2012 News Archive
December 18, 2012 | UW Engineering
Luce Foundation awards $495,000 grant to support two professorships for women in engineering
Gender equity at UW Engineering takes another step forward with a $495,521 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation's Clare Boothe Luce Program. The funds will support two professorships for women, one with the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute (MolES) and the other with the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE).
December 17, 2012 | UC Berkeley News Center
$3.5 million in new funding from the National Science Foundation is supporting development of human/robot collaborative (HRC) systems in which the robot functions semi-autonomously as a trained set of extra hands. The common platform is Raven II, a second-generation surgical robot whose electronics and software were built at UW. Institutions collaborating on the new research include are Stanford, Johns Hopkins, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and UW.
See also: The Dish (Stanford) | UW Today (1/12/12)
December 13, 2012 | UW Center for Commercialization
C4C announces fall 2012 Commercialization Gap Fund awards
The UW Center for Commercialization (C4C) has announced the award of $420,000 in Commercialization Gap Funds (CGF) to nine UW research teams developing fledgling technologies. Team leaders from the College of Engineering include Daniel Ratner and Deok-Ho Kim (BioE), Sumit Roy (EE), Nathan Sniadecki (ME), and Kannan Krishnan, Qifeng Zhang, and Xiaoyan Liu (MSE).
December 13, 2012 | UW Today
The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded a group led by the University of Washington $4 million to develop bacteria that can turn the methane in natural gas into diesel fuel for transportation. Mary Lidstrom, a UW professor of chemical engineering and microbiology, is leading the effort. Partners at other institutions will work on scaling up bacteria production, extracting energy-rich molecules, and converting the molecules to diesel.
December 7, 2012 | UW Today
Efforts in the U.S. and Europe are developing sign language versions of specialized terms used in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)—terms like “light-year” and “photosynthesis.” Recent coverage in the New York Times describes a successful crowdsourcing effort started at UW called the ASL-STEM Forum.
December 2, 2012 | The Seattle Times
Several dozen UW engineering students will have helped transform a Chevy Malibu into an electric-biodiesel hybrid that will run on two motors — one for the front wheels, one for the back. The car will use battery power for the first 45 miles, then switch to a biodiesel engine. ME student Brendan Boyer says the real-world aspect of the project is especially interesting: "I'm actually modeling a real part that has to survive a crash, that has to meet federal safety standards," he said.
November 30, 2012 | UW Today
A UW team has developed a versatile platform to simultaneously offer contraception and prevent HIV: electrically spun cloth with nanometer-sized fibers can dissolve to release drugs. Kim Woodrow, a UW assistant professor of bioengineering, is corresponding author of a study published this week in the Public Library of Science’s open-access journal PLoS One. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded funds to pursue the technology.
November 28, 2012 | Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity
Fourth-year Bioengineering PhD student Nuvala Fomban's research looks at how nanotechnology and the molecules he has developed can improve the way infectious diseases and cancer are diagnosed and monitored. For his efforts, he has received a pre-doctoral fellowship to train with the Nanotechnology and Physical Sciences Training Program in Cancer Research. Fomban is also a UW LSAMP graduate mentor and UW PEERs leader.
November 9, 2012 | UW Today
The UW Board of Regents yesterday approved a name change of the UW’s aeronautics and astronautics department to become the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics, recognizing the shared history of the UW department and The Boeing Company and honoring the man who launched them both.
October 30, 2012 | UW Today
Gov. Chris Gregoire last week appointed Matthew O’Donnell, dean of the UW’s College of Engineering, as one of nine inaugural board members of the Joint Center for Aerospace Innovation Technology.
See also: Joint Center for Aerospace Innovation Technology press release
October 25, 2012 | UW Today
A UW team this week claimed top prize in the first 3D4D Challenge, an international contest to use 3-D printing for social benefit in the developing world. The three undergraduates won $100,000 to form a company that will work with partners in Oaxaca, Mexico, to build machines that can transform waste plastic into composting toilets and pieces for rainwater harvesting systems.
