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Fulton Schools In The News

September

2020
  • New research center focuses on inclusive STEM education

    New research center focuses on inclusive STEM education

     The Research For Inclusive STEM Education Center, a new ASU research center created this year to help forge a more inclusive STEM education for students, aims to achieve that goal through the undergraduate experience within science, technology, engineering and math. The center examines inequities within classrooms, research labs and learning environments to create interventions. RISE looks at identities beyond race and gender within STEM education. Kristen Parrish, an associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment in the Fulton Schools and the associate director of the center, said creating change in STEM leads to change in the university.

  • It’s 102 degrees in Arizona, but it’s officially too cold to swim. Here’s why

    It’s 102 degrees in Arizona, but it’s officially too cold to swim. Here’s why

    Temperatures in Phoenix are around 102 degrees outside, and pool water temperature can be 80 degrees, but for some, it feels too cold to go swimming. Thermal perception is the temperature “felt” by the body, regardless of what the thermometer reads, said Robert Wang, an associate professor in Arizona State University’s School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy. It varies from person to person, which explains why couples argue about where to set the thermostat.

     

  • Engineering sophomore creates contact-prevention multitool

    Engineering sophomore creates contact-prevention multitool

    A second-year student in the Fulton Schools has created a contact-prevention multitool to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Coronavirus Multitool, created by mechanical engineering student Benjamin Voller-Brown, helps reduce indirect transmission by limiting the amount of public surfaces people touch. Each tool is 3D printed from polylactic acid.

  • ASU ranked a top 10 university for technology company hires

    ASU ranked a top 10 university for technology company hires

    In a recent survey by the talent company SHL, Arizona State University ranked No. 6 out of 10 public and private universities in the U.S. in technology-sector hires, with 8,320 graduates now working at some of the largest tech companies across the country, including Amazon and Apple. ASU outranked Carnegie Mellon University; Georgia Institute of Technology; University of California, Los Angeles; and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

  • Storing information and designing uncrackable codes with DNA

    Storing information and designing uncrackable codes with DNA

    DNA is like a molecular vault that stores the intricate design blueprints for life on Earth. A group of ASU researchers whose combined expertise encompasses biology, chemistry, physics, materials science and engineering are exploring DNA’s capacity to carry information as a model for developing microscopic forms that can encrypt, store and retrieve information as effectively as the most advanced silicon-based semiconductor computer memories. A key member of the team is Chao Wang (pictured), a Fulton Schools assistant professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering whose research focuses on bridging nanoscience and biotechnology.

  • Researchers detect 160-degree radiant temperature at Phoenix homeless encampment

    Researchers detect 160-degree radiant temperature at Phoenix homeless encampment

    Cities should provide more “engineered shade” to improve the livability of their neighborhoods and public spaces, says Ariane Middel, a Fulton Schools assistant professor and urban climate researcher. With mobile heat-sensing and measuring technology Middel designed and built, she recently compared ambient temperatures in diverse areas of Phoenix. In places where homeless people tend to camp or working-class people live there is a significant lack of shade compared to affluent neighborhoods where there are often tree-lined streets and much better shaded surroundings. Those contrasts can make a big difference in temperatures and comfort levels of the local climate, Middel says. As part of its community sustainability efforts, the city of Phoenix has been prioritizing tree planting in vulnerable areas.

    See Also: ‘Shadow hunter’: ASU climatologist helps others find shade from Arizona sun, 3TV/CBS 5 News-Phoenix

  • From high-altitude balloons to Moon missions

    From high-altitude balloons to Moon missions

    Work on a project funded by a NASA science education program has Fulton Schools mechanical engineering student Jessica Frantz setting her sights on contributing to space exploration missions in the future. Frantz says she’s gotten valuable experience as a part of team that has built instruments that have been attached to a high-altitude balloon to evaluate the health of Arizona’s desert vegetation. The project has brought challenges, but also given Frantz and her research team members confidence in their abilities to solve problems. She plans to pursue a career in aerospace.

  • Robot Wear

    Robot Wear

    Wearable robotics are becoming more of a normal part of the work environment in a variety of businesses and industries. At construction sites, in manufacturing operations and industrial plants, wearable robotics are helping workers do heavy lifting, reduce the impact of repetitive motions and improve worker safety. So-called robotic “industrial exoskeletons” are especially popular, says Fulton School Professor Tom Sugar, who is director of science and technology for the Wearable Robotics Association. Most importantly, Sugar adds, robotics are enabling people do their work with less physically strenuous efforts and thereby reducing risks of pain, injury and other debilitating health problems.

  • Focusing on the fate of flushed contact lenses

    Focusing on the fate of flushed contact lenses

    It’s estimated that tens of millions of contact lenses wearers are disposing of their old lenses by flushing them down drains. That adds up to about 90,000 pounds of contact lenses each year, which is adding significantly to growing amounts of microplastics pollution. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden and two researchers in his lab, doctoral student Varun Kelkar and postdoctoral researcher Charles Rolsky, say the lenses break down to become part of the many tons of plastics finding their way into the environment and posing potential health risks to people and animal life.

  • AZBio awards ASU researchers for exceptional work in biosciences

    AZBio awards ASU researchers for exceptional work in biosciences

    Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown’s research is helping to produce renewable bioenergy, develop ways to improve human health, advance treatment for children with autism and eliminate environmental contaminants. The Fulton Schools professor’s accomplishments have earned her the Arizona Bioscience Researcher or the Year Award from AZBio, an organization that works to build Arizona’s bioscience industry. Krajmalnik-Brown, who directs ASU’s new Biodesign Center for Health Through Microbiomes, is contributing potential solutions to some of the most challenging problems in environmental engineering and science, says AZBIO’s president and CEO.

  • Are micro and nanoplastics accumulating in human organs and tissues?

    Are micro and nanoplastics accumulating in human organs and tissues?

    Plastics pollution has become a major global problem, with plastics waste spread throughout vast swaths of the planet, especially oceans. Recent research shows small bits of plastics are even finding their way into humans, with possible detrimental effects on the body’s organs and tissues. ASU’s Center for Environmental Heath Engineering, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, has been at the forefront of studies of plastics pollution and its impacts. In a recent interview, Halden, joined by Fulton Schools environmental engineering doctoral student Varun Kelkar and postdoctoral research Charles Rolsky — who also is the director of science in North America for Plastic Oceans International — provide details on what we know about the scope of the problem, what more we need to learn and what we can do to reduce the risks it poses.

  • IRF members partner on pavement engineering research

    IRF members partner on pavement engineering research

    Advances in fiber-reinforced pavement materials are expected from an expanded collaboration between a leading pavements industry company and Fulton Schools researchers. Professor Kamil Kaloush will have a key role in the effort through his role in the newly established FORTA Professorship position at ASU. Kaloush and other ASU researchers have worked with the FORTA Corporation for more than decade to develop more durable and versatile pavements. That success has spurred further investment by FORTA to fund the professorship and conduct more research at ASU. Kaloush, the chair of the International Road Federation Committee on Sustainable Pavements, will continue his work bringing together researchers, industry and government leaders to make road travel safer and roadways more resilient. Read more.

  • Luminosity Lab develops new sterilization units for masks, general goods

    Luminosity Lab develops new sterilization units for masks, general goods

    Fulton Schools electrical engineering graduate student John Patterson (pictured) and undergraduate mechanical engineering undergraduate Katie Pascavis are among members of an ASU Luminosity Lab team developing methods of sterilizing personal protective equipment people are using to avoid the health risks posed by the COVID-19 disease. The project is producing protective face masks that remain effective for longer periods of time than standard surgical face coverings, Patterson says. Pascavis says the masks can be especially helpful in schools and for businesses that don’t have access to large supplies of protective equipment. The lab team has developed an ozone system designed to be used in dormitories and other communal spaces for sanitizing various materials.

  • Utility Global Comes Out With Bold Claims for Cheaper, Cleaner ‘Blue’ Hydrogen

    Utility Global Comes Out With Bold Claims for Cheaper, Cleaner ‘Blue’ Hydrogen

    Blue hydrogen, produced from natural gas through the process of steam methane reformation, is one of only a few methods that help make the industrial production of hydrogen a little cleaner — though it still falls short of the zero-emission or “green” hydrogen made using renewable power and electrolyzers. But a startup company claims to have made a technical breakthrough that enables making blue hydrogen less expensively and with significantly fewer carbon emissions. Ryan Milcarek, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has examined the technology. He deems it a promising technique for providing an alternative pathway to generating hydrogen in a less environmentally detrimental way than existing technologies. The technology has been tested at ASU and is now undergoing testing by the U. S. Department of Energy.

  • Virus Turns Up The Virtual Volume in AEC Sector Education

    Virus Turns Up The Virtual Volume in AEC Sector Education

    Engineering and construction educators are stepping up to challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic — specifically the closing down of many in-person classes. They are devising multiple ways to create productive learning environments through use of online, virtual and hybrid remote instruction resources. Anthony Lamanna, program chair in the Fulton Schools Del E. Webb School of Construction, says these alternative educational paths are well-suited to preparing students for careers in a range of construction and related engineering industries. Many of the tech-based teaching scenarios that have been developed in response to COVID-19 seem likely to be continued even after the pandemic subsides, Lamanna says.

  • Extreme Heat is Here, and it’s Deadly

    Extreme Heat is Here, and it’s Deadly

    With a heat-sensing robot she designed and built, Ariane Middel gathers data to gain detailed knowledge about the impacts of heat on the urban environment. Middel, a climate scientist and assistant professor in the Fulton Schools, is working with communities to fight off the extreme heat that is becoming a more frequent condition in many densely urbanized regions. Middel has focused in part on ways cities can create shade to maintain comfort levels for people. But she and other experts say more intense engineered heat mitigation efforts will be needed as climate change continues to turn up the heat in more places around the world.

    See Also: Facing killer heat during a pandemic, ASU NOW, September 3

  • New academic programs place emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and STEM

    New academic programs place emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and STEM

    ASU is adding a significant number of new undergraduate and graduate degree programs to its educational offerings, including new majors, minors and certification programs. Many are concentrating on the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math. They include a Fulton Schools master of science degree program in modern energy production and sustainable use. Another is an interdisciplinary master’s of science degree program in innovation and venture development, a joint effort involving the Fulton Schools, ASU’s Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts and W. P. Carey School of Business. The program will focus on giving students experience-based learning in creating business ventures.

    See Also: New graduate programs unveiled at ASU’s Innovation Open launch begin, The State Press, September 8

August

2020
  • Power Grids Aren’t Evolving Fast Enough for Global Warming

    Power Grids Aren’t Evolving Fast Enough for Global Warming

    Extreme heat this summer is putting stress on electrical powers grids in some regions of the United States. But the bigger problem is increasing long-term impacts of global warming. Fulton Schools Associate Professor Mikhail Chester points out that many electrical grids were built decades ago and are not designed to cope with the environment we have today. That means both energy generation and distribution are likely to be hampered by the changing climate. Chester and other experts in his field say there’s an urgent need to figure out how to re-engineer the grid to be more resilient even as the climate becomes more unstable.

  • Can Tech Save The World

    Can Tech Save The World

    In a look at recent technological advances that could help the world implement more practices to sustain a healthy environment and clean up those that are threatened by the results of unsustainable human actions. The potential solutions include the carbon capture systems like those being developed by ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner. Those systems are able to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which would help reduce the accumulations of greenhouse gases that contribute to the environmental harm done by global warming.

  • NAU Scientists Join $4 Million Nanotechnology Collaborative Infrastructure Southwest

    NAU Scientists Join $4 Million Nanotechnology Collaborative Infrastructure Southwest

    Research led by Trevor Thornton, a Fulton Schools professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering, gave rise to the National Nanotechnology Collaborative Infrastructure Southwest to explore the frontiers of nanoscience and engineering. The endeavor is now expanding with a recent National Science Foundation grant enabling ASU researchers to team with colleagues at Northern Arizona University. The next-generation initiative brings world-class expertise in theoretical and experimental quantum and soft/biological nanomaterials to the collaborative’s pursuit of nanotechnology innovations.

  • Research shows water quality could diminish in closed buildings during COVID-19 pandemic

    Research shows water quality could diminish in closed buildings during COVID-19 pandemic

    A serious health risk may be growing in water inside pipes in buildings that have been closed as businesses were shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic — especially restaurants, bars and gyms. Disease-causing microorganisms could be breeding in such stagnant water, says Kerry Hamilton, a Fulton Schools assistant professor who does research in ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. Hamilton has coauthored a report with colleagues at Purdue University, a project funded by the National Science Foundation, to address challenges assessing water conditions in buildings that have been vacant for long periods and recommending best practices to restore water quality.

    See Also: Buildings Reopening After Coronavirus May Face Tainted Water Systems, KJZZ (NPR), September 1

  • Peak Demand And The Arizona Power Grid 101

    Peak Demand And The Arizona Power Grid 101

    Higher than normal summer temperatures in much of Arizona are a key factor in the recent rise in demand for electrical power. So far, utility companies are able to keep up, primarily because electricity in the state is generated through a mix of sources — nuclear and hydroelectric power, coal, natural gas and some solar power. Fulton Schools Professor Vijay Vittal, a power systems expert, explains how the array of power systems are managed to help prevent shortages and potential blackouts. Generation, transmission and distribution of electricity is closely coordinated to help maintain an adequate supply of power. Still, Vittal points out, events such as wildfires and a surge in the use of residential power because of the COVID-19 pandemic can put stresses on the systems and threaten the smooth functioning of power grids.

  • Pilot shows early COVID-19 detection in city wastewater

    Pilot shows early COVID-19 detection in city wastewater

    ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, is among the research groups leading the way in developing wastewater analysis techniques that are helping communities around the world to detect the spread of COVID-19. The detection method has particularly aided the United States, where COVID-19 testing and test results have lagged behind some other countries.

    Read more: ASU scientists searching sewers for traces of COVID-19

  • MANY HUMAN ORGANS ARE VULNERABLE TO MICROPLASTICS IN THE ENVIRONMENT, NEW STUDY DEMONSTRATES

    MANY HUMAN ORGANS ARE VULNERABLE TO MICROPLASTICS IN THE ENVIRONMENT, NEW STUDY DEMONSTRATES

    Previous studies have found microplastics in the oceans and the air, on land, in food and in marine animals. But a new study from ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Ralph Halden, indicates human organs and tissues can also absorb microplastics and nanoplastics. Halden says the center’s researchers intend to develop a plastics exposure database as a tool for further studies to compare exposures to these plastics in groups of people over time and in different places. Graduate research assistant and co-author of the study Varun Kelkar says the next step is to conduct epidemiology studies to assess if there are any significant health risks posed by accumulations of the non-biodegradable plastics in human body’s tissues.

    See Also: Scientists Can Now Detect Microplastics in Human Organs & Tissues, Green Queen, August 27

    Oh Great, Scientists Are Now Finding Traces of Plastic in Human Flesh, Vice News, August 25

    Microplastics Found in Human Organs for First Time, EcoWatch, August 18

    Plastic Component Found In Human Organs, Forbes, August 18

    Microplastic particles now discoverable in human organs, The Guardian, August 17

    Scientists find microplastics inside human organs, Futurism, August 17

    Study of human tissues finds plastic particles in every sample, New Altas, August 17

    Tiny particles of plastic have been found inside human organs, METRO (United Kingdom), August 18

  • Scientists are trying to find out exactly how much plastic is in our bodies—and what it’s doing to us

    Scientists are trying to find out exactly how much plastic is in our bodies—and what it’s doing to us

    As the use of plastics has proliferated in the modern world of manufactured materials, tens of thousands of tiny particles called microplastics often find their way into our bodies each year. So, scientists are trying to find out how much microplastic stays in our vital organs and what long-term health impacts that might potentially have. To do that, they’ve created a tool to accurately measure the mass and volume of plastic particles in human tissue — providing a standard metric that researchers can use to compare findings, says Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. In related work, two graduate students working under Halden have presented their findings on how nano and microplastics can be recovered from the body.

    See Also: Researchers Discover Microplastic Trapped in Human Organs: Liver, Lungs, and Spleen, Tech Times, August 17

    Microplastic pollution is found in human organs and scientists fear the tiny particles could increase the risk of infertility and cancer, Daily Mail, August 17

    Researchers find microplastics in every human tissue studied, Science Focus (BBC Focus Magazine), August 17

    Autopsies Show Microplastics in All Major Human Organs, MedicineNet and Health Today, August 17

  • Devilishly hot

    Devilishly hot

    Two climate researchers provide a guide to the hottest and coolest places on ASU’s Tempe campus as the fall semester opens amid a late summer heat wave. Ariane Middel (pictured) and Scott Krayenhoff, affiliates of ASU’s Urban Climate Research Center, did a three-year study to determine where the campus environment offers the most respite from the heat. It’s all about the shade, says Middel, whose research is aided by a mobile weather station she created to measure radiant heat outdoors. She found the formula for coolness on campus terrain is grassy areas well-shaded by trees. Middel is an assistant professor in the Fulton Schools with a joint appointment in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering. Krayenhoff is an assistant professor of environmental sciences at the University of Guelph in Canada. (The report is a recent update of an article originally published in 2019.)

  • Solar panels are starting to die. What will we do with the megatons of toxic trash?

    Solar panels are starting to die. What will we do with the megatons of toxic trash?

    Solar panel technology will have an important role as a renewable energy source that can help prevent bigger waves of climate change. But one drawback already beginning to arise is the electronic waste produced when those panels exceed their productive lifespans. Meng Tao, a Fulton Schools professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering, says those used-up panels will someday become close to 80 million metric tons of solar energy tech waste. A vast recycling plan for solar panels is imperative to prevent having to dispose of them in already overloaded landfills, Tao says. He recently co-authored a research journal review paper about recycling of silicon solar modules. The article is also published in WIRED and Mother Jones.

  • Stimulating the deep brain

    Stimulating the deep brain

    Debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease can be eased through inserting electrodes into an area of the brain that plays a central role in enabling the body’s movement. The discovery results from research by Bradley Greger, a neuroscientist and Full Schools associate professor of biomedical engineering, in collaboration with Francisco Ponce, a neurosurgeon with the Barrow Neurological Institute. The patient involved in the research project and his family are sharing their experiences as he goes through the procedure to provide information about the value of the medical procedure and the research to others with Parkinson’s Disease.

  • Regardless of trigger, ammonium nitrate was likely basis for Beirut explosion

    Regardless of trigger, ammonium nitrate was likely basis for Beirut explosion

    Lack of basic safeguards for storing hazardous materials appears to have been the major contributing factor in the recent explosive blasts resulting in death and destruction in Beirut, Lebanon. Professor Kiril Hristovski, chair of the Fulton Schools Environmental and Resources Management program and a hazardous materials management expert, gives his assessment of conditions that likely led to triggering the ammonium nitrate explosion. Hristovsky says the United States has thorough regulations to guide safe practices in storing and managing explosives materials — rules that it seems apparent were not followed in Beirut.

  • Tetra Tech’s Melinda Tam Discusses How Cybersecurity Plays into the Digital World

    Tetra Tech’s Melinda Tam Discusses How Cybersecurity Plays into the Digital World

    Only several years after graduating from ASU with a degree in electrical engineering, Melinda Tam started an electrical, instrumentation and controls engineering firm. Fifteen years later, the company had more than 100 employees and four offices across the United States. She has been focusing on helping clients develop technology to transform field data into intelligent information for utility operations, maintenance and management in the water industry. That work involves making advances in the digital transformation field to help clients overcome security challenges brought on by the rapid growth in digital technology. In an interview, she delves into details about the acceleration of digital transformation endeavors and the race to secure them against cyber threats.

  • Why climate change is about to make your bad commute worse

    Why climate change is about to make your bad commute worse

    A fast-changing climate is poised to become a significant problem plaguing public infrastructure in the United States — including a big threat to make our driving experiences more aggravating. Mikhail Chester, Fulton Schools associate professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering and co-leader of the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network, says many of the country’s roadways are not designed to recover from the environmental stresses that a changing climate and its extreme weather events can inflict. Power lines, bridges, sewers and dams are also in danger of being damaged by the frequency and intensity of such events likely to be driven by new normal in our climate situation.

  • Not So Soft Soap

    Not So Soft Soap

    As COVID-19 spread around the world, health organizations, governments and disease experts encouraged frequent and vigorous hand washing to protect against the coronavirus infection. Demand shot up for antibacterial soaps, sanitizers and disinfectants. But some have raised concerns about the possible negative effects of that preventative action — particularly skin irritation and sensitivity, as well as developing a resistance to antibacterial products. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, an environmental health engineer, points to risks posed by some antimicrobial chemicals used in disinfectants, cleaning and personal care products that could do harm to people and the environment.

  • ‘We have to create a very safe environment’: Summer classes at ASU give idea of what’s to come in fall

    ‘We have to create a very safe environment’: Summer classes at ASU give idea of what’s to come in fall

    As ASU prepares to begin fall semester classes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, logistics are being worked out to enable students, faculty and staff to maintain social distancing on campus to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection. A Fulton Schools summer session chemical engineering lab that has made the transition back to in-person instruction is providing an example of putting those plans into action. Fulton Schools Lecturer Michael Machas, who is teaching the lab course, says the many precautions put in place in the lab space have eased his initial concerns about the in-person course presenting a health risk. Given all the protective measures being taken, some students say the lab environment might be one of the safest places they could be during the pandemic.

  • Chemical Spilled In Tempe Train Derailment May Break Down Quickly

    Chemical Spilled In Tempe Train Derailment May Break Down Quickly

    Arizona’s hot summer temperatures cause liquid materials to evaporate quickly, says Fulton Schools Associate Professor Kiril Hristovski. That could help reduce the risk from combustible chemicals that spilled from train cars in a recent train derailment and bridge collapse at Tempe Town Lake near ASU, says Hristovski, chair of the Fulton Schools Environmental and Resource Management program. He also notes that these chemicals are biodegradable, which would enable microorganisms that live in soil to use the chemicals as a food source. The spilled substances however, are toxic in water, he adds.

    See Also: Overall Number Of Train Accidents Down In Arizona And The U.S., KJZZ (NPR), August 7

  • ASU creates memorial fund and page for deceased professor

    ASU creates memorial fund and page for deceased professor

    The death of Fulton Schools Professor Junseok Chae — recently confirmed to have been the victim of a homicide — has inspired tributes and a memorial fund to honor the memory of an admired teacher and accomplished researcher. A professor of electrical engineering, computer and energy engineering who for a time served as the Fulton Schools associate dean of research, Chae’s work involved collaborations with many ASU faculty members and administrators, as well as students involved in research. The university plans to use contributions to Chae’s memorial fund to benefit students through tuition and training assistance, support to attend conferences and providing research equipment.

  • Could sewage have warned about Covid-19?

    Could sewage have warned about Covid-19?

    Researchers at leading universities in Mexico are among those around the world adopting methods of detecting the spread of COVID-19 that have become a major focus of work in ASU’s Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden (center in photo), the center’s director, and Associate Research Scientist Erin Driver (at right) are leaders in wastewater epidemiology, which involves analyzing wastewater to detect signs of community health risks, including levels of COVID-19 infection. A related technique, called sewage metrology is also being used to reveal the genetic indicators of the coronavirus in the materials found in wastewater. (Note: Using the Google Chrome browser gives readers the option to see a version of this article translated into English.)

  • ASU professor details hazardous materials risks in incidents like Tempe Lake Bridge derailment

    ASU professor details hazardous materials risks in incidents like Tempe Lake Bridge derailment

    Two of the train cars involved in a recent bridge collapse, train derailment and fire on a railway bridge over Tempe Town Lake contained toxic chemicals. In the wake of the accident, Kiril Hristovski, a Fulton Schools associate professor and chair of the Environmental and Resource Management program, talks about challenges involved in hazardous materials transport and handling of toxic materials. First responders to the railway destruction in Tempe did a professional job, keeping a dangerous situation from becoming more serious, Hristovski says. But he adds that the potential for such situations to quickly become more threatening to people and property make it imperative for all possible precautionary measures to be put into effect to prevent such incidents from happening.

  • ASU leads new research center to power up electrical grid

    ASU leads new research center to power up electrical grid

    A multi-university research enterprise being established by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and more sustainable and resilient electricity grids will be based at ASU. The Energy Frontier Research Center will be led by Stephen Goodnick, a Fulton Schools professor electrical engineering and Robert Nemanich, an ASU Regents Professor of physics. They will coordinate work with colleagues at seven other major research universities to take on some of the toughest scientific and engineering challenges that are impeding progress in advancing energy technologies. Goodnick and Nemanich say one major focus will be on the use of next-generation materials to improve the performance of semiconductors systems.

  • ASU among top 10 ‘Best Buy’ public schools

    ASU among top 10 ‘Best Buy’ public schools

    One major college guide publication ranks Arizona State University as one of the best of the more affordable leading public universities. The Fisk Guide to College cites ASU for its innovative approaches to higher education and research, identifying several particularly strong academic programs — including the Fulton Schools engineering degree programs — among the offerings in the university’s 16 colleges and schools. ASU overall is touted for being a “national model of how to navigate the emerging demographics of U.S. higher education.”

July

2020
  • ASU engineers offer insight on Tempe railway bridge collapse

    ASU engineers offer insight on Tempe railway bridge collapse

    Beyond determining precisely what led to the recent train derailment, bridge collapse and resulting fire on the Union Pacific Salt River Bridge over Tempe Town Lake near ASU, other questions must be answered about the impacts of the incident to adequately assess how to effectively repair and rebuild the damaged sections of the bridge and the rail line. Fulton Schools engineers point to many technical considerations that must be taken into account to guide restoration of the structure, particularly the replacement of steel, concrete and other construction materials that will be necessary. One thing is certain, the engineers say, railway bridges are critical links in the country’s freight transportation network and any prolonged delay in their repair is disruptive to businesses and communities that rely on what railways deliver.

    See Also: ASU engineers look at possible reasons for Tempe rail bridge collapse, 3TV/CBS News 5-Phoenix, July 31

    Tempe Fire: Workers injured during train derailment cleanup effort over Tempe Town Lake, Fox 10 News-Phoenix, July 31

    Train derails, causing fire and partial Tempe Town Lake bridge collapse, ABC 15 News-Phoenix, July 29

    NBC News 12-Phoenix

  • Researchers pinpoint how sorbent materials catch and release carbon

    Researchers pinpoint how sorbent materials catch and release carbon

    Carbon capture technology is a promising tool for efforts to reduce the buildup of environmentally harmful carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. One leading example of the technology is the Mechanical Tree developed by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner and his team at ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions. His recent research has revealed how sorbent materials can capture and release carbon, which is a key capability of all air capture systems. In a new research paper, he and three colleagues explain precisely how sorbent materials ­capture and release carbon. That discovery could lead to better designs for carbon capturing sorbent materials and be used to improve the performance of Lackner’s Mechanical Tree systems.

  • Train derailment, bridge collapse under investigation in Tempe

    Train derailment, bridge collapse under investigation in Tempe

    Flames and thick black smoke billowed into sky at Tempe Town Lake near ASU when a freight train derailment and bridge collapse ignited a fire on a section of the railway bridge over the lake. Some of the train cars contained toxic and flammable material. For comment about the impacts and aftermath of the damage, reporters sought out Anthony Lamanna, associate professor and undergraduate program chair for construction management in the Fulton Schools Del E. Webb School of Construction. Lamanna commented on factors that are likely to be examined in an investigation of the derailment and the fire. Lamanna, whose expertise includes bridge assessment, strengthening and repair, said it must be determined if the train derailment caused the bridge collapse or a bridge collapse caused the derailment.

    See Also: Investigators working to find cause of train derailment, bridge collapse in Tempe, 3 TV/CBS 5 News-Phoenix, July 29

  • Watcher in the Wastewater

    Watcher in the Wastewater

    Scientists say monitoring of urban wastewater could improve surveillance systems for detecting COVID-19 and other pathogens —disease-causing bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms. Various studies around the world are showing that genetic traces of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen in wastewater indicate trends in the spread of COVID-19. Among those carrying out significant wastewater monitoring projects is Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden and his research team at ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. The team is leading a wastewater surveillance program for the city of Tempe. Halden says the monitoring can’t reveal precise numbers of infected individuals within a specific geographical area, but can provide general assessments of whether disease rates in particular areas are falling or rising.

  • Efforts to cool Phoenix include pale pavement coating to reflect sunlight

    Efforts to cool Phoenix include pale pavement coating to reflect sunlight

    With much of its ground surface covered in concrete, asphalt and similar pavement materials, Phoenix offers a prime example of the urban heat island effect — which produces persistent and uncomfortably high temperatures in the metropolitan area, especially in summer. The city is now embarking on a Cool Pavement Pilot Program to attempt to prevent the heat buildup on streets and other paved expanses. Experts in ASU’s Urban Climate Research Center, including Fulton Schools Assistance Professor Ariane Middel, are among engineering and science consultants for the project. Reducing the heat buildup would also help to save money on electric bills and cut down on air pollution from greenhouse gas emissions, Middel says. The articles was also published in the Daily Independent.

    See Also: How Reflective Paint Can Combat The Urban Heat Island Effect, KJZZ News (NPR), July 24 (an interviewwith Ariane Middel)

  • Researchers at ASU double down on their drive to improve and save lives

    Researchers at ASU double down on their drive to improve and save lives

    ASU’s Skysong Innovations team is helping many of the university’s leading researchers to put their creativity and technological skills to work helping to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Among them are Fulton Schools faculty members. Cody Friesen, associate professor of materials science and engineering, is helping to bring clean water to communities around the world through his Zero Mass Water startup. Jennifer Blain Christen, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, is working with a multidisciplinary team of ASU researchers to develop a novel diagnostic for the COVID-19 disease. Klaus Lackner, a physicist and professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, is leading research at his Center for Negative Carbon Emissions to develop carbon-capture technologies to remove dangerous greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

  • Researchers investigating possible link between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19

    Researchers investigating possible link between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19

    Researchers conjecture that a strong immune system may provide individuals some defense against COVID-19 — and one way to maintain a healthy immune system is by avoiding a vitamin D deficiency. James Adams, a Fulton Schools professor of materials science and engineering, is among those who are leading research to discover if vitamin D supplements can help prevent infection by the novel coronavirus or even help in recovery from the disease. Adams is heading a preliminary study of vitamin D in COVID-19 patients in conjunction with the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. It’s not clear if vitamin D deficiency causes severe COVID-19 symptoms, or if the deficiency is another symptom of the disease, Adams says. But he is hoping research reveals whether vitamin D has a potential as supplemental treatment for COVID in conjunction with drugs or vaccines.

  • ‘U.S. will continue to lead the world in scientific investment and innovation’

    ‘U.S. will continue to lead the world in scientific investment and innovation’

    In his new job as director of the National Science Foundation, Fulton Schools Professor Sethuraman Panchanathan foresees the agency putting multiple goals on its list of priorities under his leadership. More medical and health research, helping to boost breakthroughs in technologies such as artificial intelligence, and supporting advances in quantum information science, wireless communications and synthetic biology are on that list. There’s also strengthening productive scientific relationships with other countries and with industry. Panchanathan sees the United States continuing to make investment in science innovation one of its most important national priorities. Panchathan is on leave from his education and research leadership positions at ASU while serving as the NSF’s director.

  • Inside Your World: COVID-19 early warning system

    Inside Your World: COVID-19 early warning system

    A sewage-testing program in Tempe, Arizona, led by Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden and his research team at ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering is drawing interest from communities around the United States. The testing program is revealing information about the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Tempe and helping guide city officials in taking steps to control outbreaks of the coronavirus infection. After several months of testing, the results show the monitoring program is effective. Halden says the same kind of effort could be implemented in more tan 100,000 wastewater treatment facilities worldwide if sufficient resources are invested in testing.

    See Also: Testing wastewater could be next clue in fighting coronavirus, Fox17 News (Nashville), July 16

  • Advice for the new NSF director

    Advice for the new NSF director

    Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities, says the United States faces formidable national security, economic and social justice challenges. Coleman writes in an editorial that aiding progress in those areas should be a priority for Sethuraman Panchanathan (pictured), the Fulton Schools professor who is on leave from his ASU leadership roles to serve as the director of the National Science Foundation. The country can benefit from a deeper public understanding of the value of science and engineering, more diversity in the science and engineering workforce, and ways to more efficiently move innovative research advances into the marketplace, Coleman says. She urges Panchanathan to become one of the nation’s leading advocates for such causes.

  • ASU professor, doctoral student develop program to detect ‘fake news’

    ASU professor, doctoral student develop program to detect ‘fake news’

    Mix the expanding capabilities of powerful technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning with increasing access to far-reaching communications platforms. Combine those factors with a lot of people persistently and craftily working to create and control the political and social narratives that shape public viewpoints. That’s a recipe for “fake news” to proliferate and thrive. Huan Liu, a Fulton Schools professor of computer science and engineering, and computer science doctoral student Kai Shu, are among experts working to develop defenses against the growing pervasiveness of false narratives that are sowing divisiveness into today’s world. In an interview, they discuss the complexities of the fake news environment and the challenges of helping people discern what’s real from what’s not.

    See Also: Fake news spotter under development at ASU, EdScoop, July 17

  • Data analytics can predict global warming trends, heat waves

    Data analytics can predict global warming trends, heat waves

    New research is revealing data that can provide early warning signals of potentially catastrophic weather events and climate trends, particularly severe heat waves and global warming. The methods to detect and track the warning signs to enable such predictive capabilities are the work of Zhihua Wang, a Fulton Schools associate professor whose expertise includes climate modeling and land-atmospheric interactions, and Chenghao Wang, a former ASU research scientist now at the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University. The researchers say the methods are applicable for predicting extreme weather events within the next few days or weeks and also forecasting meteorological and climate trends over coming decades or even longer. The article also appears in the Eurasia Review, TDnews and Phys.org.

    See Also: Climate change: Scientists look at 20th century data, heat extremes for early-warning signals, Down To Earth, July 16 

  • Is it safe to microwave food?

    Is it safe to microwave food?

    Food cooked with microwave radiation generally poses little risk to people’s health. But microwaving food in plastic containers might lead to significant problems. Some research has shown that some foods will lose a good portion of their nutritional value and their antioxidant benefits. Other studies suggest certain risks from cooking starchy foods in microwaves.  The big threat, however, appears to be what could happen when the food is cooked in plastic containers, says Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. Certain chemicals from the containers have been shown to seep into the food — chemicals that might disrupt the healthy functioning of the body’s hormones and overall metabolism.

     

  • A U.S. Firm Is Turning Arabian Desert Air Into Bottled Water

    A U.S. Firm Is Turning Arabian Desert Air Into Bottled Water

    The Arabian Desert might be one of the last places to come to mind as a potential source for drinking water. But Zero Mass Water, a startup founded by Cody Friesen, a Fulton Schools associate professor of materials science and engineering, may change that notion. The company plans to put its renewable energy based system into operation in the United Arab Emirates. The system powered by solar energy draws moisture from the air to produce clean water. The facility the company is building near the city of Dubai could offer a model for other dry desert regions to produce drinking water in sustainable ways. Friesen also wants to start using Zero Mass Water’s capabilities to provide water for agricultural uses. (The article was also published in The Economic Times and the Bangkok Post.)

