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2013 news archive

Lucas Ting

December 23, 2013 | Western Association of Graduate Schools

Lucas Ting wins WAGS/UMI Innovation in Technology Award

ME postdoctoral researcher Lucas Ting has won the 2013-2014 Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) and University Microfilms International (UMI) Innovation in Technology award for his PhD dissertation. This award is intended to recognize a thesis or dissertation for the development of an innovative technology and its utilization for the creative solution of a major problem. Dr. Ting’s research investigates how endothelial cells, while line the inside of blood vessels and platelets, react to physiological & pathological fluid forces by measuring changes in the cells' mechanical properties, adding insight into how issues such as atherosclerosis & coagulopathy develop.


December 23, 2013 | NASA

Microgravity team accepted into 2014 NASA Microgravity University Program

The UW microgravity team, the AstroDawgs, has been accepted into the 2014 NASA Microgravity University Program. This program provides a unique academic experience for undergraduate students to successfully propose, design, fabricate, fly and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment of their choice. The AstroDawgs will pursue an experiment to characterize the impact of different conical geometries on lunar regolith and the resulting dust cloud in a microgravity environment, in order to find a geometry that will produce the lowest dust cloud.

Brian Fabien

December 12, 2013 | Department of Energy

Brian Fabien awarded the DOE Applied Automotive Engineering Fellowship

Brian Fabien, ME Professor and faculty advisor for the EcoCAR2 project, has been awarded the DOE Applied Automotive Engineering Fellowship in recognition of his contributions to the AVTC Applied Automotive Engineering Curriculum Project (AAECP), a project designed to leverage the knowledge and expertise of EcoCAR 2 faculty advisors to create a body of practical automotive engineering knowledge that is gained through hands-on vehicle competitions. The newly established DOE fellowship is applicable only to EcoCAR2 lead faculty advisors. It includes a $10,000 award that Dr. Fabien may use towards UW’s AVTC program. Congratulations, Dr. Fabien!

ASME Conference

November 16, 2013 | ASME Congress

Recent ME grad takes home $1000 award at ASME competition

Recent ME grad Thomas Larson was awarded 3rd place for his presentation on Cell Phone Microscopy at the ASME "Old Guard" Oral Presentation Competition during the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE) in San Diego on November 16th. Congratulations, Thomas! Click here to read more on the exciting work that Thomas has been doing to develop a simple but powerful microscope for smartphones.


October 14, 2013 | KOMO News

Ride of a lifetime: UW students shape next-generation cars

UW’s EcoCAR 2 team is in the third and final year of a nationwide college of engineering student challenge to re-engineer a Chevy Malibu to reduce its fuel consumption and limit greenhouse gas emissions. The competition, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors, aims to educate and produce the next generation of automotive engineers, or as professor of Mechanical Engineering and EcoCar 2 faculty advisor Brian Fabien says, the people who are going to save us.

Katherine Steele

October 14, 2013 | The Seattle Times

UW female professors building a culture for engineering

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Kat Steele is featured in this Seattle Times article about the changing culture for women in engineering. Professor Steele says that the number of women on the faculty played a big role in her decision to work at the UW. UW has seen steady growth in the number of women in engineering and science faculty positions since it received a national grant to help boost the numbers.

Freeskier and engineer Jeff Campbell does some field research.

October 11, 2013 | ESPN

Engineer and freeskier Jeff Campbell working to make terrain parks safer

Mechanical Engineering PhD student Jeff Campbell is researching how the shape of terrain park jumps determines how people end up in the air and how often they get unintentionally inverted. Currently, Campbell says, ski jumps are built with a disregard for biomechanics. He is working with Guidance Engineering, a Seattle based company, to track the body mechanics of ski jumpers. They plan to use their findings to make ski jumps safer by providing better design tools to terrain park crews.

