In The News Archive

This monthly summary includes excerpts from Illinois in the News, a daily service provided by the University of Illinois News Bureau and other media search tools. This collection of recent stories focuses on engineering topics and faculty contacted for their expertise by print and broadcast reporters around the world.

Long freight trains save on fuel and crews, reducing the cost of rail transportation

Wall Street Journal (June 15) -- Freight trains are on track to stretch up to 3 miles long, with 200 cars or more. The trend is being powered, in part, by an unusual energy source: the activist investor. “Railroads thrive on economies of scale,” says Christopher Barkan, the director of the railroad engineering program at Illinois. “Longer trains are the most important advance in achieving economies of scale in the past quarter century.”

Is this the future of medicine? Synthetic blood could buy patients 48 extra hours

Digital Trends (June 12) -- Finding blood donors continues to present a challenge across the U.S. Two scientists – Andre Palmer of Ohio State University and Dipanjan Pan, a professor of bioengineering at Illinois – have now independently developed synthetic blood technologies.

New aircraft-scheduling models may ease air travel frustrations

Science Daily (June 11) -- Flight schedules that allow for a little carefully designed wiggle room could prevent the frustration of cascading airport delays and cancellations. By focusing on the early phases of flight schedule planning and delays at various scales, researchers have developed models to help create schedules that are less susceptible to delays and easier to fix once disrupted.

The K framework ￿ a framework to formally define all programming languages

Inside Bitcoins (June 12) -- On the podcast, Grigore Rosu, professor of computer science at UIUC [University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign] takes deep dive into the K framework. The K framework is mathematic logic and language that enables language developers to formally define all programming languages; such as C, Solidity and JavaScript. 

Svetlana Lazebnik to speak at ￿Machines Can See￿ Summit on Computer Vision and Machine Learning in Moscow

June 7 -- On June 8, the international summit 'Machines Can See', dedicated to the latest trends in the fields of computer vision and machine learning, will be held in Moscow. The event is organized by VisionLabs, one of the world leaders in creating solutions in the domain of people and object recognition. The world's leading researchers in the world of computer vision will take part in the summit, including Svetlana Lazebnik, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, specializing in the field of computer vision. The key topics of Mrs. Lazebnik's research activities are visual interpretations of scenes, joint modeling of images and machine learning methods for visual recognition tasks. She is also a recipient of the Longuet-Higgins Prize.

With a $500 million boost, South Loop U of I campus gains momentum

Crain's Chicago Business (June 7) -- With a nifty $500 million in "seed money" in hand, Gov. Bruce Rauner's plans to develop a South Loop engineering and research center that could jolt Illinois' economy into the 21st century are beginning to look real. But the plans still face a summer of uncertainties.

Label-Free Microscopy Analyzes Dynamics of Cell Membrane Components

Photonics (June 6 ) -- A new live-cell imaging technique will enable researchers to observe the formation and growth of cell membrane focal adhesions. Examining focal adhesions — cell membrane components that regulate adhesion and migration — is one of the keys to understanding how a cell proliferates, differentiates, and migrates. 

Algorithm fuses high-resolution, high-frequency satellite data for complete, daily image maps

Laser Focus World (June 6) -- Using a new algorithm, U. of I. researchers may have found the solution to an age-old dilemma plaguing satellite imagery – whether to sacrifice high spatial resolution in the interest of generating images more frequently, or vice versa. The team’s new tool eliminates this trade-off by fusing high-resolution and high-frequency satellite data into one integrated product, and can generate daily continuous images going back to the year 2000.

Aerospace engineering Koki Ho gets NASA grant to study resource-mining in space

News-Gazette (June 6) -- If NASA astronauts go back to the moon or to Mars, new research at the University of Illinois may make the trip more efficient. The space agency has awarded a $50,000 grant to UI aerospace engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Koki Ho for a year of study in the field of in situ resource utilization. That involves mining celestial bodies — in this case, the moon — for resources like water and oxygen to be used in space missions. Also: Science Magazine (June 6) 

Options to optimize profit in broadband satellite constellations

Science Daily (June 6) -- Several large telecommunications companies have proposed plans to provide global broadband services by launching hundreds and even thousands of satellites into orbit. Although broadband for everyone sounds like a great idea, it also carries great financial risk, resulting in bankruptcy for some who've tried it. Recent research suggests a more cost-effective strategy using regional coverage and staged deployment.

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