A Week in Review: 9/21/14 – 9/27/14

September 26, 2014

AFOSR welcomes new director, Dr. Thomas F. Christian
The Air Force Research Laboratory announced the appointment of a new director at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in Arlington, Va.  Dr. Thomas F. Christian will join AFOSR as the 24th director of the agency, which boasts a 63-year history of continuously funding breakthrough basic research for the long-term benefit of the United States Air Force.

September 25, 2014

New Discovery Could Pave the Way for Spin-based Computing
Electricity and magnetism rule our digital world. Semiconductors process electrical information, while magnetic materials enable long-term data storage. A University of Pittsburgh research team has discovered a way to fuse these two distinct properties in a single material, paving the way for new ultrahigh density storage and computing architectures. This discovery was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Army Research Office. http://www.news.pitt.edu/news/new-discovery-could-pave-way-spin-based-computing

Penn Chemists Observe Key Reaction for Producing ‘Atmosphere’s Detergent’ Earth’s atmosphere is a complicated dance of molecules. The chemical output of plants, animals and human industry rise into the air and pair off in sequences of chemical reactions. Such processes help maintain the atmosphere’s chemical balance; for example, some break down pollutants emitted from the burning of fossil fuels. Understanding exactly how these reactions proceed is critical for predicting how the atmosphere will respond to environmental changes, but some of the steps of this dance are so quick that all of the molecules involved haven’t been measured in the wild. A University of Pennsylvania team has now observed one of these rapid atmospheric reactions in the lab.

September 23, 2014

Fluorescent Dyes Highlight Hard-to-Detect Damages in Composites
Current research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology is creating a process that uses fluorescence to detect both damage and water in composites, a first for composites. The first system utilizes Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), a method frequently used in molecular biology research to probe the interaction between proteins and other biopolymers. The second approach uses a mechanophore, a molecule that changes color in response to mechanical forces. http://compositesmanufacturingmagazine.com/2014/09/fluorescent-dyes-highlight-hard-detect-damages-composites/

September 22, 2014

Nature’s elegant and efficient vision systems can detect cancer
Mantis shrimp eyes are inspiring the design of new cameras that can detect a variety of cancers and visualise brain activity. University of Queensland research has found that the shrimp’s compound eyes are superbly tuned to detect polarised light, providing a streamlined framework for technology to mimic. The Australian Research Council, the Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development and the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research are funding the work. http://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2014/09/nature%E2%80%99s-elegant-and-efficient-vision-systems-can-detect-cancer

Engineers show light can play seesaw at the nanoscale
University of Minnesota electrical engineering researchers have developed a unique nanoscale device that for the first time demonstrates mechanical transportation of light. The discovery could have major implications for creating faster and more efficient optical devices for computation and communication. The team’s research was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The device was fabricated in the cleanroom at the Minnesota Nano Center at the University of Minnesota. http://discover.umn.edu/news/science-technology/engineers-show-light-can-play-seesaw-nanoscale

A Week in Review: 9/14/14 – 9/20/14

September 19, 2014

BME doctoral student receives NDSEG Fellowship
Oscar Ayala, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University, has been awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. The NDSEG Fellowship is sponsored and funded by the Department of Defense. Ayala’s fellowship is awarded through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

September 18, 2014

AU researcher uses grant to explore better way to make crystals for high-power laser
Yiquan Wu, an assistant professor of materials science at the Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University, has received a grant for more than $518,000 from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to study  a new approach to manufacturing crystals for high-power lasers. The high-power lasers would have potential applications for in fields such as laser-assisted manufacture industry, national defense, and laser-based inertial confinement fusion systems. http://www.alfred.edu/pressreleases/viewrelease.cfm?ID=8987

A Week in Review: 9/7/14 – 9/13/14

Sept. 11, 2014

Morphing wing
Michigan Aerospace engineers are using new materials and techniques to allow airplane wings to flex and move more like bird wings. Instead of traditional flaps, they are designing wings that can morph based on an electrical inputs. These morphing wings are still in the developing stages but may open the doors to lighter weight aircraft that are more agile than traditional airplanes. http://www.engin.umich.edu/college/about/news/stories/2014/september/morphing-wing

Stanford engineers help describe key mechanism in energy and information storage
By observing how hydrogen is absorbed into individual palladium nanocubes, Stanford materials scientists have detailed a key step in storing energy and information in nanomaterials. The work could inform research that leads to longer-lasting batteries or higher-capacity memory devices. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/september/battery-palladium-dionne-091114.html

Physicists find a new way to push electrons around
When moving through a conductive material in an electric field, electrons tend to follow the path of least resistance — which runs in the direction of that field. But now physicists at MIT and the University of Manchester have found an unexpectedly different behavior under very specialized conditions — one that might lead to new types of transistors and electronic circuits that could prove highly energy-efficient. http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/moving-electrons-on-graphene-0911

Researchers awarded for paper on low-cost algorithms for data storage systems  Research team that included Viveck Cadambe, assistant professor of electrical engineering, received a best paper award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications held Aug. 21-23 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. http://news.psu.edu/story/325874/2014/09/11/academics/researchers-awarded-paper-low-cost-algorithms-data-storage-systems

Sept. 9, 2014

Air Force Research Laboratory Partners With Doolittle Institute
The Air Force Research Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base and the Doolittle Institute held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday to officially establish their partnership. The institute’s innovative research environment is focused on finding solutions to tough science and technology challenges in the community.

A Week in Review: 8/31/14 – 9/6/14

Sept. 5, 2014

Scientists urge government to fund basic research
Research into fundamental processes in nature needed to open new possibilities for true innovation

Sept. 2, 2014

Synthetic Diesel
The Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Advanced Power Technology Office (APTO) is assuring fuel supply and reducing waste by developing a mobile alternative energy system that creates liquid diesel fuel from synthetic gas (syngas) that can be used at forward operating bases.

A Week in Review: 8/24/14 – 8/30/14

August 26, 2014

Caverlee presented with Google Faculty Research Award
Dr. James Caverlee, associate professor of computer science and engineering at Texas A&M University, was chosen by the Google Faculty Research Awards Program as a recipient of financial support for his proposal in the social media category, “Modeling and Inferring Local Expertise.” This research is a collaborative effort with professor Daniel Z. Sui, chair of the geography department at The Ohio State University. http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/08/26/caverlee-presented-with-google-faculty-research-award

Aug. 25, 2014

Physics research removes outcome unpredictability of ultracold atomic reactions Findings from a physics study by a Kansas State University researcher are helping scientists accurately predict the once unpredictable. Yujun Wang, research associate with the James R. Macdonald Laboratory at Kansas State University, and Paul Julienne at the University of Maryland, looked at theoretically predicting and understanding chemical reactions that involve three atoms at ultracold temperatures. Their findings help explain the likely outcome of a chemical reaction and shed new light on mysterious quantum states. http://esciencenews.com/articles/2014/08/25/physics.research.removes.outcome.unpredictability.ultracold.atomic.reactions