October 28, 2012 | UW Chemical Engineering
The undergraduate ChemE Car team won two awards at the AIChE ChemE Car Global Finals in Pittsburgh. The team took home the "Most Creative Drive System Award," and "Golden Tire Award," both awards in the quality and creativity in the technical work category. See also: About the car and team
October 17, 2012 | UW Today
The Living Voters Guide allows voters to work together online to draft brief arguments for or against ballot measures and refine their positions. Developed by UW researchers in computer science and communications, the guide is now in its third year. A startup is in the works to turn the guide into a product promoting civil online debate.
October 11, 2012 | UW Today
Over the next few weeks, the College of Engineering's popular fall lecture series will feature UW faculty who do research in molecular engineering. The series kicks off next Tuesday (Oct. 16) in 120 Kane Hall with Launching the Molecular Engineering Revolution. The lectures are free but advance registration is required.
October 11, 2012 | UW Today
Smashing atoms together for fusion takes a lot of energy, and scientists are still working on a way to do it so you get out more energy than you put in. A new finding from UW could help contain and stabilize the plasma used in fusion reactors using as little as 1 percent of the energy required by current methods. Lead author is Thomas Jarboe, a UW professor of aeronautics and astronautics.
October 3, 2012 | UW Computer Science & Engineering
A UW CSE project led by Magda Balazinska, Bill Howe, and Dan Suciu is among the eight Big Data fundamental research projects newly funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The funding awards aim to develop new tools and methods to extract and use knowledge from collections of large data sets.
October 2, 2012 | UW Today
UW bioengineer Daniel Ratner has come up with a way to make paper-based diagnostics using plain paper, the kind found at office supply stores around the world. The goal is a cheap and simple test that may work for malaria, diabetes or other diseases.
September 27, 2012 | UW Today
Want some insights into your online political reading? Balancer, a free plug-in for Google's Chrome browser, may be what you need. The tool was developed this summer by Sean Munson, a new UW assistant professor of Human Centered Design and Engineering.
September 20, 2012 | UW Today
An electronic tag designed at the University of Washington can for the first time see when birds meet in the wild. A study led by Scotland’s University of St. Andrews uses the tags to track crows and has produced surprising results. Co-author is Brian Otis, a UW associate professor of electrical engineering whose lab developed the tags.
September 18, 2012 | UW Today
The High Risk High Rewards program supported by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund has announced New Innovator Awards for three local researchers. Among them is Kim Woodrow, a UW assistant professor of bioengineering, whose work includes engineering materials to prevent infection by HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
September 18, 2012 | UW Today
A new tool from engineering researchers at the University of Washington, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s hospital lets people monitor their lung function at home or on the go simply by blowing into their smartphones. A paper presented this month at the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing showed results that came within 5 percent of commercial devices, meaning it already meets the medical community’s standards for accuracy.
September 12, 2012 | UW Today
After five years in the planning and construction, the University of Washington this fall opens its new Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building, one of the first facilities in the country dedicated to an emerging area of research. A symposium, lecture series, and UWTV program will help introduce the building and the cutting-edge research within.
August 30, 2012 | UW Today
UW and Chinese students came together at UW this summer for the first World Lab Summer Institute. Together they spent seven weeks developing ways that technology could be used to address global issues in health, environment and education. The World Lab was founded by James Landay, a UW professor of computer science, and colleagues at Tsinghua, one of the top universities in mainland China.
August 22, 2012 | Seattle PI
The Germans might be renowned for their high-performance sports cars. But don't count out these mechanical engineering students from the University of Washington. The UW Formula Motorsports Team had two strong finishes this summer, including first place for best-designed car in a national competition of 80 teams, and 14th overall in an international competition of 77 teams in Hockenheim, Germany.
