Posts Tagged 'Electrical Engineering'

Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Competition

Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) is a student design competition that is sponsored by NASA and managed by the National Institute of Aerospace.  RASC-AL was formed to provide university-level engineering students with the opportunity to design projects based on NASA engineering challenges as well as offer NASA access to new research and design projects by students.

RASC-AL is open to undergraduate and graduate university-level students studying fields with applications to human space exploration (i.e., aerospace, bio-medical, electrical, and mechanical engineering; and life, physical, and computer sciences).  RASC-AL projects allow students to incorporate their coursework into real aerospace design concepts and work together in a team environment. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.

Through RASC-AL, student teams and their faculty advisors will work to develop mission architectures to employ innovative solutions in response to one of the 3 following themes:
  • Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Flexible Mission Architecture Designs
  • Human-Focused Mars Mission Systems and Technologies
  • Human Lunar Access and Initial Exploration
BRAND NEW WAY TO PARTICIPATE IN 2013!

Teams can choose to participate in RASC-AL in one of two different ways:
  1. By developing a complete, integrated, end-to-end architecture addressing one of the three themes listed above (the traditional option); OR
  2. By performing a thorough system design of a supporting element such as a mobility system, habitat or lander (the advanced concept option).
In 2013, up to eighteen will be chosen to compete at the RASC-AL Forum in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Each team will receive a travel stipend to help defray the cost of attending the RASC-AL Forum. The teams with the top two winning papers will be invited to present their design projects to industry experts at a major Aerospace conference, such as Space 2013 (additional travel stipends provided).
Interested in RASC-AL?  Click here for more details.
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Rice Hall Opens

Technology that could transform life as we know it and improve the human condition – that’s the vision behind the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science’s new Rice Hall Information Technology Engineering Building. The building will open at the beginning of the fall semester for classes.

The state-of-the-art space will allow faculty and students to conduct research and learn in such areas as high-performance computing, computer visualization, computer security, energy conservation, wireless communications, telemedicine, virtual reality, distributed multimedia and distance learning.

As the new home for the Department of Computer Science and the Computer Engineering Program, Rice Hall will also feature unique space for lab work, lectures and studying.

“This building is a huge step forward for the Engineering School,” said Dean James H. Aylor at Rice Hall’s groundbreaking in April 2009. “With labs and study areas designed for collaborative research, and facilities to enhance our distance-education programs, this building will benefit the Engineering School, the University and citizens of the commonwealth for years to come.”

The creation of Rice Hall was made possible by a lead gift of $10 million from Paul and Gina Rice, through the Rice Family Foundation.

On the Rice Hall website, Paul Rice, a 1975 electrical engineering alumnus, wrote: “The real promise of what will happen here is the 21st-century extension of the Academical Village and what will be made possible by the technologies that are used, developed and explored in these places. The village won’t simply exist then in these buildings or on this campus, but across the state, across the nation and globe. We have only really begun to understand the way in which these technologies can enhance human performance and accomplishment and how they can improve the human condition.”

Additional funding for the $65.5 million Rice Hall project came from U.Va., the state and from other U.Va. alumni and friends.

The building was designed by Bohlin Cynwinski Jackson and is being constructed by W.M. Jordan Company.

Located at the corner of Whitehead and Stadium roads behind Olsson Hall, Rice Hall consists of six stories covering 100,000 square feet. It is designed to be Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design-certified, commonly known as LEED. It also will be at the forefront of air and power technology, noted senior project manager Craig Hilten of Facilities Management.

Rice Hall’s “chilled beams” use water instead of air to remove heat from rooms – a new technology for University facilities. With sophisticated technologies for heating, cooling and lighting, and including energy recovery systems, Rice Hall also will function as a living laboratory on energy use.

When it opens, students and faculty going about their daily routines in the building will help researchers learn how to optimize the latest energy technologies for large buildings. The building’s instrumentation systems will collect data that will allow managers to optimize its energy consumption. The research also could inform behaviors, such as closing doors or powering down equipment to help reduce energy consumption.

Both undergraduate and graduate students will benefit from specialized lab spaces on all six floors. The largest is the Design Laboratory, located on the first floor, where Introduction to Engineering classes will be taught. With folding doors, it opens and connects to the courtyard, providing space for lab work that must be completed outside.

Also, space in the basement provides the appropriate environment for lab procedures that require specialized lighting. They include the Light Measurement Laboratory and the Visualization Lab.  The floors, ceilings and walls are black, reducing stray light and enhancing image presentation.

Equipped with enhanced audio and video capabilities, Rice Hall also supports the Engineering School’s distance-learning initiatives and teleconferencing – especially benefitting the PRODUCED in Virginia engineering program, in which students earn a four-year engineering degree from U.Va. while attending local community colleges.

