Engineering at Illinois News News from Engineering at Illinois Wed, 24 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT 5 Alumnus Basu to head Cancer Treatment Centers of America <p>Alumnus Pat Basu has also been named the new President and CEO of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.</p> Wed, 24 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT Through electrolysis, U of I startup repurposing excess electricity to produce hydrogen <p><span style="font-size:13px">As the world continues to move toward alternative clean energy, there remains a similar problem so far without a solution – what to do with excess energy not used by the grid. NASADYA, a startup formed by University of Illinois student Chaitanya Gulati, has discovered a promising solution – use electrolysis to break down the energy and produce carbon-free hydrogen.</span></p> Mike Koon, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Tue, 23 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT Controlling instabilities allows closer look at chemistry around vehicles traveling at hypersonic speeds <p><span style="font-size:13px">While studying the chemical reactions that occur in the flow of gases around a vehicle moving at hypersonic speeds, researchers at the University of Illinois used a less-is-more method to gain greater understanding of the role of chemical reactions in modifying unsteady flows that occur in the hypersonic flow around a double-wedge shape. </span></p> Tue, 23 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT Study: Reducing energy required to convert CO2 waste into valuable resources <p><span style="font-size:13px">Surplus industrial carbon dioxide creates an opportunity to convert waste into a valuable commodity. Excess CO2 can be a feedstock for chemicals typically derived from fossil fuels, but the process is energy-intensive and expensive. University of Illinois chemical engineers have assessed the technical and economic feasibility of a new electrolysis technology that uses a cheap biofuel byproduct to reduce the energy consumption of the waste-to-value process by 53 percent.</span></p> Mon, 22 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT Illinois Engineering to honor top faculty on April 29 <p><span style="font-size:13px">The University of Illinois College of Engineering will be honoring educators and researchers at the 55th Annual College Faculty Awards Ceremony at 6 pm on Monday, April 29 at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications auditorium. </span></p> Mon, 22 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT Computer Science launching program for people weighing move into tech <p><span style="font-size:13px">An investment by Facebook will help the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to establish a program that prepares people who did not study computer science as undergraduates to transition to technology-sector careers and earn master’s degrees in computer science.</span></p> Mon, 22 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT Multistep self-assembly opens door to new reconfigurable materials <div><span style="font-size:13px">University of Illinois engineers took a closer look at how nonuniform synthetic particles assemble and were surprised to find that it happens in multiples phases, opening the door for new reconfigurable materials for use in technologies such as solar cells and catalysis.</span></div> Thu, 18 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT Student Cubesat SASSI2 launches, gathers data for hard science <p><span style="font-size:13px">Today, after over three years in the making, the countdown finally begins for SASSI2—a CubeSat designed, built, and tested by undergraduate students at the University of Illinois and Purdue University. SASSI2 is bolted to the second stage of a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket that will send a Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.</span></p> Wed, 17 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT Jump ARCHES announces 2019 grant recipients <p><span style="font-size:13px">Eleven research projects are sharing nearly $810,600 in funding through the Jump ARCHES research and development program. The Jump Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (Jump ARCHES), is a partnership between OSF HealthCare and the University of Illinois College of Engineering in Champaign-Urbana.</span></p> Tue, 16 Apr 2019 10:00:00 CDT Smart antioxidant-containing polymer responds to body chemistry, environment <p><span style="font-size:13px">Oxidants found within living organisms are byproducts of metabolism and are essential to wound-healing and immunity. However, when their concentrations become too high, inflammation and tissue damage can occur. University of Illinois engineers have developed and tested a new drug-delivery system that senses high oxidant levels and responds by administering just the right amount of antioxidant to restore this delicate balance.</span></p> Tue, 16 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT Engineering teams take home top cash prizes at 20th Cozad NVC <div><span style="font-size:13px">This year, nearly $250,000 was awarded in cash and in-kind prizes to over 60 Cozad teams at the Showcase and Finals event. </span></div> Fri, 12 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT New facility encourages campus collaboration through innovative design space <p>The College of Engineering is breaking ground on a brand new facility designed to encourage collaboration and support education through pedagogy experiments, classroom technologies, and professional development for the next generation.</p> Thu, 11 Apr 2019 22:55:00 CDT Missy Biehl wins top campus advising honor <div><span style="font-size:13px">blog posts</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Faculty and staff members and graduate teaching assistants at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be honored for excellence in teaching, mentoring and advising at an April 11 reception at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">The Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching recognizes sustained excellence and innovative approaches in undergraduate teaching and contributions beyond classroom instruction that have an overall positive impact on undergraduate student learning. Honorees are represented in three employee categories – faculty, specialized faculty and teaching assistants – and each receives a monetary award.