MicroGreen's Alaska Airlines cup

September 25, 2013 | Puget Sound Business Journal

Alaska Airlines replaces China-made cups with local product

Alaska Airlines has adopted advanced plastic cups from UW start-up MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc. for its in-flight coffee service, replacing paper cups from China. The cups are expected to cost one third less, weigh half as much, insulate twice as well, and will be completely recyclable. MicroGREEN was cofounded by Krishna Nadella as a UW graduate student in the lab of Vipin Kumar, a UW professor of mechanical engineering. See also: C4C Impact Investigation

sleek metal stove - conceptual image of the one the UW-led team will design

September 11, 2013 | UW Today

ME-led team gets grant to make cookstoves 10 times cleaner for developing world

The goal: a high-efficiency, low-emissions cookstove that is affordable and attractive to families around the world who cook over a flame each day. UW mechanical engineers Jonathan Posner and John Kramlich and their team, with support from the US Department of Energy, will pursue that goal by designing a stove for East African communities and creating software that helps other stove designers create efficient designs.

Microfabricated optical fiber scanner emitting red laser light

August 30, 2013 | National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

Smaller endoscope, higher resolution imaging for finding brain tumors

ME professor Eric Seibel is leading efforts to adapt the scanning fiber endoscope he developed for the narrow bile ducts of the liver to be used to visualize the brain during surgery. Also see: Seibel's video demonstration

Lens attached to smartphone shows leaf details

August, 2013 | GeekWire

Recent grad develops $15 microscope lens for smartphones

Recent ME grad Thomas Larson has launched a campaign to develop a simple but powerful microscope for smartphones. He was asking for $5000, but funding has snowballed to more than $90,000! Larson conceptualized the smartphone accessory in the 2013 Business Plan Competition and Nate Sniadecki's Cell Biomechanics lab. At the UW last year, Larson won 3rd place at the UW SEBA Science and Technology Showcases and 1st Place for Best Technical Presentation at Pacific District D of ASME and 1st Place for the Student Presentation Competition at Western Washington section of ASME.

Joyce Cooper

August 12, 2013 | UW Center for Commercialization

Joyce Cooper named a UW Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow

Associate Professor Joyce Cooper has been named a 2013 UW Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow, a prestigious program in which the fellows serve two-year terms as mentors to other UW faculty, researchers and staff with entrepreneurial aspirations. Professor Cooper has an accomplished record of working with industry, and brings real world problems to bear in her research and teaching. Congratulations, Professor Cooper! Read more...

Dr. Dayong Gao with some of the other awardees

August 19, 2013 |

Dayong Gao named Asian American Engineer of the Year

ME Professor Dayong Gao (back row, center) was selected as one of the nineteen well-respected American engineers, scientists and executives who received the national honors in four categories of "2013 Asian-American Engineer of the Year (AAEOY) Award," as a part of the 2013 National Engineers Week program. Congratulation letters from US President Obama, government officials, and congressional leaders were presented during the 2013 AAEOY Award Ceremony.
See also: Frozen body: Can we return from the dead?, BBC Science

model of the 2013 version of the 3-D printed boat

July 12, 2013 | The Seattle Times

ME's WOOF team refines its methods to "print" new milk-carton boat

For the second year, Washington Open Object Fabricators (WOOF) entered a 3-D printed boat in this year's Seafair Milk Carton Derby. The new boat represents a better understanding of how to print with recycled plastic, said Dana Henshaw, a student and director of operations for WOOF. The boat required fewer recycled bottles. It was printed over 11 hours instead of 19 hours, by using a different nozzle that extruded a thicker line of plastic. "We fail a lot, but we learn a lot," said student Mark Hanson, who thinks in the future every neighborhood might include a couple of 3-D printing shops stocked with barrels of the raw plastic needed to make almost anything.

