Engineering Science and Mechanics News

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NASA selects Penn State engineering team to develop technology for spacecraft


A Penn State research team was one of eight chosen to receive funding from NASA as part of the agency’s University SmallSat Technology Partnerships (USTP) initiative within NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology (SST) program.

Biodegradable electronics may advance with ability to control dissolve rate


Engineering science and mechanics researchers developed the ability to control the dissolve rate of biodegradable electronics by experimenting with dissolvable elements, like inorganic fillers and polymers, that encapsulate the device.

Paper co-authored by Larry Cheng selected as inside cover of Small journal


A paper by a team of researchers led by Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, the James L. Henderson, Jr. Memorial Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State, was selected to appear on the inside cover of the May 29 issue of the journal Small.

Self-assembling, highly conductive sensors could improve wearable devices


To advance soft robotics, skin-integrated electronics and biomedical devices, researchers at Penn State have developed a 3D-printed novel material for use in sensors that is soft and stretchable — important traits for matching the properties of tissues and organs —and that self-assembles. Their approach employs a process that eliminates many of the drawbacks of previous fabrication methods, such as less conductivity or device failure.

Women in Engineering Program fosters community, opportunities that beget success


Earlier this year, Penn State's Women in Engineering Program was honored with the Women in Engineering Program Award by the Women in Engineering ProActive Network, in which it was recognized as “an outstanding women in engineering program that serves as a model for other institutions.”

Ontario Tech University and Penn State sign MOU on engineering studies, research


Researchers in Penn State's College of Engineering and Ontario Tech University’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science have signed a memorandum of understanding that taps into the engineering and applied sciences strengths of both institutions.

Researchers engineer new approach for controlling thermal emission


If a material absorbs light, it will heat up. That heat must go somewhere, and the ability to control where and how much heat is emitted can protect or even hide such devices as satellites. An international team of researchers, including those from Penn State, has developed a novel method for controlling this thermal emission, with what they called promising implications for thermal management and thermal camouflage technologies.

Video: 3D-printed skin closes wounds and contains hair follicle precursors


Penn State's bioprinting research is pushing the boundaries of medical technology toward solutions for skin replacement — including hair follicles, which were previously unexpected from this technology, bone and even internal organs.

Rewritable, recyclable ‘smart skin’ monitors biological signals on demand


Skin can send certain health-related signals, such as dry skin feeling tighter to indicate the need for moisture. But what if skin could be smarter, capable of monitoring and sharing specific health information, such as the concentration of glucose in sweat or heart rate? That was the question driving a team led by Penn State researchers that recently developed an adhesive sensing device that seamlessly attaches to human skin to detect and monitor the wearer’s health.

College of Engineering names student marshals for spring 2024 commencement


The Penn State College of Engineering has named its student marshals for the spring 2024 commencement ceremony.

Patrick Drew named AIMBE fellow


Patrick Drew, professor of engineering science and mechanics and an associate director of the Huck Institutes, was inducted into the 2024 class of fellows for the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Winners announced for 16th annual Materials Visualization Competition


Six members of the College of Engineering are among the winners of the 16th annual Materials Visualization Competition (MVC), a scientific visual and artistic competition sponsored by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE) and the Materials Research Institute (MRI) at Penn State.

Engineering science major pilots new undergraduate concentrations


Students in the engineering science undergraduate major now have the opportunity to select from eight discipline options when completing their bachelor’s degree in engineering science, from neural engineering or acoustics to experimental mechanics and materials.

Q&A: New technology may help identify neuromotor disease symptoms in infants


A team of researchers tested the use of wearable sensors paired with a “tiny” machine learning algorithm to automatically monitor and evaluate general movements in infants.

Butterfly-inspired AI technology takes flight


When it comes to mating, two things matter for Heliconius butterflies: the look and the smell of their potential partner. The black and orange butterflies have incredibly small brains, yet they must process both sensory inputs at the same time — which is more than current artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can achieve without significant energy consumption. To make AI as smart as the butterflies, a team of Penn State researchers has created a multi-sensory AI platform that is both more advanced and uses less energy than other AI technologies.

