The Secret Life of Scientists: Nate Ball

Posted by Catherine Hiles on

Ask a mechanical engineer to describe his or her career path, and you’re likely to hear something along these lines – that even in childhood, he or she liked to take things apart to understand how they worked. Mechanical engineers research, design, fabricate, and test tools, engines, machines, and more. They have a hand in just about every object designed to perform a function.

In this video profile, students meet mechanical engineer and inventor Nate Ball, who explains his big invention – a rope-climbing device named the Atlas Power Ascender that is employed in search-and-rescue operations. He describes the process used to design, build and test the Ascender and discusses the role of failure, which is not only common in engineering but teaches valuable lessons. 

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