Engineering at Illinois News News from Engineering at Illinois Wed, 24 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT 5 Structural, regulatory and human error were factors in Washington highway bridge collapse <p>When an important bridge collapsed on Interstate 5 near Mount Vernon, Washington, in 2013, questions were raised about how such a catastrophic failure could occur. A new analysis by a team of civil engineering faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign outlines the many factors that led to the collapse, as well as steps that transportation departments can take to prevent such accidents on other bridges of similar design.</p> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Forbes "30 under 30" scientist awarded RAEng Distinguished Fellowship <p>Qian Chen, Assistant Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) to conduct research at the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials.</p> Alexander Chilton Wed, 24 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Illinois student team takes second place in NIH DEBUT competition <p>The team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign earned second place in the NIH 2016 Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) Challenge. The student team developed a disposable chip that detects biomarkers of sepsis, a potentially life-threatening response to infection, with higher sensitivity and specificity than is currently possible. Sepsis is diagnosed in up to 1.5 million people in the United States annually, more than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and HIV/AIDS combined. Because survival rates drop with each passing hour after onset of sepsis, this specific and sensitive early detection device could become an important life saving tool.</p> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT NCSA leading $110 million NSF project to expand U.S. cyberinfrastructure ecosystem <p>The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a $110 million, five-year award to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and 18 partner institutions to continue, and expand, the activities undertaken through the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), a cornerstone of the nation's cyberinfrastructure ecosystem.</p> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT MIT Technology Review names Diao to "Innovators Under 35" list <p>MIT Technology Review revealed its annual list of Innovators Under 35. For her work in the field of Nanotechnology and Materials, Ying Diao, Assistant Professor and Dow Chemical Company Faculty Scholar in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois, has been recognized as a pioneer on the list.</p> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin <p>A new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China has demonstrated that external mechanical force can directly regulate gene expression. The study also identified the pathway that conveys the force from the outside of the cell into the nucleus.</p> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT ECE ILLINOIS Ignition sparks ideas for students (video) <p>More than 400 incoming ECE ILLINOIS freshmen and transfer students set themselves up for success by attending ECE Ignition. This annual event is designed to introduce newcomers to important names and faces, connect them with resources, and begin to build a collaborative community.</p> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Chris Barkan and RailTEC Convey the Message: "Trains--They Run on 'STEAM' and They're Terrific!" <p>hris Barkan, a Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, is passionate about trains. He knows about railroad technology and history—both in America and elsewhere in the world.  Here at <em>Illinois,</em> he leads <a href="">RailTEC</a>, the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center, a world-class railroad research and educational program studying ways to make trains safer, faster, and more efficient— environmentally, economically, and energy-wise. Barkan is also devoted to educating the next generation of railway engineering professionals.</p> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Women make up a quarter of Engineering freshman <p>Women will make up about 25 percent of the freshman class at the University of Illinois College of Engineering this year, a new high. Kevin Pitts, associate dean of undergraduate programs said the college estimates that a quarter of its roughly 1,500 freshmen are female. "That's up significantly from where we've been in the past. It's a record freshman class. There's been a real effort over many years to kind of change the mindset" of young women — and others — that science and engineering "isn't just for boys," he said.</p> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT DOE awards $1M for HIDRA plasma/fusion research <p>The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $1.05 million to support use of the University of Illinois HIDRA plasma/fusion facility as a test bed for lithium technology in fusion reactors. The grant, from DOE’s Office of Fusion Energy Science, will allow researchers at the Center for Plasma-Material Interactions to more readily conduct experiments needed to advance fusion as an energy source.