2024

February


Whitefoot quoted on electric vehicle tax credits
Fox Business

EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot was quoted in Fox Business on the updated federal policy surrounding tax credits awarded for purchases of new or used electric vehicles. According to the IRS, electric vehicles assembled outside of North America will no longer qualify for the tax credit, an effort to reduce reliance on international manufacturers. Thus far, only 13 electric vehicles qualify for credit. “I do expect that this [list] will increase over time,” Whitefoot said. “That’s because it’s going to take time for automakers to set up the domestic battery and mineral supply chains necessary to meet the tax credit requirements—which are still relatively new.”


LeDuc and Majidi’s new soft robot highlighted in PopSci
PopSci

MechE’s Philip LeDuc and Carmel Majidi have developed a new soft robot inspired by a prehistoric sea creature, which was featured in Popular Science. Pleurocystitids, a precursor to the present-day invertebrates, had tail-like structures that allowed them to move underwater easily.


LeDuc, Ozdoganlar, and Yang featured in Interesting Engineering
Interesting Engineering

MechE’s Philip LeDuc, Burak Ozdoganlar, and Feimo Yang have developed a new tissue engineering technique that may alleviate the organ transplantation crisis. The work was featured in Interesting Engineering. “What makes our method different from other kinds of 3D printing is that instead of letting the water completely freeze while we’re printing, we let it maintain a liquid phase on top,” said Yang, who hopes that the versatility of the 3D-printed blood vessels will have further applications beyond the immediate organ transplant issue.


Jayan quoted on temperature and battery-powered vehicles charging
Wards Auto

MechE’s Reeja Jayan shares her thoughts on how temperature affects battery-powered vehicles’ ability to change in Wards Auto. The cold can make batteries charge less effectively. “If you have limited charging stations, as we have in the U.S., you can imagine how this becomes bad quickly,” she says. Experts hope that with the growing EV industry, this solution will be solved and more charging stations will begin to appear.


Whitefoot talks electric vehicle tax credits
CNET

EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot spoke to CNET about adding to the list of electric vehicles that qualify for a federal tax credit worth thousands of dollars. “I do expect this [list] will increase over time,” Whitefoot said, noting that improvements in battery and mineral supply chains could help.


January


Sullivan weighs in on water microdroplet chemistry
Chemistry World

MechE’s Ryan Sullivan spoke with Chemistry World about the contentious topic of water microdroplet chemistry, which has inspired mixed feelings among researchers in the field. Sullivan, for his part, is more skeptical. “Many physical atmosphere chemists who I regard as very careful experimentalists…do not think that this idea that oxidants are spontaneously being produced in microdroplets is real—they are quite convinced it’s contamination or some sort of artifact,” said Sullivan.


2023


December


Michalek discusses his research on EV adoption in rural communities
The Verge

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek discusses his research on EV adoption in rural communities in The Verge. “If electric vehicles are offered as ubiquitously as gasoline vehicles, and if their technology goes where we think it’s going to go, then we would expect roughly half of people to prefer an electric over a gasoline for both cars and SUVs,” he says. Michalek’s extensive work in EVs and their integration into our current society is also mentioned in MSN, The Wall Street Journal, and CNET.


Halilaj speaks on the benefits of using AI for biomechanical analyses
Medscape

MechE’s Eni Hallilaj speaks on the benefits of using AI for biomechanical analyses in Medscape. Especially for “highly heterogeneous conditions that we have not been able to fully characterize through traditional studies with limited patients,” the app allows for the possibility of having hundreds or even thousands involved in studies. “The opportunities here are endless,” Hallilaj says.


CMU-Africa researchers published in Science Robotics
Science Robotics

CMU-Africa's Conrad Tucker, David VernonAdedayo Akinade (MS ECE '24), Yohannes Haile (MS ECE '23), Natasha Mutangana (MS EAI '24) were published in Science Robotics, as a Focus article, for their work with culturally sensitive robotics. The article was featured in the magazine's special issue on robotics and AI in the Global South. In the piece, the researchers discuss how embedding culturally sensitive body, hand, and facial gestures in social robots will make them more acceptable in Africa.


