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, February 2012


Feb. 01, 2012 | GQ Magazine
Burning man

Sam Brown in uniform   First Lieutenant Sam Brown participated in experiments using virtual reality technology, developed by mechanical engineer Hunter Hoffman, to reduce pain. Amazingly, some of the biggest drops in study results published last year were for the most severe levels of pain, which went against every previous expectation.

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


Feb. 13, 2012 | National Public Radio
Virtual penguins a prescription for pain?

SnowWorld screenshot   For troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, the deepest physical pain often comes weeks or months after returning home. That was the case for burn victim Sam Brown. Mechanical engineer Hunter Hoffman and rehabilitation medicine's David Patterson used virtual reality to distract him from the pain.

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


Feb. 14, 2012 | New Scientist
Quantum dots control brain cells for the first time

Nerve cells like these could be controlled by quantum dots   In an unlikely marriage of quantum physics and neuroscience, tiny particles called quantum dots have been used to control brain cells for the first time. Electrical engineer Lih Lin Lin's has come up with a a way to use quantum dots tiny light-sensitive, semiconducting particles to stimulate brain cells.


Dec. 01, 2011 | IEEE Women in Engineering
On-Ramps into academia

Participants in 2011 On-Ramps workshop   A feature article in the December issue of IEEE Women in Engineering looks at the national On-Ramps into Academia program, an effort to recruit women engineers from industry led by associate dean Eve Riskin. On-Ramps validates the industry-to-academia path and shows women that such a career change is possible.

Encouraging women scientists in industry, government to enter academia | Jan. 20, 2011


Feb. 09, 2012 | The New York Times
In Energy Department competition, students wield textbooks and welding torches

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University EcoCAR2 team photo   Teams from 15 universities are challenged to reduce the fuel consumption and emissions of a car — this year, a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu — without compromising performance or safety standards. Trevor Fayer, a mechanical engineering graduate student and co-leader of the UW team, is quoted.


Feb. 13, 2012 | Tri-City Herald
Hanford High grad helping to design, build hybrid car for competition

The next generation of ecologically friendly cars could be designed by a 2006 Hanford High School graduate and his team members. Mechanical engineer Trevor Fayer, 24, is leading a UW multidisciplinary team's efforts to win the EcoCAR 2 Challenge by designing and building a hybrid car.


Feb. 06, 2012 | Discover Magazine
North America's 2080 water forecast

Climate models predict that seasonal variation will increase in the Pacific Northwest due to climate change, leading to wetter winters and drier summers that could disrupt local water supplies. “The Cascades could see a 50 percent loss of snowpack, which could translate into a large reduction in summer water,” says civil engineer Alan Hamlet.


Feb. 03, 2012 | KPLU
Why don't we bury our power lines in the Northwest?

Power lines   After January storms left nearly half a million Puget Sound Energy customers without power, a radio reporter wonders why we don't bury power lines, as is the case in some parts of Europe. Electrical engineer Daniel Kirschen comments on the idea of "undergrounding" Seattle's power lines.


Feb. 16, 2012 | KUOW Radio
How to solve traffic congestion?

KUOW's The Conversation hosts a discussion on how to solve traffic congestion in Seattle. Mark Hallenbeck, director of the Washington State Transportation Center, is a guest.


Feb. 13, 2012 | GeekWire
Tech Moves: UW's David Stahl elected to National Academy of Engineering

David Stahl   David Stahl, a University of Washington professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering along with UW affiliate computer science professor Henrique Malvar and UW chemical engineering alumnus Peter Farrell.

UW’s David Stahl elected to National Academy of Engineering | Feb. 09, 2012


Feb. 11, 2012 | Wall Street Journal
Following the crowd to citizen science

Graphic of people carrying pill   Crowd-sourced science is not a recent invention. What's new is having amateurs contribute in highly technical areas. Already Foldit players, who generally have no background in biochemistry, have designed proteins with a good fit to the antigens on the 1918 influenza virus and have helped to figure out the structure of a retroviral protein.

Paper uncovers power of Foldit gamers’ strategies | Nov. 07, 2011
Gaming for a cure: Computer gamers tackle protein folding | Aug. 4, 2010


Feb. 02, 2012 | MSNBC: Cosmic Log blog
Scientific visions that take the prize

Foldit screenshot   Click through prize-winning photos and illustrations from the 2011 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. The top prize in the Interactive Games category went to the protein-folding game Foldit.

