Engineering Science and Mechanics News

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Stretchable rubber diode opens possibilities for medical, electronic devices

11/30/2022

If you are reading this article on your computer or phone, it is in part thanks to diodes. Diodes are used for a variety of critical electronic functions and are typically rigid. Electronic devices, such as robotics or medical devices, are becoming more flexible as technology advances, so Penn State researchers have developed a fully rubbery stretchable diode that maintains performance.

New method can scale, simplify manufacture of stretchy semiconductors

11/29/2022

Penn State researchers developed a method to manufacture soft, elastic semiconductors and circuits more efficiently.

Professor earns lifetime achievement award, distinguished achievement award

11/21/2022

Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles G. Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics in the Penn State College of Engineering, has been recognized with two professional society awards.

FDA-approved cholesterol medicine may help prevent antibiotic resistance

11/15/2022

A Penn State-led multidisciplinary collaboration may have found a solution for antibiotic resistance in cholestyramine, an oral drug already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce cholesterol levels and remove bile acids associated with liver diseases.

Penn State one of only two U.S. universities with two UNESCO chairs

10/24/2022

Penn State holds the honor of being one of two universities in the United States, along with Universidad de Puerto Rico, that is home to two UNESCO chairs. Osama Awadelkarim, professor of engineering science and mechanics and director of the Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU) holds the title of UNESCO Chair on Building Innovation and Manufacturing Capacities Through Advanced Technology Education.

Researchers 3D bioprint breast cancer tumors, treat them in groundbreaking study

10/18/2022

Researchers at Penn State have successfully 3D bioprinted breast cancer tumors and treated them in a breakthrough study to better understand the disease that is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide.

28 new faculty members join the College of Engineering

10/6/2022

Twenty-eight new faculty members have joined the Penn State College of Engineering since the end of the spring semester. The 17 tenured or tenure-line members and 11 non-tenure-line members represent 12 units and departments and include two new department heads.

Stretchy, bio-inspired synaptic transistor can enhance, weaken device memories

9/29/2022

Using the human brain as a model, Penn State engineering researchers developed a synaptic transistor, which uses artificial neurotransmitters to optimize functions. The transistor can be used to enhance the performance of wearable devices and robots.

Media mention: ‘Happy Valley: Home of the smart chip?’

9/22/2022

Saptarshi Das, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics, and Akhil Dodda, engineering science and mechanics doctoral student, discussed their research to develop a low-power smart chip that enhances data security in a Happy Valley Industry article.

14 Penn State alumni to receive Alumni Fellow Award

9/21/2022

The Penn State Alumni Association will honor Charles Dages, who received a master’s degree in engineering science in 1977, and 13 other Penn Staters on Sept. 28 with the Alumni Fellow Award, the most prestigious award given by the Alumni Association.

Research review proposes alternative brain blood flow theories

9/19/2022

In the brain, neural activity usually is followed by increases in blood flow to the active region, a process known as neurovascular coupling. Scientists know that this process is important for brain health, as the breakdown of this process precedes many neurodegenerative diseases, according to Patrick Drew, Penn State professor of engineering science and mechanics and of biomedical engineering. What scientists don’t know is why neurovascular coupling exists at all. Drew proposed possible answers to this question in a review article, “Neurovascular coupling: Motive unknown,” published in Trends of Neuroscience.

Novel implantable sensor sniffs out possible signals of osteoarthritis

9/14/2022

Penn State researchers collaborated with an international team to develop a flexible, implantable sensor capable of continuous nitric oxide monitoring, which can help identify early signs of osteoarthritis after joint damage.

Ceramic material could enable faster and better MRI results

9/7/2022

Michael Lanagan, professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, is part of an academic-enterprise partnership that has developed a new dielectric material for use in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. The material is designed to deliver higher image resolutions and enable shorter scan times, which may reduce MRI operating costs for the hospital and lessen the MRI-related anxiety suffered by some patients.

Multi-institution, $4.6 million NSF grant to fund nanotechnology training

8/29/2022

The Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State is one of the recipients of a four-year $4.6 million multi-institution grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant will fund microelectronics and nanomanufacturing training for military service members and veterans in ongoing efforts to create a robust nanomanufacturing workforce establish the U.S.

Media mention: ‘Anti-laser can make any object suck in light’

8/25/2022

Sahin Ozdemir, professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, was featured in a New Scientist story about a maze of mirrors and lenses that turns any material into a highly efficient light absorber.

Parisa Shokouhi awarded NSF mid-career advancement grant

8/24/2022

Parisa Shokouhi, Penn State professor of engineering science and mechanics, was recently awarded a $360,000, three-year mid-career advancement grant from the National Science Foundation.

