Engineering at Illinois News News from Engineering at Illinois CEE Professor Tami Bond named a MacArthur Fellow! Tami Bond, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a “genius grant,” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The fellowship carries an unrestricted $625,000 stipend to be used as the researcher sees best. According to a statement from the MacArthur Foundation, the fellows are chosen according to three criteria: “Exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.” Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:00:00 CDT Illinois BioE team wins Coulter College competition A team of six bioengineering undergraduates won First Place in the 2014 Coulter College competition, a nationwide contest to connect young innovators, bioengineering faculty, and clinical collaborators to develop translational solutions to clinical issues. Illinois' winning team developed a device to detangle intravenous tubing and help prevent misconnections. Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:00:00 CDT Illinois alumni to speak on entrepreneurship A distinguished panel of Illinois alumni will discuss these and other questions about Entrepreneurship and Transformative Thinking at 2 pm Sept. 19 in the auditorium of the NCSA Building. Mon, 8 Sep 2014 00:00:00 CDT Rolls-Royce dedicates Concorde's engine to AE department The Department of Aerospace Engineering gained a unique part of aeronautics history when representatives from Rolls-Royce visited to dedicate to the department one of the company’s Olympus engines used on the supersonic Concorde airliner. Mon, 8 Sep 2014 00:00:00 CDT Banked blood grows stiffer with age, study finds It may look like fresh blood and flow like fresh blood, but the longer blood is stored, the less it can carry oxygen into the tiny microcapillaries of the body, says a new study from University of Illinois researchers. Using advanced optical techniques, the researchers measured the stiffness of the membrane surrounding red blood cells over time. They found that, even though the cells retain their shape and hemoglobin content, the membranes get stiffer, which steadily decreases the cells’ functionality. Fri, 5 Sep 2014 00:00:00 CDT New ECE Building uses space as educational component High-tech thinking is ingrained in every inch of the new Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, but it’s the cavernous spaces that catch the untrained eye. ECE leaders hope the massive lobby area and wide hallways, the wide-open and window-laden study and lecture rooms, and the ample laboratory space will foster comfortable conversations that will lead to innovation and academic success. Thu, 4 Sep 2014 00:00:00 CDT Nahrstedt receives SIGMM Award for Outstanding Technical Contributions The 2014 winner of the prestigious ACM Special Interest Group on Multimedia (SIGMM) award for Outstanding Technical Contributions to Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications is CS Professor Klara Nahrstedt. Nahrstedt is a leading researcher in multimedia systems. She has made seminal contributions in QoS management for distributed multimedia systems. Wed, 3 Sep 2014 00:00:00 CDT Frontiers in Bioengineering Symposium attracts bioengineering luminaries and leaders National and international leaders in the field of bioengineering will gather at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign this month for the Frontiers in Bioengineering Symposium. Held September 8-9, the event presents an opportunity for researchers and educators across numerous disciplines to present their breakthroughs and discuss exciting new ideas. Tue, 2 Sep 2014 00:00:00 CDT New research may help doctors personalize cancer treatments In four recent papers, University of Illinois Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Princess Imoukhuede and co-authors have made significant progress in personalizing angiogenesis inhibition cancer treatments. Imoukhuede’s lab is working to better understand the tumor microenvironment and why the same type of tumor may behave differently in people, like two mulberry trees reacting differently to the same herbicide. Claire Sturgeon, Institute for Genomic Biology Fri, 29 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Ewoldt Films Ice Bucket Challenge with Slow-Mo Camera Over the past two months the entire country has been a buzz taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Randy Ewoldt, an assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering at the University of Illinois, has literally broken it down, by using a slow-motion camera. Mike Koon, Engineering Communications Office Fri, 29 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT White Selected for ASC Outstanding Research Award Aerospace engineering professor Scott R. White has been chosen for the 2014 American Society for Composites (ASC) Outstanding Research Award. Thu, 28 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT CEE project will broaden access to geoscience data Data collections and unique models that reflect differences in units, time intervals, locations and a host of other variables are generally so dissimilar that using them is more difficult for researchers than simply starting from scratch. That may soon change, thanks to a project led by Illinois researchers to develop a way to make this data much easier to utilize, promising a significant savings of money and time for researchers wishing to utilize long-tail data and models. The team, led by CEE Professor Praveen Kumar, has received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a semantic framework for integrating long-tail data and models. Thu, 28 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT New process helps overcome obstacles to produce renewable fuels and chemicals 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 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 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 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 Illinois partners with NTU to develop new generation of Asian academic leaders In medicine and other fields, the growing use of evidence-based practices has saved money and improved performance by using data to inform decision-making. But in academic institutions leaders have been slower to adapt to data-driven decision making. With a $2.7 million grant, Illinois is collaborating with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore to conduct research, develop curricula, provide guidance and create tools to train current and future executives of major research universities as part of a new NTU academy focusing on leadership, expected to launch next year.   Kim Gudeman, CSL Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT WIE Camp 2014: Creating community for female engineering students Still going strong in its 12th year, the 2014 WIE Camp did all that Larson originally envisioned as 255 female engineering students arrived on campus for freshman orientation. The camp's activities, while fun, were designed to foster community building and to help the girls establish a support system as they built key relationships and learned about campus supports available. Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Election Analytics: Predicting election outcomes CS Professor Sheldon Jacobson has been working with polling data for over a decade, trying to find ways to uncover pertinent and telling information. Called Election Analytics, the site presents forecasts for election outcomes—if they were held today—of Senate races across the United States. Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:00:00 CDT Camouflage sheet inspired by octopus 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