</p> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Bloomberg: Battle for coding talent in cornfields of Illinois lures CME <p>The world’s largest exchange operator is going to college. To ramp up its recruiting efforts, CME Group Inc. will open an office at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Research Park, a technology epicenter that already hosts 101 finance, technology and agriculture companies. Students tapped to work on projects ranging from cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to cloud computing.</p> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Illinois-led team wins NSF grant for physics-defying research <p>The National Science Foundation has awarded $2 million to the team, comprised of Gaurav Bahl, an assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering (lead principal Investigator) and <a href="">Taylor Hughes</a>, an associate professor of physics at Illinois, with colleagues at Duke and Oregon. They make up one of nine research groups of engineering-led, interdisciplinary researchers working to break the conventional ways in which light and sound waves propagate.</p> Bill Bowman, MechSE Communications Fri, 19 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Siebel Energy Institute study helps consumers identify water- and energy-efficient appliances <p>A new study supported by the Siebel Energy Institute reveals why consumers need to consider <em>combined</em> water and energy use when deciding which household appliances to upgrade for increased efficiency. Conducted by a team of scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the research shows how water efficiency measures support energy savings and vice versa.</p> Thu, 18 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT New method can identify microscopic failure <p>The Autonomous Materials Systems (AMS) Group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology has recently found a new way to identify microscopic damage in polymers and composite materials before total failure occurs. "Autonomous indication of small cracks has exciting potential to make structures safer and more reliable by giving time to intervene and repair or replace the damaged region prior to catastrophic failure,” said Nancy Sottos, a professor of materials science and engineering at Illinois.</p> Wed, 17 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Illini Hyperloop Team unveils "Pod" at Quad Day <p>“The Hyperloop is poised to become​ the ​fifth mode of transportation and ​will be capable of transporting goods and people at speeds in excess of 700 mph at ground level​,” explained Kyle Weiskircher, captain and build manager of the Illini Hyperloop team.​ ​“​At this ​speed, travel ​from Champaign ​to Chicago or St. Louis would only take 20 minutes.” Over the past few months, the University of Illinois Hyperloop team has built a pod prototype t​hat will be​ ​entered in the SpaceX ​Inaugural Hyperloop Competition in January 2017​. Team members will be unveiling its “Hyperloop Pod” on Quad Day, Sunday, August 21, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on the Engineering Hall overlook (south side of the Bardeen Quad).</p> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Illinois receives $18.7M to develop testbed for electric grid security <p>The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has received an $18.7 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a testbed that will enable researchers to validate new technology and provide faster response and recovery following an attack on the electric grid. Building on previous testbed work at Illinois, researchers will create a framework that provides the same conditions as the real grid, enabling the development and validation of cyber security tools in an environment with unprecedented system fidelity.</p> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Dankowicz chosen as new Associate Dean for Graduate, Professional and Online Education <p>The College of Engineering has appointed Harry Dankowicz as the new Associate Dean for Graduate, Professional and Online Education position effective August 16, 2016. Dankowicz, who joined the Illinois faculty in 2005, is a tenured Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering (MechSE).</p> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT AE alum experiences success with online MS program <p>Matthew Schonert knew after earning his bachelor’s in aerospace engineering in 2013 that he wanted to pursue a graduate degree. A year later, AE faculty members showcased the department’s new online MS degree program during an alumni luncheon at Boeing in St. Louis. Schonert, working as a structural analysis engineer for Boeing’s F-15 and F/A-18 Armament team, realized it was the right fit for him.</p> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Genome-editing proteins ride a DNA zip line <p>Using advanced imaging techniques, University of Illinois researchers--led by chemical and biomolecular engineering professors Charles Schroeder and Huimin Zhao--have found that one class of genome-editing proteins rapidly travels along a strand of DNA like a rider on a zip line – a unique behavior among documented DNA-binding proteins.</p> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT Gropp named acting director of NCSA <p>William "Bill" Gropp, has been named acting director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. NCSA Director Ed Seidel will step up to serve as interim vice president for research (VPR) for the University of Illinois System, President Tim Killeen announced. Seidel will retain the title of NCSA director in the interim. Both appointments are pending Board of Trustees approval.</p> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 00:00:00 CDT