Penn State engineer earns Scialog grant to advance imaging

8/17/2022

Larry Cheng received a Scialog grant for a multidisciplinary research projects called "Transforming Imaging Collection in the Brain."

Researchers to develop scaffolding for nerve regeneration with $2.14M NIH grant

8/16/2022

Peripheral nerves are responsible for moving muscles, sensing temperatures and even inhaling and exhaling; yet they comprise fragile fibers vulnerable to disease and injury. To maximize healing for the easily damaged nerves, Penn State researchers are using a five-year, $2.14 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Nation Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to develop a biodegradable nerve scaffold that aims to employ folate and citrate in novel ways.

Q&A with Awadelkarim: The CHIPS Act and strengthening the U.S. workforce

8/12/2022

Osama Awadelkarim, professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, is an expert on semiconductor fabrication and microelectronics workforce development. He testified before Congress regarding the CHIPS Act and the need to strengthen the pipeline from education to industry.

Smart bandages may be viable wound care remedy, review finds

8/9/2022

Smart bandages that can sense skin conditions and administer medication at wound sites may be on the horizon as a healing remedy, according to Penn State researchers. They recently reviewed the field’s latest developments in Bioactive Materials.

New options for health, environmental monitoring with water-resistant gas sensor

8/1/2022

Accurate, continuous monitoring of nitrogen dioxide and other gases in humid environments is now possible, thanks to a new water-resistant gas sensor developed by Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, the James L. Henderson Jr. Memorial Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, and his team.

Nature-inspired protein creates stretchable, composite layered materials

7/25/2022

Nature creates layered materials like bone and mother-of-pearl that become less sensitive to defects as they grow. Now researchers have created — using biomimetic proteins patterned on squid ring teeth, circular appendages on the tentacles of squid that are used to grasp prey — composite layered 2D materials that are resistant to breaking and extremely stretchable.

Researcher’s analysis could help with understanding, future development of multimodal sensors

7/19/2022

A study led by Larry Cheng, James L. Henderson, Jr. Memorial Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics in the Penn State College of Engineering, examined the ways to decouple input signals for multimodal sensors, which is important for avoiding complicated signal processing steps and allowing for high accuracy with the multimodal sensors.

Smart chip senses, stores, computes and secures data in one low-power platform

7/19/2022

An interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers developed a low-power, all-in-one device that can sense, store, compute and communicate information among connected devices, while keeping data encrypted and secure.

Media mention: ‘The future is soft’

7/5/2022

Cunjiang Yu, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics and associate professor of biomedical engineering, recently was featured in a Happy Valley Industry Q&A

Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics welcomes new head

6/30/2022

Vincent Meunier, professor of physics and materials science engineering and head of the Department of Physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was named head of the Penn State College of Engineering’s Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics. He will start on July 1.

Laser writing may enable ‘electronic nose’ for multi-gas sensor

6/30/2022

Sensors are a step closer to sniffing out various gases that could indicate disease or pollution, thanks to a Penn State collaboration. Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics in the College of Engineering, and Lauren Zarzar, assistant professor of chemistry in Eberly College of Science, and their teams combined laser writing and responsive sensor technologies to fabricate the first highly customizable microscale gas sensing devices.

Extra dimension doubles power of standalone antenna system

6/17/2022

A Penn State-led team created a standalone 3D antenna system that wirelessly harvests radio frequency energy and converts it to electrical energy to power itself and on-board sensors.

Media mention: ‘Three burning questions about the first brain reference charts’

6/17/2022

Laura Cabrera, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics and Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Career Chair in Neuroethics, discussed the neuroethical implications of the first reference charts for the human brain.

Remembering Mike Erdman, College of Engineering alumnus, professor

6/15/2022

The Penn State College of Engineering community is mourning the loss of Andrew Michael “Mike” Erdman, retired professor of practice, who died on May 29 at the age of 74. He earned an undergraduate degree in engineering science from the college in 1969, and his enduring dedication to Penn State and engineering was recognized with the college’s highest honor, the Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award, in March.

Rubbery camouflage skin exhibits smart and stretchy behaviors

6/13/2022

A Penn State-led collaboration has created artificial skin that mimics both the elasticity and neurologic functions of cephalopod skin. Made entirely of rubber, this material has potential applications for neurorobotics, skin prosthetics, artificial organs and more.

New waterproof sensors improve temperature and motion sensitivity, wearability

6/9/2022

Wearable sensors — an important tool for health monitoring and for training artificial intelligence — can be waterproof or can measure more than one stimuli, but combining these factors while maintaining a high level of precision in the measurements is difficult. Researchers co-led by Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, has created sensors that are waterproof — an important trait for exercise monitoring and for withstanding perspiration and all weather conditions — can measure temperature and motion on both small and large scales and can be attached to distal arteries such as the eyebrow or toe.

