Mentions

2022

June


First Aim Higher Defense Manufacturing Summit

The Aim Higher Defense Manufacturing Summit brought industry, academia, and government partners together this week to focus on U.S. defense technology, research and development, supply chain, and workforce needs. CMU hosted the event with Pitt and Catalyst Connection, which leads the Aim Higher Consortium. Industry, academia, and Department of Defense partners convened this week at the Defense Manufacturing Summit to focus on U.S. defense technology, research and development, supply chain, and workforce needs. The summit was hosted by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh in conjunction with the Aim Higher Consortium, a program lead by Catalyst Connection, a local not-for-profit organization that provides consulting and training services to small manufacturers in southwestern Pennsylvania.


Ozis is the 2022 Chair of the Environmental Engineering Division of the ASEE
ASEE

CEE’s Fethiye Ozis is the 2022 Chair of the Environmental Engineering Division (EED) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Among her various leadership activities in her role as EED Division Chair, Ozis has done much to help organize EED activities at the 2022 Annual Conference of ASEE in Minneapolis that launched on Sunday, June 26. Ozis previously served as an instructor for the ASCE Excellence in Civil Engineering Education program, making her, as CEE Head Dave Dzombak put it, “a teacher of teachers.”


Tucker to co-chair workshop on AI and justified confidence
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

MechE’s Conrad Tucker has been invited to serve as co-chair for “Artificial Intelligence and Justified Confidence: A Workshop” by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The planning committee will develop a workshop to explore how to improve the robustness of machine learning and other artificial intelligence (ML/AI) technologies to better enable their successful implementation in the Army’s Command and Control (C2) operations. The kickoff meeting is Wednesday, June 29.


DOE partners with CMU for 2022 Global Clean Energy Action Forum
Department of Energy

The Department of Energy has partnered with CMU to launch the 2022 Global Clean Energy Action Forum. The forum will take place in Pittsburgh on September 21-23. The event will bring energy leaders from around the world to discuss taking action to accelerate the transition to a more secure energy future. “Carnegie Mellon is thrilled to partner with the Department of Energy and brings our community together to host international leaders for this climate forum in Pittsburgh, a region that has radically changed the trajectory of its energy future over the past generation,” said CMU’s President Farnam Jahanian.


CMU Africa celebrates ninth graduation ceremony
CMU-Africa

CMU Africa’s class of 2022, 2021, and 2020 celebrated their graduations during the first in-person graduation event for CMU Africa since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The ceremony included speeches by Dean Bill Sanders, valedictorian Adebayo Ayomide Oshingbesan, and Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, the Rwandan Minister for Education.


Michalek quoted in Marketplace article about electric vehicles
Marketplace

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek was quoted in a recent article on Marketplace on Electric Vehicles (EVs). Michalek was interviewed about his experience and expertise on the sparse infrastructure for EVs. He explains that if people are going to adopt EVs en masse they have to be able to travel with them and own them even if they live in an apartment. “If you don’t have off-street parking, you need to know that you are going to have access to public chargers and be able to reliably charge your vehicle,” Michalek said.


Carley interviewed on CNN on bots on social media
CNN

CyLab/EPP’s Kathleen Carley was interviewed on CNN’s Early Start program for her expertise on social media bots and their impact on information circulation. Carley explains that the proportion of bots to active users on Twitter is much higher than the proportion of bots to all users and she discusses the common ways bots are used on sites like Twitter, often to boost the message of state propaganda news outlets or pretend to be an expert or a group of likeminded people who agree to spread misinformation. “I want to stress that the bots usually aren’t the source of the misinformation, they are usually spreading the information published by other websites.”


Cranor’s article on online privacy published in the WSJ
Wall Street Journal

CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal titled, “How Everyone Can Get the Online Privacy They Want.” The article discusses what a consumer can do to tailor their online experience and determine what apps are allowed access to their information. The article cites CyLab research by Lorrie Cranor that found that people do not pay too much attention to how their web cookies are used despite being concerned for their internet privacy. The article discusses the various research projects CyLab is engaged in developing AI and other automation that will be able to manage your cookies for you, reducing the barriers involved in managing your cookies and other data permissions.


Wolf featured on additive manufacturing
Velo 3D

MFI/NextManufacturing’s Sandra DeVincent Wolf spoke about the unique benefits of additive manufacturing versus traditional manufacturing on the new episode of the @Velo3D podcast, #LaserFocused.


Presto quoted on air pollution and heart disease
Fatherly

MechE’s Albert Presto was quoted in Fatherly on various air filtration systems to protect yourself from air pollution. “The better the filter, the faster it will get clogged, so it needs to get replaced more often than a filter that lets a lot of particles through,” Presto said. He explains that inside the home, a HEPA filter is the best air filtration system on the market. But it’s expensive and has to be replaced often. Presto explains that most air filters use the MERV system in which the higher the MERV number, the more efficient the device is at filtering particles out of the air, which is useful to check when buying air filters.


Schaefer accepted to NACUBO Emerging Leaders Program
NACUBO

CEE’s Cathy Schaefer has been accepted for the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Emerging Leaders Program. The NACUBO Emerging Leaders Program seeks to advance the careers of mid-level managers by: (i) enhancing participants’ personal leadership skills for their current roles and future opportunities; (ii) helping participants examine the workings and impact of the higher education business office and cross-campus relationships; (iii) giving participants a better understanding of the present state and possible futures of higher education; (iv) broadening participants’ networks.


CMU ranked as the nation’s top tech transfer institution
Heartland Forward

CMU has been ranked #1 overall in the Heartland Forward index of University Technology Transfer and Commercialization. The Heartland Foundation, a “think and do tank” focused on economic renewal in the United States, ranked the top universities in America in terms of “which universities are most proficient at creating new knowledge; embedding it in their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates; and transferring both to new and existing enterprises.”


Scott Institute announces 2022 seed grants for five projects
Scott Institute

The Scott Institute has announced its latest seed grant awards worth $1.42 million to five research projects led by CMU Engineering faculty. This is the 10th annual round of grants awarded by the Scott Institute. Funding recipients include CEE’s Corey Harper, ChemE’s Gabriel dos Passos Gomes and Zachary Ulissi, CMU-Africa/ECE’s Barry Rawn, MechE’s Shawn Litster, and MSE’s Chris Pistorius.


Michalek quoted on EVs
Lifewire

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek was quoted in Lifewire about new federal Electric Vehicle (EV) charging rules. These rules include new standards for the national EV charging network to homogenize the payment systems, pricing, charging speeds, and more. “For long-distance travel, a robust network of chargers along major routes, like highway rest stops, is needed,” Michalek said, “If the network is sized for ordinary days, there will be huge queues and massive wait times on peak travel days. If the network is sized for peak travel days, there will be a lot of investment in infrastructure that goes unused on most days.”


Qian discusses work zones and road accidents
Route Fifty

CEE’s Sean Qian has co-authored a study examining the connection between work zones and road accidents. Using data from Pennsylvania, his team, including CEE Head Burcu Akinci, observed that while crashes are more frequent on busier roads, the length of a work zone is what makes a difference. Shorter work zones tend to decrease the number of crashes. This research has practical applications. Qian told Route Fifty, “How do you make the decision of how to deploy the work zone? We don’t have a solution for it in this one single paper, but we are providing additional numbers for state agencies to consider when they make a decision.”


Zhang delivers lecture at ECCOMAS
ECCOMAS Congress 2022

MechE’s Jessica Zhang delivered a semi-plenary lecture at the 8th European Congress on Computational Methods in Applied Sciences and Engineering (ECCOMAS Congress 2022) in Oslo, Norway on June 5-9, 2022. She presented her latest research on machine learning-enhanced simulation and PDE-constrained optimization for material transport control in neurons. In addition, Zhang was also invited to be a mentor in the ECCOMAS Young Investigators Career Forum, during which young researchers have the opportunity to interact in small groups with scientists at different career stages to gain essential insights into the academic application process and receive tips for their next career steps.


Samaras interviewed in Bloomberg article on cryptocurrency
Bloomberg Tax

CEE’s Costa Samaras was interviewed by Bloomberg Tax in an article that discusses different methods, both legislatively and privately driven, that could reduce the massive carbon emissions associated with cryptocurrency. “It’s important, if this is going to be part of our financial system in any meaningful way, that it’s developed responsibly and minimizes total emissions,” Samaras said. “When we think about digital assets, it has to be a climate and energy conversation.”


