Apple Park
Courtesy Apple Apple Park

On Wednesday, Apple revealed plans to invest $30 billion in the U.S. over the next five years to create 20,000 new jobs, sustain and build data centers, and construct a second campus. This expenditure is part of a larger plan to contribute a total of $350 billion over that same timeline, due in part to the changed tax laws. “Apple is a success story that could only have happened in America, and we are proud to build on our long history of support for the U.S. economy,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a press release. “We believe deeply in the power of American ingenuity, and we are focusing our investments in areas where we can have a direct impact on job creation and job preparedness. We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible.” Apple spent an estimated $5 billion on the Cupertino, Calif., Apple Park campus that opened last year. [Apple]

Courtesy Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

A team of researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has developed a new additive manufacturing technique called rotational 3D printing that yields materials that are "optimized for strength, stiffness, and damage tolerance," according to a press release. This new process achieves these capabilities by controlling the orientation of fibers in the epoxy composites that are used for printing. [Harvard University]

Xian, China, is now home to a 328-foot-tall air purification tower designed and constructed by researchers from the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Currently, it produces 353 million cubic feet of clean air per day. [ARCHITECT]

Yemeni inventor Omer Badokhon has developed a small-scale device that converts waste into clean fuel for impoverished urban and rural residences around the war-torn country. The system utilizes a biochemical catalyst to quickly break down natural waste and produce biogas, a renewable energy source. Badokhon won the UN Environment Champions of the World award for his system last month and the devices will be piloted in 1,500 rural homes over the next year. [Reuters]

E-commerce giant Amazon has narrowed its list of potential cities for its second headquarters from 238 candidates to 20 finalists. Metropolitan areas still in the running include Washington, D.C.; Toronto; Atlanta; Pittsburgh; and Newark, N.J. Amazon expects to invest $5 billion in the winning city. [Amazon]

Researchers at the University of Central Florida have found that creating an optical cavity on the surface of graphene—a single-atom-thick, super-strong material that is also flexible—allows it to absorb light and thus utilize its energy. This discovery could enable the use of the durable material in light detectors, touchscreens, and other technology. [University of Central Florida]

More than a decade after the National Institute of Building Sciences calculated that for every $1 invested in resilient design leads to $4 in future savings in disaster recovery, the organization has released a new and expanded study that ups the return to $6. [ARCHITECT]