Archive for 'Materials Science and 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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Five questions with Dane Morgan about big data

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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Materials Science and Engineering Associate Professor Dane Morgan and his students use atomic-scale computer modeling to understand and design new materials. As co-director of the Wisconsin Materials Institute, he is part of an effort to leverage computational, experimental and data analysis infrastructure and expertise at UW-Madison—ultimately to help increase the speed with which the U.S. [...]

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Honing in on the elusive atom

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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Using a state-of-the-art microscope and new methods in image processing, a multi-institutional team of researchers has devised an inventive way to measure the positions of single atomic sites in materials more precisely than ever before. In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the team demonstrated the ability to locate atoms in high-resolution images [...]

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Honoring a Wisconsin materials science visionary

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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Richard (Arthur) Dodd understood the future of materials science before just about anyone else at UW-Madison. The English-born Dodd arrived on campus in 1959 as an associate professor of mining and metallurgy, having previously served in engineering roles in industry and academic roles in South Africa and the University of Pennsylvania. Beginning in the late [...]

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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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Advancing industry through materials research and education

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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For members of the Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium, some of the greatest benefits of membership include access to world-class research—and to the students at all educational levels who conduct that research. “The research we have here is five years or more ahead of the things our members are doing, and they want to know about [...]

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Future looks bright for carbon nanotube solar cells

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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In an approach that could challenge silicon as the predominant photovoltaic cell material, UW-Madison materials engineers have developed an inexpensive solar cell that exploits carbon nanotubes to absorb and convert energy from the sun. The advance could lead to solar panels just as efficient, but much less expensive to manufacture, than current panels. The proof-of-concept [...]

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How waste wood works for forests

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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At first glance, they may look lush and green, but many of the nation’s forests also are chock-full of brush—often, invasive species and disease-transmitting biomass—just waiting for a spark. “One of the reasons wildfires are so catastrophic is that many forests are unhealthy and there’s a lot of excess biomass in the forest,” says Joseph [...]

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Materials innovator Padma Gopalan: Bringing nature’s complexity to polymer synthesis

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Associate professor, materials science and engineering Director, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center Padma Gopalan’s research focuses on designing, synthesizing and characterizing new types of polymers with the ability to self-assemble into a wide range of useful nanostructures. Yet one of her favorite nanostructures comes not from the lab but from nature, on the wings of [...]

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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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In static friction, chemistry is key to stronger bonds

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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Inspired by phenomena common to both earthquakes and atomic force microscopy, UW-Madison materials engineers have learned that chemical reactions between two silicon dioxide surfaces cause the bonds at that interface to “age,” or strengthen gradually over time. In researchers’ understanding of static friction, it’s an advance with staying power. “What happens is that when you [...]

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Capitalizing on computation for materials science

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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Drawing on scripting languages that are used in applications ranging from video game development to enhancing functionality on a web page, a team of UW-Madison researchers is developing tools that automate and accelerate research for materials design. Led by Dane Morgan, an associate professor of materials science and engineering, from the National Science Foundation to [...]

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Man-made material pushes the bounds of superconductivity

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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A multi-university team of researchers has artificially engineered a unique multilayer material that could lead to breakthroughs in both superconductivity research and in real-world applications. Led by Chang-Beom Eom, the Harvey D. Spangler Distinguished Professor of materials science and engineering and physics at UW-Madison, the group described its breakthrough March 3, 2013, in the advance [...]

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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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Jackets for jet engines: Coatings help parts withstand the heat

Posted on 30. Aug, 2012 by .

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Without high-temperature coatings, the metallic parts of a jet engine would melt away in a crucible of 2,500-degree Fahrenheit heat. Materials Science and Engineering Professor John Perepezko and his team have developed a new, molybdenum-silicon-boron coating that could allow engines to operate at even greater temperatures, promising more efficiency and longer life for parts operating [...]

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Nanoscale piezoelectric materials could shake up chemistry

Posted on 30. Aug, 2012 by .

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Pollution controls, fuel cells, pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing all rely on catalysts to facilitate the chemical reactions that create useful products from raw material. Although not consumed in those reactions, catalysts can be limited, deactivated or otherwise destroyed in the process. Finding plentiful, durable low-cost catalytic material can create new pathways to sustainable, efficient production [...]

