Engineering at Illinois News News from Engineering at Illinois Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CDT 5 NPRE researchers help prepare for future transport of spent nuclear fuel <p>While the federal government mulls policies to identify a permanent solution to store spent nuclear fuel, the material is kept in casks at reactor sites. University of Illinois nuclear scientists are preparing for the eventual safe transport of the casks by developing means to monitor them internally.  A multi-disciplinary, multi-university team including Tomasz Kozlowski, Ling-Jian Meng and Rizwan Uddin of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at Illinois are participating in the $3 million Department of Energy Consolidated Integrated Nuclear Research (CINR) project. Led by the University of Houston, researchers from the University of Southern California, the University of Minnesota, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Anatech Corporation also are taking part.</p> Susan Mumm, NPRE Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CDT Engineering at Illinois' Online Graduate Programs Ranked #9 by U.S. News & World Report <p>The College of Engineering's online graduate program earned its first-ever Top-10 ranking when <em>U.S. News & World Report</em> listed the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign No. 9 on its listing of Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.</p> Ben Taylor, Engineering Communications Office Wed, 11 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CDT Ewoldt named a Presidential Early Career awardee Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CDT Illinois team advances GaN-on-Silicon technology towards scalable high electron mobility transistors <p>A team of University of Illinois researchers has recently advanced gallium nitride (GaN)-on-silicon transistor technology by optimizing the composition of the semiconductor layers that make up the device. Working with industry partners Veeco and IBM, the team created the high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) structure on a 200 mm silicon substrate with a process that will scale to larger industry-standard wafer sizes.</p> Mon, 9 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CDT Illinois has a leadership role in new Manufacturing USA Institute on Clean Energy <p>As part of the Manufacturing USA initiative, the Energy Department announced its new Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute —a national coalition of leading universities and companies that will forge new clean energy initiatives deemed critical in keeping U.S. manufacturing competitive. The University of Illinois is a Tier 1 member of the Institute and will help lead the multi-institutional program.</p> Rick Kubetz, Engineering Communications Office Fri, 6 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CDT Milenkovic receives grant to develop codes for DNA data storage system <p>Olgica Milenkovic, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and a researcher at the Coordinated Science Lab, has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue their work on making DNA a viable data storage system. This grant will specifically investigate how to encode data in a manner suitable for portable and robust DNA-based data storage systems.</p> Thu, 5 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CDT ChemBE's Kisley named to Forbes 30 Under 30 <p>Lydia Kisley, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical and Biomo lecular Engineering, was featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for 2017. The annual list highlights innovators who are under 30 years old and work in a variety of different industries, from media to manufacturing. Kisley was included on the healthcare list.</p> Thu, 5 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CDT CEE biomechanics researchers making important contributions to medicine <p>One day your activity tracker might do a lot more than just count your steps. Someday it might measure the mechanical response of your skin, bones and blood, and alert you to early changes that could signal developing health problems. The field of mechanics – a fundamental emphasis in the education of civil and environmental engineers that deals with the behavior of materials when subjected to forces – is poised to revolutionize the field of medicine. As a result, a number of CEE at Illinois researchers are finding biomedical applications for their work in mechanics, opening doors for challenging new areas of research and interdisciplinary collaboration.</p> Celeste Arbogast, CEE Illinois Tue, 3 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CDT Quantum simulation technique yields topological soliton state in SSH model <p>Using atomic quantum-simulation, an experimental technique involving finely tuned lasers and ultracold atoms about a billion times colder than room temperature to replicate the properties of a topological insulator, a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has directly observed for the first time the protected boundary state (the topological soliton state) of the topological insulator trans-polyacetylene.