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CoE NewsFlash  |  Vol. 4, No. 2  |  May 26, 2010  


NewsFlash: College of Engineering in the Media

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.

Click on a headline to read that article on the web. Some links may require a subscription or no longer be active.

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 Hannah Hickey at (206-543-2580, hickeyh@uw.edu).


  May 6, 2010   |  Xconomy
Top 10 takeaways from Seattle’s Engineering Summit: Electro-active wallpaper, Facebook is watching you, and Dendreon detractors


A summary of the National Academy of Engineering’s “grand challenges” summit held here on Sunday and Monday. If you are a scientist or a savvy businessperson interested in the future of technology, you should have been there.

SOURCE MATERIAL  
Engineering Summit to address challenges in aerospace, computing, biotech  |  April 15, 2010
   
  May 3, 2010   |  Puget Sound Business Journal: TechFlash blog
Facebook's hangover detection, and other revolutions in science


The Grand Challenges Summit in Seattle today featured some fascinating and meaningful discussions and debates about the future of medicine, technology and space exploration.

SOURCE MATERIAL  
Engineering Summit to address challenges in aerospace, computing, biotech  |  April 15, 2010
   
  May 3, 2010   |  The Seattle Times: Brier Dudley's blog
"Looming data tsunami" coming, UW prof warns
At the Grand Challenges Summit in Seattle today, UW computer scientist Ed Lazowska channeled Bill Gates. Lazowska resurrected Gates' "digital decade" line to describe the advances that computer science will bring to scientific research.

SOURCE MATERIAL  
Engineering Summit to address challenges in aerospace, computing, biotech  |  April 15, 2010
   
  May 3, 2010   |  The (UW) Daily
UW hosts engineering summit, continues today


Hosted by the UW’s College of Engineering, the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) Grand Challenges Summit came to campus yesterday, featuring two keynote speakers and a student competition inside of Meany Hall.

SOURCE MATERIAL  
Engineering Summit to address challenges in aerospace, computing, biotech  |  April 15, 2010
   
  May 19, 2010   |  Xconomy
MicroGreen Polymers raises $6.9M more to move fast into consumer products


Score one for materials science. Arlington, WA-based MicroGreen Polymers, a spin-out from UW engineer Vipin Kumar's lab, has raised $6.9 million in Series B funding.

   
  May 19, 2010   |  Puget Sound Business Journal: TechFlash blog
MicroGreen raises $7 million, develops next-generation coffee cup


While designing a lower-cost and higher-quality coffee cup is one of MicroGreen Polymers' higher profile projects, the University of Washington spin-out from mechanical engineer Vipin Kumar's lab is so much more than that.

   
  May 19, 2010   |  BusinessWeek (via Associated Press)
Waste Management invests in MicroGreen
Waste Management Inc. is teaming up with a group of investors to help finance MicroGreen Polymers Inc. Based in Seattle, MicroGreen uses its patented technology to reduce the amount plastic required for production of consumer products.

   
  May 14, 2010   |  The New York Times
Cars' computer systems called at risk to hackers
Automobiles, which will be increasingly connected to the Internet in the near future, could be vulnerable to hackers just as computers are now, computer scientist Yoshi Kohno and colleagues are warning in a paper to be presented next week.

RELATED MATERIAL  
Media alert: Presentation on the security of modern automobiles  |  May 18, 2010
   
  May 17, 2010   |  BBC
Hacks mounted on car control systems


The computer systems used to control modern cars are very vulnerable to attack, say UW computer scientists.

RELATED MATERIAL  
Media alert: Presentation on the security of modern automobiles  |  May 18, 2010
   
  May 17, 2010   |  Puget Sound Business Journal: TechFlash blog
Q&A: UW researchers study how hackers could compromise cars


Computer scientist Yoshi Kohno and PhD student Karl Koscher discuss the results of their recent story on car security. (They're mum, however, on whether Guns N' Roses played a role in the research.)

RELATED MATERIAL  
Media alert: Presentation on the security of modern automobiles  |  May 18, 2010
   
  May 7, 2010   |  Discovery News
Smart tech measures personal water consumption


UW engineers have developed a system that tracks individual water consumption and helps make us smarter about how we use our water. Electrical engineer and computer scientist Shwetak Patel and graduate student Jon Froelich demonstrate the technology.

RELATED MATERIAL  
UW energy- and water-sensing technology acquired by Belkin  |  April 22, 2010
   
  May 4, 2010   |  TechNewsWorld
Better software through pixel tinkering: Q&A with Prefab dev James Fogarty


If you want to make changes to the software you run, you might typically look to tinker with the source code. Not so easy with proprietary applications, but a new tool called "Prefab" takes a different route. "Everything ultimately puts pixels on the screen, and so because we only work from that, we have one common way of interacting with things that allows us to make these changes," said computer scientist James Fogarty.

SOURCE MATERIAL  
What if all software was open source? A code to unlock the desktop  |  March 30, 2010
   
  May 20, 2010   |  KPLU Radio
Creating life with synthetic biology


A biological breakthrough is sending ripples through the scientific world. Researchers have created the world's first organism whose genetic material was assembled in a laboratory. Electrical engineer Georg Seelig is quoted.

