Inspired by her father, motivated by her curiosity, and driven by her passion for connecting people, Shirley Meng, a professor of nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego, discovered her love for science.
Although, she had originally thought her interests would lead her to pursue another path, particularly law.
However, because of the instability of the law system in China, where Meng is originally from, her father encouraged Meng to pursue other opportunities. That’s when she began considering a career in the sciences. (more…)
Lead engineers, Xiaobo Yin and Ronggui Yang. Image credit: Glenn Asakawa/CU-Boulder
According to Forbes, engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder have created a new material that works like an air conditioning system for structures—cooling rooftops with zero energy consumption.
The material, about the same thickness as aluminum foil, is rolled across the surface of a rooftop, reflecting incoming solar energy back into space while simultaneously purging its own heat. Adding to its appeal, the material is adaptable and cost-effective for use in large-scale residential and commercial applications, as it can be manufactured on rolls. (more…)
Hieu Quang Pham, the Korea Section Student Award winner for 2018.
Nomination Deadline: September 30, 2018
ECS recognizes outstanding technical achievements in electrochemistry and solid-state science and technology through its Honors & Awards Program. There are many deserving members of the Korea Section among us and this is an opportunity to highlight their contributions.
We are currently accepting nominations for the following award:
Korea Section Student Award was established in 2005 to recognize academic accomplishments in any area of science or engineering in which electrochemical and/or solid state science and technology is the central consideration. The award is intended to encourage students who are pursuing a PhD at a Korean university to initiate or continue careers in the field.
“It was avoidable,” says Frankel, who explained that because water is corrosive, drinking water is treated to reduce the corrosive effects on the pipes that carry it. However, due to financial issues the town of Flint was facing, their source of the water changed from Lake Michigan to the Flint River. “And they decided not to do this chemical treatment.”
Jan Talbot (center) with Wendy Coulson (left) and Nicole Pacheco (right), Talbot’s graduate students.
One of the pioneers for women in engineering, Jan Talbot retired from the University of California San Diego on July 1, 2018.
Talbot was one of two women in her chemical engineering class at Penn State University. In 1970, when she started her program, there were only seven women and nearly 3,000 men in engineering.
According to the National Science Foundation, in 1973, 576 women in the U.S. graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Two years later, Talbot was one of the 372 women that earned a master’s.
After completing her degrees at Penn State, she became one of two women in her class to graduate from the University of Minnesota in 1986 with a doctorate in engineering and one of 225 women to earn that degree in the whole country.
A team of engineers from Monash University have successfully test-fired the world’s first 3D printed rocket engine. By utilizing a unique aerospike design, the team, led by ECS fellow Nick Birbilis, was able to increase efficiency levels over that of traditional bell-shaped rockets.
This from The Standard:
Its design works by firing the gases along a spike and using atmospheric pressure to create a virtual bell.
The shape of the spike allows the engine to maintain high efficiency over a wider range of altitude and air pressures. It’s a much more complex design but is difficult to build using traditional technology.
“We were able to focus on the features that boost the engine’s performance, including the nozzle geometry and the embedded cooling network,” Birbilis says. “These are normally balanced against the need to consider how on earth someone is going to manufacture such a complex piece of equipment. Not so with additive manufacturing. Going from concept to testing in just four months is an amazing achievement.”
As millions of students of all ages return to school this fall, they are making important choices that have a strong influence on their eventual career path – which college majors to pursue, which high school classes to take, even which elementary school extracurricular activities to join. Many of them – especially women, girls and members of minority groups – make choices that lead them away from professions in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
How can we get more women into engineering fields, and help them stay for their whole careers? We need their insight and creativity to help solve the problems facing our world.
Options for action
Experts tell us that there are a variety of things that will help. For example, we need to encourage young girls to develop their spatial skills, laying the foundation for further scientific exploration as they grow.
We also need to find ways to help women feel less alone as they help us build a more inclusive engineering community. This includes hosting female-focused engineering interest groups on campuses and in workplaces, and highlighting engineering role models who reflect the true diversity of our population.
A team lead by Brad Bundy, chemical engineering associate professor, is paving the way for new life-saving vaccine technology. Image: Mark A. Philbrick
When viruses emerge—spreading in a rapid and extensive way—researchers must scramble to create life-saving vaccines. At Brigham Young University, researchers are working to speed up that process.
A team of chemical engineers has devised a way to create machinery for vaccine production en masse, freeze drying the produced vaccines and stockpiling them for future use. This development could aid in relief efforts when new viruses hit populations, allowing researchers to rapidly produce vaccines.
“You could just pull it off the shelf and make it,” says Brad Bundy, senior author of the study. “We could make the vaccine and be ready for distribution in a day.”
This from Brigham Young University:
Bundy’s idea is a new angle on the emerging method of ‘cell-free protein synthesis,’ a process that combines DNA to make proteins needed for drugs (instead of growing protein in a cell). His lab is creating a system where the majority of the work is done beforehand so vaccine kits can be ready to go and be activated at the drop of a dime.
Communities are facing pressing water and sanitation issues across the globe. Recently, ECS tackled this issue through a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to establish the Science for Solving Society’s Problems Challenge. While ECS is working on a global level to encourage life-saving research in water and sanitation, researchers at Stanford University and working on innovative solutions to these issues in their own back yard.
The water infrastructure that is currently in place in many semiarid and highly populated regions is reaching its limit. When taking recent droughts and population booms into consideration, many communities are beginning to fear water shortages. However, environmental engineer and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Senior Fellow, Richard Luthy, believes that answer to this problem has been right in front of us all along.
“These are billion-dollar problems,” said Luthy. “Meeting water needs in the future is going to depend a lot on how we reuse water and what we do with stormwater.”
Capture and Reuse Stormwater
Luthy is currently looking at ways to capture and treat stormwater to assist in alleviating current water supply issues in densely populated, semiarid environments. The environmental engineer is proposing a stormwater capture center that would be situated on 50-acres of currently unused space. Not only could the treatment plant help secure water infrastructure and the needs of the community, but it could also help the environment.
With stormwater comes runoff. This runoff is contaminated with harmful chemicals and often makes its way into oceans and streams. By recovering and cleaning a large portion of the stormwater, researchers believe that we will see a decrease in water pollution due to runoff.
Wind energy has been rising in the ranks when it comes to renewable energy sources. In the United States alone, wind energy produces enough electricity to power roughly 18 million homes—with about 48,000 utility-scale wind turbines operating nationally. While wind energy shows promising potential, there is still room for scientists to tweak this technology in order to yield higher efficiency levels.
The latest prototype of a new wind turbine system was developed with that goal in mind. The new system from researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is set to yield 8.5 percent more electricity than current wind turbines.
Powering the Future
While wind turbines are a promising source of alternative energy, they tend to produce a decent amount of surplus energy that has not been able to be harvested and utilized. The newly developed turbine prototype examines that issue and can now store surplus energy for later use as electricity.
When comparing the new prototype and current generation wind turbines, the new turbines have the potential to yield up to an extra 16,400 kwh of electricity per month—coming in around 18 times the amount of energy a single United States household uses in a month.