News & Events

About NewsFlash

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 Jennifer Langston at or (206) 543-2580.

NewsFlash, April 2011


Apr. 12, 2011 | The Economist
A wireless heart

Dick Cheney   Dick Cheney has no heartbeat. He is among thousands of people who have a left ventricular assist device implanted in their hearts. Computer scientist and electrical engineer Josh Smith is working to deliver power to such devices without using batteries.


Apr. 15, 2011 | KCTS 9 Connects
Transition of power: Coal to natural gas

Mohamed El-Sharkawi   Washington state is at the forefront of clean energy efforts. Electrical engineer Mohamed El-Sharkawi talks about the potential for smart grids to reduce electricity demand (at 19:05).


Mar. 31, 2011 | Science News
Cell phones may affect brain metabolism

  Power-talkers with cell phones glued to their ears may be getting more than conversation, a new study suggests. Bioengineer Henry Lai is quoted.

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


Apr. 01, 2011 | KING 5 News
UW grad students assess Everett's sinking neighborhood

Unstable house   The owner of an Everett home currently sinking into a ravine is seeking advice from a class of UW civil and environmental engineering graduate students.


Apr. 17, 2011 | The Oregonian
Japan's 60-foot tsunami toppled four-story concrete building, shattering safety and engineering strategies

Building damaged by earthquake and tsunami   Civil engineer Steven Kramer traveled to Japan last week with colleague Harry Yeh from the University of Oregon. What they observed could upend the global science of tsunami preparation and evacuation.


Apr. 18, 2011 | The Oregonian
A strong aftershock and a moment of uncertainty

Japanese engineers blurred because of the shaking   Civil engineer Steve Kramer wasn’t sure what was happening Monday in Tokyo when an alarm interrupted a lengthy briefing by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers. But he managed to take a photo of the aftershock.


Mar. 30, 2011 | Technology Review
Can Google reinvent web video?

Computer chip graphic   An ambitious attempt by Google to shift the Web over to its new, royalty-free video format has taken significant strides. Electrical engineer Eve Riskin, who is developing video compression to allow sign language over cell phones, is quoted.

Deaf, hard-of-hearing students do first test of sign language by cell phone | Aug. 19, 2010


Apr. 06, 2011 |
Augmented reality a reality? UW working on computer-chip contact lenses

Fingers holding contact lens   Researchers at the University of Washington are working on contact lenses that are embedded with computer chips and graphical displays bringing true augmented reality a little closer to, er, reality.

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


Mar. 31, 2011 | Fox Business
Innovative therapy helps Sept. 11 victims with PTSD

Child wearing virtual reality mask   Virtual reality exposure therapy is helping disaster workers and civilians to combat post-traumatic stress disorder. Mechanical engineer Hunter Hoffmn is using virtual reality to manage pain.

Virtual reality significantly reduces pain-related brain activity | Jun. 21, 2004


Apr. 25, 2011 | GeekWire
Practical Nerd: A Norwescon vision of tomorrow’s tech

Tomorrow Project video still   Human centered design & engineering's Sarah Perez-Kriz used the regional science fiction and fantasy convention to launch "The Tomorrow Project." It will solicit short fiction, comics or screenplays based on research by UW and Intel engineers. Projects include research by electrical engineer Eric Klavins, computer scientist Yoshi Kohno and aeronautical engineer Kristi Morgansen.


Apr. 01, 2011 | The Seattle Times
Electric drive system propels UW team to No. 1

  Trevor Crain, a mechanical engineering senior, is president and founder of Voltaic Drive Systems, which makes an electric drive system that can replace gasoline engines and be scaled to fit all vehicles. The team won the top prize in this year's UW Environmental Innovation Challenge. Second place went to PotaVida, a team led by electrical engineering PhD student Charlie Matlack that has developed a reusable, solar-powered water indicator.


Apr. 01, 2011 |
Student teams compete in UW Environmental Innovation Challenge

Winning team of EIC.   Mechanical engineering student team Voltaic won the third annual UW Environmental Innovation Challenge, for devising a scalable electric vehicle drive train that allows companies to produce electric models of their current gasoline vehicles. The $5,000 second prize went to PotaVida, launched by students in electrical engineering, bioengineering and chemical engineering.


Apr. 12, 2011 | The Seattle Times
UW team wins cyber defense competition

UW CyberDefense team   After two years of not placing, the UW-CSE cyber-defense team took home the first-place trophy from this year's National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

Computer Science and Engineering students win National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition | Apr. 13, 2011


Apr. 20, 2011 | KIRO Radio
UW students top in cyber security

Fingers typing at laptop   All members of the UW's cyber defense team got at least three job offers within a week of winning a national cyber defense competition.

Computer Science and Engineering students win National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition | Apr. 13, 2011


Apr. 20, 2011 | Scientific American
Highway robbery: Car computer controls could be vulnerable to hackers

Car in parking lot   Researchers claim to wirelessly break into automobile networks to take control of brakes and steering as the automobile industry shores up defenses. Computer scientist Yoshi Kohno and UCSD colleague Stefan Savage inserted malicious software onto a car's computer system using its Bluetooth and cell phone connections.

