of Washington College of Engineering
CoE NewsFlash  |  Vol. 3, No. 10  |  February 1, 2010  

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,

  Jan. 19, 2010   |  The (UK) Guardian: Environment blog
Greenroads lays foundation for more sustainable US road construction

Civil engineer Steve Muench and engineering firm CH2M Hill have launched the world's first rating system for sustainable road construction, along the lines of the LEED program for green buildings.

'Greenroads' rates sustainable road projects  |  Jan. 13, 2010
  Jan. 20, 2010   |  Engineering News Record
Researchers unveil green rating system for roads

An official road-building rating system similar to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for buildings may be coming soon. While the Federal Highway Administration prepares to select a team to create national guidelines, the University of Washington and engineering firm CH2M Hill have already compiled a comprehensive system called Greenroads.

'Greenroads' rates sustainable road projects  |  Jan. 13, 2010
  Jan. 15, 2010   |  KING 5 News
UW's green road warrior hopes to bring common sense to road building

Civil engineer Steve Muench admires the thickness and durability of the I-5 highway. But he cringes at the state of some of the country's newer roads. He says many were built in the right place, with the wrong materials and the wrong engineering.

'Greenroads' rates sustainable road projects  |  Jan. 13, 2010
  Jan. 23, 2010   |  The Associated Press
Water planners look ahead

As the climate gets warmer, the old rules for when to let water out of Columbia Basin dams and when to hold it back won’t work. So researchers from the UW’s Climate Impacts Group and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have developed computer models that simulate new operations schedules for flood control dams in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Canada based on a climate change scenario.

Managing Pacific Northwest dams for a changing climate  |  Jan. 21, 2010
  Jan. 22, 2010   |  The Oregonian
Global warming will require changes at Northwest dams

Northwest dam managers will need to start filling the region's reservoirs earlier in the spring to minimize the impact of climate change on power production and salmon, concludes a new study by UW civil engineers Se-Yeun Lee, Alan Hamlet and Steve Burges.

Managing Pacific Northwest dams for a changing climate  |  Jan. 21, 2010
  Jan. 25, 2010   |  United Press International
Columbia River climate change studied
U.S. engineers say they've taken a first look at how climate change might be managed at Columbia River Basin dams -- the nation's largest hydropower system.

Managing Pacific Northwest dams for a changing climate  |  Jan. 21, 2010
  Jan. 18, 2010   |
As climate warms, what will our rivers do?
Civil engineer Alan Hamlet and UW colleagues have studied the implications of different climate scenarios on about 300 Northwest river gauges. Computer models showed that looking at history is no longer the best way to predict what happens to local rivers. "It's sort of like driving down the highway and only looking in the rear view mirror," Hamlet said. "It only works if the road is straight."

  Jan. 15, 2010   |  Xconomy
Can molecular medicine survive Its teenage years, and reach its potential this decade?

As the 21st century approaches its teenage years, so too does molecular medicine. The biggest question for the next decade is whether molecular medicine can survive its teenage years, moving from first discoveries to mature approaches enabling inexpensive, practical, and reliable clinical tools.

UW breaks ground on nation's largest molecular engineering building  |  Oct. 9, 2009
  Jan. 12, 2010   |  BBC News
Solar cells made through oil-and-water 'self-assembly'

Researchers have demonstrated a simple, cheap way to create self-assembling electronic devices using a property crucial to salad dressings. Electrical engineer Babak Parviz is quoted.

  Feb. 1, 2010   |  GQ Magazine
Warning, your cell phone may be hazardous to your health

In the mid-1990s, UW bioengineer Henry Lai began to make profound discoveries about the effects of microwave frequencies not only on the blood-brain barrier but also on the actual structure of rat DNA.

Exposure to low-level magnetic fields causes DNA damage in rat brain cells, researchers find  |  Feb. 18, 2004
  Jan. 25, 2010   |  Motor Trend
Lamborghini to focus on less weight instead of more power

In the age of tighter emissions standards, Lamborghini has decided to shift its focus from building monster engines to building featherweight chassis and bodies. The company will receive some assistance in this research thanks to a new laboratory it opened in conjunction with the University of Washington.