See also: Team website
August 10, 2012 | UW Today
A UW student team competing in the 7th Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition in Utah this summer won first place in the Advanced Category and the coveted Furfaro Award for Technical Excellence. The students launched a custom-built, N20-paraffin hybrid rocket to an altitude of approximately 5 miles. See also: YouTube video | photo gallery | A&A site
August 6, 2012 | MyNorthwest.com
Bobak Ferdowsi, a NASA flight director, helped guide the rover Curiosity to a hugely successful landing on Mars. Thanks in part to a unique hair style worn specifically for the mission, this UW Aeronautics & Astronautics alumnus finds he has become an internet sensation. See also: YouTube video
August 3, 2012 | UW Today
The Early Engineering Institute brought twenty-seven students to live on campus for two nights and three days. Students visited research labs and took math workshops to prepare them for a national curriculum in the fall. The institute is profiled in a round-up of summer programs that help inspire high school students to pursue higher education and prepare them for college life.
August 1, 2012 | WSAS
Four UW Engineering Faculty Elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences
Among 36 new members of the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS) are four faculty members from the University of Washington College of Engineering: Dennis Lettenmaier (CEE), David Stahl (CEE), James Riley (ME), and Leung Tsang (EE).
July 24, 2012 | UW Today
A new card game developed by CSE assistant professor Yoshi Kohno and PhD student Tamara Denning gives young players a taste of what it means to be a computer-security professional defending against an ever-expanding range of digital threats.
See also: Wall Street Journal | CNET
July 20, 2012 | UW Today
University of Washington mechanical engineering students braved uncharted waters as they paddled to the finish line at the annual Milk Carton Derby at Green Lake in Seattle in what they believe is the world's first boat made using a 3-D printer and discarded plastic milk bottles.
July 4, 2012 | Queensland University of Technology
Fifteen UW students are undertaking a summer quarter in robotics, including marine robotics, in a program created and sponsored by the College of Engineering, OMA&D, and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and their home university.
July 17, 2012 | UW Today
The UW is now developing classes using an open online course platform, to be offered in the 2012-13 academic year. The courses will include an applied mathematics program in scientific computing, computer science courses, computational finance, and a certificate in information security. See also: Seattle Times
July 17, 2012 | UW Today
The DO-IT Scholars program prepares high school students with disabilities for college, careers, independent living, and leadership roles in society. First-year participants live in dorms, experience campus life, and participate in an academic program. Returning second-years mentor new scholars while pursuing their own program. See also: DO-IT scholars video
July 9, 2012 | UW Today
A senior class in Aeronautics & Astronautics won a national competition with the students' detailed plan to travel to the moon, establish a mining outpost and jettison the product back to Earth.
July 7, 2012 | The New York Times
The New York Times describes UW's Department of Computer Science & Engineering as a second "West Coast nexus of the information economy." The in-depth article covers recruiting by top technology companies, connections between the department's professors and the tech industry, and the challenge of meeting demand from both students and employers.
July 6, 2012 | Mechanical Engineering
ME and the Discovery of the Higgs Boson to Explain Mass
UW Today profiled how UW physicists played significant role in the discovery of the Higgs boson. As scientists celebrate the detection of the elusive subatomic particle whose existence is a major step in understanding the origins of the universe, ME Professor Emeritus Colin Daly noted that ME faculty, staff, and students played important roles in the discovery as well.
Read more: UW Today | CERN
July 4, 2012 | IMERC & NNMREC press release
New Ireland U.S. Research Agreement on Marine Renewable Energy
A new memorandum of understanding is now in place between the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Centre (IMERC) and the U.S. Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Research Center (NNMREC). Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire co-signed the MOU on behalf of NNMREC while leading a trade delegation to Ireland and the U.K. with marine renewables as a key theme. The international collaboration is intended to accelerate marine renewable energy along the development pathway.
July 2, 2012 | UW Center for Commercialization
11 University of Washington professors recognized for successful commercialization
University of Washington President Michael Young has announced the appointment of 11 new members to the university’s prestigious Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows (EFFs) program. Among the new fellows are College of Engineering professors and adjunct professors David Baker, Guozhong Cao, Shaoyi Jiang, Vipin Kumar, David T. Linker, Patrick Stayton, and Dan Weld.
