Archive for 'Spring: Magazine'

Applying aquatic chemistry to solve our water quality problems

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Guest columnist Christina Remucal is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. She joined the college in August 2012. Water is one of life’s necessities. Growing up in the high desert of northern New Mexico gave me a deep appreciation for the preciousness of water. My family has its own groundwater well and, thankfully, [...]

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Silicon Valley Badger: Jim Sorden

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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“I’ve spent my whole life measuring time” The Global Positioning System (GPS), today one of the most versatile technologies on the planet, was still a highly experimental, underfunded military project when it first piqued Jim Sorden’s interest in the mid-1980s. But its potential compelled Sorden to make a bold move, leaving his 24-year career with [...]

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Silicon Valley Badger: Craig Palmer

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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And now for something completely different Some career trajectories follow a straight and narrow path; others take unexpected twists and turns. Craig Palmer’s career might be likened to a cross-country road trip—the kind where you leave the map at home and see where the road takes you. Palmer, a 1983 graduate of electrical and computer [...]

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Silicon Valley Badger: Tom Werner

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Helping solar energy’s future shine bright Thomas Werner’s solar energy company, SunPower Inc., in San Jose, has been keeping some pretty high-profile company these days. Take the San Francisco 49ers: The franchise is partnering with SunPower this year to make the new $1.2 billion Santa Clara stadium the greenest in the National Football League. It [...]

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Sustainability master’s helps professional engineers grow in new directions

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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As energy & CO2 leader for Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Steve Skarda spends most of his time working on renewable energy issues. But even on his own time, he thinks about sustainability. “It’s a personal passion for me,” he says. “I love it a lot. I took a car and converted it to an [...]

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A hull for Hoofers

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Students in Kuo K. and Cindy F. Wang Professor of Mechanical Engineering Tim Osswald’s Introduction to Composites Processing (ME 601) course are redesigning a BadgerTech boat for the Hoofers Sailing Club as a lesson in the mechanics of composite resins and process optimization. The students, many of them Hoofers sailing enthusiasts themselves, must infuse the [...]

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It ain’t easy being green: Freshmen researchers tackle tough project

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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The 14 freshmen had almost no background in engineering—nor had they  conducted any research. Yet by the end of their first semester at UW-Madison, they had completed a seemingly daunting project: Coat a small diesel engine with a platinum catalyst, add extra hydrogen to the combustion process, and determine if those changes reduced vehicle emissions. [...]

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A fusion star

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Lauren Garrison is soft-spoken, yet outgoing and a good listener to boot. She is equally comfortable chatting with kids in a grade-school classroom or with elite scientists at an international conference. A trained dancer, she is a crowd leader and a comfortable performer. In life, she seeks opportunities, rather than waiting for them to come [...]

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A blueprint for success: Helping transfer students overcome any obstacle

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Growing up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Daniel Ramirez eyed the circuitry of arcade cabinets with wonder. But turning that ambition into a career as an engineer was a pipe dream. “After high school, I figured that I wasn’t going to be able to afford college,” he says. Instead, he focused on building a family with his [...]

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Virtual internship, real engineering

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Applying the role-playing and problem-solving conventions often employed in video games, a computer simulation called Nephrotex enables engineering undergrads to assume the role of biomedical engineering interns working at a fictional company, giving them an early peek at what it’s like to apply math and science skills to a real-world problem. “It’s about learning to [...]

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With 400th PhD grad, UW-Madison celebrates half a century of fusion energy

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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In the 1930s and ‘40s, many researchers studied ways to use fusion, the reaction in which atomic nuclei collide, fuse and release energy, to develop atomic weapons. Later, researchers would begin to focus on beneficial applications of fusion, including developing plants that would produce electrical energy for society. Noted physicist Don Kerst was among those [...]

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Silicon Valley Badger Engineers: How the West was won

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Here’s a story that could aptly be titled, “Only in Silicon Valley.” Three young entrepreneurs come to Inspovation—a Los Altos, California, venture firm—with a cool idea to create a cheaper alternative to renting cars at airports. The team has an impressive lineage from Harvard, MIT and Princeton. As the conversation continues, the investors find the [...]