Webster-Wood talks with Nature about biohybrid robots
Nature

MechE’s Victoria Webster-Wood talks with Nature about biohybrid robots. “A biohybrid is really any robot that combines both biological materials and synthetic materials,” she says. These machines have many potential applications including search and rescue following earthquakes.


November


Taylor featured in PittsburghInno
PittsburghInno

MechE’s Rebecca Taylor was featured in PittsburghInno for being named the first Ansys Career Development Chair in the College of Engineering. The Ansys endowment she received will go toward educating mechanical engineering students using Ansys software. “Using Ansys software in my lab and classroom will help prepare my students to use self-assembly as a powerful tool for advanced manufacturing,” Taylor says. The announcement was also covered in the Pittsburgh Business Times.


Zhang presents at ASME IMECE
ASME IMECE

MechE’s Jessica Zhang presented at the ASME IMECE: CONCAM Distinguished Lectures on Computational Mechanics, which was held in New Orleans, LA on October 29 - November 2. She talked about her research on modeling traffic jam and growth process of neurons using isogeomtric analysis and physics-informed neural network.


October


Michalek comments on Trump’s claims about the electric car industry
PolitiFact

MechE/EPP/CEE’s Jeremy Michalek comments on Trump’s claims about the electric car industry in PolitiFact. Trump says that the car industry will be leaving the United States, but Michalek believes this assertion is “substanceless.” He goes on to say that “there are likely to be complex effects of this shift, but all automobiles are already produced with a mix of systems and components produced across a global supply chain, so this really isn’t new.”


Majidi talks about shape-shifting robots
BuiltIn

MechE’s Carmel Majidi talks to BuiltIn about shape-shifting robots. “This technology introduces new capabilities to achieve robotic functions at the small scale in hard-to-reach places,” he says. “Because of its shape-shifting properties and response to external stimuli, it can be operated remotely and controlled to move within otherwise hard to reach parts, such as those within the body.”


Haidar quoted in Popular Science
Popular Science

MechE’s Diana Haidar was quoted in Popular Science talking about 3D printing, which has been an increasingly popular method of manufacturing since the 1980s. “Mass manufacturing methods, almost all of them are quite fixed. You can only remake the exact same parts over and over again. But people also want custom parts. That’s where 3D printing has a niche,” she says.


2023 Engineering Andy Award winners
The Piper

The annual Andy Awards ceremony was held on October 18, 2023 where two Engineering staff members and one committee were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the university:

  • Leia Delabahan: Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Justin Dawber: Innovative & Creative Solutions
  • Mechanical Engineering DEI Committee: Gabi Cryster, Annie Harder, Eva Mergner, and Yanika Reid: Teamwork and Collaboration - Standing Team

A huge congratulations to them and the other winners!


Tucker’s research mentioned at Senate hearing

MechE/CMU-Africa’s Conrad Tucker, along with other collaborators from the RAND Corporation and the Challenger Center, were cited for their work during the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing titled “AI and the Future of our Elections.” They were recognized for their research in nefarious uses of AI and provided a baseline for future studies and solutions.


Jayan comments on battery technology in the crashed Venice bus
AP News

MechE’s Reeja Jayan comments on battery technology in the crashed Venice bus in AP News. While the Italian’s transport minister is questioning the spread of electric vehicles in the midst of this catastrophe, experts say that the battery chemistry used actually makes it less prone to fires. “In batteries that use nickel or cobalt, oxygen can be released if the temperature gets too hot, fueling a fire. But in a lithium-iron-phosphate battery, there is a strong bond between oxygen and phosphorus, keeping the oxygen in place,” she says.


Michalek discusses America’s shift to electric vehicles
The Atlantic

MechE/EPP’s Jeremy Michalek talks to The Atlantic about America’s shift to electric vehicles. Because electric cars are easier to assemble than their gasoline counterparts, autoworkers are worried about their jobs and wages. “Jobs at gasoline engine manufacturing plants will shift to jobs at electric motor and battery plants,” Michalek says.


2023 Engineering Faculty Awards announced
CMU College of Engineering

The 2023 Engineering Faculty Awards highlight faculty members who have shown outstanding educational, research, and service efforts. Congratulations to the awaredees.

  • Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award: Jimmy Zhu and Greg Kesden (ECE)
  • David P. Casasent Outstanding Research Award: Gianluca Piazza (ECE)
  • George Tallman Ladd Research Award: Eni Halilaj (MechE), Destenie Nock (CEE/EPP)
  • Outstanding Mentoring Award: Burcu Akinci (CEE)
  • Outstanding Service Award: Tim Brown (CMU-Africa/EPP)
  • Steven J. Fenves Award for Systems Research: Marios Savvides (ECE)
  • Philip and Marsha Dowd Fellowship: Yuejie Chi (ECE), Amir Barati Farimani and Burak Kara (MechE)

Whitefoot comments on green cars in MSN
MSN

MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot comments on the future of green vehicles in MSN. “Moving heavy vehicles like school buses, construction equipment, and big trucks to electrification will definitely be slower. That’s where improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines will be important,” she says.


17 College of Engineering nominees for annual Andy Awards
Carnegie Mellon University

17 College of Engineering staff members were nominated for the annual Andy Awards, which recognize excellence in areas including Commitment to Excellence; Commitment to Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion; Commitment to Students; Innovative and Creative Contributions; Spirit; and Teamwork and Collaboration. Congratulations to the following staff members:

Commitment to Excellence

  • Neil Emmett (rookie) - Mechanical Engineering
  • Elizabeth Clark (veteran) - Materials Science and Engineering
  • Nancy Doyle (veteran) - Information Networking Institute
  • Matthew Moneck (veteran) - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Commitment to DEI 

  • Leia Delabahan - Integrated Innovation Institute
  • Brittany Bristoll - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Commitment to Students

  • Heather Costello - Chemical Engineering
  • Deborah Kuntz - Engineering and Public Policy

Innovative and Creative Contributions 

  • Justin Dawber - Chemical Engineering
  • Chris Hertz - Mechanical Engineering

Spirit

  • Cindy Arnett - Information Networking Institute
  • Lisa Cowling - Mechanical Engineering

Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Support Team - Heather Costello and Kristyn Williams
  • Mechanical Engineering DEI Committee Staff Team - Annie Harder, Eva Mergner, Yanika Reid, Gabriele Crytser

September


Whitefoot comments on gas-powered green vehicles
Newsweek

MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot comments on gas-powered green vehicles in Newsweek. Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories collaborated to create a spark plug replacement prototype that will allow fuel to burn more cleanly and efficiently. “Moving heavy vehicles like school buses, construction equipment, and big trucks to electrification will definitely be slower. That’s where improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines will be important,” Whitefoot says.


Majidi explains importance of soft robotics
Communications of the ACM

MechE’s Carmel Majidi explains the impact soft robotics, such as exoskeletons, artificial skins, and flexible electronics, will have on society. “By mimicking the mechanical compliance and multi-functionality of soft-bodied natural organisms, soft robots can be useful for a wide array of tasks and purposes,” Majidi said.


Zhang delivers IMACS keynote
IMACS World Congress

MechE’s Jessica Zhang delivered a virtual keynote at the 21st International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (IMACS) World Congress conference, which was held in Rome, Italy on September 11-15, 2023. She talked about using isogeometric analysis and physics-informed graph neural networks to model neuron traffic jam and growth.


Majidi wins 2023 Inno Fire Award from Pittsburgh Business Times
Pittsburgh Business Times

MechE’s Carmel Majidi has been awarded the 2023 Inno Fire Award for Trailblazing Innovators from the Pittsburgh Business Times. Majidi was acknowledged for his leadership in the Soft Machines Lab at Carnegie Mellon University and his product “Thubber,” which can be used in the thermal management of semiconductors.


August


Zhang speaks at biometrics workshop
Biomechanics Workshop of Program Uncertainty Quantification and Stochastic Modeling of Materials on Mathematical Mechanical Biology

MechE’s Jessica Zhang was invited to speak at Biomechanics Workshop of Program Uncertainty Quantification and Stochastic Modeling of Materials on Mathematical Mechanical Biology: Old School and New School, Methods and Applications, which was held in Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge, UK on July 31 - August 4. She talked about her latest research on modeling traffic jam and growth process of neurons using isogeometric analysis and physics-informed neural network.