Whitefoot quoted on electric vehicles
Vox

EPP/MechE’s Katie Whitefoot was quoted in a Vox article for her expertise in electric vehicles in public policy. “Efficiency regulations are still really important even as automakers are making pledges to electrify their fleets,” Whitefoot said. The article describes the various hurdles in converting our U.S. car population to electric vehicles. The car industry moves slowly and no matter how fast we convert to electric vehicles it could still take decades to get gas-powered cars off the street since the average lifespan of a car is 11 years. Car companies are also less inclined to take risks as the economy falters. “Uncertainty in and of itself has a lot of impact on the industry in terms of long R&D planning,” Whitefoot explains.


Rollet awarded the 2024 ASM Gold Medal Award
ASM International

MSE’s Anthony Rollett will receive the 2024 ASM Gold Medal Award for “significant contributions to the development and use of simulations in Materials Science and Engineering to model grain growth, recrystallization, and deformation in three dimensions.” The ASM Gold Medal Award began in 1943 as a way to recognize achievements in the field of materials science and engineering. The award will be presented at the ASM Awards Dinner during the International Materials, Applications & Technologies (IMAT) 2024.


Dickey wins Sosman award
Sosman Award Committee

MSE Head Elizabeth Dickey is the recipient of the 2023 Sosman Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in basic science that results in a significant impact and advancement in the field of ceramics. The Robert B. Sosman Award is the highest recognition of scientific accomplishment given by the Basic Science Division of ACerS and is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in basic science of an area that results in a significant impact to the field of ceramics. The award will be presented at a plenary lecture at MS&T in October.


Michalek quoted on environmental impact of electric vehicles
Newsweek

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek spoke with Newsweek about determining the carbon footprint of electric vehicles. He says it’s important to consider a car’s power source, as well as the manufacturing strategies. “Emissions from producing electric vehicle batteries are an important part of overall life cycle implications, but the use phase is the larger factor, so getting electricity to charge the vehicle from a clean source can more than make up for the higher production emissions,” he said.


Rajkumar quoted on Tesla issues
Gizmodo

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar was quoted in Gizmodo on the drawbacks of steering technology in self-driving cars amid new reports of Teslas randomly braking on the road. “It’s very easy to bypass the steering pressure thing. It’s been going on since 2014. We’ve been discussing this for a long time now,” he says.


He quoted on novel technology to localize epileptic seizures
Diagnostics World

BME’s Bin He was featured in a recent Diagnostics World piece highlighting neuroengineering technology. He’s group is working to help solve clinical neuroscience and neurology problems, as illustrated in his latest work which uses only 10 minutes of resting state electrophysiological recordings to localize seizure onset brain regions and predict seizure outcomes in epilepsy patients.


Gounaris named director of new Shared Computing Facility

ChemE’s Chrysanthos Gounaris was named director of the new Shared Computing Facility at the College of Engineering. The on-campus resource is scheduled to operate in full-swing by the spring semester and will be available for use to all students, researchers, and faculty within the college.


Michalek quoted on school bus environmental impact
Popular Science

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek was quoted in Popular Science article about the new federal Clean School Bus Program. The program aims to replace diesel-powered school buses with electric buses over the next five years. “When diesel is burned in a bus engine, it produces fine particulate matter—particles with a diameter much smaller than human hair—that floats in the air and lodge deep in our lungs when we breathe them in,” Michalek said. He further explained the dangers of carbon pollution in an urban environment and also that electric buses are not “pollution-free” as it still pollutes the environment to produce the batteries for vehicles like these.


Morgan quoted on U.S. power infrastructure
Washington Post

EPP’s Granger Morgan was quoted in a Washington Post article for his opinion on the growing concerns with the United State’s aging power infrastructure. The article focuses on the increasing frequency of rolling blackouts across the U.S.’s midwest due to environmental issues and out-of-date and failing power infrastructure. Morgan gave his opinion on the legislation surrounding these power grids. “The problem is there is nobody in charge....We don’t have the national regulatory arrangements and incentives in place to implement this energy transition in a coherent and rapid-enough manner,” Morgan said.


Jaramillo quoted on hydrogen as a climate solution
WESA

EPP’s Paulina Jaramillo was quoted in a recent WESA article on hydrogen as a power source that could be part of the solution to climate change. She was quoted as an expert for her contribution to a recent U.N. report on climate change. “I think hydrogen is crucial....If we’re going to produce hydrogen with natural gas, it must have carbon capture and sequestration.” Jaramillo said.


Yim and Johnson quoted on small robotics
IEEE Spectrum

MechE’s Aaron Johnson and Justin Yim were quoted in an IEEE Spectrum article highlighting their work in small humanoid robots. Their work was displayed at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation(ICRA). The presentation highlighted a 15-centimeter bipedal robot. “Our goal with this project is to make miniature walking robots, as small as a LEGO Minifigure (1-centimeter leg) or smaller.” said Yim. Johnson was quoted as saying, “Minimally actuated designs that leverage passive dynamics will be key. We aren't there yet on the LEGO scale, but with this paper, we wanted to understand the way this particular morphology walks before dealing with the smaller actuators and constraints.”


Feinberg quoted on 3D ear technology
The New York Times

BME/MSE’s Adam Feinberg was quoted in a New York Times article about 3D printed ear implants made by 3DBio Therapeutics. Feinberg commented on the exciting progress of 3D printing tech, drawing from his rich experience as the co-founder of FluidForm, a regenerative medicine company that also uses 3D printing. This work was also covered on NBC News and in AxiosPolitico, and The Hill.


Three Mastercard Scholars honored at graduation

Three CMU-Africa Mastercard Scholars were given special honors at graduation. Faith Bagire (MS ECE) was recognized with the Jeremiah N. Mpagazehe Rising Researcher Award. Ayobami Esther Olanrewaju (MSIT) and Favour Aderinto (MS ECE) earned the Lakshmi Subramanian Student Excellence Award.


May


Cranor discusses issues behind privacy policies
Washington Post

Tech reporter Geoffrey Fowler of The Washington Post added up the number of words in all of the privacy policies of apps he had on his phone. The number: over a million. Lengthy privacy policies could be replaced with privacy “nutrition labels,” CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor told Fowler, which not only communicate quickly but also make it easier to compare the practices of different websites and apps. “What’s most important to show to users is the stuff that will surprise them—the stuff that’s different than what every other company does,” she said.


Schaefer elected President of Pittsburgh Chapter of IMA
Institute of Management Accountants

CEE’s Cathy Schaefer was elected President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). The IMA is the worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals in business. Founded in 1919, it is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. The IMA has more than 140,000 members in 150 countries, and more than 350 professional and student chapters. The IMA offers the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification for critical internal financial management responsibilities, including planning, budgeting, business reporting, decision analysis, and risk management.


Fischhoff quoted on COVID measures
The Washington Post

EPP’s Baruch Fischhoff was quoted in a Washington Post article about public health measures during the COVID pandemic. Fischhoff described messaging over the last two years as “contradictory, incomprehensible, sanctimonious, and disrespectful.”


CMU team wins big at robotics conference
ICRA 2022

MechE’s Victoria Webster-Wood and her team took home top honors in the ICRA 2022 Outstanding Mechanisms and Design Paper category for their submission, “Design of a Biomimetic Tactile Sensor for Material Classification.”


Cranor quoted on online shopping security tips
Yahoo Life

CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor gave some advice about keeping your information safe when online shopping. Cranor told Yahoo Life that it’s best to shop from websites that you already trust and to use random passwords for each of your accounts, even if they’re harder to remember. “Write them down in a safe place or use a password manager program,” she said.


Pistorius gives lecture at AISTech convention
The Pittsburgh Business Times

MSE’s Chris Pistorius kicked off the AISTech 2022 convention with a lecture on the state of steelmaking in the US. Pistorius addressed the switch to electric furnaces for production, saying that abandoning blast furnaces entirely “gets harder as we get there, because of the need for fresh iron units to produce high-quality steels and the viability of scrap.”


Ulissi quoted on importance of reaction kinetics
Engineering & Technology Magazine

ChemE’s Zachary Ulissi spoke with Engineering & Technology Magazine about finding a catalyst to replace platinum in chemical reactions. Ulissi highlighted the role of reaction kinetics when testing new materials, saying they “are very important and necessary for more quantitative agreement with experiments.”


