A Week in Review: 11/16/14 – 11/22/14

November 20, 2014

New semiconductor device could lead to better photodetectors
UCLA researchers have developed a perovskite photodetector that could reduce manufacturing costs and improve the quality of medical and commercial light sensors. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/new-semiconductor-device-could-lead-to-better-photodectectors

November 18, 2014

Hu, Leite Named Outstanding Engineer and Scientist of the Year (VIDEO) University of Maryland assistant professors Liangbing Hu and Marina Leite were named Maryland Outstanding Young Engineer and Maryland Outstanding Young Scientist in the academic sector, respectively, by the Maryland Science Center. Both awards are sponsored by the Maryland Academy of Sciences. http://www.mse.umd.edu/news/news_story.php?id=8672

November 17, 2014

First Genetic-Based Tool to Detect Circulating Cancer Cells in Blood
Northwestern University scientists now have demonstrated a simple but powerful tool that can detect live cancer cells in the bloodstream, potentially long before the cells could settle somewhere in the body and form a dangerous tumor. http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2014/11/first-genetic-based-tool-to-detect-circulating-cancer-cells-in-blood.html

Researcher elected to Australian Academy of Science Council
A University of Queensland researcher’s respected career designing unmanned aerial vehicles based on biologically inspired systems has seen him elected onto the Australian Academy of Science Council. The Queensland Brain Institute’s Professor Mandyam Srinivasan is one of five new researchers elected to the council, which promotes scientific knowledge and advice. http://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2014/11/researcher-elected-australian-academy-of-science-council

Graphene/nanotube hybrid benefits flexible solar cells
Rice University scientists have invented a novel cathode that may make cheap, flexible dye-sensitized solar cells practical.

Fulbright award takes computer scientist to France
As one of this year’s Fulbright Scholars, ASU computer science professor Arunabha Sen will have an opportunity to work with some of Europe’s leading experts in his field to advance research on wireless sensor networks, robot networks and radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices.

A Week in Review: 8/24/14 – 8/30/14

August 26, 2014

Caverlee presented with Google Faculty Research Award
Dr. James Caverlee, associate professor of computer science and engineering at Texas A&M University, was chosen by the Google Faculty Research Awards Program as a recipient of financial support for his proposal in the social media category, “Modeling and Inferring Local Expertise.” This research is a collaborative effort with professor Daniel Z. Sui, chair of the geography department at The Ohio State University. http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/08/26/caverlee-presented-with-google-faculty-research-award

Aug. 25, 2014

Physics research removes outcome unpredictability of ultracold atomic reactions Findings from a physics study by a Kansas State University researcher are helping scientists accurately predict the once unpredictable. Yujun Wang, research associate with the James R. Macdonald Laboratory at Kansas State University, and Paul Julienne at the University of Maryland, looked at theoretically predicting and understanding chemical reactions that involve three atoms at ultracold temperatures. Their findings help explain the likely outcome of a chemical reaction and shed new light on mysterious quantum states. http://esciencenews.com/articles/2014/08/25/physics.research.removes.outcome.unpredictability.ultracold.atomic.reactions

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: 4/28/13 – 5/4/13

April 30, 2013

UMD Robot Bird Takes Maneuverability to New Height
University of Maryland professors S. K. Gupta and Hugh Bruck and their students have developed and demonstrated a new robotic bird, “Robo Raven”, whose wings flap completely independently of each other, and also can be programmed to perform any desired motion, enabling the bird to perform aerobatic maneuvers. This is the first time a robotic bird with these capabilities has been built and successfully flown.

May 1, 2013

Printable Functional ‘Bionic’ Ear Melds Electronics and Biology
Scientists at Princeton University used off-the-shelf printing tools to create a functional ear that can “hear” radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capacity. The researchers’ primary purpose was to explore an efficient and versatile means to merge electronics with tissue. The scientists used 3D printing of cells and nanoparticles followed by cell culture to combine a small coil antenna with cartilage, creating what they term a bionic ear. This research was supported by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Grand Challenges Program at Princeton University.

May 2, 2013

Robotic insects make first controlled flight
In culmination of a decade’s work, RoboBees achieve vertical takeoff, hovering, and steering
The demonstration of the first controlled flight of an insect-sized robot is the culmination of more than a decade’s work, led by researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard.

May 3, 2013

X-51A Waverider achieves breakthrough in final flight
The final flight of the X-51A Waverider test program has accomplished a breakthrough in the development of flight reaching Mach 5.1 over the Pacific Ocean May 1. The crusier achieved Mach 5.1 traveling 230 nautical miles in just over six minutes, making this test the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight ever.