Michalek provides insight on nuances of fast-charging EV batteries
The Sacramento Bee

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek explains how feasible fast-charging batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) are. “Some battery chemistries are very robust to fast charging while others degrade very quickly,” Michalek said. “So it does depend what kind of battery the electric vehicle has in it, how sensitive it will be to fast charging.”


Whitefoot talks increasing electric vehicle popularity
Nautilus

MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot spoke to Nautilus about what’s behind the latest uptick in consumer interest in electric vehicles. Breaking down several factors, including environmental impact and the influence of Tesla, Whitefoot said, “It’s really about the performance characteristics of electric vehicles–how much they’ve improved in the recent past and how much they’re expected to improve in the future.” Whitefoot also shared her thoughts on a timeline for electric vehicles to become the standard mode of transportation. “We would expect to see around 50 percent of new vehicles be all electric by 2030, assuming some trends hold.”


Whitefoot talks cost of EVs, policy incentives
GO Banking Rates

MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot said there are many policy incentives available to lower the cost of purchasing electric vehicles (EVs). “Not everyone is aware that many of these are available for used EVs as well, which may be attractive to Gen Z and millennials. The federal government offers a tax credit and many states offer additional rebates for purchasing used EVs as well as new EVs,” she said.


Weber emphasizes importance of sensory feedback for prosthetic limbs
Wired

MechE’s Doug Weber discusses the future of bionic limbs and their ability to receive sensory feedback in a story with Wired. “It’s not only important to be able to make things move but to feel the consequences of those actions as well,” Weber said.


Michalek speaks on EV charger availability
Kiplinger

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek commented on plans to increase the availability of electric vehicle (EV) chargers next year. “It’s going to be a challenge to deploy enough public charging infrastructure to avoid long queues on peak travel days, and if we do build enough for peak travel days a lot of it will sit unused much of the rest of the year,” Michalek said.


July


Jayan elected to IMPI Board
International Microwave Power Institute

MechE’s Reeja Jayan has been elected to the Board of International Microwave Power Institute, the leading scientific organization dedicated to the international microwave energy community. Jayan will chair their 58th Annual Microwave Power Symposium in the spring.


Presto collaborates on Ohio train derailment research
NBC News

MechE’s Albert Presto collaborated on new research regarding chemicals released during the Ohio train derailment, finding high levels of acrolein, a chemical known to cause lung damnage and abnormal lesions after long-term exposure. Presto calls this find “a little bit surprising” and noted the difficulty to link any one chemical to specifical health concerns.


McComb weighs in on AI capabilities
ABC News

MechE’s Chris McComb was interviewed about AI and its capabilities in a story by ABC News. “The seeds have been there for a while,” he says.


YKK AP’s new research lab works to advance job site safety, productivity, and quality
USGlass News Network

The opening celebration of YKK AP’s research lab at Mill 19 included demonstrations by MechE’s Kenji Shimada’s research team, which is developing technology to solve key issues in the architectural products industry.


Presto discusses health concerns of Canadian wildfires with KDKA CBS News Pittsburgh
CBS News KDKA Pittsburgh

MechE’s Albert Presto discusses the health concerns associated with the Canadian wildfires with KDKA CBS News Pittsburgh. The fires have only exacerbated the effects of the normal city air quality, including eye and lung irritation. “All the activities that contribute to that baseline that we already have are still happening. We’re still burning fossil fuels. We’re getting this wildfire smoke on top of our normal load,” he says.


Presto discusses mask efficacy for wildfire smoke and smog
MSN

MechE’s Albert Presto explains that cloth or disposable face masks may help to block some particulate matter, but it’s most likely not enough as protection for your lungs. Presto encourages people to think of masks as a “ranked order,” noting options like neck gaiters are not effective in providing protection from smoke.


