Engineering at Illinois News News from Engineering at Illinois Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT 5 Solution from startup Mesh++ would bring WiFi to public parks and developing countries <p>Most people rely on WiFi every day. In developed countries, it's not necessary to think about all the steps that allow users to get WiFi in their homes because the structures for WiFi are already in place. This is not the privilege of developing world, getting Wi-Fi is no easy task because it requires connecting to an electrical grid, which can be impossible or extremely expensive. Mesh++, a student startup from the University of Illinois, is hoping to solve these problems. </p> Chloe Belczak Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT NASA awards $750,000 contract to startup for "smart" color-changing air filters for space suits <p>Serionix, a startup based on a technology created at the U. of I. and incubated at the EnterpriseWorks accelerator at Illinois, received a $750,000 contract from NASA to fund continued development of filters to remove toxic gases from next-generation spacesuit life-support systems. The same technology is on its way into consumer products expected to launch within the year. </p> Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Campus honors Uddin for "Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research" <p>Over the past decade, Prof. Rizwan Uddin has had many undergraduates work with him in the Virtual Education and Research Laboratory (VERL), where they have helped develop virtual reality learning experiences. Recognizing his dedication to that segment of his group and the exceptional work they have accomplished, Uddin’s colleagues have chosen the Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at Illinois professor for the 2017 Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research.</p> Mon, 13 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Choquette's group reports PT symmetry breaking in an electrically injected, room temperature VCSEL array for the first time <p>A team of University of Illinois researchers at the Micro + Nanotechnology Lab recently applied new theoretical physics concepts to enhance the performance of a well-established semiconductor laser technology. In a paper published in <em>Optica, </em>ECE Professor Kent Choquette and students in his group reported parity-time (PT) symmetry breaking in an electrically injected, room temperature vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) array for the first time.</p> Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Alumna Canan Dagdeviren named a Motherboard 'Human of the Year' <p>Canan Dagdeviren, a MatSE alumna and director of a groundbreaking research group at MIT, helps design lifesaving devices that mold to the individual patient. She was chosen as one of Motherboard's "Humans of the Year."</p> Thu, 9 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Li named IEEE Fellow <p>ECE professor Xiuling Li has been selected by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as an IEEE Fellow. Li has been recognized her contributions to semiconductor nanomaterials for electronic and photonic applications. Her research focuses on developing innovative semiconductor structures and device concepts through both bottom-up and top-down approaches.</p> Thu, 9 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Researchers create first exact model for diffusion in magnesium alloys <p>Using new computational techniques, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have constructed the first exact model for diffusion in magnesium alloys. While magnesium is the lightest structural metal, this new model could mean big things for material engineers, as this new method is used to predict how atoms diffuse in many other materials.</p> Caitlin McCoy, MatSE/MRL Wed, 8 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Tribune: University startups surge as Illinois students start more companies, land more funding <p>Despite a fall in recent venture capital activity on the national level, Illinois university startups have seen a rise in funding.That's according to the annual Illinois Innovation Index report by the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, primarily based on data self-reported by universities in the state. </p> Wed, 8 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Andy Singer named interim director of Siebel Center for Design <p>Andrew Singer, director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center, has been appointed interim director of the Siebel Center for Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A professor of electrical and computer engineering, Singer will guide the development of the center’s signature programs, help foster design thinking and education in the university’s colleges and departments, and lead the ongoing planning of the center’s $48 million home.</p> Tue, 7 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Can data analytics help you fill out a March Madness bracket? <p>The NCAA men’s basketball tournament – commonly known as March Madness – begins March 14. Millions of college basketball enthusiasts will be filling out their brackets, hoping to predict the outcome of all the games. In an interview with News Bureau physical sciences editor Liz Touchstone, computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson discusses patterns he’s observed in the tournament and how data analytics can provide guidance for fans filling out brackets. Working with students, he also oversees the BracketOdds website, a STEM learning lab for his students, to provide fans with useful tips in filling out their brackets.