Whitacre interviewed on environmentally friendly batteries
Instigators of Change

Scott Institute Director Jay Whitacre was interviewed in the podcast Instigators of Change on how batteries can still have a negative impact on the environment. He explained how, depending on where you are in the world, a hybrid vehicle might be a smarter choice than fully electric vehicles (EVs). The reason for this is a combination of factors from how the electricity for the EVs is generated to the fact that battery technology has not progressed past some major hurdles in its design since the 1990s. Whitacre points out that the batteries first used in Tesla cars were nearly identical to those developed in the late ’90s.


Majidi quoted on complex robotic hand manipulation
Lifewire

MechE’s Carmel Majidi was quoted in Lifewire on robotic hand manipulation about MIT’s new robotic hand that can manipulate over 2,000 different types of objects. “These hands are highly dexterous and capable of performing in-hand manipulation,” said Majidi. “That is, in addition to grasping and releasing objects, they can use their fingers to manipulate an object like a screwdriver or scissors.”


Majidi quoted on gallium in bendable electronics
Smithsonian Magazine

MechE’s Carmel Majidi was quoted in Smithsonian Magazine ongallium’s use in wearable electronics. “You can use it to track your own body’s motion, or the forces that you’re in contact with, and then impart that information into whatever the virtual world is that you’re experiencing,” Majidi said. Wearable electronics is just one of many uses of gallium the article covers. Majidi discusses how the bending, crunching, and flexing of these gallium circuits “printed” onto the hand or circuit can change the current flowing through the circuit and therefore change the input to a computer tracking movement.


Citizen Science Lab and CMU launch new C3-PO program
Citizen Science Lab

The Citizen Science Lab has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation to facilitate the launch of a new program, C3-PO (the Collaborative for the 3D Printing of Organs), in collaboration with CMU’s Biomedical Engineering Department. Expected to launch in August 2022, the C3-PO program will teach students from underserved communities the processes involved in the continually evolving field of soft-tissue biofabrication. This will be done by providing a cohort of 10-15 local high school students with hands-on experience in tissue culturing and the printing of organs.


Cagan delivers keynote on AI-human hybrid teaming
Design Conference 2022

MechE Interim Head Jonathan Cagan delivered a keynote speech at the Design Conference on AI-human hybrid teaming.


Luhanga research team mentioned in article on SIM cards
Biometric Update

CMU Africa’s Edith Luhanga and her research team were mentioned in a Biometric Update article for their research into the impact of linking identities to SIM cards. There is a proposal by South Africa’s telecoms regulator to link individuals’ biometric data to SIM cards in an attempt to stop fraud. Luhanga’s research will study how citizens adapt to the requirement and how the market for SIM card fraud reacts to the change.


CMU team wins second place in Solar District Cup
Herox

A team of CMU master’s program students has won second place in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar District Cup in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) division. The team’s project aimed to maximize resiliency for solar yield and storage solutions for the PNNL campus.


Majidi quoted on soft robotics
Knowable Magazine

MechE’s Carmel Majidi was interviewed for his expertise in wearable electronics in relation to the use of gallium as a flexible and stretchable circuit component. “You can use it to track your own body’s motion, or the forces that you’re in contact with, and then impart that information into whatever the virtual world is that you’re experiencing,” said Majidi.


Bergbreiter quoted on jumping robot
Scientific American

Recently, a world record has been broken in the field of autonomous jumping robots by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara using biomimicry. MechE’s Sarah Bergbreiter wrote a commentary about this event in Nature, which has been widely quoted in articles related to this event, including in Scientific American.


Rajkumar interviewed on international chip shortage
WESA

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar was quoted in an article published by WESA on how the international microchip shortage has disrupted research at CMU. “They cannot actually buy the high-performance computers that they need to basically utilize to train the artificial intelligence to make these products work. So that has clearly hampered the development side of these technologies.” Rajkumar explains how almost every aspect of engineering research is impacted by this shortage and supply chain issues are setting back projects by months as they wait for parts to arrive.


Viswanathan quoted on rechargeable batteries
Washington Post

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted in the Washington Post for his expertise on rechargeable batteries and why they sometimes expand in size. “All lithium-ion batteries will change shape in one form or another. It’s a law of nature.”


Winners announced for 2022 TechSpark Design Expo
TechSpark

The 2022 TechSpark Design Expo concluded last week with three senior engineering teams taking home awards.

  • Covestro’s “Most Innovative” award for being creative and novel in approach and/or execution went to a team of ECE master’s students for their project “Hardware Accelerated Monocular Depth Sensing.”
  • Wabtec’s “Best Design” award for being thorough in engineering analysis and testing through experimental prototyping or theoretical simulation went to a team of BME students for their project “Prosthetic Liner: Sweat-Wicking for Lower Limb Amputees.”
  • The “Most Engaging” award for being captivating in presentation and involving attendees in discussion went to a team of MechE students for their project “Auto Bike Transmission.”

CMU team takes home awards in Dartmouth Formula Hybrid competition
Formula Hybrid & Electric

Carnegie Mellon Racing (CMR) brought home three awards this year at the Formula Hybrid & Electric Competition at Dartmouth. The awards are: IEEE Excellence in Project Management Electric Class, IEEE Engineering the Future Award, and first place overall in the electric vehicle category.


Cranor weighs in on privacy labels
Washington Post

Roughly a year after Apple began requiring privacy labels for new apps in its app store, Google just announced that it will begin doing the same for Android apps. CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor spent the past year studying Apple’s privacy labels and tells The Washington Post that she’d “hoped that we could do better.”


Fischhoff quoted on confusing guidance for rapid test results
Washington Post

EPP’s Baruch Fischhoff was quoted by The Washington Post on why testing for public health guidance around COVID testing is important. “You will discover that there are things you thought were clear, that they [the public] thought were unclear … or that others interpret completely differently than the way you did,” he said. “There are things that they needed to know, that you thought went without saying.” The article cites a study co-authored by Fischhoff last year that found that the guidance information in test kits regarding how users should act on their test results had a worse effect than including no guidance at all.


Fischhoff on the ongoing challenge of communicating COVID health risks
Scientific American

EPP’s Baruch Fischhoff spoke with Scientific American about communicating health risks and cautioned against using risk-risk comparisons when providing guidance for concerned citizens, employees, and customers. He noted that such comparisons may be misused by employers to make employees feel compelled to accept, which isn’t a choice. It’s also difficult to provide accurate estimates of risk in the long term based on retrospective data and given our evolving understanding of the disease.


Taylor’s research featured in Women in Polymer Science Issue
Journal of Polymer Science

MechE’s Rebecca Taylor was the corresponding author on collaborative research between the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Chemistry that was selected for the Women in Polymer Science Virtual Issue of the Journal of Polymer Science.


Army grant bolsters ongoing artificial organ research
US Army CDMRP

BME’s Keith Cook, Jana Kainerstorfer, and Howie Choset, along with colleagues at Vanderbilt University and Cornell University, have been awarded an $8.7 million grant from the US Army CDMRP program. The group is working to create and integrate technologies that enable artificial lungs to transition from temporary support in the ICU to permanent support at home.


Ren accepts New Innovator Award at Northeast Bioengineering Conference
Northeast Bioengineering Conference

BME’s Charlie Ren was awarded the New Innovator Award for Junior Faculty at the 48th annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference hosted at Columbia University. Ren’s lab works at the interface of biomaterial and stem cell engineering, with the goal of providing regenerative therapeutic solutions to repair or replace damaged tissues and organs.


April


Siefken to join DOE’s OTT
The Piper

The Scott Institute’s Anna J. Siefken will take a leave of absence to join the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) as a commercialization executive. The OTT serves as the central hub for the technology transfer activities across the Department of Energy’s extensive R&D enterprise. The office ensures groundbreaking scientific discoveries achieve their maximum public return and impact, advancing the economic, energy, and national security interests of the United States.


Gueye quoted on cybersecurity in Africa
Business Day

CMU-Africa’s Assane Gueye was quoted in Business Day about the importance of developing cybersecurity technologies to drive financial inclusion in Africa. The discussion was part of a virtual financial inclusion media roundtable hosted by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor program. “As we are moving to include more people into the financial inclusion net, we should be mindful of the things that can hinder the successes of it such as cyber security attacks,” said Gueye.


Cranor weighs in on Google’s new privacy labels
Consumer Reports

Google added privacy “nutrition labels” for apps in the Android app store, following the footsteps of Apple who unveiled privacy labels in the iOS app store in 2020. CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor applauded the effort, but said “We found that, in general [with Apple’s labels], people really like the idea of the labels but that there is a lot of confusion.” Developers in Cranor’s studies had trouble creating accurate labels for their apps because they didn’t understand all the terminology, she said, while “the consumers didn’t know the labels existed until we pointed them out.”


