Twenty-two interdisciplinary student teams—including 10 based in UW Engineering departments—will pitch and demonstrate their solutions April 2 at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge 2015. The competition challenges students to come up with “clean-tech innovations” that reduce waste, minimize energy consumption or contribute to a healthier planet.
See also: engineering student teams
UW engineers have built a new nanometer-sized laser — using the thinnest semiconductor available today — that is energy efficient and compatible with existing electronics. The UW nanolaser, developed in collaboration with Stanford University, uses a semiconductor only three atoms thick.
See also: Nature
As we approach the one-year anniversary of the landslide disaster in Oso, Washington, two UW professors reflect on the event and the intense research and policy efforts that followed. UW Today interviews Joseph Wartman, a UW associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and David Montgomery, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences. See also: KUOW, New York Times op/ed
A new UW research center will study how insects and animals are able to perform complex, precision tasks such as flying in windy and crowded spaces and locating mates and prey. The center is funded by the Air Force and is housed in the UW Department of Biology in partnership with UW Engineering. Basic research will contribute to next-generation small, flying robots. Center home page: Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI)
Some of UW’s leading experts on deconstructing the intricate processes of the human brain will participate in a free symposium and panel discussion on Thursday March 19 in the HUB Lyceum. The 2 p.m. symposium, 3:45 p.m. panel discussion and 4:30 p.m. reception are open to the public but require advance registration. See the event web pages for more information.
Out of 22 regional student teams selected to compete this year, 10 teams are based in UW engineering departments. In the EIC, interdisciplinary student teams define an environmental problem, design a solution, produce a prototype, and create a business summary that demonstrates market opportunity and the potential for impact. Engineering teams are working on project that provide an irresistible alternative to driving, turn cooking fires into personal power stations, and decrease energy consumption, improve home safety, and reduce waste.
See also: Environmental Innovation Challenge website.
The new polymer, described in a paper featured on the cover of the March 4 issue of Science Translational Medicine, could become a first line of defense in everything from battlefield injuries to rural car accidents to search and rescue missions deep in the mountains. It has been tested in rats, and researchers say it could reach human trials in five years. The polymer was developed in the Pun Lab, led by Suzie Pun, the UW’s Robert J. Rushmer Professor of Bioengineering.
See also: KPLU radio story.
Pedro Arduino, professor of civil & environmental engineering, will be the UW College of Engineering's associate dean of infrastructure beginning March 9, 2015. He assumes the role as major engineering building projects are in the works and on the horizon. Read more in an announcement to colleagues from UW Engineering dean Michael Bragg.
Seattle’s first-ever “Handathon” will bring together students, faculty and clinicians to the ME building in a hackathon-style, 24-hour event that challenges students to improve an existing 3-D printed prosthetic hand. See also Handathon on the Ability and Innovation Lab website.
Three CoE faculty are among the five UW recipients of 2015 Sloan Research Fellowships honoring early career scientists and scholars: Emily Fox, assistant professor of statistics with adjunct appointements in computer science and engineering and electrical engineering; Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor of computer science and engineering; and Thomas Rothvoss, assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of mathematics. Each award includes $50,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Several UW College of Engineering faculty spoke at the 2015 Annual Meeting of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held February 12-16 in San Jose, CA. David Baker, a professor of biochemistry and adjunct professor in CSE and ChemE, gave a plenary lecture on protein design. HCDE's Cecilia Aragon presented on emotion in informal text communication. Aragon and CSE's Ed Lazowska and Bill Howe presented at a symposium entitled, "Advancing University Career Paths in Interdisciplinary Data-Intensive Science." Find links to UW Today stories, videos, and AAAS web pages.
Following the release of drone rules proposed by the FAA, KING 5 News visits the UW's Autonomous Flight Systems Laboratory for a reaction. See drones in action and hear from researchers on the potential applications of drone technology and why they welcome the rule-making process.
A new UW study identifies stereotypes of computer scientists and engineers as a leading factor in the relatively low percentage of young women choosing to pursue those careers. Researchers conducted experiments to show how stereotypes can be reinforced by the media, learning environments, and narrow characterizations of computer science and engineering by people in those fields. The article cites programs at UW and Harvey Mudd as examples of how to overcome these obstacles and increase the percentage of women among computer science graduates. See also: Frontiers in Psychology
Of the fourteen researchers chosen by UW to receive this year’s UW Innovation Awards, seven are faculty members in the College of Engineering. Four are part of a team building mobile tools for patients to enter data about their habits and behaviors. Three are on a team developing a web-based mentoring program to boost students' entrepreneurial-thinking and problem-solving skills. See also news items from: CSE | EE | HCDE
A recent collaboration between UW chemists and UW mechanical engineers Mark Ganter and Duane Storti, who have developed new 3-D printing materials and techniques, merges custom chemistry and 3-D printing. The researchers have created a bone-shaped plastic tab that turns purple under stretching, offering an easy way to record the force on an object. The sensor might be used to record force or strain on a building or other structure.
