Ten college students from around the U.S. are at UT for the Computational Science for Undergraduate Research Experiences, a summer internship program that provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to begin using high-performance computing.
For more than seven decades, UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have forged special connections in a number of key areas, perhaps none stronger than the personnel that the two share. That particular bond was on display recently when members of UT’s Office of Professional Practice visited the facilities at ORNL, meeting more than sixty engineering students involved in summer internships at the lab.
The university’s Nuclear Engineering Department has climbed from the twelfth-ranked program in US News and World Report to the fifth-ranked in just four years. One of the reasons why: the amount of research conducted in the department. That was a key point College of Engineering Dean Wayne Davis and department head Wes Hines shared with the UT Board of Trustees Wednesday. Investment in research almost quadrupled from 2008 to 2013, climbing from $2.1 million to $8.2 million over that span.
One of the key connections between the College of Engineering and the business world has hit a major milestone as the Reliability and Maintainability Center welcomes its fiftieth corporate partner.
When faculty members Karen Lloyd and Andrew Steen saw an opportunity to introduce a group of inner-city New Jersey high school students to science, they made it happen. Lloyd, an assistant professor of microbiology, and her husband, Steen, an assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences, just completed their second summer program with students and teachers from Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark.
Researchers at UT are a step closer to creating a prophylactic drug that would neutralize the deadly effects of the chemical weapons used in Syria and elsewhere. Jeremy Smith, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair and an expert in computational biology, is part of the team that is trying to engineer enzymes—called bioscavengers—so they work more efficiently against chemical weapons.
A multiyear series of projects in the College of Engineering has been extended again for the 2014–2015 cycle through a grant provided by the II-VI Foundation, which recently signed its third annually reviewable three-year grant to UT. The foundation was started in 2007 with the mission of “encouraging and enabling students to pursue a career in engineering, science and/or mathematics while maintaining a standard of excellence in that pursuit.”
Janet Nelson has been named the new associate vice chancellor for research, focusing on research development, effective July 1. Nelson joins UT’s Office of Research and Engagement from her position as director of business development for the URS Corporation. She replaces Greg Reed, who has served as associate vice chancellor for research since 2007.
Californian and Swiss researchers have been using the Kraken supercomputer to model what would happen if a major earthquake hit the southern portion of the San Andreas Fault. The entire fault extends more than 800 miles, from San Francisco to Southern California. What makes these researchers’ work different from previous studies is that they’ve factored in “nonlinear behavior of rocks”—a phenomenon that could reduce the velocity of ground motion predicted by previous computer models.
The ability to pull water out of fog is just one of many possibilities made real by research involving assistant professor Andy Sarles of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering. The project Sarles took part in—Air-Stable Droplet Interface Bilayers on Oil-Infused Surfaces—was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.