Engineering at Illinois News News from Engineering at Illinois Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT 5 Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma <p>At the University of Illinois, an MatSE professor Jianjun Cheng teamed up with a veterinarian to test a bone cancer drug delivery system in animals bigger than the standard animal model, the mouse. They chose dogs – mammals closer in size and biology to humans – with naturally occurring bone cancers, which also are a lot like human bone tumors.</p> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Chemical etching method helps transistors stand tall <p>University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to etch very tall, narrow finFETs, a type of transistor that forms a tall semiconductor “fin” for the current to travel over. The etching technique addresses many problems in trying to create 3-D devices, typically done now by stacking layers or carving out structures from a thicker semiconductor wafer.</p> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Measure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agriculture <p>What’s good for crops is not always good for the environment. Nitrogen, a key nutrient for plants, can cause problems when it leaches into water supplies. University of Illinois engineers developed a model to calculate the age of nitrogen in corn and soybean fields, which could lead to improved fertilizer application techniques to promote crop growth while reducing leaching.</p> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Teaching on the banks of the Boneyard: Ruzic explains hydropower <p>On a fair spring day, dressed, appropriately, in an Illini blue blazer and bright orange tie, David Ruzic strides through the middle of the Boneyard Creek cutting across the University of Illinois Engineering Quad. A white board nearby stands steady in the stream as Ruzic wades in his muck boots, waving his arms emphatically, while lecturing to the nearly 100 students lining the banks of the Boneyard. On first glance, he’s like a revivalist collecting converts. But Ruzic isn’t preaching– he’s teaching – as he explains the power of hydropower.</p> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT At G-BAM GAMES Camp girls learn they can make a difference via engineering <p>Many of today’s young people want careers that allow them to make a difference in other people's lives.  During the 2016 G-BAM (Girls Building Awesome Machines) G.A.M.E.S. (Girls' Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science) camp, the 24 high school girls who participated from June 19th–25th not only did high-tech, hands-on activities, such as building a 3D printer and using CAD to design and 3D print a key chain, and fun stuff, such as writing a program for a robot, then watching it do the dance moves they had designed. During other activities, like building a prosthetic device and a field trip to Intelliwheels (a start-up which designs wheels for wheelchairs), they discovered that a career in engineering could allow them to impact others’ lives...for the better.</p> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Illinois faculty among most highly cited worldwide <p>The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is well-represented 2016 List of Most Cited Researchers in Materials Science and Engineering by Elsevier Scopus Data. Eleven Illinois faculty researchers were among the highly cited researchers that are either the corresponding author or the first author of their publications.</p> Rick Kubetz, Engineering Communications Office Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT CS student Amanda Sopkin awarded Google Scholarship <p>Amanda Sopkin, a senior in computer science, has been awarded a Google Generation Scholarship for University Students. Sopkin is one of 15 recipients from across the United States to earn the award, which is given to students from underrepresented backgrounds in computer science.</p> Mike Koon, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Petri to lead Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute <p>Mark Petri has been named director of the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. CIRI consists of collaborating researchers from 16 U.S. universities and national labs. Petri comes to CIRI from the Iowa Energy Center, where he had served as director since 2013.</p> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT New study uses computer learning for genetic database quality control <p>A new study published in <em>The Plant Journal</em> helps to shed light on the transcriptomic differences between different tissues in <em>Arabidopsis</em>, an important model organism, by creating a standardized “atlas” that can automatically annotate samples to include lost metadata such as tissue type. By combining data from over 7000 samples and 200 labs, this work represents a way to leverage the increasing amounts of publically available ‘omics data while improving quality control, to allow for large scale studies and data reuse. </p> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Kim introduces multi-material micro-LEGO <p>New developments in the field of micromanufacturing are detailed in MechSE Assistant Professor <a href="">Seok Kim</a>’s new paper, “Microassembly of Heterogeneous Materials Using Transfer Printing and Thermal Processing,” published this week by <em>Scientific Reports.