A Georgia Tech STEM education program is expanding to UW and other universities thanks to a grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The program unites large teams of undergraduates with graduate students and faculty to work together on long-term research projects. UW leads will be College of Engineering associate deans Brian Fabien and Eve Riskin.
CBS 60 Minutes was on campus to film a segment of their program on cybersecurity. A demonstration of the ease with which new cars can be hacked was based on research conducted by a team of UW engineers — Yoshi Kohno, Alexei Czeskis, Karl Koscher, and Franzi Roesner — and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego.
See also: UW CSE's inside story.
To responsibly harvest wave and tidal energy, we need to understand how animals and fish will be affected by ocean energy equipment. Enter the Millennium Falcon, an underwater robot designed to deploy and retrieve an unprecedented array of sensory capabilities in a "plug-and-socket" instrumentation package. Brian Polagye, a UW assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is a project leader. See also: YouTube
Distinguished alumnus Wayne Everett Quinton (’58 BS Mechanical Engineering) passed away on January 22, 2015, at the age of 94. His many inventions, including the lightweight cardiac treadmill, improved the quality of life for millions of people worldwide. Recognized as the world's first bioengineer, Wayne Quinton was named early in his career as one of the 25 top young scientists in the nation by Life magazine and was later honored by UW with the title “Father of Biomedical Engineering." He was a 2009 College of Engineering Diamond Award honoree. See also: Diamond Award profile | Columns feature
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says up to a whopping 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur annually in the U.S., and those numbers are conservative — as many as 50 percent of concussions go unreported. “Helmet technology hasn’t evolved much at all in 40 or 50 years,” says Jonathan Posner, McMinn Endowed Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, who works on the project alongside Professor and Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering Per Reinhall. “Engineering and medicine are working together to come up with a practical solution.”
Friend, colleague, and professor of computer science & engineering Gaetano Borriello passed away on February 1. Gaetano sought to provide an extraordinary educational experience for students in which they discover, pursue, and achieve their potential to make the world a better place. In his honor, UW CSE established the Gaetano Borriello Fellowship for Change to support students whose work is focused on technology can improve the lives of under-served populations.
Cecilia Giachelli has been appointed chair of the Department of Bioengineering beginning February 1, 2015. She is a professor of bioengineering, leads the Giachelli Lab for Cellular Bioengineering, and has served as acting chair since fall 2013. Read more in an announcement to colleagues from UW Engineering dean Michael Bragg and UW Medicine CEO Paul Ramsey.
Alaska Airlines has committed to a 10-year sponsorship of the Environmental Innovation Challenge at the UW, demonstrating its dedication to innovation that addresses the world’s most pressing environmental problems. Alaska Airlines is reducing their contribution to the waste stream with in-flight recycling, drinks served in InCycle Cups (a spin-off from a UW Engineering lab), and 100% recycled paper products in the restrooms. The College of Engineering is also a sponsor of the annual Environmental Innovation Challenge.
On the 315th anniversary of a massive earthquake and tsunami generated off the Washington and Oregon coast, UW scientists are helping prepare the region for a repeat event that could come at any time. Civil engineers Joseph Wartman and Jeff Berman are part of the effort.
A new research center on campus is taking UW-Boeing collaboration to a new level. The Boeing Advanced Research Center, located in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, will let students and faculty members work collaboratively with Boeing engineers on aircraft and spacecraft assembly and manufacturing. See also: Seattle Times | King 5 | GeekWire | Puget Sound Business Journal
Three University of Washington engineers were selected by Forbes magazine as part of its top 30 people in the world under age 30 in energy: Shyam Gollakota (CSE assistant professor), Baosen Zhang (EE assistant professor), and Derek Sutherland (AA PhD candidate). See also: CoE feature
Dean Michael Bragg has announced that Radha Poovendran, a UW professor of electrical engineering and expert in wireless and sensor network security, will be the new chair of his department. Radha is the recipient of many awards, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
December 22, 2014 | School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS)
New research from CEE assistant professor David Butman suggests that the effects of human land-use choices reduce carbon storage in the ground. Butman, who holds a joint appointment with the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS), is the lead author on a paper recently published in Nature Geoscience.
Dean Michael Bragg has announced the appointment of Brian Fabien, a UW professor of mechanical engineering, to the position of Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Fabien is the Director of the Dynamic Systems Modeling and Controls Laboratory and co-faculty advisor for the University of Washington EcoCAR team. He begins his role January 2, 2015.
