Discussing the importance of cyber security

Cyber Security via IStockWhile cyberwar may sound like the plot of the latest sci-fi blockbuster, the realities of the phenomena are much more palpable. Few understand that better than Yaw Obeng, ECS member and senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.

In light of the 2014 hack on Sony Pictures, the suspected Russian hacking of U.S. Democratic National Committee emails, and the data breach of the U.S. government, in which the personal information of 21.5 million government employees was leaked, the scientists at NIST – specifically researchers like Obeng – have been shifting their attention to cyber security.

“Right now, everything that can be attached to the internet has been attached to the internet – right down to toothbrushes,” says Obeng, ECS Dielectric Science and Technology Division chair. “The question then becomes: How do we make sure that these devices are secure so they cannot be hijacked or compromised?”

(MORE: Read Obeng’s paper on this topic published in ECS Transactions.)

The answer to that question, however, may not be as simple as some would hope.

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Open AccessNASA recently announced that all research funded by the space agency will be accessible to anyone looking to access the data at absolutely no cost.

The new public web portal, called PubSpace, was established in response to NASA’s new policy, which requires that all research funded by NASA and published in peer-reviewed journals must be open to the public within one year of its initial publication.

“At NASA, we are celebrating this opportunity to extend access to our extensive portfolio and scientific and technical publications,” NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman said in a press release. “Through open access and innovation we invite the global community to join us in exploring Earth, air, and space.”

However, the entire body of NASA-funded research will not be accessible in PubSpace. Materials and patents governed by personal privacy, proprietary, or security laws will not be housed in the new database.

NASA’s new policy and PubSpace is a direct response to a request from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for federal funding agencies to make papers and data more easily accessible to other researchers and the public.

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Meet the E2S Keynote Speakers

e2slogoThe upcoming PRiME 2016 meeting will feature the 6th International ECS Electrochemical Energy Summit (E2S), focused on Recent Progress in Renewable Energy Generation, Distribution and Storage. The summit, taking place on Oct. 2, 2016 at the Hawaii Convention Center, will highlight speakers from around the world to discuss advancements happening in these critical fields.

This year’s keynote speakers include Robert K. Dixon, U.S. Department of Energy; Eiji Ohira, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO); and Won-Young Lee, Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER).

Robert K. Dixon’s career has revealed around advancing efforts to mitigate climate change and other global environmental protection. His work as the Director of the Office of Strategic Programs at the U.S. DOE has allowed Dixon to oversee energy policy and analysis, international outreach and communications, and moving new technologies to the marketplace.

Eiji Ohira joined NEDO in 1992, where he has been the acting project manager for the organization’s hydrogen and fuel cell technology R&D program since April 2013. Additionally, Ohira is NEDO’s project manager for its energy storage technology R&D program.

Won-Young Lee became KIER’s Director of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Division in 2008. Since that appointment, Lee has focused on the development and commercialization of fuel cell systems and established the fuel cell test and evaluation center. Additionally, Lee has served as an advisory member on new and renewable energy technologies for the Korean government.

Learn more about these keynote speakers and register for PRiME 2016 today!

Start a Student Chapter!

Thinking about starting a student chapter? There’s no better time to apply than now! Send us your completed application before September 15, 2016 and get your student chapter approved this October at PRiME 2016!

What are student chapters?

ECS student chapters are student-led groups which provide student members vital opportunities to enhance their professional development and academic experience through promoting electrochemical and solid-state science and technology. Every student chapter is a collaborative community which rewards its members with serviceable benefits.

Munich

ECS Munich Student Chapter

Benefits of a student chapter

Student chapters offer a great deal to their student members in the form of academic, professional development, and networking opportunities.

• Engage with fellow students and peers
• Opportunities to organize technical meeting programs and scholarly activities
• Collaborate with members to present posters at ECS bi-annual meetings
• A network of 8000 international ECS members
• Access to career resources
• Impressive extracurricular activity for resume
• Funding to support chapter activities
• Partnership opportunities with local ECS Section on activities and technical programs
• Recognition on the ECS website and in quarterly publication, Interface

Qualifications to establish a student chapter

Are you qualified to found an ECS student chapter? Check out the requirements below!

• Chapter members must have active ECS membership status
• Students must be affiliated with an educational institution
• Secure endorsement of a faculty advisor who is an active member of ECS
• A minimum of six (6) students required to form a chapter at an academic institution or as a regional chapter that includes several neighboring academic institutions
• The Chapter shall coordinate a minimum of two activities annually that promote electrochemical and solid-state science and technology

Not an ECS member? Apply now!

Get started today!

Forming an ECS student chapter isn’t rocket science. Begin by following these simple steps:

• Establish a leadership structure that includes a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer
• Collaborate with Faculty Advisor to develop a proposed meeting schedule and activities
• Designate a proposed student chapter name
• Complete the New Student Chapter Application and submit it to ECS

Want to learn more? Review these additional Guidelines for ECS Student Chapters.

Please send all completed applications to beth.fisher@electrochem.org.