Savvides wins PIPLA 2022 Inventor of the Year
Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Law Association

ECE/CyLab’s Marios Savvides has been named the 2022 Inventor of the Year by the Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Law Association (PIPLA). The award is given to a scientist whose patented developments have been economically significant and/or made positive contributions to society. PIPLA is one of the nation’s oldest organizations dedicated to fostering collegial exchanges regarding the nuances and importance of intellectual property.


ANSYS Hall receives Honor Award
The Society for College and University Planning

ANSYS Hall was recognized by The Society for College and University Planning with an Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture for a New Building. Partners involved included: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Mosites Construction & Development Company; Eckersley O’Callaghan; Barber & Hoffman; Langan Engineering; Buro Happold Engineers; Klavon Design Associates.


Christin quoted on cryptotheft
The Guardian

EPP/CyLab’s Nicolas Christin was quoted by The Guardian on the threat of cryptotheft, a type of cybercrime where victims are robbed of their cryptocurrency. Some experts say the rise in reports of cryptotheft come as cryptocurrency is more widely used and better understood than ever before. There is a tremendous security burden on individual users to keep their assets safe. “End users may not necessarily be cognizant of the security risks that they incur,” said Christin. “Quite frankly, even people in the field don’t have time to necessarily go and review some smart contract source code.”


Biegler inducted into the Process Automation Hall of Fame
Control Magazine

ChemE’s Lorenz (Larry) Biegler is joining a prestigious list of individuals who have made a significant impact in process automation. Inducted into the 2022 class of Control Magazine’s Hall of Fame by a group of his peers, Biegler is recognized for his excellence, diligence, and influence on the process control industry. Biegler has spent the last 40 years at Carnegie Mellon, during which he’s made significant advancements in computer-aided process engineering, including flowsheet optimization, optimization of systems of differential and algebraic equations, reactor network synthesis, and algorithms for constrained, nonlinear process control, among others.


Qian collaborates on Rural County Mobility Platform
Observer-Reporter

CEE’s Sean Qian and his Mobility Data Analytics Center (MAC) will be assisted in transportation surveys of residents for Carnegie Mellon’s Rural County Mobility Platform (RAMP) project by representatives from Waynesburg University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. The goal of the three-year project is to improve mobility in rural Southwestern Pennsylvania, with the potential to advance the fundamental knowledge of how energy-efficient, affordable mobility services can work in rural America, enabling them to be systematically planned, operated, and monitored, inherently merged with system-level modeling.


Koopman quoted on AV safety
Yahoo! News

ECE’s Phil Koopman was quoted by Yahoo! News about the safety of autonomous vehicles after Tesla released “assertive mode,” where the AV would copy poor driving habits many humans maintain. It featured rolling stops at stop signs along with smaller following distance and a propensity to not exit passing lanes. “You said they would be perfect drivers. Why are you teaching them bad human habits?” said Koopman, an expert in advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicle technology. This story also appeared on CNBC’s website.


Michalek quoted on electric vehicle adoption
The Daily Beast

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek was quoted by the Daily Beast about changes needed to encourage the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. “In places like Manhattan, I know what a pain it is to find a parking spot,” Michalek told The Daily Beast. “If you add the constraint that some of those spots have chargers and some of them don’t, it just makes it even more of a nightmare.”


Pistorius in NYT on materials for knives
The New York Times

MSE’s Chris Pistorius was mentioned by The New York Times about the environmental impact of a stainless steel knife. Researchers that made a knife from hardened wood claimed its environmental impact would be less than that of a metal knife. However, a typical knife uses less than a pound of stainless steel, according to Pistorius, a co-director at the Center for Iron and Steelmaking Research at Carnegie Mellon University. He said a steel knife’s climate impact was tiny, and its ability to be recycled was a major advantage.


Grover named distinguished lecturer
IEEE Information Theory Society

ECE’s Pulkit Grover was named the 2022-2023 Distinguished Lecturer for IEEE’s Information Theory Society. The Distinguished Lecturers Program was established to promote interest in information theory by supporting chapters who wish to invite prominent information theory researchers to give talks at their events. Grover plans to give talks in Asia, Africa, and various places in North and South America, supported by this program.


Tsamitis serves as panelist for RSA conference panel
RSA Conference

INI Director Dena Haritos Tsamitis was a panelist for the Webcast: Hot Topics in Cybersecurity as part of the 2022 RSA Advisory Board Roundtable Discussions.


Williams honored as distinguished alumnus

ETIM Director Jimmy Williams was honored as a Texas A&M Distinguished Alumnus. This award is the highest honor bestowed upon a former student by Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students. In 2018, Williams served as the Chair of A&M’s Association of Former Students. Jimmy also recently co-chaired A&M’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Last year the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering named Jimmy to its Academy of Distinguished Graduates, an honor it has bestowed on less than one percent of its alumni.


Zhang elected to USACM Executive Council
USACM

MechE’s Jessica Zhang was elected to the office of Secretary-Treasurer of the U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM) Executive Council. The Secretary-Treasurer serves for two years and then rotates to the office of Vice-President for two years and then President for two years. It is a six-year commitment to be involved as an officer of USACM, the largest association in computational mechanics in the US.


He receives NIH/NINDS grant to further brain imaging research
NINDS/NIH

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of National Institute of Health (NIH) has awarded BME’s Bin He a four-year, $2 million grant to develop and validate novel neuroengineering techniques to detect and image the epileptic brain. He’s research, in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, aims to gain a better understanding of epileptic networks and establish non-invasive neuroimaging techniques to localize and map epileptogenic brain regions for aiding surgical or neuromodulation treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy.


NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program awardees announced
National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students pursuing full-time research-based masters and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education. We are proud to announce the 2022 award winners and honorable mention recipients from Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering.

Awardees: Christine Huang, Anthony Karahalios, Ian Martin, Amanda Merkley, Andrey Nosatov, Allison Rojas, Virginia Wilson

Honorable Mention recipients: Alex Gourley, Akua McLeod, Ravesh Sukhnandan, Elizabeth Walsh


Michalek on SiriusXM
JeffCars

Electric vehicle experts including EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek discuss affordability, infrastructure, minority communities, and more in a two-part conversation on Auto Trends with JeffCars on SiriusXM 141. Part 1 runs April 9-14; part 2 runs April 16-21.


Sullivan organized workshop on chemical exposure
Collegium Helveticum

MechE’s Ryan Sullivan organized a workshop titled “Everyday-Everywhere Chemicals and the Human Exposome” at the Collegium Helveticum. This is part of his Senior Fellowship at the Collegium, which is a joint institute of ETH Zurich, the University of Zurich, and the University of the Arts in Zurich that brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines to promote interdisciplinary exchange. A panel of experts from universities and NGOs in Europe and North America discussed the sources of toxic chemicals in modern life, the public’s perception of this often-confusing issue, and recent efforts to implement better international regulations.


Cranor quoted on cybersecurity workforce
Diverse Education

CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor was quoted by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education on the shortage of workers in cybersecurity, which she attributes to a lack of American students and support. “I don’t think the gap is due to a lack of programs at higher education institutions,” she said. “I think the gap comes from a lack of Americans who want to be educated in cybersecurity and a lack of scholarship funding to support these programs. I think there are plenty of programs out there, though there could definitely be more.”


Jayan’s project receives DOD funding
US Department of Defense

MechE’s Reeja Jayan is involved with a project that was chosen for funding through the US Department of Defense’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative. The highly-competitive MURI program has supported teams of investigators with the hope that collective insight from multiple disciplines could facilitate the growth of newly emerging technologies to address the Department’s unique problem sets.


Holm awarded AIME honorary membership
CMU Materials Science and Engineering

MSE’s Elizabeth Holm received an Honorary Membership in the American Institute of Mining Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) for her outstanding service to The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society and distinguished scientific achievements in computational materials science and engineering. AIME Honorary Membership is one of the highest honors that the Institute can bestow on an individual. She shares this decoration with Andrew Carnegie, who was recognized by AIME in 1905 after his retirement. “I feel a special connection to this because Andrew Carnegie was a foresighted philanthropist,” explained Holm. “In the early 1900s, Andrew Carnegie could never have imagined me in this role. As a woman in metallurgy, as a professor at his school, and as an AIME officer. I think that it’s just really cool how far we’ve come but how this connection remains.”


