Engineering Science and Mechanics News

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Trustees approve plans and funds for part of engineering expansion


As the next stage of a proposed, decade-long initiative that will transform the Penn State College of Engineering and its facilities, the Board of Trustees approved final design plans and authorized expenditures of $88 million for a new research and teaching building near the western edge of the University Park campus.

Engineers imitate human hands to make better sensors


An international research team has developed “electronic skin” sensors capable of mimicking the dynamic process of human motion. This work could help severely injured people, such as soldiers, regain the ability to control their movements, as well as contribute to the development of smart robotics, according to Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Early Career Professor in the Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics.

Theoretically, two layers are better than one for solar-cell efficiency


Solar cells have come a long way, but inexpensive, thin film solar cells are still far behind more expensive, crystalline solar cells in efficiency. Now, a team of researchers suggests that using two thin films of different materials may be the way to go to create affordable, thin film cells with about 34% efficiency.

Engineering department head elected vice president of ASM International


Judith Todd, head of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics in the Penn State College of Engineering, was recently elected vice president of ASM International at the society’s annual meeting on Sept. 14.

Engineering professor honored by two national societies


Charles Bakis, distinguished professor of engineering science and mechanics (ESM) and director of the Penn State Composite Materials Laboratory, was selected for the 2020 Wayne W. Stinchcomb Memorial Lecture and Award by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee D30 on Composite Materials.

Engineering student earns fellowship to support entrepreneurial spirit


Jia Zhu, a doctorate student in engineering science and mechanics, recently received the Diefenderfer Graduate Fellowship from the Penn State College of Engineering.

Self-powered biosensors may open up new paths to medical tracking, treatments


Wearable and implantable devices are currently used for a variety of functions, including health tracking and monitoring. However, supplying energy usually requires cumbersome batteries and downtime due to recharging.

First Outcomes Day to connect, educate researchers on biodevices


The Penn State Center for Biodevices, led by the College of Engineering, will hold its first Outcomes Day on Sept. 24.

To make a better sensor, just add noise


Adding noise to enhance a weak signal is a sensing phenomenon common in the animal world but unusual in manmade sensors.

An improved wearable, stretchable gas sensor using nanocomposites


A stretchable, wearable gas sensor for environmental sensing has been developed and tested by researchers at Penn State, Northeastern University and five universities in China.

Locust swarm could improve collision avoidance


Plagues of locusts, containing millions of insects, fly across the sky to attack crops, but the individual insects do not collide with each other within these massive swarms.

Penn State to lead $30 million university research alliance


The Department of Defense's Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has awarded a combined total of $51.1 million to two university research alliances to counter threats of destruction, with a specific focus on improving current and developing future warfighter technology.

Engineering team wins top prize in entrepreneur program for flex heal product


A team of four College of Engineering students, one College of Earth and Mineral Sciences student and one engineering faculty member recently won the top prize in the Ben Franklin TechCelerator @ State College program.

Faculty teams awarded seed grants to fund biodevice development


Faculty teams from across multiple disciplines recently received Penn State Biodevices Seed Grants and Grace Woodward Collaborative Research in Engineering and Medicine Grants to support work on the development of biodevices.

Soft robot actuators heal themselves


Repeated activity wears on soft robotic actuators, but these machines' moving parts need to be reliable and easily fixed. Now a team of researchers has a biosynthetic polymer, patterned after squid ring teeth, that is self-healing and biodegradable, creating a material not only good for actuators, but also for hazmat suits and other applications where tiny holes could cause a danger.

Brain thickness and connectivity, not just location, correlates with behavior


Most people think of the brain as divided into regions that are each responsible for different functions, such as language and fine motor skills.

Over $10 million awarded to Penn State for energy center


Penn State will receive more than $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy as an Energy Frontier Research Center Award.

NIH grant recipients to study why some blood clots can't be cleared


A team of Penn State and U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers have received a four-year, $2.49 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to understand why certain blood clots that cause strokes cannot be removed.

Simple device monitors health using sweat


A device that monitors health conditions in the body using a person’s sweat has been developed by Penn State and Xiangtan University researchers, according to Huanyu "Larry" Cheng, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics, Penn State.

Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Program inducts six new fellows


The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Academic Leadership Program (ALP) in 2020-21 will include six new fellows from Penn State.

Four engineering faculty named fellows for STEM leadership program


Four Penn State College of Engineering faculty were named to the 2020-21 class of fellows for Drexel University's Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science (ELATES at Drexel) program.

Self-assembling, biomimetic composites possess unusual electrical properties


Sometimes, breaking rules is not a bad thing. Especially when the rules are apparent laws of nature that apply in bulk material, but other forces appear in the nanoscale.

Institute awards 32 computational and data sciences seed grants


Understanding polarized political opinions, predicting Arctic Sea ice levels, and accelerating quantum computing with machine learning -- these are just a few focuses of the dozens of new Penn State research projects that have been funded by Institute for Computational and Data Sciences seed grants.

Supercapacitor promises storage, high power and fast charging


A new supercapacitor based on manganese oxide could combine the storage capacity of batteries with the high power and fast charging of other supercapacitors, according to researchers at Penn State and two universities in China.

Trageser named engineering science student marshal


Emily Sarah Trageser has been selected as the student marshal for the engineering science baccalaureate degree program for Penn State's spring commencement ceremony, held virtually on May 9. Trageser will receive a bachelor of science in engineering science and a minor in engineering mechanics.

Engineering science and mechanics professor will use grant to restructure course


Parisa Shokouhi, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics, recently received a 2020 American Society of Nondestructive Testing, Inc. (ASNT) Faculty Grant for her proposed revitalization of EMCH/MATSE 440.

NSF renews grant for nanotechnology workforce education development


The Penn State Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) Resource Center recently received a grant renewal from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Bevilacqua, Gray, Scherer named 2020 Penn State Teaching Fellows


Gary Gray, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics in the College of Engineering, is one of three Penn State faculty members who have received the Alumni/Student Award for Excellence in Teaching and have been named 2020 Penn State Teaching Fellows.

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