Radioactive soil remediationIn March 2011, following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, radioactive contaminants were released at the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility. Since then, the radioactive contaminant cesium 137 (Cs-137) has been detected in the soil in areas surrounding the facility, and scientists have been exploring cost-effective ways to clean up the site that do more than just move the contaminates from one place to another or unintentionally create a chain reaction of contamination throughout the entire ecosystem. Continue reading

Wireless glove controls computersDouglas Engelbart (’48 EE) invented the first point-and-click mouse in 1964, and numerous variations on the original design have surfaced since then. For their 21st-century senior project, electrical and computer engineering students Mushfiqur Sarker, Anton Bilbaeno, and Jason Muhlestein sought to make computer interaction even more intuitive by eliminating the need to be tethered to a mouse. Their solution is a glove that allows users to wirelessly control their computers. Continue reading

Push-button home brewingCraft beers and microbreweries are growing increasingly popular throughout the country. The Automated Home Brewing System created by electrical and computer engineering students Ryan Beert, Brett Stephens, and Paul Larson allows home brewers of any experience level to join the fun and experiment with their own recipes and ideas. Crafting a microbrew is now as simple as making a loaf of bread in a bread maker. Continue reading

Banking dried blood cellsToday, the American Red Cross collects red blood cells via individual donation, and then processes and stores them in liquid form. The cells must be used within a month or else they become waste. Research has shown that spray-dried blood cells theoretically are viable for up to 20 years, but researchers are still looking for optimal ways to dry and store them. Continue reading

Swimming prosthesis improves strokeProsthetic legs gave 56-year-old Jeffery Evans the ability to walk, but the exercise eventually proved too hard on his legs, so he took up swimming instead. Swimming, however, also has been a challenge. Luckily, Evans was able to sponsor a senior project that enabled mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering students to develop a prosthetic swim fin to further perfect and improve the efficiency of his stroke. The fin designed by students Alex Demith, Ian Lawson, and James Cooper is allowing Evans to keep swimming and stay fit while improving his mobility. Continue reading