A Week in Review: 10/19/14 – 10/25/14

October 20, 2014

Folding Origami Solar Panels Could Be Headed to Space (Video)
Brian Trease, a mechanical engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, studied origami during a high school study abroad trip in Japan, and now he’s applying the same techniques to space-bound solar arrays. Trease, researchers from Brigham Young University and origami expert Robert Lang have created working prototypes of the origami solar panels.
http://www.space.com/27485-origami-space-solar-panels-video.html

‘Starfish’ crystals could lead to 3D-printed pills
Engineers have figured out how to make rounded crystals with no facets, a design that mimics the hard-to-duplicate texture of starfish shells. The discovery could one day lead to 3D-printed medications that absorb better into the body. http://www.futurity.org/starfish-crystals-3d-printed-pills-786612/

Engineering Professor to Receive UA’s Blackmon-Moody Award
Dr. Gregory B. Thompson, professor of metallurgical and materials engineering at The University of Alabama, will receive the 2014 Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor Award.
http://uanews.ua.edu/2014/10/engineering-professor-to-receive-uas-blackmon-moody-award/

A Week in Review: 6/29/14 – 7/5/14

July 2, 2014

Researchers Invent ‘Meta Mirror’ to Help Advance Nonlinear Optical Systems Researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have created a new nonlinear metasurface, or meta mirror, that could one day enable the miniaturization of laser systems. The invention, called a “nonlinear mirror” by the researchers, could help advance nonlinear laser systems that are used for chemical sensing, explosives detection, biomedical research and potentially many other applications.
http://www.utexas.edu/news/2014/07/02/meta-mirror-engineering/

Video: Origami Artists Don’t Fold Under Pressure
The four-day OrigamiUSA convention, held at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, drew 650 people from a dozen countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia. The largest contingent was from the U.S., followed by Japan. And the convention is serious business — each attendee received a “survival kit,” which included a packet of origami paper and a giant schedule of the 215 classes offered.
http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2014/07/02/video-origami-artists-dont-fold-under-pressure/?mg=blogs-wsj&url=http%253A%252F%252Fblogs.wsj.com%252Fmetropolis%252F2014%252F07%252F02%252Fvideo-origami-artists-dont-fold-under-pressure

FSU engineer uses light to change makeup of plastics
A FAMU-FSU College of Engineering professor is using rays of light to control the shape of a special type of plastic, a project that could have long-term implications for manufacturing, solar energy harvesting, aerospace flow control and robotic actuators. Mechanical engineering Associate Professor William Oates is in the midst of a four-year project supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to test the possibilities of how light can change the shape of plastics and how those changes could help robots perform different tasks, like grip materials through adhesion. It is a collaborative project with a colleague in chemical engineering, Associate Professor Anant Paravastu. http://news.fsu.edu/More-FSU-News/FSU-engineer-uses-light-to-change-makeup-of-plastics

July 1, 2014

Air Force engineer developed unique method to track space debris
Richard Rast, a senior engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory, created an innovative way to track this space debris to help reduce the risk of potential collisions—a system that could become a cost-effective supplement to the current processes used by the Air Force and NASA that rely on expensive telescopes, radar systems and considerable manpower for analysis.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/air-force-engineer-developed-unique-method-to-track-space-debris/2014/06/30/7e87d542-00a1-11e4-8fd0-3a663dfa68ac_story.html

Behind a Marine Creature’s Bright Green Fluorescent Glow In a study published in Scientific Reports, an open-access journal of the Nature Publishing Group, Dimitri Deheyn and his colleagues at Scripps Oceanography, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have conducted the most detailed examination of green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) in lancelets, marine invertebrates also known as “amphioxus.” The fish-shaped animals, which spend much of their time in shallow coastal regions burrowed in sand except for their heads, offer unique insights on natural fluorescence since individual specimens can emit both very bright and much dimmer versions of the light, a rare capability in the animal kingdom. https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/behind-marine-creatures-bright-green-fluorescent-glow

A Week in Review: 11/24/13 – 11/30/13

November 26, 2013

Nanotech Innovation Keeps Surfaces Clean and Transparent
A spin-off company from Penn has found a way to solve the problem of keeping surfaces clean, while also keeping them transparent.