  • Rolf Halden / Sewage COVID

    Rolf Halden / Sewage COVID

    Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden is interviewed about the work of his research team at ASU Biodesign Institute‘s Center for Environmental Health Engineering that is giving communities an assessment of the levels of infection from the COVID-19 virus among the local populace. Researchers are doing this by chemical monitoring of the contents of wastewater, which Halden calls an “information super highway” that is providing accurate and valuable data about the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wastewater samples contain all the bodily fluids and other substances physicians examine to diagnose individuals’ health, Halden says, so “the sewage doesn’t lie.”

    See Also: Tempe using wastewater data to increase outreach, COVID-19 testing in parts of north Tempe, Arizona Republic, July 13

  • Phoenix using ‘cool pavement’ to try lowering temperatures

    Phoenix using ‘cool pavement’ to try lowering temperatures

    A team of ASU faculty members will conduct a year-long research project to assess the thermal impacts of new “cool pavements” on reducing the urban heat island effect in Phoenix. Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Ariane Middel and Professor Kamil Kaloush are on the team. Common pavement materials absorb heat in the daytime and release it at night. In Phoenix’s desert climate that can boost night-time temperatures more than 20 degrees, making paved areas especially uncomfortable. The researchers will help Phoenix officials measure the performance of the cool pavements in reducing that heat-radiating effect. School of Sustainability Assistant Professor Jennifer Vanos and School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning Professor David Sailor and Assistant Professor David Hondula are also on the research team.

    See Also: ‘Cool Pavement’ Coming Soon To Some Phoenix Neighborhoods, KJZZ (NPR), July 19

  • Why are Artificial Intelligence systems biased?

    Why are Artificial Intelligence systems biased?

    The world wide web and the internet have often been touted as impartial appraisers of information — and therefore reliable sources on which to base informed, objective decision making. But problems have arisen with the use of artificial intelligence systems used to gather and assess information from the web and the internet. Often, what AI provides reflects many ingrained societal biases, writes Fulton Schools Professor Subbarao Kambhampati, a leader of major AI organizations and one of the experts who started the Conference on AI, Ethics and Society. Today, reining in such harmful biases is among the most urgent tasks in managing the risks of data-driven AI technology, Kambhampati says. One the positive side, many research institutions, corporations and governments are aware of the problem and appear willing to help solve it.

  • ASU’s top academic programs continue to climb in world rankings

    ASU’s top academic programs continue to climb in world rankings

    Among academic programs that made substantial gains in the recent Global Ranking of Academic Subjects was the Fulton Schools environmental science and engineering program, which finished 10th — up from 39th in 2019. Cutting-edge research that is contributing to public health, protecting the environment and development of solutions to the impacts of climate change have elevated the reputation of the program, says Professor Ram Pendyala, director of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of the six Fulton Schools. The Global Ranking rates more than 4,000 universities on 54 areas study.

  • ASU psychology department receives NSF funding to study behavioral effects of COVID-19

    ASU psychology department receives NSF funding to study behavioral effects of COVID-19

    Beyond its life-threatening physical toll, the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of many people. The National Science Foundation is supporting ASU researchers in exploring how the disease is affecting individuals’ emotional well-being and impacting their behavior. Among the research team members is D. Vaughan Becker, a Fulton Schools associate professor human systems engineering. Becker will join his colleagues to investigate how the pandemic might be spawning different societal prejudices, ideologies and viewpoints on public policies. The hope is that the research will help government leaders, corporations, institutions and the general populace learn how to better respond to and cope with psychological ramifications of the COVID-19 crises.

  • ASU professor redesigning cooling vests to deal with hot temperatures in Arizona

    ASU professor redesigning cooling vests to deal with hot temperatures in Arizona

    One of the engineering world’s most valuable contributions to clothing design and innovation could be the kinds of attire being conceived through research led by Konrad Rykaczewski, a Fulton Schools associate professor of mechanical engineering. The water-absorbing cooling vests he is developing show promise for leading to clothes that will enable wearers to better withstand the hot summer temperatures in places such as Phoenix and the surrounding desert environs in southern Arizona. Rykaczewski hopes to produce clothing that will especially protect people who work outdoors. At right is one of Rykaczewski’s vests shown in an infrared photograph that demonstrates its evaporative cooling capability.

  • Palm Coast to begin testing wastewater for COVID-19 RNA

    Palm Coast to begin testing wastewater for COVID-19 RNA

    As it prepares to reopen schools in the midst of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Palm Coast is turning to Aquavitas, a company that has spun off from research at the ASU Biodesign Institute‘s Center for Environmental Health Engineering led by Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden. The Florida city is partnering with the state’s health department for a wastewater epidemiology project to determine where in the community the threat of COVID-19 infection is highest. Aquavitas specializes in developing data-driven environmental diagnoses in efforts to protect public health. Along with Halden, AquaVitas is led by chief executive Adam Gushgari, who earned a doctoral degree in civil, environmental and sustainable engineering from the Fulton Schools, and chief technical officer Erin Driver, an ASU assistant research scientist.

  • Covid Drives Real Businesses to Tap Deepfake Technology

    Covid Drives Real Businesses to Tap Deepfake Technology

    Images and videos generated by artificial intelligence technology became known as deepfakes, due to the intent of many creators of the imagery to deceive people. Now use of such manipulated images is moving into the mainstream. Major corporations are now using AI-synthesized imagery to enhance their marketing and advertisement — especially as COVID-19 restrictions make conventional videos more difficult to produce. Digitally made models are among the first AI-produced imagery in ads. Subbarao Kambhampati, a Fulton Schools professor of computer science, AI researcher and a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, says using synthetic models instead of real people might lead to a false sense of accomplishment that people from a wide range of groups are being represented in mass media when that is not actually the reality.

  • An optimist takes the helm at the National Science Foundation

    An optimist takes the helm at the National Science Foundation

    There are challenges aplenty for the agency that oversees the United States government’s support for scientific endeavors. Not everyone in the country’s leadership institutions agrees on what priorities should be set for the National Science Foundation or on a vision for its future. But the NSF’s new director, Sethuraman Panchanathan, a Fulton Schools professor of computer science and engineering, is positive about the outlook for the agency and the important strides it can make. Panchanathan is on leave from his position as ASU’s executive vice president and chief research and innovation officer to take the helm of the NSF. With his experience helping ASU evolve into a leading research university, he is confident he can help keep the agency on an upward trajectory.

    See Also: Indo-American Scientist Appointed Head Of America’s Top Science Funding Body, South Asian Link, July 5

June

2020
  • Testing wastewater for coronavirus: ASU researchers notice spike following end to lockdown

    Testing wastewater for coronavirus: ASU researchers notice spike following end to lockdown

    With his experience analyzing wastewater to detect signs of public health problems, Rolf Halden (pictured), a Fulton Schools professor of environmental engineering, wasn’t surprised to see a spike in cases of COVID-19 in Arizona after the state ended the lockdown of certain types of businesses and lifted restrictions on public gatherings. Most of those measures have been reinstated as the number of cases have since risen sharply. But Halden says reducing the spread of COVID-19 infections will also require more conscientious actions by individuals to follow health guidelines to protect themselves from contracting the disease.

  • ASU research and innovation leader Sethuraman Panchanathan confirmed as National Science Foundation director

    ASU research and innovation leader Sethuraman Panchanathan confirmed as National Science Foundation director

    Sethuraman Panchanathan is the new director of the National Science Foundation, the U.S. government’s top science agency. He will take an extended leave from his positions as ASU’s executive vice president and chief research and innovation officer — and as a Fulton Schools professor of computer science and engineering — to take on his new duties helping set the course for the nation’s science endeavors. He is the second American of Indian origin to take the job. See more news coverage from around the world of Panchanathan’s appointment as NSF director: Daily Excelsior, American Bazaar, Nextgov, Hindustan Times, Outlook India, Business Today, New India Times, ExecutiveGov, HPC Wire, Deccan Herald, TechGenyz, The Siatat Journal.

  • Valley water technology company looks to expand after $50M cash infusion

    Valley water technology company looks to expand after $50M cash infusion

    A company founded by Cody Friesen, a Fulton Schools associate professor of materials science and engineering, appears to be the verge of a major expansion in the use of its system that employs solar energy technology to produce drinking water by capturing moisture from the air. The venture called Zero Mass Water has attracted a substantial amount of new funding from major business investment sources. Friesen says the company’s ultimate mission is to contribute to ensuring the safe drinking water is available around the world. (Subscriber access only)

  • Carbon tax should fund CO2 removal, says CEO of ‘mechanical trees’ firm

    Carbon tax should fund CO2 removal, says CEO of ‘mechanical trees’ firm

    Funding development and use of so-called mechanical trees designed to clean carbon dioxide from the atmosphere should be funded by tax revenues, says the CEO of an Irish company that produces the structures. The mechanical trees are among technologies developed through research led by Fulton Schools Profess Klaus Lackner, director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at ASU. The trees are among the tools the center has devised for capturing carbon dioxide to reduce the environmental threat posed by greenhouse gases building up in the atmosphere. The work is contributing to the emergence of a carbon disposal industry.

  • Covid 19: CDC Report On Feces And Coronavirus Will Change How You Use The Bathroom

    Covid 19: CDC Report On Feces And Coronavirus Will Change How You Use The Bathroom

    The possibility of fecal transmission of the coronavirus responsible for the COVD-19 pandemic is being suggested by some medical and research sources. But Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, says that while such a transmission route should be investigated, it is certainly not the primary way the disease is being spread. Others point to a report by the Centers for Disease Control demonstrating the virus could live in feces. Bottom line: People should take steps to ensure their use of restrooms follows guidelines to protect themselves from contact with fecal material.

    See Also: Tempe first to combine strategies to learn how water sources can affect our public health, Wrangler News, June 20

  • With every flush, a stream of data for these coronavirus trackers

    With every flush, a stream of data for these coronavirus trackers

    Monitoring and analyzing the contents of communities’ wastewater streams is revealing useful information for tracking the spread of the COVID-19 disease. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden and his research team at ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering have been undertaking similar studies to assess public health conditions for many years. Now, with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the value of that work is being widely recognized and the expansion of “wastewater epidemiology” on a global scale is seen as critical to future efforts to protect against widespread health threats.

  • ASU researcher tests face mask efficiency before and after sterilization

    ASU researcher tests face mask efficiency before and after sterilization

    Wearing of protective face masks is seen as providing a significant defense against exposure to the type of coronavirus responsible for the COBID-19 pandemic. But does sterilization of the masks make them more or less effective in shielding users from airborne particles and vaporous droplets that can spread the infection? Fulton Schools Professor Paul Westerhoff and fellow researcher Pierre Herckes, a professor in ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences, are leading work funded by the National Science Foundation to answer the question. For now, they say, wearing a mask, whether it’s been disinfected recently or not, is the wise choice — along with washing your hands.

  • ASU launches nation’s 1st master of innovation degree program

    ASU launches nation’s 1st master of innovation degree program

    A first-of-its-kind Masters of Innovation and Venture Development is being launched by the Fulton Schools, along with ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. To graduate from the program, students must  launch a new product or service — specifically one that contributes solutions to societal problems and/or addresses related business community issues and challenges. Faculty from each of the three schools will co-teach courses and guide student teams in a real-world business start-up environment. Brent Sebold, a Fulton Schools Academic and Student Affairs lecturer and a university-based entrepreneurship and innovation programs administrator, is among the new degree program’s founding faculty members.

    See Also: ASU launching yearlong innovation, venture development master’s program, KTAR, June 22

  • ASU’s Rolf Halden On New Book ‘Environment’

    ASU’s Rolf Halden On New Book ‘Environment’

    Damage we are doing to the natural environment is a growing threat to human health. That’s the urgent warning Rolf Halden gives in his new book. The idea that there is a barrier between people and nature is a mistaken perception that makes us think we can degrade the environment without similarly negative consequences for society, says Halden, a Fulton Schools professor of environmental engineering. His research includes analyzing wastewater in public facilities to identify toxins, viruses and other indications of biohazards to which communities are being exposed. Such studies reflect the fact that if land, water and air around us are polluted, then we essentially become polluted as well. But Halden says he sees signs of an awakening to the reality that protecting the ecological health of our surroundings is essential to quality of life.

    See Also: Yale Scientists Use The Sewer System To Track And Predict Changes In Coronavirus Outbreak, WNPR-Connecticut Pubic Radio, June 10 (Rolf Halden is quoted)

  • Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Our Behavior, But It Had To Adjust To COVID-19

    Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Our Behavior, But It Had To Adjust To COVID-19

    The “digital footprints” we produce of ourselves through use of the internet and other online activity can enable artificial intelligence technologies to compose behavioral portraits of people and communities. Those depictions can be used to formulate predictions about the future actions and choices of individuals and groups. While such forecasting capabilities may sound disturbing to many, Subbarao Kambhampati (pictured), a Fulton Schools professor of computer science, says such footprint data can also contribute to revealing significant information and identifying trends that can be employed in the cause of such efforts as combating major public threats like the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Clamming up (and down and sideways)

    Clamming up (and down and sideways)

    Studying the digging skills of razor clams is helping researchers such as Fulton Schools Associate Professor Junliang Tao design technologies to explore subsurface environments. Tao, a geotechnical engineer, is developing robots that can mimic the way clams “swim” through soil. The multidirectional motions they use to move underground can provide a blueprint for mobile devices equipped with sensors, power and communication components. With such capabilities, small burrowing robots could work collectively to perform studies of potential building or agricultural sites, or aid search and rescue operations. Read more about Tao’s work: Burrowing Sensor Robots Could Unearth Nature’s Subterranean Secrets, Mimicking Nature To Enhance Search For Knowledge Underground.

  • 6 Cybersecurity Stocks Keeping Your Data Safe

    6 Cybersecurity Stocks Keeping Your Data Safe

    The modern work culture is changing rapidly as more people are doing their jobs remotely — at home or elsewhere — instead in company offices. Then there’s the emerging 5G network infrastructure that is enabling more robust communications and connectivity possibilities. But those expanding technological capabilities also present tougher cybersecurity challenges, says Brad Allenby, a Fulton Schools professor and a professor of engineering and ethics with ASU’s Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics. More network devices and bigger volumes of data mean an increasing need for more effective ways to protect the privacy of data and other corporate and personal information, Allenby says.

  • The world’s first building made from carbon-fiber reinforced concrete starts construction in Germany

    The world’s first building made from carbon-fiber reinforced concrete starts construction in Germany

    Work is beginning on a new university building in Germany claimed to be the first in the world that will be constructed entirely of carbon fiber reinforced concrete. Advocates for use of the material say it offers more durability and is better for the environment than the standard mix of building materials. Barzin Mobasher, a Fulton Schools professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, has been researching and working with structure-reinforcing materials for decades. Mobasher says the carbon-reinforced material provides more resistance to cracking and erosion than conventional steel and concrete building components. The use of the new alternative, however, still faces some regulatory and economic hurdles.

    See also: Carbonhaus is the World’s First Building Made of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Concrete, Composites Manufacturing, June 12

  • Our Infrastructure Is Being Built for a Climate That’s Already Gone

    Our Infrastructure Is Being Built for a Climate That’s Already Gone

    Climate change and related environmental factors mean that the kinds of civil infrastructure built in the past no longer provide a reliable guide for designing, building or replacing electrical power lines, roads, dams, railways, reservoirs, sewage systems, pipelines and other essential public amenities. Engineers such as Mikhail Chester, a Fulton Schools associate professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, warn that using the old models will produce infrastructure that is likely to fail when facing the array of changes in water flow, temperatures, storm severity and similar climatological trends already affecting much of world. As never before, Chester says, we must design for uncertainty and extremes.

  • This Bot Hunts Software Bugs for the Pentagon

    This Bot Hunts Software Bugs for the Pentagon

    A tool called Mayhem has proved to be a prolific prober of software to unmask security flaws. The software bug finder earned the team that made it the top prize in a major cybersecurity technology challenge. Mayhem has since been used successfully by U.S. military forces and has found flaws in software that controls networking devices and automotive and aerospace systems. Ruoyu Wang, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of computer science and engineering, says the next step is for bots like Mayhem to become capable of collaborating with humans. Wang is working on more powerful bug-finding software that relies on help from humans, whom he says are able to understand the intent and functioning of computer software programs in ways Mayhem can’t.

May

2020
  • Utah researchers looking at sewage for answers on coronavirus rates

    Utah researchers looking at sewage for answers on coronavirus rates

    Officials and researchers in Utah are looking at what is in wastewater to attempt getting an indication of the prevalence of COVID-19 infections in various communities in the state. They’re hoping that more localized data gathered from analyzing the contents of wastewater treatment plants will provide more details about infection rates than testing thousands of people for the disease. The diagnostic wastewater testing method has been developed over more than 15 years in work led by Rolf Halden, a Fulton Schools professor of environmental engineering. The ongoing project has since expanded its studies to include wastewater samples from more than 300 cities around the world to help assess local public health conditions.

    See Also: COVID-19 in wastewater can show the virus’s spread, hotspots, UA researchers find, Arizona Daily Star, May 30

  • Mobile weather station can measure how a person experiences heat

    Mobile weather station can measure how a person experiences heat

    Hot days in places like the desert Southwest can feel even hotter in cities as a result of the urban heat island effect — brought on by heat radiating from concrete building surfaces and pavements. Ariane Middel, an assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, is measuring the impact of heat on people with her one-of-a-kind mobile weather station. The technology takes temperature and climatological factors into consideration, helping Middel explore ways cities can keep their outdoor environments cooler despite the high temperatures. One potential solution? Cityscapes that feature buildings and public infrastructure designed to provide more shaded areas.

  • CDC REPORT ON FECES AND CORONAVIRUS WILL CHANGE HOW YOU USE THE BATHROOM

    CDC REPORT ON FECES AND CORONAVIRUS WILL CHANGE HOW YOU USE THE BATHROOM

    Exposure to droplets from our mouths might not be the only way we are transmitting the coronavirus virus to others. The Centers for Disease Control reports findings indicating feces could be a source of transmission. That possibility should change how people use restrooms, health experts say. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, founder of ASU’s Human Health Observatory, says that particular path of transmission has not been strongly confirmed, but he still encourages caution in staying clear of poop particles. Halden and his research team are already examining the contents of wastewater for signs of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection. He advocates nationwide wastewater tracking to get a more accurate estimate of the spread of the infection from the virus.

    See Also: Flinn Foundation extends grantmaking response to COVID-19 in Arizona, May 19
    The Flinn Foundation’s grant to ASU will fund a COVID-19 environmental surveillance project led by Professor Rolf Halden that will use wastewater epidemiology to identify hot spots of COVID-19 infections.

  • There’s Still Time To Get A (Remote) Summer Internship

    There’s Still Time To Get A (Remote) Summer Internship

    With the coronavirus crisis came the cancellation of many college student summer internships. But thanks to technologies that enable working remotely, many companies are offering online internship options. Fulton Schools student Ananay Arora is among those who have landed a position. He’s working with a software engineering team at the California-based Apple technology company from his apartment near ASU’s main campus. Arora has also joined two fellow Fulton Schools students to start a website to help students find remote summer internship opportunities. Other websites and job services operations are helping students get intern work in a tough job market. Related article: ASU students enable peers worldwide to navigate internship uncertainty.

  • Cool clothing invented for hot climes

    Cool clothing invented for hot climes

    There is plenty of clothing to protect humans from exposure in frigid climates, but not much to keep people safe from the heat of summertime in especially hot environments like the desert Southwest. Konrad Rykaczewski, a Fulton Schools associate professor of mechanical engineering is helping to remedy that imbalance. He is developing designs for ventilated clothing with materials that reflect solar radiation and also keep wearers cooler by slowing evaporation, trapping moisture, increasing air flow around the body and providing small shade elements. Rykaczewski intends to keep developing and testing the clothing with an eye toward commercialization in few years.

  • Excitonic complexes in 2D semiconductors exploited to achieve optical gain

    Excitonic complexes in 2D semiconductors exploited to achieve optical gain

    Combining the capabilities of nanolasers and semiconductors has the potential for enabling advances in electronics and related technologies. Fulton Schools professor of electrical engineering Cun-Zheng Ning and his research collaborators have unlocked some of the workings of physics that promise to yield a significant advancement. They’ve discovered a process for producing low-power nanolasers in 2D semiconductor materials. The achievement could lead to improvements in high-speed communication channels for supercomputers and data centers. Read more: Researchers shed new light on creating nanolasers using 2D materials.

  • New stimulation approach produces ‘form vision’ in blind people

    New stimulation approach produces ‘form vision’ in blind people

    Bradley Greger (pictured), a Fulton Schools associate professor of biomedical engineering, is among researchers whose efforts are aiding advances in the combining of cortical vision prostheses and brain-machine interfaces to help people with blindness. Specialists in the field are implanting the medical device in those with profound blindness in a way that provides visual information directly to the brain. Greger says the same technology could potentially restore other senses, such as loss of touch due to spinal cord injury and improve treatment of people with neurological disorders such a Parkinson’s disease.

  • 3 students win Udall scholarship to pursue environmental, tribal careers

    3 students win Udall scholarship to pursue environmental, tribal careers

    Fulton Schools biomedical engineering student Nekiyah Draper is one of three ASU students among the recent winners of the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship. The awards recognize outstanding Native American undergraduates who are pursuing careers in public policy, health or environmental fields. After earning her undergraduate degree, Draper plans to pursue a graduate degree while working at a prosthetics manufacturing lab. She aspires to become a certified prosthetist and eventually operate prosthetics labs on the Navajo Nation.

  • The future of flying is up in the air

    The future of flying is up in the air

    In reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, passenger numbers on U.S. airlines so far this year are down by 95% over last year. Few, if any,  industry observers say they’re certain what this means in the long term for commercial passenger aviation. But many agree things won’t revert to the way they before COVID-19. Tim Takahashi, a Fulton Schools professor of practice in aerospace engineering, expects airlines to take steps to provide space between passengers, plus take other measures to protect air travelers’ health. The best solution will come only when a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, says Marc O’Brien, chair of the Fulton Schools aviation program.

  • ASU Professor Creates Lab at Home to Support Healthcare Workers

    ASU Professor Creates Lab at Home to Support Healthcare Workers

    Michael Kozicki (pictured) is using his years of experience in micro contamination management to provide a useful service for health care workers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kozicki, a Fulton Schools electrical engineering professor, has built a laboratory in his home to perform studies of ozone reconditioning of surgical masks and related medical gear. The reconditioning helps health care professionals keep their work and personal materials safe, as well as enabling reuse of critical medical items that are in short supply. This work became part of a program spearheaded by students at ASU’s Luminosity Lab who are now making and deploying sterilization systems to Arizona health care facilities.

  • ‘Cool pavement’ experiments help urban planners find ways to ease rising temperatures

    ‘Cool pavement’ experiments help urban planners find ways to ease rising temperatures

    One way in which cities in warmer regions are trying the reduce the impact of heat on residents is by the use of reflective coatings on street pavements. The coatings reflect sunlight rather than storing it and converting it into heat. Ariane Middel (pictured), an assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, and a colleague who is an urban planning researcher at UCLA are finding that the effectiveness of using reflective coatings and “cool pavements” can vary in different situations and are not a one-size-fits-all solution to heat mitigation. Middel says a combination of strategies, including urban infrastructure designed to provide more shading and development of heat-reducing technologies, will be needed to keep desert regions livable.

  • Vegetation shifts can outweigh climate change in desert rangelands

    Vegetation shifts can outweigh climate change in desert rangelands

    Researchers from ASU, the University of California, Riverside, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture report a surprising discovery about the impact of a change in vegetation on desert range lands in the Southwest. It has been thought that when woody shrubs replace grasses on the desert terrain, it results in less water entering streams and groundwater aquifers. A new study finds encroachment of shrubs on sloping landscape can instead increase the amount of water going into groundwater storage. One of the researchers, Enrique Vivoni, a professor in the Fulton Schools and ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, says the study verifies that land topography plays a big role in redistributing available water in deserts.

  • Zoom plans to hire hundreds of engineers for video R&D centers in Phoenix, Pittsburgh areas

    Zoom plans to hire hundreds of engineers for video R&D centers in Phoenix, Pittsburgh areas

    The fast-growing company Zoom Video Communications plans to locate one of two new research and development centers in the Phoenix area and hire hundreds of engineers to work at the facilities in the next few years. The CEO of the leading video-conferencing venture said the decision to expand into Arizona was influenced by an “incredibly well-educated, skilled and diverse talent pool” provided by the state’s universities. ASU President Michael Crow cited the 4,500 engineering graduates coming out of ASU each year, plus the high caliber of the university’s engineering faculty as a draw for companies looking for innovators in technological fields.

    See also: Zoom To Expand With Engineering Center In Phoenix, Patch, May 14

    Zoom to hire hundreds in Phoenix for R&D facility, Phoenix Business Journal, May 14 (subscriber access only)

    Behind the deal: how ASU’s engineering growth attracted Zoom to Arizona, May 17 (subsriber access only)

    Zoom expanding to Phoenix, hiring for hundreds of tech jobs, May 14, Fox10 New-Phoenix

    Zoom to launch new research and development center near ASU, The State Press, May 14

    Zoom to open research and development center in Phoenix, create hundreds of jobs, 3TV/CBS 5 News-Phoenix, May 15

  • Vancouver in pilot program to look for COVID-19 clues in wastewater

    Vancouver in pilot program to look for COVID-19 clues in wastewater

    Vancouver, Washington, is among an increasing number of cities to use methods for testing wastewater to reveal clues to the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus in communities. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden is among researchers pioneering wastewater-based epidemiology to mine sewage for indicators of human health. Halden, director of ASU’s  Center for Environmental Health Engineering, and his lab team use a process called polymerase chain reaction testing to identify fragments of virus-associated RNA, the ribonucleic acid that carries the virus’s genetic information. Halden says the process provides a more accurate way to assess the spread of the coronavirus than individual medical testing.

    See Also: Sewage may help map virus spread, Boston Globe

  • ASU, Banner Health team up to ease COVID-19 patient isolation

    ASU, Banner Health team up to ease COVID-19 patient isolation

    ASU’s first all-virtual hackathon aimed to provide COVID-19 patients technology to connect them with family members and other loved ones while they are in medical isolation. For the Devil’s Invent Hackathon, students worked with Banner Health’s Innovation Group to devise technical solutions for families of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when hospitals visits are restricted. More than 100 ASU students and faculty members joined the effort directed by Anthony Kuhn, a Fulton Schools lecturer. Two winning solutions were selected from more than a dozen presentations. Members of those teams included Fulton Schools students Bodhi England, Xueqi Li, Kashish Patel, Dhrasti Dalai, Krishna Koparde and Thanzima Rahman.

  • Can you get coronavirus from a public pool or water slide?

    Can you get coronavirus from a public pool or water slide?

    What public recreational activities are safe to participate in as Arizona allows some businesses to reopen while the state is still trying to prevent spread of the COVID-19 pandemic? Arizona’s governor says plans for gyms and swimming pools to open are coming soon. Morteza Abbaszadegan, a Fulton Schools professor of environmental microbiology and director of the National Science Foundation Water and Environmental Technology Center, says it is unlikely people would contract the COVID-19 virus in a well-maintained swimming pool because the chlorine used in pool water inactivates the virus. But Abbaszadegan cautions people to be careful not to come into contact with railings or similar frequently touched surfaces around pools that might harbor the virus.

  • Computer Scientists Build New Tool to Fight Coronavirus

    Computer Scientists Build New Tool to Fight Coronavirus

    To support medical researchers seeking ways to treat people infected by COVID-19, computer scientists are applying their skills in artificial intelligence. They’re using AI to compile and correlate relevant data to help track the spread of the pandemic and identify people at high risk of infection, says Fulton Schools Professor Subbarao Kambhampati, former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.  In addition, Kambhampati says AI experts are combing through large volumes of research findings to provide new insights that could help researchers target their work to develop a vaccine or provide more effective health care options to help patients.  

  • ASU researchers find decline in coronavirus traces in Tempe wastewater

    ASU researchers find decline in coronavirus traces in Tempe wastewater

    Wastewater testing by ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, has helped the City of Tempe learn that the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is on the decline in the community. The center’s researchers have been looking at the average traces of the coronavirus in the wastewater over 24-hour periods. Halden says such testing provides a more accurate assessment of the rate of infection in an area than simply counting the people who come to hospitals with COVD-19 symptoms. Now the neighboring cities of Guadalupe and Gilbert will have the center’s researchers conduct analysis of their wastewater to gauge the levels of coronavirus presence among the local populations.

    See Also: Breakthrough in efforts by ASU researchers to track COVID-19 through wastewater, Fox 10 News-Phoenix, May 8

    Researchers test wastewater to identify Covid-19 hotspots, Water Technology, May 8

  • ASU scientists searching sewers for traces of COVID-19

    ASU scientists searching sewers for traces of COVID-19

    Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden has been among the first researchers to promote testing of wastewater for the abundance of information it can provide about human health. He has gotten good results using wastewater monitoring techniques to test for levels of opioid use in local communities and to track the spread of seasonal flu outbreaks. Now his lab team’s attention has been turned to assessing the levels of outbreaks of COVID-19 infection in urban areas. That testing offers a much more accurate picture of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic than results of testing individuals for the infection, Halden says. He is hoping his team’s success will motivate more wastewater-based testing throughout the U.S.

    See Also: As Indiana Reopens, One City Scans Sewage for Guidance, MedPageToday, May 7

    How far has the coronavirus spread? The answer may be in the sewers, MSN.com, May 5

    Rhinelander Spread Tons Of Sludge Near Site Of Contaminated Wells, WPRX Public Radio (Wisconsin), May 5

  • The Environmental Issue with Contact Lenses No One Is Talking About

    The Environmental Issue with Contact Lenses No One Is Talking About

    Contact lenses flushed in toilets or washed down sinks each year in the United States add up to between six to 10 million tons of plastic, eventually adding to the troubling amounts of plastic waste in the world’s waterways and oceans. Those plastics and the chemicals in them can have detrimental effects on the food chain among aquatic organisms, animals and humans, says Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, an environmental engineer who presented his lab’s research on plastics pollution at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. Without widespread efforts to safely recycle plastics and reduce their use overall, the threat of increasingly significant environmental damage will grow.

  • On-the-ground for L.A.’s far-reaching climate strategy

    On-the-ground for L.A.’s far-reaching climate strategy

    A “street-smart” robot named MaRTy, the creation of Ariane Middel, an assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, is playing a role in strategies to keep Los Angeles cool as climate change is making things warmer — especially in major metropolitan areas. MaRTy, an assemblage of meteorological sensors, is one of the tools aiding researchers from ASU and UCLA in assessing what will and won’t work to diminish the impact from rising heat in the Los Angeles area. MaRTy is being used to evaluate the effectiveness of the city’s Cool Street program. Middel says efforts to reduce the urban heat island effect in cities, along with other climate change impacts, must be tackled not only on a technical level but approached as public health and community building efforts.

  • Street smarts required in heat mitigation

    Street smarts required in heat mitigation

    Solar reflective coatings are being used on city streets to keep surrounding temperatures lower during summer months. Radiant temperatures from road pavement have a big impact on how a people experience heat in dense urban environments. But the reflective street coatings aren’t actually cooling those temperatures enough to make a dramatic difference to pedestrians, says Adrianne Middel and other ASU researchers. Middel, an assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, is director of Sensable HeatScapes and Digital Environments, or the SHaDE Lab. Her studies of roadway heat mitigation efforts are showing city planners need to focus additionally on planting trees and providing shade structures to take the heat off people.

  • ASU partners with local cities to test coronavirus levels in sewage water

    ASU partners with local cities to test coronavirus levels in sewage water

    ASU researchers are partnering with three cities in the Phoenix metropolitan area to monitor the cities’ wastewater to gauge the levels of COVID-19 infections in those communities. The effort could help establish an early warning system to help detect potential threats to public health before those threats turn into disease outbreaks, says Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of the ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. Researchers are capable of monitoring in real time data gathered from wastewater that indicates traces of coronavirus and other information critical to protecting people’s health, Halden says. This approach might also have economic benefits by reducing the need to spend public funds to perform clinical coronavirus tests.

    See Also: Scientists Turn to Sewage as Indicator of Coronavirus Spread in Population, News 18 India, May 1

    The true number of coronavirus cases might be found in raw sewage, South Florida Sun Sentinel, May 1

    Testing insufficient, researchers analyze sewage to check spread of coronavirus, Microbiz India, May 1

April

2020
  • Tempe testing for COVID-19, expecting to publish results later this week

    Tempe testing for COVID-19, expecting to publish results later this week

    Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden (pictured) and his team at ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering are planning to soon release a report on their studies of wastewater in Tempe that’s expected to provide real-time data about the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the city. It should enable residents to see information on the city’s website about the levels of COVID-19 infection in specific neighborhoods. Halden says what the contents of Tempe’s wastewater reveal will have implications for Arizona and the country. The analytical techniques used to test the water and the results those tests produce can guide other places in efforts to assess the presence of coronavirus infection in their areas. The findings will help Tempe officials in deciding whether to loosen or tighten public restrictions depending on the prevalence of infection.

    See Also: ASU researchers believe sewage gives them a way to track the coronavirus, Fox10 News-Phoenix, April 28

  • Coronavirus curve flattening in Arizona, ASU experts say

    Coronavirus curve flattening in Arizona, ASU experts say

    There are numerous cases of coronavirus infection cases in Arizona and the numbers continue to rise. But the spread of COVID-19 in the state does appear to be leveling off, according to an Arizona Department of Health Services report. The number of cases seems to be manageable at this point, says Fulton Schools Associate Professor Esma Gel, who contributed to the report. The studies behind the findings don’t conclude what strategies — such as school closures and social distancing — are having a significant impact on the slowing numbers of infections. Projections about the pandemic are based on a disease transmission model developed by the team of ASU researchers that is still “a work in progress,” Gel says, but can provide officials a guide for making decisions about how and when to lift public restrictions.

  • Worse Air Quality In Phoenix Communities Of Color Could Mean Higher COVID-19 Risk

    Worse Air Quality In Phoenix Communities Of Color Could Mean Higher COVID-19 Risk

    Air quality is playing a role in how communities are being most impacted by the COVID-19 disease. Higher air pollution can exacerbate the spread of infection from the virus. Darshan Karwat, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering in the Fulton Schools and ASU’s School for the Future of Science and Innovation, is doing research to assess environmental factors in Phoenix neighborhoods heighten the risk of residents to exposure to COVID-19. He sees a correlation between higher poverty and pollution levels and higher rates of illness. Karwat is working with ASU colleague Jennifer Vanos on a project to help determine what policy changes could help reduce disparities in pollution levels among Phoenix neighborhoods.

    See Also: What will traffic and pollution look like post-coronavirus? The Week, April 23
    Fulton Schools Professor Ram Pendyala, director of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, is quoted.

  • Poop could be the key to tracking COVID-19 outbreaks

    Poop could be the key to tracking COVID-19 outbreaks

    Studying the contents of wastewater is an especially accurate way to track the spread of the coronavirus that’s causing the COVID-19 pandemic. A single sample of wastewater can provide information that can’t be revealed through any other method, says Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. Halden is one of the leading practitioners of wastewater-epidemiology and is hoping to work with colleagues in the field to assess the reach of COVID-19 into communities around the country. He and fellow researchers estimate their collective work could potentially test for the rate of COVID-19 infections among as much as 70 percent of the population.

