NewsFlash is a monthly email of press items featuring our College's researchers. For a more complete and regularly updated list of COE media coverage, see In the Media.

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NewsFlash is a service of the UW College of Engineering and the UW Office of News and Information. If you have a newsworthy result about one month from publication, presentation or demonstration, please contact Michelle Ma at mcma@uw.edu@uw.edu or (206) 543-2580.

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NewsFlash, March 2011

 

Mar. 15, 2011 | MSNBC: Cosmic Log blog
If there's a meltdown, then what?

  If the meltdown at Japan's stricken nuclear plant goes total, experts don't expect to see a "China syndrome" scenario or a Chernobyl-style conflagration. But the situation would be worse than it is now. Mechanical engineering emeritus professor Norman McCormick, co-author of the upcoming "Risk and Safety Analysis of Nuclear Systems," says steam released would cause downwind exposure near the plant.

RELATED MATERIAL
UW earthquake, tsunami, nuclear experts | Mar. 11, 2011

 

Mar. 18, 2011 | The New York Times
Greater danger lies in spent fuel than in reactors

  Years of procrastination in deciding on long-term disposal of nuclear fuel rods are now coming back to haunt Japanese authorities. Very high levels of radiation above the storage pools suggest that the water has drained to the point that the 13-foot-high fuel rod assemblies have been exposed to air for hours and are starting to melt, said Robert Albrecht, a UW emeritus professor of electrical engineering and nuclear engineering who worked as a consultant to the Japanese nuclear reactor manufacturing industry in the 1980s.

RELATED MATERIAL
UW earthquake, tsunami, nuclear experts | Mar. 11, 2011

 

Mar. 19, 2011 | The New York Times
Japan races to restart reactors’ cooling system

  As the crisis seemed to deepen on Friday, Japan’s nuclear safety agency raised the assessment of its severity to 5 from 4 on a 7-level international scale, retroactive to Tuesday. Emeritus professor Robert Albrecht explains why Japan is importing boron to mix with the water to spray on damaged reactors and exposed spent fuel rods.

RELATED MATERIAL
UW earthquake, tsunami, nuclear experts | Mar. 11, 2011

 

Mar. 16, 2011 | KING 5 News
Modern buildings built to sway during earthquakes

  Tokyo is about 250 miles away from last week's devastating quake, but tall buildings still swayed -- like they're supposed to. Civil engineer Charles Roeder talks about how Seattle's tall buildings would fare in an earthquake, and demonstrates in the UW's Structural Engineering Lab.

RELATED MATERIAL
UW earthquake, tsunami, nuclear experts | Mar. 11, 2011

 

Mar. 16, 2011 | KIRO Radio
Exports could bring radiatiation from Japan

  Radiation from Japan could reach the U.S. through exports, but the products of concern would be contaminated produce and dairy, says aeronautical engineer Uri Shumlak, who does research on nuclear energy.

RELATED MATERIAL
UW earthquake, tsunami, nuclear experts | Mar. 11, 2011

 

Mar. 20, 2011 | KING 5: Up Front with Robert Mak
Will Japan crisis stall Obama Administration’s push for more nuclear power?

  In this week's "Up Front" program, Robert Mak looks at what effect the crisis in Japan will have on U.S. energy policy. Mechanical engineering emeritus professor Norman McCormick is quoted (at -19:15 and -14:25).

RELATED MATERIAL
UW earthquake, tsunami, nuclear experts | Mar. 11, 2011

 

Mar. 13, 2011 | The (Luzerne Co, Pa.) Citizens Voice
Former area resident 300 miles from quake epicenter

  Keith Palmer, a civil and environmental engineering doctoral student, was was at a Tokyo Institute of Technology conference at Hokkaido University when an 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Sendai, Japan.

 

Mar. 10, 2011 | GeekWire
Dancing with Drones: UW students and autonomous aircraft

  As part of their Embedded Systems 472 class at the UW this quarter, electrical engineering students were challenged to develop their own control systems for a fleet of quadrocopter drones. See the accompanying videos for some of the pure awesomeness on display in the CSE atrium this week.