College of Engineering recognizes early career alumni

6/3/2022

The Penn State College of Engineering will recognize 11 early career alumni for their achievements and demonstrated commitment to their professions, communities and Penn State at a ceremony on June 17 at University Park.

College of Engineering awards six Multidisciplinary Research Seed Grants

5/25/2022

The College of Engineering recently awarded six Multidisciplinary Research Seed Grants to faculty members, including one in partnership with the College of Health and Human Development and another with the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

New breathable gas sensors may improve monitoring of health, environment

5/25/2022

Newly developed flexible, porous and highly sensitive nitrogen dioxide sensors that can be applied to skin and clothing have potential applications in health care, environmental health monitoring and military use, according to researchers.

New tool measures atomic scale defects, identifies transistor limitations

5/25/2022

A new take on a technique for studying defects in semiconductor materials could lead to improved speed, power and performance of electronic devices by revealing the atomic-level limitations of advanced materials.

Engineering professor named Jefferson Science Fellow by National Academies

5/23/2022

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have named Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State, as one of 14 members of the 2022-23 Jefferson Science Fellows class.

Media mention: ‘Bioprinting bone with genes for growth factors improves bone repair’

5/19/2022

Ibrahim Ozbolat, professor of engineering science and mechanics in the Penn State College of Engineering, was featured in an article by the National Science Foundation discussing his research to bioprint bone with encoding genes that enhance healing and regeneration.

Stretchable, 3D antenna improves wearable tech performance

4/22/2022

A new stretchable wideband dipole antenna can improve the performance of wearable technology by changing its physical shape to adapt to body movements and pressure, according to Penn State researchers.

Doctoral candidate wins best paper award at international conference

4/20/2022

Lauren Katch, doctoral candidate in engineering science and mechanics, won first place in the student paper contest at the Acoustical Society of America annual meeting in December 2021.

Engineer receives Humboldt Research Fellowship

4/20/2022

Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Penn State Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Assistant Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, recently received a Humboldt Research Fellowship, where he will complete a research program in Germany over the course of two years.

Materials Research Institute announces 2022 seed grant recipients

4/20/2022

The Penn State Materials Research Institute has announced the 2022 recipients of seed grants that will enable University faculty to establish new collaborations with partners outside their own units for the exploration of transformative ideas for high-impact materials science and engineering.

Penn State to lead $7.5 million study of radiation effects on electronics

4/20/2022

To better predict and mitigate radiation-induced damage of wide bandgap semiconductors, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded a Penn State-led team a five-year, $7.5 million Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative Award.

2022 spring student marshal: Jeremy Keirn

4/18/2022

Jeremy Keirn has been named the spring 2022 student marshal for engineering science.

Bioprinting for bone repair improved with genes, researchers report

4/12/2022

An international Penn State-led team is bioprinting bone, along with two growth factor-encoding genes that help incorporate cells and heal defects, in the skulls of rats.

Researchers engineer electrically tunable graphene device to study rare physics

4/8/2022

An international team, co-led by researchers at The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (NGI) in the U.K. and the Penn State College of Engineering in the U.S., has developed a tunable graphene-based platform that allows for fine control over the interaction between light and matter in the terahertz (THz) spectrum to reveal rare phenomena known as exceptional points. The team published their results today (April 8) in Science.

NSF grant funds institutes on next-generation display technology

4/4/2022

With a $300,000 National Science Foundation grant, Penn State and the University of Dayton will lead two advanced studies institutes in Taiwan on display technologies for engineering and science graduate students.

College of Engineering adds 15 faculty members

3/30/2022

The Penn State College of Engineering has added 15 faculty members this semester, with 11 tenured or tenure-line members and four non-tenure-line members.

Engineer testifies on microelectronics before congressional subcommittee

3/30/2022

Osama O. Awadelkarim, professor of engineering science and mechanics and the UNESCO Chair on Building Innovation and Manufacturing Capacities through Advanced Technology Education at Penn State, testified before the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Research and Technology on Feb. 15. The hearing was titled “Strengthening the U.S. Microelectronics Workforce.”

From the ground up: Taking 3D printing technology to the next level

3/30/2022

Researchers at Penn State are at the leading edge of the field now known as additive manufacturing, working to advance the capabilities of 3D printing with a goal of addressing pressing problems in human health, housing and transportation, among other areas.

2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award: Mike Erdman

3/25/2022

Mike Erdman, retired Penn State professor of practice, has been named one of 11 recipients of the 2022 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award by the Penn State College of Engineering.

