News & Events


November 18, 2015 | UW Today

A team of UW computer science and electrical engineers have developed a novel technology that uses a Wi-Fi router — a source of ubiquitous but untapped energy in indoor environments — to power devices.

The Power Over Wi-Fi (PoWiFi) system is one of the most innovative and game-changing technologies of the year, according to Popular Science, which included it in the magazine’s annual “Best of What’s New 2015” awards announced Wednesday.

November 16, 2015 | UW Today

MSE assistant professor Peter Pauzauskie and his team are the first to solve a decades-old puzzle — figuring out how to make a laser refrigerate water and other liquids under real-world conditions.

Using an infrared laser to cool water by about 36 °F, they demonstrated a hydrothermal process to manufacture a well-known laser crystal for laser refrigeration applications in a faster, inexpensive, and scalable way. They also designed an instrument that uses a laser trap to "hold" a single nanocrystal and illuminate it. The instrument projects the particle’s "shadow" to allow observation of minute changes in its motion due to cooling.

November 9, 2015 | UW Today

The first dual degree program to be announced through GIX - Global Innovation Exchange is a new model of learning designed to fuel innovation and foster collaborations on a worldwide scale. The UW and Tsinghua University agreed to launch an integrated dual degree program through GIX that combines project-based learning in design thinking, technology development and entrepreneurship.

"Innovation requires you to understand users so you build the right thing, know enough about the technology to prototype it and demonstrate it, and know how to pitch it and convey its importance. This is going to be an intensive, integrated educational program in all these areas," said Shwetak Patel, chief technology officer for GIX and UW's Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering.

The UW MSTI is currently under review by the UW Graduate School, which must approve all new degree programs.

November 3, 2015 | UW Today
Researchers at the UW’s Tech Policy Lab charge designers of future augmented reality systems with making them adaptable to change, resistant to hacking, and responsive to the needs of diverse users. Augmented reality promises systems that can aid people with mobility or other limitations. But augmented reality will also bring challenges for law, public policy, and privacy, especially pertaining to how information is collected and displayed. Issues regarding surveillance and privacy, free speech, safety, intellectual property and distraction — as well as potential discrimination — are bound to follow.
November 2, 2015
The National Science Foundation selected the UW, along with UC San Diego and Berkeley, to co-lead one of four Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs around the country. The ability to access, analyze and draw insights from massive amounts of data is already driving innovation in fields from medicine and manufacturing to the way cities are managed. To accelerate this emerging field, the NSF is establishing four “Big Data brain trusts” to catalyze new collaborations among university researchers, tech companies, national labs, local and state government and non-profits.
October 29, 2015 | UW Today
We have personal trainers and tailored suits. Why don't we have personalized medicine? That question - and the prospects for stem-cell-based treatments that reverse disease and repair damage rather than simply addressing symptoms - will be the focus of UW Bioengineering's 2015 Allan S. Hoffman Lecture on Nov. 5. Molly S. Shoichet, a University of Toronto chemical engineering and applied chemistry university professor who specializes in tissue engineering at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, will deliver the lecture entitled "Engineering Personalized Medicine" at 4 p.m. at Kane Hall's Walker-Ames Room, with a reception to follow.
October 29, 2015 | EE News

A new Pacific Science Center exhibit features the work of EE Professor Howard Chizeck and students in the BioRobotics Lab. The exhibit, Memory: Past Meets Present, focuses on how the brain retains information on repetitive actions performed by the body. The exhibit runs through March 6, 2016.

One panel of the exhibit highlights the Deep Brain Stimulator (DBS) for essential tremor project, led by EE Ph.D. students Jeffrey Herron and Margaret Thompson, aims to build closed-loop DBS systems to improve treatment for people with neurological disorders such as essential tremor.