 

Mar. 07, 2011 | Xconomy
“Quadricopters” take over UW’s Allen Center atrium for electrical engineering class demo

  Seniors in Shwetak Patel’s electrical engineering course “Embedded Microcomputer Systems,” demonstrate a project in which teams built controllers for helicopter drones. The video failed to capture some spectacular crashes.

 

Mar. 08, 2011 | The Seattle Times
Class projects get flight test

  Undergraduate students built joystick-type controllers for quadricopter drones as part of a final requirement for a UW course on embedded systems. Electrical engineering undergraduate Dustin Richmond piloted one of the drones in the UW's Allen Center.

 

Feb. 28, 2011 | The Seattle Times: Brier Dudley's blog
UW Lamborghini lab in top gear, Aventador next

  On Tuesday, Lamborghini is taking the wraps off the first production car to come fully through the UW Lamborghini Lab's entire gestation process. Called the Aventador, it's a $370,000 Batmobile that goes from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds.

RELATED MATERIAL
UW's newly named 'Lamborghini Lab' brings composite parts to sports-car arena | Oct. 06, 2009

 

Mar. 11, 2011 | The Seattle Times: Brier Dudley's blog
Photo puzzle: Find the UW logo in the Lamborghini

  One of these suspension pieces was developed at the UW for the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento prototype shown in Paris last year. Can you tell which one is made with forged carbon fiber?

RELATED MATERIAL
UW's newly named 'Lamborghini Lab' brings composite parts to sports-car arena | Oct. 06, 2009

 

Mar. 10, 2011 | KING 5 News
UW lab changes the way we fly, drive

  Aeronautical engineer Paolo Feraboli and students in the Lamborghini Lab are changing the way we fly and drive. The lab is testing impacts on composite parts and developing ways to build the parts faster.

RELATED MATERIAL
UW's newly named 'Lamborghini Lab' brings composite parts to sports-car arena | Oct. 06, 2009

 

Mar. 07, 2011 | The New York Times: Bits blog
Software progress beats Moore's Law

  Although Moore's Law is often cited as an example of progress in computer science, research shows that improvements in chip speed are often dwarfed by improvements in software algorithms. Computer scientist Ed Lazowska is quoted.

 

Mar. 08, 2011 | Fast Company: Experts blog
Does Moore's Law suddenly matter less?

A post in the New York Times this morning asserted that Software Progress Beats Moore's Law. Technology investor Brad Feld writes about computer scientist Ed Lazowska's claim that hardware progress matters less than software innovation.

 

Mar. 09, 2011 | USA Today (via Associated Press)
Could modern cars be hacked?

  In a new study, UW computer scientist Yoshi Kohno and UCSD computer scientist Stefan Savage found ways to compromise a car's security remotely, through wireless interfaces like Bluetooth, mechanics' tools and even audio files.

RELATED MATERIAL
Media alert: Presentation on the security of modern automobiles | May. 18, 2010

 

Mar. 09, 2011 | The New York Times
Researchers show how a car’s electronics can be taken over remotely

With a modest amount of expertise, computer hackers could gain remote access to someone’s car and take over the vehicle’s basic functions, according to research by computer scientist Yoshi Kohno and colleagues at UCSD. Their report, delivered last Friday to the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board, described how such unauthorized intrusions could theoretically take place.

RELATED MATERIAL
Media alert: Presentation on the security of modern automobiles | May. 18, 2010

 

Mar. 14, 2011 | Technology Review
Taking control of cars from afar

  Researchers at the UW and UCSD who have spent the last two years studying the security of car computer systems have revealed that they can take control of vehicles wirelessly.

RELATED MATERIAL
Media alert: Presentation on the security of modern automobiles | May. 18, 2010

 

Mar. 25, 2011 | Computerworld
Mozilla regrets keeping quiet on SSL certificate theft

  Mozilla today said that it regretted staying silent when it found out last week that hackers had stolen digital certificates for some of the Web's biggest sites. Some say the Iranian government was involved in the incident. Security researcher Jacob Appelbaum, who works part-time in computer scientist Yoshi Kohno's group and independently discovered the security breach, is quoted.