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Faculty members honored with the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, as described by their nominators:</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Brian Allen</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Brian Allan, entomology, is among the most effective and popular instructors in the School of Integrative Biology. In addition to serving as a mentor for new faculty members and pioneering applications of new technology in the remodeled Natural History Building to promote participation, peer-to-peer learning, and hands-on learning, he is dedicated to ensuring that undergraduates have a successful and rewarding experience conducting original research, which many scientists regard as an essential component of learning a scientific discipline.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Manisha Basu</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Manisha Basu, English, routinely teaches “the dreaded survey of literary and critical theories,” a requirement for all English majors. Her selection of familiar literary texts for theoretical interpretation allows students to focus more effectively on unfamiliar theoretical readings. Students in her courses in postcolonial and modern African fiction noted her careful scaffolding of unfamiliar material. Basu’s students laud her attention to the improvement of their written work and extremely productive one-on-one time with her in the general classroom environment.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Gregory Elliott</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Gregory Elliott, aerospace engineering, made “spectacular” contributions to the decade-old effort to improve the hands-on component of the department’s undergraduate curriculum. Elliott modernized the aerodynamics and propulsion laboratory curriculum and led the creation of two new courses.  First was an introductory course on aerospace engineering combining the basic concepts of aerodynamics, aircraft design and a hands-on building exercise.  The second design course focuses on the design, manufacturing and testing of unmanned aerial vehicles.  He also conducts research and teaches courses on high-speed aerodynamics and advanced laser diagnostic techniques.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Phillipp Hieronymi</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Philipp Hieronymi, mathematics, is “truly outstanding” in curriculum development. When enrollments surged in a linear algebra class and the department decided to transition to a format of a large lecture with many small discussion sections, Hieronymi led the transition. Together with others, he developed a trove of new course material and oversaw the creation of quizzes and worksheets highlighting state of the art applications of linear algebra. When designing material for the large lectures, he emphasizes active learning and creating a welcoming environment for all students. A reviewer described his lectures as “fantastic.”</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Sandra Ruiz</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Sandra Ruiz, Latina/Latino studies and English, “not only expects students to learn the course material, but she also encourages students to embrace their learning actively, collaboratively, creatively and critically. Toward this goal, Ruiz employs creative teaching methods and has an impressive ability to encourage students to take on the challenge of being responsible for their learning alongside her, the teacher and guide. Her classrooms are quite dynamic spaces that students have often said are full of energy and excitement.”</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Specialized faculty members honored:</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Isaac DiIanni</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Isaac DiIanni, economics, holds the attention of up to 600 students in lectures by way of a “teaching as storytelling” technique, an approach that imparts a coherent structure to unfamiliar material and draws students willingly into the learning process. In his upper-level topics class on American economic history, DiIanni guides students through advanced material with more personal attention. Several students have decided to pursue graduate studies in economics after taking this class.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Susan Dramin-Weiss</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Susan Dramin-Weiss, speech and hearing science, is an instructor of American Sign Language. She designed the ASL course sequence and has taught all levels.  In addition to the speech and hearing science majors, a diverse group of undergraduates take the sequence to fulfill their foreign language requirement. Dramin-Weiss provides transformative experiences for her students as they use ASL skills to communicate with members of the deaf community in Urbana-Champaign.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Karle Flanagan</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Karle Flanagan, statistics, has an “amazing ease” when lecturing to large audiences, making her class feel “warm and comfortable.” Teaching statistics to nonmajors in large lecture halls can be very stressful, but she turns it into “a fun and pleasant experience.” Flanagan is wildly popular on campus and a tremendous role model for female students: After completing a course with her, many students have signed up for a minor in statistics or switched majors to statistics.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Kari Keating</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Kari Keating, agricultural education, tries out new instructional techniques to help students transform into leaders and reach their potential as professionals in a range of careers. She connects her innate skills as an educator with her own professional experiences to help students prepare for their life after graduation. Keating is set apart by her dedication to student learning, strong desire to continuously improve her own teaching abilities and her course content, and passion and enthusiasm for teaching, advising and mentoring students.