Researchers in the UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering are using the physics behind rain-on-snow events to better predict flood risks. They are also helping clear up some misconceptions—including a common assumption that the rain itself in these events is primarily responsible for melting or washing away snow. See also: YouTube
Four UW Engineering researchers have received the Allen Distinguished Investigator award totaling $2.7 million for their work in artificial intelligence research. The researchers are: Jeffrey Heer, Ali Farhadi, and Luke Zettlemoyer (CSE), and Hannaneh Hajishirzi (EE). The money will fund early stage research in several areas of artificial intelligence. See also: Paul G. Allen Family Foundation news release
A new class at the University of Washington that teaches comic artistry to undergraduate and graduate students is using comics to explain what, exactly, the field of human-centered design is all about. HCDE associate professor Charlotte Lee developed the class and teaches it with local artist Jeremy Kayes.
In an idea borrowed from college athletics, the University of Washington and Washington State boost promising engineering students—many of them women and minorities—with an extra year of academic work.
See also Education Lab Blog posts: Google+ Hangout recording | STEM stats | guest post
UW undergraduate David Coven has started a company, directs a nonprofit, works in the lab alongside alongside doctoral-level researchers, and takes a full course load on his path to a mechanical engineering degree with a mathematics minor. He has made the most of opportunities, from Mathematics Academy and the UW STEM Bridge Program to college funding awards from Costco and Washington State Opportunity Scholarship.
See also: YouTube
UW electrical engineers have developed a way to automatically track people across moving and still cameras by using an algorithm that trains the networked cameras to learn one another’s differences. Lead researcher and EE professor Jenq-Neng Hwang said the technology may eventually allow people to see an "animated version of the real-time dynamics of city streets on a platform like Google Earth.” See also: YouTube
UW researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection with three pairs of people. In a newly published study led by Computer Science & Engineering's Rajesh Rao, researchers were able to transmit the signals from one person’s brain over the Internet to control the hand motions of another person a half mile away. A new grant will allow research into transmitting more complex brain processes. See also: YouTube
GeekWire names Computer Science & Engineering professor Carlos Guestrin its Geek of the Week and interviews him about the potential of big data, where he finds inspiration, his favorite Star Trek captain, and more.
In a changing climate, the North Cascades are expected to become increasingly prone to flooding, fire and insect outbreaks. UW scientists, including UW Civil & Environmental Engineering graduate student Ronda Strauch, have been helping federal agencies to pinpoint especially vulnerable resources and outline management responses to minimize adverse impacts. Findings were released this week in a report from the Pacific Northwest Research Station.
Vikram Jandyala, the former chair of UW's electrical engineering department, assumed the role of Vice Provost for Innovation in July. GeekWire stopped by the UW’s Center for Commercialization to talk with Jandhyala about his ambitions for the university. See also: Seattle Business
Brier Dudley reports on the formation of a UW spinout company called Jiva Wireless that will produce wireless, battery-free sensing devices to enable the Internet of Things. Company founders are UW faculty members Joshua Smith (CSE and EE) and Shyam Gollakota (CSE), who have spent years developing the technology. See also: UW Today
When A&A professor Thomas Jarboe and grad student Derek Sutherland went public with their concept for an economically feasible fusion reactor, they expected some naysayers and negativity. Sutherland has taken on a task perhaps more daunting that the field of fusion physics — reading and responding to reader comments. "We’re not hiding anything and we’ll answer any question you throw at us, which is different from other fusion groups that are quite secretive," Sutherland said.
UW will develop marine renewable energy for use at the Navy’s facilities worldwide as part of an $8 million, four-year contract from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC). Tide and wave energy from waters near coastal bases will help the Navy meet a commitment to get half of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Team members include Brian Polagye, an ME assistant professor, and the Applied Physics Laboratory's Jim Thomson, a CEE associate professor.
A state-of-the-art imaging machine is coming to UW for use by researchers in a variety of disciplines. Researchers at UW and from other Pacific Northwest schools will be able to use the machine to answer questions such as how concrete and steel components are damaged in earthquakes and what the inside of a 3-D printed object looks like.
Energy researchers at the UW will expand their work in making high-efficiency, printable solar cells and solar inks with the help of from the U.S. Department of Energy. The tandem, or "stacked," solar cells could be twice as efficient as today's standard solar technologies. See also: Clean Energy Institute research update
CSE Professor Richard Ladner is jazzed about a better future for people with disabilities. There’s been an increase in attention to assistive technology, and Ladner, whose research includes MobileASL and the Tactile Graphics Project, says we need more people with disabilities pursing careers as coders, engineers, and designers — people who know exactly what a disabled person may need in a product.