Christian Peco receives 2024 NSF CAREER Award


Christian Peco, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics in the Penn State College of Engineering, earned a five-year, $549,445 U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award for a project that will examine biological organisms like slime molds and fungi for inspiration in designing decentralized intelligent collaboration algorithms.

Andrea Argüelles receives 2024 NSF CAREER Award


Andrea Argüelles, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics in the Penn State College of Engineering, earned a five-year, $696,010 U.S. National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award for a project titled, “Advancing ceramic processing science through acoustic characterization.”

Twelve alumni recognized with College of Engineering’s highest honor


Twelve Penn State engineering graduates have been selected to receive the Penn State College of Engineering’s Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award.

Powering accessible, collaborative art


In a recent installment of “A Note from Neeli,” Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi visited the Center for Pedagogy in Arts and Design where she received a hands-on demonstration of “Together, Tacit,” an interdisciplinary research and creative collaboration between the College of Arts and Architecture and the College of Engineering. In the project, artists and engineers are building a haptic glove powered by virtual reality, allowing visually impaired and sighted individuals to work together to create a sculpture.

Q&A with Larry Cheng: Monitoring neurological conditions in real time


A team of researchers led by Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, the James L. Henderson, Jr. Memorial Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) at Penn State, created a highly-sensitive and cost-effective sensor to better monitor the concentration of dopamine and tyrosine — a neurotransmitter and an amino acid, respectively, that are present in the brain — in sweat or urine.

3D-printed skin closes wounds and contains hair follicle precursors


Fat tissue holds the key to 3D printing layered living skin and potentially hair follicles, according to researchers who recently harnessed fat cells and supporting structures from clinically procured human tissue to precisely correct injuries in rats. The advancement could have implications for reconstructive facial surgery and even hair growth treatments for humans.

New structural insights could lead to mechanical enhancement in alloys


A new class of metallic materials with potential applications in airplanes, nuclear reactors and equipment for space exploration can withstand extreme temperatures and resist fractures, but scientists haven’t understood why until now. According to a new study co-led by Penn State researchers, the answer could relate to the material’s short-range order, or the local arrangement of atoms within a material.

A Note from Neeli: February 2024


Neeli Bendapudi shares the story of “Together, Tacit,” an inspiring interdisciplinary research and creative collaboration between the College of Arts and Architecture and College of Engineering. This research project combines the strength of our interdisciplinary focus, the dedication of our amazing faculty, and the tenacity of a remarkable student.

Iam-Choon Khoo receives international photonics award


Iam-Choon Khoo, the William E. Leonhard Professor of Electrical Engineering, received the 2024 Maria Goeppert Mayer Award in Photonics from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

Two international societies honor Lakhtakia’s electromagnetics, materials work


Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles G. Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, was awarded two recognitions by two international scientific societies, SPIE and Sigma Xi.

Media mention: Musk says first human received Neuralink implant; scant other details


Laura Y. Cabrera, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics and of philosophy and the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Neuroethics, was featured in an AP News article.

Patrick Drew named Huck Institutes associate director


Patrick Drew, professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, has been named associate director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

Integrating dimensions to get more out of Moore’s Law and advance electronics


Moore's Law, a fundamental scaling principle for electronic devices, forecasts that the number of transistors on a chip will double every two years, ensuring more computing power — but a limit exists. Today's most advanced chips house nearly 50 billion transistors within a space no larger than your thumbnail. The task of cramming even more transistors into that confined area has become more and more difficult, according to Penn State researchers.

Two-channel sensor measures biomarker concentration in sweat


A team of Penn State researchers has developed a sensor that accurately detects biomarker concentrations in sweat samples.