</p> Tue, 3 Jan 2017 00:00:00 CDT Avalanche statistics suggest Tabby's star is near a continuous phase transition <p>In its search for extrasolar planets, the Kepler space telescope looks for stars whose light flux periodically dims, signaling the passing of an orbiting planet in front of the star. But the timing and duration of diminished light flux episodes Kepler detected coming from KIC 846852, known as Tabby’s star, are a mystery. Now a team of scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—physics graduate student Mohammed Sheikh, working with Professors Karin Dahmen and Richard Weaver—proffer an entirely novel solution to the Tabby’s star puzzle. They suggest the luminosity variations may be intrinsic to the star itself.</p> Siv Schwink Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CDT Pantano to improve parachutes for Mars missions <p>As space capsules and similar devices NASA develops get larger, the chance that these parachutes will break upon deployment increases. To help solve this problem, MechSE Associate Professor Carlos Pantano was awarded one of 13 Early Stage Innovation grants from NASA’s Space Technology Research Grants Program. ESI grants are worth as much as $500,000 each, and researchers have two to three years to work on their proposed projects. </p> Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CDT Robots that can read your mind a breakthrough for manufacturing <p>Those who wish others could read their minds will enjoy a breakthrough technology out of the lab of Thenkurussi (Kesh) Kesavadas. The professor of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering and his team have used brain computer interface (BCI) to control a robot.</p> Mike Koon, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Fri, 16 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CDT Speed bursts in sharks linked to spine stiffening <p>In a recent <em>Nature</em> article, MechSE assistant professor Randy Ewoldt explores the structural properties and performance of a shark’s spine enabling the animal to swim efficiently at different speeds.</p> Fri, 16 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CDT Graphene quantum dots hold promise in reducing waste CO2 <p>Graphene quantum dots may offer a simple way to recycle waste carbon dioxide into valuable fuel rather than release it into the atmosphere or bury it underground, according to new research published by an international collaboration of scientists. “If we can convert a sizable fraction of the carbon dioxide that is emitted, we could curb the rising levels of atmospheric CO<sub>2</sub> levels which have been linked to climate change,” said Paul Kenis, William H. & Janet G. Lycan Professor and Head of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois.</p> Thu, 15 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CDT Pan wins 2016 NML Researcher award <p>Dipanjan Pan, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Illinois, is a recipient of the 2016 NML Researcher Award, sponsored by the journal of Nano-Micro Letters (NML). The award recognizes 15 outstanding researchers whose research fields are nano and micro science, with special consideration for those who have continuously made outstanding contributions to the development of science in the last three years. </p> Thu, 15 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CDT Jasiuk wins 2016 IAAM Award <p>Professor Iwona Jasiuk has been named the recipient of the 2016 American Advanced Materials Award from the International Association of Advanced Materials. She was selected due to her notable and outstanding contribution in the field of ‘Advanced Materials Science and Technology.</p> Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CDT Boppart and his team discovered large-scale transition in cancerous tissue <p>ECE/BioE Professor Stephen Boppart and his team have discovered a large-scale transition from monunsaturated to polyunsaturated fatty acids in cancerous tissue, with implications for advancing knowledge of the tumor micro- and macroenvironment, potentially leading to better breast cancer treatments.</p> Daniel Dexter, ECE ILLINOIS Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CDT Researchers work to improve the materials lifecycle <p>For more than 15 years, Nancy Sottos, a professor of materials science and engineering, Scott White, a professor of aerospace engineering, and Jeff Moore, a professor of chemistry, have been collaborating in the Autonomous Materials Systems Group at Beckman Institute. Their work focuses on creating synthetic materials that can react to their environment, recover from damage, and even self-destruct once their usefulness has come to an end.</p> Steve Drake and Cathy Lockman, Beckman Institute Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CDT Bhargava named Agilent Thought Leader <p>Rohit Bhargava, a Founder Professor of Engineering and Chemistry at Illinois, has received an Agilent Thought Leader Award in recognition of his pioneering work in the development of infrared spectroscopic imaging, and its application to life sciences research.</p> Mon, 12 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CDT AE to honor astronaut Steve Nagel in Talbot Lab instructional laboratory expansion <p>The Department of Aerospace Engineering will honor the late Steven R. Nagel, an astronaut and alumnus, as the department gains instructional laboratories for composite manufacturing and nano-satellite development in a major Talbot Laboratory expansion.</p> Mon, 12 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CDT