    See Also: Wastewater Monitoring Gives Vital Clues About SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Technology Networks, April 24

    New Coronavirus detected, monitored in wastewater, Science Daily, April 23

  • New appointee Yung Koprowski brings wealth of transportation knowledge to Gilbert Town Council

    New appointee Yung Koprowski brings wealth of transportation knowledge to Gilbert Town Council

    Fulton Schools alumnus Young Koprowski says she will bring her background as a transportation engineer to her new post with the town council in Gilbert, east of Phoenix. Her experience as a business owner and employer will also serve her well in the position. Gilbert leaders are interested in employing technologies to improve traffic efficiency and minimize traffic problems. Koprowski’s certifications as a traffic operations engineer and a road safety professional also made her an attractive candidate for the council appointment. Read more about Koprowski’s accomplishments: Fulton Engineers Stand Out Among Phoenix Young Professionals.

  • L.A. hunkered down. But it hasn’t stopped building mansions, stadiums and apartments

    L.A. hunkered down. But it hasn’t stopped building mansions, stadiums and apartments

    Can a sprawling metropolis such as Los Angeles maintain precautions to keep public activity from increasing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic — especially if outdoor construction activity continues at a robust pace? While some states have limited construction activity, California categorizes it as essential work that should continue. The decision is drawing criticism, but Professor Edward George Gibson, chair of the Fulton Schools construction management program, says he trusts the construction industry to make safety and protection of people’s health a priority.

  • TESTING SEWAGE FOR CORONAVIRUS COULD HELP PREDICT FUTURE COVID-19 OUTBREAKS

    TESTING SEWAGE FOR CORONAVIRUS COULD HELP PREDICT FUTURE COVID-19 OUTBREAKS

    What researchers find — or don’t find — in wastewater could be critical to the success of any plans to ease restrictions on public activity in response the coronavirus pandemic. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, who directs ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, says a recent study that  found the genetic material of the virus in treated wastewater validates the value of analyzing wastewater in helping to protect people from infection by the virus. Halden has coauthored a study in the journal Science of The Total Environment that explores the advantages and challenges of such wastewater-based epidemiology.

    See Also: Cost-effective wastewater-based epidemiology can extract vital health information, ASU NOW, April 23

    Waste water tests could monitor 2 billion people for the coronavirus, New Scientist, April 23 (subscriber access only)

  • Learning From Engineers

    Learning From Engineers

    To learn how to respond to public crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s useful to look at such potential catastrophes as an engineering problem that needs engineering solutions, say Fulton Schools Professor Brad Allenby and Associate Professor Mikhail Chester. The two civil, environmental, and sustainable engineering experts assert that the formulas and practices necessary to ensure public infrastructure systems are efficient and resilient could be applied to public health challenges such as the rapid spread of contagious diseases. From resource management, financial planning, coordination of government response efforts, public leadership strategies and the application of logistics, using engineering principles as a problem-solving model could help countries better cope with many serious threats to societal stability.

  • Researchers develop new process to up solar cell performance

    Researchers develop new process to up solar cell performance

    A major impediment to the efficiency of solar cells has been overcome through a collaboration of physicists and engineers, including David K. Ferry, a Fulton Schools emeritus professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering. Together they have developed a new approach to producing what’s called a hot carrier solar cell and combining it with ultrahigh-efficiency single junction semiconductor devices, which could raise solar cell efficiency by 20 percent —and possibly “revolutionize” the field of photovoltaics and renewable energy generation.

     

  • New 2-D Catalyst Fits Two Co-Catalysts on One Nanosheet for Better Water Purification

    New 2-D Catalyst Fits Two Co-Catalysts on One Nanosheet for Better Water Purification

    Christopher Muhich, a Fulton Schools professor of chemical engineering, is among a multi-university team of engineers and scientists to develop a new 2D catalyst that can improve water purification using the disinfection capability of hydrogen peroxide. While the project is still in early stages, researchers foresee providing an environmentally friendly process that increases the efficiency of the water decontamination without the need for additional chemical treatment. The nanotechnology-based effort is being carried out through the Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment, or NEWT, a National Science Foundation center in which ASU is a partner. Read about Muhich’s contribution to the project.

  • ASU team works to speed up wireless communication with millimeter waves

    ASU team works to speed up wireless communication with millimeter waves

    Ahmed Alkhateeb, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering, is leading a team of students in using machine learning to speed up the availability of data by increasing the capability of millimeter wave communication systems. This type of electromagnetic wave works at a high frequency, making it optimal for enabling emerging 5G networks to transmit large data packets with minimal interruptions. Millimeter waves could allow carriers to transmit data speeds faster than ever, including downloading high capacity items such as movies within seconds. Alkhateeb’s team is hoping to combine machine learning and artificial intelligence to achieve significant advances in wireless communication and in overcoming other major related technological challenges.

  • ASU supplies health care providers with protective gear

    ASU supplies health care providers with protective gear

    Fulton Schools students such as biomedical engineering student Tarun Suresh (pictured) are involved in a community networking effort organized in response to the spread of the coronavirus that is connecting hospitals in need of supplies with ASU and community resources. Materials science and engineering student Julia Greteman leads one of the student production groups in ASU Luminosity Lab. She is using 3d printing technology to make protective face masks for health care workers. Two of the Fulton Schools, the School for the Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy and The Polytechnic School, are part of the response network’s ASU contingent.

  • From ants to algorithms

    From ants to algorithms

    ASU researchers are learning more about how organic systems evolve and function by studying ant colonies. Biologists, physicists and engineers, including Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Ted Pavlic. By exploring the collective behavior of ants — how they communicate, organize labor and make decisions without central control — they are revealing an intriguing network in which all the parts work effectively by following their natural individual instincts. Pavlic, the associate director of The Biomimicry Center at ASU, is contributing his expertise in understanding adaptive decision-making strategies in autonomous systems.

  • A defense of geoengineering

    A defense of geoengineering

    How much should Earth’s environment be manipulated by technologies to reduce the risks of global warming and other impacts of climate change? Geoengineering efforts like the carbon capture system developed Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner (pictured) and his research team are raising the question. Lackner’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions has developed “mechanical trees” that can absorb and sequester the detrimental greenhouse gas. Some argue such systems won’t stop activities like burning fossil fuels that cause the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But others contend we can’t afford to dismiss technologies that can help put nature back on course.

  • Coronavirus Contact Tracing App Won’t Log Your Location, But It Will Reveal Who You Hang Out With

    Coronavirus Contact Tracing App Won’t Log Your Location, But It Will Reveal Who You Hang Out With

    A contact tracing mobile app the Australian government plans to introduce to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 has the potential to provide critical information. But it also raises concerns. Fulton Schools Professor Katina Michael and a colleague at the University of Wollongong in Australia describe the proposed TraceTogether app that will use Bluetooth technology to sense whether users who have voluntarily opted-in have come within nine meters of one another. The surveillance could help respond to the coronavirus crisis by proactively placing confirmed and suspected cases in quarantine. The downside is that it could lead to infringement on users’ privacy and civil liberties.

  • Water where you need it

    Water where you need it

    Before Fulton Schools Associate Professor Cody Friesen developed solar panels that harvest water from the air, he achieved another technological advance: rechargeable high-energy batteries —zinc-air batteries — that are eco-friendly and affordable. Those breakthroughs propelled his Zero Mass Water startup, which is helping to provide clean water in locales with a range of climate conditions in more than 35 countries. As the venture has expanded, Friesen has applied for 88 patents in related technologies and won the 2019 Lemelson-MIT Prize for inventions that shoe strong potential for improving the world.

  • What COVID-19 Has Taught Us About Our Infrastructure

    What COVID-19 Has Taught Us About Our Infrastructure

    The strengths and weakness of critical infrastructure systems throughout the United States are being revealed during the upheavals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, say Fulton Schools faculty members Brad Allenby, Mikhail Chester and Thaddeus Miller. The situation is putting a spotlight on challenges the nation faces in ensuring the resiliency of its infrastructure systems and their ability to adapt in times of crisis. A key lesson, say the three engineers, is that in addition to prioritizing better design, engineering and construction practices in updating existing systems or building new infrastructure, it will also require good governance and effective education to achieve lasting solutions.

  • ASU researchers testing Tempe wastewater for coronavirus

    ASU researchers testing Tempe wastewater for coronavirus

    Two years ago, Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden and his team at ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering began testing Tempe’s wastewater to find indications of the prevalence of opioid use in the city. Now the researchers are planning to examine the wastewater systems to give Tempe officials an idea of the breadth of the spread of the coronavirus infection in the area. The water testing approach can reveal more about the reach of the COVID-19 pandemic into the city than individual testing at medical facilities, Rolf says.

  • ASU team building ‘UV BBQ’ to sanitize masks

    ASU team building ‘UV BBQ’ to sanitize masks

    Fulton Schools Professor Paul Westerhoff, has refocused his research team’s efforts from sanitizing water to sanitizing medical equipment to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team is developing a device that uses a type of ultraviolet light capable of providing a level of radiation sufficient to kill the COVID-19 virus. Applied in the right dosage, the UV light can disinfect medical equipment without damaging it — including protective face masks, says Westerhoff, an environmental engineer. ASU is working to provide the devices, which researchers are called the “UV-BBQ,” (as in barbecue) to facilities across Arizona that have a critical need for them.

  • Construction in Arizona continues during COVID-19 spread, but with health precautions

    Construction in Arizona continues during COVID-19 spread, but with health precautions

    Construction has been deemed as essential labor during the social-distancing period mandated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite continuing activity on building projects, some construction companies report the situation is still causing drops in revenue that might last for months. But Fulton Schools Professor Edd Gibson, a construction management expert, says the construction industry’s characteristic resilience should enable business to bounce back after the crises subsides. While the building process is being slowed by social distancing, Gibson says projects appear to be getting done safely and at good pace.

  • Epidemiologists are studying wastewater to gauge rates of COVID-19 infection.

    Epidemiologists are studying wastewater to gauge rates of COVID-19 infection.

    With multiple efforts underway to get accurate data on the spread of COVID-19, scientists and medical specialists are turning to wastewater-focused epidemiology. Examining the chemical content of wastewater systems is providing researchers a “package of genetic material” that can be used to estimate the prevalence of COVID-19  in various communities or regions, says Rolf Halden, a Fulton Schools professor who directs ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. Halden and other experts in wastewater research say if this method of investigation can be improved, it can aid not only monitoring of the presence of the coronavirus but also provide strategies to combat future pandemics.

  • Army program will pay $100K for solutions to national ventilator shortage

    Army program will pay $100K for solutions to national ventilator shortage

    The continued threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic has prompted the U.S. Army to offer to pay manufacturers who can produce low-cost ventilators to care for people who have the contracted the COVID-19 disease. Through a Teach Search competition, businesses are submitting ideas for solutions in hope of obtaining Defense Department research contracts to develop new ventilator prototypes. Fulton Schools Professor Brad Allenby, founding chair of the Consortium for Emerging Technologies, Military Operations and National Security, comments that such technology development programs are becoming critical in light of the possibilities for widespread health crises.

  • New research examines wastewater to detect community spread of Covid-19

    New research examines wastewater to detect community spread of Covid-19

    Researchers are trying to devise and conduct testing to help provide accurate estimations of the spread of the COVID-19 disease. Some are focusing on examining wastewater for indications of the reach of the pandemic. Wastewater is a good indicator of the chemistry inside us, so coronavirus tracking efforts at water treatment plants should yield valuable information, says Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, an environmental health engineer. Wastewater-based monitoring is likely to reveal about more about how widely the virus is circulating than testing individuals, Halden says.

  • ASU researchers look for traces of COVID-19 in Tempe wastewater

    ASU researchers look for traces of COVID-19 in Tempe wastewater

    Tempe city officials are attempting to gauge how widespread outbreaks of the coronavirus are in the municipality. They are relying on a research team led by Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. The team is using the methods it has employed in the past in cities across the United States to detect other viruses to develop early warning systems for flu and other outbreaks. Tests are being conducted to determine if the method will detect the COVID-19 disease. Halden says the test won’t track a virus outbreak back to any individual but could provide a look at the level of the presence of COVID-19 in the area.

  • EPA releases a list of disinfectants that can help you fight the new coronavirus

    EPA releases a list of disinfectants that can help you fight the new coronavirus

    Health agencies and experts are reaching out to the public with information about what will or will not help protect people from the coronavirus contagion. For instance, some sanitizing products are better than others as disinfectants to control the spread of the virus. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, provides details about what products are best to use and how to best use them effectively. But social distancing, avoiding stress and taking other steps to protecting one’s health are equally important ways to help prevent being vulnerable to the coronavirus, say Halden and other experts.

March

2020
  • How innovation zone could be an East Valley game-changer

    How innovation zone could be an East Valley game-changer

    Business leaders are viewing the Innovation Zone project as a catalyst for solidifying Arizona’s stature as a leading hotspot for technology and engineering startups, as well as existing front-runners in those industries. The key starting point for the Innovation Zone’s creation is ASU’s Polytechnic Campus, more specifically The Polytechnic School, one of the six Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU. The schools give tech companies convenient access to engineering students being trained for careers in growing fields such as aerospace, alternative energy, human-technology integration, robotics and digital manufacturing, and to university faculty doing research in those areas and more.

  • Plastic-eating bacteria could be small step toward tackling world’s pollution crisis

    Plastic-eating bacteria could be small step toward tackling world’s pollution crisis

    A strain of bacteria that can degrade harmful chemical compounds in polyurethane has been discovered. It could lead to at least a partial solution to reducing the amount of plastic pollution that’s threatening the health of both environments and communities around the world. Polyurethane foam is used in many things with which people come into frequent contact. The material is covered in flame retardant that can disrupt the human endocrine system, says Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. The bacteria strain could be a useful tool in destroying polyurethane, Halden says, but more research and resources are needed to take significant steps to clean up plastics pollution.

    See Also: Scientists Discover Plastic-Munching Microbe in Waste Site, Smithsonian Magazine, March 31

    Researchers have identified bacteria that can degrade plastic, Press Stories, March 30

    Some Bacteria Can Eat Plastics, The Midland Weekly, March 3o

  • Solving the water crisis drop by drop

    Solving the water crisis drop by drop

    Fulton Schools Associate Professor Cody Friesen s drawing attention as an “impact inventor” for the work being done by Zero Mass Water, his startup venture based on technology that harvests clean drinking water from moisture in the atmosphere. The system is demonstrating the potential to improve access to safe water for communities around the world. His company’s Hydro panels are basically solar panels that produce water instead of electrical power. In dry climates like that of Arizona’s desert regions and overcast places like the Pacific Northwest, the system operates reliably. The technology has so far been installed in more than 35 countries.

  • Enlisting AI in our war on coronavirus: Potential and pitfalls

    Enlisting AI in our war on coronavirus: Potential and pitfalls

    Artificial intelligence technologies may not be able to discover a vaccine to stem the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, but they can be an effective tool for other efforts to cope with the crisis. Subbarao Kambhampati, a Fulton Schools professor of computer science and chief AI officer of the AI Foundation, says AI can help trace infection clusters around the world and help the public distinguish between reliable and unreliable information about the virus on the internet and elsewhere. AI could also assist with vital communications and collaborations between medical professionals. Still, there could be some potential societal downsides to broadening the use of AI to track and influence public behavior.

  • Could coronavirus permanently impact our ‘daily commute’ habits?

    Could coronavirus permanently impact our ‘daily commute’ habits?

    Along with the other significant societal impacts of the spread of the coronavirus, the pandemic might even affect the urban transportation environment. Fulton Schools Professor Ram Pendyala, whose expertise includes transportation systems planning and travel behavior, says the public may recognize the advantages of the reduction in traffic congestion resulting from the public reaction to the virus. Or it could make people more wary of shared modes of transportation, such as buses and ride-share services. But more likely, Pendyala says, traffic will bounce back to its normal levels when the pandemic wanes.

  • Machine Learning expands prediction capacity in complex, chaotic systems

    Machine Learning expands prediction capacity in complex, chaotic systems

    Ying-Cheng Lai, a Fulton Schools professor of electrical engineering and physics, is leading research that’s enabling machine learning technology to make longer-term predictions about interruptions, failures or other significant changes and trends in the workings of various systems and processes. His team’s use of artificial recurrent neural networks to increase predictability might eventually make it possible to forecast something like the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses and illnesses.

  • Stand and be counted

    Stand and be counted

    Experts in many fields at ASU say it’s critical that the U.S. Census gets as accurate a count as possible of the number of people in the country. The count is used to apportion seats in Congress among the states and determine how almost $700 billion in federal funds are spent. It’s especially essential for guiding the nation’s transportation planning, says Fulton Schools Professor Ram Pendyala, director of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. Pendyala says census data is used to gather socio-demographic information that helps government leaders forecast what will be needed to best serve the future transportation needs of the communities they serve. Ultimately, he emphasizes, good transportation systems are essential to maintaining strong local, regional and national economies.

  • ASU engineering professor makes amazing solar cell advances

    ASU engineering professor makes amazing solar cell advances

    Solar energy cells on the market today are more efficient than a decade ago, but the current level of cells’ efficiency in converting energy from the Sun into electricity is being significantly exceeded by a new cell developed by Zachary Holman, a Fulton Schools associate professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering, and his research collaborators. Chris Jones, an ASU associate professor of history and an expert in the history of the world’s energy transitions, says the progress by Holman and his colleagues definitely qualifies a big leap in energy technology advancement.

  • Sci-fi tech tackles climate change with fake trees

    Sci-fi tech tackles climate change with fake trees

    In an article that’s part of a Fortune magazine special report, “Business Faces the Climate Crisis,” the focus is on carbon capturing artificial trees developed in the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions led by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner. There’s debate about the ramifications of using the technology to help clear the atmosphere of the carbon dioxide that is leading to detrimental climate change. Lackner’s system is seen as part of a number of proposed geoengineering solutions to climate change problems. But critics contend these remedial technologies would make industries complacent about taking steps to reduce pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the first place.

  • Engendering equality in research

    Engendering equality in research

    Women are underrepresented in the research world, especially in STEM research — science, technology, engineering and math — and in medical research. Three ASU researchers are leading efforts to remedy the imbalance. Among them is Erin Chiou, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of human systems engineering.  Chiou is the editor of the new book “Advancing Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Through Human Systems Engineering,” in which she examines, for instance, how the lack of women participants in product testing and design has led to a world ill-fitted to the needs of women that, in turn, intensifies broader gender disparities that already exist in society.

  • Today’s engineers, builders already envisioning tomorrow’s infrastructure

    Today’s engineers, builders already envisioning tomorrow’s infrastructure

    Participants from 24 countries gathered recently at ASU for the 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers Construction Research Congress to explore what the construction industry — including civil, industrial, building and cyber infrastructure engineers — must do to provide the world with resilient communities. Hosted by the Fulton Schools Del E. Webb School of Construction, the event’s leadership committee of Fulton Schools faculty members Mounir El Asmar, Kristen Parrish, Samuel Ariaratnam, G. Edward Gibson Jr., Anthony Lamanna, Pingbo Tang, David Grau, Steven Ayer and Wanda Dalla Costa planned presentations focusing on identifying and solving challenges faced by cities trying to shape built environments to ensure a sustainable futures.

  • Study explains How Rattlesnakes Catch Rainwater On Their Backs

    Study explains How Rattlesnakes Catch Rainwater On Their Backs

    One way some rattlesnakes species have adapted to survive in hot, dry desert climates is though an ability to absorb or “harvest” rain, sleet and even snow. Researchers, including Konrad Rykaczewski, a Fulton Schools associate professor of mechanical engineering, have found the snakes coil themselves in ways that most effectively expose their skins to precipitation. Through nanoscale-sized features of the texture of their skins, these rattlers are able to capture water in a labyrinthine network of tiny channels from which they can imbibe the moisture. The ability enables the snakes to take advantage of a source of water with minimal use of energy or risk. The report on the study is published in the American Chemical Society’s ACS Omega research journal.

  • The Truth about Bioplastic

    The Truth about Bioplastic

    The promise of environmentally friendly bioplastics that degrade naturally and can then be recycled and reused for productive purposes is largely unfulfilled. Most makers of bioplastics are not following through on what needs to done to ensure bioplastics don’t end up adding to the growing amount of plastics waste that is harming ecosystems in oceans and rivers and across landscapes. Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Taylor Weiss, who is developing algae-based plastics, says bioplastics need to processed at facilities specifically designed to do proper recycling so they don’t become just more greenhouse gas emitting garbage.

  • Inside the hive’s mind

    Inside the hive’s mind

    Insects’ brains may be tiny, but their complexity and cognitive processing abilities fascinate scientists and engineers. What can be learned from studying and mimicking the capabilities of some insect brains has been used used to model technologies such as control systems for autonomous airplanes and search-and-rescue “roach-bots.” At ASU, Fulton Schools Professor Yu Cao and Assistant Professor Ted Pavlic are teaming with colleagues on research for a U. S. Department of Defense research agency aimed at advancing computational abilities to do things like scaling down artificial intelligence devices. In pursuit of that goal, they’ll be using knowledge gained from examining the mental capacities of certain species of bees.

  • ASU researchers are pioneers in new solar cell technology

    ASU researchers are pioneers in new solar cell technology

    A solar cell with one of the highest power-conversion efficiencies yet achieved is the work of two Fulton Schools faculty members and research collaborators at the University of Colorado, Boulder. With those colleagues, Fulton Schools Associate Professor Zachary Holman and Assistant Professor Zhengshan (Jason) Yu, both of whom teach in the electrical, computer and energy engineering program, coauthored a paper about the accomplishment recently published in Science magazine. The paper describes the team’s breakthrough with a new technique for layering a cell made of perovskite — a crystal structure designed to harvest high energy photons — with a silicon solar cell. The result is a cell that boosts conversion of the sun’s energy into electricity by about a third more than previous cells. The advance could also make the cost of solar energy more affordable.

  • Patients Try Most Intuitive Hand Prosthetics Yet in Pilot Trial

    Patients Try Most Intuitive Hand Prosthetics Yet in Pilot Trial

    Researchers have developed a biointegrated prosthetic device that works through a regenerative peripheral nerve interface. The system uses muscle grafts connected to the remaining peripheral nerves of people who have lost a hand or an arm. When amputees think of moving hands and fingers — just the way they did when they hand real hands— the grafts amplify signals that are then conveyed through wires to a robotic prosthesis. The device represents a significant technological advance in prosthetics, says Bradley Gregor, a Fulton Schools associate professor of biomedical engineering, who does research in areas related to work of the neuroscientists and others who’ve made the new prosthetic technology.  

  • How ASU researchers are working to predict when monsoons will hit

    How ASU researchers are working to predict when monsoons will hit

    How severe will the impacts of the next monsoon storm be when it hits monsoon-prone places such as Arizona? “The answer is in the ground,” says Giuseppe Mascaro, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering. Mascaro and his research team are finding ways to predict the effects of weather events in particular regions by examining the levels of soil moisture in those areas. By monitoring satellite data from NASA, Mascaro’s team can get detailed information about ground and soil conditions that reveal what is likely to happen when heavy monsoon rainstorms shower specific terrain. Read about related hydrological forecasting research Mascaro is doing with fellow ASU engineer Enrique Vivoni.

    See Also: Family files lawsuit against U.S. government after deadly 2017 Payson floods, ABC News-Northern Arizona, February 29
    Mascaro is quoted in the article reporting on a lawsuit related to the fatal results of a 2017 flash flood near Payson, Arizona.

February

2020
  • Making Waves team ties for 1st Place in Spark Tank Challenge

    Making Waves team ties for 1st Place in Spark Tank Challenge

    Fulton Schools engineers teamed with U.S. airmen at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix for an Air Force innovation challenge. Together they developed the Dynamic Unmanned Threat Emitter, designed to help train military pilots to identify and react effectively to threats such as surface-to-air missiles and antiaircraft artillery. Dan Bliss (at far left in photo), a Fulton Schools associate professor of electrical engineering, and doctoral student Wylie Standage-Beier (second from left) put together a software defined radio communications system that can be operated from a computer. The system can help pilots and their aircraft perform intelligence, surveillance and defense missions. Bliss foresees the possibility of future collaborations to provide more high-tech support for Luke Air Force base.

    See Also: Luke AFB, ASU idea is co-winner in annual Air Force competition, Goodyear Independent, March 2

  • What do we look for in a ’good’ robot colleague?

    What do we look for in a ’good’ robot colleague?

    As robots and related artificial intelligence technologies become more prevalent in manufacturing, health care and many other industries — as well as in the military — questions are arising about how to best develop effective working relationships between humans and robots. Nancy Cooke, a Fulton Schools professor of cognitive science and chair of the human systems engineering graduate program, says robot coworkers can be as cooperative or as frustrating to work with as humans. She and other experts point to potential solutions that can avoid friction and generate constructive relations between people and their robot colleagues on the job.

  • Researchers develop new gel-based nanosensor for radiation dose monitoring

    Researchers develop new gel-based nanosensor for radiation dose monitoring

    Therapeutic radiation treatment has to be done with extreme precision to be fully medically beneficial. Overdosing or underdosing in the use of high-energy radiation beams can each present serious risks to patients. Too much healthy body tissue can he destroyed by overdosing, while underdosing can do too little to remove a dangerous tumor. Kaushal Rege, a Fulton Schools professor of chemical engineering, along with research collaborators at a Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Arizona, are developing a hydrogel of gold salts and amino acids that can carefully measure doses of radiation by being applied directly to a patient’s skin.

  • ASU Mini-Satellite To Launch From ISS Wednesday

    ASU Mini-Satellite To Launch From ISS Wednesday

    A small satellite designed to study the formation and impacts of urban heat islands in seven cities throughout the United States — including Phoenix — has successfully launched from the International Space Station. The satellite was built over the past several years by the Phoenix CubeSat project team through the work of about 100 ASU students, including many Fulton Schools students. The project’s mission is to gain a better understanding of the factors that lead to urban heat islands and to collaborate with communities in efforts to plan development of urban infrastructure in ways that help to alleviate buildup of excessive heat in densely developed cities.

    See also: ASU’s Phoenix CubeSat Satellite launched into orbit, The State Press, February 24

  • ASU students using technology and drones as they work to improve search for lost hikers

    ASU students using technology and drones as they work to improve search for lost hikers

    State and local agencies in Arizona embark on an average of about a dozen search and rescue missions throughout the state each week — often on large expanses of land where people may be lost in remote areas, without resources and in need of medical aid. Research being led by Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Stephanie Gil may soon provide advanced technology to help rescuers locate and provide resources to missing persons. She and her student team are developing specially equipped drones capable of finding people and delivering water, basic medical equipment and communications devices to them. The researchers are collaborating on the project with the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military affairs.

     

  • How your favorite airline can slash its colossal carbon emissions

    How your favorite airline can slash its colossal carbon emissions

    Some major airline companies are committing to dramatically reducing the prodigious amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide the industry emits into the atmosphere. Meeting that goal will be expensive and technologically challenging, but it’s still achievable, says Timothy Takahashi, a Fulton Schools aerospace engineering professor of practice. Huge batteries or hydrogen fuel cells are too heavy for larger planes to be feasible alternatives to CO2-emitting liquid fuels, he notes, but biofuels might do the trick if their production is increased significantly. The answer might be combining alternative fuels with flying planes higher in the atmosphere and making flights shorter, both of which would be more fuel-efficient, Takahashi says.

  • CARBON CAPTURE WINS FANS AMONG OIL GIANTS

    CARBON CAPTURE WINS FANS AMONG OIL GIANTS

    The threatening accumulation of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere — due in large part to industrial activity — is fundamentally a big “waste-management problem,” says Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner, emphasizing that it’s the responsibility of those who put the CO2 into the air to take it out. Some of the major corporations among those whose operations contribute to CO2 buildup are now looking at ways they can help deal with the problem. One potential fix is carbon-capture technology that Lackner and his colleagues at ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions are developing. The center’s “mechanical trees” are able to filter CO2 from ambient air.

    See Also: ASU professor’s “mechanical trees” pull tons of CO2 from air, Chamber Business News, February 24

    So-called ‘negative emissions’ might actually work, at least in California, Grist, February 11

    Can negative emission technologies overcome climate catastrophe? Chemical World, February 7

  • Students showcase remarkable ideas at ASU Day at the Capitol

    Students showcase remarkable ideas at ASU Day at the Capitol

    Arizona state legislators and other visitors to ASU Day at the Arizona State Capitol grounds in Phoenix got a look at what Kyle Squires, dean of the Fulton Schools, described as “the ways our students and faculty put to practice their creativity in designing solutions to real-world problems that impact the world.” Among featured exhibits was one on the ASU Blockchain Research Lab. Fulton Schools computer engineering master’s degree student Manish Vishnoi (gesturing in photo) explained the nature of the lab’s work. Visitors also got introductions to the innovations being developed by Fulton Schools faculty members and students at the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics and the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Environmental Heath Engineering.

     

  • Illuminating Water Contamination

    Illuminating Water Contamination

    Growing up in Brazil, Mariana Lanzarini-Lopes became aware of communities in which many people suffered from a lack of access to clean water. Today she is working to find solutions to that widespread hardship. As a Fulton Schools environmental engineering doctoral student, Lanzarini-Lopes is involved in research to apply the ability of LED light to trigger a water-purification process — using flexible optical fibers woven into a fabric to disinfect water at a close range. Her research is supported by NASA, which is looking at the system for potential use on the International Space Station, and by the ARCS Foundation, which supports outstanding students seeking degrees in science, engineering and medical research.

  • Community connections will help send ASU rocket to edge of space

    Community connections will help send ASU rocket to edge of space

    ASU’s Helios Rocketry team of about 50 students, many of them Fulton Schools students, are competing in the Base 11 Space Challenge to build a liquid-fueled rocket capable of traveling to the deep reaches of outer space. In pursuit of its goal, the team is learning lessons not only in the development of space-flight technologies and systems but also in the skills it takes to recruit and work with industry partners. Helios Rocketry is collaborating with aerospace, aviation and engineering companies in the Phoenix and Mesa areas to access the facilities and tools it needs to design and construct its rocket. Next, the team plans put together a business team to expand partnerships and manage fundraising.

     

  • How Small Fibers Can Make Concrete Stronger

    How Small Fibers Can Make Concrete Stronger

    Much of the billions of tons of concrete used each year in construction projects around the world could be made more durable by an advanced fiber-reinforced concrete, says Fulton Schools Professor Barzin Mobasher. He is leading research to develop high-performance synthetic, glass, polymeric and nylon fibers that could not only increase the resilience of buildings, roads and infrastructure but also could speed up construction projects and save costs over time by making concrete structures and facilities less prone to corrosion and cracking. Read more on the ASU NOW and Modern Contractor Solutions news sites.

  • Trump Proposes a Cut in Research Spending, but a Boost for AI

    Trump Proposes a Cut in Research Spending, but a Boost for AI

    The U.S. President’s federal budget proposal is heavy on funding to pursue advances in artificial intelligence and quantum technologies, but short on support for more basic science and engineering work. Researchers and policy analysts say that support is critical to spurring innovations in a range of critical areas. Fulton Schools Professor Subbarao Kambhampati, an AI expert, says such funding cuts will risk undermining promising progress in many fields — including those that potentially can boost the capabilities of AI and quantum technologies.

  • Report names ASU a factor in rapid expansion of Phoenix’s tech market

    Report names ASU a factor in rapid expansion of Phoenix’s tech market

    “The Greater Phoenix Tech Story,” a recent report by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and a local commercial real estate business group, concludes that the Phoenix area is one of the country’s fastest-growing technology hubs — citing ASU as one of the key factors leading to that growth. Tech companies are building a talented workforce by hiring many of the university’s graduates, especially Fulton Schools graduates, according to report. Engineering is critical to the success of many of the companies, and in the Fulton Schools those businesses find students with an “entrepreneurial mindset” and a focus on being innovators, says James Collofello, Fulton Schools vice dean of Academic and Student Affairs. Students are encouraged to become “intrapreneurs,” and to gain the skills necessary to create new startup companies or join existing startups, Collofello says.

  • Is ‘Expired’ Milk Safe to Drink? Here’s How to Know When to Throw Away Food

    Is ‘Expired’ Milk Safe to Drink? Here’s How to Know When to Throw Away Food

    Confused by the “sell by” and “used by” labels found on food packaging? Experts say most people are, and the confusion is causing a significant amount of food waste. One study found that close to half the produce, meat and dairy products some people buy is getting thrown out because of those labels. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, says much of the food that has passed its “sell by” date is safe to eat. Humans have an innate ability to sense a lack of freshness with food through visual and tactile clues, along with our sense of smell, Halden says. But a practical remedy, he advises, is to buy no more food than you will realistically eat before its gets old and freeze foods to preserve them for longer periods of time.

    See Also: To toss or not? Knowing when ‘expired’ really means expired, ASU NOW, February 24

    Knowing when ‘expired’ label dates really means expired, AZ Big Media, February 25

  • This Valley woman’s work is out of this world

    This Valley woman’s work is out of this world

    Hopes for future space exploration could be dampened if effective solutions aren’t found for breathing problems astronauts have experienced during long periods of time spent inside spacecraft. One of the engineers working on a remedy is Phoebe Henson, a Fulton Schools alumnus who earned an electrical engineering degree in 2015. Henson is a member of the Human Space Group at the Honeywell Aerospace facility near Phoenix. The team has already helped NASA by developing a system that removes excess carbon dioxide from the air inside the International Space Station. Now Henson and her colleagues are at work on advanced materials to capture and filter out the carbon dioxide from air supplies — and possibly even recycle the CO2 and turn it back into oxygen. That kind of work helped Henson become one of only several Arizonans named to Forbes magazine’s 2019 list of 30 Under 30 rising stars. (Subscriber access only)

  • Arizona poised to win in new economy if we invest wisely

    Arizona poised to win in new economy if we invest wisely

    Successful efforts to leverage investments and create partnerships to grow the Fulton Schools engineering programs is one example of what needs to done to boost Arizona’s economy, says ASU President Michael Crow. A special investment the Arizona Board of Regents is now requesting from the state government builds on that example, Crow says. That new funding would be used to spur more breakthroughs in engineering and science — advances that would in turn create a top-tier, concentrated environment of technology and talent in the greater Phoenix area to provide the state a key strategic economic development asset for the future.

    See also: Arizona’s 3 university presidents promote research as economic driver — ASU NOW, February 6 (article cites research advances led by Fulton Schools faculty members Klaus Lackner and Cody Friesen)

    Presidents of Arizona’s state universities embrace new economy initiative, KJZZ (NPR)

  • Scientists hope to win global competition with concrete that incorporates and reduces carbon dioxide emissions

    Scientists hope to win global competition with concrete that incorporates and reduces carbon dioxide emissions

    Carbon dioxide emissions are a big part of the growing greenhouse gas problem contributing to climate change impacts and air pollution. Scientists are in a race to find ways to reduce those emissions. One team of researchers is working on ways to trap CO2 emissions from industrial operations in cement, including emissions released from the production of concrete. But Allen Wright, executive director of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, led by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner, says to significantly curb those emissions, efforts need to go much further. Policymakers must enable research aimed at developing advanced carbon management technologies at a large scale. The article is also published on the AZ Big Media news site.

