Engineering at Illinois News http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/recent-news.html News from Engineering at Illinois New process helps overcome obstacles to produce renewable fuels and chemicals http://cee.illinois.edu/lignin Lignin is an energy-dense polymer present in plants. It is the second most abundant biopolymer on Earth, after cellulose, making it a potentially valuable resource in the manufacture of biofuels. Researchers in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Illinois, and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has demonstrated a concept that provides opportunities for the successful conversion of lignin into a variety of renewable fuels, chemicals and materials. Wed, 27 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Symphony of nanoplasmonic and optical resonators leads to magnificent laser-like light emission http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/9356 By combining plasmonics and optical microresonators, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created a new optical amplifier (or laser) design, paving the way for power-on-a-chip applications. The new optical systems at the microscopic scale can amplify light and produce ultra-narrowband spectral output. Rick Kubetz, Engineering Communications Office Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Texas Instruments pledges $3.2 million gift for ECE ILLINOIS lab and student meeting space http://www.ece.illinois.edu/mediacenter/article.asp?id=9181 Texas Instruments, the global semiconductor company, has pledged a $3.2 million gift to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to name two spaces in the new Electrical and Computer Engineering Building. The Texas Instruments Electronics Design Lab is where every ECE freshman will take ECE 110, Introduction to Electronics. The Texas Instruments Student Center, meanwhile, is where student groups like IEEE and Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering will have offices and collaborative workspace.   Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT A glucose meter of a different color provides continuous monitoring http://news.illinois.edu/news/14/0825glucose_PaulBraun.html MatSE professor Paul Braun and graduate student Chunjie Zhang have developed a new continuous glucose monitoring material that changes color as glucose levels fluctuate, and the wavelength shift is so precise that doctors and patients may be able to use it for automatic insulin dosing  - something now possible using current point measurements like test strips. Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Camouflage sheet inspired by octopus http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28834186 Scientists recently unveiled a new device, a thin and flexible pixellated sheet, that can change colors in response to its environs. The sheet was designed by materials scientists Cunjiang Yu, from the University of Houston, and John Rogers, from the University of Illinois at Urbana. Their work was assisted by marine biologist Roger Hanlon, from the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. "Our device sees color and matches it," Rogers said in a released statement. "It reads the environment using thermochromatic material." Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Engineering departments invest $23 million to improve instructional facilities http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/9178 With support from campus and the College of Engineering, six facility projects, totaling $23 million, will provide innovative upgrades to instruction that will impact an estimated 6,000 students across the University of Illinois engineering campus. Mike Koon, Engineering Communications Office Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Hilton named ASC Fellow http://aerospace.illinois.edu/news/hilton-named-asc-fellow A patriarch of Aerospace Engineering at Illinois, Emeritus Prof. Harry H. Hilton has been made a 2014 Fellow of the American Society for Composites. Hilton is an internationally recognized authority in viscoelasticity and aero-viscoelasticity. Although “officially” retired from AE the past 24 years, Hilton has remained extremely active in research, graduate teaching, and public and professional service. Thu, 14 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Director chosen for new Health Care Engineering Systems Center http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/8720 Thenkurussi (Kesh) Kesavadas has been chosen as the first director of the new Health Care Engineering Systems Center (HCES Center) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Through the Center, the College of Engineering has partnered with the Jump Simulation and Education Center (Jump) of the OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, in an exciting initiative, known as Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (Jump ARCHES). The aim is to develop new technologies and cyber-physical systems, to enhance medical training and practice, and drive the training of medical practitioners of the future. Thu, 14 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT 23 women join Engineering at Illinois faculty; number grows by a third http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/9136 Since December 2013, a record number of women have joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Engineering. When they arrive on campus, Engineering at Illinois’ faculty will include 23 more women.The number of women engineering students has also grown significantly in recent years. More than 355 women plan to enter Engineering at Illinois as undergraduates in the fall—an increase of 27 percent in the last two years alone. Wed, 13 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT New material could enhance fast and accurate DNA sequencing http://news.illinois.edu/news/14/0813nanopores_NarayanaAluru.html Illinois researchers found that the material molybdenum disulfide could be the most efficient yet found for DNA sequencing, making personalized medicine more accessible. Wed, 13 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Venom gets good buzz as potential cancer-fighter http://bioengineering.illinois.edu/news/venom-gets-good-buzz-potential-cancer-fighter Venom from snakes, bees, and scorpions contains proteins and peptides which, when separated from the other components and tested individually, can attach to cancer cell membranes. That activity could potentially block the growth and spread of the disease. Dipanjan Pan, an assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Illinois, and his team say that some of substances found in any of these venoms could be effective anti-tumor agents. Mon, 11 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT NPRE gains major plasma/fusion facility from German institute http://npre.illinois.edu/news/npre-gains-major-plasmafusion-facility-german-institute The Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) has gifted a multi-million dollar plasma/fusion advanced physics testing facility to the University of Illinois as a result of the relationship the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering's plasma/fusion group has developed with the German institute. The machine, being renamed the Hybrid Illinois Device for Research and Applications, or HIDRA, will make NPRE one of a handful of U.S. nuclear departments offering such a significant facility for plasma/fusion research and education. Mon, 11 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Move To Your Own Rithmio http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/9079 Meet Adam Tilton, CEO and co-founder of Rithmio. Tilton began exploring the gesture recognition technology while he was a doctoral student at Illinois. During the summer of 2013, Tilton attended a wearable technology conference that featured gesture recognition technology demonstrations by some of the leading companies in the world.  