Paper uncovers power of Foldit gamers’ strategies | Nov. 07, 2011
Gaming for a cure: Computer gamers tackle protein folding | Aug. 4, 2010


Feb. 06, 2012 | The New York Times
Wolfram, a search engine, finds answers within itself

The Wolfram Alpha search engine was launched amid skepticism in 2009. But the technology has come a long way, including delivering many answers for the newest iPhone. A pro version debuts this week. Computer scientist Oren Etzioni is quoted.


Feb. 10, 2012 | Puget Sound Business Journal: TechFlash blog
Hey recruiters: Here's an R&D lab run by, and for, students

A recent 'CodeDay' hackathon at StudentRND.   Edward Jiang, a junior in the UW’s computer science program, talks about StudentRND. Jiang is co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit that provides a hands-on R&D center, free for students of all ages.


Feb. 09, 2012 | Network World
Four crazy tech ideas from Google's Solve for X project

Network World gives a rundown on the five craziest, most far-out technology proposals outlined so far on Google's "Solve for X" website. Number one is electrical engineer Babak Parviz's computerized contact lenses. Number five is massive multiplayer online games that cure cancer, developed at the UW and described by UW computer science alum Adrien Treuille.

Big step forward for safety of bionic contact lenses | Nov. 22, 2011
Contact lenses with circuits, lights a possible platform for superhuman vision | Jan. 17, 2008


Feb. 14, 2012 | KOMO News
Robots, UW campus team up to grant boy's big wish

Alex visits the UW's BioRobotics Lab   The Make-A-Wish Foundation organized a robot-themed day for 11-year-old Alex. It included a visit to the UW's BioRobotics Lab, an introduction to the UW's PR2 robot, Hobbes, and, last but not least, a robot flash mob dance in Red Square.

Robot flash mob: Bots come out to dance, assist humanity on Red Square | Feb. 10, 2012


Feb. 08, 2012 | The Seattle Times
UW opening incubator facility for startups

The University of Washington is opening lab and office space for startup businesses, part of an effort to commercialize academic research and turn more inventions into products.

UW launches technology startup incubator, aims to double startups in three years | Feb. 08, 2012


Feb. 08, 2012 | GeekWire
UW president pledges to double startup production as new campus incubator hatches

Vikram Jandhyala at C4C event   President Michael Young today announced an ambitious plan to double the number of startups coming out of the state’s largest research institution. Electrical engineering chair Vikram Jandhyala, co-founder of VIxim, is quoted.

UW launches technology startup incubator, aims to double startups in three years | Feb. 08, 2012


Feb. 09, 2012 | GeekWire
This high-resolution imaging technology takes you inside the human body like never before

Richard Johnston demonstrating scope   Mechanical engineering research scientist Richard Johnston demonstrates the scanning fiber endoscope, that creates a detailed, color image of the esophagus or bile duct.

Digital imaging software creates a ‘Google Earth’ view of the bladder | May. 16, 2011


Feb. 09, 2012 | The Seattle Times: Brier Dudley's blog
WTIA award finalists revealed

Skytap logo   One of the nominees for "Commercial Product or Service of the Year" is Skytap, a spinout from computer scientists Hank Levy, David Richardson and Steve Gribble.


Feb. 17, 2012 | The Seattle Times
Facebook 'fellows' two UW students

Adrian Sampson   Today Facebook named a dozen computer science students who will be receiving fellowships this year, including UW computer science and engineering PhD student Adrian Sampson and UW Information School PhD student Jeff Huang.


Feb. 12, 2012 | The Seattle Times
From star on the court, to a master in science

Kate Starbird on the court   Former Seattle Storm superstar Kate Starbird is now pursuing her PhD in computer science at the University of Colorado. She credits UW computer scientist David Notkin with encouraging her to go into academia.


Feb. 06, 2012 | The (Everett) Herald
Huskies' hockey players pay a steep price

Tristan Wickliff on the ice   Although some college athletes live comfortably on full scholarships while dreaming of lucrative pro contracts down the road, Husky hockey players are foremost students, pursuing top-notch university educations. And along the way they win a bunch of hockey games. Team member Tristan Wickliff, a senior in electrical engineering, is quoted.


If you have a newsworthy result about one month from publication, presentation or demonstration, through the end of 2011 please contact Hannah Hickey. Notice of student and faculty awards and grants is also welcome.