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


Apr. 25, 2011 | Wired: Autopia blog
The growing role of software in our cars

Person at computer   The Chevrolet Volt is an excellent example of how the auto industry is growing increasingly reliant upon software to manage everything from advanced drivetrains to elaborate infotainment systems. Security research by computer scientist Yoshi Kohno is mentioned.

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


Apr. 21, 2011 | GeekWire
Rewind: UW’s Ed Lazowska on the engineering talent crunch

Ed Lazowska at microphone   GeekWire provides a recap of this week's podcast with computer scientist Ed Lazowska. He discussed the demand for top engineers, and what it’s going to take for the supply to catch up in the form of increased capacity for computer science education in the state.


Apr. 19, 2011 | The Seattle Times
A talk with Paul Allen: Drama at Microsoft, adventures in his second act

Cover of "Idea Man"   Computer science and engineering doctoral student Mark Zbikowki comments on his 25-year career at Microsoft, where he was working during the company's early days.


Mar. 30, 2011 | KING 5 News
Paul Allen in memoirs: Gates wanted to 'rip me off'

Paul Allen   KING 5 News visits the UW's Allen Center to ask people's thoughts on the soon-to-be-published memoir by the building's namesake. Staff member John Petersen and computer science undergraduate Josiah Adams are quoted.


Mar. 31, 2011 | Crosscut
Tidal power: another blessing from Puget Sound?

UW researchers deploying instruments in Puget Sound   Snohomish County Public Utility District seeks federal permission to install tidal power turbines in Admiralty Inlet. Not everyone is sure tidal power would work out well. Mechanical engineer Brian Polagye describes tidal energy as “a blank canvas.”

Assessing the environmental effects of tidal turbines | Dec. 13, 2010


Apr. 20, 2011 | The Oregonian
The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center will test wave energy buoys near Newport

Ocean Power Technologies PowerBuoy device   Academics studying wave energy have chosen an offshore site near Newport as a test bed that commercial developers can use to deploy their power buoys without a protracted siting process. The site will be overseen in part by the UW.

Assessing the environmental effects of tidal turbines | Dec. 13, 2010


Apr. 01, 2011 | GeekWire
University of Washington unveils new entrepreneurial fellows program

  The UW's Center for Commercialization today announced an Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows program, revealing eight inspirational leaders who have played a key role in starting new companies or creating new technological breakthroughs. Four are UW engineering faculty.

Eight UW professors named ‘Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows’ in new program | Mar. 30, 2011


Apr. 22, 2011 | The Seattle Times
Impinj aim: raise $100M in IPO

Impinj logo   Seattle-based Impinj, a technology company that designs and sells RFID chips used for tracking everything from pants to prescription drugs, filed papers Thursday to raise up to $100 million through an initial public offering of stock.


Apr. 22, 2011 | RFID Journal
Impinj files for initial public offering

Chris Diorio   Impinj, a Seattle-based manufacturer of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID chips, has registered for an initial public offering of its common stock on the exchange. Impinj was founded by computer scientist Chris Diorio, the firm's chairman and CTO, who won the 2011 RFID Journal Award for Special Achievement for his work in the development of the UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID standard.


Apr. 18, 2011 | Xconomy
Asemblon, forging ahead with hydrogen fuel dream, leans on partners to make it happen

Assemblon logo   Buddy Ratner is a scientific adviser to Assemblon, a startup company that uses organic carrier molecules to make hydrogen fuel easier to transport and store.


Apr. 27, 2011 | The Seattle Times
New UW president: I'd take less pay than Emmert

Michael K. Young   Michael Young, the president-designate of the UW, appeared in his first press conference. Among the UW mementos he was given was a light-up yo-yo from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, where the news conference was held.

Regents offer UW presidency to University of Utah’s Michael K. Young | Apr. 25, 2011


Apr. 03, 2011 | The Seattle Times
Why straight-A's may not get you into UW this year

UW student with purple umbrella   In the face of continuing state budget cuts, UW leaders have cut the number of Washington students the school will admit this fall and increase the number of out-of-state and international students, who pay nearly three times as much in tuition and fees. A proposal to allow the UW to set its own fees, with higher rates in engineering and other majors, is mentioned.


Apr. 19, 2011 | The (UW) Daily
UW discusses differential tuition to accommodate budget cuts

Students could see different tuition levels depending on their major if the UW chooses to follow a trend appearing in public research universities in the United States. Increased tuition for engineering majors is discussed.


Apr. 28, 2011 | Puget Sound Business Journal
Gates Foundation awards 88 projects $100K each

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded 88 proposals from around the world $100,000 each to further research into health and development issues. Seattle nonprofit Village Reach and UW computer scientist Gaetano Borriello won a first-round grant to for their proposal, “Digitizing Paper-Based Data Via Mobile Image Technologies.”

Cell phones become handheld tools for global development | Oct. 29, 2009


Apr. 20, 2011 | GeekWire
Geek of the Week: Yaw Anokwa - UW Ph.D. student - Open Data Kit and Change

Yaw Anokwa   One of the goals of GeekWire’s “Geek of the Week” feature is to shine a light on extraordinary people in the Pacific Northwest technology community. Yaw Anokwa, a UW doctoral student in computer science working with Gaetano Borriello, certainly fits that profile.

Cell phones become handheld tools for global development | Oct. 29, 2009

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