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Jean McDonald</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Jean McDonald, journalism, teaches news editing and sports journalism courses. She takes students outside their comfort zones, such as immersing suburban Chicago students in Hoopeston, Illinois, for a week of reporting on rural life. McDonald’s seamless combining of rigorous training with real-world professional challenges contribute to many of her students landing prestigious internships and jobs at top news media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Teaching assistants honored:</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Zachary Berent</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo provided</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Zachary Berent, mechanical science and engineering, has made significant improvements to the laboratory portion of the Experimental Tissue Mechanics course and strives to enrich the student experience.  In two of the lab sessions, students dissect tissue in order to prepare samples for mechanical testing.  Students have described this as their favorite lab component.  Berent gives them time to learn about the anatomy and tissue that were discussed in lectures, and he facilitates an interactive and hands-on experience for students.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Katherine Norcross</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Students of Katherine Norcross, English, reflect clearly on the skills and strengths that underlie her pedagogy. “Not every student could be excited by the medieval literature that this course required us to read, but Kate was able to change that,” a student wrote. Whether teaching a required first course in the English major or a general education class for nonmajors, she is both extremely well-versed in the subject matter and highly skilled in building and maintaining student interest.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Matthew Pitchford</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Matthew Pitchford, communication, teaches a variety of courses, serves in valuable mentoring and administrative roles, and makes important contributions to the undergraduate curriculum. Employing what he calls “low-stakes writings and reflections,” Pitchford helps students find their own stake in the issues they are studying. Students overwhelmingly highlight these writing-based approaches to learning about public policy and argumentation as the most important things they learned, and also cite the energy and enthusiasm he brings to the classroom.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">John Westbrook</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">John Westbrook, psychology, has had a meaningful role in shaping the curriculum. Westbrook and another graduate instructor initiated widespread changes to a popular course, starting with the course name and including a complete reformulation of content, reading material and evaluation. When the department decided to create an online version of this course, he co-created it, designing the online evaluation materials and contributing to setting and creating the online lecture content that would be the foundation of the new course.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Leah Wilks</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Leah Wilks, dance, employs the dynamic use of anatomy to help dancers understand how their bodies’ construction can support weight, torque and large movement. Then she looks at the ways these bodies move in relation to other systems – political, social, gendered – that alter how dancers relate to their bodies and the space around them. This deepens students’ understanding of themselves and of the multiple roles they play in all aspects of their lives, not just the roles they inhabit on stage.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Jeffrey Loewenstein, business administration, and Lisa Monda-Amaya, special education, received the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching. Recipients of this award are honored for sustained excellence and innovation in graduate or professional teaching and their contributions to graduate or professional learning beyond classroom instruction.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Jeffrey Loewenstein</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Loewenstein possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of his field. His love of learning and communicating his knowledge with others spills out in every interaction. He mixes humor with deep insight, keeping students as engaged as they would be in the presence of a master storyteller. Loewenstein not only generates curiosity among his students, he also directs students to additional material based on their personal interests. He also has been at the forefront of developing high-quality online courses.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Lisa Monda-Amaya</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Monda-Amaya encourages students to get involved in activities outside the typical requirements of the doctoral program, such as serving on campus committees and attending legislative summits held by national professional organizations. Monda-Amaya is a lifelong mentor to her doctoral students, helping them bring their dissertation research to publication; meeting with them at conferences to mentor them in their roles as new faculty; and connecting current and former students to prominent colleagues in the field.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Anna Maria Escobar, Spanish and Portuguese, received the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring. This award recognizes faculty members for their sustained excellence in graduate student mentoring, innovative approaches to graduate advising, and their impact on graduate student scholarship and professional development. The award is co-sponsored by the Graduate College.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Anna Maria Escobar</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Escobar is an internationally recognized expert in the field of contact linguistics, which focuses on multilingual speakers and communities. In addition to sharing her work and experience with graduate students over the years, Escobar has responded to advances in the field with innovative research and teaching materials related to Spanish in contact with Indigenous languages, and to Spanish in the U.S. These efforts enable students to build innovative expertise in these growing areas of interest in the profession.