blog navigation

Engineering

blog posts

  • Sheldon Jacobson and Janet Jokela stand outdoors.

    2020 deadlier than previous five years, even with COVID-19 numbers removed, study finds

    An upswing in death rates from non-COVID-19 causes in 2020 hit hard for men ages 15-64, according to a new study by computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and internal medicine professor Janet Jokela.

  • A new 3-D imaging technique for live cells uses a conventional microscope to capture image slices throughout the depth of the cell, then computationally renders them into one three-dimensional image. The technique uses no dyes or chemicals, allowing researchers to observe cells in their natural state.

    3-D imaging provides window into living cells, no dye required

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Living cells are ready for their close-ups, thanks to a new imaging technique that needs no dyes or other chemicals, yet renders high-resolution, three-dimensional, quantitative imagery of cells and their internal structures - all with conventional microscopes and white light.

  • Freeform printing allows the researchers to make intricate structures, such as this model of a heart, that could not be made with traditional layer-by-layer 3-D printing. The structures could be used as scaffolds for tissue engineering or device manufacturing.

    3-D printed sugar scaffolds offer sweet solution for tissue engineering, device manufacturing

    University of Illinois engineers built a 3-D printer that offers a sweet solution to making detailed structures that commercial 3-D printers can’t: Rather than a layer-upon-layer solid shell, it produces a delicate network of thin ribbons of hardened isomalt, the type of sugar alcohol used to make throat lozenges.

    The water-soluble, biodegradable glassy sugar structures have multiple applications in biomedical engineering, cancer research and device manufacturing.

  • For the first time, a research team from Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated the ability to 3-D-print a battery. This image shows the interlaced stack of electrodes that were printed layer by layer to create the working anode and cathode of a microbattery.

    3-D printing could lead to tiny medical implants, electronics, robots, more

    3-D printing now can be used to print lithium-ion microbatteries the size of a grain of sand. The printed microbatteries could supply electricity to tiny devices in fields from medicine to communications, including many that have lingered on lab benches for lack of a battery small enough to fit the device, yet providing enough stored energy to power it.

  • A thin plastic ribbon printed with advanced electronics is threaded through the eye of an ordinary sewing needle. The device, containing LEDs, electrodes and sensors, can be injected into the brain or other organs.

    A bright idea: Tiny injectable LEDs help neuroscientists study the brain

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new class of tiny, injectable LEDs is illuminating the deep mysteries of the brain.

  • A civil engineer reflects on the I-35 bridge collapse and its aftermath

    A Minute With™... Robert H. Dodds Jr., a professor and head of the department of civil and environmental engineering

  • Professor Xiao Su, left, graduate student Stephen Cotty, center, and postdoctoral researcher Kwiyong Kim have developed an energy-efficient device that selectively absorbs a highly toxic form of arsenic in water and converts it into a far less toxic form.

    Advanced polymers help streamline water purification, environmental remediation

    It takes a lot of energy to collect, clean and dispose of contaminated water. Some contaminants, like arsenic, occur in low concentrations, calling for even more energy-intensive selective removal processes.

  • Professor Paul Braun and graduate student Chunjie Zhang developed a continuous glucose-monitoring system that changes color when glucose levels rise.

    A glucose meter of a different color provides continuous monitoring

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois engineers are bringing a touch of color to glucose monitoring.

  • Agricultural and biological engineering professor Girish Chowdhary is leading a team that includes crop scientists, computer scientists and engineers in developing TerraSentia, a crop phenotyping robot.

    Ag robot speeds data collection, analyses of crops as they grow

    A new lightweight, low-cost agricultural robot, developed by a team of scientists at the University of Illinois, could transform data collection and field scouting for agronomists, seed companies and farmers.

     

  • Supportive social media messages from online friends decreased the state anxiety of students with high test anxiety by 21 percent, University of Illinois computer science graduate student Robert Deloatch found in a new study. The paper, which is being published in the proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, was co-written by computer science professors Brian P. Bailey, Alex Kirlik and Craig Zilles.

    A little support from their online friends calms test-anxious students

    Reading supportive comments, “likes” and private messages from social media friends prior to taking a test may help college students who have high levels of test-anxiety reduce their nervousness by 21 percent and improve their scores, researchers at the University of Illinois found.

  • Alumnus wins fellowship, will work on prosthesis project in Guatemala

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A recent University of Illinois graduate has received a Whitaker International Fellow Grant to fund overseas bioengineering research during the 2012-13 academic year.

  • AmpliMy project to give a voice to those who have trouble being heard

    Alexis Wernsing, a University of Illinois student majoring in art history, has cerebral palsy, and her voice is not powerful. She is working with industrial design professor Deana McDonagh and Skot Wiedmann, a graduate of the School of Art and Design and a technician in electrical and computer engineering, who will design and build a voice amplifier called AmpliMy.

