Archive for 'Chemical and Biological Engineering'

College welcomes new students in style

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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On August 29, 2014, the college hosted the first annual event to warmly welcome more than 1,500 new engineering students to the College of Engineering community. This full day of activities included breakfast, lounging in the green space alongside Engineering Hall, a trek en masse to the chancellor’s convocation at the Kohl Center, lunch on [...]

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Computing with grand demands

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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Wisconsin engineers find meaning in big data For all the scale and promise the term “big data” evokes, the exploding field of big data research really comes down to constraints. Even as high-throughput computers become increasingly powerful, it’s not feasible for them to simply brute-force their way through every massive set of information that might [...]

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Energy research for a stronger society

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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By Scott Gordon It’s hard to find an energy researcher in the College of Engineering who thinks only about one piece of the energy puzzle. Talk to an engine researcher about fuel efficiency, and pretty soon you’ll be discussing the engine as a bigger system. Ask an electrical engineer about power storage, and the conversation [...]

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Water works: Breakthrough opens a crucial door in chemistry

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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A multi-institutional team has resolved a long-unanswered question about how two of the world’s most common substances interact. In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, Manos Mavrikakis, the Paul A. Elfers professor of chemical and biological engineering, and his collaborators report fundamental discoveries about how water reacts with metal oxides. The paper opens [...]

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Assessing the economics of bioenergy

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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Biofuels researchers are increasingly thinking about how the energy market is changing, which challenges them to balance the basic science of new fuels with a more holistic view of the most commercially viable ways to produce them. So when a group of UW-Madison researchers began looking at how to make jet fuel from biomass, they [...]

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The chemical and biological engineering graduate program: Ongoing advancements in education and research

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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Graduate students have played a crucial role in making the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering one of the strongest and most enduring programs in the field. CBE grad students are integral to research, of course, but also to mentoring the department’s undergraduates. The department is ensuring that grad students will get an even stronger [...]

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Professorships keep CBE on global stage

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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UW-Madison’s reputation as a center for chemical and biological engineering has a lot to do with someone who graduated from the department nearly a century ago. Milton J. Shoemaker earned his UW-Madison chemical engineering degree in 1921, and went on to found Research Products Corporation, which operates in Madison. In the late 1980s, Shoemaker and [...]

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Alumnus built a legacy of generosity

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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In recent years, one of Andrew Johnson’s pleasures in life was to read letters of gratitude from College of Engineering under-graduates who received Great People Scholarships. “Every time he got a letter, he was exuberant about it, and he was happy to do so much good for those students,” says Johnson’s son, Robert. Andrew passed [...]

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Lessons from an unlikely career

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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Bob Forbess began his UW-Madison education in mechanical engineering during World War II, then embarked on a career that spanned from rockets to education. Perhaps that’s why Forbess, now retired, takes such a broad view of the value of a mechanical engineering degree. He is leaving a portion of his estate to the mechanical engineering [...]

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In celebration of decades of dedication

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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In 1941, before Bob Bird enrolled at the University of Maryland, he told his dad he was planning to study foreign languages. Bob’s dad, however, had other ideas. “If you want to be able to earn a living, you should take engineering,” said his dad. “Furthermore, since chemical engineering is the newest field and reputed [...]

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It’s a collaboration with chemistry

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Dow Chemical invests in university talent and technology In an effort to strengthen disciplines that align with its strategic goals, Dow Chemical Company has invested $14.5 million over five years in research at UW-Madison. Part of a broader funding program Dow launched in 2011 at 11 universities, the initiative combines expertise in engineering and chemistry [...]

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Growing the suite of bio-based chemicals

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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When Steenbock and Michel Boudart Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering James Dumesic looks at a dried corn stalk, he sees the energy embedded within it. For years, Dumesic and his colleagues have made major contributions to the science and process of converting plant waste into transportation fuel. And while renewable fuels historically have been [...]

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For Platypus Technologies, liquid crystals fit the bill

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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In 1999, researchers in New York City identified the first case of West Nile virus, which over the next five years spread across the country. Infected mosquitoes transmit the virus into reptiles, amphibians, and some mammals—including humans—and into more than 100 species of birds, which “host” the virus. At the time, identifying the disease in [...]

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Q&A with materials innovator Dane Morgan

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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  Associate professor, materials science and engineering and engineering physics Co-Director, Wisconsin Materials Institute Talk about your research. What, simply, do you study? I use computational modeling to understand and predict materials properties for a wide range of applications. By solving the fundamental quantum mechanical equations that describe atomic interactions, I can predict how atoms [...]

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Q&A with materials innovator Luke Mawst

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Professor, electrical and computer engineering Co-founder, Alfalight / Co-founder, Intraband Talk about your research. What, simply, do you study? The main thrust of my research is really looking at new semiconductor compounds and the application of these compounds into optoelectronic devices. Most people are familiar with the most common semiconductor material, silicon. But there’s a [...]