October 17, 2014 | Human Centered Design & Engineering
Regional security and the ability to effectively respond to and bounce back from disasters requires good communication and coordination among a wide range of public and private agencies. Focusing on the Puget Sound maritime community, a new UW research center is gaining valuable insights into how information is shared today—and identifying major opportunities to increase effectiveness.
Shyam Gollakota (CSE) has received an NSF CAREER award to design battery-free devices that can connect to the Internet using the WiFi networks around us. 03/15More »
Michael Dodd (A&A) was named a Lindau Nobel Laureate, a designation of international "best talents." Dodd will travel to Germany for a week of scientific discussion and exchange. 02/15
Three CoE faculty members have received 2015 Sloan Research Fellowships honoring early career scientists and scholars: Emily Fox (adjunct in CSE and EE), Shyam Gollakota (CSE), and Thomas Rothvoss (CSE). Each award includes $50,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 02/15More »
Kai-Mei Fu (EE, Physics) has been honored with a Cottrell Scholar Award (CSA), which funds early career faculty who excel in undergraduate teaching and research. 02/15More »
Katherine Steele (ME) has received an NSF CAREER award for research titled, "The Ultimate Machine, modeling neuromuscular control and musculoskeletal dynamics to improve human ability." 02/15
Daniela Rosner (HCDE) was awarded an NSF CAREER award to investigate how integrating techniques for social communication into design tools might enable novel forms of expressivity, engagement, and understanding. 02/15More »
Chris Rudell (EE) received an NSF CAREER award to explore and develop ultra-broadband, low-power transceivers using standard digital CMOS technologies. 02/15More »
Mohamed El-Sharkawi (EE) is the recipient of an International Fulbright Fellow Award to help Morocco achieve its energy objectives. 01/15More »
Arka Majumdar (EE) won a 3-year grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for work in hybrid silicon/silica photonics. 1/15More »
Michael Ernst (CSE) has been named a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for "contributions to software analysis, testing, and verification." 01/15More »
Nicholas Boechler (ME) has received an Army Research Office Young Investigator award to study granular media and shock absorption. 01/15
Three new IEEE fellows for 2015 Dieter Fox (CSE, EE) for contributions to Bayesian state estimation and robotic perception Mehran Mesbahi (A&A) for contributions to networked control systems Radha Poovendran (EE) for contributions to security in cyber-physical systems. 11/14
James Pfaendtner (ChemE) is profiled in the September issue of Prism, the journal of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), as one of "20 under 40." 09/14More »
Brian Fabien (ME) has been awarded the Institute for Systems Biology’s Valerie Logan Leadership in Science Education Award. 09/14More »
Kate Starbird (HCDE) was awarded a 2-year NSF grant for research on detecting misinformation in social media during crises. 09/14More »
Shyam Gollakota (CSE) has been named as one of world’s top innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review. 08/14More »
James Carothers (ChemE) and Eric Klavins (EE, BioE, CSE) received first ever UW Innovation Awards, recognizing creative thinkers who are addressing the problems of humanity through research and education. 05/14
UW will honor Gaetano Borriello (CSE) and Kuen Lin (A&A) with 2014 Awards of Excellence. Borriello has won the Marsha L. Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award and Kuen has won the Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning Award. Ceremony in June. 04/14
Ramulu Mamidala (ME) received the SME 2014 J.H. "Jud" Hall Composites Manufacturing Award for his seminal work in composite manufacturing. 03/14
James J. Riley (ME) was elected to the National Academy of Engineers for contributions in analysis, modeling, and computations of transitioning and turbulent phenomena. 02/14
A paper by Jeffrey Bilmes (EE, CSE), written when he was a grad student, was one of only 35 papers selected for inclusion in "25 Years of International Conference on Supercomputing." 02/14More »
François Baneyx (ChemE, BioE) has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in recognition of his contributions in biotechnology and biological nanotechnology. 11/13More »
Charles Roeder (CEE) will receive the AISC Educator's Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding service to the structural steel design, construction and academic community. 10/13
James Pfaendtner (ChemE) is one of 73 engineering educators nationwide selected to participate in the NAE's Fifth Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium. 9/13More »
Ying Zheng (BioE) received an NIH "High Risk-High Reward" grant for biomedical research. 9/13More »
Six UW engineering faculty named members of state Academy of Sciences David Castner (ChemE, BioE), Samson Jenekhe (ChemE), David Stensel (CEE), Minoru Taya (ME), Patrick Stayton (BioE) and Paul Yager (BioE) were all named to the Washington State Academy of Sciences. 9/13More »
Tom Anderson (CSE) received the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award in recognition of his trailblazing research in network computing. 8/13More »Award video »