Engineering at Illinois News News from Engineering at Illinois Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:55:00 CDT 5 NCSA and Illinois researchers key to gravitational wave discovery <p>Confirming a major part of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, scientists have discovered ripples in the fabric of space-time called gravitational waves that traveled to Earth from a collision of two black holes. Their work was made possible by techniques developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications starting with its founding 30 years ago. Then director Larry Smarr formed a numerical group, led by Edward Seidel — the current NCSA director — which quickly became a leader in applying supercomputers to black hole and gravitational wave problems.</p> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:55:00 CDT Leal receives CAREER Award <p>Research in the Cecilia Leal laboratory could one day lead to smart materials capable of interfacing with the human body to heal wounds, repair bones, and deliver drugs, vaccines and antibiotics through a programmable delivery system. Leal recently received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for this work and for her plans to bring STEM education to three different populations--middle school and incoming graduate students, and inmates at a local prison.</p> Cindy Brya, MatSE Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:00:00 CDT New academic-industry center for molecular drug imaging announced <p>A new industry-supported center at the University of Illinois plans to image molecules, live cells and tissues in the body before, during, and after drug treatment in order to understand the efficacy of the drugs and the response of the body to treatments.</p> Maeve Reilly, Beckman Institute Wed, 10 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CDT Hu wins NSF CAREER Award <p>MechSE Assistant Professor Yuhang Hu has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for her research titled “Mechanics and Physics at the Boundary Between Solid and Fluid: Probing the Thermodynamic and Kinetic Properties of Gels.”</p> Miranda Holloway, MechSE Communications Mon, 8 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CDT ECE Prof. Philip Krein and four other alumni elected to National Academy of Engineering <p>Philip Krein, Grainger Endowed Emeritus Chair in Electric Machinery and Electromechanics and Director of the Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He is recognized for contributions to power electronics energy conversion technology and power electronics education.</p> Meg Dickinson, ECE Mon, 8 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CDT Academic Challenge competition gets underway this month <p>The 2016 <a href="">Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Academic Challenge</a> for high school students gets underway this month at sites across Illinois. The competition, administered by the University of Illinois College of Engineering culminates in state finals at the University of Illinois from April 11-14 and at the Missouri University of Science and Technology on April 19.</p> Mike Koon, Marketing & Communications Coordinator Wed, 3 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CDT Project embeds computer science lessons in math instruction for K-5 students <p>Researchers at Illinois and Champaign Unit 4 Schools are collaborating on a study that is exploring ways to embed computer science instruction within mathematics curricula. Cinda Heeren, a senior lecturer in computer science at Illinois, is a co-principal investigator on the project.</p> Tue, 2 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CDT Computational Science & Engineering announces MEng option <p>The Mechanical Science & Engineering department and Computational Science & Engineering program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announce the addition of a Master of Engineering degree in Computational Engineering starting in the 2016-17 academic year.</p> Mike Koon, Marketing & Communications Coordinator Mon, 1 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CDT ICT and IDOT develop accelerated experimental procedure to assess aggregate properties <p>Aggregate properties have an impact on several aspects of asphalt pavement performance. One of the most important performance parameters of aggregate properties is frictional (skid) resistance, which is a factor in travel safety. Aggregates must also be tough and abrasion resistant to prevent crushing, degradation, and disintegration during production, transportation, and construction.</p> Mon, 1 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CDT Battery technology could charge up water desalination <p>The technology that charges batteries for electronic devices could provide fresh water from salty seas, says a new study by University of Illinois engineers. Electricity running through a salt water-filled battery draws the salt ions out of the water.