertake. No great art or music, no cathedral or temple or mosque, no intercontinental transport net or particle collider or space program, no research for a cure for a mass-killing disease receives a fraction of the resources and effort we devote to making war.
Battles also entice generals and statesmen with the idea that a hard red day can be decisive, and allow us to avoid attrition, which we all despise as morally vulgar and without redemptive heroism.
Whether or not we agree that some wars were necessary and just, we should look straight at the grim reality that victory was most often achieved in the biggest and most important wars by attrition and mass slaughter – not by soldierly heroics or the genius of command.
Winning at war is harder than that. Cannae, Tours, Leuthen, Austerlitz, Tannenberg, Kharkov – all recall sharp images in a word. Yet winning such lopsided battles did not ensure victory in war.
Hannibal won at Cannae, Napoleon at Austerlitz, Hitler at Sedan and Kiev. All lost in the end, catastrophically.
There is heroism in battle but there are no geniuses in war. War is too complex for genius to control. more>
Posted in Book review, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged attrition, Government, History, mass slaughter, War
By Prateek Raj – Until the end of the fifteenth century, impartial institutions like courts and police that serve all parties generally—so ubiquitous today in the developed world—weren’t well developed in Europe. In such a world without impartial institutions, trade often was (is) heavily dependent on relationships and conducted through networks like merchant guilds.
Such relationship-based trade through dense networks of merchant guilds reduced concerns of information access and reliability. Not surprisingly, because the merchant guild system was an effective system in the absence of strong formal institutions, it sustained in Europe for several centuries.
In developing countries like India, lacking in developed formal institutions, networked institutions like castes still play an important role in business.
If information access is poor (lack of transparency) or businesses don’t adopt reliable business practices (poor financial reporting or opaque quality standards), these deficiencies at the business level can make customers and investors question the reliability of new businesses.
Politicians, like medieval rulers, may be more willing to enter into a nexus with dominant businesses, like medieval merchant guilds, if 1) market frictions or 2) lack of incentives make the economy dependent on such businesses. more> https://goo.gl/faiBJ4
Posted in Book review, Business, Economic development, Economy, History, Leadership
Tagged History, Markets, Merchant guilds, Printing press, relationship, Trust
Can Governments Earn Our Trust? Author: Donald F. Kettl.
By Donald F. Kettl – The foundation for building trust begins with the argument for transparency. The central idea, developed during the Enlightenment, is that government’s legitimacy builds on the consent of the governed. But, to give consent, citizens must know what government is doing and find effective levers of influence.
James Madison, one of America’s most distinguished founders, and later the country’s fourth president, wrote in Federalist 51, part of a series of papers devoted to making the case for the new American Constitution: “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
Of course, men are not angels, so democracy requires ways of helping the governed to control government. That begins, in the minds of many theorists and citizens alike, with the most important and fundamental tool to build trust: transparency.
The underlying assumption is that the more information that’s available to the public, the more accountable and better-performing government will be.
In the United States, the Sunlight Foundation is singularly devoted to making all government information open and available in real time. more> https://goo.gl/m71Cs4
By David Kully – The source of the increasing concentration in many markets, in the view of some commentators, was a shift that began in the 1970s in how antitrust enforcers and the courts view the role of antitrust enforcement.
At that time, economists in the “Chicago School” led an evolution away from concern about protecting small competitors from larger competitors to a current enforcement paradigm that emphasizes “consumer welfare” and calls for intervention by the government only if a merger or alleged anticompetitive practice is likely to harm consumers – through higher prices, lower output, poorer quality products or services, or diminished incentives to innovate. This shift, according to critics, made antitrust enforcers less likely to go to court to block large mergers or take on monopolies, with the result being the concentrated marketplaces we see today.
The nostalgia for the antitrust enforcement of the past, however, ignores important concerns about an approach predicated on attacking large firms merely because of their size. The evolution in antitrust thinking that began with the Chicago School was driven by economic research establishing that some mergers and certain practices that antitrust law previously forbade offer tangible benefits to society. Critics offer no countervailing basis to believe that these benefits would not be lost if we were to revert to past thinking. more> https://goo.gl/rt1ZSQ