  • Andreas C. Cangellaris, the head of the department of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois, has been chosen as the next dean of the College of Engineering.

    Andreas C. Cangellaris to lead U. of I. College of Engineering

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill - Andreas C. Cangellaris, the head of the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been chosen to be the next dean of the College of Engineering.

  • Sheldon Jacobson

    A perfect March Madness bracket? That's a long shot.

    A Minute With™... computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson

  • Sheldon H. Jacobson

    Are there still holes in aviation security, 10 years after 9/11?

    A Minute With™... aviation security expert Sheldon H. Jacobson

  • Industrial and enterprise systems engineering professor Lavanya Marla and collaborators used artificial intelligence to design a customized pricing model for airline customers.

    Artificial intelligence could help air travelers save a bundle

    Researchers are using artificial intelligence to help airlines price ancillary services such as checked bags and seat reservations in a way that is beneficial to customers’ budget and privacy, as well as to the airline industry’s bottom line.

  • Scott Weisberg, left, professor Saurabh Sinha, seated, Mohammad (Sam) Hamedi Rad and professor Huimin Zhao have combined a fully automated robotic platform with artificial intelligence to develop a new way to manufacture chemicals.

    Artificial intelligence to run the chemical factories of the future

    A new proof-of-concept study details how an automated system driven by artificial intelligence can design, build, test and learn complex biochemical pathways to efficiently produce lycopene, a red pigment found in tomatoes and commonly used as a food coloring, opening the door to a wide range of biosynthetic applications, researchers report.  

  • Sheldon Jacobson

    A scientist's view of NCAA tournament brackets

    A Minute With™...  computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson

  • A team of researchers developed a new broad-spectrum antibiotic that kills bacteria by punching holes in their membranes. Front row, from left: materials science and engineering professor Jianjun and postdoctoral researcher Yan Bao. Back row, from left: postdoctoral researcher Menghau Xiong, graduate students Ziyuan Song and Rachael Mansbach, materials science and engineering professor Andrew Ferguson, and biochemistry professor Lin-Feng Cheng.

    Bacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibiotic

    Bacteria have many methods of adapting to resist antibiotics, but a new class of spiral polypeptides developed at the University of Illinois targets one thing no bacterium can live without: an outer membrane.

  • Topography of a red blood cell as measured by the SLIM optical technique. Though the cell keeps its shape as it ages, the membrane becomes less flexible.

    Banked blood grows stiffer with age, study finds

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - It may look like fresh blood and flow like fresh blood, but the longer blood is stored, the less it can carry oxygen into the tiny microcapillaries of the body, says a new study from University of Illinois researchers.

  • Basar named College of Engineering interim dean

    Tamer Basar has been named the interim dean of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's College of Engineering effective Jan. 16, subject to approval of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

  • Bashir named College of Engineering dean

    Rashid Bashir, the executive associate dean and chief diversity officer of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, will become the next dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign effective Nov. 1.

  • Paul Braun, professor of materials science and engineering, center, led the research group of graduate student Xindi Yu, left, and postdoctoral researcher Huigang Zhang that developed a three-dimensional nanostructure for battery cathodes that allows for dramatically faster charging and discharging without sacrificing energy storage capacity.

    Batteries charge very quickly and retain capacity, thanks to new structure

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The batteries in Illinois professor Paul Braun's lab look like any others, but they pack a surprise inside.

  • Civil and environmental engineering professor Praveen Kumar led research that determined bioenergy crops such as miscanthus can store more carbon in the soil than traditional corn or soybean crops.

    Bioenergy crops could store more carbon in soil

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In addition to providing renewable energy, grass crops like switchgrass and miscanthus could store some of the carbon they pull from the atmosphere in the soil, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers.

  • University of Illinois postdoctoral researcher Prabuddha Mukherjee, left, bioengineering professors Rohit Bhargava and Dipanjan Pan, and postdoctoral researcher Santosh Misra report the development of a new class of carbon nanoparticles for biomedical use.

    Biomedical breakthrough: Carbon nanoparticles you can make at home

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers have found an easy way to produce carbon nanoparticles that are small enough to evade the body’s immune system, reflect light in the near-infrared range for easy detection, and carry payloads of pharmaceutical drugs to targeted tissues.

  • University of Illinois postdoctoral researcher Prabuddha Mukherjee, left, bioengineering professors Rohit Bhargava and Dipanjan Pan, and postdoctoral researcher Santosh Misra report the development of a new class of carbon nanoparticles for biomedical use.