January

2020
  • ASU scientists boost gene-editing tools to new heights in human stem cells

    ASU scientists boost gene-editing tools to new heights in human stem cells

    The promise of improving human health with use of the gene-editing tool called CRISPR has been limited because its editing capabilities are often imprecise. But David Brafman, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of biomedical engineering, is at work on developing ways to improve CRISPR’s efficiency. Results of his efforts published in the research journal Stem Cell Reports details how Brafman’s lab team has developed a new approach to enriching DNA base-edited cell populations. The genetic modification of stem cells enabled by this method looks as if it will be useful for disease modeling, drug screening and tissue engineering, and for revealing the causes of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The article has also been published on Phys.Org, Science Codex and Technology Networks.

    See Also: Gene-editing taken to advanced levels in human stem cells, News-Medical.net, January 20

  • New high-voltage power plant in Japan can support Navy’s electric stealth destroyers

    New high-voltage power plant in Japan can support Navy’s electric stealth destroyers

    Some of the Navy’s most advanced high-tech ships are being supplied energy by equally advanced power plants. Some of those ships sport state-of-the-art electric propulsion systems and stealth design among their innovative features. The ships use gas turbines to produce electricity that is then used to power electric motors for propulsion, explains Fulton Schools Professor Brad Allenby. The electricity generated can also be used to power weapons systems, he adds. Allenby is the author of the book “Future Conflict & Emerging Technologies,” and editor of “The Applied Ethics of Military and Security Technologies.” He is a former Stockdale Fellow at the U.S Naval Academy and an associate faculty member with ASU’s Center for the Future of War.

  • Investment in engineering could reap massive economic benefits

    Investment in engineering could reap massive economic benefits

    In the second of a three-part series, ASU President Michael Crow points to the Fulton Schools as one of the university’s more prolific catalysts of innovation and technological advances that fuel economic growth in Arizona and beyond. But Crow says more investment will be needed to give engineering education and research the tools needed to fulfill their potential as the “backbone of a range of industries” for a New Economy being driven by smart technologies and systems that combine the physical, digital and biological worlds that are changing the way we live.

     

  • Arizona State University developing drone software for search and rescues

    Arizona State University developing drone software for search and rescues

    High-tech advancements are promising to help make search and rescue operations more effective. One example is work to develop software and design algorithms to enable flying drones and ground robots to more quickly locate missing or stranded persons. Those efforts are underway in the lab of Stephanie Gil (at far right in photo), a Fulton Schools assistant professor of computer science. Along with her student research assistants, Gil is exploring how drones can not only locate those who are lost, but also deliver water, medical supplies and communication devices to them. Read more about the lab’s work.

  • ASU Graduate College announces 2019-20 Outstanding Faculty Mentors

    ASU Graduate College announces 2019-20 Outstanding Faculty Mentors

    Among ASU faculty members named as outstanding mentors of the university’s graduate students for the 2019-2020 academic years is Yang Weng (at far right in photo), a Fulton Schools assistant professor in the electrical, computer and energy engineering program. The awards recognize mentors who not only guide students through their studies but also help them in successfully pursuing long-term career goals. This year’s nominees for the award “are the strongest we’ve had yet,” says Zachary Reeves-Burton, program manager of mentoring initiatives and professional development for the Graduate College.

  • No time to relax, competitive forces fiercer than ever

    No time to relax, competitive forces fiercer than ever

    Arizona’s economic health has been on the upswing, so now offers the perfect opportunity to make investments to ensure the economy keeps moving in that direction, says ASU President Michael Crow. One way to do that is taking steps to elevate the state’s stature as a hub of innovation — especially in education, research, discovery and entrepreneurship. A big part of ASU’s contribution to the goal, Crow says, should be to build “the greatest engineering school in the world, the largest, the most creative, the most innovative,” as well as to create new science and technology centers that push advances in engineering and science fields into the marketplace.

  • New Autism Treatment Targets Gut Health

    New Autism Treatment Targets Gut Health

    New research indicates a critical link between the health of the human gut and cognitive function. Fulton Schools researchers such as Professor Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown are among those showing a new gut microbiome therapy could lead to better treatments for neurodevelopment disorders, including autism. An ASU research team completed a study of 18 children who received Microbiota Transfer Therapy, also known as fecal transplant, which is producing improvements in autism-related symptoms. The study shows the gut-brain connection is real, Krajmalnik-Brown says, and that the new treatment that is providing greater gut microbiota diversity raises hope for long-term improvements in the health of people living with autism.

  • New era begins, ASU breaks ground for campus

    New era begins, ASU breaks ground for campus

    A new ASU campus, located at the Mesa City Center, will focus on training students in high-tech media production, including digital and sensory technology, experiential design, media arts and related subjects. Among the first educational attractions at the campus will be ASU’s METEOR Studio, directed by Robert LiKamWa, an assistant professor of electrical engineering in the Fulton Schools and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering in ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. The studio works on mobile software and hardware systems for computer vision and augmented reality. Read more about recent work at METEOR Studio

  • Wearable technology drives Phoenix to be leader in innovation

    Wearable technology drives Phoenix to be leader in innovation

    Several Fulton Schools faculty members will be involved in the research to be done by the new WearTEch Applied Research Center, a collaboration between ASU and local government, along with healthcare and economic organizations. The effort to establish Arizona as a hub of MedTech innovation will focus on wearable technologies, wearable robotics, bioelectronics medicine and neurotechnology development. The center will enable leading university researchers to partner with industry to quicken the pace of moving fundamental research from the lab to the marketplace and “make ASU’s backyard the competitive home of wearable medical technology,” says Kyle Squires, dean of the Fulton Schools.

  • ASU, Arizona partner to develop autonomous, unmanned systems for rescue operations

    ASU, Arizona partner to develop autonomous, unmanned systems for rescue operations

    The Robotics, Embedded Autonomy and Communications Theory Lab, or REACT, led by Stephanie Gil (at left in photo), a Fulton Schools assistant professor of computer science, gives ASU students opportunities to work on real-world projects. The latest is a collaboration with the Arizona Search and Rescue Coordinators Association and the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs. The project aims to deploy robotic drones developed by the lab on search and rescue operations throughout the state. The software and intelligence technology Gil’s team will build into the autonomous robotic systems enables drones to gather environmental information and use it to work as a team, and to use that capability to perform more effectively in searches in remote and hazardous areas.

  • TONG WINS NSF-AMAZON AWARD TO IMPROVE AI FAIRNESS

    TONG WINS NSF-AMAZON AWARD TO IMPROVE AI FAIRNESS

    Ross Maciejewski (pictured), a Fulton Schools assistant professor of computer science and engineering, has a leading role in a major computational research endeavor expected to produce advances in social network analysis, neural science, intelligent transportation systems, critical infrastructures, blockchain networks and related areas — and to develop useful open-source tools and publicly available datasets. Maciejewski is teaming with Hanghang Tong, a computer science professor at the University of Illinois, on the project that’s part of the National Science Foundation’s Fairness in Artificial Intelligence program, aimed at creating trustworthy AI systems to devise solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges.

  • Zero Mass Water: How the water in the air can save us

    Zero Mass Water: How the water in the air can save us

    By combining solar power, air and electricity to ignite a condensation process that draws water from the atmosphere, Cody Friesen (pictured), Fulton Schools professor or materials science and engineering, founded the startup Zero Mass Water, which is making big waves as a promising source for renewal water. With large-scale solar hydropanels that produce enough water for businesses and small communities, the system is being used in locales in almost 40 countries around the world. More versions of the Zero Mass Water system are in development, Friesen says. That progress promises to enable bigger and better systems that can provide water to larger and larger areas.

  • How Desert Rattlesnakes Harvest Rainwater

    How Desert Rattlesnakes Harvest Rainwater

    “Beautiful nano-labyrinths” are the secret to rattlesnakes’ ability to quench their thirst in dry climates where water is scarce, says Konrad Rykaczewski, a Fulton Schools associate professor of mechanical engineering. A team of biologists and engineers, including Rykaczewski, has discovered how the snakes become “living rain buckets.” The researchers found western diamondback rattlesnakes in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert can collect water when rain or snow is falling because water droplets stay pinned to the snakes’ skin and their scales form a network of tiny channels that capture the water.  It’s suspected that the snakes evolved the precipitation harvesting anatomical trait as a survival mechanism in response to the desert environment.

    See also: How rattlesnakes collect water in the desert, ABC News, January 17

    Rattlesnakes have skin that’s sticky for raindrops so they can sip from their scales, CBC Radio (Canada), January 17

  • B.C. naturopath’s pricey fecal transplants for autism are experimental and risky, scientists say

    B.C. naturopath’s pricey fecal transplants for autism are experimental and risky, scientists say

    A naturopath practitioner claims to have achieved dramatic improvement in treating the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder in children with fecal transplants. But physicians and scientists are skeptical, including Fulton Schools Professor Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, whose research has helped to develop the fecal transplant method the naturopath says he is using. Krajmalnik-Brown joins medical professionals and other researchers who warn it is too early in the testing of the procedure to verify its effectiveness and safety. While some results are encouraging, she adds, for now there is too much potential risk involved and more research is needed to confirm the treatment as a viable option.

  • Arts, Media and Engineering students tackle the big ‘why” questions

    Arts, Media and Engineering students tackle the big ‘why” questions

    Students in ASU’s School of Arts, Media and Engineering apply the latest technologies, research methods and knowledge from diverse disciplines to answer big-picture questions revolving around human endeavors in science, engineering, culture and society. The school’s new interim director is Associate Professor Pavan Turaga, who also teaches in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, one of the six Fulton Schools. He sees the fusion of pursuits intertwining arts and humanities with, for instance, the hard sciences and engineering methodologies leading to valuable discoveries and solutions that won’t be achieved without such unconventional cross-disciplinary collaborations.

  • Facebook Says It Will Ban ‘Deepfakes’

    Facebook Says It Will Ban ‘Deepfakes’

    To prevent the spread of false information on its website, the large social media network Facebook plans to ban videos extensively altered by artificial intelligence technology. The company’s vice president of global policy management, Monica Bickert (at left in photo), announced that such videos, called deepfakes, would be banned when they are either in user’s posts or in advertisements. Subbarao Kambhampati, a Fulton Schools professor of computer science and leading artificial intelligence researcher, says automated systems for detecting deepfakes will likely have limited effectiveness and provide incentives for users to attempt to fool Facebook’s detection systems. Kambhampati is also quoted in the related articles: Fake Trump video? How to spot deepfakes on Facebook and YouTube ahead of the presidential election, USA Today, January 8, and in Is seeing still believing? The deepfake challenge to truth in politics, Brookings Institution/Center for Technology Innovation, January 8.

  • AI computing will enter the ‘land of humans’ in the 2020s: The promise and the peril

    AI computing will enter the ‘land of humans’ in the 2020s: The promise and the peril

    Humans’ relationships with computers are going to evolve significantly — particularly because of advances in artificial intelligence technology, says Subbarao Kambhampati, Fulton Schools professor of computer science. Advances in “natural interaction modalities” mean human-computer and human-robot connections will have a big role in shaping modern reality, writes Kambhampati, the chief AI officer of the AI Foundation, which focuses on responsible development of AI technologies. He says the next decade will be a test of how we learn to balance the positive aspects of that new reality with its potentially negative impacts.

  • Negative carbon dioxide emissions

    Negative carbon dioxide emissions

    With the rate at which carbon dioxide is being emitted into the atmosphere, it will take much more than gradually reducing those emissions to keep the greenhouse gas from reaching more threatening levels. Among the more promising solutions to the problem is technology coming out of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner. His lab’s “artificial trees” (one of them is pictured here) are able to capture carbon dioxide and remove it from the air. An investment group is financing deployment of clusters of the devices at carbon-capture “farms” in various locations.

December

2019
  • Daily Commutes Might Worsen Exposure To Heat Waves

    Daily Commutes Might Worsen Exposure To Heat Waves

    Rates of illness and death increase for commuters in cities when the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold, according to a study published in Science Advances reporting on research by Chenghao Wang, a recent graduate of the Fulton Schools doctoral program in civil, environmental and sustainable engineering. Phoenix is among cities included in the research. Wang’s study found people working in areas in which the urban heat island effect is strongest appear to be more at risk when temperatures climb significantly.

  • Democracy 2.0: Returning power to the people

    Democracy 2.0: Returning power to the people

    Research finds politics — more than race, religion, gender or age differences — is forging the deepest divide between Americans. Stephanie Forrest, a Fulton School professor computer science and engineering and director of ASU’s Biodesign Center for Biocomputing, Security and Society, explores the sources reshaping public discourse and how they exacerbate political partisanship. Her research involves inquiries similar to work of others who are examining the trend and seeking ways to quell polarizing forces. Two leading researchers in this area will give talks at ASU on January 6 as part of a lecture series established by ASU and Princeton University.

  • Mother, student, designer — now graduate

    Mother, student, designer — now graduate

    With a degree in graphics information technology, 2019 Fulton Schools graduate Rebecca Sjorup says she’s ready to start her own business. Beyond a technical education, her experience at ASU taught her “that quitting isn’t for me’” and that “persistence and discipline can take you far and even with the countless all-nighters it is so worth it.” Read more: Mother, student, designer — now graduate

    New Fulton Schools mechanical graduate Jun Sasaki had a similar experience. “From various soft skills to time management, everything I’ve learned at ASU will be valuable for my personal development,” he says. His recommendation to college students: “Make connections and lifelong friends because these are the people that you will keep around in your life forever.” Read more: ASU mechanical engineering graduate encourages students to get involved

    Graduate Jose Guerrero will be seeking a career with the skills he has gained while earning a graphic information technology degree with a minor in film studies. His message: “Don’t be afraid to do what you want to do in life. You only have one life to live and you’re the person living it.” And when you make mistakes, “don’t take them seriously, just learn from them.” Read more: ASU grad sets sights on impacting design and film industries

  • ABOR seeks millions in new funding to expand ASU’s engineering education capacity

    ABOR seeks millions in new funding to expand ASU’s engineering education capacity

    As part of a “New Economy Initiative,” the Arizona Board of Regents is proposing a large investment by the state government to increase the number of engineering graduates from ASU. The plan includes adding faculty and establishing science and technology centers to foster partnerships between private industry, government and the university. ASU has been able to “catalyze the tech ecosystem” in Arizona, says Kyle Squires, dean of the Fulton Schools, but the need for new engineers continues to grow at a steady pace. The investment could also enable students to do research for startup companies and other tech-oriented businesses. The chair of the Arizona Technology Association says the initiative plan is critical to ensuring the growth of the state’s tech industries. (Subscriber access only)

  • Local woman finds ASU an ally in male-dominant field

    Local woman finds ASU an ally in male-dominant field

    Esther Sim recalls hearing about college engineering courses with a ratio of male to female students of more than 10 to 1. Learning in an environment not so one-sided was an important factor in her decision to go to ASU. The senior biomedical engineering major says she found a support system in the Fulton Schools that allayed some of her concerns about such imbalances.  Sim (at right in photo, with Fulton Schools computer science major Haley Harelson) still sees a need for more gender diversity in most branches of engineering. Kyle Squires, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools, and Jeremy Helm, senior director of academic and student affairs, say they share her perspective and that recruitment of more women into the profession remains a major priority.

  • Holiday hackathon makes toys accessible for children with disabilities

    Holiday hackathon makes toys accessible for children with disabilities

    Desert WAVE, an all-female robotics team of Fulton Schools students, joined members of Degrees of Freedom, an all-female robotics team of high school students, to apply their technical know-how to “hack” toys to make them accessible to children who face challenges manipulating interactive toys. The toys were modified to help the children playing with them develop problem-solving and socialization skills — as well as have fun. The teams developed and built push-button activators for the toys, which will be distributed during the holiday season by a nonprofit group serving members or the local community with disabilities.

  • ‘They think all I do is draw’

    ‘They think all I do is draw’

    Shandiin Yessilth, the Fulton Schools’ Outstanding Fall 2019 Graduate in Construction Management, is among Diné women bringing construction, architecture, design and community planning skills to Native American communities. She is currently gaining experience in an internship with Kitchell Corporation, a major construction contractor in the Southwest. Yesslith is being mentored by a fellow Diné, Kim Kanuho, a planner and president of a Native-owned design company, and also is managing construction labor on a project led by Diné architect Tamarah Begay. Yessilth plans to return to ASU in the fall of 2020 to pursue a master’s degree in sustainable engineering. Read about other exceptional Fulton Schools fall 2019 graduates.

  • Fiber-reinforced Concrete Speeds Construction, Reduces Costs

    Fiber-reinforced Concrete Speeds Construction, Reduces Costs

    By mixing fibers made of steel or comparable composites of materials into concrete, Fulton Schools professor Barzin Mobasher says building concrete structures and using it as a pavement could be more cost-efficient, reduce the carbon footprint of construction projects and provide significantly higher resiliency to everything from normal wear and tear over time to earthquakes. Mobasher has been leading research to develop this fiber-reinforced concrete for more than a decade and is starting to see it attract contractors’ interest. The material was recently used on a section of the Phoenix metro area light rail line.

  • Tempe company, ASU win NASA grant to develop disruptive spacecraft technology

    Tempe company, ASU win NASA grant to develop disruptive spacecraft technology

    ASU has become a leader in making technological advances in additive manufacturing, says Kyle Squires, dean of the Fulton Schools. Progress being made in that area has led to a NASA grant to support work by researchers at ASU, Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies Inc. and Kennesaw State University in Georgia to develop new technologies that will boost innovation in aerospace engineering. Efforts will include development and production of new tools to enable engineers to design components lighter and strong enough to withstand the stresses of launching and landing spacecraft. (Subscriber access only)

    See also: NASA awards Tempe engineers, ASU researchers $755K in grant money, KTAR News, December 12

  • Robocalls Targeting Immigrants, Foreign University Students

    Robocalls Targeting Immigrants, Foreign University Students

    Most Americans are aware the Internal Revenue Services does not make telephone calls to people to tell them they owe the federal tax agency money. But that knowledge is far less prevalent among particular populations. That’s why robocalls by phone scammers are targeting immigrants and foreign students at universities in the United States, says Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Adam Doupé (in red shirt, with students in photo). That’s one reason Arizona is among the places where perpetrators of such scams most frequently target their efforts, says Doupé, whose expertise includes vulnerability analysis, web security, mobile security and network security.

    See also: Report reveals Arizona is fifth worst state for robocalls, The State Press, December 4 article quotes Fulton Schools Professor Katina Michael

  • No. 1: ASU receives recognition for innovation

    No. 1: ASU receives recognition for innovation

     “We are trying to blur the line between society, the marketplace and the classroom every day,” says Brent Sebold (pictured in photo), director of Entrepreneurship + Innovation in the Fulton Schools of Engineering. The statement encapsulates a guiding mission of ASU that has led to the university being named No. 1 in innovation among the country’s institutions of higher education for five straight years by the U.S. News and World Report. Sebold is among faculty who focus on teaching the importance of entrepreneurship and value creation to ASU students to shape them into innovators. Student endeavors such as the all-female Desert WAVE robotics team — composed of Fulton Schools students —is one of the endeavors that have brought ASU wide recognition for its innovative ways.

    See also: Fighting stereotypes ASU Robotics Team shows women can excel in stem fields, College Times, December 6

  • Testing of Industrial Exoskeletons Deemed a Full Success

    Testing of Industrial Exoskeletons Deemed a Full Success

    New wearable robotics technologies developed by exoskeleton experts such as Fulton Schools Professor Thomas Sugar (at left in photo) were in the spotlight at a recent international conference. The event included hands-on testing demonstrations of new exoskeleton devices, some of which are designed for medical, industrial and military applications. The next Wearable Robotics Association conference is scheduled to be in Phoenix in early 2020.

  • How A Group Of ASU Students Launched A Research Satellite Into Space

    How A Group Of ASU Students Launched A Research Satellite Into Space

    The trend toward hotter temperatures in much of the world is more intense in densely developed cities where the urban heat island effect is spreading — especially where there are large expanses of concrete and asphalt paving. A team of ASU students, including many Fulton Schools students, is hoping to find ways to reduce the effect through data they will collect from a small satellite the team built and recently sent into orbit. Aerospace engineering major Jaime Sanchez de la Vega talks about the making of the specially designed “cube sat” named Phoenix.

  • USPCAS-E: The power of collaboration realized

    USPCAS-E: The power of collaboration realized

    Energy engineering pursuits by Fulton Schools Associate Professor Zachary Holman (at right in photo) are being enhanced by research and education collaborations developed through the U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy. Fulton Schools Professor Sayfe Kiaei is the USPCAS-E project director at ASU. The organization is fostering projects aimed at modernizing energy infrastructure, improving energy engineering education, providing academic exchange programs, establishing effective public policy on energy matters, and promoting entrepreneurship in the field — among many other related endeavors. Holman has traveled to Pakistan to lead technical training for faculty and students, and hosted exchange scholars in his ASU laboratory.

  • The most important engineering innovations of 2019

    The most important engineering innovations of 2019

    Mechanical “trees” offer an effective way to counteract the dangerous buildup of greenhouse gases — specifically carbon dioxide — in the atmosphere, which is exacerbating the detrimental impacts of climate change. A “forest” of these trees designed by a tech investment startup company and ASU researchers led by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner, director of  the university’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, promises to remove more carbon dioxide from the air than any other similar endeavor to date. The pilot project the company is planning to install in California could capture emissions each day equivalent to those produced by more than 1,800 households. Read more.

    See also: Popular Science picks ASU professor’s ‘MechanicalTree’ as a 2019 top technology, ASU NOW, December 5

  • ASU students’ research could help uncover why wrong-way driving is big in AZ

    ASU students’ research could help uncover why wrong-way driving is big in AZ

    Using a simulator to test reactions of drivers, students in the Fulton Schools human systems engineering program are exploring ways to prevent people from ignoring the “wrong way” signs and driving their vehicles down ramps and onto freeways — and heading into oncoming traffic. Officials in Arizona have reported almost 3,500 instances of such wrong-way driving in the state during a recent two-and-half-year period. Fulton Schools graduate students Mathew Dusharm and John Falluca hope to provide answers for why there is so much wrong-way driving and how to stop motorists from making those errors.

     

  • Obsessed With Efficiency: The 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 In Energy

    Obsessed With Efficiency: The 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 In Energy

    Recent doctoral graduates from the Fulton Schools civil, environmental and sustainable engineering program Aashay Arora and Matthew Aguayo are among innovators “figuring out how to make new materials do amazing things.” They’ve developed coatings embedded with phase-change materials that insulate buildings — reducing energy use while keeping building interiors cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. Arora and Aguayo’s startup, EnKoat, uses special paints, plaster and stucco that release heat at specific temperatures to achieve the insulating effect. Their company’s products are getting their first large-scale testing on a building on ASU’s Polytechnic campus. Read more.

November

2019
  • ASU academics recognized as world’s most influential researchers over the past decade

    ASU academics recognized as world’s most influential researchers over the past decade

    A good indicator of researchers’ impact is the number of times their work is cited by peers as useful in enabling further research advances. ASU recently had 10 of its faculty members ranked among the most frequently cited researchers in the world. The list includes Paul Westerhoff, an ASU Regents’ Professor in the Fulton Schools and Sefaattin Tongay, an assistant professor in the Fulton Schools. Westerhoff has become a leading exert in water treatment, contaminants in lakes, river and streams and the application of artificial intelligence in solving global water challenges. Tongay focuses on understanding the optical, electrical, mechanical and magnetic properties of nanomaterials and developing ways to use the abilities of nanomaterials in applications of quantum materials.

  • Internet Companies Prepare to Fight the ‘Deepfake’ Future

    Internet Companies Prepare to Fight the ‘Deepfake’ Future

    Technologies that can create fake videos are getting more sophisticated. Some even use cutting-edge artificial intelligence. Such tools — which reduce the time, expense and skill needed to doctor digital images — are making it easier to spread disinformation through what are called “deepfakes.” Though internet companies are trying to mount defenses against the the image manipulations, Fulton Schools professor and AI expert Subbarao Kambhampati says the new technology makes it difficult even for trained viewers to tell real from fake images and may eventually make it all but impossible.

  • ASU is 7th in national research rankings

    ASU is 7th in national research rankings

    Arizona State University had more than $617 million in research expenditures in the most recent fiscal year, raising it to No. 7 on the National Science Foundation rankings. That success is due to researchers such as Fulton Schools assistant professor Zachary Holman (pictured in photo), whose team set a world record for the efficiency of particular kinds of solar cells in generating energy. In the rankings, ASU moved up to No. 8 in electrical, electronic and communications engineering, ahead of MIT and Stanford.

  • Arizona State University students design satellite to research Urban Heat Island

    Arizona State University students design satellite to research Urban Heat Island

    A cube-shaped satellite named Phoenix now in orbit on the International Space Station is only the size of a loaf of bread. But the ASU students who built it — including Fulton Schools students — hope to see the so-called CubeSat have a big impact on deepening knowledge about the urban heat Island effect that poses challenges to the livability of growing cities such as Phoenix. If the thermal images the satellite produces achieve that goal, says aerospace engineering senior Jaime Sanchez De La Vega, the project’s chief engineer, “that would be amazing.” Read more on the Phoenix CubeSat website.

     

  • Big issues loom with driverless cars, experts say

    Big issues loom with driverless cars, experts say

    A recent symposium to discuss how Arizona can best adapt to the use of autonomous vehicles on its roadways explored potential issues that could arise from a proliferation of self-driving automobiles. One concern is about computer systems in such cars being hacked. Professor Ram Pendyala, a transportation engineer (and director of School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of the six Fulton Schools) thinks such hacking could present an ethical dilemma for the autonomous car industry. It’s unclear who would bear responsibility if the data the vehicles’ computer systems are constantly gathering is accessed and used in detrimental ways, Pendyala says.

  • Speech provides a window to brain health

    Speech provides a window to brain health

    Researchers have found that human speech abilities — or the lack of them — can be an accurate early indicator of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and similar health problems. Fulton Schools Associate Professor Visar Berisha (at right in photo) has teamed with Julie Liss, a professor in ASU’s College of Health Solutions (where Berisha has a joint appointment) to start Aural Analytics, a company that uses new technology developed at ASU to detect changes in speech patterns that appear at the earliest stages of such disease and disorders. A recently awarded National Science Foundation research grant is helping the venture make progress. Aural Analytics’ technology is now being used in clinical trials at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

  • ASU, Banner Team Creates Gel To Measure Radiation Exposure During Treatment

    ASU, Banner Team Creates Gel To Measure Radiation Exposure During Treatment

    Relief from cancer and other serious diseases can be provided by radiation treatments. But those treatments pose risks because too much exposure to radiation can trigger other medical problems. Kaushal Rege, a Fulton Schools professor of chemical engineering (second from left in photo) is part of a research team testing a new device that could prevent such complications by providing more exact measurements of radiation dosages. Rege is partnering with the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, Arizona, to develop a device that uses a gold nanogel to reveal dosage amounts to enable medical practitioners to keep radiation exposure at healthy and effective levels.

     

  • ASU team takes first place in the state’s first Robo Hackathon

    ASU team takes first place in the state’s first Robo Hackathon

    A team of Fulton Schools students won the $5,000 first prize in the first-ever ASU Robo Hackathon involving competitors from universities and colleges throughout Arizona. Using artificial intelligence robot kits, teams had to assemble and program their AI machines to perform five challenging tasks. Yinong Chen, a Fultons Schools computer science and engineering principle lecturer, helped to design the competition tasks. The event was organized by ASU’s University Technology Office to provide an opportunity for students to test their skills with new technologies, to connect with potential employers and learn about challenges they will face in the workplace or as tech entrepreneurs. Read more.

  • Real Life Telepathy is Closer than You Think

    Real Life Telepathy is Closer than You Think

    Computer-aided telepathy is beginning to become a real thing, potentially enabling communication between people by transmitting their thoughts through devices connected to their brains. Bioengineer and neuroscientist Bradley Greger, a Fulton Schools associate professor of biomedical and health systems engineering, says questions still need to be answered about how much information can actually be gathered from the brain using such devices. But some experts are already speculating that the new telepathic technologies might someday give rise to brain-to-brain communication services.

  • ASU’s Acoustic Ecology Lab brings sound to the center of climate, health and more

    ASU’s Acoustic Ecology Lab brings sound to the center of climate, health and more

    Fulton Schools computer science and engineering student Valarie Adams and mechanical engineering student Cameron Carver are among ASU students being trained in the science of sound so they can explore acoustic ecologies to help find solutions to environmental challenges — in both natural and built environments. ASU students are being introduced to the field through the Acoustic Ecology Lab in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, a collaborative of the Fulton Schools and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Much of the lab’s work involves applying virtual reality technologies to research in various science and engineering fields.

  • What self-driving cars can’t recognize may be a matter of life and death

    What self-driving cars can’t recognize may be a matter of life and death

    Some of the most obvious problems with self-driving cars when it comes to road safety are not being sufficiently addressed by the industry, says Katina Michaels, a Fulton Schools professor of computer science and engineering. She and other experts say more rigorous engineering is needed in designing autonomous vehicles, including better programming of artificial intelligence systems that are more capable of recognizing scenarios that present potentially dangerous driving hazards.

  • New ‘Artificial Leaf’ Uses Sunlight to Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel

    New ‘Artificial Leaf’ Uses Sunlight to Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel

    The detrimental effects of climate change brought on by heavy accumulations of greenhouse gasses might be alleviated to a significant degree with new technology that could turn atmospheric carbon dioxide into a source of alternative fuel. The system uses an “artificial leaf” is similar in nature to the “artificial tree” technology developed by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner, director of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions. His “trees” have resin-coated plastic leaves could possibly remove 100 times more carbon dioxide from the air as nature trees — and use the gas to create biofuels.

  • In the Impending Cyberwar, Engineers Must Be on the Front Lines

    In the Impending Cyberwar, Engineers Must Be on the Front Lines

    Technology that once existed only in science fiction is today rapidly evolving and broadening its reach and its power throughout the real world. The trend is evident in increasingly sophisticated uses of cyberwarfare techniques, say Fulton Schools Professor Brad Allenby and Associate Professor Mikhail Chester, writing in the American Society of Civil Engineers News. They contend the capabilities of cyber tech make it perhaps a more effective weapon in geopolitical conflict than conventional weapons of war. Allenby and Chester say it raises a critical challenge to ensure our country’s engineers gain sufficient expertise in cybersecurity to know how to protect the infrastructure and technologies engineers design, build and use from cyber threats. (Illustration at right courtesy of Pixabay)

  • Water from air: ASU professor’s technology produces clean drinking water around the globe

    Water from air: ASU professor’s technology produces clean drinking water around the globe

    As Zero Mass Water’s technology is being used in more places around the work to help communities prevent water scarcity, the company is also involved in education outreach to teach younger generations about society’s water challenges. The company emerged from research led by Fulton Schools Associate Professor Cody Friesen, who developed a system to produce water by capturing moisture from atmosphere. Students at a Phoenix elementary school recently got an introduction to the science and engineering involved in Zero Mass Water’s system, along with a lesson about the importance of developing renewable water resources for the future.

    See also: Engineer discovers how to extract water from air and sunlight, The Hill/Changing America, November 8

    From thin air: Partnership brings clean water-bottling technology to Flint, Crain’s Detroit Business, November 10

  • Engineers Create Tiny ‘Artificial Sunflowers’ That Bend Towards The Light

    Engineers Create Tiny ‘Artificial Sunflowers’ That Bend Towards The Light

    A team of scientists and engineers have designed solar panels that can increase the amounts of energy they can produce by mimicking the ability of sunflowers to take advantage of daylight hours to absorb more energy. Their system — called SunBot, for sunflower-like biomimetic omnidirectional tracker — uses temperature-sensitive materials to make tiny ‘stems’ that bend toward a bright light source. The system could be used to improve a variety of solar technologies. Fulton Schools Professor Hanqing Jiang, Associate Professor Xu Wang and doctoral student Hamsini Gopalakrishna are members of the research team.

    See Also: Sunflowers inspire light-tracking solar material (video), Chemical & Engineering News, November 13

    Fake Sunflowers that Easily Bend Towards the Sun Could Generate Efficient Solar Energy, News18 (India) November 13

  • ASU team accepts the NSF Quantum Leap challenge

    ASU team accepts the NSF Quantum Leap challenge

    A group of ASU engineers and scientists is among the research teams the National Science Foundation has assembled for its Quantum Leap Challenge Institute to develop new technologies using the latest knowledge about quantum mechanics. The ASU team includes Fulton Schools faculty members Nongjian Tao, Sefaattin Tongay, Qing Hua Wang and Stephen Goodnick. Their work will contribute to the increasing sophistication and miniaturization of electronics through the expanding ability to manipulate and control matter at the level of individual atoms and molecules. The endeavor has the potential to revolutionize computing and sensing technologies.

  • Arizona the “wild west” of stem cell therapy; experts say promising therapy ripe for exploitation

    Arizona the “wild west” of stem cell therapy; experts say promising therapy ripe for exploitation

    The lure of new cures promised by marketers of stem cell-based medical therapies should be approached with a buyer-beware attitude, say physicians and researchers, including David Brafman and Emma Frow, assistant professors in the Fulton Schools biomedical engineering program. The stem cell therapy industry is still largely unregulated and its claims mostly unproven, the experts warn. Brafman and Frow recently completed studies of services offered by stem cell clinics in the Southwest and found reasons to question the effectiveness of many of the treatments the clinics provide.

  • Engineering perceived deficits to assets

    Engineering perceived deficits to assets

    Fulton Schools engineering education and systems design doctoral student Michael Sheppard is a former Navy combat medic with a military service-connected disability. Sheppard is doing research on the psychological and emotional disabilities that often affect armed forces veterans. Now he is beginning work to help develop resources for veterans to transition into their postmilitary lives and turn their disabilities into productive assets.

     

  • Star students: ASU team watches as its project is launched into orbit

    Star students: ASU team watches as its project is launched into orbit

    ASU students worked for four years to complete a small cube-shaped satellite equipped with technology for studying the urban heat island effect in seven U.S. cities. A small group from among members of the project team — many of them Fulton Schools engineering students — recently watched the satellite blast off into space from a NASA launch site. Project manager Sarah Rogers, an aerospace engineering graduate student, said the spacecraft has provided an “incredible experience” for the 100 or so students who learned valuable lessons from the endeavor.

    See Also: Satellite built by students soars to space on mission to map heat in Phoenix, other cities, Arizona Republic, November 8

    ASU Students Launch NASA-Funded CubeSat To Study Urban Heat Island, KJZZ News, November 11

    ASU student-led team sends “Phoenix” satellite to space, The State Press, Nov 11

  • Two ASU engineering alumni won big on the latest season of Shark Tank

    Two ASU engineering alumni won big on the latest season of Shark Tank

    Fulton Schools alumni Eric Goodchild and Jake Slatnick earned a deal for a big investment in their startup company, Aira, on the popular television program “Shark Tank.” The company’s founders have developed a wireless charger that uses technology — called “Qi” —that is capable of charging several electronic devices simultaneously and is compatible with a large variety of devices. Goodchild and Slatnick, both of whom graduated from ASU in 2015, plan to bring their new technology to the market with Nomad, the major tech accessory company. They attribute some of their success to the entrepreneurial mindset fostered by many ASU programs and initiatives.