   
  May 17, 2010   |  New Scientist
Innovation: Teaching robots some manners


Computer science graduate student Peter Henry, adviser Dieter Fox and collaborators think they can help robots learn to move through a crowd as humans do. Rather than pre-programming fixed instructions, the team thinks it's simpler to drop a robot untrained into the real world but equip it with the smarts to study and mimic the behavior of those around them.

   
  May 21, 2010   |  NPR: Living On Earth
Eau d'fragrance fears


Smelling nice may have a hidden price. A new report from The Environmental Working Group suggests that a number of unlisted ingredients in scented products can trigger allergies and disrupt hormones. Civil and environmental engineer Anne Steinemann is quoted.

RELATED MATERIAL  
Toxic chemicals found in common scented laundry products, air fresheners  |  July 23, 2008
   
  May 13, 2010   |  Environment News Service
Lab tests find toxic chemicals in popular perfumes


Top-selling fragrance products used by both women and men contain at least a dozen "secret" chemicals not listed on labels, finds a new analysis by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition of health and environmental groups. Civil and environmental engineer Anne Steinemann is quoted.

RELATED MATERIAL  
Toxic chemicals found in common scented laundry products, air fresheners  |  July 23, 2008
   
  May 17, 2010   |  BusinessWeek
Mobile phones, cancer not firmly linked in study


An international study that is the largest yet to focus on mobile-phone use and certain types of brain cancer didn’t find a conclusive link. Bioengineer Henry Lai says: "it’s still too early to say if there is a higher risk because cancer, particularly brain cancer, can take years to develop,” often longer than the 10 years of phone use in some participants of the WHO study.

RELATED MATERIAL  
Exposure to low-level magnetic fields causes DNA damage in rat brain cells, researchers find  |  Feb. 18, 2004
   
  May 19, 2010   |  Puget Sound Business Journal: TechFlash blog
University of Washington names new entrepreneurs-in-residence


The University of Washington's Center for Commercialization today announced that five technology leaders have joined the university as entrepreneurs-in-residence. They include David Kaplan, who will focus on smart grid technologies; Terry Grant, who will look at bioproducts; Ken Myer, who will work with computer science; and Thomas Schulte and David Kroniser, who will focus on medical devices.

RELATED MATERIAL  
Industry veterans join Center for Commercialization's Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Program  |  May 20, 2010
   
  May 18, 2010   |  Puget Sound Business Journal: TechFlash blog
Video: Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn welcomes Facebook


Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, UW computer science professor Ed Lazowska and other political and technology leaders were on hand today to welcome Facebook to Seattle. UW computer science and engineering alum Greg Badros, Facebook's director of engineering, also spoke at the event.

   
  May 1, 2010   |  Chemistry World
Managing change: Returning to academia


Over the years, various programs have had little success encouraging women to apply for academic positions in science and engineering. That's why electrical engineer Eve Riskin, who directs the UW's ADVANCE program, created On-Ramps to help outstanding women researchers in industry become professors. She especially hopes to recruit women industrial chemists for the next On-Ramps workshop, in spring 2011.

RELATED MATERIAL  
Workshop seeks to lure women researchers from industry to academia  |  April 21, 2009
   
  May 23, 2010   |  The Seattle Times (via Everett Herald)
Too few engineers to meet Boeing's need
Adam Bruckner has noticed a disturbing trend during his 38 years as a UW professor of aeronautics engineering. His tests are less rigorous. His students, less prepared. Even the format of classes is changing, morphing into something that requires less manpower and smaller amounts of state money. Bruckner, the chair of the only aeronautical engineering program in the Pacific Northwest, comments on the situation in an article that appeared on many news sites.

   
  May 23, 2010   |  The Everett Herald
Brain drain among Boeing's biggest challenges


Jim Albaugh, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, considers the wave of retirements as “the intellectual disarmament” of this country. And the state’s budget crunch hasn't helped. Last year the UW turned away four out of every 10 qualified engineering students, at a time when a shortage of engineers is expected.

   
  May 3, 2010   |  The Seattle Times
UW: Hard course ahead for funding
Due to state budget cuts, the University of Washington's next president will lead an institution that is much more autonomous from the state — an institution that, in some ways, will more closely resemble a private university. Some advocate the controversial idea of "differential tuition." Proponents say more-expensive subjects — for instance, engineering and computer science — typically lead to higher-paying jobs.

   
  April 29, 2010   |  Puget Sound Business Journal: TechFlash blog
UW business plan competition showcases the best and brightest


The UW Foster School's annual Business Plan Competition offered a true smorgasbord of innovative startup ideas, with three dozen entrepreneurial teams vying for the attention -- not to mention the virtual dollars -- of more than 200 judges. Many UW engineering students participated. The winning team was EnVitrum, with mechanical engineering students Grant Marchelli and Renuka Prabhakar.

RELATED MATERIAL  
Student clean-tech innovations impress at UW Environmental Innovation Challenge  |  April 8, 2010
   

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.

   
 
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