Nelum Sciences, created under an UPstart program in Penn’s Center for Technology Transfer, has developed a superhydrophobic coating that can be sprayed onto any surface. The water-based solution contains nanoscopic particles that add a nearly invisible layer of roughness to a surface. This increases the contact angle of the material to which these particles are applied.
http://www.upenn.edu/spotlights/nanotech-innovation-keeps-surfaces-clean-and-transparent

November 27, 2013

BYU engineers turn to origami to solve astronomical space problem
Partnership with NASA could send origami to final frontier

BYU engineers have teamed up with a world-renowned origami expert to solve one of space exploration’s greatest (and most ironic) problems: lack of space.
Working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a team of mechanical engineering students and faculty have designed a solar array that can be tightly compacted for launch and then deployed in space to generate power for space stations or satellites.
http://news.byu.edu/archive13-nov-origami.aspx

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.
http://esciencenews.com/articles/2013/05/06/researchers.develop.unique.method.creating.uniform.nanoparticles

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.
http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2013/05/heart-monitor-uses-paper-thin-flexible-skin

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.
http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123347679

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.
http:/www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123347856

 

 

 

 

A Week in Review: 3/4/12 to 3/10/12

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

March 5, 2012

Nanofiber Breakthrough Holds Promise for Medicine and Microprocessors
A new method for creating nanofibers made of proteins, developed by researchers at Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), promises to greatly improve drug delivery methods for the treatment of cancers, heart disorders and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as aid in the regeneration of human tissue, bone and cartilage.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120229105139.htm

US Tests World’s First Military Fuel Cell Vehicle Fleet
The U.S. Army, Pacific is testing a fleet of 16 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to research efficient, clean and renewable energy sources and reduce the military’s dependence on petroleum products. The military fleet of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is funded by the Army Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center, Office of Naval Research and Air Force Research Laboratories.
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2012/2012-03-01-091.html

March 7, 2012

Influencing Stem Cell Fate: New Screening Method Helps Scientists Identify Key Information Rapidly
Northwestern University scientists have developed a powerful analytical method that they have used to direct stem cell differentiation. Out of millions of possibilities, they rapidly identified the chemical and physical structures that can cue stem cells to become osteocytes, cells found in mature bone.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120306131650.htm

USA Science & Engineering Festival Announces Nifty Fifty Program
The Nifty Fifty, sponsored by AT&T, are a group of science and engineering professionals who will fan out across the Washington, DC area in March/April to inspire students to seek careers in STEM.
http://eon.businesswire.com/news/eon/20120306006176/en/Education/Careers/STEM

Air Camp Returns for Third Year
In just its third year of operations, Air Camp is expanding in summer 2012 to offer three camp sessions in Dayton, Ohio, the birthplace of aviation. Since Air Camp’s inception in 2010, middle school students have traveled from across the U.S. to experience the wonders of flight and the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) of aviation and aeronautics. The University of Dayton campus serves as the host facility for housing and meeting space. From the UD campus, students will explore behind the scenes at the area’s major aviation and history sites, including the Air Force Research Laboratory, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Dayton History, and the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.
http://www.udayton.edu/news/articles/2012/03/air_camp_three_session_expansion.php

March 8, 2012

Exotic materials boosts electromagnetism safely
By using exotic man-made materials scientists from Duke University and Boston College believe they can greatly enhance the forces of electromagnetism (EM), one of the four fundamental forces of nature, without harming living beings or damaging electrical equipment.
http://www.domain-b.com/technology/materials/20120307_safely.html

Hypersonic expert receives international accolade
The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Professor in Hypersonic Propulsion, Michael Smart, is part of an international research team, which will be honoured at the International Congress on Aeronautics in Brisbane, Australia, on September 23-28. The Australian-US team will receive the prestigious 2012 International Council on Aeronautics (ICAS) von Karman Award for international Co-operation in Aeronautics. They will present a paper at the conference on the Hypersonics International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) Program.
http://www.uq.edu.au/news/?article=24488

NASA Introduces the X-56A MUTT
MUTT is one of the Air Force’s newest X-planes, designated X-56A. The 7.5-foot-long aircraft has a 28-foot wingspan and will be powered by two 52-pound thrust JetCat P200-SX turbine engines. It is being built in California under contract to Lockheed Martin Corp., which will conduct the flight experiments for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2012/03/07/nasa-introduces-the-x-56a-mutt/