  • Made In Arizona: Scottsdale-based company selling technologies to make water from sunlight and air

    Made In Arizona: Scottsdale-based company selling technologies to make water from sunlight and air

    More than a decade ago, Cody Friesen developed technology that used the power of sunlight and moisture in the atmosphere to produce pure drinking water. Today, Zero Mass Water, the company founded by Friesen, a Fulton Schools associate professor of materials science and engineering, is seeing its system being employed in 30 countries. The venture is promising to have a significant impact on preventing water scarcity in an increasing number of communities around the world.

October

2019
  • ASU spinout provides recon for the cybersecurity battlefield

    ASU spinout provides recon for the cybersecurity battlefield

    One of the biggest cybersecurity challenges is blocking the efforts of potential hackers before they can trigger their malicious malware programs. CYR3CON, a venture that emerged from research led by Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Paulo Shakarian, recently filed its first patent for software designed to predict where hackers are likely to strike. Shakarian, CYR3CON’s CEO and co-founder, developed the framework of his new cybersecurity system as an analyst in the Army focusing on predicting the actions of terrorists and insurgents on the battlefield. The system is still being refined in Shakarian’s Cyber-Socio Intelligent Systems Laboratory at ASU. The goal is to make the system the standard of quality in predictive cybersecurity.

     

  • Stem cells pose risk, offer promise for ED, other diseases

    Stem cells pose risk, offer promise for ED, other diseases

    While there is some indication that cell-based therapies might help treat symptoms and control some urological conditions, researchers says there is a lack of scientific evidence to verify that stem cells are truly effective in these areas and do not cause any unintended harm. In a recent broad study of services offered by stem cell clinics, researchers including Emma Frow, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of biomedical engineering, point out that few of the clinics are using cell treatments for urological problems and that there are no Federal Drug Administration-approved stem cell products for use in urology.

  • Stress and corrosion can accelerate alloy cracks

    Stress and corrosion can accelerate alloy cracks

    ASU researchers are among those who have been discovering that certain environmental conditions can accelerate the corrosion of metallic materials, which poses a threat to materials used in the construction of airplanes, bridges and power plants. The new insight into parallel actions of materials stress and corrosion can help in designing new alloys the deter stress corrosion-induced materials failures, as well as point to better ways to assess the stability of metal alloys that are part of existing structures and technologies. Among leaders in this research is Karl Sieradzki, a Fulton Schools professor of materials science and engineering. Read more.

  • A student project measures fruit ripeness by measuring Ethylene Gas production

    A student project measures fruit ripeness by measuring Ethylene Gas production

    A biosensing system that reveals the ripeness of fruit earned a research group a $100,000 prize at the third annual ASU Innovation Open presented by the Fulton Schools of Engineering and Avnet, one of the world’s largest electronics components companies. The funds will enable Strella Biotechnology, led by a University of Pennsylvania researcher, to advance its work. The group’s system will help fruit growers to reduce the amount of waste created by its production processes and improve the quality of its products.

  • ASU-led project looks for new uses for solar power

    ASU-led project looks for new uses for solar power

    Fulton Schools Associate Professor Zachary Holman joined KJZZ’s The Show to talk about a new project to increase the use, and kinds of uses, of solar power. Holman and the ASU research team lead the project. They are working with MIT and schools in Ireland in this multi-year project, which focuses on manufacturing, materials and other aspects of photovoltaic devices. 

  • Department of Defense awards FIU biomedical engineering team $6 million to expand testing of pioneering prosthetic hand system

    Department of Defense awards FIU biomedical engineering team $6 million to expand testing of pioneering prosthetic hand system

    James Abbas, a Fulton Schools associate professor of biomedical engineering, is on the team of researchers that has developed a pioneering prosthetic hand system that enables amputees to regain a sense of feeling objects. Now the researchers are moving into a new stage of testing the technology, using military veterans who are amputees and others who have had hand amputations. Abbas, who has been a key partner in evaluating the “neural-enabled” prosthetic hand system, says its sensory feedback capability promises to have dramatic impacts on the lives of its users.

  • Data shows higher CO2 emissions in the Valley

    Data shows higher CO2 emissions in the Valley

    Carbon dioxide emissions are up by almost 300 percent in the Phoenix metro area over the past three decades. It’s the result of population growth, says Mikhail Chester, a Fulton Schools associate professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering. In addition to the air pollution concerns raised by those increasing emissions, the city will be further challenged by the impacts of climate change, Chester says. The combination of smoggy brown haze over the city and the expected rise in heat in urban environments is certain to raise more public health issues for the Phoenix area.

     

  • Street Art Meets Climate Science in the Big, Blue Face of Zeus

    Street Art Meets Climate Science in the Big, Blue Face of Zeus

    A large recently completed mural painted with a surface-cooling coating on a building in Los Angeles may be a sign of things to come as cities face the challenges of a warming climate. Artists, community activists, urban planners and climate experts collaborated on the project. One of them was Ariane Middel, an assistant professor and urban climatologist in the Fulton Schools and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering. Using a thermal camera and a temperature-sensing robot, Middel measured the heat signature of the mural to demonstrate the cooling effects of the coating on the surrounding environment.

  • California earthquake: MICROBES could save buildings from Big One – ‘Time is running out’

    California earthquake: MICROBES could save buildings from Big One – ‘Time is running out’

    ASU’s Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Edward Kavaznajian, is at the forefront of developing solutions to protect natural and built environments from the potentially devastating impacts of earthquakes — including the powerful tsunamis they’ve triggered. One of the center’s researchers, Associate Professor Leon van Paassen, explains the techniques being developed to sufficiently stabilize soils to enable them to withstand shocks from earthquakes. One method involves injecting nutrients into the ground to be consumed by microbes. That causes the microbes to generate nitrogen gas bubbles that could significantly dampen ground vibrations during earthquakes, and thus prevent damage to structures standing on those soils — especially cities built on loosely compacted soils that can liquefy during a strong quakes.

  • Speeding up Construction

    Speeding up Construction

    Work led by Fulton Schools Professor Barzin Mobasher is showing how using fiber-reinforced concrete can save time, effort and costs in construction projects. His research team has come up with a series of equations, calculations and procedures for using just the right amount of fiber in concrete mixes to build structures that are more crack-resistant and durable over time and easier and less expensive to repair. The fiber and concrete formula could also provide environmental benefits by producing less of a carbon footprint than conventional concrete materials. Mobasher’s methodology also includes various sets of calculations for concrete mixes using different types of high-performance fibers, including synthetic, glass, polymeric and nylon fibers.

  • Navrotsky comes full circle with opening of new ASU center

    Navrotsky comes full circle with opening of new ASU center

    National Academy of Sciences member Alexandra Navrotsky (holding sign in photo) has returned to ASU to the lead the Navrotsky Eyring Center for Materials of the Universe. Her job is to oversee interdisciplinary explorations of newly discovered materials, including those found elsewhere in our solar system. That research thrust will enhance materials science and engineering pursuits aimed at developing new detectors and spacecraft materials needed to enable discoveries beyond our planet. Navrotsky rejoins ASU as a professor in the Fulton Schools, as well as the School of Molecular Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

     

  • ASU graduate creates tool to help with physical therapy

    ASU graduate creates tool to help with physical therapy

    A serious spinal cord injury Daniel Campbell sustained in 2012 led him to design a devise to aid his own physical rehabilitation therapy. He called it “The Spartan” and found that therapists and patients wanted to use it. A few years later, as a Fulton Schools undergraduate studying engineering with a focus on robotics, Campbell was refining the rehabilitative tool and entering competitions to raise funding to provide the device to others with similar injuries. Today he has a degree and is seeing The Spartan being used in rehab facilities in Arizona and California.

  • Riding the brain wave: ASU scientists research human electrical activity

    Riding the brain wave: ASU scientists research human electrical activity

    Rosalind Sadleir and her research team are work on more accurate and less invasive ways to measure electrical activities in the human brain and body. The Fulton Schools associate professor of biomedical engineering is hoping that deeper knowledge of these electrical activities will reveal ways to more quickly diagnose neurological problems like Parkinson’s Disease and related health disorders. The team is developing a new imaging technique that more closely pinpoints where the electrical activity is occurring in the brain. The project involves a collaboration between ASU and experts at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

     

  • What we can’t see can hurt us: Connecting the dots between breast cancer and food

    What we can’t see can hurt us: Connecting the dots between breast cancer and food

    Research is showing possible links between certain chemicals called endocrine disruptors and the onset of breast cancer — and that research points to our modern diet being largely responsible for the slow accumulation of these disruptors in our bodies. The researchers, Fulton Schools professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, and Devin Bowes, a graduate student in the Fulton Schools biological design program, also say there are measures we can take to reduce ingesting endocrine disruptors and other chemicals we are exposed to through some processed foods and some of the materials in which they are packaged.

    See Also: National Geographic, October 10

    Fast food increases exposure to a ‘forever chemical’ called PFAS

    Long-lasting chemicals used in food packaging can seep into the food and then build up within our bodies, according to data from a new study. It looks at packaging containing a toxic chemical known as PFAS, which has been linked to cancer, thyroid disorders, weight gain and hormonal changes. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden says PFAS is among the chemicals to which people are often exposed that do not degrade, and thus pose risks to the health of both humans and the natural environment.

  • Prepping for the Big One

    Prepping for the Big One

    It’s called liquefaction, the intense soil-displacing shaking brought on by earthquakes that turn solid ground mushy and dangerous. ASU’s Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Edward Kavazanjian, has developed technology to prevent of liquefaction by injecting nutrients deep into soil. Micro-organisms ingest the nutrients, producing gas that in turn prevents the pressure that leads to liquefaction. ASU engineers are teaming with colleagues at other universities to test the method in parts or Portland, Oregon that could be prone to liquefaction. They’re using tools such as the truck called T-Rex (see picture), which can simulate earthquake action by shaking small areas of the ground.

    See Also: Where solid ground could turn into ‘soup’ KGW8 News, Portland, October 11

  • Before the flood: System to predict rising water is tested in Phoenix and Flagstaff

    Before the flood: System to predict rising water is tested in Phoenix and Flagstaff

    Even with one of the driest monsoon seasons on record this year, Arizona still saw rains that led to flash flooding and emergency rescues of people swept away in swift waters running through desert washes. Such persistent threats to public safety could be reduced by FloodAware, a warning system being developed by engineers and scientists at ASU, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona. Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Margaret Garcia, a leader of the FloodAware research, explains how a mobile hydrology app, image-processing technology and water resource engineering can help provide real-time flood monitoring to give public safety officials timely alerts about potentially dangerous flooding at specific locations.

  • California’s massive power outage is a wake-up call for the whole country

    California’s massive power outage is a wake-up call for the whole country

    The world’s infrastructure systems can’t be adapted fast enough to handle growing challenges being brought on by climate change, says Mikhail Chester, a Fulton Schools associate professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering. The threatening climatic conditions and extreme weather events that are interrupting power grid operations in California are an example of what is beginning to happen across the country. Chester and other experts warn that infrastructure designed and built for the more stable and predictable climate of the past will become more prone to instability that poses risks to public safety. (Image by H. Hach from Pixabay )

    See Also: You can expect more blackouts as the country heats up, Popular Science, October 11

  • New photovoltaic research partnership spans countries, disciplines

    New photovoltaic research partnership spans countries, disciplines

    ASU’s Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies Engineering Research Center, known as QESST, will lead a collaboration involving five universities in three countries to make advances in solar cell technology and explore new applications for photovoltaic devices. QESST is directed by Christiana Honsberg, a Fulton Schools professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering. Among results the research project is expected to produce are technologies that are more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity, integration of solar cells into indoor “internet of things” sensors and wearable technology and low-cost solar cell manufacturing. News of the project is also posted on the Solar Novus Today, Solar Builder magazine and Phys.org websites.

  • Stunning Photos Show What It’s Really Like To Work Deep Underground In An American Coal Mine

    Stunning Photos Show What It’s Really Like To Work Deep Underground In An American Coal Mine

    Coal miners typically descend thousands of feet into the earth to their work sites. Risks they face in underground environments can be dangerous if safety measures are not followed diligently. Miners can be exposed to extremely heavy air pressure and to dangerous gases like carbon monoxide and methane. Proper ventilation will prevent harmful conditions, says Fulton Schools Professor Edward Kavazanjian, a geotechnical engineer, but mine operators must follow established procedures that make practices to protect workers’ health a priority. Kavazanjian also commented about the issue in a 2010 article in The New York Times.

     

  • Laser Activated Gold Nanorods Create Silk Seal for Incisions and Wounds

    Laser Activated Gold Nanorods Create Silk Seal for Incisions and Wounds

    A new body tissue sealing technique being developed by Fulton Schools Professor Kaushal Rege’s research team uses a laser to heat up gold nanorods to gently melt silk fibers. Those fibers then fuse with collagen — a protein within the body’s various connective tissues — to bond tissues and aid in healing of wounds and incisions, while also possibly preventing infections. The method can be applied to reinforcing the use of stitches to seal tissues or to potentially provide a resilient alternative to conventional stitching. Read more.

     

  • The Problem With ‘Cool Pavements’: They Make People Hot

    The Problem With ‘Cool Pavements’: They Make People Hot

    Many cities trying to cool down ambient outdoor temperatures for the public’s comfort have been using so-called “cool pavements,” especially on their streets. But researcher Ariane Middel is finding these typically white pavement materials that are supposed to lower temperatures, by reflecting energy from sunlight, are actually causing a rise in heat. Middel is an urban climatologist and an assistant professor in the Fulton Schools and the School of Arts, Media. She and fellow researchers have recently been studying the impact of measures to keep urban heat down in Los Angeles. But she has discovered temperatures are being boosted by the solar radiation that is reflecting off of the white paving materials.

    See Also: ASU researcher finds white ‘cool pavements’ actually make you hotter, 3TV/CBS 5 News – Phoenix, October 11

  • From pipelines to fibre optics: How drilling technology is reshaping the urban landscape

    From pipelines to fibre optics: How drilling technology is reshaping the urban landscape

    Horizontal direction drilling, or HDD, has been transforming the way power lines, gas lines and fiber optic cables are installed underground. Fulton Schools Professor Sam Ariaratnam, chair of the construction engineering program, has been at the forefront of research leading to HDD advances that have and made the technique standard practice in the underground construction industry over the past two decades. In an article reporting on how HDD is reshaping modern urban landscapes in Canada, Ariaratnam talks about the technical and environmental benefits being demonstrated by this minimally invasive drilling method.

     

  • ASU professor’s company Zero Mass Water awarded prestigious MIT prize

    ASU professor’s company Zero Mass Water awarded prestigious MIT prize

    It’s not just Zero Mass Water’s technological achievement in developing fully solar-powered hydropanels that can produce water by absorbing water vapor from the air. It’s how the company has made it a priority to bring its system to underserved communities around the world. “As inventors, we have a responsibility to ensure our technology serves all of humanity, not simply the elite” says the company’s founder, Cody Friesen, a Fulton Schools associate professor of materials science and engineering. That guiding principle recently helped Friesen and Zero Mass Water win the Lemelson-MIT Prize given annually to “honor outstanding mid-career inventors dedicated to improving our world through technological invention.” (Read more in a September 19 post on this page.)

  • First-ever clinical trial begins studying fecal microbiota transplant with Pitt-Hopkins syndrome

    First-ever clinical trial begins studying fecal microbiota transplant with Pitt-Hopkins syndrome

    ASU’s Autism/Aspergers Research Program, directed by Fulton Schools Professor James Adams, is partnering with a research foundation to do the first clinical trial of a new therapy developed by Adams and his research team to treat some of the ailments associated with autism. The trial will focus on the potential for the Microbiota Transfer Therapy to combat the effects of Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, a rare genetic disorder often classified on the autism spectrum. The hope is for the treatment to alleviate or reduce constipation and other gastrointestinal and gut problems that often plague children with Pitt-Hopkins syndrome.

  • New wearable tech center in midtown Phoenix to foster research and development

    New wearable tech center in midtown Phoenix to foster research and development

    Fulton Schools faculty members have key roles in a new wearable technology center in Phoenix. The WearTech Center is a public-private partnership between the Partnership for Economic Innovation, ASU and the state government. Gregory Raupp, professor of chemical engineering and the Fulton Schools’ director of Partnerships and Innovation, is the center’s research director. Thomas Sugar (pictured at right), graduate program chair and professor in the Fulton School’s engineering and manufacturing engineering program, is part of GoX Labs, a tenant at the WearTech center. The venture’s mission is to partner with industry to develop wearable technology solutions. Current devices include smartwatches, fitness trackers, augmented and virtual reality headsets and wearable cameras, and health- assessment devices. (Subscriber access only)

    See Also: WearTech Center — focused on R&D — opens at Park Central, AZ Big Media, October 1

September

2019
  • Free (Robot) Hugs! An Embracing Multimodal Dataset

    Free (Robot) Hugs! An Embracing Multimodal Dataset

    With the proliferation of artificial intelligence technology, human interactions with AI-equipped robots are expected to become an increasing part of daily life. So, scientists and engineers are exploring paths to better human-robot relationships. Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Heni Ben Amor has led research using a humanoid remote-controlled robot to give hundreds of hugs to humans wearing sensors to collect data on their hugging experiences. The result is a human-robot hugging interaction data set that could aid efforts to train companion robots and have applications in robots used for assembly tasks, therapy and even entertainment. Details are reported in a recent research paper authored by Ben Amor and Fulton Schools doctoral students Kunal Bagewadi and Joseph Campbell, who work in Ben Amor’s Interactive Robotics Lab.

  • ASU engineers want to use traffic cameras to warn about urban flooding

    ASU engineers want to use traffic cameras to warn about urban flooding

    Using infrared technology to take photographic images with traffic cameras, and then using algorithms to process those images, a group of Fulton Schools engineers says they will be able to help urban motorists avoid streets that are flooded or likely to soon be underwater. Margaret Garcia, an assistant professor in ASU’s School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, says the system could even help to determine if there’s flooding in areas without the infrared cameras.

     

     

  • ASU and MCC team up with USDA research service to expand agriculture education

    ASU and MCC team up with USDA research service to expand agriculture education

    Fulton Schools and Mesa Community College students are teaming with a U.S. Department of Agriculture research center to promote education in sustainable agriculture. They’re aiding in development of agricultural research techniques that can be applied in the lab and in hands-on field work. An undergraduate course to be offered as part of the project is expected to begin in the 2020 spring semester. The venture may provide impetus for developing more concentrated studies of food systems and related agricultural subjects at ASU, says Rebecca Muenich, an assistant professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment.

  • The Man Who Makes Water From Thin Air Wins Half-A-Million Dollar Prize

    The Man Who Makes Water From Thin Air Wins Half-A-Million Dollar Prize

    The Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology awarded Cody Friesen its annual $500,000 prize for inventions that can improve the quality of life for people around the world. Friesen, a Fulton Schools associate professor of materials science and engineering, founded Fluidic Energy and Zero Mass Water, companies that provide rechargeable batteries to power electric grids in emergency situations and solar energy panels that can produce drinkable water by absorbing water molecules from the air. So far, the technology has helped to deliver water to communities in more than 30 countries.

    See Also: MIT honors alumnus for innovations in drinking water, battery technologies, Boston Globe, September 18

    Arizona engineer, inventor wins $500,000 prize for water-air tech, KTAR News, September 19

    Cody Friesen PhD ’04 awarded $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, MIT News, September 18

    ASU professor, startup founder wins $500,000 for panels that create water from air, sunlight, Phoenix Business Journal, September 18 (Subscriber access only)

  • Reasons to be optimistic about Arizona’s water future

    Reasons to be optimistic about Arizona’s water future

    Ensuring Arizona can avoid water scarcity in a future that’s predicted to be drier throughout the Southwest will take foresight and concerted endeavors by public officials, scientists, industry, community leaders and the public to find solutions to water supply challenges. Fulton Schools Professor Paul Westerhoff was one of the water experts who spoke at a recent conference sponsored by ASU’s offices of Knowledge Enterprise Development and Government and Community Engagement. Westerhoff, the Fulton Chair of Environmental Engineering, stressed the need for industries and businesses to engage in efforts to develop best practices in their management and use of water resources.

  • Phoenix Residents Will Need To Adapt To An Even Hotter Climate

    Phoenix Residents Will Need To Adapt To An Even Hotter Climate

    Continuing urbanization is resulting in cities with more heat-absorbent surfaces — concrete sidewalks, parking lots and roads paved with asphalt, for instance — that are intensifying the urban heat island effect. With her robot that measures how heat impacts the human body, Ariane Middel is studying ways for cities that face hotter futures to help keep people cool and shielded from the sources of higher temperatures. Middel. an assistant professor in the Fulton Schools and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, is working with Phoenix and Tempe to create more shade in urban environs.

     

  • HEARTBREAKING IMAGES THAT SHOW THE IMPACT OF PLASTIC ON ANIMALS IN THE OCEANS

    HEARTBREAKING IMAGES THAT SHOW THE IMPACT OF PLASTIC ON ANIMALS IN THE OCEANS

    There is little about large accumulations of plastics in the world’s oceans that isn’t problematic, scientists and engineers report. The pollution is posing a growing risk to sea life, with animals up and down the food chain being threatened by the effects of plastics in their environments, says Charles Rolsky, an ASU doctoral student who conducts research with Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden in the Center for Environmental Health Engineering. Halden says early research indicates microplastics that are also finding their way into human’s bodies could pose serious health threats to people. The growing plastics waste situation even has serious economic implications for many large industries.

  • Starry-eyed ASU students create satellite to better understand climate change

    Starry-eyed ASU students create satellite to better understand climate change

    The large swaths of concrete and asphalt that cover much the urban environment’s surfaces are a major factor in the ongoing rise in temperatures that are making life more uncomfortable — and even unhealthy — in big cities. A team of ASU students, many of them Fulton Schools students, hope to gather valuable new information to help address the problem. They’re building and preparing a small satellite designed to help study the impacts of the urban heat island effect as it flies over several major cities, including Phoenix. A grant from NASA is supporting the CubeSat venture. Aerospace engineering student Sarah Rogers is the project manager.

     

  • New surveillance tech means you’ll never be anonymous again

    New surveillance tech means you’ll never be anonymous again

    It’s getting way beyond facial recognition. New ways researchers are developing technologies to find, detect and monitor people are expanding rapidly and becoming more effective. Tracking people by their heartbeat, microbial cells and scent are just some of the expanded capabilities. Such advances make it urgent to restrict use of such surveillance tools when it could violate democratic principles, says Katina Michael, a Fulton Schools professor of computer science and engineering, who is also on the faculty of the ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society. The impacts of these technologies need to be revealed and controlled to maintain public trust in the governments and other institutions that might use them.

  • These Scientists Are Changing Soil at a Molecular Level to Withstand Earthquakes

    These Scientists Are Changing Soil at a Molecular Level to Withstand Earthquakes

    Engineers and scientists are experimenting with using microbes to re-engineer soils underground in a way that prevents soil from liquefying. In collaboration with two other universities, ASU’s Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Edward Kavazanjian, is developing a technique researchers hope can eventually be applied to liquefaction-prone locales around the world. That would fortify soil and help to keep liquids from saturating the ground during earthquakes and preventing damage to buildings, roadways and other vital structures. Trillions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure is at risk until solutions are found that will stop liquefaction on a large scale, Kavazanjian says.

  • Fires in the Amazon: Arizona researchers determine what’s true, what’s not

    Fires in the Amazon: Arizona researchers determine what’s true, what’s not

    As social media in particular rapidly spreads information and misinformation about the more than 100,000 separate fires that have erupted in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, ASU researchers are helping separate fact from fiction about the blazes and their potential environmental impacts. Among them is Kai Shu, a Fulton Schools computer science and engineering doctoral student who authored the book “Detecting Fake News on Social Media” with his academic adviser, Fulton Schools Professor Huan Liu. The flurry of photos, reporting and misreporting spreading about the Amazon fires demonstrate the challenge of getting the straight story on such dramatic events.

  • ASU professor studies how different types of shade can help keep us cool in the heat

    ASU professor studies how different types of shade can help keep us cool in the heat

    Trees, awnings, shade sails, umbrellas, landscaping and urban environmental design — all of those and more are becoming vital to coping with a growing need to cool things down in locales where temperatures continue to climb. Ariane Middel is using technology she designed — a mobile biometeorological instrument platform named “MaRTy” —   in her work with colleagues to find the most effective methods of protecting the populace from the rising heat. Middel is an assistant professor in the Fulton Schools and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering.

    See Also: Keeping Pedestrians Cool Focus of First-Ever U of G Research, University of Guelph, September 3

    Arizona researchers say shade is not all created equal, KTAR News, September 1

  • Operation Safe Roads: Do stiffer traffic citation fines lead to safer streets?

    Operation Safe Roads: Do stiffer traffic citation fines lead to safer streets?

    In some countries, fines for traffic violations that are many times higher than fines in Arizona and throughout the United States seem to have a deterrent effect on inattentive driving that leads to serious vehicle crashes. But transportation engineer and Fulton Schools Professor Ram Pendyala says raising fines probably would not by itself result in making driving safer on Phoenix streets and highways. Pendyala recommends that better roadway design and public awareness and education efforts need to be part of a solution to the rising numbers of auto collisions.

  • All-female robotics team wins major awards while slashing stereotypes of women, Latinos in STEM

    All-female robotics team wins major awards while slashing stereotypes of women, Latinos in STEM

    A rookie team of ASU engineering students — most of them Fulton Schools students — put in the surprise performance of a recent international underwater robotics competition. The team named Desert WAVE (Women in Autonomous Vehicle Engineering) took third place over all at the RoboSub international event. The team was formed in collaboration with an Arizona-based organization that provides opportunities to youngsters in underserved communities. Another version of the story was posted on the website of the national morning news show Good Morning America.

    See Also: ASU’s all female robotics team is #1 in the country, 3TV/CBS 5 News – Phoenix, September 6

     

  • Contact Lenses Another Source Of Plastic Pollution

    Contact Lenses Another Source Of Plastic Pollution

    The billions of contact lenses being disposed of by flushing them down drains and toilets is exacerbating the plastics pollution problem that is threatening the health of the environment as well as the human food chain. Contact lenses can survive the filtering processes of water treatment systems, says Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of the ASU Center for Environmental Health Engineering. That means old contact lenses end up adding to the increasing accumulations of toxic pollutants on land and in the ocean, where they are ingested by land animals and sea creatures — including those that are sources of food for people.

     

  • Troops of the future may ditch night-vision goggles in favor of eye injections to see in the dark

    Troops of the future may ditch night-vision goggles in favor of eye injections to see in the dark

    A vision physiologist and a nanoparticle expert have injected nanoparticles that convert infrared light into visible light into the eyes of mice. The injections gave the mice the ability to see in the dark for as long as 10 weeks. The researchers say the technique could work safely in humans, and be especially useful for troops in nighttime military operations. Brad Allenby, a Fulton Schools professor of engineering and ethics, and founding chair of the Consortium for Emerging Technologies, Military Operations and National Security, says more studies would be needed to ensure such injections have no negative effects in humans, but that enhanced visual capability would give troops and security personnel a significant advantage.

  • Hackers use old scam with a twist to target Facebook users

    Hackers use old scam with a twist to target Facebook users

    Fake Facebook pages are being used to trick users of the social media network to click on a video embedded in a message that appears to be from a Facebook friend. Clicking on the video can give hackers access to much of your personal information, warns cybersecurity expert Partha Dasgupta, a Fulton Schools associate professor of computer science and engineering. Dasgupta says such so-called phishing scams have lured social media users into becoming victims of identity theft.

August

2019
  • 50 grades of shade: Researchers find that it’s not all created equal

    50 grades of shade: Researchers find that it’s not all created equal

    With a long-range forecast for higher summer temperatures in the Phoenix metro area, communities are taking steps to provide more shade in the urban environment. Ariane Middel (at left in photo) is among ASU researchers leading biometeorological studies to determine more effective ways to use landscaping, buildings, canopies and other structures to offer people some respite from the heat by shielding them from sunlight. Middel is an assistant professor in the Fulton Schools, as well as the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning.

     

  • Can We Survive Extreme Heat?

    Can We Survive Extreme Heat?

    The damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina slamming New Orleans in 2005 could be a picture of what’s to come from extreme climate events driven by warming temperatures throughout the world, says Fulton Schools Associate Professor Mikhail Chester, who directs the Metis Center for Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering at ASU. Chester’s fellow engineers and their climate science colleagues point to more than heat affecting the severity of weather events, but also how constant high temperatures can trigger social and psychological stresses. They say re-engineering cities like Phoenix to mitigate and withstand the heat is becoming imperative to quality of life.

     

  • Mini-spacecraft built by ASU students will study urban heat island effect

    Mini-spacecraft built by ASU students will study urban heat island effect

    Fulton Schools students are among more than 100 ASU students, faculty members and researchers who teamed up to design and build the Phoenix spacecraft. The small “cubesat” is set to be launched in October to the international Space Station for a two-year mission. The spacecraft will to take thermal images of several American cities (including Phoenix) to help determine the effects of their urban heat islands. The goal is to give local governments and communities data to help them confront their heat-related environmental challenges.

    See Also: Starry-eyed ASU students create satellite to better understand climate change, The State Press, September 16

  • Hitting the Books: We can engineer the Earth to fight climate change

    Hitting the Books: We can engineer the Earth to fight climate change

    The longer it takes to launch efforts to reduce the levels of carbon emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere, the bigger and more expensive a feat of geoengineering it will require to evade the dangers of a rapidly warming planet. The carbon-capture technology capable of helping to fine-tune the climate is being developed in research led by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner in ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions. But the solution is going to also require resolving some political and social conflicts.

     

  • Will CRISPR succeed in curing disease?

    Will CRISPR succeed in curing disease?

    Promising indications that the gene-editing tool called CRISPR can be used to effectively fight cancer and other serious health disorders and diseases is about to put to the test in clinical trials. Samira Kiana, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of biomedical engineering and an expert in gene therapy, describes the complex obstacles and challenges involved in verifying CRISPR’s curative powers.

  • ‘Shadow hunter’: ASU climatologist helps others find shade from Arizona sun

    ‘Shadow hunter’: ASU climatologist helps others find shade from Arizona sun

    With a robot she calls “a mean radiant temperature cart,” ASU urban climatologist Ariane Middel is gathering data that can be used to develop “thermal comfort maps.” The robot and the maps can help calculate routes that provide the most shade for those seeking refuge from Arizona’s searing summer sun. The system could also be adapted to aid architects and planners in designing structures and spaces to provide more shade. Middel is an assistant professor in the Fulton Schools and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, and an affiliate faculty member with the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. Read more.

     

  • How do I love ants? Let me count the ways

    How do I love ants? Let me count the ways

    Doctoral student Andrew Burchill has one of the most painstaking jobs in science. His work with ASU’s Social Insect Research Group includes “mass animal christening,” that so far has been requiring him to identify and keep track of vast multitudes of ants by painting tags on them with a human eyelash taped to a toothpick. But Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Ted Pavlic has come to Burchill’s rescue. Pavlic combined his skills in electrical and computer engineering, computer science and life sciences — and expertise in telecommunications and the behavior of complex systems — to solve a problem Burchill says has long been frustrating biologists.

  • Study reveals how phone phishing catches its prey

    Study reveals how phone phishing catches its prey

    Perpetrators of phone scams are using social engineering to exploit their victims’ vulnerabilities. Scammers employ sophisticated methods such as visual cues, altered caller IDs and alarming voice content to fraudulently obtain people’s sensitive personal information. Adam Dumpé, a Fulton Schools assistant professor computer engineering, is working with a research team to explore development of effective countermeasures to safeguard against the scams.

  • As Phoenix Heats Up, the Night Comes Alive

    As Phoenix Heats Up, the Night Comes Alive

    Phoenix is already one of the hottest cities in the United States, with well over 100 days a year seeing temperatures at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. And it’s getting hotter — along with some other large urban areas around the country — due to global climate change and the urban heat island effect. Ariane Middel, an assistant professor in the Fulton Schools and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, is among urban climate researchers using the city as a living laboratory to explore strategies for warming cities to adapt to the meteorological changes and reduce the impacts of the rising heat.

  • Toxic groundwater lies beneath Phoenix, and a cleanup has been delayed for years

    Toxic groundwater lies beneath Phoenix, and a cleanup has been delayed for years

    For many years, harmful chemicals were dumped on the ground around industrial plants in Phoenix. The groundwater polluted by those health-threatening solvents remains at the center of governmental, financial and legal disputes that have been delaying cleanup of the contaminated water that stretches for 15 miles. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, says the risk of public exposure to the chemicals can be alleviated only by an aggressive cleanup effort.

     

  • What just happened? The rise of interest in Artificial Intelligence

    What just happened? The rise of interest in Artificial Intelligence

    Misconceptions and misperceptions about artificial intelligence technology cloud some of the public’s understanding of AI technology and its potential societal impacts. It’s instructive to look at the evolution of AI’s capabilities to get a more revealing grasp of how it might change the world, says Subbarao Kambhampati, a Fulton Schools professor of computer science and chief AI officer for the AI Foundation. In the first of a series of columns on the subject, Kambhampati examines how AI has progressed in gaining abilities in particular kinds of intelligence in ways comparable to — and different than — human intellectual development.

     

  • Team of all-female ASU students took 3rd in a world robotics competition

    Team of all-female ASU students took 3rd in a world robotics competition

    Among more than 50 teams from 12 countries, the all-female Desert Wave team of Fulton Schools students finished third in the recent 2019 International RoboSub competition. That made Desert Wave the highest-placing team from the United States. Robots entered in the competition were designed to help gather knowledge in underwater environments that could pose dangers for people. The team composed largely of freshman students plans to return to the RoboSub event next year. Read more.

     

     

  • Artificial Intelligence brings Wimbledon highlights to TV Viewers

    Artificial Intelligence brings Wimbledon highlights to TV Viewers

    A recent edition of the science and technology program “Details” reports on how artificial intelligence technology was used to enhance TV viewers’ experience of this summer’s Wimbledon tennis championships. Journalist Andrey Derkach turned to Fulton Schools Professor Subbarao Kamphampati for AI expertise. Kamphampati explained how an AI-powered system implemented by IBM analyzed video footage to produce a highlights report for various media platforms. He says the way the system selected what to feature exhibited a bias due to the quirks of crowd reactions influenced by the popularity of certain players. The report begins several seconds past the 12:30 mark in the video. The program was first aired on July 1 and then archived on its website.

  • Joint ASU-Army project helps bridge the gap between civilians, soldiers

    Joint ASU-Army project helps bridge the gap between civilians, soldiers

    A joint ASU-U.S. Army project is providing valuable information to aid the country’s military in its missions around the world. Each semester, ASU students are assigned to research densely populated urban regions in other countries. The goal is to help U.S. military forces better understand the cultural, demographic, social and economic environments of those regions before U.S. troops deploy to those areas. Fulton Schools biomedical engineering student Nathan Hui is among those who have participated. Hui says his extensive information-gathering for the Army on Algiers, Algeria, provided excellent training in conducting research.