June


Zhang elected IAMBE fellow
IAMBE

MechE’s Jessica Zhang has been elected to the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineers (IAMBE), class of 2023. IAMBE is made up of fellows who are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the profession of medical and biological engineering. IAMBE is affiliated with the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE), responsible to the IFMBE General Assembly and its Administrative Council. IAMBE operates under the auspices of the IFMBE Constitution and Bylaws.


Tucker discusses AI
Middle East Broadcasting Network

MechE’s Conrad Tucker spoke about AI on the Middle East Broadcasting Network.


Michalek quoted in MIT Technology Review
MIT Technology Review

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek spoke with MIT Technology Review on batteries for electric vehicles. Startups such as Ample have demonstrated a new battery-swapping system for EVs where users can exchange a depleted battery for a fresh one without spending time charging up. However, Michalek says battery swapping isn’t likely to be the primary technique for powering EVs.


May


Barati Farimani to work on self-charging power sources
Tech Explorist

MechE’s Amir Barati Farimani was mentioned in Tech Explorist as a contributor for new research on self-charging power sources for space applications. The research, funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, will focus on developing self-charging power sources for low-Earth orbit missions, such as satellites, using hydrogel or soft polymer-based materials. Barati Farimani will focus on simulation and material synthesis.


Presto quoted on Allegheny County air pollution
Pittsburgh City Paper

MechE’s Albert Presto was quoted in the Pittsburgh City Paper on the impact of industrial pollution in Allegheny County in the context of regional topography. Presto said his research doesn’t always yield expected results, but the bigger picture is still clear. “Air pollution is a huge environmental injustice, right, systematically at like the national level and a local level,” Presto said.


Majidi talks soft robotics research and findings
NextPittsburgh

MechE’s Carmel Majidi spoke with NextPittsburgh about CMU’s Soft Machines Lab and its research in soft robotics, including the invention of a thermally conductive rubber material called Thubber and a small robot that can change between a solid and a liquid. Majidi said that the lab takes inspirations from physical characteristics observed in animals. “That’s a lot of what soft robotics is about—not to compete with or replace more advanced systems that already exist, but to broaden the scope of what we think of as robotics and what we think of as materials and building blocks of robotic systems,” Majidi said.


Michalek quoted on electric vehicle tax credit
PolitiFact

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek was quoted in PolitiFact about a recently announced tax credit for electric vehicle purchases. Certain stipulations have to be met to receive the $7,500, including that the cars must be assembled in North America. Michalek said these conditions are a means of encouraging greater EV production in the US and its trading partners.


Majidi comments on new material for “soft robotics” in Scientific American
Scientific American

MechE’s Carmel Majidi talks about a new low-density gel material that is able to conduct electricity to power a motor in Scientific American. In his recent study published in Nature Electronics, he used this material to power two basic machines, a toy car and a snail-like soft robot. “There are so many possibilities that arise when you take machines and robots out of the hard case and engineer them out of materials that are soft and squishy,” Majidi says.


Viswanathan speaks on Zero podcast about electric aviation
Zero Podcast

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan spoke on Zero podcast about electric aviation. During the episode, he and host Akshat Rathi talk about the batteries required to power these aircrafts, as well as the environmental impact they will have. “We need hundreds and thousands of people working on this problem. That’s the scale of the transformation that happened in electric cars. If we can enable a similar transformation in electric aviation, I think there is actually a straight shot, from a technology perspective, to get to the future that The Jetsons imagined,” Viswanathan says.


Michalek quoted on electric vehicle charging needs
PolitiFact

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek was quoted in PolitiFact about potential charging accommodations for when more electric vehicles are on the road. Currently, charging stations in the United States are relatively few and far between. “We’re going to need a lot more high-speed chargers on highway corridors that are underutilized most of the year if we want to avoid long queues as people wait to charge on peak travel days,” Michalek said.


Majidi, Yao quoted on softbotics
World Economic Forum

MechE’s Carmel Majidi spoke to the World Economic Forum about the potential of softbotics, which includes designing them to move adaptably in response to their environment as animals do. “There are many interesting and exciting scenarios where energy-efficient and versatile robots like this could be useful,” Yao said. Their recent design allows the robot to transition from walking to swimming.