 

Mar. 13, 2011 | Newsweek
This is your future: Internet contact lens

  Physicist Michio Kaku looks at what we can expect this century in his new book 'Physics of the Future', including electrical engineer Babak Parviz's web-connected contact lens.

RELATED MATERIAL
Contact lenses with circuits, lights a possible platform for superhuman vision | Jan. 17, 2008

 

Mar. 05, 2011 | The New York Times
Google schools its algorithm

  Computer intelligence is a puzzle. The machines can be so remarkably smart at times, yet so bafflingly dumb at others. Computer scientist Oren Etzioni is quoted.

 

Mar. 14, 2011 | Chemical and Engineering News
Poised to react

  Tethering molecules to gold surface forces reactions that otherwise would be very unlikely, according to research published in Science by materials scientist Alex Jen and collaborators at UCLA.

RELATED MATERIAL
Controlling a single molecule’s reaction with light could improve solar cells | Mar. 15, 2011

 

Mar. 09, 2011 | CBS New York
Could common household scented products make you ill?

  A new study by civil engineer Anne Steinemann finds what makes many products smell good may actually make them hazardous to your health.

RELATED MATERIAL
Scented consumer products shown to emit many unlisted chemicals | Oct. 26, 2010

 

Mar. 08, 2011 | The Tacoma News Tribune
Wireless towers low on list of threats to children

The News Tribune editorial board writes about a dispute over wireless towers, referring to a recent study on cell phone usage. Bioengineer Henry Lai is quoted.

RELATED MATERIAL
Rats exposed to cell phone microwaves suffer long-term memory loss, according to new study by a University of Washington researcher | Oct. 30, 1999

 

Mar. 07, 2011 | Science News: For Kids
Cell phones on the brain

  A new study shows that spending 50 minutes with an active cell phone pressed up to the ear increases activity in the brain. Bioengineer Henry Lai is quoted.

RELATED MATERIAL
Rats exposed to cell phone microwaves suffer long-term memory loss, according to new study by a University of Washington researcher | Oct. 30, 1999

 

Mar. 02, 2011 | The Seattle Times
Kids explore fine points of the brain

  This is Brain Awareness Week, an international event to promote the benefits of brain research hosted by bioengineer Eric Chudler. The University of Washington on Tuesday hosted 600 local students.

RELATED MATERIAL
Kids learn about, use their brains at annual open house | Mar. 12, 2009

 

Mar. 17, 2011 | Northwest Asian Weekly
Robots find many friends in South Seattle students

  Team Xbot is a high-school team competing in the national FIRST robotics competition that recruits most of its members from Franklin High School. Zile Li, a former Xbot team member and now a UW electrical engineering junior and team mentor, says the competition persuaded him to pursue engineering instead of accounting.

 

Mar. 07, 2011 | The Washington Post: Campus Overload blog
Why so few computer science majors?

  Not enough students are studying computer science to keep up with industry demand. Part of the problem is perception. The UW computer science and engineering department's video, "Power to Change the World," is mentioned, and computer scientist Ed Lazowska is quoted.

 

Mar. 21, 2011 | The New York Times
Go for computer science

  Computer scientist Ed Lazowska is one of eight columnists featured in a New York Times “Room for Debate” op-ed discussion on education. He argues that to stay competitive on the job market, college students should major in computer science.

 

Mar. 01, 2011 | Wired: Underwired blog
Seattle Band Map charts a sprawling music scene

  The Seattle Band Map is a fast-growing online project that works like an interactive game of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” for the city’s robust music scene. To build the site, musician Rachel Ratner leaned on the coding skills of UW computer science stud Golf Sinteppadon.

 

Mar. 08, 2011 | The New York Times: Economix blog
How Seattle transformed itself

  A Harvard economics professor explains why Seattle is one of the few cloudy U.S. cities growing faster than the economy as a whole. The UW's role in providing a highly educated workforce to supply companies such as Boeing and Microsoft is mentioned.

 

Mar. 13, 2011 | The Seattle Times
Search for UW president intensifies

The UW Regents are charged with finding a candidate who can meet some lofty expectations: An effective fundraiser, a strong lobbyist, a big thinker, a scholar, a rock star. Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, wants more engineering graduates so the state remains economically competitive.