June 28, 2012 | UW Today
Four incoming faculty members promise to make the University of Washington a leading institution in machine learning and "big data." This emerging science uses computers to automatically analyze exponentially increasing quantities of data, identify complex trends, and then apply them to completely new situations.
June 27, 2012 | UW Today
To etch ever more transistors onto microchips—and keep pace with Moore's Law—manufacturers need to switch to a shorter wavelength light. Producing extreme ultraviolet light with enough power and control has been a barrier. UW scientists are using a lower-cost version of a fusion reactor to generate the light needed for next-generation chips. They are bringing the technology to market through the startup Zplasma.
See also: Xconomy
June 26, 2012 | Mechanical Engineering
Formula SAE design champs
The Formula SAE team designed a beautiful car this year, taking 1st place in design, 4th overall at the regional competition in Lincoln Nebraska. The team had some very competitive drive times, but an unexplained stall cost the team in the overall category. Next month they travel to Germany for the international design competition.
June 20, 2012 | The W Fund
The W Fund will help the most promising research and student-generated start-ups clear the funding hurdle, gain traction more quickly, and reach venture-fundable milestones. The spinout of many more companies from these institutions will provide prospects for investors, grow the Washington State economy, create good jobs, increase the tax base, and attract new investment capital into the state. An additional $5 million from the state has deepened the W Fund's pockets from its original $20 million.
See also: Xconomy | Geekwire
June 12, 2012 | UW Today
An interdisciplinary team of engineers at the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) will design and build the first U.S. regional cabled ocean observatory, which will be located off the coast of Oregon. The instruments on the shallow profiler will measure data such as temperature, salinity, currents, oxygen, carbon dioxide and pH (ocean acidity) to provide a clear image of how the ocean is changing.
June 4, 2012 | UW Today
Cooling nuclear and coal-fired power plants requires a steady supply of cool water. In a changing climate, lower river flows and warmer water will result in reductions in power-generating capacity. A new study by European and University of Washington scientists published in Nature Climate Change quantifies the projected impacts.
May 28, 2012 | UW Today
University of Washington bioengineers have developed the first structure to grow small human blood vessels, creating a 3-D test bed that offers a better way to study disease, test drugs and perhaps someday grow human tissues for transplant. Ying Zheng, a UW research assistant professor of bioengineering, is first author of findings published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
May 17, 2012 | UW Today
Beth Kolko, a UW professor of Human Centered Design and Engineering, is bringing the hacker spirit to campus with her experimental research course, Hackademia. Its mission: "Building functional engineers, one blinky LED at a time." The course is attracting grants and international interest.
May 10, 2012 | US Department of Energy
The US Department of Energy and the Hydro Research Foundation have announced 10 new participants in the Hydro Fellowship Program. Fellows include Karen Studarus and Adam Greenhall, graduate students in Electrical Engineering, and Mark Raleigh, a PhD student in Civil & Environmental Engineering. Fellows work to advance hydropower technology development and deployment in the United States.
May 9, 2012 | UW Today
UW electrical engineering researchers have built and patented a surface that, when shaken, moves drops along certain paths to conduct medical or environmental tests. The low-cost system, published in a recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials, would require very little energy and avoids possible contamination by diluting or electrifying the samples in order to move them.
May 2, 2012 | CSE
Seth Cooper, who received a PhD in Computer Science & Engineering from UW in 2011, has been named the winner of the 2011 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award. Cooper's dissertation explores how the video game environment can be used for solving difficult scientific problems. Cooper is the Creative Director of UW CSE’s Center for Game Science and the lead designer and developer of Foldit.
See also: UW Today
April 27, 2012 | UW Today
A dynasty in the making? A team of eight students from the Department of Computer Science & Engineering reclaimed the top spot at last weekend's National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in San Antonio, Texas. See also: Seattle Times
April 26, 2012 | UW Today
Researchers in a lab led by Nathan Sniadecki, a UW assistant professor of mechanical engineering, have found that cells lining blood vessels pull more tightly together in areas of fast-flowing blood. The finding could influence how doctors design drugs to treat high cholesterol, or how cardiac surgeons plan their procedures.