April


Jayan talks about representation and her unconventional career path
Utah Public Radio

MechE’s Reeja Jayan talks to Utah Public Radio about her nonlinear path toward becoming a professor in engineering. She is the author of a chapter in the recently published book Women in Mechanical Engineering.


Majidi speaks on Science Friday about self-healing softbotics material
Science Friday

MechE’s Carmel Majidi talks with Science Friday about his research in softbotics, a transformative field of robotics where materials are more flexible and elastic as opposed to hard materials. He talks about a breakthrough in the field: a new material that is able to heal itself. “The key difference is the fact that it’s self-healing. The material binds itself together through hydrogen bonds. And these are actually the same hydrogen bonds that produce forces between water molecules. So these materials have a very high density of these hydrogen bonds. And when those bonds break, they can readily form themselves back together upon contact,” he says.


Sullivan comments about the unique chemical bonds found in PFAS-containing firefighting foams in the Military Times
Military Times

ChemE’s Ryan Sullivan makes a comment about the unique chemical bonds found in PFAS-containing firefighting foams in Military Times. “[Fluorine is] the strongest bond you can make to carbon, and so that makes the molecules very persistent,” Sullivan says.


Zhang elected to AIMBE College of Fellow chair-elect
AIMBE

MechE’s Jessica Zhang has been elected chair-elect of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)’s College of Fellows. This is a one-year term followed by another one-year term as chair of the College of Fellows. It is a high honor to be elected to such a significant position for a national organization. As chair-elect, Zhang will oversee the nomination, review, and election of new Fellows. It is the practice of AIMBE tha the Chair-Elect is an ex-official member of the Board of Directors. Next year, as chair, she will be responsible for managing the development and organization of the annual event, and be a voting member of the board.


Five Engineering faculty receive professorships

Five faculty recently received professorships in Engineering for their outstanding scholarly achievements. The faculty included:

  • Yuejie Chi (ECE) - Sense of Wonder Group Endowed Professorship of Electrical and Computer Engineering in AI Systems
  • Marc De Graef (MSE) - John and Claire Bertucci Distinguished Professorship in Engineering
  • Swarun Kumar (ECE) - Sathaye Family Foundation Career Development Professorship
  • Brandon Lucia (ECE) - Kavčić-Moura Professorship in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Rebecca (Bex) Taylor (MechE) - Inaugural ANSYS Career Development Chair in Engineering

March


Zhang named SIAM Fellow
SIAM

MechE’s Jessica Zhang has been selected as a Class of 2023 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Fellow for exemplary research and outsanding service to the community.


Bergbreiter talks insect-inspired robotics design
Popular Science

MechE’s Sarah Bergbreiter spoke to Popular Science about how jumping insects inspired the mechanics of her team’s recent design, a bouncing robot that can control energy transfers between surface and device using the launch mechanism. “It’s really fascinating that the latch—something that we already need in our robots—can be used to control outputs that we couldn't have controlled before.” The design takes its cues from grasshoppers and other insects that use delicate energy transfers to land securely on different surfaces.


Presto talks about the chemical effects of the East Palestine train derailment
NBC News

MechE’s Albert Presto talks to Fortune and NBC News about the after effects of the East Palestine train derailment and the chemicals’ effects on the town’s residents.“We didn’t see any hot spots, places with high concentrations,” Presto says about contaminants such as benzene, toluene, xylenes, and vinyl chloride. However, he acknowledges the high levels of acrolein in the environment which could cause some long-term health concerns.


Majidi discusses breakthroughs in softbotics
Associated Press

MechE’s Carmel Majidi and his research team engineered the first self-healing soft material with electrical conductivity, low stiffness, and high stretchability—a breakthrough in the world of softbotics and beyond. “Softbotics is about seamlessly integrating robotics into everyday life, putting humans at the center,” explains Majidi. “Instead of being wired up with biomonitoring electrodes connecting patients to bio measurement hardware mounted on a cart, our gel can be used as a bioelectrode that directly interfaces with body-mounted electronics that can collect information and transmit it wirelessly.” This work was also covered in New Atlas.


