Scientific, Technical & Medical Engineering Books

Solar Energy: The physics and engineering of photovoltaic conversion, technologies and systems

This book uniquely covers both the physics of photovoltaic (PV) cells and the design of PV systems for real-life applications. From the fundamental principles of semiconductor solar cells; through PV technology (crystalline silicon solar cells; thin-film cells; PV modules); to components, design, deployment and performance of PV systems in use. The book is an invaluable reference for researchers, industrial engineers and designers working in solar energy generation. The book is also ideal for university and third-level physics or engineering courses on solar photovoltaics, with exercises to check students’ understanding and reinforce learning. It is the perfect companion to the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Solar Energy (DelftX, ET.3034TU) presented by co-author Arno Smets. The course is available in English on the nonprofit open source platform, and in Arabic on Over 100,000 students have already registered for these MOOCs.

Human and Organisational Factors: Practices and Strategies for a Changing World (SpringerBriefs in Safety Management)

This open access book addresses several questions regarding the implementation of human and organisational factors (HOF) so that recent improvements in industrial safety can be built upon. It addresses sources of frustration in senior management with high expectations of operational recommendations and disquiet on the part of HOF specialists struggling to have an impact on high-level decision making. The brief explores these issues with an emphasis on examples and lessons learned based on the experience of its authors, who come from different academic disciplines and various industrial sectors such as oil and gas, energy and transportation. It then offers some ways forward for a better consideration of HOF in hazardous companies with a view of promoting safety and facing challenges in a rapidly changing world.

Control Theory Tutorial: Basic Concepts Illustrated by Software Examples (SpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology)

This open access Brief introduces the basic principles of control theory in a concise self-study guide. It complements the classic texts by emphasizing the simple conceptual unity of the subject. A novice can quickly see how and why the different parts fit together. The concepts build slowly and naturally one after another, until the reader soon has a view of the whole. Each concept is illustrated by detailed examples and graphics. The full software code for each example is available, providing the basis for experimenting with various assumptions, learning how to write programs for control analysis, and setting the stage for future research projects. The topics focus on robustness, design trade-offs, and optimality. Most of the book develops classical linear theory. The last part of the book considers robustness with respect to nonlinearity and explicitly nonlinear extensions, as well as advanced topics such as adaptive control and model predictive control. New students, as well as scientists from other backgrounds who want a concise and easy-to-grasp coverage of control theory, will benefit from the emphasis on concepts and broad understanding of the various approaches.

Understanding Acoustics: An Experimentalista??s View of Sound and Vibration (Graduate Texts in Physics)

This open access textbook, like Rayleigh’s classic Theory of Sound, focuses on experiments and on approximation techniques rather than mathematical rigor. The second edition has benefited from comments and corrections provided by many acousticians, in particular those who have used the first edition in undergraduate and graduate courses. For example, phasor notation has been added to clearly distinguish complex variables, and there is a new section on radiation from an unbaffled piston. Drawing on over 40 years of teaching experience at UCLA, the Naval Postgraduate School, and Penn State, the author presents a uniform methodology, based on hydrodynamic fundamentals for analysis of lumped-element systems and wave propagation that can accommodate dissipative mechanisms and geometrically-complex media. Five chapters on vibration and elastic waves highlight modern applications, including viscoelasticity and resonance techniques for measurement of elastic moduli, while introducing analytical techniques and approximation strategies that are revisited in nine subsequent chapters describing all aspects of generation, transmission, scattering, and reception of waves in fluids. Problems integrate multiple concepts, and several include experimental data to provide experience in choosing optimal strategies for extraction of experimental results and their uncertainties. Fundamental physical principles that do not ordinarily appear in other acoustics textbooks, like adiabatic invariance, similitude, the Kramers-Kronig relations, and the equipartition theorem, are shown to provide independent tests of results obtained from numerical solutions, commercial software, and simulations. Thanks to the Veneklasen Research Foundation, this popular textbook is now open access, making the e-book available for free download worldwide. Provides graduate-level treatment of acoustics and vibration suitable for use in courses, for self-study, and as a referenceHighlights fundamental physical principles that can provide independent tests of the validity of numerical solutions, commercial software, and computer simulationsDemonstrates approximation techniques that greatly simplify the mathematics without a substantial decrease in accuracyIncorporates a hydrodynamic approach to the acoustics of sound in fluids that provides a uniform methodology for analysis of lumped-element systems and wave propagationEmphasizes actual applications as examples of topics explained in the textIncludes realistic end-of-chapter problems, some including experimental data, as well as a Solutions Manual for instructors.Features “Talk Like an Acoustician“ boxes to highlight key terms introduced in the text.