  • Arizona Corporation Commission member questions risks of APS lithium battery sites

    Arizona Corporation Commission member questions risks of APS lithium battery sites

    Firefighters were injured in an explosion earlier this year resulting from a fire at an Arizona Public Service utility company storage facility west of Phoenix. The incident has prompted a member of the state commission that regulates public utilities to recommend APS consider using sources of power other than the lithium ion batteries used at the facility. Fulton Schools Professor Hanqing Jiang, whose research involves developing advances in lithium ion batteries, says they are the best kind of batteries for power storage applications and can be prevented from catching on fire with proper safety precautions.

    See Also: 4 months later, investigators still looking for cause in APS battery facility explosion, Fox 10 News-Phoenix, August 8

  • Phoenix area freeway system not to blame for wrong-way drivers, says expert

    Phoenix area freeway system not to blame for wrong-way drivers, says expert

    Five incidences within five days involving people driving automobiles in the wrong direction on freeways in the Phoenix area raised questions about the cause of such mishaps. Some voiced concerns that local freeway designs could be contributing to the problem. But Fulton Schools Associate Professor Yingyan Lou, an expert in intelligent transportation systems and the modeling and optimization of those systems, says Arizona’s freeways — particularly busy Interstate 10 — adhere to the some of the best design codes. Better visibility of road signage might help reduce wrong-way driving, Lou says, but studies show driver impairment remains the biggest cause of such incidents.

     

  • Survey of Stem Cell Clinics Reveals Cause for Concern

    Survey of Stem Cell Clinics Reveals Cause for Concern

    Clinics offering direct-to-consumer stem cell treatments can vary significantly in their practices and the expertise of clinicians. That is among key findings of a study published in the journal Stem Cell Reports of almost 170 stem cell businesses in six states in the U.S. Southwest. David Brafman and Emma Frow, Fulton Schools assistant professors of biomedical engineering, led the survey work. Brafman, Frow and their colleagues hope to bring more transparency to the stem cell marketplace, raise consumer awareness and provide insights to guide federal and state agencies in properly regulating the marketplace.

    See Also: Google bans ads for unproven stem cell therapies, Breitbart News, September 6

    More ‘Buyer Beware’ Warnings for Unregulated Stem Cell Clinics, HealthDay News report in U.S. News & World Report, DoctorsLounge and United Press International (Unregulated stem cell clinics can be dangerous, study finds), August 1

    Assessing direct-to-consumer stem cell clinics, Science Daily, August 1

    ASU research reviews unregulated stem cell clinics in six southwestern states, ASU NOW, August 1

    Study examines direct-to-consumer stem cell clinics in 6 Southwestern states, August 1, Science Codex (Cell Press) and Global Health News Wire

    Investigation Into 170 U.S. Stem Cell Clinics Finds Some Scary Trends, Gizmodo, August 2

    ASU Study Describes Fragmented, Unregulated Stem Cell Businesses In Arizona, Southwest, KJZZ (NPR), August 6

    Deep dive into US stem cell clinics gives reason to worry about ‘unsafe or useless treatments, Genetic Literacy Project, August 7

July

2019
  • Predicting the flood before the waters rise

    Predicting the flood before the waters rise

    When summer monsoon rains and big storms cross each other’s paths, the result can wreak a lot of damage, especially in busy Southwestern urban areas such as Phoenix. Early warning systems are one way to reduce the chance of such occurrences putting people— particularly those driving in heavy traffic — in danger. Fulton Schools faculty members Margaret Garcia, Mikhail Chester and Giuseppe Mascaro are at work on Flood Aware, a system employing traffic cameras, image processing algorithms and hydraulic models of storm water systems to provide timely warnings about impending urban flooding.

    See Also: Researchers turn to technology to help detect when storms will flood Valley streets, ABC15 News-Phoenix, August 22

    ASU engineers working on warning system for urban flooding, Fox 10 News-Phoenix, August 1

    Engineers Working to Predict Flooding, 3TV/CBS News 5 – Phoenix, July 31

  • Data biases can skew outcomes of AI-based systems

    Data biases can skew outcomes of AI-based systems

    Artificial intelligence systems can be as beneficial or as detrimental as the data fed into them, according Fulton Schools Professor Subbarao Kambhampati, a recent former president of the international Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. In a talk presented by the Manthan Forum for Public Discourse in India, Kambhampati said the challenges posed by increasing reliance on AI technology stem from biased data being put into AI systems that skews the outcomes those systems produce.  

  • Perovskite oxide shows potential for cleaner green energy

    Perovskite oxide shows potential for cleaner green energy

    The mineral perovskite oxide is being used to develop a new chemical-materials compound to produce a form of semiconductor that promises to enable more efficient application of solar energy cells. Researchers involved are from Washington University, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and ASU, where Shalinee Kavadiya, a Fulton Schools postdoctoral research scholar, perfected the compound. It could also possibly be used for semiconductor applications in liquid crystal displays.

  • Here’s What We Know About How Plastic Is Impacting Our Health

    Here’s What We Know About How Plastic Is Impacting Our Health

    Scientists and engineers, along with health and environmental organizations, are become increasingly concerned about the amount of plastics around the world. That’s not only because plastics waste is adding significantly to the growing amount of refuse in landfills and is polluting oceans. It’s also because of the growing potential for negative impacts on the health of humans and wildlife. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Center for Environmental Health Engineering, say it’s now almost impossible to find humans and animals who haven’t been exposed to plastics and possibly also to toxic additives used in manufacturing them.

     

  • Scientists engage public on human augmentation

    Scientists engage public on human augmentation

    Samira Kiani, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of biomedical engineering, is among 10 scientists and engineers selected for the 2019–2020 Alan I. Leshner Leadership Institute for Public Engagement project in conjunction with the Science magazine fellows program at the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology. The Fellows are undertaking public outreach projects to explore issues involving emerging human augmentation capabilities. Kiani (second from left in photo) is co-producing a documentary film about the potential benefits of genetic engineering and societal concerns about altering human DNA through “gene editing.”

  • ASU professor’s solar-powered library is transforming global education

    ASU professor’s solar-powered library is transforming global education

    Five years ago, Laura Hosman challenged her engineering students to develop a solar-powered library that would fit in a backpack. That was the beginning of SolarSPELL, which has evolved into a tool for a global humanitarian mission that is bringing education and health care information to people in remote communities. Hosman (second from left in photo), an associate professor in the Fulton Schools and ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society, is continuing to get more ASU students involved in the endeavor through internships and engineering capstone design projects.

  • Biodesign receives $1.5 million to develop early warning system for flu outbreaks

    Biodesign receives $1.5 million to develop early warning system for flu outbreaks

    Researchers at ASU’s Biodesign Institute hope to produce better ways to predict viral outbreaks — starting with flu outbreaks. The National Library of Medicine is funding the project involving several ASU research labs and centers. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of Biodesign’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, says the capabilities of new advanced technologies promise to provide information revealing how to detect earlier warnings of such outbreaks. Halden and his team will use their expertise in wastewater analysis to improve methods for identifying biohazards in communities.

  • New curriculum will focus on philosophy of artificial intelligence

    New curriculum will focus on philosophy of artificial intelligence

    A new ASU academic program is combining studies of technology creation — primarily artificial technology — with sociology and literature. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will fund development of a new curriculum for a concentration within an undergraduate digital culture degree program in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, a collaborative of the Fulton Schools and the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts. Suren Jayasuriya, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is the new program’s project director.

  • Sun Devils honor professors who go the extra mile for students

    Sun Devils honor professors who go the extra mile for students

    Leaders of both ASU’s Graduate and Undergraduate Student Government bestow the Centennial Professorship Award on faculty members to recognize their leadership in classroom learning and innovative practices in their fields. Among recent recipients of the award is Javier Gonzalez-Sanchez, a Fulton Schools lecturer with expertise in software engineering and human-computer interaction. He plans to use the monetary prize that comes with the Centennial Professorship Award to bring more smart objects — such as sensors and embedded and autonomous devices — into classroom projects.

  • DARPA grants ASU up to $38.8 million to create epigenetic tool for fight against weapons of mass destruction

    DARPA grants ASU up to $38.8 million to create epigenetic tool for fight against weapons of mass destruction

    ASU researchers will develop new technology to meet demands of modern warfare and national security in a project funded by a major grant from a U.S. Department of Defense research agency. The goal is to build a device capable of detecting if people have been exposed to substances associated with weapons of mass destruction. The device will be a point-of-care device to aid in the treatment of individuals exposed to biological agents, radiation, chemicals and explosives. Jennifer Blain Christen, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, will serve on an advisory group for the research team.

    See Also: ASU lands $39M grant to detect soldiers’ exposure to weapons of mass destruction, ABC15 News-Phoenix, July 23

    ASU lands $39M grant to detect soldiers’ exposure to weapons of mass destruction, Phoenix Business Journal, July 23

  • Exposed to extreme heat, plastic bottles may ultimately become unsafe

    Exposed to extreme heat, plastic bottles may ultimately become unsafe

    Most plastic containers release only tiny, harmless amounts of chemicals into the food or liquids they hold. But those amounts increase when the plastic containers are exposed to hot temperatures, and that raises concerns about possible negative health impacts that could result over time, warns Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. All the more reason to be aware of — and take steps to prevent — the potential problems of living in a world where we are surrounded by plastics, Halden says.

     

  • ASU researcher studying how to prevent pedestrian deaths around Phoenix

    ASU researcher studying how to prevent pedestrian deaths around Phoenix

    What are the causes of a rise in fatal roadway accidents involving pedestrians — particularly in cities such as Phoenix? Fulton Schools Professor Ram Pendyala, a transportation engineering expert, says multiple factors are involved. Urban growth, driving speeds, multilane streets, larger automobiles and road designs all appear to be contributing factors. Pendyala gives more details about what research is revealing in a radio interview with KTAR News in Phoenix. Studies are indicating that better street illumination at nighttime and more signs cautioning drivers to watch for pedestrians might be among effective remedies to the problem.

     

  • Your state probably isn’t prepared for droughts or floods

    Your state probably isn’t prepared for droughts or floods

    A new review in Science of The Total Environment shows just unprepared we are for such floods and droughts—especially as the climate warms. We’re bad at monitoring water resources, we use outdated flood maps and our responses tend to be reactive rather than proactive. To protect ourselves from the water shortages and excesses of the future, we need to rethink how we prepare, the study illustrates.

     

    In the new review, lead author Olga Hart, a doctoral candidate in the lab of Professor Rolf Halden at Arizona State University, looked at drought, water supply and demand, climate change and flooding guidances used by every state. She mapped preparedness for each of those factors and how severe climate change risks are anticipated to be for each state.

  • Elk Grove stay-at-home dad leads fellow online students to create innovative hospital bed

    Elk Grove stay-at-home dad leads fellow online students to create innovative hospital bed

    A team of online students in the Fulton Schools electrical engineering program — including a father of three children — worked remotely to design and build a hospital bed to prevent people with limited mobility from developing pressure ulcers often caused by long periods of being bed-ridden. The team’s Personal Care E-Assistant bed helps stimulate blood flow and includes a passive motion system to reposition patients. The bed also has remote control, monitoring and communication capabilities. The invention won the Fulton Schools Palais Senior Design Prize for its potential to have a widespread positive impact on society.

  • What makes a piece of news fake?

    What makes a piece of news fake?

    Social media has the ability expose users to a myriad of misinformation, including fake news — news stories with intentionally false information. Numerous deep learning methods currently exist to detect fake news, but these methods are unable to explain why it is recognized as such. Now, a team of researchers from Penn State University and Arizona State University, including Fulton Schools computer science doctoral student Kai Shu and Professor Huan Liu, is working to help explain why any piece of fake news is detected as being false.

  • Phoenix’s deadly streets became even deadlier in 2018. What’s the city going to do about it?

    Phoenix’s deadly streets became even deadlier in 2018. What’s the city going to do about it?

    Pedestrian fatalities have been increasing on roadways in busy urban areas — including in Phoenix. Substance abuse, distracted or speeding drivers and bigger, heavier vehicles are seen as sources of the rising roadway dangers. But transportation engineering experts such as Fulton Schools Professor Ram Pendyala say the problem can be remedied to a significant degree by better road design that prioritizes pedestrian safety. An investigation has revealed that many of the most dangerous streets for pedestrians have not been redesigned in decades.

    See Also: Why are the streets of Phoenix so deadly for pedestrians?, KTAR News (Phoenix), July 17

  • ADOT wins ASU sustainability award for Navajo Nation bridge

    ADOT wins ASU sustainability award for Navajo Nation bridge

    The Arizona Department of Transportation and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Arizona Water Science group made the Laguna Creek Bridge on the Navajo Nation a pilot site to test next-generation monitoring technologies. The bridge is equipped with sensors and gauges to provide surface flow data during and after storms. Drones, video cameras, laser-aided surveying and 3D surface modeling are also among the innovative features. The bridge won one of the first Sustainable Infrastructure Awards recently given by ASU’s Metis Center for Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering, directed by Fulton Schools Associate Professor Mikhail Chester.

    See Also: ADOT Bridge Project Near Kayenta Wins Prestigious Award, KNAU News (Flagstaff), July 9

    Arizona bridge project wins infrastructure award, Transportation Today, July 10

    ADOT Bridge Project on US 160 Receives ASU Sustainable Infrastructure Award, SignalsAZ.com, July 14

    ADOT Project Receives Sustainable Infrastructure Award, Construction Equipment Guide, July 16

  • Understanding underground vaults

    Understanding underground vaults

    A power outrage in the downtown Phoenix business district caused by an explosion in underground electrical power facilities resulted in the death of an Arizona Public Service utility company employee. Barzin Mobasher, a Fulton Schools Professor of civil engineering and a structural engineering expert, explains the necessity for underground water, sewer, electrical and cable systems in busy urban areas, but points to the potential dangers that come with working in subterranean structures.

June

2019
  • Parking lot sprawl

    Parking lot sprawl

    Urban planners have seemed to often operate under the impression that you can never have enough parking for automobiles. Researchers, however, are discovering that there is such a thing as too much space allotted for parking — and it’s costing cities a considerable amount of money. Not to mention that all of those heavily paved surfaces that come with such parking lot sprawl intensify the urban heat island effect. Mikhail Chester, a Fulton Schools associate professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, is among researchers making important findings about the impact of parking infrastructure. Read more about it in ScienceDirect and on Full Circle.

     

  • Could Antibacterial Triclosan Weaken Women’s Bones?

    Could Antibacterial Triclosan Weaken Women’s Bones?

    Overuse of the chemical triclosan in consumer products — particularly antimicrobial soap and the like — may be increasing the risk of bone density loss, especially in women. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of the Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering at ASU, comments on a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism that offers more findings pointing to the potential for triclosan to present a health threat. Halden recommends people limit their exposure to the risk by not using products containing the chemical.

  • Why Do Tools Rust In Dry Arizona?

    Why Do Tools Rust In Dry Arizona?

    Despite Arizona’s mostly dry desert climate, materials still rust like they do in the wetter and more humid regions elsewhere. Karl Sieradzki, a Fulton Schools professor of materials science and engineering, explains that iron and its alloys, like steel, still oxidize in desert climates. The difference is they do so considerably more slowly in places with low moisture — such as the desert Southwest. But a stainless-steel tool coated in a thin layer of chromium can remain rust-free.

  • ASU professor engineers climate clothing of the future

    ASU professor engineers climate clothing of the future

    Re-engineering clothing is one way people might be able to live more comfortably in hotter climates. Konrad Rykaczewski, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of mechanical engineering, develops microelectronics for cooling systems. He is applying approaches he uses in that work to developing clothing designed to keep wearers cool in high temperatures. Rykaczewski is also experimenting with materials and simple tech devices embedded in clothing that will also minimize the heat-producing energy people generate by moving — another way for clothing to keep the wearer cool.

     

  • Service-learning trip has ASU and Vietnamese students co-develop smart farm technology

    Service-learning trip has ASU and Vietnamese students co-develop smart farm technology

    Eleven ASU engineering students recently joined in the launch of Global EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) by collaborating with Vietnamese engineering students and a sustainable farming organization to develop smart technology to boost agricultural efficiency. Working remotely at first and then at the ASU-supported Maker Innovation Space in Da Nang, ASU students helped to produce a soil humidity sensor to provide farmers data they can use to make decisions about raising their crops. Fulton Schools aerospace engineering students Karryn Baca and Tommy Montero and computer science student Merin Jacob were among members of the project team.

     

  • ASU female engineers to debut biomed project on international stage

    ASU female engineers to debut biomed project on international stage

    Fulton Schools biomedical engineering students Mariam El Sheikha and Kelsey Boos will debut their device to aid upper limb function recovery for stroke patients at an international showcase in London as part of the PLuS Engineering Summer School. El Sheika and Boos — members of one of three ASU engineering teams bringing projects to the summer school in England — were on an interdisciplinary bioengineering product development team for a class on the fundamentals of developing and bringing a biomedical device to the market. Both students are planning to enter medical school.

     

  • How the Gut Microbiome Could Provide a New Tool to Treat Autism

    How the Gut Microbiome Could Provide a New Tool to Treat Autism

    Fulton Schools researchers are at the forefront of research to reveal the secrets surrounding the nature of autism and hot to treat the condition. Professors James Adams and Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown have teamed up on investigations that have led to increasing evidence showing bacteria in the human gut may have a strong connection to behavioral symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Their continuing collaborative studies are bearing out initial suppositions that treatments to correct dysfunction in the collection of bacteria, fungi, viruses and the like in the gut (called the microbiome) could alleviate some debilitating effects of autism.

  • Putting Universities in Charge Yields Early Success

    Putting Universities in Charge Yields Early Success

    NASA’s University Leadership Initiative (ULI) is breaking the mold in the way academic and industry partners shape their collaborative research projects. The program lets students propose the focus of research they want to conduct for the national space agency. Yongming Liu, a Fulton Schools professor who has students involved in ULI research, says the new approach gives students valuable experience in how research to solve real-world technological problems is formulated, solved and implemented. The photograph shows students in an aviation program at The Polytechnic School, one of the Fulton Schools, working with a flight simulator used in research related to an ASU/NASA ULI project.

  • Innovation zone for borderlands

    Innovation zone for borderlands

    A consortium of engineers has proposed an extensive array of ventures along the United State-Mexico border that would focus on innovative development of energy and water resources and include industrial parks, research and education centers and agriculture enterprises. ASU Regents’ Professor Ron Adrian, a Fulton Schools professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is among co-authors of the proposal. In an interview, Adrian talks about the consortium members’ hope that these various facilities and businesses  would bring economic prosperity to the border region that would help to ease border security problems. Read more about the vision for the border innovation zone.

  • We have the tech to suck CO2 from the air — but can it suck enough to make a difference?

    We have the tech to suck CO2 from the air — but can it suck enough to make a difference?

    Klaus Lackner began thinking about technology to make air safer to breathe almost three decades ago. Now startup businesses and other commercial enterprises are pursuing ventures based on carbon-capture systems similar to those Lackner has been developing in the ASU Center for Negative Carbon Emissions. The Fulton Schools professor’s atmosphere-cleansing techniques are about to be deployed through a new partnership between ASU and an Ireland-based company. Using a passive energy- and cost-saving approach, the technology relies on wind to pull air into a carbon-storage system. Lackner’s systems and others have been shown to work, but the challenge now is scaling up operations enough to make a significant difference on a global scale.

    See Also: University researchers behind new push for “mechanical trees” to help capture CO2, ABC Channel 7 News (Denver), July 11

    Direct action: Carbon capture gears up for climate battle, The Engineer, June 12

  • Energy Infrastructure Project Could Improve Border Security

    Energy Infrastructure Project Could Improve Border Security

    A consortium of engineers has proposed an extensive array of water and renewable energy infrastructure developments along the United States-Mexico border to put the region on a path to prosperity. They see the plan helping to improve border security by bringing economic stability to depressed areas. Ron Adrian, an ASU Regents’ Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the Fulton Schools, is among the engineers who authored the proposal. Read more about the proposal in an earlier post on this page dated March 6.

  • ASU alumnus and ASU Gammage take on the 2019 Tony Awards

    ASU alumnus and ASU Gammage take on the 2019 Tony Awards

    The executive director of ASU Gammage, Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, will walk down the red carpet at the annual Tony Awards on June 9 attired in a custom-made gown created by Loren Aragon, a 2004 Fulton Schools mechanical engineering graduate. The gown is an example of the “culturally fueled” aesthetic Aragon brings to his job as a designer and artist for a Native American owned and operated couture fashion brand based in Phoenix. Aragon, whose previous designs have been featured at Disney World, is helping Native American fashion and culture make its mark in the larger fashion industry.

    See Also: Native American designer dresses head of Gammage for Tony Awards, KTAR News (Phoenix), June 10

  • Reprogram How You Think About Infrastructure

    Reprogram How You Think About Infrastructure

    Climate change, autonomous technologies and major shifts in economic and societal landscapes are among factors accelerating a fundamental reshaping of the world — a world in which the rigid blueprint for civil infrastructure design that has been in place for many decades won’t serve us well in the future, says Fulton Schools Associate Profess Mikhail Chester. With his team at ASU’s Metis Center for Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering, Chester is working on approaches to infrastructure development that have the agility and flexibility to respond to the changing needs of society into the next century. 

May

2019
  • More evidence that autism is linked to gut bacteria

    More evidence that autism is linked to gut bacteria

    Medical researchers believe they are making valuable discoveries toward a deeper understanding of autism and how to treat it — particularly through recent studies of how microbes in the human gut play a significant role in development of the condition. The Economist article begins with a report on recent research by Fulton Schools Professors Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown James Adams and their collaborators showing that a process called microbiota transfer therapy helped to reduce the symptoms of autism in children. Their findings are detailed in a report on the website of the research journal Scientific Reports-Nature.

    The Economist article also cites work by researchers at Caltech in collaboration with Krajmalnik-Brown to further explore the gut-brain connection as it relates to autism. The team’s findings are published online in the journal Cell: “Human Gut Microbiota from Autism Spectrum Disorder Promote Behavioral Symptoms in Mice.” More on the latest research is also reported in The Guardian article “Autism symptoms replicated in mice after faecal transplants” and inGut Bacteria Influence Autism-like Behaviors in Mice” (ASU Biodesign Institute)

  • Waymo to resume self-driving truck testing in Arizona

    Waymo to resume self-driving truck testing in Arizona

    The self-driving vehicle venture Waymo is set to test its trucks in Arizona, starting with trips on freeways in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Fulton Schools Professor Lina Karam, who has participated on a public outreach panel on automated mobility with Waymo’s chief external officer and helped to establish the Institute for Automated Mobility, says Arizona offers a good testing ground for self-driving vehicles. Those vehicles can potentially be driven much more safely by automated systems than those driven by humans, Karam says, but it will require Waymo and other companies to set high quality standards for their industry and share knowledge on how to improve self-driving technology. (Phoenix Business Journal subscriber access required.)

  • ASU internet of things entrepreneurs create a wealth of smart stuff

    ASU internet of things entrepreneurs create a wealth of smart stuff

    New internet of things technologies being invented and developed by ASU researchers are providing new devices to improve human health, increase our safety and security, and generally enhance our quality of life. Fulton Schools Professor Hanqing Jiang, Professor N.J. Tao, Associate Professor Erica Forzani and Professor Junshan Zhang are among the innovators in these smart technologies — from edible electronics that monitor gastric acid levels and a mobile diagnostic device to measure metabolic data to a computing startup offering better network connectivity and artificial intelligence for internet of things devices.

     

  • ASU engineering boot camp prepares students to make societal impact

    ASU engineering boot camp prepares students to make societal impact

    Engineering is about much more than mastering the skills necessary to do successful research and technology development. It’s also about learning the customer-centric design process, effective communication and translating tech talk into the language of business. Fulton Schools sophomores are getting immersed in lessons on these additional skills through experiences in the Engineering Futures Technology and Entrepreneurial Mindset Skills Boot Camp. Presented with the help of corporate partners, the boot camp is geared toward getting students prepared to succeed in student internships during their undergraduate years.

  • Students mobilize their research on water solutions in the Sonora-Arizona desert

    Students mobilize their research on water solutions in the Sonora-Arizona desert

    Fulton Schools students participated in a collaboration of researchers from ASU and Tecnológico de Monterrey university in Mexico in a water solutions workshop focused on ideas for improving the management of natural resources in the neighboring deserts regions of southern Arizona and northern Mexico. Enrique Vivoni (at left in photo), a professor in the Fulton Schools and ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, said the meeting could result in future joint research, education and public engagement efforts involving the two universities.

     

  • ASU, Mayo Clinic collaborate for impact

    ASU, Mayo Clinic collaborate for impact

    Four of the six ASU faculty members spending the summer working with Mayo Clinic researchers through the ASU Alliance for Health Care are on the Fulton Schools faculty. They will help take on some of the biggest medical and health challenges. Assistant Research Professor Ayan Banerjee will focus on diabetes research. Associate Professor Erica Forzani will help to explore ways to prevent brain damage in people with urea cycle and liver disorder. Assistant Professor Julianne Holloway will aid work to regenerate the tendon-to-bone interface on the rotator cuff. Assistant Professor Feng Ju will pursue innovations in MRI technology.

  • Building the Ultimate Carbon Capture Tree

    Building the Ultimate Carbon Capture Tree

    Forests of carbon-capturing mechanical trees could play a big role in helping reverse much of the unhealthy impacts of the massive amounts of carbon dioxide that power plants, industrial processes and automobiles have emitted into the atmosphere since the first industrial age. The tree technology being developed by ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, led by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner, faces challenges to successful deployment. But progress is being made toward optimizing the carbon capturing effectiveness of the system and building prototypes to do advanced testing.

    See Also: Changing the atmosphere, The Business Post (Ireland) May 26

  • ASU director’s paper garners award for positive impact on the field

    ASU director’s paper garners award for positive impact on the field

    A research paper co-authored by Fulton Schools Professor Stephanie Forrest will be recognized with an award for the Ten-Year Most Influential Paper at the upcoming International Conference on Software Engineering. Forrest, who teaches in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decisions Systems Engineering in the Fulton Schools, directs ASU’s Biodesign Center for Biocomputing, Security and Society. With her co-authors, she explored biological processes like evolution to generate ideas for how to automate locating and fixing computer software bugs.

  • Peptides show promise for early detection of pancreatic cancer

    Peptides show promise for early detection of pancreatic cancer

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the cancers that remain the most lethal. But new research is producing an innovative technique for early detection of the first signs of pancreatic cancer. With an early diagnosis, medical interventions could be made to arrest the disease. The research is described in the Nano Research journal by Tony Hu, an associate professor of biomedical engineering in the Fulton Schools and his collaborators in a new field of research called peptidomics that is revealing important clues about effective cancer prognosis. The article was also posted on AZ BIO, the Arizona Bio Industry Association news site.

  • We’re On Our Way To Planting Synthetic Trees

    We’re On Our Way To Planting Synthetic Trees

    The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the atmosphere by industry, automobiles and other technologies and human activities is a major culprit in climate change that is warming the planet, acidifying the oceans and intensifying dangerous weather events. Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner has been involved over the past 25 years in seeking ways to remove much of that threatening buildup of CO2. In an interview, he talks about the synthetic mechanical “trees” that have been developed in his lab — and are being moved toward commercialization — and what they could do to help clear the air of CO2 and impede the acceleration of climate change.  

  • ASU awarded NASA grant for study on Colorado River water management

    ASU awarded NASA grant for study on Colorado River water management

    A research team for a project to devise long-range strategies for management of the water in Colorado River Basin will be led by Enrique Vivoni, an associate professor in the Fulton Schools and ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration. The team has received a grant of $1 million from NASA’s Earth Science Division for the project, which will include helping government officials developing a drought contingency plan. The Colorado River Basin holds most the Arizona’s current renewable water supply. Vivoni and his team will obtain data for their research from Earth-observing satellites and data from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  • Study expands understanding of bacterial communities for global next-generation wastewater treatment and reuse systems

    Study expands understanding of bacterial communities for global next-generation wastewater treatment and reuse systems

    Activated sludge microbiomes are likely to aid the world’s growing population in efforts to keep up with the demand for clean water. The Global Water Microbiome Consortium has released results of a study that yields new insights into how microbiome engineering can be applied to development of next-generation wastewater treatment and water reuse systems. ASU’s Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Bruce Rittmann, participated in the project. Researchers completed an “unprecedented global sampling” that provides significant new knowledge about the microbiology of activated sludge, Rittmann says.

    See Also: Bacterial communities for wastewater treatment system, Science Daily, May 13, and a report on ASU NOW

  • ASU to develop payloads for Blue Origin lunar transportation

    ASU to develop payloads for Blue Origin lunar transportation

    Fulton Schools students were members of ASU teams that recently launched small space vehicles carrying payloads with equipment for conducting research beyond Earth’s atmosphere. The teams’ successes in that Blue Origin New Shepard project sponsored by Amazon has helped to open the door for ASU students and faculty researchers to put payloads on Amazon’s Blue Moon space craft for a future trip to do research on the Moon.

    See Also: ASU And Blue Origin Team Up To Conquer The Moon, Patch, May 10

    Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Plans To Carry ASU Payloads To The Moon, KJZZ (NPR), May 10

    Jeff Bezos has unveiled Blue Origin’s lunar lander, MIT Technology Review, May 9

  • 3 students named Goldwater Scholars for excelling at undergraduate research

    3 students named Goldwater Scholars for excelling at undergraduate research

    Winners of the Goldwater Scholarships are selected from among the highest-achieving undergraduates in the nation who are making notable contributions to research in science and engineering. Two of the three new Goldwater Scholars at ASU are Fulton Schools students Madeleine Howell and Maeve Kennedy. Both began their research endeavors in the labs of Fulton Schools faculty members in the School of Biomedical and Health Systems Engineering. Howell, a chemistry major who is minoring in materials science and engineering and mathematics, worked in the lab of Assistant Professor Barbara Smith. Kennedy, a chemical engineering major and Fulton Schools Grand Challenge Scholar got her introduction to research in the Bioinspired Complex Adaptive Systems Laboratory directed by Associate Professor Vincent Pizziconi.

  • Self-powered clinic to bring expanded medical care to Uganda

    Self-powered clinic to bring expanded medical care to Uganda

    ASU researchers have turned a 40-foot-long shipping container into a rapidly deployable mobile medical clinic equipped with solar power and water treatment systems. The clinic will be taken later this summer to Uganda to aid communities in need of additional health and medical care. Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Nathan Johnson led the project team. Engineering doctoral student Cody Van Cleve coordinated work to equip the clinic with a 10-kilowatt power systems and technology capable of cleaning more than 1,000 galleon of water per hour. Reports about the project have been broadcast on almost 100 network-affiliated local TV news programs throughout the United States. See an April 6 post below on this page for previous news media coverage of the project.

  • Start-Ups Hoping to Fight Climate Change Struggle as Other Tech Firms Cash In

    Start-Ups Hoping to Fight Climate Change Struggle as Other Tech Firms Cash In

    A number of commercial tech enterprises are emerging to help meet challenges posed by climate change. Fulton School Professor Klaus Lackner says it will probably be necessary for governments to help support these ventures at first. But he foresees “a brand-new industry at a huge scale” eventually taking shape because of the increasingly critical need to deal with the environmental impacts of a changing climate. As director of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, Lackner has been leading work to develop carbon-capture technology to help halt the progression of global warming. Read more about Lackner’s project in the April 29 post below: “Lackner’s carbon-capture technology moves to commercialization”

  • Tiny bee brains could reveal solutions for miniaturizing artificial intelligence

    Tiny bee brains could reveal solutions for miniaturizing artificial intelligence

    One of the next big challenges in artificial intelligence technology is finding ways to miniaturize it. Such an advance would enable AI systems to become significantly more energy efficient. Fulton Schools professor Yu Cao and assistant professor Ted Pavlic are teaming with professors in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and at the University of California San Diego to look at the brain powers of some of the smallest species of bees. They hope to gain insights that might provide ideas for effective methods of scaling down AI devices. Part of the research will involve Cao and Pavlic working on engineering a robotic bee brain.

     

  • All-female Mesa robotics team pumped for contest

    All-female Mesa robotics team pumped for contest

    The 15 Fulton Schools students one the Desert Women in Autonomous Vehicle Engineering team — aka Desert WAVE — are gearing up for this summer’s Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International RoboSub competition in San Diego. They’re at work on the electrical engineering, computer programming and 3D printing tasks involved in preparing their robot, named Phoenix, to maneuver through an obstacle course. Equipped with two cameras and using passive and active acoustics to ping its location off of its surroundings,  the robot can “see, hear and think on its own” as it navigates the course, said team member and software engineering major Andrea Schoonover, a junior majoring in software engineering.

  • ASU students attend world-renowned cybersecurity conference

    ASU students attend world-renowned cybersecurity conference

    Fulton Schools computer science students Muhammed Kilig and Raida Khan were among undergraduates selected to attend one of the most prominent gatherings of cybersecurity experts. Kilig and Khan were eligible for invitations to the RSA Conference because they had also won spots in the RSAC Scholars program.  because they were also selected to join the RSA Scholars Program, which is administered through ASU’s Cybersecurity Education Consortium. The conference gave Kiling and Khan opportunities to network with representatives of more than 600 companies.

  • ASU student-led payloads launched on Blue Origin space vehicle

    ASU student-led payloads launched on Blue Origin space vehicle

    Three astronautical rocketry teams — composed of students in the Fulton Schools and ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration — recently launched their payloads into space as part of the Blue Origin space exploration program. The payloads are the first designed and built by ASU students to be launched into outer space. Teams were challenged to develop payloads that would provide an answer to a science question (such as how planets form), test technologies under development (such as remote acoustic sensors) or collect data on the how the five human senses — smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch — work in space.

    See Also: Blue Origin reaches space again on latest New Shepard test flight, Space News, May 2

April

2019

March

2019
  • ASU, Barrow Neurological Institute partner to advance neuroengineering

    ASU, Barrow Neurological Institute partner to advance neuroengineering

    The internationally prominent Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix is joining ASU to pursue innovations in technology and therapies to improve brain and spinal cord function for people with neurological disorders. The Fulton Schools will be a key participant in the endeavor. Professor Kyle Squires, dean of the Fulton Schools, says the partnership offers an opportunity to achieve a unique convergence of engineering and neuroscience that could have dramatic impacts on medical advances. Squires says the goals include “reverse-engineering” of the brain, which could reveal information to guide development of improved rehabilitation strategies.

     

  • Arizona cattle rancher uses engineering background to breed better beef

    Arizona cattle rancher uses engineering background to breed better beef

    During more than three decades at ASU, Charles Backus taught electrical engineering, helped boost the university’s stature as a research institution and shaped the foundations of ASU’s Polytechnic campus. At the same time, he was building and running a cattle ranch on the rough terrain of the high desert on the far outskirts of the Phoenix metro area. Today, Backus’ success as a rancher is drawing attention for his application of science and engineering to the care and management of his growing cattle herd. Using genetic selection, artificial insemination, non-hormone, non-antibiotic feeding programs and humane treatment of his animals, the ranch is producing beef of exceptional quality. Backus is paving the way for an advanced approach to ranching that is especially suited to the Southwest’s desert environment.