Stephany Guerrero Mon, 11 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Cell mechanics may hold key to how cancer spreads and recurs http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/9114 Cancer cells that break away from tumors to go looking for a new home may prefer to settle into a soft bed, according to new findings from researchers at the University of Illinois. Some particularly enterprising cancer cells can cause a cancer to spread to other organs, called metastasis, or evade treatment to resurface after a patient is thought to be in remission. The Illinois team, along with colleagues in China, found that these so-called tumor-repopulating cells may lurk quietly in stiffer cellular environments, but thrive in a softer space. Wed, 6 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Rogers' ultrahigh efficiency solar cells featured in Technology Review http://www.technologyreview.com/news/529651/stacking-cells-could-make-solar-as-cheap-as-natural-gas/ Stacking different semiconducting materials that collect different frequencies of light—could provide nearly as much of an increase in efficiency as any radical new design. And a new manufacturing technique, developed by MatSE professor John Rogers, could soon make this approach practical. Semprius, co-founded by Rogers in 2006, is commercializing ultrahigh efficiency photovoltaic modules, and has sold units that are now in operation at 14 sites around the world. Wed, 6 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Intelliwheels receives $1.5 million NIH grant to develop multispeed geared wheels for manual wheelchairs http://researchpark.illinois.edu/news/intelliwheels-receives-15-million-grant-develop-multispeed-geared-wheels-manual-wheelchairs A $1.5-million grant will enable IntelliWheels, Inc. to advance development of ultra-lightweight, multi-geared wheels for manual wheelchairs. This new innovation will further wheelchair functionality, allowing manual wheelchair users to be more physically active and increase their independence, health and well-being. IntelliWheels originated as a student startup from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is headquartered at the University's Research Park. IntelliWheels originated as a student startup from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. - See more at: http://researchpark.illinois.edu/news/intelliwheels-receives-15-million-grant-develop-multispeed-geared-wheels-manual-wheelchairs#sthash.iunHiwDV.dpuf A $1.5-million grant will enable IntelliWheels, Inc. to advance development of ultra-lightweight, multi-geared wheels for manual wheelchairs. This new innovation will further wheelchair functionality, allowing manual wheelchair users to be more physically active and increase their independence, health and well-being.  - See more at: http://researchpark.illinois.edu/news/intelliwheels-receives-15-million-grant-develop-multispeed-geared-wheels-manual-wheelchairs#sthash.iunHiwDV.dpuf Tue, 5 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Leckband elected to the Biomedical Engineering Society Class of 2014 Fellows http://chbe.illinois.edu/news/professor-deborah-leckband-elected-biomedical-engineering-society-class-2014-fellows Reid T. Milner Professor Deborah Leckband has been elected to the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Class of 2014 Fellows. She was recognized for her research in two principal areas: she carries out studies of how mechanical and biochemical signals are transduced across cell membranes to regulate cell and tissue functions through simulations, single molecule studies, and biomechanical studies of proteins, cells, and tissues. She also studies fundamental molecular forces and their roles in a range of applications in biotechnology, from drug delivery to biosensors to adhesion. Mon, 4 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT More than six decades in Everitt Lab http://www.ece.illinois.edu/mediacenter/article.asp?id=9081 Ever since Everitt Lab opened its doors as the Electrical Engineering Building—dedicated in 1949—it has been the center of ECE ILLINOIS. In addition to its paramount importance as an instructional space, Everitt Lab has been the home base for researchers studying power engineering and electromagnetics. While many success stories have burgeoned in the classrooms and research labs of Everitt, the new Electrical and Computer Engineering Building will unite the ECE ILLINOIS community on the northern engineering campus. - See more at: http://www.ece.illinois.edu/mediacenter/article.asp?id=9081#sthash.sgqzZrX9.dpuf Ever since Everitt Lab opened its doors as the Electrical Engineering Building—dedicated in 1949—it has been the center of ECE ILLINOIS. In addition to its paramount importance as an instructional space, Everitt Lab has been the home base for researchers studying power engineering and electromagnetics. While many success stories have burgeoned in the classrooms and research labs of Everitt, the new Electrical and Computer Engineering Building will unite the ECE ILLINOIS community on the northern engineering campus. Sun, 3 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT RailTEC's New Research Center is Unique in North America http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/9098 The Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC), based in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, iis at the heart of cutting edge research sponsored by the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and other public and private sponsors.  Mike Koon, Engineering Communications Office Fri, 1 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT UI start-up Electroninks partnering with Autodesk http://blog.123dapp.com/2014/07/electrify-your-napkin-sketches-with-circuit-scribe Electroninks Incorporated is a spin-off company from the research lab of former Engineering at Illinois Professor Jennifer Lewis located in the Research Park at Illinois. Its first product, Circuit Scribe--a rollerball pen that writes with conductive silver ink that makes creating electronic circuits as easy as doodling--completed a very successful Kickstarter campaign and has recently signed an agreement with Autodesk to distribute its products.  Brett Walker, a graduate student in materials science and engineering, has been named a finalist in the Collegiate Inventors Competition. His invention is reactive silver inks, a project related to his PhD research under Thurnauer Professor Jennifer Lewis. - See more at: http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/article/2012-10-31-matse-graduate-student-named-a-finalist-inventor-competition#sthash.ZH9Gs30Z.dpuf Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CDT