March


CMU students sweep the three minute thesis championship

Students in BME, ECE, MSE, and MechE won four out of five awards at the 3MT championship.

  • First place: BME’s Piyumi Wijesekara, “Engineering ‘Rotating’ Mini-Lung Tissue for Combatting Respiratory Infection”
  • Third place: MechE’s Emma Benjaminson, “Predicting Assembly of Nanorobots Built with DNA”
  • People's Choice Award: ECE’s Mohammad Ayaz Masud, “Laterally Actuating Phase Change Nano Relay for Nonvolatile Memory Operation”
  • Alumni Choice Award (chosen by livestream audience): MSE’s Amaranth Karra,  “3D Printing of High Temperature Melting Metals: ‘Why and How?’”

Datta quoted on the inner workings of AI
Nature

ECE’s Anupam Datta was quoted in Nature on the inner workings of machine learning and artificial intelligence. “Altering input data to identify important features is a basic approach to many types of AI models. But the task becomes more challenging in more complex neural networks.”


Koopman quoted on AV technology
The Guardian

ECE’s Phil Koopman was quoted in The Guardian on autonomous vehicle technology safety. “Safety isn’t about working right most of the time. Safety is all about the rare case where it doesn’t work properly,” says Koopman. “It has to work 99.999999999% of the time. AV companies are still working on the first few nines, with a bunch more nines to go. For every nine, it’s 10 times harder to achieve.”


Weber study on brain implant featured
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

MechE’s Doug Weber recently had his research study on a brain implant that will allow paralyzed people to use a computer with their thoughts was featured in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The device, known as a brain-computer interface, allowed the patients to write, browse the web, and perform everyday tasks. “An easy way to think about a brain-computer interface is as a substitute for the finger keyboard interactions that we typically use when we are interacting with our computers,” said Weber. This work was also covered in Medscape.


Rajkumar quoted on self-driving revenue
Reuters

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar was quoted in Reuters on revenue generated by self-driving vehicles. According to Rajkumar, companies should expect to fund the project on their own budgets in the beginning, stating, “Based on the experience that we have seen from Alphabet’s Waymo in Arizona, the revenue that you will generate from that deployment will be very, very small.”


Shi quoted on CMU partnership with crypto.com
Pittsburgh Business Times

ECE/CyLab’s Elaine Shi was quoted in The Pittsburgh Business Times on CMU’s recent partnersip with Crypto.com. During the three-year partnership, Crypto.com will serve as the founding sponsor of CyLab’s Secure Blockchain Initiative, known as Blockchain@CyLab. “We are grateful for the generous support from Crypto.com, and we look forward to our partnership and collaborations,” said Shi, director of the initiative. “The funding from Crypto.com will allow CMU’s Secure Blockchain Initiative to further expand its research and educational programs on blockchains.”


Cranor quoted on online accounts
AOL

CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor was quoted in AOL on account safety when using the internet. Since the beginning of the pandemic, scams have seen a disturbing spike, making the protection of personal information more prominent than ever. Cranor emphasized, “When you create accounts online, use a different password for every account. That way if your password gets compromised on one account, the attacker will not be able to break into all your other accounts.”


Carley quoted on “bot holiday”
The Guardian

CyLab/EPP’s Kathleen Carley was quoted in The Guardian on the lack of bot activity in spreading COVID-19 misinformation. This is believed to be due to Russia’s current conflict with Ukraine. “The research around these changing campaigns is limited, looking at thousands of tweets in the early days of an invasion,” Carley cautioned. “It’s very early to understand what direction the misinformation is going and who is behind it—and conspiracies tend to follow current events even when there aren’t coordinated campaigns.”


Rajkumar joins Insight LiDAR’s as technical advisor
Businesswire

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar was featured in Businesswire for his appointment as Insight LiDAR’s technical advisor. In this role, Rajkumar will support Insight LiDAR’s development of next-generation, long-range FMCW LiDAR for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and the Autonomous Vehicles market. Allowing vehicles to “see,” high-performing and cost-effective LiDAR will be essential to achieving true (Level 4/Level 5) autonomous driving. “Having been deeply involved with autonomous vehicle technology for many years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen many technologies develop to help solve this difficult challenge,” said Rajkumar, whose research focuses mainly on autonomous vehicles.


TruEra raises $25M for its AI analytics and monitoring platform
Tech Crunch

TruEra, a startup that offers an AI quality management solution to optimize, announced that it has raised $25 million in a Series B round led by Menlo Ventures. Menlo Ventures partner Tim Tully, the former CTO of Splunk, stressed that TruEra approaches the problem of AI quality management through the lens of the model, with ECE’s Anupam Datta, co-founder and chief scientist having done some of the early academic work on AI explainability.


Bergbreiter, Majidi, and Webster-Wood featured in IEEE Spectrum
IEEE Spectrum

MechE’s Carmel Majidi, Sarah Bergbreiter, and Victoria Webster-Wood were featured on IEEE Spectrum, discussing softbotics. Softbotics involves engineering machines and robots that put humans in central focus and are designed for everyday life. Majidi, Berbreiter, and Webster-Wood addressed 3D printing the materials, its link with bioengineering and creating wearable physical therapeutics, and the ethical sphere of their project.


Fifth annual “Rethink the Rink” focused on advancing hockey safety
Yahoo! Finance

The fifth annual “Rethink the Rink” Make-a-thon, a collaboration of the College of Engieering with Covestro, the Pittsburgh Penguins, PPG, and Athletica Sport Systems explored the intersection of dasher board and glass systems to advance hockey safety. The event spanned March 7 to 11 at CMU's Tech Spark, a leading workspace for innovation and collaboration.


Miller quoted on hacking and gas pipelines
Politico

ECE’s Craig Miller was quoted in Politico on the Russian hacking threat currently hanging over US gas pipelines. Russian cyberattacks have been a cause for concern since their conflict with Ukraine, with some US regulators fearing that cyberwalls protecting plants that generate 40% of the nation’s electricity are not as strong as they could be. “We say ‘gas and electricity’ as if they’re separate—they aren’t. You don’t move gas without electricity: You need pumps. And you don’t make electricity without gas.” The nation relies on such pipelines, as natural gas makes up 37% of the U.S. electricity mix in 2021, making it extremely valuable and important to protect.


Morgan interviewed on 60 minutes
CBS News

EPP’s Granger Morgan was interviewed on 60 Minutes on the US power grid facing threats from Russia and domestic terrorists. Despite walls and other defenses being deployed after previous attacks, many substations still remain vulnerable targets. “Around the world, there have been a fair number of attacks on grids. They have attacked with bombs, planes, and drones,” said Morgan. “Russia’s cyber attack on Ukraine’s grid in 2015 knocked about 60 substations offline, leaving 230,000 people in the dark. The U.S. Secretary of Energy has said Russia could do the same thing here.” Morgan emphasized that the Department of Homeland Security needs to systematically look at all the vulnerabilities in the grid, and figure out who can address each.


Fuchs to testify before Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee
US Senate

EPP’s Erica Fuchs will testify Tuesday, April 22 at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in a hearing titled “Building a Resilient Economy: Shoring Up Supply.”


Jaramillo quoted on EV emissions
WESA

EPP’s Paulina Jaramillo was quoted by WESA on emissions produced by both the production and use of electric vehicles, especially when compared to gas vehicles. She noted EVs are cleaner than gas vehicles in terms of other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, as well as in noise pollution. “Vehicle electrification is crucial to meeting climate mitigation targets,” Jaramillo said. “We need vehicle electrification and clean electricity. The only chance of significantly reducing the emissions from personal vehicles is if we electrify…that’s the most prevalent technology.”


Kumar quoted on fiber that can turn clothes into listening devices
Daily Beast

ECE’s Swarun Kumar was quoted in Daily Beast on a fiber that can be used to turn clothes into listening devices. Researchers from around the U.S. created a fiber that can bend under the slightest sounds. When woven into a shirt, the fibers are also able to pick up the sound’s direction. The fibers operate like a human ear, vibrating like the hairs within the ear and generating electrical impulses. “The project looks very exciting,” said Kumar, “the health implications of this work, such as sensing heartbeats and heart rhythms sound very promising.”


Feinberg quoted on future of 3D bioprinting
Politico

BME/MSE’s Adam Feinberg was quoted in the latest edition of POLITICO’s Future Pulse newsletter, on the benefits of 3D printing organs and future considerations for the industry. “If we get this to work, it fundamentally changes medicine as we know it … especially if we can do it in a way that is even remotely cost-effective,” said Adam Feinberg, who co-founded 3D bioprinting company FluidForm. “We’re talking about a technology that can rebuild different parts of the body as needed.”