    See Also: Arizona rancher uses science to raise healthy beef, Tucson.com, March 24

  • Facts vs. Hype: A Debate on the Future of Photocatalytic Water Treatment

    Facts vs. Hype: A Debate on the Future of Photocatalytic Water Treatment

    For decades researchers have looked at photocatalysis as a promising method for purifying water, though the excitement it once sparked has waned over the years. But a recent workshop to reassess potential real-world applications of the process was organized by the National Science Foundation Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment. ASU is member of the center and Fulton Schools Professor Paul Westerhoff is its deputy director. Researchers focused on areas in which photocatalytic technology might still be valuable, such as in remote communities with small populations that lack energy infrastructures. The article about the workshop was also published on the technology news website Nanowerk.

    See Also: The Technology Horizon for Photocatalytic Water Treatment: Sunrise or Sunset? Environmental Science & Technology

  • Silicone Wrinkles Can Be Beautiful

    Silicone Wrinkles Can Be Beautiful

    Lithium batteries show big promise as a versatile, dependable and resilient source of power. But one impediment to their performance are dendrites, spiky crystalline formations that can set batteries on fire. Fulton Schools Professor Hanqing Jiang is leading research on the use of silicone to prevent those dendrite formations. Jiang is finding that a process that causes the silicone to take on a pattern of wrinkles — giving it a three-dimensional, sponge-like form — is inhibiting dendrite growth. His lab team’s findings have been published in a recent issue of research journal Nature Energy.

     

  • Retiree’s Love of Engineering Prepares Students for Their Careers

    Retiree’s Love of Engineering Prepares Students for Their Careers

    Upon retirement from General Motors’ after 35 years with the major automaker, Jim Contes was asked in 2008 to teach automotive engineering classes part-time at The Polytechnic School, one of the Fulton Schools. Soon he was offered a full-time job. Now, more than a decade later, he is a senior lecturer who has seen at least 150 of his students go on to jobs in the auto industry. Today he says his focus as a teacher is preparing students for an automotive world that has changed dramatically from the past and will continue to change from the present.

     

  • Automated control system caused Ethiopia crash, flight data suggests

    Automated control system caused Ethiopia crash, flight data suggests

    With modeling tools developed by his research team, Timothy Takahashi makes a case against pilot error being the cause of the recent deadly crash of a Boeing 737 passenger jet in Ethiopia. The Fulton Schools professor of practice in aerospace engineering created a hypothetical flight profile of the aircraft’s actions to determine that its autopilot system had put functions of most key components of the of plane under computer control. From that point on, the plane began to lose altitude and gain speed — while also preventing pilots from taking control. Figuring out how to prevent reoccurrence of such situations presents a big challenge for airlines. The article has also been published in MarketWatch, the San Francisco Chronicle, AlterNet and Citizen Truth.

  • STEMCON Vietnam to raise Vietnam’s competence in STEM

    STEMCON Vietnam to raise Vietnam’s competence in STEM

    ASU and the Fulton Schools helped to organize the recent international Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Conference in Vietnam. The event focused on strategies to boost STEM education in Vietnam as part of efforts to develop a future contingent of skilled workers for the growing digital economy in the Southeast Asian country. Through the work of the Fulton Schools’ Global Outreach and Extended Education program — known as GOEE — ASU became one of the founding members of the High Engineering Education Alliance Program, which seeks to boost the quality of education in engineering and other STEM subjects in Vietnam and, more broadly, to aid the U.S. Agency for International Development in fostering productive relationships between industries and educational institutions in Vietnam and the United States.

     

  • What is human trafficking, and how can technology combat it?

    What is human trafficking, and how can technology combat it?

    Computational science and artificial intelligence experts are being recruited to help stop the global spread of human trafficking. ASU’s Global Security Initiative recently organized a conference at the United Nations on how to use those technological resources in this effort. Nadya Bliss, the initiative’s director and a professor of practice in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, one of the Fulton Schools, identified the challenges facing this endeavor and described how computer science, advanced security systems and AI-based recognition and detection technology can best be aligned against the forces involved in human trafficking.

  • Building an energy corridor along the border instead of just a wall

    Building an energy corridor along the border instead of just a wall

    An “energy park” that spans over almost 2,000 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, with big installations of solar and wind power technologies, natural gas pipelines and desalination plants. Is the idea just too big and bold to take seriously? Not at all, says Fulton Schools Professor Ronald Adrian. He is part of a national consortium of 28 prominent engineers and scientists proposing such a vast industrial region on the border. Adrian says it could put large tracts of unused land to valuable use as sites for new energy and water facilities along with agriculture and industrial centers — a much more productive enterprise than building a big wall separating the two countries. Read more.

    See Also: Bold Plan? Replace the Border Wall with an Energy–Water Corridor, Scientific American, February 14

    Scientists Propose Energy Park Instead of Border Wall, Civil & Structural Engineer, March 6

    Green wall! Plan calls for chain of alternative energy zones along border, World Tribune, March 10

    Instead of a wall, what if we built an energy corridor? Enjoy Travelling and BIC Magazine, March 15

    Scientists suggest it’s time to build a US-Mexico border wall, Smart Energy International, March 18

    Could an Energy Park Secure the U.S. Mexico Border? Government Technology, March 22

    U.S.-Mexico Energy Park Would Offer a Different Kind of Security, Inside Sources, April 15

    The Engineers’ Plan for Creating Border Security With Clean Energy, The Atlantic, May 7

February

2019
  • Big Ideas: “A carbon dioxide removal marketplace” with Paul Gambill, CEO of Nori

    Big Ideas: “A carbon dioxide removal marketplace” with Paul Gambill, CEO of Nori

    Paul Gambill, who graduated from ASU  in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree earned in the Fulton Schools computer systems engineering program, is the co-founder and CEO of what is described as “the world’s only carbon dioxide removal marketplace.” In a wide-ranging interview, Gambill talks about other entrepreneurial, environmental and community endeavors he has founded, co-founded or supported, his business philosophy, the motivations guiding his career path, and his “Big Idea That Might Change The World.”

  • New chemistry-based data storage would blow Moore’s Law out of the water

    New chemistry-based data storage would blow Moore’s Law out of the water

    A new computing technique could lead to transistors that fit on single molecules — an advance that might open up new possibilities in data storage. Research in ASU’s Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors directed by Fulton Schools Professor Nongjian “NJ” Tao is focusing on the combination of physical and chemical properties at the molecular scale. The work shows promise as a platform for progress in ultra-miniaturization of electronic devices. That could mean storage equipment and the general processing of information operating through tiny high-speed, high-power molecular switches.

  • Arizona State University radiant with solar cell research awards

    Arizona State University radiant with solar cell research awards

    For a third year in a row, ASU faculty members have won more awards that any other academic institution from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office. Four of the six recent awards to fund solar energy research went to Fulton Schools faculty members, including Assistant Professors Mariana Bertoni and Zachary Holman, and Associate Research Professors Andre Augusto and Govindasamy Tamizhmani. Their research includes work to advance solar photovoltaics, solar-thermal power technologies and preparing the solar energy workforce for the future of the industry.

  • The water in this hospital is all pulled out of thin air

    The water in this hospital is all pulled out of thin air

    Zero Mass Water, a venture founded by Fulton Schools Associate Professor Cody Friesen, continues to bring a new source of clean water to more places. The company’s tech system — called Source — can produce water from moisture it draws from the atmosphere. Recently, a hospital in Jamaica installed an array of Zero Mass Water’s solar-powered hydro panels on its roof to power a system capable of providing almost 800 gallons of water a month. The company’s next major objective is to make its system as affordable as any source of potable water in the world.

     

  • What to Expect in an Online Engineering Degree Program

    What to Expect in an Online Engineering Degree Program

    ASU’s online Master of Science engineering degree programs in the Fulton Schools are highlighted in an overview of universities offering a range of online education options. The programs are especially attractive to students who want concentrate their studies on specific areas such a software engineering, and want the same quality of learning online as students who get the on-campus experience.

  • ASU SciHub workshop brings science, engineering and art experts together to change how we see the world

    ASU SciHub workshop brings science, engineering and art experts together to change how we see the world

    Engineers, scientists and artists are joining forces through ASU’s new Science Hub collaborative to find ways to expand human perceptual capacities. Co-directed by Fulton Schools Professor Nathan Newman, SciHub is examining how the brain and the human eye shape our understanding of physical reality and how we could learn to overcome some of the limits on how we see and hear the world around us. That idea will be explored in an upcoming workshop titled Science, the Arts and Possibilities in Perception that will include an art exhibit and music performances.

  • Parking? Lots! Car Spaces Would Comprise 10% of Phoenix

    Parking? Lots! Car Spaces Would Comprise 10% of Phoenix

    Is there such a thing as too much parking for automobiles? Yes, say the ASU authors of a study of the parking infrastructure in the Phoenix metropolitan area. When putting the amount of land used for parking into the mix of calculating an urban region’s livability, parking infrastructure has a significant impact or an area’s walkability, air pollution, the urban heat island effect and transport equity among the population. For details, see the research paper “Valley of the Sun-Drenched Parking Space,” by Fulton Schools doctoral student Christopher Hoehne, Associate Professor Mikhail Chester and Assistant Research Professor Andrew Fraser, along with Assistant Professor David King in the School of Geological Sciences and Urban Planning.

     

  • Five Carbon Capture Techniques That Could Help Mitigate Global Warming

    Five Carbon Capture Techniques That Could Help Mitigate Global Warming

    A system that envisions artificial “trees” designed to remove as much as a ton of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in a day is seen as one of the most innovative engineering endeavors to help combat the threatening impacts of the global warming resulting from climate change. The system is being developed in ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions directed by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner.

    See Also: One man’s two-decade quest to suck greenhouse gas out of the sky, MIT Technology Review, February 27

  • NSF grant aims to expand diversity, inclusion for ASU STEM faculty

    NSF grant aims to expand diversity, inclusion for ASU STEM faculty

    A team of ASU leaders has been assembled to drive a project supported by the National Science Foundation to boost diversity among university faculty in science, technology, engineering and math fields. Professor Lenore Dai (second from right in photo), director of the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, one of the six Fulton Schools, will lead administrative accountability operations for the project. In that role she will help to change faculty promotion and recruitment policies to align with the aims of the diversity project.

     

  • Desert WAVE robotics team makes a splash for women in STEM

    Desert WAVE robotics team makes a splash for women in STEM

    A team of Fulton Schools students preparing to compete in a major collegiate underwater robotics competition are hoping their efforts also contribute to breaking down stereotypes of women in engineering, science and technology. At ASU’s Polytechnic campus, the team named Desert WAVE — for Women in Autonomous Vehicle Engineering — is designing and building a “robosub” to bring to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International competition this summer.

    See Also: All-girls robotics team from ASU readies for competition, Chamber Business News (Arizona), February 15

  • ASU tackles range of issues at world’s largest annual science meeting

    ASU tackles range of issues at world’s largest annual science meeting

    The 2019 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science brought together educators, policymakers, engineers, scientists and journalists from around the world to explore new ideas and potential solutions to the society’s challenges. Fulton Schools faculty members and students helped to energize the event. Sustainable engineering doctoral student Evvan Morton (pictured) talked about shifting the focus of policy making on environment issues. Professor Subbarao Kambhampati gave an overview of the rise of artificial intelligence and its impact. Assistant Professor Samira Kiani discussed gene-editing technology and how it could shape the future of human health, food, climate and more.

  • Are the cities prepared for Climate Change?

    Are the cities prepared for Climate Change?

    Chile has been experiencing extreme flooding, causing at least one declared catastrophe. The impacts of climate change are considered a key factor ramping up the force of the floods. Mikhail Chester, a Fulton Schools professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, talks about the challenges of planning and designing infrastructure to prepare for such potentially calamitous events. Chester says there is growing concern that current infrastructure such as roads, bridges and dams — designed and built for the environmental conditions of the past — won’t stand up to today’s exceedingly extreme weather events driven by changes in the climate. See a video related to the story:  Chile: Rainfall causes deadly flooding in north, catastrophe declared.

  • Lane change: Old road recycled to build a new stretch of I-10

    Lane change: Old road recycled to build a new stretch of I-10

    Saving time, money and the environment, the Arizona Department of Transportation is recycling asphalt from an old road to pave a new section of the Interstate-10 highway between Tucson and Phoenix. Kamil Kaloush, a Fulton Schools professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, says such recycling — if performed correctly — can also help save energy and limit carbon dioxide emissions that add to the troublesome greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere. The article was also published in the Tucson Sentinel.

  • A CO₂ sponge: Arizona scientist working to combat rising carbon dioxide levels

    A CO₂ sponge: Arizona scientist working to combat rising carbon dioxide levels

    Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is looking like a critical necessity for reducing the amount a greenhouse gasses that are a cause of Earth’s growing climate problems. One of the technologies designed to help clean carbon dioxide out of the air is being developed at ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, directed by scientist Allen Wright and Klaus Lackner, a Fulton Schools professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering. With carbon dioxide levels continuing to climb, Wright says it’s important to get carbon-capture technology ready for large-scale use. The article was also published in The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Daily Sun, The Daily Miner and Casa Grande Dispatch.

  • ASU team helps Marine base prepare to stay strong in the face of disaster

    ASU team helps Marine base prepare to stay strong in the face of disaster

    A team of seven experts in resilient and sustainable systems were recruited to help U.S. Marines at a base in Hawaii come up with plans for how to maintain water, communications and energy services — along with mobility capability — during major natural disasters and other emergency situations. Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Nathan Johnson lent his expertise on how to innovate energy systems — including smart networks and off-grid solutions. Expertise in infrastructure sustainability, including maintaining critical operations under dangerous situations such as physical attacks by hostile forces or cyberattacks, was provided by Fulton Schools Associate Professor Mikhail Chester.

  • Do consumers need to jump on 5G? Not so fast

    Do consumers need to jump on 5G? Not so fast

    The new highly hyped tech advance known as 5G will boost the capabilities of computer-to-computer communications. Which for consumers means . . . not that much, actually. Martin Reisslein, Fulton Schools professor of electrical engineering and an expert in communications networks, says 5G is an enhancement for machines that interact with machines and with humans using machines. The 5G improvement involves reducing “latencies” — the time it takes between communication initiation and response. It will make a difference only to those for whom “milliseconds matter,” Reisslein says. So that may be an advantage for players of fast-paced computer games, but not for most other users.

  • Robots on cutting edge of patient rehab

    Robots on cutting edge of patient rehab

    Robotics engineering is playing a major role in driving advances in physical rehabilitation systems. In the laboratory of Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Wenlong Zhang — whose work focuses on the design, modeling and control of cyber-physical systems — students are assisting in the development of robotic devices capable of comprehending human movement patterns. The robotic devices with soft and flexible components can improve the rehab process for people who need to regain movement after serious injuries or strokes, or who have conditions that limit their movement.

  • Four ASU faculty names Senior Members of National Academy of Inventors

    Four ASU faculty names Senior Members of National Academy of Inventors

    David Allee and Nongjian “NJ” Tao, Fulton Schools professors of electrical engineering. are among four ASU faculty members who have been elected by peers to the prestigious National Academy of Inventors. Allee was recognized for his work on advances in flexible technologies, particularly sensing systems for radiation detection and electric and magnetic field imaging. Tao, director of ASU’s Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors, was cited for work on molecular electronics, nano electronics, and chemical and biological sensors and wireless devices for human and environmental health.

     

  • Incoming AAAS Leshner Fellows Focus on Human Augmentation

    Incoming AAAS Leshner Fellows Focus on Human Augmentation

    The 10 recently named American Association for the Advancement of Science 2019-2020 Leshner Public Engagement Fellows will strive to reach diverse audience to explore societal issues related to science and engineering advances in human augmentation. Samira Kiani (bottom row, second from left in photo), a Fulton Schools assistant professor of biological and health systems engineering, is among the new Fellows. Her efforts will focus on public engagement on genetic engineering and the genomic revolution in biomedical engineering.

  • Quantuum strangeness gives rise to new electronics

    Quantuum strangeness gives rise to new electronics

    The ultra-miniaturization of in semiconductor technology is opening doors to what can be achieved in the realm of molecular electronics. Working at an infinitesimal scale, Fulton Schools Professor Nongjian “NJ” Tao (at far left in photo) and his research colleagues are manipulating quantum phenomena to enable development of new kinds of nanoelectronic devices with unusual properties and expanded capabilities. Such advances have the potential to make possible a broad range of technological innovations. The article is also posted on the research news website Science Daily

  • Engineers develop inflatable ‘smart pill’ inspired by pufferfish

    Engineers develop inflatable ‘smart pill’ inspired by pufferfish

    In yet another case of biomimicry providing a platform for engineering innovation, researchers are testing a “smart pill” the could inflate inside the stomach — similar to the way a puffer fish puffs up. The pill might one day be used to transport tiny sensors in the body to areas where they could help detect ulcers, cancers and other signs of disease. Fulton Schools Professor Hanqing Jiang, whose research includes ingestible electronics (but who is not involved in the smart pill puffer fish-mimicry project) says the work may produce an important advance in the development of biomarkers to monitor human health.

  • ASU researchers selected to develop energy technologies

    ASU researchers selected to develop energy technologies

    Research into cutting-edge, high-impact energy technologies aimed at helping the Arizona Public Service power utility company upgrade the electrical power it delivers to its many customers will be led by Anamitra Pal and Mojdeh Hedman, assistant professors in the School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, of the six Fulton Schools. The project is being made possible by support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. Fulton Schools students will participate in the work focusing on advancing technologies for providing energy from clean and renewable sources.

  • ASU researcher touts carbon capture device to fight climate change

    ASU researcher touts carbon capture device to fight climate change

    Creation of a new kind of sanitation industry could be a big part of the solution to at least one of world’s climate change challenges. Researchers at ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner, are refining technology that can remove carbon dioxide from of the air. The buildup of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is a major cause of global warming. Lackner views the system as a garbage removal tool to clean the air. He says the captured carbon dioxide could be stored and sold for productive uses — giving rise to profitable business ventures.

  • Tainted water: the scientists tracing thousands of fluorinated chemicals in our environment

    Tainted water: the scientists tracing thousands of fluorinated chemicals in our environment

    Nondegradable chemical compounds used in foam materials, clothes and food wraps are among the most valuable products of polyfluorinated chemistry. But now scientists and engineers see cause for concern that the compounds are having damaging effects on the environment — especially on water quality —and on humans. Environmental engineer and Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden is among those lending his expertise on the subjects of assessing the levels of risk posed by the chemicals and how to better remove the compounds if more evidence is discovered of threats arising from their use.  

  • Our plastics, our selves

    Our plastics, our selves

    Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, explains the ways research is revealing how plastics pollution can have toxic effects and other negative impacts on the environment, and on humans and other creatures. That’s the reason for the importance of what an all-female expedition team is doing while traversing a part of the Pacific Ocean known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They’re collecting sand, water and air samples for studies to help gauge the magnitude and dangers of plastics waste in the planet’s oceans.

  • Digital license plates that cost whopping $499 now an option for Arizona drivers

    Digital license plates that cost whopping $499 now an option for Arizona drivers

    Arizona has authorized the use of digital license plates for motor vehicles. Proponents say plates could revolutionize the driving experience and makes things like vehicle registration renewal more convenient. But others, including Aviral Shrivastava, a Fulton Schools associate professor of computer science, say such plates, which work off of cell phone networks, pose potential problems with data security and privacy for drivers. Hacking of the embedded systems technology used by the plates could lead to theft of information about automobiles and drivers, Shrivastava says.

  • New generation of robots use machine learning to complete tasks

    New generation of robots use machine learning to complete tasks

    Advances in machine learning methodology are broadening the potential for making technologies that are more teachable — especially robotics technology. Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Heni Ben Amor leads a research team working on developing robots that can learn on their own. The team is giving robots various goals to achieve, but leaves it to the robots to figure out how to meet those goals. These smarter, self-teaching robots expand the possibilities for how they could aid human endeavors. (This report has aired on news programs of almost 200 CBS News broadcast media affiliates.)

    See Also: Arizona researchers developing robots that can learn, KPAX TV-Montana, February 5

  • One step at a time: ASU professor looks to make prosthetics more adaptable

    One step at a time: ASU professor looks to make prosthetics more adaptable

    Despite advances in prosthetics, most still lack a high degree of flexibility, says Jennie Si, a Fulton Schools professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering. Si and Helen Huang, who earned a doctoral degree at ASU, are collaborating on development of lower-limb “active” prosthetics that adapt to individual users to provide a full range of motion. Si and Huang hope to improve on prototypes until users can feel as if they have natural limbs and fully functional knees.

  • ASU Innovation Open awards ingenuity

    ASU Innovation Open awards ingenuity

    A business venture based on a device to save apples from spoilage was awarded the top prize of $100,000 at the ASU Innovation Open. Ideas for a new kind of multidirectional microphone, a water-capture technology that could boost water conservation and a shoe insole to help people rehabilitate after orthopedic surgery, were among winners at the event sponsored in part by the Fulton Schools. Kyles Squires, the Fulton Schools dean, welcomed attendees and participants to the Innovation Open Final Demo Day, to celebrate what he called a growing “wave of innovation and creativity.”

    See Also: Strella Biotechnology is $100,000 winner of ASU Innovation Open, AZ Big Media, February 5

    Food spoilage idea takes $100k prize at ASU Innovation Open, Arizona Chamber Business News, February 6

  • ASU student weaves the art of computer science with dance

    ASU student weaves the art of computer science with dance

    Courtney Ngai is bridging the worlds of computing, engineering and artistic expression in her pursuits at ASU. She finds endeavors in those fields share elements of discipline, improvisation and creativity, and she sees connections between the objectives of science and art. A solo dance project she is working on draws its theme from similarities she finds between the use of improvisational dance and the structures used in writing code. She has plans to employ talents in both areas after graduation by working as a software engineer and continuing to study and perform dance.

  • Tempe and ASU use sewage to pinpoint the opioid problem. Here’s what they found.

    Tempe and ASU use sewage to pinpoint the opioid problem. Here’s what they found.

    A study led by Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden is providing Tempe data on the extent of opioid use in the city. Samples taken from local sewage and wastewater treatment systems can in many cases reveal both the level of opioid use and pinpoint the levels of use in various locations in the area. The results of the study will be used to help city officials develop approaches to developing programs to educate the public about opioids and prevent medically unauthorized use of the addictive drug.

    See Also: Groundbreaking study finds opioid drugs in Tempe wastewater system, 3TV/CBS 5 News – Phoenix, February 1

    Tempe, Ariz., Wastewater Testing Yields Opioid Crisis Data, Government Technology, February 22

January

2019
  • Is the extra cost of organic worth it?

    Is the extra cost of organic worth it?

    A number of factors come into play when deciding whether to adopt a strict diet of organic foods. Research is confirming some significant benefits to eating organics. That can be especially true for pregnant women, young children, the elderly and allergy sufferers, says Rolf Halden, a Fulton Schools professor and director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. But others point to claims that favor nonorganic foods over organics or contend that nonorganics pose no more risk overall than organics.

  • Drinkable water is scarce. These companies are pulling it out of the air

    Drinkable water is scarce. These companies are pulling it out of the air

    New technologies that can capture moisture from the air and turn it into water are being viewed as one potential solution for a growing scarcity of drinkable water around the world. Zero Mass Water, a startup company founded by Cody Friesen, a Fulton Schools professor of materials science and engineering, has developed one of the more promising air-to-water systems. Using solar-powered rooftops panels, it can produce clean water even in desert climates. The system is currently being sold in more than 18 countries.

    See Also: Zero Mass Water’s Hydropanels Pull Water From Thin Air At #CES2019, Clean Technica, January 11

    This Machine Turns Sunshine and Air Into Clean Water, Sun-Connect, November 30, 2016

  • When is it OK for AI to lie?

    When is it OK for AI to lie?

    As artificial intelligence advances in more sophisticated ways, the technology will gain new capabilities — including the ability to evade telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in certain situations. At the Artificial Intelligence Ethics and Society conference, Subbarao Kambhampati, a Fulton Schools professor of computer science, and his former graduate student Tathagata Chakraborti (second from right in photo) explored scenarios in which it might be permissible for AI to be a bit deceptive in its interactions with humans.

  • NASA’s Psyche Mission inspires science and engineering students nationwide

    NASA’s Psyche Mission inspires science and engineering students nationwide

    Fulton Schools electrical, mechanical and computer engineering students are on ASU teams involved in the U.S. space program’s mission to explore an intriguing asteroid called Psyche located between Jupiter and Mars. Through capstone projects, the teams are working on technologies for systems and devices that will be used in studies of the asteroid that has experienced the same kinds of violent collisions that formed Earth and other planets.  

  • bioSyntagma Awarded “Best Oncology-Focused Precision Medicine Company 2018″

    bioSyntagma Awarded “Best Oncology-Focused Precision Medicine Company 2018″

    A business co-founded by Fulton Schools alumnus David Richardson has won one of the Global Health and Pharma Technology Awards for its achievements over the past year. Richardson, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering, is also the CEO of the company, bioSyntagma, which was honored as the “Best Oncology-Focused Precision Medicine Company 2018” by the publication that recognizes global companies for improving public health, enhancing patient care and lowering healthcare costs. bioSyntagma, whose devices help in the discovery of biomarkers, got its start through ASU’s Venture Devils enterprise.

     

     

  • Building softer, friendlier robots

    Building softer, friendlier robots

    The Southwest Robotics Symposium gave several Fulton Schools students an opportunity to showcase their work to develop the next generations of technologies to advance human-robot interaction. It was the fifth year for the annual exhibition. The general chair for the event, Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Wenlong Zhang, says the symposium is leading to collaborations between researchers that promise to foster new innovations in robotics and autonomous systems. The gathering featured presentations of research projects by students and faculty from 20 universities in six countries, as well as industry research.

    See Also: ASU’s Southwest Robotics Symposium previews the new technology guiding the next wave of human-robot interaction, Robotics Tomorrow, January 28

     

  • ASU startup wins Arizona Innovation Challenge

    ASU startup wins Arizona Innovation Challenge

    A startup called Breezing is among the winners of the Arizona Innovation Challenge. The company’s product is a wearable device — also called Breezing —that provides precise assessments of a person’s resting metabolic rates. The winning companies in the Innovation Challenge will receive grant funding from the Arizona Commerce Authority to invest in their businesses. The Breezing device provides metabolic data to help users develop nutrition, lifestyle and exercise plans to benefit their health. Toa says the next generations of Breezing products are in development.

  • Women’s underwater robotics team makes waves in the desert

    Women’s underwater robotics team makes waves in the desert

    A team of Fulton Schools students are building an autonomous robotic submarine to compete in the National Underwater Robotics Challenge in June at ASU’s Polytechnic campus. The team, named Desert WAVE (Women in Autonomous Vehicle Engineering), is believed to be only the second all-female underwater robotics team in the world. Next, Desert WAVE will head to San Diego to participate in the international RoboSub competition.

    See Also: Dorks Estate: Desert WAVE, ASU’s first all-female underwater robotics team, The State Press (Podcast)

  • ASU engineering students working to build a better basketball practice

    ASU engineering students working to build a better basketball practice

    With a sensor that attaches to the rim of basketball basket and an app that keeps track of how many shots at the basket are made or missed, two Fulton Schools students are hoping to give players a system to improve their performance on the basketball court. Computer science student Connor Harris and electrical engineering student Benjamin Willis are planning to explore product development for their system.

  • Capturing Carbon

    Capturing Carbon

    Scientists say some of the environmental impacts of climate change threaten to be catastrophic. That’s why it’s critical to begin reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that is triggering manifestations of a fast-changing climate, such as extreme heat waves, rising sea levels and the loss of the oceans’ coral reefs. The Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner, is developing carbon capture technology designed to remove carbon from the air and dispose of it or store it for productive uses.

  • BREAKING SOLAR RECORDS & SETTING NUCLEAR STANDARDS

    BREAKING SOLAR RECORDS & SETTING NUCLEAR STANDARDS

    Meeting the challenge of supplying the world more energy from clean and renewable sources will require significant advances in solar power technology. Research led by Zachary Holman, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of electrical engineering, is resulting in progress toward increasing the amount of sunlight that can be converted into electrical energy. The key is integrating other materials with conventional silicon-based solar cells used in photovoltaic systems.

     

  • Powered prosthetic knee users able to walk in minutes

    Powered prosthetic knee users able to walk in minutes

    A new intelligent system for “tuning” powered prosthetics promises to enable people using a robotic prosthetic knee to walk comfortably within minutes of using the technology — rather than taking several hours. Jennie Si, a Fulton Schools professor of electrical, computer and energy engineering, developed the system with colleagues at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina. The prosthetic device was devised for scenarios in which a patient is walking on a level surface, but it could be developed further to enable users to go up and down stairs, Si says.

    See Also: AI Helps Amputee Walk With a Robotic Knee, IEEE Spectrum, January 25

    Machine Learning Customizes Powered Knee Prosthetics for New Users in Minutes, R&D Magazine, January 23

    Reinforcement Learning Expedites ‘Tuning’ of Robotic Prosthetics,  I-Connect007, January 18

  • New Record for Solar Efficiency

    New Record for Solar Efficiency

    Fulton Schools researchers are helping to advance technologies that are making solar energy systems more effective and at the same time less expensive. A research team led by Zachary Holman (pictured), an assistant professor of electrical and energy engineering, and Jason Yu, an assistant research professor, have mixed an additional material with the silicon in current solar cells that boosts the percentage of sunlight those cells can convert into electrical power. They foresee the new cells making their way onto commercial solar panels in the coming years.  

  • Risk of infection from water in the air at home

    Risk of infection from water in the air at home

    A more detailed framework for assessing and managing the risks of bacterial disease transmission through water spray from sinks, showers and toilets has been developed by researchers, including Kerry Hamilton, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering. Hamilton and a colleague at Drexel University show reasons for communities to maintain thorough monitoring and testing operations to reveal signs of water-quality degradation and prevent the spread of serious infections and diseases.

  • Training Engineers To Spot Opportunity And Impact

    Training Engineers To Spot Opportunity And Impact

    The Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network, known as KEEN, is working with colleges and universities to embed the entrepreneurial mindset into their undergraduate engineering programs. ASU starts by integrating entrepreneurship-minded education into freshmen learning experiences. Professor Ann McKenna (pictured), director of the Polytechnic School, one of the six Fulton Schools, says many teachers and higher education institutions need to take similar paths to have a significant impact on the engineers of the future.  

  • New full-color night vision could revolutionize troops’ ability to operate in dark

    New full-color night vision could revolutionize troops’ ability to operate in dark

    An advance in night-vision systems could aid military operations in a variety of areas — including battlefield encounters, medical treatment in the field and identification of potential threats. The technology is part of the trend toward the use of “techno-human” systems to provide an advantage in modern military conflicts, says Brad Allenby, a Fulton Schools professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, and a professor of ethics and engineering.

  • Unveiling Earth’s floodplains

    Unveiling Earth’s floodplains

    Identifying floodplain boundaries is critical to the success of many environmental protection and urban development endeavors.  Now there’s a new tool to provide high-resolution datasets of Earth’s surface properties to ensure the accuracy of floodplain mapping. It’s the work of a team of scientists that includes Enrique Vivoni, a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment — one of the Fulton Schools — and ASU’ School of Earth and Space Exploration. The datasets could help in development of sustainable water management plans and enable better assessment of the environmental strain on regions seeing growing human populations.

  • She drove the numbers, now she’s ‘The Auto Professor’

    She drove the numbers, now she’s ‘The Auto Professor’

    Norma Hubele’s mission is nothing less than to “change the way people choose their cars.” The Full Schools professor emeritus of industrial engineering is trying to do that with a mathematical and statistics-based system she developed to determine the safety ratings for different models of automobiles. That system, she says, improves vastly on the safety rating tests conducted by the federal government. Hubele hopes to educate the public about the flaws in those government ratings tests so that consumers will pressure the auto industry to adopt her ratings methodology. The article was also published in the East Valley Tribune.

     

  • ASU researchers address a primary cause of treatment failure for pancreatic cancer

    ASU researchers address a primary cause of treatment failure for pancreatic cancer

    A big roadblock to successful cancer treatment is the resistance of some tumor cells to therapeutic drugs — especially in the case of pancreatic cancer. Jia Fan and Bo Ning, assistant professors at ASU’s Biodesign Institute, have revealed the cause of this resistance to chemotherapy drugs. They have been mentored in their research by Tony Hu, a Fulton Schools associate professor of biomedical engineering. He has also helped Fan and Ning in their collaborations with the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Hu says the discovery of a biomarker to predict the body’s responses to chemotherapy is a big step for clinical prognosis of pancreatic cancer.

  • ASU 3D print lab finds sustainable solutions to plastic waste, opens doors for STEM students

    ASU 3D print lab finds sustainable solutions to plastic waste, opens doors for STEM students

    Through recycling and repurposing of its plastic waste materials, the Fulton Schools 3DPrint and Laser Cutter Lab is advancing ASU’s educational and sustainability missions. Almost 100 percent of the waste material is being put to cost-effective use — in new 3D printing projects, as donations to K-12 programs for hands-on lessons that teach science, technology and engineering fundamentals to young students, and for providing ASU students opportunities to gain skills in prototyping processes that are critical to multiple engineering and manufacturing fields.

  • 12 Millennials to watch in 2019

    12 Millennials to watch in 2019

    David Richardson earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in the Fulton Schools in 2012 before getting a master’s degree in nanoscience. His expertise in those fields helped him co-found the precision medicine company bioSyntagma. Today, as the company’s CEO, he is leading work that promises to make personalized medicine a reality and help medical science get closer to potential cures for cancer.

    See also: Fred Bueler III, who earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Fulton Schools, is featured in 22 Millennials to watch in CRE. Bueler has had a leading role in many major construction projects during his 13 years in the building industry. AZ Big Media, January 9.

  • Thinking about installing solar panels? Experts answer 6 common questions

    Thinking about installing solar panels? Experts answer 6 common questions

    As development of solar power systems for residential use ramps up, consumers need facts about both the benefits and challenges of these renewable clean-energy installations. Fulton Schools Emeritus Professor Ronald Roedel says a basic understanding of how the new energy technologies work under various weather, climate and environmental conditions can help homeowners make informed decisions about investing in these photovoltaic systems. Roedel, a longtime solar energy researcher, is the director of the Professional Science Master’s program in Solar Energy Engineering and Commercialization.

December

2018
  • Experts wrestle with today’s tough biotechnology questions at third Arizona Biosecurity Workshop

    Experts wrestle with today’s tough biotechnology questions at third Arizona Biosecurity Workshop

    The recent Arizona Biosecurity Workshop at ASU explored timely questions about potential impacts of the rapidly expanding capabilities of biotechnologies — particularly advances in genetic engineering. Concerns have been heightened about the capacity of these technologies to alter both humans and their environments. One way to foster productive dialog on the issue is a multimedia program led by Samira Kiani, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of biomedical engineering. Kiani’s project aims to bring scientists and the public together to examine the social, ethical and medical risks and benefits of new biotechnologies.