</em> Kim’s work introduces a new level of microassembly (termed ‘micro-LEGO’) that involves multiple materials. Previous techniques of micro-masonry—a field in which Kim is a leading scientist—only allowed a single material to be assembled at a time, building upon each other with reversible dry adhesives. </p> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Six Illinois alumni named to Crain's Tech 50 list <p><a href="" style="line-height: 20.8px;">Crain's Chicago Business</a><span style="line-height:20.8px"> released it's Tech 50 List and six of those listed are University of Illinois alumni, including four from the College of Engineering. The sixth edition features founders, CEOs, technologists, risk takers, investors and up-and-comers from the city's sweeping technology ecosystem.</span></p> Mike Koon, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Mon, 18 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT MNTL and its role in shaping our future <p>The Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory (MNTL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the largest and most advanced facilities of its kind in the country. Home to 16 cleanrooms, 46 general purpose labs, as well as a biosafety level-2 complex, it is playing a significant role in solving real- world problems and helping bridge the gap between the developing and developed world.</p> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Gao to develop technique for flying UAVs in urban environments <p>Because UAVs use GPS for localization (understanding current position) and navigation (knowing how to get from point A to point B). In urban areas, high-rise buildings may block the line of sight to GPS satellites, causing drop-outs or making the signal completely unavailable. Grace Gao, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering and the Coordinated Science Lab, and her team are working to overcome those limitations by using vision-based positioning to fill in the gaps when GPS is unavailable.</p> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Department of Bioengineering earns NSF grant to revolutionize bioengineering education <p>The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Bioengineering will revolutionize its undergraduate curriculum, its students’ clinical and research experiences, and its faculty members’ approaches to teaching, thanks to a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. With support from NSF’s Revolutionizing Engineering Departments program, Illinois’ bioengineering department will shift from a “technology-focused curriculum” to a “need-focused curriculum” over the next five years.</p> Wed, 13 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Startup ElectroCyt earns VentureWell grant Rick Kubetz, Engineering Communications Office Wed, 13 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Jeremy Guest leads team striving to turn wastewater into drinking water <p>It may be something we don’t like to think about -- our drinking water taken directly from water used to flush waste from our homes, but as we approach an era where water is an ever-increasing commodity, for Jeremy Guest, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois, that’s the future he’s advocating.</p> Mike Koon, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Tue, 12 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Dunn awarded NSF grant for hydrogel surface study <p>MechSE Assistant Professor Alison C. Dunn recently won a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation for her proposal, “Discovering the mechanisms of hydrogel surface weakening and wear under applied sliding conditions.” Awarded by the Materials Engineering and Processing program within the division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation, the grant aims to study how hydrogels break down when experiencing friction from sliding against other materials. Hydrogels include water and polymer as integral parts of their structure, so they can’t be assumed to wear in the same ways. </p> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Washington Post: Nathan explains the physics behind hitting a home run <p>From the Washington Post: On Monday night, some of Major League Baseball’s best sluggers will square off in the sport’s biggest annual display of brute strength: the home run derby. Each batter has seven “outs” to hit as many balls as possible out of San Diego’s Petco Park. To most fans, it’s just a fun spectacle. But to Alan Nathan, emeritus professor of physics at Illinois, home-run hitting is a physics problem. Given the distance between home plate and the outfield wall, what combination of ball speed, bat angle and external factors will send the ball out of the park? “It's driven by a need to understand,” he said. “It’s the same reason I did experimental nuclear physics for many years.”</p> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT MURI research to develop precision polymers using synthetic biology Mon, 11 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT Girls experience electrical engineering first-hand at the 2016 GLEE GAMES Camp <p>During the 2016 edition of the GLEE (Girls Learning Electrical Engineering) G.A.M.E.S. (Girls' Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science) camp, the week of June 19–25, 19 campers from across the US (and even one international student) not only got their heads around what Electrical and Computer Engineering is like...they got their hands around it too.</p> Sat, 9 Jul 2016 00:00:00 CDT