Rethink the Rink winners named
Rethink The Rink

Engineering students made up a majority of the first, second, third, and fourth place winners of this year’s Rethink the Rink make-a-thon, which focused on the “glass” along the ice rink perimeter to improve hockey player safety. These students dedicated their spring break to tackling a real-world problem with mentorship from our industry partners at Covestro and the Pittsburgh Penguins. At this excellent event, students showed off the high-quality education at CMU.

  • 1st Place - Best Overall: ECE senior Brandon Wang, ECE sophomore Luca Garlati, MechE sophomore Isaiah Lerch, and Ebrahim Karam, a master’s student in CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center. 
  • 2nd Place - Most Innovative: ECE junior Aichen Yao, ECE junior Zhichun Zhao, MechE/Physics first-year Betty Wang, and MSE first-year Tracy Wan.
  • 3rd Place - Best Prototype: CEE sophomore Alex Bram, MechE senior Andrew Spoto, MechE junior Daniel Fitzmorris, and MechE sophomore Rose McDermott.
  • 4th Place - Participation: ChemE junior Lucy Spero, III master’s student Tanya Gupta, MechE junior Jeanie Xu, and MSE first-year En Hung.

View the Penguins recap of the event.


White selected to Rising Stars event

MechE’s Lisha White has been selected to attend the Rising Stars in Computational and Data Sciences event. The event will take place April 20-21 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and will be hosted by Sandia National Laboratories. The selection rate for this event was just 26%, and White is expected prepare a research talk suitable for a broad audience of researchers working in computational and data sciences.


Koopman quoted on AV safety and state regulations
ABC News

ECE’s Phil Koopman was quoted in ABC News on the current bill allowing state-by-state regulation of automated vehicles and civilian safety. According to Koopman, the bill lacks details on the potential legal liabilities of HAV companies linked to incidents, particularly if said vehicle doesn’t have a single owner or operator. “The current bill is filled with ambiguities. If an ordinary citizen gets hurt, or possibly killed, it’s unclear who to get compensation from,” said Koopman.


Viswanathan quoted on electric planes
WIRED

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted by WIRED on his battery research, which focuses on electric vehicles. After a summer road tripping cross-country in an electric car, he began to consider a different application for his work. “I was like, ‘Wait, what am I doing with all these new batteries I’m inventing?’” Viswanathan recalls. “Who is going to need them?” There was another way to travel coast-to-coast, he realized, one that batteries were far from decarbonizing: flight.


Kumar quoted on 5G technology
Fast Company

ECE’s Swarun Kumar was quoted by Fast Company about the advantages offered by the advancement of 5G technology. “5G is a big leap forward in cellular technology, promising, at its peak, several gigabits per second of speed,” says Kumar. “A key advantage of 5G is ultra-low latency, high scalability, and network efficiency.”


Akinci quoted on infrastructure
Pittsburgh Business Times

CEE’s Burcu Akinci was quoted by the Pittsburgh Business Times on the importance of bridge maintenance after Pittsburgh’s Fern Hollow Bridge collapse. Experts say what’s really missing in infrastructure packages is a comprehensive strategy to fund and carry out bridge inspections and repairs. “We’ve got to think of bridges like cars,” said Akinci. “Cars need maintenance regularly. Bridges will need maintenance, as will all of our infrastructure systems.”


February


Whitefoot quoted on electric vehicle industry
Detroit Free Press

EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot was quoted by the Detroit Free Press on competition in the electric vehicle industry. Whitefoot said the top-selling EVs in the future will depend on how the batteries perform. So the companies that design and make the best batteries, win. “If you want to come in, like a Tesla, you have to know both sides of the business: How to make a great battery and also how to build vehicles. It’s not enough to do just one of those sides,” Whitefoot said. “Those companies that can build on expertise in both manufacturing and batteries will have a competitive edge.”


Michalek quoted on electric vehicle chargers
Detroit Free Press

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek was quoted by the Detroit Free Press about GM’s plan to install electric vehicle chargers at their worksites for free use by employees. “But there are a lot of households that rent or have off-street parking, so adopting EVs for those households is a harder sell,” Michalek said. “So if you have a stable job such as at General Motors, that charger at work might make a difference in your willingness to adopt.”


Biegler awarded 2022 Sargent Medal 
Chemical Engineering

ChemE’s Larry Biegler was recently awarded the 2022 Sargent Medal by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). Named after Roger Sargent, the former president of IChemE, former Courtaulds Professor of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, and the founding father of process systems engineering (PSE), the award is considered one of the most prestigious in the field. It is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant recent contribution to research in the area of computer-aided product and process engineering.


Wood featured in Pittsburgh Business Times
Pittsburgh Business Times

BME’s Sossena Wood was recently featured in Pittsburgh Business Times’ “20 People to Know in Engineering” series. Wood is focused on developing and designing medical devices that detect neurological damage and/or diseases.


Litster interviewed on on virtual cycling program
VeloNews

MechE’s Shawn Litster was interviewed in VeloNews on Zwift, the largest virtual cycling gaming program. Zwift hosts thousands of events, and its detailed customization menus, superior graphics, and in-game chatting, and in-game chatting make it a tough competitor. Litster believes that the program uses equations to calculate a user’s height, which is then applied to the virtual bicycle and used to calculate and model aerodynamic drag.


Vernon invited to be a member of the IEEE robotics and automation committee
IEEE

CMU-Africa’s David Vernon was invited to be a member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation (RAS) Committee for Women in Engineering. The committee is chaired by Karinne Ramirez-Amaro, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and there are 20 members from across the world. However, Vernon is the only one from Africa, something they hope to change in the coming years. The committee’s mission is to encourage young women into the engineering profession, and technology generally, and promote the profile of those who are already women engineers as role models.


INI MSIS program validated through 2027
Information Networking Institute

The INI’s Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS) program has been validated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) through academic year 2027. This validation allows the INI to continue participating in federally funded programs designed to strengthen the pipeline of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals who are dedicated to protecting national security, including the NSF Scholarship for Service (SFS) and Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program (DoD CySP).


Bauer quoted on field of cybersecurity
US News

ECE’s Lujo Bauer was quoted by US News about cybersecurity for their article on preparing for a career in the field. “The key distinguishing feature of cybersecurity is that we worry about computer systems performing as they should even when they are under attack by an adversary who tries to get at our data or break down our systems,” says Bauer. “Even under those circumstances, we want our systems to work, and that’s the cybersecurity part.”


Presidential, Ronald F. and Janice A. Zollo Fellowships awarded to BME graduate students
Biomedical Engineering Department

Three BME graduate students have been announced as the recipients of 2022 fellowships through CMU’s College of Engineering. Piyumi Wijesekara and Liz Johnston have both received Presidential Fellowships, and Deepa Issar was awarded the Ronald F. and Janice A. Zollo Fellowship. Each fellowship provides financial support for the students’ research, and areas of focus range from human lung organoid engineering, to cellular relationships within adipose tissue, to better understanding cognitive state shifts changes using multimodal techniques.


Focused ultrasound technology noted in HEAL research spotlight
NIH

BME’s Bin He was featured in a recent NIH research spotlight highlighting new treatment options on the horizon for pain associated with sickle cell disease. He’s lab is exploring focused ultrasound waves targeted at specific brain areas, to gauge if this non-invasive technology could change the activity of nerve cells that create and spread pain signals.


Cranor and McDonald quoted on data sharing
Consumer Reports

CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor and CyLab/INI’s Aleecia McDonald were quoted by Consumer Reports about data sharing with companies. Experts differ in their assessment of how much a typical consumer should worry about sharing of usage and crash data from their devices. “I actually think that most of the time, that’s fine,” says Cranor. “Especially if it’s a legitimate company, that is in fact what they’re going to do with the data. But that said, there is a small risk, because the crash report may include sensitive data that’s on your computer.” McDonald has concerns about the potential exposure of personal data. “If you want to [share], great, you’ll slightly contribute to a better and more debugged world. That’s a nice thing,” she says. “And as long as you’re not doing anything at all ever on your device that you don’t want to be public? Sure.”


