A Week in Review: 9/28/14 – 10/04/14

October 3, 2014

President Obama has announced a new competition to award more than $200 million in public and private investment to create an Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute, led by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), and the second of four new institute competitions to be launched this year. AFOSR was instrumental in creating this opportunity by leading the way with innovative research funding in integrated photonics, participating in the National Academies Optics & Photonics study, participating in the OSTP Fast Track Action Committee on Optics & Photonics, and working with our DoD colleagues. AFOSR support for this award was managed by Gernot Pomrenke, Program Officer, Optoelectronics and Photonics.
FACT SHEET: President Obama Announces New Manufacturing Innovation Institute Competition

October 2, 2014

Innovation: Scintillating Statistics
A Look at High-Latitude and Equatorial Ionospheric Disturbances of GPS Signals The data collection and analysis project discussed in this article was supported by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Air Force Research Laboratory grants. http://gpsworld.com/innovation-scintillating-statistics/

October 1, 2014

All directions are not created equal for nanoscale heat sources
Thermal considerations are rapidly becoming one of the most serious design constraints in microelectronics, especially on submicron scale lengths. A study by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has shown that standard thermal models will lead to the wrong answer in a three-dimensional heat-transfer problem if the dimensions of the heating element are on the order of one micron or smaller. This work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and was carried out, in part, at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory.

Platinum meets its match in quantum dots from coal
Graphene quantum dots created at Rice University grab onto graphene platelets like barnacles attach themselves to the hull of a boat. But these dots enhance the properties of the mothership, making them better than platinum catalysts for certain reactions within fuel cells. The Office of Naval Research Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and its MURI program supported the research.

Head of Air Force lab at Wright-Patterson to give Rolls-Royce lecture
Air Force Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Masiello will give the 2014 Rolls-Royce Memorial Lecture at Purdue University on Oct. 8. Masiello is commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q4/head-of-air-force-lab-at-wright-patterson-to-give-rolls-royce-lecture.html

September 30, 2014

Causes of California drought linked to climate change, Stanford scientists say
In a new study, a team led by Stanford climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh used a novel combination of computer simulations and statistical techniques to show that a persistent region of high atmospheric pressure hovering over the Pacific Ocean that diverted storms away from California was much more likely to form in the presence of modern greenhouse gas concentrations. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/september/drought-climate-change-092914.html

September 29, 2014

Adding natural uncertainty improves mathematical models
Mathematicians from Brown University have introduced a new element of uncertainty into an equation used to describe the behavior of fluid flows. While being as certain as possible is generally the stock and trade of mathematics, the researchers hope this new formulation might ultimately lead to mathematical models that better reflect the inherent uncertainties of the natural world. The work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. https://news.brown.edu/articles/2014/09/burgers

A Week in Review 6/8/14 – 6/14/14

June 12, 2014

When good people do bad things
Being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs, researchers find. The research was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Packard Foundation.

June 11, 2014

Suffocating cells for science
In May 2009, El-Naggar made a discovery, from which all of the experiments in his lab have since sprung: A few years earlier, a pair of scientists discovered that microbes grow long, hairy filaments or fibers that are electrically conductive. El-Naggar had a hypothesis. These fibers, he suspected, serve as a conductive bridge between the cell and the rock that they’re breathing. In other words, the path the electrons take to move from the cell body to material outside the cell. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/suffocating-cells-science/

Nanotube forests drink water from arid air
New research by scientists at Rice University demonstrated that forests of carbon nanotubes can be made to harvest water molecules from arid desert air and store them for future use. The U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative supported the research.

Self-Folding Printable Lamp
MIT, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania have been working on a project, developing soft robots with flexible, printed circuits. Last year a robot called the Crawling Inchworm was created that could be printed out flat, then fold itself into shape and move around with the help of a motor and power supply.

June 9, 2014

Designing Ion ‘Highway Systems’ for Batteries
A McCormick team advanced the understanding of plastics for battery application

June 8, 2014

Howard Schlossberg Retirement Symposium
Howard “Howie” R. Schlossberg, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research program officer for optical sciences, has made critical contributions to the field of optics and lasers throughout his eminent career. He has guided research in diverse areas, such as ultra-fast optoelectronic techniques, nonlinear optics, laser cooling, and medical laser treatments. Dr. Schlossberg is a Fellow of OSA, IEEE, and ASLMS.