Lucas Ting and Shirin Feghhi holding up their awards and  Associate Professor and advisor, Nathan Sniadecki

June 29, 2013

ME PhD students win at ASME Conference

Lucas Ting and Shirin Feghhi, shown with ME Associate Professor and advisor Nathan Sniadecki, both took home 1st place awards for presenting their papers at the 2013 ASME Summer Bioengineering Conference. Out of 180 abstracts submitted for the PhD competition, 36 finalists were divided into six sessions and Lucas and Shirin each won their respective sessions.

Patrick Sodt, one of the UW drivers, in the race car

June 27, 2013 | UW Today

Formula SAE gas- and electric-powered cars win 1st and 2nd in national contest!

The UW Formula Motorsports team clinched the overall win in a field of nearly 80 teams at the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers competition held June 19-22 in Lincoln, Neb. The overall win is a first for the student-run UW team, now in its 24th year. In the new electric car category, the UW team placed second overall out of 20 registered teams.

Ramulu Mamidala accepting ASEE award

June 26, 2013

Prof. Ramulu's accomplishments highlighted for education award

Professor Ramulu Mamidala received the 2013 ASEE Isadore T. Davis Award in recognition of his spirit and leadership in the collaborative efforts of engineering or engineering technology education with industry. Prof. Ramulu was recognized for his exemplary collaborative efforts motivated working engineers to pursue doctoral studies and he is a leader in using emerging technologies in distance education to reach non-traditional students.

June 24, 2013 | press release

Prof. Dayong Gao appointed to Medical & Scientific Advisory Board

Dayong Gao American CryoStem Corporation welcomed ME professor Dayong Gao to its Medical & Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Gao will provide guidance and enhancement for the company's development and commercialization efforts.

June 1, 2013 | Kansas City Star

Mark Ganter on the environmental benefits — and challenges — of 3-D printing

Professor Mark Ganter In an article about the proliferation of 3-D printing, ME professor Mark Ganter lauds the WOOF team and the ecological benefits of 3-D printing. "If you knew you could 3-D-print a boat out of garbage and knew it meant that trees wouldn't have to get cut down, isn't that worth doing?" Ganter said.
See also: Saved by the printer! from The Why Files

May 21 2013 | LiveScience

Sounds Of The Sea: Stones Clanging

underwater view of ocean currents at different depths PhD student Christopher Bassett's research on the noise in Admiralty Inlet of Puget Sound shows that the clacking of pebbles in the seabed, moved by the current, produces a cacophony that drowns out other ocean noises. Bassett says his study is the first to show that currents are capable of regularly moving round objects the size of those seabed pebbles.
See also: InsideScience | Physics Central

excerpt of Pure Blue team photo

May 24, 2013 | GeekWire

Clean water startup wins 1st place in the UW biz plan competition

GeekWire introduces Pure Blue Technologies, grand prize winner in this year's UW Business Plan Competition. The company is developing a system that uses visible light photo disinfection technology to process contaminated water -- for example, water used in the oil and gas industry -- and make it available for beneficial reuse. The team includes Michael Lee, MS Mechanical Engineering, and members from other UW Engineering departments and colleges.
See also: Foster Unplugged

May 6, 2013 | UW Today

New device can extract human DNA with full genetic data in minutes

WA Gov. Jay Inslee honors Jae-Hyun Chung during a licensing ceremony involving the UW start-up Nano Facture and KNR systems. ME Associate Professor Jae-Hyun Chung led the research and collaborated with NanoFacture, a Bellevue Wash. company, to create a device that can extract human DNA from fluid samples in a simpler, more efficient and environmentally friendly way than conventional methods. Chung is pictured with Washington Governor Jay Inslee during a licensing ceremony involving the UW start-up Nano Facture and KNR systems; Chung is the inventor of the involved technology.

April 18, 2013

PhD candidate to receive UW Graduate School Medal

Chris Bassett, in video about noise in Puget Sound Chris Bassett will be recognized for his efforts to combine academic scholarship with social awareness and concern, as well as his contribution to redefining the value of a doctoral degree at the Graduate Council Meeting on May 16. Bassett is mentored by Research Assistant Professor Brian Polagye.

