Tag Archives: materials

Developing 3D-printed sheet music for the blind

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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When mechanical engineering graduate student William Aquite saw a video profiling Yeaji Kim, who was completing her PhD in the School of Music, he was intrigued. Kim, who is blind, plays piano using Braille scores. However, the scores are highly complex and yet can still lack some information traditionally included on sheet music. To address [...]

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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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See-through sensors open new window into the brain

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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Developing invisible implantable medical sensor arrays, a team of UW-Madison engineers has overcome a major technological hurdle in researchers’ efforts to understand the brain. The team described its technology, which has applications in fields ranging from neuro-science to cardiac care and even contact lenses, in the online journal Nature Communications. Neural researchers study, monitor or [...]

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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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$25 million gift creates unique institute

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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A new trans-disciplinary research institute in the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering will drive technological breakthroughs that will enhance the success of U.S. industries and fuel economic growth in the nation. Funded with a $25 million commitment from The Grainger Foundation, the Grainger Institute for Engineering will foster new discoveries and build the university’s [...]

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In gratitude for your pride in and passion for our college of engineering

Posted on 25. Jul, 2014 by .

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On June 16 at approximately 11:45 a.m., I had the honor and privilege of making a very special announcement. In front of a crowd of nearly 350 engineering faculty, staff and students and members of the media, I revealed news of the largest gift in UW-Madison College of Engineering history. That $25 million commitment—from The [...]

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‘Smart’ medical material aims to unfurl at 98.6 degrees

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Mechanical Engineering Professor Lih-Sheng (Tom) Turng has a simple office demonstration of how shape-memory polymers work. He takes the material, which is formed into a compact flower bud, drops the bud in a cup of warm water, and voila: A daisy slowly blooms. A significant materials research advance by Turng and colleagues may help translate [...]

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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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Stiff, strong and stable composites

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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It was a sweltering day on Long Island, and young Rod Lakes and his family were stuck in the middle of a traffic jam. Up the road, there was a drawbridge. Its two halves had expanded due to the heat and, instead of closing properly, the pieces overlapped. Though at the time Lakes didn’t realize [...]

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In Wisconsin, cold-spray knowledge is a hot commodity

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Back in the mid-1980s, Fisher Barton founder Richard Wilkey (BSMetE ’59) was looking for coatings to extend the life of the lawnmower blades his Wisconsin-based company manufactured. For help, he looked to Frank Worzala, then a professor of metallurgical and mineral engineering, and Worzala’s master’s student Bill Lenling (BSMetE ‘84, MSMetE ‘86), who was seeking [...]

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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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On becoming an engine of materials research innovation

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Materials play such a foundational role in advancing civilization that they are essentially the shorthand of human history, as defined by the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. While those three distinct eras span millions of years, the modern materials challenge will be defined by accelerating the pace of innovation. The White House Materials [...]

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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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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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College of Engineering interdisciplinary degree programs

Posted on 30. Aug, 2012 by .

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Environmental Chemistry & Technology Program Marc Anderson (chair) Tel: 608/263-3264 • Fax: 608/262-0454 mcpossin@wisc.edu www.engr.wisc.edu/interd/ect Geological Engineering Program Craig H. Benson (chair) Tel: 608/890-2420 • Fax: 608/890-3718 gle@engr.wisc.edu www.gle.wisc.edu Limnology and Marine Science Program Steve Loheide (chair) Tel: 608/263-3264 • Fax: 608/262-0454 mcpossin@wisc.edu www.engr.wisc.edu/interd/limnology Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program Frank Pfefferkorn (director) Tel: 608/262-0921• Fax: 608/265-4017 [...]

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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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Scanning the sky: Lasers monitor wind turbine health

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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Thousands of wind turbines across the United States generate an estimated 48,000 megawatts of cumulative power. Blades on these massive systems can reach 50 yards in length and represent one of the biggest maintenance challenges to keeping turbines under power. “These turbines are interesting machines because they are so large, they are quite flexible and [...]

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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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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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A tip that never gets old

Posted on 19. Apr, 2012 by .

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With colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, and IBM Research-Zürich, UW-Madison engineers fabricated an extremely sharp nanoscale tip made from silicon carbide. The tip, which wears away at a rate of less than one atom per millimeter of sliding on a silicon dioxide substrate, is thousands of times more wear-resistant than previous designs. The advance [...]

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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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