The Trillion Dollar Shift

Winner of the Gold Axiom Business Book Award 2019 in the Philanthropy / Non Profit / Sustainability category.Over the past 30 years, the world has seen great social improvements. Technology has been developing at an enormous pace and is helping to solve our most pressing social and environmental challenges. Yet, despite this success, our current model of development is still deeply problematic. Natural disasters triggered by climate change have doubled since the 1980s, violence and armed conflict now cost more than 13 percent of GDP, social inequality and youth unemployment is worsening around the world, and climate change threatens the global population with tremendous environmental as well as social problems. Using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, this book sets out how business and capital now have a real opportunity to help resolve these problems. With clear and plentiful examples and cases of how businesses are making a difference, relevant facts and figures to support the cases, and inspiring and instructional information on how businesses can create sustainable value, this highly readable book is a must-read for businesses (large and small) that wish to genuinely support the delivery of the SDGs.The Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) drive change and offer a narrative and an opportunity to all to speak in one language on sustainability. They provide us with a clear set of targets for 2030. Through following the SDGs, opportunities abound for business and capital to unlock markets which offer endless potential for profit while at the same time working towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This book illustrates for business how to make the much-needed Trillion Dollar Shift.

Evaluating Environment in International Development

This book provides novel and in-depth perspectives on evaluating environment and sustainability issues in developing countries.Evaluating Environment in International Development focuses on the approaches and experiences of leading international organizations, not-for-profits, and multilateral and bilateral aid agencies to illustrate how systematic evaluation is an essential tool for providing evidence for decision-makers. Moving beyond projects and programmes, it explores normative work on the environment as well as environmental consequences of economic and social development efforts. This new edition reflects on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals and considers how they have influenced efforts in a wide range of countries and what the implications are for evaluation. It also explores ways in which Big Data and geospatial approaches might be utilized.Significantly updated throughout to reflect recent developments in climate change research, and on the implications of the 2020 pandemic, this volume will be of great interest to students and scholars of environment studies, development studies, international relations, sustainable development and evaluation, as well as practitioners in international organizations and development and environmental NGOs.The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license. 

Rights for Robots: Artificial Intelligence, Animal and Environmental Law

Bringing a unique perspective to the burgeoning ethical and legal issues surrounding the presence of artificial intelligence in our daily lives, the book uses theory and practice on animal rights and the rights of nature to assess the status of robots.Through extensive philosophical and legal analyses, the book explores how rights can be applied to nonhuman entities. This task is completed by developing a framework useful for determining the kinds of personhood for which a nonhuman entity might be eligible, and a critical environmental ethic that extends moral and legal consideration to nonhumans. The framework and ethic are then applied to two hypothetical situations involving real-world technology—animal-like robot companions and humanoid sex robots. Additionally, the book approaches the subject from multiple perspectives, providing a comparative study of legal cases on animal rights and the rights of nature from around the world and insights from structured interviews with leading experts in the field of robotics. Ending with a call to rethink the concept of rights in the Anthropocene, suggestions for further research are made.An essential read for scholars and students interested in robot, animal and environmental law, as well as those interested in technology more generally, the book is a ground-breaking study of an increasingly relevant topic, as robots become ubiquitous in modern society.The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.