Engineering undergraduate alumni quoted on startup
Technical.ly

MechE alumnus Alexander Baikovitz and ECE alumnus Haowen Shi were quoted by Technical.ly about their startup, Mach9 Robotics, which launched an initiative to assess Pittsburgh bridge infrastructure after the bridge collapse on January 28. The Pittsburgh Bridge Initiative, as the company is calling it, will involve a concerted program to map, monitor, and assess the approximately 450 bridges in the Pittsburgh region over the next year. “What we really want to be able to distinguish between is the difference between poor infrastructure and infrastructure that needs to be able to be shut down,” Baikovitz said.


LeDuc’s work on desalination featured in newsletter
Axios

MechE’s Phil LeDuc and alumnus Adam Wood’s work on using bread to remove salt from water was featured in Axios’ science newsletter on February 3. Under more controlled lab conditions, Wood found bread could be used to create electrodes. Whether the bread-based desalination approach could be used on a large scale is unclear.


Whitehead featured in Pittsburgh Business Times
Pittsburgh Business Times

In the Pittsburgh Business Times’ latest “Personalities of Pittsburgh” article, Paul Gough sits down with ChemE’s Katie Whitehead to discuss mRNA vaccines, science communication, Whitehead’s hobbies, and more.


Gomez interviewed on infrastructure
Background Briefing

MechE’s Nestor Gomez was interviewed on the podcast Background Briefing on infrastructure after the bridge collapse in Pittsburgh. “A lot of these bridges will have to be replaced, and to be fair, we almost never build a bridge to last 100 years. If it does last 100 years, then we consider that a great success,” Gomez said. “But the lifespan of a bridge is maybe 50 or 60 years. [The Fern Hollow Bridge] probably had a few more years left in it, but corrosion and other kinds of damage wore it down. It was 52 years old.”


January


Dzombak quoted on climate change in Pennsylvania
WESA

CEE Head David Dzombak was quoted in WESA on climate change causing floods in Pennsylvania. A recent study done by Penn State has estimated that Pennsylvanian communities will likely face increased flood risks by the end of the century, with the state’s latest Climate Impacts Assessment expecting to face more extreme rainfall and flooding by 2050. “Over time, communities, perhaps with some state guidance and support, can try to shift people and important assets out of the most vulnerable places,” Dzombak said. However, he added that preparing now will be much cheaper and less disruptive than waiting for disaster to strike and having to clean up afterwards.


Build18 participants featured in news story
The Verge

Participants of the ECE Build18 engineering festival were referenced in a story in The Verge featuring their project of creating a fish operated vehicle. They created a vehicle that could house their goldfish Walter’s tank, which the fish could pilot by swimming against one of the four walls. Using a camera to detect its movement, the vehicle would then move with the fish, allowing Walter to move about the terrestrial land. The robot was built in three days by students who “decided it would be awesome if he could hang out with us!”


Robinson’s Alzheimer’s research featured
Technology Networks

ChemE Head Anne Robinson’s research on Alzheimer’s was featured in Technology Networks. Published in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, Robinson’s latest research paper explains why understanding the progression of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, and its eventual treatment, is much more complex than previously thought. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in America, and it affects one in 10 Americans over the age of 65. This statistic rises to one in three for people over 80. Robinson said, “Many of these models approach the problem from an all-or-nothing standpoint—normal tau protein only goes this way; malformed tau protein only goes that way, or malformed tau enters the cell this way; normal tau another way. However, operating under these models has historically produced seemingly conflicting data; data that researchers who study Alzheimer’s have been hard-pressed to reconcile.” Medical News Today also reported on this research. 


Litster quoted on hydrogen fuel cell market
Associated Press

MechE’s Shawn Litster was quoted in the Associated Press on the expansion of the hydrogen fuel cell market. General Motors recently announced that they will work with another company to use these fuel cells to build mobile electricity generators, electric vehicle charging stations, and power generators for military camps. However, GM is not the only company expanding this market. Litster explains that multiple companies, including AFC Energy in the United Kingdom, are selling or testing the products, opening up competition for the products.


Call for proposals: CMU-Africa collaborative research support
CMU-Africa

CMU-Africa has put out a call for proposals for upcoming funding to support collaborative research between researchers at CMU-Africa, CMU-Pittsburgh, and a partner African university, focused on inclusive digital transformation.


Marom mentioned on quantum computing
Science Daily

MSE’s Noa Marom was mentioned by Science Daily about her research on topology for quantum computing. A novel computer model developed by Noa Marom’s group at CMU together with Vladimir Strocov from PSI was used to interpret the complex experimental data.


Nock quoted on equity issues with electricity
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

EPP’s Destenie Nock was quoted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on equity issues related to electricity and electric power. Equity issues, in her view, will make it a challenge for the most energy-burdened households to take advantage of a movement toward heating more houses with electric power—despite its promise of savings. “I do think there is this underlying resource-based inequality where a lot of low-income households are the renter population,” she said. “If the landlord is not paying for the electricity bill, it is really hard to get them to switch.”


Majidi mentioned on satellite robots
SpaceRef.com

MechE’s Carmel Majidi was mentioned by SpaceRef.com about a CMU-headed consortium selected by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to pioneer research into robotic inspection, maintenance, and manufacturing of satellites and other structures while in orbit. CMU’s efforts will be led by Choset and Matt Travers, co-directors of the Robotics Institute’s Biorobotics Lab; and Majidi, who specializes in soft robotics. CMU will collaborate with researchers at the University of New Mexico, Texas A&M, and Northrop Grumman Corporation.


Koopman quoted on AV testing
Los Angeles Times

ECE’s Phil Koopman was quoted by the Los Angeles Times about regulations and testing for autonomous vehicles. Under Tesla’s Full Self-Driving beta program, Tesla owners supervise the operation of cars programmed to autonomously navigate highways, city streets and neighborhood roads, stopping at traffic lights and stop signs as well as making left and right turns into traffic. “The DMV concludes that full self-driving is not an automated vehicle because a human driver must monitor to intervene. That is a description that fits any AV test vehicle with a safety driver, which FSD is,” Koopman said in an email to The Times.


Zhao quoted on digital twins
Time Magazine

MechE’s Ding Zhao was quoted by Time Magazine on digital twins, an exact digital re-creation of an object or environment. Zhao has been working with carmakers to use digital twins to improve the safety of self-driving vehicles. “Real-world testing is too expensive and sometimes not even effective,” Zhao says.


Koopman quoted on the AV industry
Information Week

ECE’s Phil Koopman was quoted by Information Week on public trust in the AV industry. Koopman says that the stance taken by the entire AV industry “to push back hard against any requirement to follow safety standards” further erodes public trust. He notes that manufacturers face a choice in 2022 and beyond. “They can continue to take an adversarial approach with regulators and have a problem when a high-profile crash forces regulators to intervene, or they can take a cooperative approach now while they still have time.”


Muller quoted on pollution and racial gaps
The Hill

EPP’s Nick Muller was quoted by The Hill on how pollution disproportionately affects certain racial and ethnic groups, especially older Black and Hispanic individuals. “Underlying mortality rates, pollution exposure and pollution vulnerability differ significantly across racial and ethnic groups,” Muller said.


Cranor quoted on workplace privacy
The New York Times

Mobile apps for office buildings have become popular as employers try to entice staff back on site by making work-related tasks convenient and safe. While companies have tracked employees’ phone and computer use for years, CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor says these apps “take employee surveillance to a new level.”


Litster mentioned on hydrogen fuel
AP News

MechE’s Shawn Litster was mentioned by AP News about hydrogen generators entering the market. Multiple companies are selling or testing hydrogen generators, said Litster, who has studied hydrogen fuel cells for about two decades. There will be more demand for the generators as vehicles switch from internal combustion to electric power. Police departments and municipal governments, he said, will need backup power to charge emergency vehicles in case of a power outage. Hydrogen can be stored for long periods and used in emergency cases, he said.


Tucker named to U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commission
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

MechE’s Conrad Tucker has joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Commission on Artificial Intelligence Competition, Inclusion, and Innovation to advance U.S. leadership in the use and regulation of AI technology. The Commission will research and recommend artificial intelligence policies as it relates to regulation, international research and development competitiveness, and future jobs.


New grant to fund cardiac electrophysiology research
NIH

BME/MSE’s Tzahi Cohen-Karni was recently awarded a $3.1 NIH/NHLBI grant to further cardiac electrophysiology research. Over the next five years, Cohen-Karni will partner with Pitt’s Aditi Gurkar (co-PI), BME/MSE’s Adam Feinberg, MechE’s Carmel Majidi, and ECE’s Pulkit Grover to study the role of DNA damage in the cardiac unit using induced pluripotent stem cells.


