Sunday, 24 of May of 2015

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Stevens Named NASA Fellow, Receives NREIP Funding

Maggie Stevens

Maggie Stevens

Maggie Stevens, a doctoral student in Associate Professor Tom Vandervelde’s REAP Lab, received funding to spend the summer working at the Naval Research Labs through the prestigious Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program. She will be working with the Robert Walters group at NRL on epitaxial processes and characterization.

Stevens also received funding from NASA for her proposal “Solid State Energy Conversion for Deep Space Power.” NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships are awarded to graduate students who show significant potential to contribute to NASA’s goal of creating innovative new space technologies for the United States’ science, exploration and economic future.

Earlier in the year, Stevens and undergraduate Katie Levinson in the REAP Lab presented papers at the American Physical Society meeting, March 2-6, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas. Stevens presented a paper on “Studying Anomalous Open-Circuit Voltage Drop-Out in Concentrated Photovoltaics Using Computational Numerical Analysis.”  Levinson presented a paper on “Emission Testing Results of Thermally Stable, Metamaterial, Selective-Emitters for Thermophotovoltaics.”


AEESP Recognizes Ramsburg for Outstanding Teaching

Andrew Ramsburg

Andrew Ramsburg

The Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) has recognized Associate Professor C. Andrew Ramsburg with its Award for Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering and Science which recognizes his outstanding contributions to the teaching of environmental engineering, both at Tufts and in the larger community.


Abriola Named University Professor

Linda M. Abriola appointed University Professor. Photo: J.J. Zhou

Linda M. Abriola appointed University Professor. Photo: J.J. Zhou

Linda Abriola, dean of the School of Engineering and a professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been named a University Professor, the highest academic honor conferred at Tufts. It is a distinction currently held by just four other faculty members here. Abriola is the first woman to receive the appointment.

Abriola, who has been dean since 2003, was one of the first to develop a mathematical model that describes the migration of organic liquid contaminants in the subsurface—or, more simply, how organic chemical pollutants travel within and contaminate our groundwater resources.

She is particularly known for her work on the characterization and remediation of underground aquifers contaminated by chlorinated solvents, a family of chemicals used as degreasers and in dry cleaning that are known carcinogens and harmful to ecological health.

The president and provost recommend faculty for University Professorships, which are approved by the Board of Trustees. The designation is an honor reserved for faculty of unusual scholarly eminence who are also exemplary citizens of the Tufts community.

“This appointment honors Linda Abriola for her work as a transformative leader of the School of Engineering and the university, as well as her outstanding reputation as a researcher in the field of groundwater remediation,” said Provost David Harris.

“I am deeply honored to receive this distinguished professorship,” Abriola said. “My past 12 years as dean of the School of Engineering have been the most rewarding and productive of my academic career. It has been both a joy and a privilege to be a part of this wonderful community, and I look forward to continuing my relationship with the university in this new capacity.”

- See more at: http://now.tufts.edu/articles/engineering-dean-named-university-professor#sthash.gcqQgivc.dpuf


Miller and Saibaba Featured on Cover of Inverse Problems

Eric Miller

Eric Miller

The research of Professor and Chair Eric Miller (ECE) and postdoc Arvind Saibaba is featured on the cover of the January issue of the journal Inverse Problems. The work, in collaboration with Professor Peter Kitanidis at Stanford University, develops computationally efficient methods for estimating the state of large-scale, noisy, and dynamical systems, opening up possibilities for real-time monitoring and control of processes in fields ranging from medicine and biology to subsurface remediation, carbon sequestration, and numerical weather prediction.

 

doi:10.1088/0266-5611/31/1/015009

Fig. 8 Variance of the computed solution at time 30 h after injection computed on the grid of size.


Tufts Softball One Win from NCAA Finals

Allyson Fournier, ChBE 15

Senior CF Michelle Cooprider went 4 for 4 with four runs scored and two rbis as the top-ranked Tufts Softball team earned an 8-0 five-inning victory over WPI in game one of the NCAA Championship Super Regionals Thursday at Spicer Field.

Softball Championship ChBE Senior Allyson Fournier pitched a three-hit shutout for the Jumbos, who are now one win away from making their fourth straight trip to the NCAA Finals.

Fournier improved to 29-0 with the win, striking out 11 along the way. The Jumbos extended their NCAA Division III record winning streak to 47 games while improving to 45-0 this season. WPI dropped to 34-10.


New Catalysts May Provide Path to Low-Cost Production of Future Fuels

Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos

Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos

New catalysts designed by Tufts University School of Engineering researchers and collaborators from other university and national laboratories have the potential to greatly reduce processing costs in future fuels, such as hydrogen. The catalysts, composed of single gold atoms bound by oxygen to sodium or potassium atoms and supported by a wholly unique structure comprised of non-reactive silica materials, demonstrate comparable activity and stability with current catalysts used in producing highly purified hydrogen.

The work, which appears in Science Express, points to new avenues for producing single-site supported gold catalysts that could produce high-grade hydrogen for cleaner energy use in fuel-cell powered devices, including vehicles.

“In the face of precious metals scarcity and exorbitant fuel-processing costs, these systems are promising in the search for sustainable global energy solutions,” says senior author Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos, the Robert and Marcy Haber Endowed Professor in Energy Sustainability.