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Kiel Christianson, educational psychology, and Mei Shen, chemistry, received the Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research, which rewards faculty members for their excellence in involving and guiding undergraduate students in scholarly research, having a positive impact on student scholarship or intellectual development, and for their innovative approaches to guiding undergraduate research.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Kiel Christianson</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Christianson meets regularly with undergraduate students and involves them in research project meetings with doctoral students. As they gain experience and confidence in their own abilities and skills, the undergraduates often propose their own research projects. Christianson works with them to turn their ideas into theoretically interesting and testable predictions that are motivated by the research literature, often leading to empirical studies that frequently end up as peer-reviewed conference presentations and publications.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Mei Shen</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Shen fosters scholarly and intellectual growth by developing student skills specific to their goals. Along with her positive attitude, her approach produces “enormously motivated” individuals who often make significant gains in their academic achievement. Shen is a role model to her students. A student wrote: “You are an inspiring role model: intelligent, caring, patient and kind. I aspire to be like that someday.” She is one of the department’s most prolific undergraduate mentors. Her students have been highly successful in getting into professional and graduate schools.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px"> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Shachar Meron</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Photo by L. Brian Stauffer</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Shachar Meron, advertising, received the Campus Award for Excellence in Online and Distance Teaching. This award honors excellence and innovation in online or distance teaching; contributions to student learning through innovative uses of technology; creativity in course development and instruction; and for having had a positive influence on the quality, extent and development of a department’s online/distance program.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Meron infuses creative thinking in curriculum design, course development and content delivery. His online courses balance the scalability of online lectures with the intimacy of individualized teaching. Meron creatively mixes original media, multi-tier discussion threads and supplemented readings to enrich and diversify the learning experience. As noted by a former student: “Shachar was able to handle both the prerecorded videos and live sessions brilliantly. It's a unique talent to make students feel like he was personally invested from hundreds of miles away.”</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:13px">Melissa (Missy) J. Biehl, mechanical science and engineering received the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. Recipients of this award are recognized for their excellence in and innovative approaches to undergraduate advising, and for having had a major impact on undergraduate students and their intellectual development through sustained academic advising relationships.</span></div> Thu, 11 Apr 2019 13:20:00 CDT Gregory Elliott earns Campus Teaching Award <p>Gregory Elliott, Interim Department Head of Aeropace Engineering, was among those faculty members honored with the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.</p> Thu, 11 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT MatSE PhD student Siddharth Krishnan wins Illinois Innovation Prize <p><span style="font-size:13px">The Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) and the College of Engineering is proud to announce Siddharth Krishnan, PhD Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering has been named as the Illinois Innovation Prize (IIP) winner for 2019. Siddharth was awarded $20,000 at a ceremony which took place in conjunction with the Cozad New Venture Challenge Finals event at the I-Hotel and Conference Center on April 10, 2019.</span></p> Thu, 11 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT How is Illinois contributing to the Event Horizon Telescope Project? <p><span style="font-size:13px">The Event Horizon Telescope Project announced that it has captured the first image of a black hole. The feature is located at the center of Messier 87 – a giant elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo</span></p> Wed, 10 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT Illinois contributes to EHT's capturing first-ever image of a black hole <p><span style="font-size:13px">Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)—a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration—was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences around the globe, EHT researchers revealed that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.</span></p> Wed, 10 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT VIDEO: Center for Autonomy will develop technology that will revolutionize the way we live, work, and play <p><span style="font-size:13px">From self-driving cars to intelligent robotic assistants to remote surgical systems, autonomous technology will revolutionize the way we live, work, and play. In order to enable this revolution, however, advancements in foundational research and workforce development must first take place to provide assured and certified-safe performance. Illinois' Center for Autonomy will play an important role in designing innovative systems that can function autonomously, or without human intervention, in a safe and reliable way.</span></p> Mon, 8 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT DeepWalk helping cities save money in building ADA compliant sidewalks Mike Koon, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Thu, 4 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT Health Make-A-Thon Event is April 13 <p><span style="font-size:13px">Twenty finalists from Champaign County will pitch their ideas in a dolphin-tank style event. Ten will walk away with $10,000 in idea support. All will show great potential to improve human health.</span></p> Wed, 3 Apr 2019 00:00:00 CDT