FluidForm lands investment from Hackensack Meridian Health
FluidForm

CMU spinout company FluidForm, co-founded by BME’s Adam Feinberg, recently announced an investment from Hackensack Meridian Health and its Bear’s Den innovation program, which seeks to drive medical science forward by supporting strategic candidates in biotech and pharma. The investment will enable FluidForm to advance key applications in tissue for drug discovery and surgical repair, including collaboration on preclinical work in 2022.


AI research featured in podcast
Wevolver

Featured on the Wevolver podcast The Next Byte, “Meet the AI Replacing Your Manager,” new research by MechE’s Chris McComb and Jon Cagan shows that AI may soon be taking over managerial positions—and doing a better job at them. Their study shows that in comparison to human counterparts, AI intervened less during projects. When given a certain number of interventions, not only did human managers use more than the AI, they used all of them. On the other hand, AI managers used only a few light directions. They also found that interventions done by human managers had a negative impact on production overall, while AI managers had an overall positive effect.


Kar named 2022 IEEE Fellow
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

ECE’s Soummya Kar has been elevated to fellow status in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology. IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation. The IEEE cited Kar “for contributions to distributed signal processing.”


Humotech partner to bring open source bionic leg to research labs
Humotech

Humotech, originating from CMU’s Mechanical Engineering Department, develops tools for the advancement of wearable robotic control systems and other wearable devices. Using its own research community, Humotech will further build and support a development community around the open-source leg and seek to incorporate the leg into Humotech’s Caplex platform. Caplex is a hardware and software testbed that enables researchers to emulate the mechanics of wearable machines, including prostheses and exoskeletons.


Fuchs quoted on Moore’s Law
Telegraph

EPP’s Erica Fuchs was quoted in Telegraph on Moore’s Law and how the technological innovation crisis threatens global economy. Fuchs says, “Moore’s Law and the inventions that resulted from it have been responsible for up to half of economic growth in the US and worldwide.” That means its slowdown, or eventual end, could have drastic consequences for GDP growth.


Koopman quoted on Tesla crash in Paris
Reuters

ECE’s Philip Koopman was quoted in Reuters on the Tesla crash in Paris. The fatal accident, involving a Tesla Model 3 taxi, was said to be caused by a technical fault after the vehicle accelerated rather than breaking. Koopman noted, “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did not consider software defects in its investigation, and French investigators need to look at software as a potential cause.” This is not the first accident cause by technical fault, with more than 200 being reviewed in the United States alone last year.


Viswanathan and Sripad eVTOL research featured
Forbes

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan and Shashank Sripad were featured in Forbes for their research on eVTOLS. According to Viswanathan and Sripad, “A key problem for eVTOL aircraft is the weight of batteries, which contain 14 times less energy by weight than aviation fuel. To achieve their range and payload goals, Beta, Joby Aviation and Kitty Hawk appear to need battery packs with energy densities at the outer range of the newest technologies, while Lilium is way out in experimental territory.”


Fischhoff quoted on public opinion of omicron variant and travel plans
AARP

EPP’s Baruch Fischhoff was quoted in AARP on assessing the risk of traveling during the holidays while still in the Covid pandemic. While weighing the pros and cons of leaving the house for the holidays has been a constant, for reasons such as traffic and weather, the lingering pandemic has changed our judgement calls. “We have something poorly known and changing,” says Fischhoff about the coronavirus. “This collective experience is unusual.”


Koopman quoted on distractions while driving autonomous vehicles
AP News

ECE’s Philip Koopman was quoted in AP News on gaming while driving in autonomous vehicles. After it was revealed that Tesla drivers are able to play video games on the dashboard touch screens while vehicles are in motion, questions were raised about whether federal auto safety standards are being applied equally by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is because Mercedes-Benz took the opposite route, recalling their vehicles for the same reason. Koopman explained that this can lead to discrepancies in safety protocols between different automakers. “MB is following the regulatory rules as they are supposed to—in sharp contrast to what we’ve been seeing from Tesla. If NHTSA doesn’t take action against Tesla, the agency will have one standard for Tesla and another for Mercedes and other automakers,” Koopman said.


Undergrad student receives Marshall scholarship
Forbes

CEE/EPP undergraduate student Greta Markey was one of 11 students chosen to receive the Marshall Scholarship for her work in water systems engineering. The scholarship was created by the British government in 1953 by an Act of Parliament to honor George C. Marshall, General of the Army, Secretary of State, and architect of the post-World War II Economic Recovery Program (ERP), better known as the Marshall Plan. It will cover one to two years of postgraduate study at a British university of the student’s choosing.


Viswanathan quoted on solid state batteries
Torque News

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted in Torque News on solid-states batteries, created by QuantumScape. Using a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid solution, solid-state batteries can store considerably more energy by weight and volume than lithium-ion batteries and will be especially useful for electric vehicles. Viswanathan emphasized the importance of this discovery: “… these results blow up what was previously thought possible in a solid-state battery. Withstanding a high enough current density to allow fast charging without forming dendrites has long been an industry holy grail.”


Cohon quoted on water access in PA
TRIB Live

CEE/EPP’s Jared Cohon was quoted in TRIB Live on the wide disparity in water prices across Western Pennsylvania. Cohon traces the drastic difference to the flaw in how water is sold in the region. “If we’re not the most fragmented, we’re certainly among the most,” Cohon commented. “It’s astounding how many water providers we have here.…It’s incredibly not efficient, to say the least.”


Whitacre quoted on lithium-ion batteries
The Daily Beast

Scott Institute Director Jay Whitacre was quoted in The Daily Beast on lithium-ion batteries and their effect on climate disaster. Whitacre expressed that the batteries have improved significantly in recent years, with most current grid-scale lithium-ion batteries holding a charge that could power a local grid for about four hours or so. However, the storage capacity depends on its size. Whitacre also explained that lithium-ion is not typically used for long duration storage simply because of the high costs involved.


Hills quoted on voice distortion on phone calls
Consumer Reports

EPP’s Alex Hills was quoted in Consumer Reports on voice distortion during phone calls, after Apple and Android users alike were disturbed to find themselves sounding like robots when using their devices. However, Hills explains that the reason is simple. Your vocal data is translated into ones and zeros that can be understood by a computer. “When information is going over a digital network, it has to be converted to bits,” Hills explained. “At the other end, the receiver converts the ones and zeros back to the original information.”


Koopman quoted on AVs and Tesla
Los Angeles Times

ECE’s Philip Koopman was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on autonomous vehicles, after an alarming public self-driving test conducted by Tesla. Drivers participating in the “beta test” posted videos of their cars making potentially disastrous mistakes, causing state legislators to grow concerned about the dangers posed to other drivers and pedestrians on the road. “The level of a driving automation system feature corresponds to the feature’s production design intent,” said Koopman. “Intent is key to categorizing the autonomy level for Tesla Full Self-Driving.” He added that legislature has an oversight responsibility, and that it may be time for a relevant committee or joint hearing to explore where we are today.


Rajkumar quoted on Waymo and the robotaxi market
Reuters

ECE’s Raj Rajkumar was quoted in Reuters on the robotaxi race, with Arizona company Waymo currently in the lead. Despite its success, the company has had its setbacks, such as blocking disabled parking spots during drop-offs. Rajkumar noted that high staffing costs also could contribute to Waymo’s slow expansion, as monitors have had to aid the vehicles in navigating around freight pallets, errant stop signs, and road-paving gear.


Cranor quoted on talking to teens about social media and body image
Houston Chronicle

CyLab Director Lorrie Cranor was quoted in the Houston Chronicle on how guardians can discuss body image issues and social media with their teenagers. After the reveal that Facebook’s failure to act on its own research showing Instagram’s harm to young people, it reopened the discussion for reforming social media and its use by teenagers and young adults. While many solutions are being discussed, Cranor is advocating for being open with your child. “I am not a big fan of tools locking down or spying on them. If you are going to use those tools, be open with the child that you’re doing it,” she said.


Michalek interviewed on transportation technology
ABC News Radio

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek was interviewed on the ABC News Radio about the electric transportation technology industry and what this means for consumers. “We look at four issues,” said Michalek, “the technology itself, where emissions are coming from, consumer behavior, and public policy.” Michalek also emphasized that policy and innovation are major drivers in the shifts being seen in the electric transport industry, and are ultimately the reasons for people making the switch from traditional fuel-based vehicles.