The paper appeared in the November 27 edition of Science Express. (doi:10.1126/science.1260526). This research is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under grant # DE-FG02-05ER15730.

Image from Science Express, Nov 27


Matson Discusses Electromagnetic Levitator with NASA

Doug Matson

Doug Matson

Associate Professor Doug Matson spoke with NASA Public Affairs Officer Amiko Kauderer about the Electromagnetic Levitator, a piece of physics experiment hardware operating in the International Space Station’s Columbus laboratory. The EML is a furnace that can heat metals to more than 2,000 degrees Celsius and then cool them rapidly, and by doing so in a weightless environment—with the samples suspended in mid-air—allows scientists to more clearly observe some of the complex core processes of physics.

Watch the interview on YouTube.

 


Engineers Win Big at Tufts $100K New Ventures Competition

Engineering students won big at this year’s $100K New Ventures Competition held, April 7-8, 2015.

Computer Science seniors Karan Singhal and Jaime Sanchez were part of the winning team for the high-tech track. SpotLight Parking is an on-demand service that brings valet parking to the user’s fingertips through a mobile app that enables a customer to drive directly to a destination and be met by a SpotLight-enabled valet able to accept pre-registered credit cards. SpotLight Parking received the Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize, awarded to a project that bests demonstrate interdisciplinary engineering design and entrepreneurial spirit, and the Audience Choice Award, given to the highest-potential project as voted by event attendees.

Dylan Wilks, who graduates this year with his masters of science in engineering management from Tufts Gordon Institute, also tied for first place in the $100K. Dylan developed a low-cost, portable chemical analysis platform with marketability in the cosmetics, petroleum, and tobacco industries, among others.

Doctoral recipient Chirag Sthalekar and his advisor Valencia Koomson took third place in the $100K life sciences track for the development of low-cost and lightweight silicon microchip technology that accurately monitors cerebral blood flow to prevent brain damage in premature babies.

Read more about the Spring 2015 Finalists.

 

Tufts $100K Spotlight Parking

Members of the Spotlight Parking team receive their check.


Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences Launched

Matthias Scheutz

Matthias Scheutz

Researchers from Tufts University and the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) are joining forces to advance our understanding of how people think, function, and interact in demanding environments. This new center represents a collaborative partnership in cognitive science research co-directed and co-managed by researchers from both institutions.

“We hope to increase understanding of how individuals and teams adapt and sustain performance in high-stakes environments,” says Holly A. Taylor, a professor of psychology at Tufts School of Arts and Sciences, an adjunct professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and lead investigator from the Tufts team.

Matthias Scheutz, a professor of computer science at Tufts School of Engineering and co-principal investigator on the center grant, brings yet another dimension to the research when attempting to understand how people interact not only with each other in teams, but with potential robotic partners.

“In the same scenario of searching for an injured person, imagine now that a robot is the navigator,” says Scheutz, “and the rest of its human teammates are interacting with that robot from a safe distance out of the fray. How might that team work together in a high-stress environment? How could we improve that collaboration?” These questions need answering as robots become an ever-increasing presence on the battlefield and in everyday life, adds Scheutz who directs the Human-Robot Interaction Lab.

Read more about the launch of the center.

 Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences

 


BME Spring Newsletter Available

David Kaplan

Stern Family Professor and BME Chair David Kaplan

Dear Alumni and Friends,

The department moves forward, led as always by outstanding students, staff and faculty. The growth and popularity of our program continues to provide many opportunities, perhaps most notably: the class of 2018 will be the first where there is no enrollment cap in the BSBME program. Students interested in majoring in BME will now submit a declaration of major form, like all other engineering students. Additionally, course offerings in entrepreneurship and product development are broadening the student experience. These courses link engineering fundamentals, design, and research with industrial professionals’ experiences for better understanding of how technologies intersect with business, and regulatory needs, and ultimately, how they impact patients. Such exposure encourages broader thinking and, balanced by the fundamentals, empowers students to make informed career decisions.

We are proud our students continue to receive awards in support of their research:  Kyle Alberti and Kelly Sullivan, fellowships from the American Heart Association; Meghan McGill, National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellowship; Erica Palma, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Kirschstein-NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship; Sarah Lightfoot-Vidal, Fulbright Fellowship. Postdoctoral Scholar Kyle Quinn was awarded an NIH Pathway to Independence Award.

Among the faculty, Assistant Professor Qiaobing Xu was the recipient of the prestigious CAREER Award from the NSF for his work on an effective approach to transport protein-based drugs inside the cell, enabling a generation of new therapies for a variety of diseases. I am also happy to announce that Professor Fiorenzo Omenetto has been appointed the Associate Dean for Research in the School of Engineering, providing strategic advice to the dean on all matters related to research and technology development. And, congratulations to Associate Professor Irene Georgakoudi; she was elected to the AIMBE’s College of Fellows.

Looking towards the future, we aim to nurture accessible, cohesive, and exciting opportunities for our students to gain a global view on entrepreneurship and biomedical engineering. Building upon networks available through the Tufts European Center in Talloires, France and Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, we can better integrate international views on medical devices, regulation, business, and partnerships. We ask our alumni to consider working with the department to support our efforts, making an impact for students and enhancing the world around us. Your thoughts are welcome; we value your input, updates, and engagement in department activities.

David

Download the BME Spring 2015 newsletter.