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Biofuel conversion process cuts costly separation step

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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Using a biomass-derived solvent, UW-Madison chemical and biological engineers have streamlined the process for converting lignocellulosic biomass into high-demand chemicals or energy-dense liquid transportation fuel. Their new method eliminates the need for costly pre-treatment steps that separate hemicellulose and cellulose, two main components of plant biomass that react at different rates. Pretreatment and extraction or [...]

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Gustafson named to National Academy of Engineering

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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In February, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) named David Gustafson to its 2013 class of new members. Gustafson is director of the UW-Madison Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies and a professor emeritus of industrial and systems engineering. The academy cited Gustafson for industrial and systems engineering methods to improve care for aging patients [...]

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Sharing the Badger pride

Posted on 10. Dec, 2012 by .

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By the time you are reading this message, I will have completed a tremendous chapter in my life. I am a December 2012 graduate of the UW-Madison Department of Mechanical Engineering, and I’m very proud to join the ranks of more than 45,000 UW-Madison engineering alumni around the globe. As a four-year member of the [...]

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Building blocks of the blood-brain barrier

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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For the first time ever, researchers have coaxed both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells to form the endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier—an advance that may unlock some of the most closely guarded secrets of this virtually impenetrable wall. The blood-brain barrier, which separates circulating blood from the fluid that bathes the brain, depends [...]

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In chemical reactions, water adds speed without heat

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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In industries such as the petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food and agricultural industries, hydrogen-based chemical reactions have huge applications. “For example, upgrading of oil to gasoline, and in making various biomass-derived products, you need to hydrogenate molecules—to add hydrogen—and all this happens through catalytic transformations,” says Paul A. Elfers Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Manos Mavrikakis. [...]

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A multidisciplinary perspective on biological systems

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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For more than a half century, the Petri dish has served as a living laboratory for biologists who intensively studied its contents and advanced our understanding of how microbial and mammalian cells behave. Now, however, researchers are drawing on knowledge and tools in such diverse areas as genetics, computer science, ecology and engineering to study [...]

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Active, engaging education. Anywhere. And right here.

Posted on 28. Aug, 2012 by .

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In every building on the College of Engineering campus, there are classrooms and lecture halls packed with students listening to lectures. Yet, increasingly, that very traditional way of learning is not the only way UW-Madison engineering students are learning. “The 50-minute lecture is one of the most inefficient methods for human learning to occur,” says [...]

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Insights on innovation

Posted on 27. Aug, 2012 by .

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UW-Madison is recognizing 2012-13 as the Year of Innovation, offering a chance to reflect on what this concept means to the university and to society. With $136 million in research and more than 100 patent disclosures annually, the College of Engineering has worked to cultivate innovation as standard operating procedure in our classrooms and labs. [...]

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‘Great people’ in the College of Engineering

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by .

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The UW-Madison Great People Scholarship Campaign and funding through the College of Engineering Dean’s Fund for Excellence help keep the university accessible to students who have the intellectual ability, curiosity and tenacity to achieve their educational goals. Great People scholarships are need-based grants. Donor gifts and pledges total nearly $14 million since the campaign was [...]

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A legacy of lessons learned

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by .

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Professorship advances educational excellence When Duane Bluemke completed his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering in 1955, he was grateful for the professors who had instructed him. He particularly appreciates the lessons he learned from the late Olaf Hougen. “He was an especially good teacher,” Bluemke says. “He taught so that you would understand how to [...]

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Gifts that last for life

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by .

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The College of Engineering is preparing globally competent engineers for the 21st century. Engineers today require both great disciplinary technical depth and interdisciplinary and cultural breadth to tackle the complex global challenges we all face. Alumni and friends are vital to this goal. Your gift will provide us with the resources to prepare the next [...]

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Conduit from Rufus King to Madison: Scholarship attracts top students

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by .

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Normally, the student transition from high school senior to college freshman means adjusting to a faster pace, a deeper curriculum and ramped-up expectations. Not so much for Korey Jasper, who experienced all those things as a 2010 graduate of Rufus King International Baccalaureate High School in Milwaukee. “They have high standards; they throw everything at [...]

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Making drug development less of a gamble

Posted on 04. Oct, 2011 by .

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The models Chemical and Biological Engineering Associate Professor Christos Maravelias develops are somewhat like a crystal ball that pharmaceutical companies can use to make research and development decisions about which drug formulations to develop. Drug development is an expensive, highly risky, long-term endeavor. There might be hundreds of candidate compounds, for example, for just one [...]

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For industry, advanced control methods boost bottom line

Posted on 04. Oct, 2011 by .

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In a chemical plant, a single raw product such as crude oil feedstock might be refined into many products, including gasoline, jet fuel and asphalt. How one product becomes many requires extremely precise, tightly controlled integrated processes, and Paul A. Elfers Professor James Rawlings and his students develop the theory and algorithms to hone this [...]

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A new platform: DNA delivery, on demand

Posted on 04. Oct, 2011 by .

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A versatile new platform technology could enable doctors to release DNA locally in the body for a variety of therapeutic applications. Using a layer-by-layer fabrication process, Chemical and Biological Engineering Associate Professor David Lynn (left, pictured with PhD student Shane Beckler), can coat complex medical devices, such as vascular stents, with alternating nanoscale polymer and [...]

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