A Week in Review: 4/13/14 – 4/19/14

April 18, 2014

President Honors Defense Department Scientists
Twenty scientists and engineers funded by the Defense Department were part of a group honored by President Barack Obama at the White House on April 14.
A total of 102 scientists and engineers received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers, according to a White House news release.

April 15, 2014

711 HPW Engineer Wins IEEE Award for Achievement in Bio-Engineering
Lt. Col. David Sonntag of the 711th Human Performance Wing, U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine has been awarded the 2014 Fritz J. Russ Award for Achievement in Bioengineering by the Dayton chapter of the Institute of Electronic and Electronics Engineers.

April 14, 2014

DOD to Award $167 Million in Research Funding
The Department of Defense (DOD) today announced plans to issue 24 awards totaling $167 million over the next five years to academic institutions to perform multidisciplinary basic research. The Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program supports research conducted by teams of investigators that intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline in order to accelerate research progress.

A Week in Review: 6/9/13 – 6/15/13

June 10, 2013

Retinal illumination to protect against laser damage

Human retinal pigmented epithelium cells in culture are more resistant to a lethal pulse of laser radiation if they are first exposed to low levels of red light.

June 11, 2013

Polymer Structures Serve as “Nanoreactors” for Nanocrystals with Uniform Sizes and Shapes

Using star-shaped block co-polymer structures as tiny reaction vessels, researchers have developed an improved technique for producing nanocrystals with consistent sizes, compositions and architectures — including metallic, ferroelectric, magnetic, semiconductor and luminescent nanocrystals. The technique relies on the length of polymer molecules and the ratio of two solvents to control the size and uniformity of colloidal nanocrystals.

June 13, 2013

Unzipped nanotubes unlock potential for batteries

Researchers at Rice University have come up with a new way to boost the efficiency of the ubiquitous lithium ion (LI) battery by employing ribbons of graphene that start as carbon nanotubes.

June 13, 2013

Air Force Announces Basic Research Awards

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research granted seven awards to various academic institutions to perform multidisciplinary basic research. The AFOSR awards, totaling $67.5 million, are the result of the Fiscal Year 2013 competition conducted by AFOSR, the Army Research Office, and the Office of Naval Research under the Department of Defense (DoD) Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) Program.


A Week in Review: 6/10/12 to 6/16/12

A quick recap of AFRL and AFOSR news mentions over the past week.

June 11, 2012

Crustacean’s claw may be suited for battle
Researchers have figured out how a tiny tropical crustacean packs an outsized punch. And they are using that knowledge to engineer super-durable materials that could protect troops in the line of fire, among other useful applications.

All the Colors of a High-Energy Rainbow, in a Tightly Focused Beam
For the first time, researchers have produced a coherent, laser-like, directed beam of light that simultaneously streams ultraviolet light, X-rays and all wavelengths in between. One of the few light sources to successfully produce a coherent beam that includes X-rays, this new technology is the first to do so using a setup that fits on a laboratory table.

‘Nanocable’ could be big boon for energy storage
Thanks to a little serendipity, researchers at Rice University have created a tiny coaxial cable that is about a thousand times smaller than a human hair and has higher capacitance than previously reported microcapacitors.

June 14, 2012
Local jobs could come from University of Dayton research contract
The University of Dayton School of Engineering has secured federal Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) funds, funding that may lead to new area jobs, the university said Wednesday. The project will have UD working with six Ivy League schools, MIT and New York University in the latest round of awards, the university said Wednesday.

How the White House is aiming the X Prize model at big problems
On October 4, 2004, the idea of incentive prizes hit the mainstream when Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites launched SpaceShip One into orbit for the second time and won the $10 million Ansari X Prize. Since then, prizes like that have become more and more common, and though the X Prizes are still the gold standard, there are now similar competitions from medical research to science to business, and beyond.

June 15, 2012
JILA frequency comb helps evaluate novel biomedical decontamination method
Like many new measurement tools, the laser frequency comb seemed at first a curiosity but has found more practical uses than originally imagined.

Startup born in Princeton lab turns carbon dioxide into fuels
Ask Andrew Bocarsly about the innovation behind Liquid Light, a New Jersey startup company that turns carbon dioxide into fuels and industrial chemicals, and the Princeton University chemistry professor smiles ruefully. “The project goes back to the early ’90s,” he said. “But nobody cared about carbon dioxide at that time.”

Biofuels could bolster national security, leaders say
A top British envoy says the U.S. and the U.K. could collaborate more on the development and use of biofuels in the military to boost both nations’ security and energy interests and cut greenhouse gas emissions.