A Week in Review: 11/3/13 – 11/9/13

November 7, 2013

Carnegie Mellon Researchers Use Inkblots To Improve Security of Online Passwords
GOTCHA Scheme Could Foil Growing Problem of Automated Brute Force Attacks

Snap to Attention: Pitt, Air Force researchers identify polymers that react and move to light
Microvehicles and other devices that can change shape or move with no power source other than a beam of light may be possible through research led by the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering. The researchers are investigating polymers that “snap” when triggered by light, thereby converting light energy into mechanical work and potentially eliminating the need for traditional machine components such as switches and power sources.

November 8, 2013

Stanford researchers surprised to find how neural circuits zero in on the specific information needed for decisions
Using brain recordings and a computer model, an interdisciplinary team confounds the conventional wisdom about how the brain sorts out relevant versus irrelevant sensory inputs in making choices.

A Week in Review: 10/27/13 – 11/2/13

October 27, 2013

Beryllium’s Back, Baby
Air Force Research Laboratory engineers, in partnership with industry, reestablished a domestic manufacturing capability for primary (high-purity) beryllium metal. Manufactures at a new reduction plant in Elmore, Ohio, beryllium is a critical component in several Department of Defense (DoD) applications.

October 30, 2013

New Clemson facility to advance nanotechnology
Clemson University completed construction of a world-class nanomaterials facility specifically designed to support research projects that are funded by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Department of Energy.

November 1, 2013

Synaptic transistor learns while it computes
First of its kind, brain-inspired device looks toward highly efficient and fast parallel computing

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: 6/2/13 – 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