A Week in Review: 11/30/14-12/6/14

December 2, 2014

Alloying tougher tungsten
New tungsten alloys being developed in the Schuh Group at MIT could potentially replace depleted uranium in armor-piercing projectiles. Fourth-year materials science and engineering graduate student Zachary C. Cordero is working on low-toxicity, high-strength, high-density material for replacing depleted uranium in structural military applications. Depleted uranium poses a potential health hazard to soldiers and civilians. http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/alloying-tougher-tungsten-zack-cordero-1202

A Week in Review: 11/23/14-11/29/14

November 26, 2014

University of Minnesota engineers make sound loud enough to bend light on a computer chip
University of Minnesota engineering researchers have developed a chip on which both sound wave and light wave are generated and confined together so that the sound can very efficiently control the light. The novel device platform could improve wireless communications systems using optical fibers and ultimately be used for computation using quantum physics.

November 24, 2014

New device could make large biological circuits practical
A team of researchers at MIT has now come up with a way of greatly reducing that unpredictability, introducing a device that could ultimately allow such circuits to behave nearly as predictably as their electronic counterparts. The findings are published this week in the journal Nature Biotechnology, in a paper by associate professor of mechanical engineering Domitilla Del Vecchio and professor of biological engineering Ron Weiss.


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: 8/3/14 – 8/9/14

Aug. 8, 2014

Low-cost printable photonic integrated devices
By directly printing devices onto a functional resist with a high refractive index, optical components can be created without the use of any etching steps. This new low-cost fabrication technique can produce printable integrated circuits, as reported by researchers at aBeam Technologies, the Molecular Foundry and NanoOptic Devices. Presenting in Nanotechnology, several optical components are demonstrated, including ridge waveguides, light splitters and digital planar holograms that operate in the visible wavelength range. The approach could revolutionize the development of integrated photonic devices.

Aug. 7, 2014

Origami Robot Can Self-Assemble and Walk Without Human Help
A research team at Harvard and MIT announced today that they’ve created a self-assembling robot. The machine, which begins as a flat sheet of material, exploits principles of origami to fold itself into a 3-D robot capable of walking without any human assistance.

A Week in Review: 7/27/14 – 8/2/14

July 29, 2014

A new way to make microstructured surfaces
A team of researchers has created a new way of manufacturing microstructured surfaces that have novel three-dimensional textures. These surfaces, made by self-assembly of carbon nanotubes, could exhibit a variety of useful properties — including controllable mechanical stiffness and strength, or the ability to repel water in a certain direction.