In The News

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.

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August 2017 media appearances

Origami technique used to build low-cost crawling robot

The Hindu (Aug. 30) -- Scientists have used origami to create a low-cost, crawling robot that uses very little energy to move around. “The robot uses origami building blocks to mimic the gait and metameric properties of earthworms and directional material design to mimic the function of the setae on earthworms that prevents backward slipping,” says Sameh Tawfick, a professor of mechanical science and engineering at Illinois. Also:, Times of Kabul (Sept. 6), Also Design Engineering (Sept. 21)

US researchers link supercomputers to power cosmic simulation

Scientific Computing World (Aug. 29) -- Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have increased their capacity for cosmological simulation by opening up a link to another research centre - the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI).

Engineering Freshman Photo featured

News-Gazette (Aug. 29) -- The UI College of Engineering's annual freshman "Launch" event included a group shot a taken by The N-G's former N-G photo editor, who piloted his drone high above Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The UI's EMILY HARRISON used a bullhorn to get about 1,500 freshmen —with shirt colors denoting different departments — on the same page.

Professor Stark quoted in WSJ Story on Hurricane Harvey

Wall Street Journal (Aug. 28) -- With Hurricane Harvey dumping record rainfall on Houston, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faced a dilemma as water volumes rose to perilous levels in two reservoirs. Water that tops earthen dams will quickly erode the soil and ruin the dams, says Timothy Stark, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Illinois. 

Illinois team wins first International Hardware Design Contest at the DEC

BusinessWire (Aug. 15) -- An audio-enabled IoT security system designed by University of Illinois based company Inspirit IoT  won top prize in the first International Hardware Design Contest at the 54th Design Automation Conference (DAC).


Scientific American (Aug. 16) --  Even if the WannaCry hackers can exchange their ransom in bitcoins, which they have converted to monero, the criminals will have a hard time accessing their digital money anonymously. Cybersecurity experts will likely discover more ways to de-anonymize downstream monero transactions. Andrew Miller, a professor of computer science at Illinois, points to a flaw in earlier versions of monero in which addresses with balances of zero would be included in transaction mixes, effectively reducing the number of participants.

Graphene-based transistors

Futurism (Aug. 15) -- Graphene’s ability to conduct electricity 250 times better than silicon, a rate faster than any other known substance, has led a team of researchers, including some from Illinois, to consider developing a graphene-based transistor. Also: Interesting Engineering (Aug. 29)

Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Science Daily (Aug. 16) -- As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced 'wonder' material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind, the research group has developed a cleaner and more environmentally friendly method to isolate graphene using carbon dioxide in the form of carbonic acid as the electrolyte solution.

Bashir named executive associate dean of Carle Illinois College of Medicine

News-Gazette (Aug. 15) -- Rashid Bashir, a professor and the department head of bioengineering at the University of Illinois, will be the permanent executive associate dean at The Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

Wired In: Derek Hoiem

News-Gazette (Aug. 13) -- Q&A with Professor Derek Hoiem, computer science professor and co-founder and CTO of Reconstruct, which uses new computer techniques to improve efficiency and reduce risk in construction.

New Handheld Spectral Analyzer Uses Power Of Smartphone To Detect Disease

ECN Magazine (Aug. 11) -- Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed technology that enables a smartphone to perform lab-grade medical diagnostic tests that typically require large, expensive instruments. Also: The Engineer (Aug. 11) Also: Futurism

Microscopy Technique Images Thick, Multicellular Samples in 3D

Photonics (Aug. 9) -- Researchers from Illinois recently tested gradient light interference microscopy, which produces images from multiple depths of a sample that can then be composited into a single 3-D image. It was tested on various samples, including live bovine embryos. Researchers believe that the technique could be used to help determine embryo viability before in vitro fertilization in humans.


MIT Technology Review (Aug. 8) --￿Whether humans can see single photons sounds like a relatively simple question to answer, but the problem is turning out to be more thorny and convoluted than anybody suspected. Professor of physics Paul Kwiat and colleagues at Illinois say the data do not support such a robust conclusion ￿ that humans can detect a single-photon incident on the cornea with a probability ￿slightly above chance.￿￿

Water-repellent cicada wings inspire creation of next-gen materials

Digital Trends (Aug. 4) -- Mother Nature is an inspiring muse. She’s worshipped by writers, painters, and musicians alike. But scientists and engineers also turn to nature as a source of inspiration, including a research team from at the University of Illinois that wanted to borrow the secrets of cicada wings to design water-proof surfaces.

Illinois￿ Utility of the Future Study to be facilitated by University of Illinois

Daily Energy Insider (Aug. 4) -- Efforts to create recommendations on a 21st Century utility regulatory model for Illinois are to be led by the Power and Energy System Area of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC/ECE).

KEVM Wins IC3-Ethereum Crypto Boot Camp 2017 Competition

Coin Journal (Aug. 2) -- KEVM, a framework developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with support from IOHK, has won this year’s IC3-Ethereum Crypto Boot Camp, a blockchain development event and competition. The team has modeled the world’s first complete, fully executable formal semantics of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), and produced the KEVM framework, which allows for formal execution, analysis, and verification of EVM smart contracts.

Is weather playing a role in MLB's record-setting home run spike this season?

AccuWeather (Aug. 2) -- Major League Baseball hitters are on a path to smash the record for home runs set in 2000. Air density, the humidity of the ball and warmer weather are all factors influencing ball travel, says Alan Nathan, a professor emeritus of physics at Illinois. “People know, players even know, understand intuitively if nothing else, that the ball simply does not carry as well in cold weather as it does in warm weather,” Nathan says. Also: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Aug. 3)

UI Startup Sun Buckets featured on WGN Business Lunch

WGN Radio (July 31) Changing the way people cook food can be a challenge, but that’s exactly what U. of I. startup Sun Buckets is trying to do and impact 40 percent of the world.

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