    Biomedical breakthrough: Carbon nanoparticles you can make at home

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers have found an easy way to produce carbon nanoparticles that are small enough to evade the body’s immune system, reflect light in the near-infrared range for easy detection, and carry payloads of pharmaceutical drugs to targeted tissues.

  • Sheldon H. Jacobson

    Bracketology: Crunching the numbers

    A Minute With™... computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson

  • Bragg named interim dean of College of Engineering

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Michael B. Bragg has been named interim dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois.

  • Materials science and engineering professor Shen Dillion uses electron microscopy and targeted laser heating for ultra-high temperature testing of aeronautical materials.

    Breaking the temperature barrier in small-scale materials testing

    Researchers have demonstrated a new method for testing microscopic aeronautical materials at ultra-high temperatures. By combining electron microscopy and laser heating, scientists can evaluate these materials much more quickly and inexpensively than with traditional testing.

  • William L. Everitt

    BTN premieres documentary on pioneering educator

    “William L. Everitt: An Optimist’s Journey” premieres Nov. 11 at 9:30 p.m. CST/10:30 p.m. EST on the Big Ten Network. The new 30-minute documentary tells the story of the inventor, author, visionary and former dean of what is now The Grainger College of Engineering.

     

  • Electrical and computer engineering professor Eric Pop, from left, worked with undergraduate Yang Zhao and graduate student Albert Liao, both in ECE, to demonstrate a remarkable increase in the current-carrying capacity of carbon nanotubes.

    Carbon nanotube avalanche process nearly doubles current

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - By pushing carbon nanotubes close to their breaking point, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated a remarkable increase in the current-carrying capacity of the nanotubes, well beyond what was previously thought possible.

  • Illinois researchers used ultrafast pulses of tailored light to make neurons fire in different patterns, the first example of coherent control in a living cell.

    Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity

    Specially tailored, ultrafast pulses of light can trigger neurons to fire and could one day help patients with light-sensitive circadian or mood problems, according to a new study in mice at the University of Illinois.

  • Carle Illinois College of Medicine research affiliation agreement completed

    Leaders of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health System announced the completion of a set of agreements and policies related to joint research practices and governance of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

  • Professor Ning Wang led a team that found that tumor-repopulating cancer cells can go dormant in stiffer tissues but wake up and multiply when placed in a softer environment.

    Cell mechanics may hold key to how cancer spreads and recurs

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Cancer cells that break away from tumors to go looking for a new home may prefer to settle into a soft bed, according to new findings from researchers at the University of Illinois.

  • Illinois researchers Praveen Kumar and graduate student Susana Roque-Malo examined the significance of nonextreme precipitation in context of global climate change.

    Changes in nonextreme precipitation may have not-so-subtle consequences

    Major floods and droughts receive a lot of attention in the context of climate change, but University of Illinois researchers analyzed over five decades of precipitation data from North America to find that changes in nonextreme precipitation are more significant than previously realized and larger than those in extreme precipitation. These changes can have a strong effect on ecosystems, agriculture, infrastructure design and resource management, and point to a need to examine precipitation in a more nuanced, multifaceted way.

  • Portrait of professor Gary Parker at the Sangamon River in Mahomet, Illinois.

    Channel migration plays leading role in river network evolution, study finds

    Satellite views of Earth’s major river systems reveal their familiar treelike drainage patterns. The pattern – called dendritic – and its prevalence suggests that it may be the optimal state in which rivers exist. Challenged by the knowledge that numerical models of drainage evolution have yet to substantiate this assumption, researchers are now thinking of rivers as existing in a persistent reorganizational state instead of being in a set, stable configuration. Understanding this has implications for land use and infrastructure management decisions.

  • Illinois professor Alek Aksimentiev and graduate student Manish Shankla found that it is possible to control how DNA goes through a graphene nanopore for sequencing by applying an electric charge to the graphene.

    Charged graphene gives DNA a stage to perform molecular gymnastics

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - When Illinois researchers set out to investigate a method to control how DNA moves through a tiny sequencing device, they did not know they were about to witness a display of molecular gymnastics.

  • Professor Kristopher Kilian led a research team that developed a chemical array to culture metastatic cancer cells so that different treatments can be tested on them.

    Chemical array draws out malignant cells to guide individualized cancer treatment

    Melanoma is a particularly difficult cancer to treat once it has metastasized, spreading throughout the body. University of Illinois researchers are using chemistry to find the deadly, elusive malignant cells within a melanoma tumor that hold the potential to spread.

  • Illinois researchers developed a method to etch tall, thin transistors for high performance with less error. Pictured, from left: professor Ilesanmi Adesida, graduate student Yi Song and professor Xiuling Li.

