A Week in Review: 7/20/14 – 7/26/14

July 24, 2014

Metal particles in solids aren’t as fixed as they seem, new memristor study shows In work that unmasks some of the magic behind memristors and “resistive random access memory,” or RRAM—cutting-edge computer components that combine logic and memory functions—researchers have shown that the metal particles in memristors don’t stay put as previously thought.

July 22, 2014

Creating Optical Cables Out of Thin Air
Imagine being able to instantaneously run an optical cable or fiber to any point on earth, or even into space.  That’s what Howard Milchberg, professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering at the University of Maryland, wants to do. In a paper published in the July 2014 issue of the journal Optica, Milchberg and his lab report using an “air waveguide” to enhance light signals collected from distant sources.  These air waveguides could have many applications, including long-range laser communications, detecting pollution in the atmosphere, making high-resolution topographic maps and laser weapons.

Birthday bash to celebrate laser inventor Charles Townes’ 99th
Only now nearing retirement – he plans to shutter his physics department office this summer, but will continue to make daily visits to his office at UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory – Townes’ career highlights include a 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the laser, ground-breaking astronomical research, wide-ranging admiration for his efforts to reconcile science and religion, 31 honorary degrees and 38 awards.

July 21, 2014

Carbyne Morphs when Stretched
Stretching the material known as carbyne — a hard-to-make, one-dimensional chain of carbon atoms — by just 3 percent can begin to change its properties in ways that engineers might find useful for mechanically activated nanoscale electronics and optics. The finding by Rice theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his colleagues appears in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.

Royal recognition for UQ researcher
Studies involving some of the world’s smallest creatures have resulted in one of the world’s biggest honours for University of Queensland researcher Professor Mandyam Srinivasan.

July 20, 2014

Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity
A team of researchers led by Xiang Zhang, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering, has found a way to dramatically increase the sensitivity of a light-based plasmon sensor to detect incredibly minute concentrations of explosives. The researchers noted that the sensor could potentially be used to sniff out a hard-to-detect explosive popular among terrorists.

A Week in Review: 5/18/14 – 5/24/14

May 21, 2014

Academy research has a ‘bright future’
Researchers and cadets surpassed major milestones this year – filing new patents, creating major Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach events and developing new research projects that will assist the Air Force in continuing to dominate air, space and cyberspace for decades.

May 19, 2014

A device that essentially listens for light waves could help open up the last frontier of the electromagnetic spectrum—the terahertz range.

A Week in Review: 2/9/14 – 2/15/14

February 12, 2014

Tunnel 9 engineers conduct boundary layer transition experiments at Mach 10
The Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9 is performing experiments on a large 7-degree cone test article at Mach 10 to improve the understanding of hypersonic boundary layer transition in testing and evaluation (T&E) facilities. The testing is made possible under the Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) funded Hypersonic Center of Testing Excellence (CoTE).

A Week in Review: 7/28/13 – 8/3/13

July 29, 2013

Pitt team finds water ‘likeability’ plays a role in battery-charged objects

Water clears path for nanoribbon development
Rice University researchers create sub-10-nanomater graphene nanoribbon patterns

July 30, 2013

Origami unfolds a new tissue engineering strategy
Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, has been around for more than a millennium, but associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering Carol Livermore is now using it to create solutions in an emerging multidisciplinary field in medicine: tissue engineering.

August 2, 2013

New coating turns ordinary glass into superglass
A new transparent, bioinspired coating makes ordinary glass tough, self-cleaning, and incredibly slippery, a team from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) reported online in the July 31 edition of Nature Communication.


A Week in Review: 5/12/13 – 5/18/13

AFRL gains national recognition for STEM outreach

The Department of Defense needs to produce enough high-caliber science, technology, engineering and mathematics talent to ensure the U.S. maintains superiority in national defense. Fortunately, innovative Air Force STEM programs across the country are making a difference. http:/www.kirtland.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123348059

Two of Dr. Berman’s PI’s have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Naomi Halas, Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor of Chemistry, Physics and Bioengineering at Rice University and Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2013 fellows of NAS. Naomi Halas’ work has been creating tailored nanoparticles in order to control their optical and energy transfer properties. This work is having widespread impact in the areas of sensors, catalysts, water treatment, and even cancer phototherapy. Sharon Hammes-Schiffer’s work has focused on theoretical studies of chemical reactions, particularly proton-coupled electron transfer reactions which play an important role in energy storage, catalysis and photosynthesis, and could impact design of solar cells.

Rice University Professor Naomi Halas has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences – one of the highest honors that can be conferred upon a U.S. scientist or engineer. She is one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates announced today in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. http://bioengineering.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=4294967599

Three faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2013 fellows of the National Academy of Sciences. Eduardo Fradkin, Martin Gruebele and Sharon Hammes-Schiffer are among the 84 new members and 21 foreign associates announced by the academy on April 30. http://www.news.illinois.edu/news/13/0430NAS_EduardoFradkin_MartinGruebele_SharonHammes-Schiffer.html