Other features of Rice Hall include a 150-seat lecture hall, a cyber cafe, an Einstein’s Bagels eatery and a lobby – all located on the first floor.

Rice Hall will be formally dedicated Nov. 18.

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Reposted from the Aug. 8, 2011 issue of UVa Today.  By Julia Wang.

New IEEE Xplore Database Interface

As you may have seen, the IEEE Xplore digital library has been upgraded.

The Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library has a full-text subscription that gives you access to IEEE documents from www.ieee.org/ieeexplore.

The new IEEE Xplore is now easier to use and has more value-added features.  You will be able to find articles faster with a new search engine and enhanced functionality.  Learn about new features and tips on how to use the new IEEE Xplore by visiting www.ieee.org/newieeexplore where you will be able to:

  • Sign up for free training: Live, online training available as well as pre-recorded tutorials
  • Watch the demo video: See the three-minute video demonstration of the new features
  • View the new brochure: “Experience the New IEEE Xplore Digital Library.”  A printable PDF of all the new features
  • Search tip sheets: A one page reference with tips and tricks to make searching more effective

What are the new features?

  • New interface design — intuitive, easy-to-navigate
  • New search engine — faster and more robust search results
  • Faceted search — post-search refinements allow you to narrow or expand your initial search
  • Personalization — set your preferences, save searchers, create alerts…and more

Visit the new IEEE Xplore at www.ieee.org/ieeexplore

If you have any questions, please contact Fred O’Bryant, Applied Sciences Librarian, at jfo@virginia.edu or stop by any UVa library.

Squeezing Out More Power

Piezoelectric Material Harvests Record Amount Of Energy.

Technology Review (1/29) reports, “Researchers at Princeton University have created” a piezoelectric material that “can harness 80 percent of the energy applied when it is flexed–four times more than existing flexible piezoelectric materials.” The researchers used PZT, “the most efficient piezoelectric material known, but its crystalline structure means that it must be grown at high temperatures, which normally melt a flexible substrate. The Princeton researchers, led by mechanical engineering professor Michael McAlpine, got around this by making PZT at high temperatures and then transferring thin ribbons of the material onto silicone.” The researchers are particularly focused on biomedical applications.

The above reposted from the January 29, 2010 issue of ASEE First Bell.

Seeing in the Dark

The following is reposted from the January 14, 2010 issue of ASEE First Bell.

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Toyota Developing Night Vision System Based On Insects.

Popular Science (1/14, Hsu) reports that engineers at Toyota have developed a night vision system using a “new digital image-processing algorithm” that “takes inspiration from nocturnal dung beetles, bees and moths that can see across a remarkable range of color, brightness and shadow.” The system, which requires only “a standard digital camera and typical PC graphics card,” is reportedly capable of capturing “full-color images at night from a car moving at high speeds, and can even adapt to light levels automatically,” thereby eliminating issues “with the sudden blinding bright lights of an oncoming vehicle.” The design stems from research done by Eric Warrant of the University of Lund in Sweden, who “was first to create a mathematical model describing how ‘local adaptive spatiotemporal smoothing’ works.”

Database of the Week: Inspec

Inspec includes bibliographic citations and indexed abstracts from publications in the fields of physics, electrical and electronic engineering, communications, computer science, control engineering, information technology, manufacturing and mechanical engineering, operations research, material science, oceanography, engineering mathematics, nuclear engineering, environmental science, geophysics, nanotechnology, biomedical technology and biophysics.  Coverage extends from 1969 to the present.

Inspec is a part of the Engineering Village suite of databases.  You may begin searching the database at Inspec.

Inspec is one of many information resources brought to you by the Brown Science and Engineering Library!  Ask for a demonstration of this database or about other resources that can help you work faster, smarter and better!

(Use of this database from this address restricted to University of Virginia users only.  Please contact a librarian for assistance, if you are having trouble connecting.)

Robotic Bees

Harvard Researchers Developing Robotic Bees.

Computerworld (10/8, Cooney) reports, “Harvard University researchers recently got a $10 million grant to create a colony of flying robotic bees, or RoboBees to among other things, spur innovation in ultra-low-power computing and electronic ‘smart’ sensors; and refine coordination algorithms to manage multiple, independent machines.”  The research “could lead to a better understanding of how to artificially mimic the unique collective behavior and intelligence of a bee colony; foster novel methods for designing and building an electronic surrogate nervous system able to deftly sense and adapt to changing environments; and advance work on the construction of small-scale flying mechanical devices,” according to the school.  “The bees will be made up of a variety of technologies including UV and optical sensors as well as pollination and docking capabilities, the researchers stated.  In addition, achieving autonomous flight will require compact high-energy power sources and associated electronics, integrated seamlessly into the ‘body’ of the machine, researchers stated.”

Reposted from the October 8, 2009 ASEE First Bell briefing.


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