October 23, 2015 | UW Today
In a lecture titled, "The Science of Information: From Pushing Bits over the Air to Assembling the World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle," Stanford University professor David Tse will focus on how information theory has enabled new technological innovations. The lecture is part of the 2015 Dean Lytle Endowed Lecture Series hosted by the UW’s Department of Electrical Engineering. "While the design of physical systems is based on the laws of physics, the design of communication systems is based on the laws of information theory," said Tse, a professor of electrical engineering. Tse will give a public talk on Monday, Nov. 2, at 3:30 p.m. in the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering atrium, with a reception to follow. The lecture is free, but advance registration is requested by Friday, Oct. 30.
October 22, 2015 | UW Today
A new publicly available tool from UW engineering researchers can better predict which genetic mutations significantly change how genes splice and may warrant increased attention from disease researchers and drug developers. The model is the first to train a machine learning algorithm on vast amounts of genetic data created with synthetic biology techniques. "Some people have variations in a particular gene, but what you really want to know is whether those matter," said lead author Alexander Rosenberg, a UW electrical engineering doctoral student. "This model can help you narrow down the universe — hugely — of the mutations that might be most likely to cause disease."
October 21, 2015 | UW Heath Sciences NewsBeat
Collaborating UW researchers have successfully restored damaged heart muscle of monkeys using heart cells created from human embryonic stem cells. Founded in the research of Dr. Charles Murry, UW professor of bioengineering, pathology and medicine and supported by a $10 million investment from the Washington Research Foundation, the treatment has the potential to restore heart tissue in people who have suffered heart attacks.
October 15, 2015 | UW Computer Science & Engineering
CSE professor Yoshi Kohno and grad students from the Security and Privacy Research Lab were featured on PBS's NOVA. Starting at minute 29 with the now-famous car hacking research, the program also shows CSE grad students able to use a false wifi hotspot to discover another student's home security login, figure out where he lives, and "break in." Kohno's team, including former CSE PhD students Karl Koscher and Franzi Roesner, now a professor at UW CSE, are shown remotely taking over the brakes of a car in a dramatic illustration of how vulnerable embedded systems in automobiles are to attack. The cafe wifi hacking segment features EE PhD student Tope Oluwafemi and CSE bachelor’s student Tariq Yusuf (both now alumni) using just a laptop and their own wireless hotspot to hack into CSE PhD student Alex Takakuwa’s laptop.
October 15, 2015 | UW Today
An affordable camera technology being developed by the UW engineers and Microsoft Research uses both visible and invisible near-infrared light to "see" beneath surfaces and capture unseen details. Typically used in industrial applications and costing up to tens of thousands of dollars, the "hyperspectral" camera could enable consumers of the future to tell which piece of fruit is perfectly ripe or what's rotting in the fridge. "It's not there yet, but the way this hardware was built you can probably imagine putting it in a mobile phone," said Shwetak Patel, a UW professor of computer science & engineering and electrical engineering. Co-authors include Eric Whitmire, Alex Mariakakis and the late Gaetano Borriello of the UW’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering and T. Scott Saponas, Neel Joshi, Dan Morris, Brian Guenter and Marcel Gavriliu at Microsoft Research.
September 30, 2015 | UW Today
Engineering and UW Medicine researchers used 3-D printing to create a model that feels and acts like rib cartilage for realistic surgical practice. The innovation could open the door for aspiring surgeons to become proficient in the sought-after but challenging procedure.
September 29, 2015 | Water Environment Research Foundation
Dr. Mari Winkler, UW Civil & Environmental Engineering, was awarded the 2015 Paul L. Busch award by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF). With the $100,000 prize, Dr. Winker seeks to improve water reclamation. Dr. Winkler’s proposed research applies what has been learned from certain marine microorganisms to a new process in wastewater treatment. Her research can potentially lead to better effluent quality, reduced operational costs, space reduction, and lower greenhouse gas emissions in wastewater treatment plants compared to currently applied technologies.
September 29, 2015 | UW Today
Two studies from EE professor Denise Wilson show red wines containing arsenic levels that exceed the EPA's allowed limit, but health risks depend on other high-arsenic foods in our diets.
September 23, 2015
Looking forward to making Smart Cities a banner program for trans-Pacific collaboration, UW EE and Shanghai Jiao Tong University formed a partnership to improve quality of life through innovation. Smart city innovations use sensors, data analytics, and other technologies to elevate the safety, health, resilience, prosperity, and quality of life in urban areas, where an increasing number of people around the world live. Possible solutions could include sensors showing real-time air pollution data around schools, smart parking apps that cut down on circling and congestion, and GIS mapping technologies to manage water more efficiently.
September 21, 2015 | UW Today