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Our global footprint

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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Bob Lorenz walks eagerly to a favorite spot—a wall of photos of faculty, staff and students associated with Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC)—in the Mechanical Engineering Building. Among those photos are the faces of international students and visiting scholars, and Lorenz traces invisible lines between himself, former students who have returned as [...]

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Advanced manufacturing research conference in Madison, June 10-14, 2013

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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The largest manufacturing research gathering in the Americas will take place June 10-14, 2013, at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. The event will draw nearly 500 international academic and industrial leaders to two conferences: the 41st North American Manufacturing Research Conference, sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the 2013 [...]

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Five questions with Frank Pfefferkorn about manufacturing systems education

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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  Frank Pfefferkorn is an associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program at UW-Madison. Q: What is the Manufacturing Systems Engineering program? A: The Manufacturing Systems Engineering (MSE) program is an interdisciplinary master’s degree-granting program that was founded in 1983. The MSE program is part of the College of [...]

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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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Can infant lung disease predict adult heart health?

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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With $3.27 million from the National Institutes of Health, Pediatrics and Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Marlowe W. Eldridge and Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Naomi Chesler will research how bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a common condition in low-birth-weight infants, acts as a predictor of right heart failure in adulthood. Finding such a correlation could greatly inform treatment strategies [...]

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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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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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Video tool could help active workers avoid injury

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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Video of workers performing tasks such as assembling a manufactured part or packing boxes could help assess the likelihood that those people will develop common repetitive-motion injuries. Repeatedly performing the same motions and exertions can lead to injuries in which the body suffers strain from even tiny actions—for example, handling small parts, operating a machine [...]

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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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Stretching the limits of flexible electronics

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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  Stretched-out clothing might not be a great result of laundry day, but in the case of microprocessor manufacturing, stretching out the atomic structure of the silicon in the critical components of a device can be a good way to increase a circuit’s performance. Creating “stretched” semiconductors with larger spaces between silicon atoms, commonly referred [...]

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Moving a great college forward

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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As my first opportunity as dean to reach the 45,000-plus College of Engineering alumni, let me express my great enthusiasm for the future of this college, for our profession as a whole, and for the chance to work with you. Engineering today is at the very heart of many national and global priorities. My goal [...]

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Tom Gerold: Passionate innovation—pesticide, nitinol and a broken leg

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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“Innovation. The very word evokes mental images of complex turbo-machinery, nanoscale robots and iPads. Our brains are tuned to think of people like Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs and the Wright Brothers when the word reaches our ears. Something innovative is something desired—celebrated even—in our society. Imagine a world where the common cold is a life-threatening [...]

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Jacqueline Gerhart: Engineering quality patient care

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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While her heart is most definitely in the world of patient care, Dr. Jacqueline Gerhart serves as a superb example of the flexibility and potential of a biomedical engineering degree from the College of Engineering. Like many biomedical engineers, Gerhart has been captivated by medical gadgetry since her first day on the College of Engineering [...]

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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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James McCarthy: Applying engineering and medicine to help children walk

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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Bone is a remarkable organ, says orthopedic surgeon and engineering mechanics graduate James McCarthy (BSEM ’86). It grows and heals itself, and not many organs can do that. It can be cut and gradually lengthened. The bone fills itself in. If done at the right rhythm, a bone can grow to be just about as [...]

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Creative energy: In new building, microgrid lab will spark practical solutions

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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When the Wisconsin Energy Institute building opens on the UW-Madison campus in early 2013, it will include a high-power microgrid that will combine real and simulated power sources capable of reproducing the inherent technical challenges associated with intermittent energy sources. “We want to be able to create all of the different operating conditions that are [...]

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New engineering podcast series launches with e-business, sustainability experts

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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In the inaugural edition of the Badger Engineering Perspective podcast, Industrial and Systems Engineering Professor Raj Veeramani talks about how new information technology can allow businesses to implement innovative new processes for getting work done. He also discusses the role of the University of Wisconsin E-Business Consortium in allowing companies to share their innovations and [...]

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