Zhang delivered plenary lecture at SIAM International Meshing Roundtable Workshop
SIAM

MechE’s Jessica Zhang was an invited plenary speaker at the SIAM International Meshing Roundtable Workshop on March 6 - 9, 2023 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She presented her latest research on modeling traffic jam and growth process of neurons using isogeometric analysis and physics-informed neural network.


Sullivan talks to The Washington Post about the danger of air fresheners
The Washington Post

MechE’s Ryan Sullivan talks with The Washington Post about how air fresheners can actually have serious adverse effects on consumers. “To a chemist ‘really clean’ would actually be no scent because the scent is caused by a chemical. Truly clean means very low levels of chemicals,” Sullivan says. He expresses concern toward the chemicals potentially causing hormone disruption and even cancer. Instead, he recommends naturally sourced essential oils as a way to combat household odors.


Shen discusses his new copper-based material that can increase electronics’ lifetime
Mining Dot Com

MechE’s Sheng Shen explains how his new flexible, copper-based material can elongate the lifetime of electronics through a “sandwich” method. A graphene-coated copper nanowire array is placed between two thin copper films which helps prevent overheating and burning out. “We believe that a wide variety of electronic systems can benefit from it by allowing them to operate at a lower temperature with higher performance,” Shen says.


Presto comments on the Ohio train derailment in CNN
CNN

MechE’s Albert Presto talks to CNN about the Ohio train derailment and the environmental effects the accident has caused. “It’s not elevated to the point where it’s necessarily like an immediate ‘evacuate the building’ health concern, but, you know, we don’t know necessarily what the long-term risk is or how long that concentration that causes that risk will persist,” he says. This uncertainty has also resulted in the residents of East Palestine becoming frustrated, which Presto hopes will decrease with better monitoring and communication.


Weber discusses tech that restores movement for stroke patients
The New York Times

MechE’s Douglas Weber was mentioned in The New York Times for the research he and other researchers are working on that looks at restoring mobility in stroke patients. The method they are investigating involves surgically-implanted electrodes that are then stimulated to help produce movement. Weber says that implantation is preferred to letting the electrodes rest on the skin because it’s “much more specific” and can better “target the muscles that control the wrist and the hand.” This work was also featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Michalek talks reality of owning an electric vehicle with The Atlantic
The Atlantic

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek talks to The Atlantic about the reality of owning an electric vehicle. For many consumers, buying an EV is not so simple; they have plenty of considerations to think about before purchasing. “Even if they have charging infrastructure this year, renters tend to move, and they don’t know whether they’ll have that access next year. Even a lot of homeowners don’t have off-street parking, and relying entirely on public charging infrastructure is a whole different ball game,” Michalek says.


Majidi discusses the future of shape-shifting robotics
Daily Mail

MechE’s Carmel Majidi and a team of researchers have created a shape-shifting robot that can hold objects 30 times its own mass. The team tested the robot through a series of obstacles, including jumping over moats and removing foreign objects from a model stomach. “What we’re showing are just one-off demonstrations, proofs of concept,” Majidi says. “Future work should further explore how these robots could be used within a biomedical context.”


February


Zhang paper recognized as top-cited article
Clarivate Analytics

According to Citation data from Clarivate Analytics, Mech’s Jessica Zhang’s paper “Tuned Hybrid Nonuniform Subdivision Surfaces with Optimal Convergence Rates” is recognized as one of the top cited articles published in an issue of International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering between January 1, 2021 through December 15, 2022.


Viswanathan’s research on battery-power aircraft referenced in The Guardian
The Guardian

Research by MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan on the future of battery-powered aircraft was referenced in an article from The Guardian about Australia, a country heavily reliant on aviation. Viswanathan’s research detailed the opportunities and challenges of electric aircraft, concluding that significant gains for battery-powered flight are possible by 2030 given sufficient investment in aeronautical applications.


YKK AP to research feasibility of virtual factory at Mill 19
USGlass News Network

YKK AP Technologies Lab, who has partnered with MechE’s Kenji Shimada since 2020, has signed a five-year lease for space at Mill 19. They hope to develop a “virtual factory” that simulates engineering and supply chains in a virtual space for construction, glass, and fenestrations industries.