</p> Tue, 7 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT I-Corps techniques turn scientists into entrepreneurs <p>When Subra Suresh was tapped to lead the National Science Foundation, in 2010, he saw that many of the pathbreaking discoveries developed through the agency’s grants weren’t finding their way to the marketplace, so he sought to foster better links between government and industry. Today, the NSF I-Corps program is helping hundreds of scientists become successful entrepreneurs, including Illinois entrepreneurs Adam Tilton and MechSE professor Prashant Mehta of Rithmio.</p> Tue, 7 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT "Illuminate New Horizons" - Engineering Open House, March 10-11 <p>“Illuminate New Horizons” is the theme for the 97th annual Engineering Open House (EOH) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This year’s event will feature robotics competitions, concrete crushing, and rocket races—more than 200 student exhibits in all. All events and exhibits are free and open to the public. Student projects and start-up exhibits will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 10, and from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, on the Engineering Campus, which is north of Green Street.</p> Mon, 6 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT This website is watching you. Are you OK with that? <p>“Tracing You,” an online arts project by NCSA researcher Ben Grosser, tries to pinpoint the physical location of visitors to the website. Grosser said the project reveals a desire for surveillance.</p> Fri, 3 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Hand-picked specialty crops 'ripe' for precision agriculture techniques <p>Precision agriculture techniques could have substantial financial benefits for producers of hand-picked specialty crops, according to a new paper by Richard Sowers, a professor of industrial and enterprise systems engineering and of mathematics. Recent Illinois alumnus Devasia Manuel, currently a machine learning researcher with Google and Sowers’ co-author on the study, developed a mathematical model that determined the optimal time for transporting a grower’s strawberries from the field to cold storage.</p> Thu, 2 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Engineering students design galactic greenhouse <p>Two University of Illinois engineering students have designed a miniature lunar greenhouse which they hope will enable humans to grow crops in lunar soil. They will present their design at the Lab2Moon Challenge in Bangalore, India in March. If they win the competition? Next stop – the moon.</p> Leanne Lucas, College of ACES Thu, 2 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Growth method may enable new properties for next-gen semiconductor devices <p>Minjoo Larry Lee, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and his students have demonstrated a novel crystal growth method for making semiconductor nanocomposites that could someday lead to better performing devices like CMOS chips and lasers. Nanocomposites are formed when nano-sized particles are embedded in a matrix in order to improve certain material properties.</p> Wed, 1 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Study shows hydropower's surprising downsides <p>Hydropower has enormous importance in the world of clean energy policy. In 2015, electricity generated by hydropower accounted for more than 85 percent of global renewable electricity generation. Irrigation has similar global importance: while the sector accounts for only 28 percent of global harvested area, irrigated agriculture produces 40 percent of our food. The two goals often come into direct competition, however, according to a groundbreaking paper based on a collaborative project between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) and the International Food Policy Research Institute, an organization which seeks sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty, under the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems.</p> Wed, 1 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT ChemBE graduate student invited to prestigious Nobel Laureate Meeting <p>Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering graduate student Thao Ngo has been selected to participate in the 67<sup>th</sup> Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting this summer. Ngo is a graduate student in Richard C. Alkire Professor Hong Yang’s research group. Her research focuses on studying the growth and dissolution of Pt-based nano catalysts using in situ electron microscopy and x-ray based techniques.</p> Wed, 1 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Martinez Outschoorn and Yang selected for NSF CAREER Awards <p>Verena Martinez Outschoorn and Liang Yang—both assistant professors in the Department of Physics—have each been selected for 2017 NSF CAREER Awards. Martinez will use the 5-year grant to develop and implement new analytical tools to search for exotic Higgs boson decay modes, which ultimately could reveal new physics beyond the standard model and could shed light on the nature of dark matter. Yang will use his CAREER Award to develop novel analysis techniques for investigations of neutrinos, ubiquitous yet mysterious particles.</p> Wed, 1 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT Bahl receives ONR Early Research Grant <p>Gaurav Bahl, an assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering, was awarded a 2017 Director of Research Early Career Grant from the Office of Naval Research. This competitive award will allow him to pursue research on non-reciprocal systems for sound and microwaves.</p> Wed, 1 Mar 2017 00:00:00 CDT