Week in Review: 10/8/17 – 10/14/17


UWIN faculty Bing Brunton and Steve Brunton win AFOSR Young Investigator Awards

We are extremely proud to announce that two UWIN faculty members, Bing Brunton (Biology) and Steve Brunton (Mechanical Engineering) have each won an AFOSR Young Investigator Research Program Award! The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Program recognizes those “who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research”, and who have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years.

MechE’s Sung Hoon Kang to receive AFOSR Young Investigator Program Award

Sung Hoon Kang, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a member of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute, has been selected to receive an Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program Award.

How Scientists Used NASA Data to Predict the Corona of the Aug. 21 Total Solar Eclipse

Predictive Science, Inc., San Diego, Calif. — a private computational physics research company supported by NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research — used data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, to develop an improved numerical model that simulated what the corona would look like during the total eclipse. Their model uses observations of magnetic fields on the Sun’s surface and requires a wealth of supercomputing resources to predict how the magnetic field shapes the corona over time.


Why The U.S. Army and Air Force Are Funding Research On Octopus Skin

The U.S. military funding research on octopus skin may sound like an exceptional situation. However, it’s not; various branches of the military conduct a wide range of scientific research in their own facilities and also fund the experiments of independent scientists like Rob Shepherd, a professor and robotics hardware designer at Cornell University.

Octopus inspires 3-D texture morphing project

A group led by Rob Shepherd, assistant professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is using the cephalopod as inspiration for a method to morph flat surfaces into three-dimensional ones on demand.


Bing Brunton wins AFOSR Young Investigator Research Program Award

Bingni Brunton, Assistant Professor of Biology at University of Washington, won her award for her proposal: “Sparse Sensing with Wing Mechanosensory Neurons for Estimation of Body Rotation in Flying Insects”. Congratulations Bing!!


Forget about it

Inspired by human forgetfulness — how our brains discard unnecessary data to make room for new information — scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory and three universities, conducted a recent study that combined supercomputer simulation and X-ray characterization of a material that gradually “forgets.” This could one day be used for advanced bio-inspired computing.

Remembering the Rocket Man

A half century of dedication, excellence and service – that is what Dr. Kirti “Karman” N. Ghia gave to the University of Cincinnati (UC) and the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS). Since his passing, Karman’s family, students, colleagues, and friends have been reflecting on the thousands of hours, stretched over decades, that he gave to teaching.


Novel Circuit Design Boosts Wearable Thermoelectric Generators

Using flexible conducting polymers and novel circuitry patterns printed on paper, researchers have demonstrated proof-of-concept wearable thermoelectric generators that can harvest energy from body heat to power simple biosensors for measuring heart rate, respiration or other factors.

Week in Review: 10/1/17 – 10/7/17


John A. Thornton Memorial Award and Lecture

To recognize outstanding research or technological innovation in the areas of interest to AVS, with emphasis on the fields of thin films, plasma processing, and related topics.

Jennifer Dionne harnesses light to illuminate nano landscapes

Dionne has created new nanomaterials that steer light in ways that are impossible with natural substances. Her new projects could eventually lead to light-based technologies used to improve drugs or to create new tests to find cancerous cells. There are even applications for renewable energy, for example, designing materials that help solar cells absorb more light.


Asphalt helps lithium batteries charge faster

The Rice lab of chemist James Tour developed anodes comprising porous carbon made from asphalt that showed exceptional stability after more than 500 charge-discharge cycles. A high-current density of 20 milliamps per square centimeter demonstrated the material’s promise for use in rapid charge and discharge devices that require high-power density.

Week in Review: 9/24/17 – 9/30/17


Team builds flexible new platform for high-performance electronics

A team of University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers has created the most functional flexible transistor in the world — and with it, a fast, simple and inexpensive fabrication process that’s easily scalable to the commercial level.


Printed meds could reinvent pharmacies, drug research

A technology that can print pure, ultra-precise doses of drugs onto a wide variety of surfaces could one day enable on-site printing of custom-dosed medications at pharmacies, hospitals and other locations.

2017 Golden Goose Award recognizes six researchers whose taxpayer-funded work benefits society

The sixth annual Golden Goose Award ceremony will recognize three teams of scientists whose silly-sounding research has returned serious benefits to society. Led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the award committee includes several science societies and organizations and Congressional supporters.

Week in Review: 9/17/17 – 9/23/17

Technique spots warning signs of extreme events

Now engineers at MIT have devised a framework for identifying key patterns that precede an extreme event. The framework can be applied to a wide range of complicated, multidimensional systems to pick out the warning signs that are most likely to occur in the real world.

September 20, 2017

AFRL selects fellows from Materials and Manufacturing Directorate

Two scientists from the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate were recently chosen as Air Force Research Laboratory Fellows. Dr. Allan Katz, High Temperature Silicon-Carbide-Fiber-Reinforced Silicon Carbide Composites for Turbines program manager and Dr. Ajit Roy, Computational Nanomaterials principal engineer and group lead were two of six scientists selected as AFRL Fellows.

September 19, 2017

Squeezing light into infinitesimally thin lines

Researchers have demonstrated a new mode of electromagnetic wave, called a “line wave,” which travels along an infinitesimally thin line along the interface between two adjacent surfaces with different electromagnetic properties. The scientists expect that line waves will be useful for the efficient routing and concentration of electromagnetic energy, such as light, with potential applications in areas ranging from integrated photonics, sensing and quantum processes to future vacuum electronics.

The Goldilocks Wing: Popular Airfoil Design Defies Aerodynamic Standards

Since the Wright brothers took to the sky in 1903 aboard their notorious, dual-winged biplane, we have seen countless wing designs of various shapes and sizes used on aircraft. Each of these wings have a particular cross-section design, known as an airfoil, that follows the textbook standard relationship between lift and the angle of attack. However, Professor Geoff Spedding, of USC Viterbi’s Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department, found otherwise while performing careful experiments in the same standard conditions, but at a smaller scale. His results highlight the disparity between experiments, computations and aerodynamic models and how much work still needs to be done before reaching agreement as designers endeavor on small-scale flight – the next generation of drones.

September 18, 2017

Thin, flexible device could provide efficient cooling for mobile electronics – or people

Engineers and scientists from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and SRI International, a nonprofit research and development organization based in Menlo Park, California, have created a thin flexible device that could keep smartphones and laptop computers cool and prevent overheating.


Week in Review: 9/10/17 – 9/16/17

September 14, 2017

Researchers demonstrate broad range, cost-effective infrared lasers for photonic, medical applications

The electronics industry has driven the digital revolution for an unprecedented success based on Si. As a result, there has been a tremendous effort to broaden the reach of Si technology to build integrated optic and photonic circuits. Supported by Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), and National Science Foundation (NSF), researchers from a multi-institutional team have demonstrated infrared lasers made of the inexpensive germanium tin (GeSn) alloy grown on silicon (Si) substrates. The laser operation wavelength coverage is from 2 to 3 micron, with the maximum operating temperature reaching 180 Kelvin.

September 11, 2017

First On-Chip Nanoscale Optical Quantum Memory Developed

For the first time, an international team led by engineers at Caltech has developed a computer chip with nanoscale optical quantum memory.