Important dates

The timeline for new student chapter approval at PRiME 2016 is listed below. Mark your calendars!

• Applications due to ECS Headquarters: No later than Thursday, September 15, 2016
• Presentation of Prospective Chapters to the ECS Individual Membership Committee: Monday, October 3, 2016
• Presentation of Prospective Chapters to the ECS Board of Directors for Approval: Thursday, October 6, 2016
• Notification of Status: No later than Friday, October 28, 2016

We look forward to welcoming your student chapter into the ECS community!

Krishnan Rajeshwar is a professor at the University of Texas, Arlington. Raj, as he is known, is also the current ECS President. His research over the years has touched on semiconductors, photoelectrochemical conversion, toxic waste, solar hydrogen production, and renewable energy just to name a few.

Rajeshwar was the editor of Interface, ECS’s membership magazine, for 14 years starting in 1999.

Listen to the podcast and download this episode and others for free through the iTunes Store, SoundCloud, or our RSS Feed. You can also find us on Stitcher.

Open AccessA large-scale study on the impact of open access has recently been released, finding that OA papers have a 50 percent greater citation advantage than papers published in subscription-based journals.

The analysis of more than three million papers determined that a journal’s move toward open access publishing is necessary to retain relevance in the field. Additionally, further results point to the face that traditional subscription-based journals will lose their relevance for researchers and governments if they continue to block access to research via paywalls.

(READ: “For-science of For-profit?“)

This from Digital Journal:

The new research also shows that the widely held belief that open access papers have a greater impact due to them being available earlier than their commercially published versions is not consistent with the large-scale data collected by 1science. In fact, based on a tie series comprising more than 17.4 million papers published between 2000 and 2015, it is clear that open access still suffers from the effect of embargoes enforced by traditional publishers who maintain that they require that delay to keep the subscription model alive.

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Get Outside in Hawaii

PRiMEDon’t let the only thing you see while attending PRiME 2016 be the inside of the convention center. We’ve got some great opportunities for you to do some quintessential island activities.

Mon. Oct. 3
Free the Science 5K
Hilton Lagoon
0630-0730h
$30 per person

Just step out of the hotel and you are ready to run. After you’ve finished the run, jump in the beautiful ocean at Waikiki Beach.

Fri. Oct. 7
Diamond Head Crater
0545-0800h
$40 per person

Sitting on the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline, is Diamond Head State Monument. The landmark is most prominently known for its historic hiking trail and stunning coastal views. Sea turtles can be seen while hiking the trail. It’s during this time that you might see humpback whales from the trail.

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NuclearMany scientists believe we’re at the tipping point of our energy technology future. With the advancement of new, alternative energy sources, some are left to wonder what will happen to the energy landscape as a whole.

While nuclear power has energized much of the world over the past 50 years, the establishment of new nuclear power plants has been nonexistent in recent times in light of other alternatives such as solar and wind. Now, with California phasing out its last nuclear power plant in Diablo Canyon, many are left to wonder just what role nuclear will play in the future of energy.

A turning point

During the oil crisis of the 1970s, global conversations about the future of energy production began to hit the mainstream. If fossil fuels don’t warrant consistent dependency, how would the U.S. power future generations? The answer: nuclear.

“At that time we were thinking we’d build up these nuclear power plants everywhere and they would provide free electricity because it would just be too cheap to meter,” ECS Secretary Jim Fenton previously told ECS.

The thought was nuclear could provide such cheap and plentiful amounts of energy that not only would it be free to the consumer, but there would be an overproduction. This encouraged new research in devices such as flow batteries to store this excess energy.

But those expectations turned out to be wrong.

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Biomedical innovations have helped shape the world of modern medicine. From pacemakers to auto-dispensing medications, advances in medical technology have revolutionized the world we live in.

But what happens when some of these devices need to be removed?

That’s where “transient electronics” come in. The concept behind this new technology is that rather than removing medical devices through surgery, scientists could simply develop the device so it could just disappear when the time is appropriate.

The latest development in transient electronics comes from Iowa State University, where researchers have made a breakthrough in the development of a dissolving battery that could power these disappearing devices.

The lithium-ion battery can deliver 2.5 volts and dissipate in 30 minutes when dropped into water. The power generated from the battery could power a desktop calculator for about 15 minutes.

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JellyfishNew materials can change their appearance and quickly revert to their original state, taking inspiration from squid and jellyfish.

Researchers believe the materials could have applications in smart windows (allowing users to block light with the push of a button), display optics, and encryption technology.

“There are several marine animals that can very smartly and actively alter their skin’s structure and color,” says Luyi Sun, co-author of the study. “In this work, we follow two examples, squid and jellyfish respectively, to create different mechanical responsive devices.”

This from the University of Connecticut:

They began with a thin, rigid film, and then attached a thicker layer of soft, stretchable elastomer. When the layers are joined and stretched, the rigid layer develops cracks and folds. As this layer is stretched, the cracks and folds grow in size in proportion to the force exerted. As a result, the surface becomes rough and scatters the light that passes through, thereby changing the material’s transparency.

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