</p> Mon, 1 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CDT Augmented reality app enables intelligent shopping experience <p><span style="line-height:20.8px">When exploring a new city, visitors may want to find good places to eat, drink, and shop in a throng of unfamiliar places. Researchers from the Advanced Digital Sciences Center (ADSC, a CSL research center in Singapore) and Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research, wanted to make this process easier by combining location-based augmented reality and a large database of online reviews to support an intelligent shopping experience. </span>The researchers have developed IntelligShop, an app that uses a phone’s camera and location-tool to automatically detect nearby businesses and pull up reviews from multiple sources on the same screen. Users can easily and efficiently scan nearby retailers and peruse reviews all in the same app.</p> Mon, 1 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CDT INSPIRE named best international partnership <p>Illinois is once again being recognized for its international reach and global impact. This time it’s for the Illinois-Sweden Program for Educational Research and Exchange--INSPIRE--which received the Institute of International Education's Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education for the best international partnership in the country.</p> Mon, 1 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CDT Lu earns NSF CAREER award <p>BioE Assistant Professor Ting Lu has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award to further his research on bacterial communities, which are important to the environment, agriculture, and human health.</p> Mon, 1 Feb 2016 00:00:00 CDT Scoble visits C-U: "Small-town America is primed to beat Silicon Valley..." <p>"...When I say Silicon Valley is being beaten, and is at risk of losing more companies to small towns, here’s why. In the past week I’ve visited two of those towns, Champaign, Illinois and Blacksburg, Virginia. You might not know, but YouTube, Tesla, PayPal, Mozilla started in Champaign at University of Illinois there." Blogger Robert Scoble talks about 10 companies and innovators he visited who are doing amazing work.</p> Wed, 27 Jan 2016 00:00:00 CDT Novel nanotechnology technique for table-top production of flat optics <p>A research team, led by MechSE associate professor Kimani Toussaint, developed a simplified approach to fabricating flat, ultrathin optics. The new approach enables simple etching without the use of acids or hazardous chemical etching agents.</p> Rick Kubetz, Engineering Communications Office Wed, 27 Jan 2016 00:00:00 CDT Bayram wins AFOSR Young Investigator Award to develop better energy conversion devices <p>ECE Assistant Professor and MNTL researcher Can Bayram was selected as one of the 56 scientists and engineers nationwide to receive an Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Award. Bayram’s research focuses on developing novel photonic and electronic devices, including next-generation energy conversion devices. He is working on facilitating fast, efficient, low-power, affordable, and scalable technology solutions that offer a smaller footprint than conventional devices.</p> Jonathan Lin, MNTL Mon, 25 Jan 2016 00:00:00 CDT ECE team receives NSF grant to research geomagnetic disturbances <p>Nearly 30 years later, society’s reliance on the electric grid is at an all-time high, and the damage another major geomagnetic disturbance may cause is a concern in the energy industry. ECE Professor Thomas J. Overbye and others are hoping to shed light on the rare but powerful geomagnetic storms, which remain a relative mystery to most people in the field. The National Science Foundation awarded the ECE team of Overbye, Hao Zhu, Jonathan J. Makela, Farzad Kamalabadi, Katherine Davis, Komal Shetye, and Jana Sebestik a $2.6 million grant to research geomagnetic disturbances’ impact on the power electric grid.</p> Daniel Dexter, ECE ILLINOIS Mon, 25 Jan 2016 00:00:00 CDT MNTL spin-off company merging with II-VI Inc. <p>Semiconductor wafer foundry EpiWorks, which was founded by MNTL researchers, is being acquired by Pittsburgh-based II-VI Inc., a global leader in semiconductor lasers. The $49 million acquisition will expand II-VI’s technology platforms and production capacity for lasers, allowing the company to meet the needs of the fast-growing market for vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) for consumer electronics, data centers, sensing, and medicine.</p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 00:00:00 CDT Ferreira wins SME Education Award <p>Tungchao Julia Lu Professor Placid Ferreira received the 2016 Education Award from the Society of Mechanical Engineers. This award honors an educator respected for the development of manufacturing-related curricula, fostering sound training methods, or inspiring students to enter the profession of manufacturing. </p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 00:00:00 CDT Mechanism for direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide revealed <p>New research from ChemE assistant professor David Flaherty and graduate student Neil Wilson reveals the mechanism for the direct synthesis of H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub> on palladium cluster catalysts, and paves the way to design improved catalysts to produce H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub> to use in place of harmful chlorine, regardless of the scale of the production facilit</p> Christine des Garennes, ChemE Asst. Director of Communications Wed, 20 Jan 2016 00:00:00 CDT