Cunjiang Yu joins engineering science and mechanics, biomedical engineering

3/25/2022

Cunjiang Yu joined the Penn State College of Engineering as the Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics and Biomedical Engineering on Jan. 1. Yu received his doctorate in mechanical engineering at Arizona State University and completed a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Company founded on Penn State invention named winner of microfiber challenge

3/17/2022

A company spawned from Penn State research on a composite fiber from the proteins in squid ring teeth is a winner of the Microfiber Innovation Challenge. Tandem Repeat Technologies was named as one of five companies to win the contest.

Researchers publish how-to guide for monitoring and analyzing brain activity

3/3/2022

Penn State researchers have developed a set of tools and methods to better monitor and analyze sleep-related signals and fidgeting in rodent brain studies.

2022 NSF CAREER Award: Yang Yang

2/28/2022

Yang Yang, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, earned a five-year, $550,000 NSF CAREER Award for a project titled “Characterization and understanding of point defect evolution during corrosion-induced grain boundary migration.” Yang is also affiliated with the Penn State Materials Research Institute.

Insights from Experts: COVID-19 and gun violence increasing in PA

2/28/2022

Pennsylvania saw a 38% increase in the rate of gun violence during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was higher than the national average. This observation is based on the recent peer-reviewed study that enabled Penn State researchers to assess the rates of gun violence before the pandemic and compare them with the rates during the first year of the pandemic.

Nine engineers recognized with $5.5 million in NSF early career awards

2/28/2022

Nine faculty members in Penn State’s College of Engineering earned National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards. Each project funded ranges in duration from three and a half to five years, with grants from roughly $500,000 to more than $800,000.

Engineer named to MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 China list

2/25/2022

Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Assistant Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State, was named to the 2021 MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 China list.

Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory capstone project winners announced

2/22/2022

The College of Engineering Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory showcases for the fall 2021 semester took place virtually from Dec. 10 – 17 and in-person on Dec. 7. Students in the senior capstone design courses presented the culmination of their semester-long projects at the events.

Researcher awarded Los Alamos National Laboratory materials science award

2/18/2022

Parisa Shokouhi, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics and acoustics at Penn State, recently received the Institute for Materials Science Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Penn State faculty members, student receive best paper award

2/17/2022

The Federal Highway Administration recently honored a student and two faculty members for their paper, “A State Based Markov Model Approach to Impact Echo Signal Classification,” which was selected as the first-place winner in the bridge category of the 2020-21 Long-Term Infrastructure Performance Student Data Analysis Contest.

Engineer to develop fingerprints into 3D holograms

2/9/2022

Fingerprints left at a crime scene are typically collected and stored as photographs — but do they have to be? Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles G. Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, received a $300,000 grant from the Criminal Investigations and Analysis Center to develop a technique for creating 3D holograms from fingerprints.

Simulating a “net” flexible electronic

2/7/2022

Flexible electronics could lead to advancements in medical technology, smart devices and more, but their manufacturing must balance electric performance and stretchability, according to Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State.

New research advances wearable medical sensors

2/3/2022

Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, is working to improve health monitoring by creating self-powered, environmentally-friendly, wearable sensors that collect data for clinicians while limiting discomfort for patients.

Scientists develop ‘exceptional’ surface to explore exotic physics

2/1/2022

By demonstrating exceptional control of an open optical system, an international research team has provided a path to experimentally measure and test exotic phenomena and gain insights into new physics with exquisite sensitivity.

International journal cover features engineering science and mechanics professor's work

1/19/2022

Huanyu "Larry" Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Assistant Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State, and his research team recently published a review paper that was featured on the cover of a special issue of the International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing.

Solving the 'big problems' via algorithms enhanced by 2D materials

1/10/2022

Important optimization algorithms that are designed to solve large-scale problems such as airline schedules and supply chain logistics may soon get a boost from 2D materials that will enable the algorithms to better solve the problems and use less energy, according to Penn State researchers.

Engineers develop new software tool to aid material modeling research

1/6/2022

A new software tool can accelerate materials science research by cutting out tedious background research on material properties.

Engineer named fellow of international optics society

1/5/2022

Sahin K. Ozdemir, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, was elected a 2022 fellow of Optica, the international professional society formerly known as OSA.

Speedy, on-site drug detection key to reducing impacts of addiction crisis

1/5/2022

Rapid, accessible and highly accurate detection of addictive substances such as opiates and cocaine is vital to reducing the adverse personal and societal impacts of addiction, something current drug detection systems can take too long to provide.

Physics-informed deep learning to assess carbon dioxide storage sites

12/9/2021

Pumping carbon dioxide underground may help combat the warming of the atmosphere but finding appropriate underground sites that could safely serve as reservoirs can be complicated.

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