Washington Engineer - October 2010

In this issue:

  • Dean's Message
  • Research - Harnessing Citizen Brainpower; Taming Driver Distraction; Signing by Cell Phone; Grant to Study Animal Flight
  • Campus News - Molecular Engineering Director Named; Lidstrom Named Interim Provost; Engineering Education Study; EnerG2 Groundbreaking
  • Events - Fall Lecture Series; Bioengineering Hoffman Lecture; NAE Seattle Summit Broadcast
  • In the Media

Dean's Message

Dean Matt O'Donnell talks about advances in hiring interdisciplinary faculty, and a new report on undergraduate engineering education prepared by the UW's Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education. Play video »

  screen capture from dean's message video

Research

Foldit logo Gaming for a cure: Computer gamers tackle protein folding
Two years after Foldit turned a molecular biology problem into a game, UW researchers find humans trump computers on some complex problems, especially ones that require intuitive leaps or major shifts in strategy.
New York Times | The Economist | Nature | NPR
cell phone and steering wheel Distracted drivers benefit from in-car driving coach
Can coaching using an eye tracker to monitor drivers' gaze put eyes back on the road? With just a small amount of coaching, high-risk drivers more than doubled their time until a virtual crash.
Seattle PI | Discover | UPI
student Josiah Cheslik signs over a cell phone Deaf, hard-of-hearing students do first test of sign language by cell phone
UW engineers have developed the first software application able to transmit American Sign Language over U.S. cellular networks. The tool had its initial field test by participants in a UW summer program for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
New York Times | Wired | Seattle Times | CNET
Manduca sexta moth in flight UW leading $7.5 million study of animal flight and aerial vehicles
Aeronautics and astronautics associate professor Kristi Morgansen leads the Office of Naval Research MURI grant looking to study bats, birds and insects for inspiration in building autonomous aerial vehicles.

Campus News

Pat Stayton photo

 

Bioengineer Pat Stayton to lead new MolE Institute
Stayton will lead the UW's newly established Molecular Engineering and Science Institute. The Institute’s research will focus on sustainable energy and medical applications.
Mary Lidstrom photo University of Washington names Lidstrom interim provost
Mary Lidstrom, a professor of chemical engineering and microbiology, this fall became the UW’s interim provost. Lidstrom had served as UW’s vice provost for research since 2005.

 

CAEE logo section UW-led National Study Identifies Range of Opportunities to Improve Engineering Education
Enabling Engineering Student Success, a new report released by the NSF funded Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE), identifies key opportunities for improving how engineering students are currently being prepared for professional practice. Download the report and read the NSF article.
EnerG2 logoClean-energy spinout breaks ground on $28 million facility
In August, energy storage company EnerG2, a spinout from UW material science and engineering, broke ground in Oregon on a $28 million ultracapacitor manufacturing plant. See EnerG2 creators and UW partners on YouTube and read UW alum, EnerG2 co-founder's guest column on carbon storage.

Events

2010 lecture series brochure image   Engineering in the Headlines Lecture Series

Presented in partnership with the UW Alumni Association. All lectures will be held at 7 p.m. in Kane Hall. Lectures are free but registration is required. Register online or by calling (206) 543-0540.

Going for the Green: London 2012
Thursday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m.
Robert G. Card, CH2M Hill, UW alumnus (’75)

Driven to Distraction
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.
Linda Ng Boyle, Industrial & Systems Engineering and Civil & Environmental Engineering

The entire series — including High-Pressure Crisis in the Gulf, which was held Oct. 13 — will be available on UWTV later in the year.

Robert Langer photoUW Bioengineering's 4th annual Hoffman Lecture
Friday, October 22 at 3:30 p.m.
S-060 Foege Building
Speaker Dr. Robert S. Langer, professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, is known for his development of innovative biomaterials for controlled drug release and tissue regeneration that have saved and improved the lives of millions of people.

 

NAE Grand Challenges banner image
National Academy of Engineering 2010 Seattle Grand Challenges Summit
The Seattle Summit is now out as a six-part series available online and by broadcast on UWTV.

In the Media

scorpion image from foxnews.comKiller animals, life-saving cures: Why venom is good for you
FoxNews.com | August 23, 2010
Materials scientist Miqin Zhang is showing how scorpion venom can be used to treat brain cancer.

 

The Web means the end of forgetting
New York Times Magazine | July 21, 2010
Posting too much personal information online reveals the perils of the digital age. UW computer science and engineering project Vanish, which makes electronic information self-destruct, is mentioned.

 

Christophe Bisciglia photo by Robyn TwomeySmartest engineer in tech: Christophe Bisciglia
Fortune Magazine | July 2010
Fortune chooses UW computer science and engineering alumnus Christophe Bisciglia, who taught the UW's pioneering Google 101 course, as one of its "smartest people in tech."