    Chemical etching method helps transistors stand tall

    University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to etch very tall, narrow finFETs, a type of transistor that forms a tall semiconductor “fin” for the current to travel over.

  • Photo of researchers Yun Liu and Jeffrey Moore

    Chemical reactions break free from energy barriers using flyby trajectories

    A new study shows that it is possible to use mechanical force to deliberately alter chemical reactions and increase chemical selectivity – a grand challenge of the field.  

  • Civil and environmental engineering professor Helen Nguyen has found that water-softening additives may increase the risk of pathogen release into drinking water by weakening the grip that bacteria have on pipe interiors.

    Chemicals that keep drinking water flowing may also cause fouling

    Many city drinking water systems add softening agents to keep plumbing free of pipe-clogging mineral buildup. According to new research, these additives may amplify the risk of pathogen release into drinking water by weakening the grip that bacteria – like those responsible for Legionnaires’ disease – have on pipe interiors.  

  • Bioengineering professor Jennifer Amos displays the children's book "Jenny Saves a Convertible," published through a project with Illinois Engineering Ambassadors.

    Children's book by U of I students teaches third graders about automotive engineering

    A new book written and illustrated by two recent alumnae of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign introduces third graders to the nuts and bolts of automotive mechanics and engineering.

  • Ian Brooks, the director of the Center for Health Informatics

    CHIME in Illinois puts students to work on COVID-related data science projects

    An international public health initiative connects students and public health agencies with data-information needs.

  • Researchers have demonstrated a new fabrication technique that allows them replicate the nanostructures found on cicada wings that make them water- and microbe-repellent.

    Cicada-inspired waterproof surfaces closer to reality, researchers report

    A multidisciplinary group that studies the physical and chemical properties of insect wings has demonstrated the ability to reproduce the nanostructures that help cicada wings repel water and prevent bacteria from establishing on the surface. The new technique – which uses commercial nail polish – is economical and straightforward, and the researchers said it will help fabricate future high-tech waterproof materials.

  • Click beetles can jump without the aid of their limbs when they are tipped onto their backsides. A team of University of Illinois researchers are examining this mechanism to engineer self-righting robots.

    Click beetles inspire design of self-righting robots

    Robots perform many tasks that humans can’t or don’t want to perform, getting around on intricately designed wheels and limbs. If they tip over, however, they are rendered almost useless. A team of University of Illinois mechanical engineers and entomologists are looking to click beetles, who can right themselves without the use of their legs, to solve this robotics challenge.

  • Researchers developed a rapid sensing gel to measure a molecular marker of eye injury in a teardrop. From left: Carle opthamologist Dr. Laura Labriola, Illinois visiting scholar Ketan Dighe and professor Dipanjan Pan.

    Color-changing sensor detects signs of eye damage in tears

    A new point-of-care rapid-sensing device can detect a key marker of eye injury in minutes – a time frame crucial to treating eye trauma.  

    University of Illinois researchers developed a gel laden with gold nanoparticles that changes color when it reacts with a teardrop containing ascorbic acid, released from a wound to the eye. In a new study published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the researchers used the sensor, called OjoGel, to measure ascorbic acid levels in artificial tears and in clinical samples of fluid from patients’ eyes. 

  • Committee to identify, recruit founding dean for Carle Illinois College of Medicine

    A search committee established to find the Carle Illinois College of Medicine’s inaugural dean will begin its work this month with the goal of naming the dean by spring 2016

  • University of Illinois engineers developed a method to computationally correct aberrations in three-dimensional tissue microscopy. From left, postdoctoral researcher Steven Adie, professor P. Scott Carney, graduate students Adeel Ahmad and Benedikt Graf, and professor Stephen Boppart.

    Computing the best high-resolution 3-D tissue images

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Real-time, 3-D microscopic tissue imaging could be a revolution for medical fields such as cancer diagnosis, minimally invasive surgery and ophthalmology. University of Illinois researchers have developed a technique to computationally correct for aberrations in optical tomography, bringing the future of medical imaging into focus.

  • Researchers Sheldon H. Jacobson, right, and Douglas M. King developed a new computer algorithm that may offer state legislators a new solution to the contentious task of congressional redistricting.

    Congressional redistricting less contentious when resolved using computer algorithm

    Concerns that the process of U.S. congressional redistricting may be politically biased have fueled many debates, but a team of University of Illinois computer scientists and engineers has developed a new computer algorithm that may make the task easier for state legislatures and fairer for their constituents.

  • Contest to give student teams chance to launch a business

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A contest at the University of Illinois that gets under way Aug. 30 will give student teams the opportunity to compete for $20,000 in prizes by drafting a plan for developing a technological idea into a viable commercial venture.