April 16, 2013

Mamidala honored for accomplishments in engineering education

Ramulu Mamidala

Professor Ramulu Mamidala has been awarded a 2013 ASEE Isadore T. Davis Award in recognition of distinguished accomplishments in engineering education. Congratulations to Prof. Mamidala, who recently received the Boeing Pennell Professorship in Mechanical Engineering endowment!

April 15, 2013

High glucose levels could impair ferroelectricity in connective tissues

research image showing where glucose has halted ferroelectric switching in an elastin protein ME Professor Jiangyu Li and researchers at Boston University have discovered that high glucose levels could impair ferroelectricity in the body's connective tissues. "This could be associated with aging and diabetes, which I think gives more importance to the phenomenon," said Li.
Read more: EmaxHealth

April 4, 2013

ME grad students develop low-cost fuel tool

Upcycle Team ME students won $2,500 at the Environmental Innovation Challenge with a tool that transforms biowaste and cooking water into long-burning bricks. Congratulations to Eri Amasawa, Nishita Anand, Bryan Ferguson, Yasuhio Sakaue, and Alex Constant! More: King5 Evening Magazine video (includes team interview)

March 5, 2013

Two ME Freshmen to Present Research Findings in D.C.

All 6 freshment presenters standing in front of UW's Molecular Engineering and Sciences (MolES) building Six UW engineering students — including two ME direct admission students Kasey Acob and David Coven — have the rare opportunity to present their research at a research and innovation conference on March 9. They conducted the research during an NSF research and mentoring program the summer of 2012. Students spent 40 hours per week working on the "Towards zero-energy buildings based on energy-harvesting electrochromic window and thermoelectric systems" EFRI grant with principal investigator and ME professor, Minoru Taya, co-principal investigators, and their graduate students.

February 6, 2013 | The Seattle Times

Sally Jewell, BSME '78, Nominated by President Obama to Lead Interior

Sally Jewell at podium accepting nomination, with president Obama. Photo: CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES

Chosen for her background in engineering, experience, and leadership of a company regularly listed as a "best company to work for," Sally Jewell was nominated by President Barack Obama for Secretary of the Interior. If confirmed, Jewell, now president and CEO of REI and a UW regent, will take over a department steeped in controversy over the regulation of oil and gas and will be the steward of hundreds of millions of acres of public lands. More: NY Times | Washington Post

January 24, 2013 | UW Today

Organic ferroelectric molecule shows promise for memory chips, sensors

image showing electrical response of the newly developed organic crystal Associate professor Jiangyu Li, working with researchers at Southeast University in China, has discovered a remarkable molecule that shows promise as an organic alternative to today's silicon-based semiconductors. Cheap, flexible, and nontoxic, the molecule is well suited to a wide range of applications in memory, sensing and low-cost energy storage. Findings are published in the journal Science.
See also: C&E News | Xconomy | Science

January 10, 2013

Stillaguamish Tribe invests $5 million in ME startup

MicroGREEN production workers. Photo credit: Dan Bates, Everett Herald Microgreen Polymers, which grew out of ME professor Vipin Kumar's Microcellular Plastics Lab, has received a $5 million investment from the Stillaguamish Tribe to help expand manufacturing and add over 200 jobs. The company makes food and beverage containers from recycled plastic.
More: King5 video: $5M investment | Co-founder Krishna Nadella

January 3, 2013

ME research: Noise in Puget Sound shipping channels may harm marine life

photo of ships in Puget Sound. Credit: Ken Lambert, Seattle Times. Recent research by ME PhD student Christopher Bassett and colleagues shows that for marine life, Puget Sound shipping channels are a whirring barrage of grinding engine noises, mostly from passing ships and ferries. The noise regularly meets or exceeds levels the federal government suggests may be harmful to marine life. More: Air-Sea Interaction and Remote Sensing (AIRS) project