Health data, faster: Wearable stretchy sensor can process, predict health data


Engineering researchers created a machine learning platform that can more efficiently analyze and predict datapoints collected by wearables. They applied the platform to a new stretchy, wearable throat sensor that records vibrations and electrical muscle impulses from the neck area to monitor a user’s speech and swallowing patterns.

Q&A: Joining India and United States in higher education


Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles G. Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, spoke with Penn State News on Penn State’s efforts to build relationships between India and the U.S. in higher education.

Growing biofilms actively alter host environment, new study reveals


A new study led by Penn State researchers reveals exactly how growing biofilms shape their environments and fine-tune their internal architecture to fit their surroundings. The findings may have implications for a wide variety of applications, from fighting disease to engineering new types of living active materials.

Engineering alumni society recognizes awardee’s outstanding contributions


At its annual awards ceremony, the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society (PSEAS) recognized engineering faculty, staff and alumni members for outstanding teaching, research, advising and service.

Engineering student named NASA Space Technology Graduate Researcher


Andrew Pannone, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, was selected as a 2023 NASA Space Technology Graduate Researcher.

Five engineering students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship


The Graduate School at Penn State welcomed 20 new National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recipients for the 2023-24 academic year. Five College of Engineering graduate students received the fellowship, and two engineering graduate students were recognized as honorable mentions.

Engineering professor elected fellow of Society of Engineering Science


Judith Todd, professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, was elected a fellow of the Society of Engineering Science.

Can AI crave a favorite food?


Can artificial intelligence (AI) get hungry? Develop a taste for certain foods? Not yet, but a team of Penn State researchers is developing a novel electronic tongue that mimics how taste influences what we eat based on both needs and wants, providing a possible blueprint for AI that processes information more like a human being.

Project aims to develop all-in-one semiconductor that stores, processes data


A multi-institutional project led by a Penn State researcher is focused on developing an all-in-one semiconductor device that can both store data and perform computations. The project recently received $2 million in funding over three years as part of the new National Science Foundation Future of Semiconductors program.

New wearable sensor makes continuous analysis of sweat possible, researchers say


Continuous monitoring of sweat can reveal valuable information about human health, such as the body’s glucose levels. However, wearable sensors previously developed for this purpose have been lacking, unable to withstand the rigors or achieve the specificity needed for continuous monitoring. Now, Penn State researchers have created a novel wearable patch that may be up to the task.

Making AI smarter with an artificial, multisensory integrated neuron


Biological senses synergize to give a comprehensive understanding, particularly when individual signals are subtle. The collective sum of biological inputs can be greater than their individual contributions. Robots tend to follow more straightforward addition, but Penn State researchers have now harnessed the biological concept for application in artificial intelligence to develop the first artificial, multisensory integrated neuron.

Long-Qing Chen elected as 2023 member of the Academia Europaea


Long-Qing Chen, Hamer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and professor of engineering science and mechanics and of mathematics, has been elected as a foreign member of the Academia Europaea.

Penn State receives $3M grant to address insect biodiversity crisis


A team of Penn State researchers has received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to spearhead a new initiative to create novel monitoring systems for insect populations.

Five engineering student teams honored in national airport design competition


Five student teams from Penn State’s Engineering Leadership Development program in the School of Engineering Design and Innovation earned recognition in the 17th-annual University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs, sponsored by the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program.

Q&A: The neurology of slumbering whiskers


Penn State researchers published a paper in Communications Biology finding that sleep-related changes to blood flow in the brains of neonatal mice far outweigh any caused by sensory stirrings.

Stretchy integrated electronics may be possible with sandwiched semiconductor


An international team led by Penn State reserachers developed an approach to improve the mechanical stretchability of n-type semiconductors, which could lead to the advent of truly elastic electronic systems.

NIH grant to facilitate high-speed bioprinting of bones, tracheas, organs


The National Institute of Health awarded over $2 million to a team led by Ibrahim T. Ozbolat, professor of engineering science and mechanics, of biomedical engineering and of neurosurgery at Penn State, to quickly and efficiently bioprint human tissues at scale.

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