UW CSE researchers collaborated on an artificial intelligence system that can solve SAT geometry questions as well as the average American 11th-grade student, a breakthrough in AI research. GeoS uses computer vision to interpret diagrams, natural language processing to read text, and a geometric solver to achieve 49 percent accuracy on official SAT test questions. If these results were extrapolated to the entire Math SAT test, the computer roughly achieved an SAT score of 500 (out of 800), the average test score for 2015.
September 17, 2015 | UW Today
Pedro Domingos, professor in CSE, is the author of “The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World.” In advance of his September 22 talk at Seattle’s Town Hall, he answered a few questions about the book. A popular science romp through one of today’s hottest scientific topics, the book is an essential primer on machine learning. It unveils the deep ideas behind the algorithms that increasingly pick our books, find our dates, filter email, manage investments and run our lives — and what informed consumers and citizens ought to know about them.
September 16, 2015 | UW Today
NSF funding will support nanofabrication and molecular analysis for UW researchers, one-person startups and multinational corporations that otherwise can’t affordably or reliably meet their fabrication needs at commercial foundries. The UW and Oregon State University won a $4.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to advance nanoscale science, engineering and technology research in the Pacific Northwest and support a new network of user sites across the country. The regional partnership was selected as one of 16 sites for a new National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) program. That network is designed to give researchers from academia, small and large companies and other institutions open access to university facilities with leading-edge fabrication and characterization tools.
September 14, 2015 | UW Today
The UW and city of Seattle have joined a national network of university-city partnerships that will work on "smart city" solutions. The MetroLab Network, announced by the White House on Monday, consists of partnerships between research universities with expertise in engineering, robotics and computer science and cities looking to be test beds for 21st century solutions. The partnership aims to marry expertise and knowledge from UW researchers — from engineers inventing new sensors to sociologists studying determinants of poverty to data scientists parsing problems in new ways — and the experience and learned wisdom of employees tackling day-to-day challenges of running a city.
September 8, 2015 | UW Today
A new wearable technology developed at UW called MagnifiSense can sense what devices and vehicles the user interacts with throughout the day. Applications include tracking individuals' carbon footprints, enabling smart home applications, and assisting with elder care. Next steps are testing MagnifiSense on a wider variety of devices and miniaturizing the device.
September 8, 2015 | UW Today
A more efficient and sustainable energy system hinges on the ability to store energy for when it’s needed most. On September 11, researchers, students, government regulators, energy entrepreneurs, utilities, and industry experts will gather at UW to discuss this topic at Transforming the Future: A Symposium on the Science and Technology of Energy Storage in the Pacific Northwest. The symposium will address energy storage research needs, commercialization opportunities and challenges, and strategies to finance energy storage technology deployment. Symposium sponsors are the UW Clean Energy Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington State University, and the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR).
August 31, 2015 | UW Today
Data scientists at the UW’s eScience Institute took a break from their typical work helping researchers and professors to incorporate cutting-edge technologies and data-based methods into their academic pursuits. Instead, they launched the Data Science for Social Good program which harnessed their expertise to address pressing urban issues closer to home. The program paired data scientists with students and local nonprofit and government partners. These interdisciplinary teams worked on projects to reduce family homelessness, improve paratransit bus service, foster community well-being and map better sidewalk routes for people with mobility challenges.
August 25, 2015 | UW College of Engineering
Per Reinhall sabbatical; John Kramlich to step in

From Dean Mike Bragg

This fall quarter, Per Reinhall, chair of mechanical engineering, will take a well-deserved sabbatical leave. Professor John Kramlich has agreed to serve as acting chair of ME during Per's leave. John's appointment begins on September 16, 2015 and Per will return as chair on December 16, 2015.

I am grateful that John is willing to assume this role in service to the department and college. ME is making great strides in their identified areas of research which include energy, health, mechatronics, and advanced materials and manufacturing. I look forward to working with John as he continues to advance the important work taking place in ME by their faculty, staff and students.

Please join me in welcoming Professor Kramlich on board in September as acting chair of ME.

August 24, 2015 | UW College of Engineering
If you know an engineer who deserves recognition, we want to hear from you! The Diamond Awards honor outstanding alumni and friends who have made significant contributions to the field of engineering. Take a little time to nominate an engineer to join the distinguished ranks of Diamond Award honorees in one of 6 categories this year.