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In thermoelectrics, vibrations are key

Posted on 30. Aug, 2012 by .

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More and more, researchers are finding that things behave differently when observed on the nanoscale. Materials Science and Engineering Associate Professor Paul Evans has devised an x-ray analysis technique that allows researchers to study vibrations or how electrons travel in nanoscale samples of silicon crystal. Researchers knew the vibrations were occurring, but 99 percent of [...]

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Katherine Turner: My path to becoming a deepwater drilling engineer

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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My name at the time was Kate Parker. Rumor had it that I was the first female undergraduate since World War II. I was a psychology major in 1975 looking for an engineering degree when I ran into Professor Heinz in the mining and metallurgy hallway. He was the first middle-aged adult I spotted. He [...]

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Who knew? Five questions with Bill Murphy about biotech innovation

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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Bill Murphy is an associate professor of biomedical engineering, materials science and engineering, and orthopedics and rehabilitation. Murphy and his students develop new biomaterials and uses for biomaterials, as well as new approaches for drug delivery and gene therapy. He and various collaborators have founded two spin-off companies, collaborated with several other established companies, and [...]

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Starting small: Advance could set piezoelectric material applications in motion

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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Integrating a complex, single-crystal material with “giant” piezoelectric properties onto silicon, UW-Madison engineers and physicists can fabricate low-voltage, near-nanoscale electromechanical devices that could lead to improvements in high- resolution 3-D imaging, signal processing, communications, energy harvesting, sensing, and actuators for nanopositioning devices, among others. Led by Harvey D. Spangler Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and [...]

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Take a deep breath. You could generate electricity … with your nose

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Xudong Wang (right), postdoctoral researcher Chengliang Sun and graduate student Jian Shi (left) have created a plastic microbelt that vibrates when passed by low-speed airflow such as human respiration. In certain materials, such as the polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) used by Wang’s team, an electric charge accumulates in response to applied [...]

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Nine to five in two

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by .

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Funded research project lands grad student a full-time job Many College of Engineering students complete internships during their tenure at the college, hoping to gain work experience that will make them better equipped to find jobs in their fields. But, sometimes the benefits are more direct. Take Anshuman Sharma, a materials science graduate student who [...]

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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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Strengthening bonds with the welding industry

Posted on 06. Oct, 2011 by .

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An engine block cast from aluminum or magnesium-matrix nanocomposites can be much lighter than one cast from aluminum alone. Similarly, a power-plant pressure vessel made from advanced steel that can withstand higher temperature and pressure without deforming could burn more efficiently and produce less pollution. Researchers continue to create new materials with properties that promise [...]

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Slippery concepts: Tiny interactions explain massive phenomena

Posted on 06. Oct, 2011 by .

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An earthquake conjures images of massive tectonic plates shifting and ocean waves heaving across the planet. To understand such interactions  better, Materials Science and Engineering Associate Professor Izabela Szlufarska is looking at them on the molecular level. Szlufarska researches the phenomena that result from coupling chemistry and mechanics, with specific focus on adhesion and friction. [...]

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Nanomembranes promise new materials for advanced electronics

Posted on 06. Oct, 2011 by .

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The camera in your phone collects light on silicon and translates that information into digital bits. One of the reasons those cameras and phones continue to improve is that researchers are developing new materials that absorb more light, use less power, and are less expensive to produce. Recent innovations by a team of materials science [...]

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Teaching the societal side of engineering

Posted on 29. Sep, 2011 by .

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Outreach initiative engages middle-school students and teachers When Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Amy Wendt (right) was in ninth grade, her teacher asked the class if anyone liked math. Sitting in the front row, Wendt eagerly put up her hand. Then she realized she was the only one. Now, Wendt is helping math and science [...]

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Three UW-Madison award winners

Posted on 21. Jun, 2011 by .

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Philip Dunham Reed Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering Susan Hagness is one of 11 winners of the 2011 Kellet Mid-Career Award, supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The award recognizes outstanding mid-career faculty members who are five to 20 years past their first promotion to a tenured position. Each winner, chosen by a [...]

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