April 11, 2012 | UW Today
A recent surge in solar flares has extended the northern lights southward and is piquing interest among the media and the general public. UW Today gets the inside story from John Sahr, a UW professor of electrical engineering who studies the upper atmosphere—in part by eavesdropping on rock 'n' roll.
April 4, 2012 | UW Today
This year's annual UW Awards of Excellence program will honor three of UW Engineering's own among the 26 individuals recognized for outstanding performance. We congratulate Jeff Berman of CEE (Teaching), Ramulu Mamidala of ME (Contributions to Lifelong Learning), and Joyce Yen of ADVANCE and BRAINS (Staff Leadership). The awards event is Thursday, June 7, 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Meany Hall.
March 30, 2012 | UW Today
Clean-tech teams made up of UW engineering and business students won honors and cash awards Thursday at the 2012 UW Environmental Innovation Challenge. The grand prize went to Green Innovative Safety Technologies (GIST) for highway lane dividers made of recycled rubber tires. Second prize went to Barrels of Hope -- sustainable, emergency housing kits that fit inside a rain barrel.
See also: GIST's pitch on video
See also: Urban Harvest's pitch to grow vegetables on commercial buildings
March 12, 2012 | UW Today
Greenroads, a rating system developed at the University of Washington to promote sustainable roadway construction, awarded its first official certification to a Bellingham project that incorporates porcelain from recycled toilets.
See also: YouTube video
March 1, 2012 | UW Today
The UW campus is seeing more alternative fuel vehicles like the Toyota Prius, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. In the lower level of the mechanical engineering building annex, UW students are working on a car that aims to leave them in the dust, from an environmental standpoint.
February 21, 2012 | UW Today
A group of University of Washington researchers has launched a unique experiment matching science students with those in design. The new Design Help Desk, similar to a writing help desk, offers scientists a chance to meet with someone who can help them create more effective figures, tables and graphs.
February 15, 2012 | UW Today
Shwetak Patel, assistant professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering can now add a Sloan Research Fellowship to his MacArthur Foundation and Microsoft Research fellowships. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awards $50K in research funding to "early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders." Patel's research focuses on sensors, user interface and human-computer interaction. Recent projects include monitoring home energy and water use, and using a home's utility infrastructure to enable whole-house sensing.
February 14, 2012 | Oregon State University
Researchers at Oregon State University and the University of Washington are developing a multi-sensor array to record the interactions—including impacts—of birds and bats on the blades, platforms, and towers of wind turbines. Brian Polagye, a UW research assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is co-principal investigator on the project.
February 09, 2012 | UW Today
David Stahl, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Also elected are UW affiliate professor Henrique Malvar and UW alumnus Peter Farrell. Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.
February 08, 2012 | UW Today
A business incubator unveiled today is one element in a larger commercialization initiative announced by UW President Michael Young that will double the number of startups produced by the university—from an average of 10 a year to 20—during the next three years.
January 30, 2012 | UW Today
UW Engineers have found that the wall of the aorta exhibits ferroelectricity, a response to an electric field known to exist in inorganic and synthetic materials. The findings are being published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters. Jiangyu Li, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is the lead author.
January 25, 2012 | UW Today
Yinhai Wang, UW professor of civil and environmental engineering, directs the new PacTrans center. The center will focus on safe and sustainable transportation in environments ranging from busy urban centers to remote mountainous terrain, including road-sharing by bicyclists, pedestrians, transit and cars and issues around texting and driving.
January 12, 2012 | UW Today
Seven identical, surgical robots named Raven will soon be be on their way from UW to collaborating labs across the country. “With everyone working on the same, open-source platform we can more easily share new developments and innovations,” said UW electrical engineering professor Blake Hannaford.
See also: UW News video