 

Mar. 28, 2011 | Xconomy
Seattle’s tech job crunch: How long can the Valley invaders poach from Microsoft, Amazon before the talent well runs low?

  A growing number of companies are chasing the same pool of experienced tech workers—a pool that Washington state isn’t adding to fast enough by cranking out computer science graduates of its own. Computer scientist Ed Lazowska is quoted.

 

Mar. 16, 2011 | GeekWire
Jeremy Jaech: ‘I want to get back to the bleeding edge’

  When we learned that one of Seattle's most accomplished entrepreneurs had left his current CEO gig at Verdiem, we had to find out more of what was in store for him. Turns out Jaech has been spending quite a bit of time kicking around the computer science department of his alma mater, the UW.

 

Mar. 09, 2011 | Xconomy
The buzz from the Zino Life Sciences forum

  Bioengineering doctoral student Sarah Nowakowski reports on the ZINO Life: Life Sciences Investment Forum, where 14 biotech and life sciences companies pitched to a room full of eager investors.

 

Mar. 28, 2011 | GeekWire
Physware raises cash, but keeps quiet on the details

  Physware, a company created by electrical engineer Vikram Jandhyala, has raised $6.9 million in funding, according to a filing with the SEC. It develops technology for “high-capacity 3D electromagnetic signal integrity, power integrity and EMI analysis field solutions.”

 

Mar. 20, 2011 | The Seattle Times
Boeing's biggest passenger jet completes first flight

  The maiden flight of Boeing's latest and largest passenger plane was a success. Mechanical engineering alumnus Joe Sutter, who turned 90 the next day, attended the test flight of the Boeing 747-8 that had his initials engraved on it. Sutter was chief engineer on the first 747 plane.

RELATED MATERIAL
UW Aeronautics and Astronautics celebrates 100 years of flight with lecture series | Oct. 13, 2003

 

Mar. 20, 2011 | seattlepi.com
Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental takes off on first flight

  Boeing’s largest-ever airliner took off on its first flight at Sunday from Paine Field, in Everett. The plane bore the initials “JFS” in honor of engineer Joe Sutter, considered the father of the original 747 more than four decades ago. “I’d … like to think this was a special gift today for Joe Sutter,” said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager of the 747-8 program. “It’s a tribute to what you started many years ago on the 747.”

RELATED MATERIAL
UW Aeronautics and Astronautics celebrates 100 years of flight with lecture series | Oct. 13, 2003

 

Mar. 21, 2011 | Wall Street Journal
Newest Boeing 747 takes maiden flight

  Boeing Co.'s newest 747 passenger jet took to the skies for the first time Sunday, marking the third maiden flight of a new Boeing commercial airplane in the past 15 months. On hand for the event was Joe Sutter, the original 747 project engineer, who turns 90 years old on Monday. In a tribute, Mr. Sutter's initials were stenciled in blue on the 747-8's front landing-gear door.

RELATED MATERIAL
UW Aeronautics and Astronautics celebrates 100 years of flight with lecture series | Oct. 13, 2003

 

Mar. 20, 2011 | Agence France-Presse
Boeing's new jumbo makes 'perfect' maiden flight

US aerospace giant Boeing's newest and biggest jumbo jet, the 747-8 Intercontinental, made its maiden flight. Among those watching was Joe Sutter, the chief engineer of the original 747. In a tribute to Sutter -- celebrating his 90th birthday on Monday -- the initials "JFS" were painted on the landing gear bay door of the first 747-8 Intercontinental. "It makes me feel real good. The fellas are telling me I'm part of the team," he said.

RELATED MATERIAL
UW Aeronautics and Astronautics celebrates 100 years of flight with lecture series | Oct. 13, 2003

 

Mar. 25, 2011 | The Orange County Register
Hockey player turns 80, stays on ice

  So what if he wears a hearing aid? So what if he is blind in one eye? So what if he's not as fast as the other players? Alex Patterson, a UW alum in mining engineering ('57) and owner of southern California company Patterson Engineering, still plays hockey.

If you have a newsworthy result about one month from publication, presentation or demonstration, please contact Hannah Hickey, hickeyh@uw.edu. Notice of student and faculty awards and grants is also welcome.