Tag Archives: engineers

Engineers Invent a Bubble-Pen to Write with Nanoparticles

AUSTIN, Texas — Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have solved a problem in micro- and nanofabrication — how to quickly, gently and precisely handle tiny particles — that will allow researchers to more easily build tiny machines, biomedical sensors, optical computers, solar panels and other devices. (more…)

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Engineers Build World’s Smallest, Fastest Nanomotor

AUSTIN, Texas — Researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have built the smallest, fastest and longest-running tiny synthetic motor to date. The team’s nanomotor is an important step toward developing miniature machines that could one day move through the body to administer insulin for diabetics when needed, or target and treat cancer cells without harming good cells. (more…)

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Origins and uses of wrinkles, creases, folds

New research into the origins of — and structural differences between — wrinkles, creases, and folds could have applications in many fields, from flexible electronic devices to dermatology to flexible sheets that become sticky when stretched. Findings from a Brown University research group appear in Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Engineers from Brown University have mapped out the amounts of compression required to cause wrinkles, creases, and folds to form in rubbery materials. The findings could help engineers control the formation of these structures, which can be useful in designing nanostructured materials for flexible electronic devices or surfaces that require variable adhesion. (more…)

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Pushing Boundaries

Engineers report research milestones in fuel cells, flexible composites

Faculty and students in the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering continue to blaze a trail of innovation, reporting recent research milestones in flexible composites and fuel cells.

Flexible composites

The Chou research group recently reported success in fabricating flexible composites based on carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers in the high impact factor journal, Advanced Functional Materials (AFM). A micrograph image illustrating the pattern of a buckled CNT fiber in the stretchable conductor was selected as the journal’s cover photo for the January 2013 issue. (more…)

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Rewriting the Rules of Teamwork

EAST LANSING, Mich. — As scientists from different disciplines and regions help design a world-class nuclear research facility at Michigan State University, a team of MSU researchers will conduct one of the first major studies of how teams work together.

Using surveys, interviews and high-tech devices that monitor interaction, the researchers will study teamwork among the many groups of physicists, engineers and other scientists involved in the creation of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB.

The three-year study is funded by a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. (more…)

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Novel Device Removes Heavy Metals From Water

*Engineers at Brown University have developed a system that cleanly and efficiently removes trace heavy metals from water. In experiments, the researchers showed the system reduced cadmium, copper, and nickel concentrations, returning contaminated water to near or below federally acceptable standards. The technique is scalable and has viable commercial applications, especially in the environmental remediation and metal recovery fields. Results appear in the Chemical Engineering Journal.*

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — An unfortunate consequence of many industrial and manufacturing practices, from textile factories to metalworking operations, is the release of heavy metals in waterways. Those metals can remain for decades, even centuries, in low but still dangerous concentrations.

Ridding water of trace metals “is really hard to do,” said Joseph Calo, professor emeritus of engineering who maintains an active laboratory at Brown. He noted the cost, inefficiency, and time needed for such efforts. “It’s like trying to put the genie back in the bottle.” (more…)

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Yale Engineers Making Solar Power More Efficient

Innovations by a team of Yale University researchers could lead to improvements in basic solar power technology that result in lower-cost, higher-efficiency photovoltaic systems.

Photovoltaics (PV) directly convert sunlight into electricity. PV systems can be arrayed on rooftops to generate electricity for entire buildings, among other uses. Less expensive, more efficient systems could encourage broader use of this clean energy technology. (more…)

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Voyager 2 Completes Switch to Backup Thruster Set

PASADENA, Calif. — NASA’s Voyager 2 has successfully switched to the backup set of thrusters that controls the roll of the spacecraft. Deep Space Network personnel sent commands to the spacecraft to make the change on Nov. 4 and received confirmation today that the switch has been made.

The change allows engineers to reduce the amount of power that the 34-year-old spacecraft needs to operate by turning off the heater that keeps the fuel to the primary thrusters warm. Although the rate of energy generated by Voyager 2’s nuclear power source continues to decline, by reducing its power requirements, engineers expect the spacecraft can continue to operate for another decade. (more…)

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