UW's newly named 'Lamborghini Lab' brings composite parts to sports-car arena  |  Oct. 6, 2009
  Jan. 24, 2010   |  The Chronicle of Higher Education
Colleges seek new ways to help women in science

By finding on-campus resources, garnering support among top administrators, and scaling back in response to budget cuts, today colleges can point to new or revised policies, programs, and practices that continue to aid in recruitment and retention of female scientists and engineers. When they can't find the money, as happened with a University of Washington program to help scientists and engineers with major life transitions, the effort ends.

New grants designed to help women succeed in academe  |  Oct. 5, 2006
  Jan. 20, 2010   |  KING 5 News
Guiding lights: Yoky Matsuoka

This month, KING-TV is spotlighting some extraordinary Northwest mentors making a real difference in the community. Evening Magazine profiles UW computer scientist Yoky Matsuoka.

UW computer engineer wins MacArthur Foundation 'genius' award  |  Sept. 24, 2007
  Jan. 7, 2010   |  The (India) Nation
Code unknown: The fierce argument over ancient Indian symbols

In India – where 4,000-year-old stories still inspire death threats – historians, mathematicians and nationalists are going to battle over an ancient civilisation’s script.

Indus script encodes language, reveals new study of ancient symbols  |  April 23, 2009
  Jan. 1, 2010   |  Communications of the ACM
New search challenges and opportunities

Computer scientist Oren Etzioni's research is based on the idea that if search engines could extract more meaning from text and better understand what people are looking for, the Web's resources could be accessed more effectively.

  Jan. 19, 2010   |
Feds receive Puget Sound tidal power application
Local tidal power recently sent its first wave at the feds. In late December, the Snohomish County Public Utility District submitted its first license application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build one or two underwater turbines to create electricity from the Puget Sound's tides. Mechanical engineer Brian Polagye is quoted.

Underwater turbines could turn Puget Sound's tides into electricity  |  May 10, 2007
  Jan. 1, 2010   |  Seattle Magazine
Nerd report: 3-D printers

As if the existence of 3-D printing technology isn’t cool enough, last September the folks at Solheim Rapid Manufacturing Lab, in the UW's mechanical engineering department, devised a way to print in glass.

UW lab demonstrates 3-D printing in glass  |  Sept. 24, 2009
  Jan. 12, 2010   |  The (UW) Daily
I don't feel geeky

For senior Justine Sherry and other women majoring in computer science, the disconnect between stereotypes and reality are obvious. Rather than Star Trek posters and greasy-fingered gamers, UW students work to represent a new age of computer scientists. Computer scientist Ed Lazowska and junior Emma Lynch are also quoted.

Of girls and geeks: Environment may be why women don't like computer science  |  Dec. 14, 2009
  Jan. 7, 2010   |  NPR
Technology sector remains upbeat about job growth

Computer scientist Ed Lazowska is among those advocating policies that would create jobs in the technology sector.

  Jan. 23, 2010   |  Puget Sound Business Journal: TechFlash blog
UW hires two industry vets to help spin out technologies

Two local entrepreneurs have been named co-directors of the UW's newly named New Ventures Group. Rick LeFaivre is a venture capitalist, former computer science professor and a member of the UW College of Engineering's Visiting Committee. Tom Clement is a UW electrical engineering alumnus who has helped commercialize UW medical device research.

  Jan. 28, 2010   |  Xconomy
UW adds heavy hitters from high tech and biotech to turn more ideas into companies

Two big names from the Seattle high tech and biotech scene -- Rick LeFaivre of OVP Venture Partners and Pathway Medical's Tom Clement -- are taking new jobs at the University of Washington to help turn some of its most promising research ideas into new startup companies.

  Jan. 4, 2010   |  Xconomy
UW startup Nanocel seeks funding and partners, wants to make computers cooler

Last May, the Seattle startup Nanocel won the University of Washington’s yearly business plan competition. Now the company — founded by Dustin Miller, a UW PhD student in mechanical engineer Vipin Kumar's lab, and recent UW MBA grad Daniel Rossi — is gearing up for a big year in 2010.


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.

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