A Week in Review: 7/14/13 – 7/20/13

July 17, 2013

Elastic electronics: Stretchable gold conductor grows its own wires

Networks of spherical nanoparticles embedded in elastic materials may make the best stretchy conductors yet, engineering researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered.

July 18, 2013

Penn Researchers Help Show New Way to Study and Improve Catalytic Reactions

Catalysts are everywhere. They make chemical reactions that normally occur at extremely high temperatures and pressures possible within factories, cars and the comparatively balmy conditions within the human body. Developing better catalysts, however, is mainly a hit-or-miss process. Now, a study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Trieste and Brookhaven National Laboratory has shown a way to precisely design the active elements of a certain class of catalysts, showing which parameters are most critical for improving performance.

A Week in Review: 6/2/13 – 6/8/13

June 3, 2013

AF appoints first female chief scientist

The Air Force appointed the service’s first female chief scientist to lead the way in the technology and science fields. Dr. Mica Endsley assumed her new duties and responsibilities as the 34th chief scientist June 3 in support of Air Force senior leaders and Airmen across the service. “Having served on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board for many years, I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with the current and several former Air Force chief scientists,” Endsley said. “I know this is a tremendous opportunity to help the Air Force excel in its goal of maintaining the critical technological edge that gives our Airmen a strategic advantage.”

June 3, 2013

Airmen show ‘cool careers’ in a new ad campaign

The Air Force Recruiting Service is currently developing an ad campaign to teach young adults about cool career opportunities in the Air Force community, with the goal to inspire young people to join the Air Force. They also plan to demonstrate that the Air Force offers the same science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities as the private sector. http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123350970

June 4, 2013

Air Force weapons experts to brief industry on near-term and far-term fuzing research

U.S. Air Force weapons experts will brief industry June 25 and June 26 on fuze technology research efforts for specific applications available for near-term transition, as well as on research programs in the mid- and far-terms. The Fuze Technology Days event will enable government and industry to discuss research and development efforts in fuzing technology, and encourage collaboration among attendees. Briefings will be by experts in the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) Program BAA Released

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) Program BAA is released. Research proposals from HBCU/MI are reviewed by AFOSR Program Managers as part of their core program and may be funded from funds set aside by the AFOSR Director. Applications Due: August 9, 2013 The Department of Defense Research and Education Program for the HBCU/MI program is executed under the oversight of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)). It is administered by the Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). Download the announcement at http://1.usa.gov/13HRSoa

Week in Review: 5/26/13 – 6/1/13

May 30, 2013

Computer simulations help scientists understand HIV-1 infection

Scientists have long been unable to fully explain how infections attack the body, nut now a team of researchers, including one from the University of Central Florida, has taken a step closer to understanding how the process works in HIV-1. The results mean that one day that knowledge may prevent infection. http://nanowerk.com/news2/biotech/newsid=30731.php

May 31, 2013

Even with Defects, Graphene is Strongest Material in the World

In a new study, published in Science May 31, 2013, Columbia Engineering researchers demonstrate that graphene, even if stitched together from many small crystalline grains, is almost as strong as graphene in its perfect crystalline form. This work resolves a contradiction between theoretical simulations, which predicted that grain boundaries can be strong, and earlier experiments, which indicated that they were much weaker than the perfect lattice. http://engineering.columbia.edu/even-defects-graphene-strongest-material-world

Week in Review: 5/19/13 – 5/25/13

May 21, 2013

Air Force Research Lab challenges students with real-world warfighter need

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has found a winning strategy for solving real world problems facing the warfighter. Each year AFRL poses a clearly defined problem to several universities and service academies, challenging them to compete for a “best solution” based upon certain criteria including system weight, ruggedness, time to employ, effectiveness, cost, and creativity. AFRL wins by collecting the great ideas that emerge from the competitions, while being introduced to some of our country’s finest up-and-coming engineers. University students win by experiencing real-world problem resolution while getting a chance to save the lives of servicemen and women. In addition, they’re able to see how fun it could be to work for AFRL! http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123349385

May 25, 2013

Shape-shifting Nanoparticles Flip from Sphere to Net in Response to Tumor Signal

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have designed tiny spherical particles to float easily through the bloodstream after injection, then assemble into a durable scaffold within the diseased tissue. An enzyme produced by a specific type of tumor can trigger the transformation of the spheres into netlike structures that accumulate at the site of a cancer, the team reports in the Journal Advanced Materials this week. http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/shape_shifting_nanoparticles_flip_from_sphere_to_net_in_response_to_tu

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

A Week in Review: 5/5/13 – 5/11/13

May 6, 2013

Researchers develop unique method for creating uniform nanoparticles

University of Illinois researchers have developed a new way to produce highly uniform nanocrystals used for both fundamental and applied nanotechnology projects. “We have developed a unique approach for the synthesis of highly uniform icosahedral nanoparticles made of platinum (Pt), “explained Hong Yang, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and a faculty affiliate at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Illinois. “This is important both in fundamental studies — nanoscience and nanotechnology — and in applied sciences such as high performance fuel cell catalysts.

May 6, 2013

Heart Monitor Uses Paper-thin Flexible ‘Skin’

Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, has developed a heart monitor thinner than a dollar bill and no wider than a postage stamp. The flexible skin-like monitor, worn under an adhesive bandage on the wrist, is sensitive enough to help doctors detect stiff arteries and cardiovascular problems. Bao’s team is working with other Stanford researchers to make the device completely wireless. Using wireless communication, doctors could receive a patient’s minute-by-minute heart status via cell phone, all thanks to a device as thick as a human hair. The team’s research is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

May 8, 2013

AFOSR-funded research key to revolutionary ‘green’ spacecraft propellant

In 2015, NASA, for the first time, will fly a space mission utilizing a radically different propellant — one which has reduced toxicity and is environmentally benign.

May 9, 2013

F-35 fighter takes another step forward

The Air Force took another step forward with its newest fighter jet when an advanced F-35 Lightning II landed at the service’s lead training base, home to the largest fleet of F-35s worldwide.