In The News Archive

This monthly summary includes excerpts from Illinois in the News, a daily service provided by the University of Illinois News Bureau and other media search tools. This collection of recent stories focuses on engineering topics and faculty contacted for their expertise by print and broadcast reporters around the world.

Solar Cells

Compound Semiconductor (July 13) -- Scientists at George Washington University, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and Illinois have built a prototype for a new solar cell that is capable of capturing nearly all of the energy in the solar spectrum, resulting in a 44.5 percent conversion efficiency.

U of I gets $104 million research grant

Crain's Chicago Business (July 20) --￿The Urbana-Champaign campus is home to a 320-acre energy farm that's filled with test plots to grow various types of crops. U of I was one of four research centers nationally to receive the Energy grants. The money will allow the university to bring together researchers from various departments under the new Center for Advanced Bioenergy & Bioproducts Innovation.

Biophysics

ZME Science (July 19) -- It took two years, two supercomputers and two Illinois researchers, Juan Perilla and the late Klaus Schulten, to simulate 1.2 microseconds in the life of an HIV capsid, a protein cage that protects the viral genome. The findings, reported in the journal “Nature Communications,” indicate several properties that enhance the capsid’s adeptness at finding a path to the nucleus of a target cells, but also potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited to defeat the HIV virus. Also: Alphr (July 19), Cosmos Magazine (July 19)

Bioenergy Research Center

Northern Public Radio (July 18) If Congress approves, the U. of I. will host a center for research into new biofuels and bioproducts, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy.

Artificial Intelligence

Quartz (July 17) -- A self-driving car is theoretically able to replace a human driver because it can see and react the way a human would – or better. But artificial intelligence researchers, prompted by a paper from researchers at Illinois, are now debating whether their software could be susceptible to “hacks” of real-world objects like stop signs.

Tovala launches Smart Oven

Chicago Tribune (July 11) -- Tovala, a cloud-connected “smart oven” by a Chicago startup that cooks pre-prepared meals with the scan of a code and the touch of a button, goes on sale to the public Tuesday. Though the $399 device looks much like a microwave, it cooks very differently — alternately baking, steaming and broiling dishes. Also: The Verge (July 11) The Daily Illini (July 11), Chicago Inno (July 11), Smile Politely (July 11), Pop Sugar (July 11), Tasting Table (July 11), WSJ (July 12 -- video), News-Gazette (July 14)

Cancer Center set to coordinate UI's effort in fight

News-Gazette (July 11) -- The new Cancer Center at Illinois is being launched to bring together more than 90 faculty members, plus graduate and postdoctoral researchers, from across the local campus to pursue advances in cancer-fighting technologies and treatments.

Why calculating home run distances is like measuring sea level

Quartz (July 10) -- Alan Nathan, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, is cited on his forensic analysis a Mickey￿Mantle home run and story.

New class of insulating crystals hosts quantized electric multipole moments

Phys.org (July 7) Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Princeton University have theoretically predicted a new class of insulating phases of matter in crystalline materials, pinpointed where they might be found in nature, and in the process generalized the fundamental quantum theory of Berry phases in solid state systems. 

NCSA Grants $2.6M in Blue Waters Awards to Illinois Researchers

HPC Wire (July 6) --  The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has awarded 3,697,000 node hours (NH) of time on the Blue Waters supercomputer to Illinois researchers from Spring 2017 proposal submissions. The combined value of these awards is over $2.6 million dollars, and through the life of the Blue Waters program, NCSA has awarded over 43 million node hours to UI researchers—a value of nearly $27 million.

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