  • Five student ventures progress to compete for $100,000 prize in 2019 ASU Innovation Open

    Five student ventures progress to compete for $100,000 prize in 2019 ASU Innovation Open

    The Fulton Schools co-hosted the third annual ASU Innovation Open pitch competition at which 15 teams of students from leading universities involved in early-stage entrepreneurial ventures presented their business concepts to judges. Five teams were chosen to move on to the Innovation Open finals in February to vie for funding. Kyle Squires, dean of the Fulton Schools, gave the welcome address at the event. Each of the five top teams received a cash prize from Zero Mass Water, an ASU spinoff company led by Cody Friesen, a Fulton Schools associate professor of materials science and engineering.

  • GPEC earns grant to promote MedTech entrepreneurship

    GPEC earns grant to promote MedTech entrepreneurship

    Dozens of entrepreneurial ventures and hundreds of jobs are expected to result from a U.S. Department of Commerce grant awarded to the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. The goal is to accelerate the transition of new medical and wearable technologies from the research lab to commercial applications and startup businesses. Arizona State University, Maricopa County Community College District’s Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation, the Partnership for Economic Innovation and the StartupAZ Foundation are partners in the project anchored at the 30-acre Phoenix Biomedical Campus (pictured). The endeavor will help to boost the scope and impact of ASU’s MedTech Ventures Program, says its director, Fulton Schools Professor Gregory Raupp.

  • ASU engineering students win big at MS&T Conference competition

    ASU engineering students win big at MS&T Conference competition

    Competing against upperclassmen from eight other universities, five Fulton Schools first-year engineering students became the first team from ASU to win the first-place prize at the ASM Geodesic Dome student competition. The event at the Materials Science and Technology Conference tests skills in applying fundamentals of materials science and engineering. The winning Dome of the Devils geodesic structure withstood 1,000 pounds of pressure, earning the team a $1,000 award.

  • NBC organizes social entrepreneurship workshop

    NBC organizes social entrepreneurship workshop

    Richard Filley was a featured presenter at a recent major entrepreneurship workshop in Oman. Filley is the lead entrepreneurship faculty member in the Fulton Schools Technology Entrepreneurship and Management program. His talk at the event focused on launching social entrepreneurship ventures —businesses with the goal of improving the quality of life. He also addressed ways to foster innovation and creativity, and to develop entrepreneurship mentoring and education. Over his career, Filley has shared his expertise in these areas in more than 20 countries.

  • Building prosthetics that can feel

    Building prosthetics that can feel

    Biomedical engineers at ASU and Florida International University have developed a hand prosthesis that can connect with users’ nervous systems and enable them to experience the sensation of touch. Fulton Schools Associate Professor James Abbas (pictured), director of the ASU Center for Adaptive Neural Systems, helped to lead the 12-year-long project to design and build the Neural-Enabled Prosthetic Hand System. Abbas explains that the first-of-its-kind hand prosthesis uses components similar to those in electrode ear implants to give people “feeling” in their thumbs and forefingers.

     

  • Student gains research and publishing experience through Center on the Future of War

    Student gains research and publishing experience through Center on the Future of War

    Hannah Hallikainen, a Fulton Schools chemical engineering major, aspires to a career that combines her interests in technology and public policy. She has delved into the latter area recently through the Student Research Fellows program in ASU’s Center for the Future of War. Hallikainen has been a test reader for the recently published book “LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media,” conducted historical research on the Boxer Rebellion and U.S. immigration policy, and contributed to an article published in Politico about a historic Supreme Court immigration case.

  • Three ASU faculty elected AAAS fellows

    Three ASU faculty elected AAAS fellows

    Huan Liu (at left in photo), a Fulton Schools professor of computer science and engineering, is one of three ASU faculty members recently elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science . The special status in the organization recognizes the value of their career contributions. Liu’s research focuses on advanced data mining, machine learning, cybersecurity and designing algorithms for effective problem-solving and real-world applications involving intelligent systems.

     

  • Fellowship allows Arizona professors to learn from Israeli peers

    Fellowship allows Arizona professors to learn from Israeli peers

    For a second straight year a contingent of ASU professors will travel to Israel as part of the Jewish National Fund’s Faculty Fellowship Program. The excursion gives the faculty members opportunities to meet and share information with peers and colleagues in similar academic disciplines and research pursuits in Israel. This year’s group includes Bradley Greger, a Fulton Schools associate professor of biomedical engineering and Thomas Dempster, an associated research professor or engineering in the Center for Algae Technology and Innovation. Adam Carberry, a Fulton Schools associate professor, talks about the valuable experience he had in Israel as part of last year’s Faculty Fellowship group.

    Previous articles:  Educational excursion: Faculty members seeking insights in Israel

    Fulton Schools faculty members took educational sojourn to Israel

  • How smart is the latest artificial intelligence?

    How smart is the latest artificial intelligence?

    How far have artificial intelligence technologies actually advanced? Where will they go from here? And what rewards, challenges and issues will arise as AI becomes more ingrained in society? Fulton Schools Professor Subbarao Kambhampati, Associate Professor Spring Berman and Assistant Professor Heni Ben Amor say the key is to understand the different ways humans and AI technology experience and learn about the world— and to figure out how people and machines with their disparate perspectives can exist compatibly and productively.

     

     

  • Personal journeys lead ASU entrepreneurs to success at Demo Day

    Personal journeys lead ASU entrepreneurs to success at Demo Day

    Fulton Schools students are among the ASU students who have earned support for their business start-up ideas, social program and tech-based ventures in the university’s Demo Day entrepreneurship competition. Recent mechanical engineering graduate Luis Castillo is part of team that is refining an invention called the Murphy Mobility Device to enable people to do physical therapy exercises to recover from injuries. Biomedical engineering graduate student Nicholas Hool is advancing Hoolest Performance Technologies with an earbud device that helps alleviate emotional anxiety.

  • Citizen-Centered: Educating future smart city experts

    Citizen-Centered: Educating future smart city experts

    “Smart cities” are the future. New and powerful smart technologies are being incorporated into the core infrastructure of many urban regions. And the change is going to reshape life within many metropolitan environments. How to ensure these smart tech systems best serve the public? One way is to train the future engineers, technologists, urban planners and policy makers who will be designing those systems. That’s the aim of a project that will involve Fulton Schools Professors Ann McKenna, Gail-Joon Ahn and Ram Pendyala, along with Assistant Research Professor Troy McDaniel. They’ll team with others to help ensure smart cities are human-centric places. (The story is on page 17 of the recent Smart Cities issue of the online TechConnect magazine.)

November

2018
  • Studying Ways to Reduce Arizona’s Searing ‘Heat Island’

    Studying Ways to Reduce Arizona’s Searing ‘Heat Island’

    The Phoenix area is one of the hottest urban environments and getting hotter. Maricopa County officials are teaming with Fulton Schools engineers to devise strategies for slowing the trend toward higher temperatures. Matthew Fraser, a professor of environmental and sustainable engineering, says one focus of the effort will be on using building and pavement materials that would lessen the impacts of heat. Extreme heat also causes unhealthy air quality. Fraser and his colleagues will also work on developing new technologies to address that problem.

    See Also: Funding the future: Maricopa County, ASU combat urban heat

  • 5 ways to help robots work together with people

    5 ways to help robots work together with people

    If we want robots to perform at their best for us, then engineers who are designing, building and programming them need to also better understand the people who will be using robotic technologies. Nancy Cooke, Fulton Schools professor of human systems engineering, writes that a deep understanding of the essential ingredients of good communication, interaction, collaboration and teamwork is critical to making a world where robots and humans can rely on, trust and support each other. Read more about Cooke’s research.

    See Also: Your next colleague could be a robot. Here’s how to get along, Fast Company, November 29

  • Big power from a small container

    Big power from a small container

    With his solar-powered electrical grid-in-a-box, engineer Nathan Johnson and his research team are aiming to provide more energy security for communities and other users around the world. The project led by the Fulton Schools assistant professor will include developing training for technicians to provide engineering and design services to help people and organizations operate and maintain these microgrids for a variety of uses — including national defense, humanitarian aid, health care and disaster response.

  • ASU researchers awarded $5.8M NIH grant to develop antimicrobial susceptibility test

    ASU researchers awarded $5.8M NIH grant to develop antimicrobial susceptibility test

    Health-threatening bacteria are developing resistance to the antibiotics we use to treat the diseases the bacteria cause. Nongjian Tao, a Fulton Schools professor of electrical engineering, is part of team that will develop new and more effective antibiotics or other drugs, along with diagnostics technologies to better identify resistant microbes. Tao, director of ASU’s Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors, will focus on designing and building the new technology.

     

  • Google Tweaks Email Program That Assumed An Investor Was Male

    Google Tweaks Email Program That Assumed An Investor Was Male

    Objections have been raised over some potentially offensive preconceptions being blamed on predictive algorithms built into artificial intelligence systems intended to aid users of services such as Google Gmail. Specifically, an algorithm that showed a bit of gender bias. The problem prompted Google to disable an AI tool from using any gendered pronouns. Subbarao Kambhampati, a Fulton Schools professor of computer science and past president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, explained how these algorithms can get into such trouble. Kambhampati has been involved in other efforts to help AI steer clear of inappropriate tendencies. Read more.

  • Butter

    Butter

    ASU’s Team BUTTER (Ballistic Universal Times Trajectory Egg Recovery) placed fifth among more than 30 teams from around the world that participated in the most recent American Astronautical Society CanSat competition. The group of Fulton Schools students had to build, launch and land a can satellite carrying a variety of technological components — plus an egg that had to remain unbroken throughout the flight. Read more about Team BUTTER’s exploits

     

  • What smart hazmat suits and Sonora cactus skins have in common

    What smart hazmat suits and Sonora cactus skins have in common

    Konrad Rykaczewski has been closely examining the characteristics of various flora and fauna for ideas on how to translate their natural capabilities into models and designs for useful technologies. Most recently the Fulton Schools assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering — working with a team of students and support from an ASU Biomimicry Center grant — discovered how the waxy, water-repellent surfaces of Sonoran cactus skins might be imitated to develop smart material for the protective suits worn by hazardous materials handlers.

    See Also: Prickly pear cactus “smart” skin can improve hazmat suits, Earth.com News, November 19

    Future hazmat suits could be inspired by cactus skin, Engineering.com/Designer Edge, November 19

  • Neural-enabled prosthetic hand helps amputees feel again

    Neural-enabled prosthetic hand helps amputees feel again

    Among the latest advances in prosthetics is a system that uses a neural implant to enable the brain and an advanced prosthetic hand to provide users with sensations of touch. The achievement is the result of a multi-institutional research project that included contributions from a team at ASU led by James Abbas, a Fulton Schools associate professor of biomedical engineering and the director of the Center for Adaptive Neural Systems. Abbas hopes the technology will eventually be adapted for people with lower limb amputations and double amputations. 

    See Also: New prosthetic hand provides the actual sensation of touch, Machine Design, November 27

  • ASU students come for the education and stay for the support

    ASU students come for the education and stay for the support

    To the varied selection of services designed to keep students on paths to graduation, ASU has begun new efforts collectively called the Student Success Suite Initiative. It includes a set of tools that help students explore careers that align with their skills and aspirations, says Tami Coronella, associate director of student academic services for the Fulton Schools. She points, for instance, to Me3, a visual image-oriented website providing online interactive quizzes to guide students in more clearly defining academic and career goals.

  • What is the future or Arizona’s energy landscape?

    What is the future or Arizona’s energy landscape?

    An Arizona ballot proposition that would have mandated a significant jump in the use of renewable energy sources in the state by 2030 was rejected by voters by more than a 2-to-1 margin. While it’s a setback for clean energy efforts, Fulton Schools Professor Emeritus Ronald Roedel and other ASU faculty members doing energy-related work see the tide eventually turning. The growing need for renewable energy sources will inevitably become more apparent to state leaders, while and the solar energy industry or other clean energy industries will continue to make progress, says Roedel, who is director of the Fulton Schools Professional Science Master’s program in Solar Energy Engineering and Commercialization.

     

     

  • Bausch & Lomb cites ASU research in contact lens recycling collaboration

    Bausch & Lomb cites ASU research in contact lens recycling collaboration

    Manufacturers of contact lenses and researchers are joining forces to spread the word about the need to reduce the plastics pollution caused by the many millions of contact lenses being flushed down drains and toilets. Bausch & Lomb, one of the largest makers of contact lenses, cites research findings at the ASU Center for Environmental Health Engineering, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, for evidence of the negative environmental impact of the problem and of positive results that contacts-recycling efforts could produce.

  • Teaching for Tomorrow: Penny Ann Dolin Creates Learning Opportunities for the Real World

    Teaching for Tomorrow: Penny Ann Dolin Creates Learning Opportunities for the Real World

    Artistic talents are only part the mix in what constitutes marketable creative skills. So, aspiring professional photographers, designers and others in Penny Dolin’s classes in the Fulton Schools graphic information technology program, get lessons in writing, communication, critical inquiry, technology, problem-solving methods and more. The professor of practice is at the forefront of her field in development of immersive and contextual learning environments in higher education.

     

  • Frozen: A research project goes for the cold

    Frozen: A research project goes for the cold

    ASU engineers are teaming up with the Bashas’ grocery store chain, the Salt River Project utility and the thermal energy systems company Viking Cold Solutions to develop a more energy-efficient and cost-saving way to store and protect the quality of large quantities of frozen food. Fulton Schools Associate Professors Kristen Parrish and Robert Wang are overseeing testing of a new low-tech chemical and mechanical refrigeration technique at the project test site — a 10,0000-square-foot industrial freezer filled with tons of ice cream. See the Cronkite News report ASU, Bashas’ and SRP work to lower the peak. Read more: Sub-Zero Sustainability.

     

  • Five Faculty named President’s Professors

    Five Faculty named President’s Professors

    Keith Hjelmstad, a professor in the Fulton Schools civil, environmental and sustainable engineering program, has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to undergraduate education with the title of ASU President’s Professor. Those who nominated Hjelmstad for the honor emphasized the impacts his development of innovative curricula and courses are having not only at ASU but on a national level. His approach creates “a social environment for learners” in which students learn how to interact and teach each other while at the same time learning course materials.

  • New prosthetic hand system allows user to ‘feel’ again

    New prosthetic hand system allows user to ‘feel’ again

    A new prosthetic hand system with a fully implanted, wirelessly controlled neurostimulator has restored “feeling” to a person with a hand amputation. The news announced at the recent annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience involves a multi-institutional research team that includes James Abbas, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of biomedical engineering. The team’s achievement has led to the first time a person has been fitted with a neural-enabled prosthetic hand system that can be used outside the laboratory in an everyday environment.

  • ASU researchers use citizen science and social media to build flood information network

    ASU researchers use citizen science and social media to build flood information network

    ASU researchers are exploring the use of the latest information technologies to develop a widespread real-time warning system to alert communities to the potential dangers of oncoming floods. Mikhail Chester, a Fulton Schools associate professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, is leading a multi-university team for the project. Arizona will be used a test bed to determine if the warning system can be adapted for other states and regions — and if it can also be effective for hurricane and drought warning networks.

  • Negative emissions technology needed to remove CO2 and head off climate change

    Negative emissions technology needed to remove CO2 and head off climate change

    New and more effective technologies that can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are needed to curb the detrimental impacts of climate change. That’s a conclusion from a panel that produced a report for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. One of the experts commenting on the report is Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner, director of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions. Lackner says there are ways to make CO2 capture and removal technology economically feasible.

  • Could silk and gold replace stitches and staples?

    Could silk and gold replace stitches and staples?

    Liquid silk and gold nanoparticles are looking like the best combination of materials to produce a more effective way of closing up an injury or an incision to human body tissue. They could reduce the risk of damage or infection to tissues sometimes caused by use of conventional staples and stitches. Kaushal Rege, a Fulton Schools professor of chemical engineering, is leading research to fully develop two types of the laser-activated silk and gold nanosealants.

    See Also, Doctors could soon ditch stitches and seal skin wounds with lasers, Digital Trends, November 19

     

     

  • Sethuraman Panchanathan Named Science and Technology Adviser to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

    Sethuraman Panchanathan Named Science and Technology Adviser to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

    The Institute of Automated Mobility was recently launched with the promise of making Arizona a leader in innovation of autonomous vehicle technologies and systems. Fulton Schools Professor Sethuraman Panchanathan has been chosen as one the top advisers to the institute.  Panchanathan, who is also ASU’s chief research and innovations officer and the executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development for the university, is the founder of the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing. The center focuses on research that could be useful to the new automated mobility endeavor.

  • This is what’s cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

    This is what’s cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

    It’s estimated there are more than 140,000 tons of plastics spread out over an area that covers a million square miles of the Pacific Ocean that’s now being called the Great Pacific Garbage patch. Scientists and engineers working with various organizations are involved in cleanup projects that are making a dent in the problem. But more needs to done to stop more plastic from being dumped in the ocean in the first place, says Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering.

October

2018
  • What’s next for AI in sports?

    What’s next for AI in sports?

    Artificial intelligence and athletic performance are becoming inextricably intertwined in the world of sports. Researchers such as Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Yezhou Yang are adapting emerging AI technologies to provide data analysis, computer vision and robotic visual learning that shows athletes how to enhance their abilities while reducing the risk of physical injuries. Yang, an affiliate faculty member in ASU’s Global Sport Institute, is also exploring how to make some AI athletics analytics tools accessible through a cell phone app.

  • Between Classes: Season 2 Episode 3, Kyle D. Squires

    Between Classes: Season 2 Episode 3, Kyle D. Squires

    There’s an abundance of territory to explore at the intersection of engineering and the arts. So say Professor Kyle Squires, dean of the Fulton Schools, and Professor Steven Tepper, dean of ASU’s Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts. “Collisions” between engineers and artists often produce a fertile breeding ground for creativity and innovation, Squires and Tepper agree. They suggest that might be demonstrated in an entertaining fashion if engineering, arts and design students competed in a zombie costume contest. But, seriously, they conclude, the mixing of the artistic spirit and the drive to engineer solutions to big challenges is a recipe for making a better world.

  • Plastic Pollution Is Showing Up in Our Poop

    Plastic Pollution Is Showing Up in Our Poop

    More than nine billion tons of plastics have been produced since the mid-20th century and plastic waste has found its way not only into our much of natural environment but also into humans. Researchers say many tiny bits of the waste — called microplastics — are being ingested by a large percentage of the human population. Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, says there seems to be no immediate cause for alarm, but the news should cause close examination of the potential for negative health impacts from the microplastics we are ingesting and even inhaling.

  • ASU, ARL researches tout superhero-like strength with new alloys

    ASU, ARL researches tout superhero-like strength with new alloys

    New super-strong copper-tantalum alloys have been developed by Army researchers in collaboration with a mechanical engineering and materials science research team led by Fulton Schools Professor Pedro Peralta and Associate Professor Kiran Solanki. With the alloy’s ability to withstand extreme temperatures and powerful impacts, it’s being compared to vibranium, a fictional material used in Captain America’s shield and the Black Panther’s super-hero outfit.  

  • Cities looking at how self-driving cars can change their communities

    Cities looking at how self-driving cars can change their communities

    Despite a slow start in the use of self-driving cars, experts say it is all but inevitable that autonomous vehicles will become a larger part of our transportation environment — especially in busy cities. Lina Karam, a Fulton Schools Professor of electrical and computer engineering who studies autonomous vehicles, says local governments and city planners need to start preparing for the ways a proliferation of self-driving vehicles will impact urban infrastructure needs.

  • ASU, UNSW students innovate to create zero waste

    ASU, UNSW students innovate to create zero waste

    Fulton Schools mechanical engineering graduate student Sudhanshu Biyani was part of the ASU student team that won the top prize at the recent PLuS Alliance Circular Economy ResourCE Hack. The competition was designed to inspire ideas for zero-waste alternatives to waste management challenges. Biyani and his teammates developed Farmer’s Friend, an app to connect farmers and end users of food waste.

  • Blockchain ready: how Master’s students at ASU are preparing for the blockchain-powered future

    Blockchain ready: how Master’s students at ASU are preparing for the blockchain-powered future

    ASU students are getting more opportunities to learn about one of the fastest-emerging and highest-paying software fields: blockchain engineering. Blockchain technology is a key driver of cryptocurrencies and the digital economy. ASU is becoming a leader in the field as home to the Blockchain Research Laboratory, directed by Fulton Schools Research Professor Dragan Boscovic, and the Blockchain Innovation Society, an international student-led group. Now the Fulton Schools Master of Computer Science degree program offers six courses focusing on various aspects of blockchain engineering and development.  

  • ASU researchers develop tool to help determine a neighborhoods walkability

    ASU researchers develop tool to help determine a neighborhoods walkability

    Researchers in ASU’s College of Health Solutions are analyzing the “walkability” of neighborhoods as part of a study to assess the effect of specific neighborhoods’ characteristics in helping people stick to physical activity regimens — or discouraging them from continuing their aerobic exercise routines. To get accurate data for the study, the researchers turned to three Fulton Schools computer scientists, Associate Professor Ross Maciejewski, Assistant Professor Ariane Middel and graduate student Akshar Patel. They are developing a unique tool to reveal the correlation between certain neighborhood features and residents’ level of physical activity.

     

  • What is climate-ready infrastructure? Some cities are starting to adapt

    What is climate-ready infrastructure? Some cities are starting to adapt

    Floods, heat waves, storms, hurricanes, wildfires and other damaging natural events are becoming more intense with the growing effects of climate change. Associate Professor Mikhail Chester and Professor Brad Allenby, faculty members in the Fulton Schools’ civil, environmental and sustainable engineering program, warn that current infrastructure doesn’t have the resilience to withstand the onslaught of the extreme weather events likely to occur more frequently. They look at ways our infrastructure systems can be adapted to hold up against burgeoning climatic threats.

  • ASU granted $3M to build smart cities education program

    ASU granted $3M to build smart cities education program

    Fulton Schools faculty members will have leading roles in a new interdisciplinary graduate-level program for those aspiring to be future leaders of endeavors to design and develop “smart cities.” The Citizen-Centered Smart Cities and Smart Living program will train students to become the engineers, scientist, entrepreneurs and policymakers capable of shaping cities in human-center ways. Troy McDaniel, Fulton Schools assistant research professor and associate director of the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing, says industry partners, nonprofits and community groups will be involved in the training program and smart cities research projects.

    See Also: $3M grant supports education and training on smart cities, ASU NOW, September 21

  • ASU Professors tackle large-scale public health challenges in partnership with Dignity Health

    ASU Professors tackle large-scale public health challenges in partnership with Dignity Health

    ASU and Dignity Health, one of the largest health care facility corporations, are collaborating on an initiative to seek solutions for major medical challenges. A series of initial grants are funding research intended to achieve the goal. The funded projects include two that will be led by Vikram Kodibagkar and Brent Vernon, Fulton Schools associate professors of biomedical engineering. Kodibagkar will work on developing advances in magnetic resonance imaging of brain tumors. Vernon will lead a multi-institutional program to translate liquid embolics  to clinics.

     

  • ASU researchers are grasping onto the future of soft robotics

    ASU researchers are grasping onto the future of soft robotics

    Combining expertise in robotics, haptic technologies, biomedical engineering, 3D printing and polymer molding, Fulton Schools researchers are developing devices and techniques to improve neuromuscular rehabilitation. Assistant Professor Panagiotis Polygerinos and Assistant Research Professor Qiushi Fu are leading work that promises to provide customized therapies to help people to regain lost motor skills in their hands and legs caused by injuries or strokes.

     

  • Fighting fake photos, one social media stream at a time

    Fighting fake photos, one social media stream at a time

    Today’s imaging and voice technologies make it increasingly possible to manipulate photos and videos to give viewers false impressions of what they’re seeing and hearing. But there are experts who can use other technologies to verify the veracity of the content of pictures and video productions. Some of those experts work for Truepic, a tech company focused on image authenticity, which is teaming with ASU’s Weaponized Narrative Initiative to combat the purveyors of misleading manufactured news reports and images. Fulton Schools Professor Brad Allenby, the initiative’s co-founding director, hopes to see the effort counter some of the disinformation schemes attempting to influence the national midterm elections.

  • Staying ahead of cyberattacks

    Staying ahead of cyberattacks

    Despite regular news about malicious hackers successfully breaching the defenses meant to protect websites and other electronic repositories of personal or confidential data and other information, researchers are making strides in thwarting cybercriminals. In an ASU KEDtalk, Fulton Schools Assistant Professor Paulo Shakarian explained what he and others are doing to fend off impending cyberattacks. Shakarian is director of the Cyber-Socio Intelligent Systems Laboratory at ASU.

  • Arizona to create self-driving car research institute with Intel

    Arizona to create self-driving car research institute with Intel

    A venture to put Arizona at the forefront of research and development of self-driving automobiles was announced by the state’s governor, Doug Ducey. Much of the research for new Institute for Automated Mobility, formed in partnership with Intel Corp., will be conducted at Arizona’s state universities. Fulton Schools Professor Sethuraman Panchanathan was named the institute’s senior science adviser. Panchanathan, ASU’s executive vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development and chief research and innovation officer, said the institute will become the central repository of knowledge to help industry provide reliable autonomous vehicles.

    Read more news coverage:  East Valley Tribune, KTAR News, ABC15Venture BeatCNETArizona Daily StarAutomotive NewsArizona Capitol TimesAz Big MediaHavasu NewsYuma SunPinal CentralRose Law Group Reporter

     

  • Going to waste: Virologists say sewage systems are flush with opportunity

    Going to waste: Virologists say sewage systems are flush with opportunity

    Climate change and globalization are two factors leading to disease-carrying viruses finding their way to more places around the world. Scientists say more intensive environmental surveillance could help halt the spread of viruses. One way Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden wants to do that is through a global wastewater-monitoring initiative he has launched. He hopes to see more work related to the research he is leading in ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. Halden and his team are developing new and improved methods of monitoring and analyzing wastewater to reveal information about public health conditions. Such efforts could help pinpoint where viruses are moving.

  • Arizona university researchers collaborate to forecast, track flooded infrastructure

    Arizona university researchers collaborate to forecast, track flooded infrastructure

    The National Science Foundation is funding a project to develop a forecast, risk assessment and communications network to help Arizona communities protect themselves from the dangers of extreme flooding. The project involving infrastructure and sustainability researchers at each of Arizona’s three public universities will be led by Fulton Schools Associate Professor Mikhail Chester. The network he envisions will employ smart phones, webcams, data streams, crowdsourcing and social media to track the buildup of floods in real time.

    See Also: What data teaches about flood forecasting: NAU researcher co-leading crowdsourced app to gauge flood water, NAU News, October 3

    Crowdsourced app gauges flood waters, Michigan Tech News, October 3

    Scientists aim to use crowdsourced data to improve flood predictions, University at Buffalo News Center, October 8

  • Aging infrastructure/Building with better concrete/ Wearable Monitor

    Aging infrastructure/Building with better concrete/ Wearable Monitor

    Mikhail Chester, Fulton Schools assistant professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, wants to help the Phoenix metro area avoid some of the infrastructure problems being faced by major urban regions such as the Los Angeles area. Narayanan Neithalath, also an assistant professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, is trying to find cost-effective ways of providing new materials to enable reduced use of conventional cement and its problematic environmental consequences. Jeffrey La Belle, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, is leading research to produce wearable monitors that provide people vital — and possibly life-saving — real-time information about their physical conditions.

  • ASU brings home 2 Emmys

    ASU brings home 2 Emmys

    A commercial entitled “Ocean” featuring ASU graduate student Charles Rolsky and Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden has won a Rocky Mountain Emmy Award. The awards are bestowed by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence in television. The commercial focuses on Rolsky’s efforts to help find ways to protect oceans from environmental degradation. He conducts research in ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering, which Halden directs. Rolsky likes that the commercial makes science “look really cool.”

  • The inconvenient consequences of a culture of convenience

    The inconvenient consequences of a culture of convenience

    The “afterlife” of plastics is much longer than this ubiquitous material’s useful lifespan, says Fulton Schools Professor Rolf Halden. And the longevity of plastics that don’t degrade poses growing problems for the health of the planet’s environment, wildlife and humans. Those problems can potentially have negative consequences for decades, centuries and millennia, says Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Health Engineering. He and other researchers — along with some businesses, citizens’ groups and recycling programs — are searching for solutions.

  • Arizona State University’s New Engineering School Is a Case Study For Sustainable Desert Architecture

    Arizona State University’s New Engineering School Is a Case Study For Sustainable Desert Architecture

    The Fulton Schools’ new student residential complex on ASU’s Tempe campus is described as a shining example of eco-friendly architecture. Its features include a wind-capture system for natural ventilation and permeable surfaces the allow storm water filtration, along with perforated aluminum louvers that are part of a larger shading systems — all of which helps to reduce heat gain the desert environment. And then there are the exposed “guts” of the building that give the resident engineering students a close look at the complex’s interior infrastructure and operating systems.

  • ASU researchers develop blood test that can help predict cancer prognosis

    ASU researchers develop blood test that can help predict cancer prognosis

    Working with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics, ASU researchers are trying to improve the survival rates of people with pancreatic cancer. A team led by Tony Wu, a Fulton Schools professor of biomedical engineering, is contributing to those efforts by developing new methods of detecting hypoxia in pancreatic cancer patients. Hypoxia is a condition that deprives tumor tissue of adequate oxygen. The higher the level of hypoxia, the more difficult it is to treat cancerous tumors.

September

2018
  • Connecting the Dots at ASU

    Connecting the Dots at ASU

    A bit over a year ago, 1,500 ASU engineering students living in the Fulton Schools’ new Tooker House campus residential complex got Amazon Echo Dots, making them members of one of the first voice-technology-enabled learning-enhanced communities. Now the University Technology Office is helping other members of the ASU community learn about the benefits of the voice-controlled computing and information device. Engineering student Carter Kwon recently joined UTO leaders to provide some Echo Dot education and training to students, faculty and staff at ASU at Lake Havasu.

  • Fuel Efficiency And Smog In Arizona

    Fuel Efficiency And Smog In Arizona

    There is strong debate swirling around proposals to ease federal air-quality standards and other environmental regulations — including fuel efficiency requirements for automobiles. Arizona is among places where officials are raising concerns about the potential impacts of such changes. Fulton Schools Professor Ram Pendyala says such regulations have actually sparked innovation by encouraging manufacturers to develop more fuel-efficient cars and less polluting technologies.

    See also, Proposed Trump Administration fuel efficiency standards causing concerns for public health, KJZZ news, September 26

  • Research Looks at Stress Corrosion Cracking

    Research Looks at Stress Corrosion Cracking

    A big step toward solutions to metals corrosion has been made by a research team led by Karl Sieradzki, a Fulton Schools professor of materials and science engineering. Catastrophic failures of metal structures such as large bridges have resulted from a phenomenon called stress corrosion cracking. It happens when corrosive environmental factors and tensile stress combine to damage metals. The work of Sieradzki’s team has pointed the way to formulating new designs for metal alloys that could help prevent stress corrosion-induced structural failures.

     

  • Left-over landfill: Peoria to remove 4,000 cubic yards of debris at $250,000 for road project

    Left-over landfill: Peoria to remove 4,000 cubic yards of debris at $250,000 for road project

    One of growing municipalities bordering Phoenix is embarking on a substantial environmental restoration project — removing a large amount of old landfill debris buried beneath ground surface running along and under a roadway. The cleanup effort is part of a larger street improvement project along a stretch of one of the city’s major thoroughfares. Fulton Schools Professor Edward Kavazanjian, director of a National Science Foundation geotechnical engineering research center at ASU, explains how the debris problem likely developed and persisted, and how such land can be restored and made viable for urban redevelopment.  

  • What will humans look like in 100 years?

    What will humans look like in 100 years?

    Six scientists and engineers envision what coming waves of technological advancement might mean for the future of the human body. Among the speculations are bodies enhanced by mechanical exoskeletons, body shops that provide people regular physical and physiological upgrades and the possibility of transforming into cyborgs. Fulton Schools Professor Brad Allenby, co-author of the book The Techno-Human Condition, sees an evolving fusion of humans and technology on the horizon that could alter basic human cognition and meld the natural world and the engineered world.

     

  • ASU partnership develops new method for diagnosing tuberculosis

    ASU partnership develops new method for diagnosing tuberculosis

    Researchers at ASU and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine are joining forces to ramp up the battle against tuberculosis. They’ll focus on development of new and more accurate and effective methods to diagnose the disease, which is a bacterial infection. It’s a challenging task, explains Jeffrey La Belle, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of biomedical engineering. The problem is that tuberculosis patients can often contract co-infections that results in some symptoms of a disease masking the symptoms of other infectious diseases, making it difficult to correctly diagnose patients’ conditions and prescribe the best treatment, La Belle says.

  • New ocean conservation club makes a big splash at ASU

    New ocean conservation club makes a big splash at ASU

    Fulton Schools chemical engineering students Roberta Candela and Amanda Smith are among the leaders of the new ASU Ocean Conservation Club. The group is raising awareness about the importance of protecting fragile marine life ecosystems. The club’s work will include trips to participate in beach cleanup projects to reduce the amount of trash that could harm fish and other sea creatures. They’ll undertake other efforts to advocate for related environmental conservation education and practices.

  • ASU’s Tooker House Is Engineered for Its Students and Climate

    ASU’s Tooker House Is Engineered for Its Students and Climate

    An onsite classroom and a large maker space for studying and working on class projects and research experiments. Architectural, design, construction and infrastructure features that can serve as a teaching tool for engineering students. Amazon Echo voice-controlled smart speakers for residents. Gold certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design from the U.S. Green Building Council. Pedestrian-friendly surrounding environment. All these factors led the national MultiFamily Executive group to make the new Fulton Schools campus residential complex the winner of its 2018 MFE Award for student housing.

     

  • Third ASU Innovation Open offers student ventures chance to win $100k

    Third ASU Innovation Open offers student ventures chance to win $100k

    A business pitch competition for aspiring student entrepreneurs is among the ways ASU and the Fulton Schools supports the aspirations of students to put their education to use by developing market solutions for society’s technological challenges. ASU partners with the global electronics company Avnet to organize the Innovation Open. Fulton Schools Dean Kyle Squires is looking forward to seeing the event attract more student startup teams each year.

  • Arizona: Billion Dollar Boom

    Arizona: Billion Dollar Boom

    Business forecasters are saying tech industries — including aviation companies like Boeing — are poised to continue expanding throughout the greater Phoenix metropolitan area and other locales in central and southern Arizona. One reason: the region’s supply chain of well-educated prospective employees — particularly the 21,000 thousand students enrolled in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

  • SPARK App League gives young students chance to code, learn about college

    SPARK App League gives young students chance to code, learn about college

    The Smithsonian, Waymo self-driving cars, the town of Gilbert and the Fulton Schools teamed up to bring middle school and high school students to ASU’s Polytechnic campus for a two-day competition called the SPARK App League. The event was designed not only to teach young students some coding but to give them a taste of what high education can offer through science, technology and engineering studies.

  • The end of stitches?

    The end of stitches?

    Using tiny pieces of gold intertwined with silk and activating a bonding process by heat from a laser, Kaushal Rege and his research team have developed a way to heal wounds with a new kind of bandage, thus eliminating the need for stitches to repair body tissue. Rege, a Fulton Schools professor of chemical engineering, says such laser-activated nanosealants are more effective in healing wounds and minimizing infection.

    See also: Bandages laser-bonded to your skin may fix wounds better than stitches, New Scientist, September 13 (subscription required)