UW Today

Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics


April 12, 2016

UW undergraduate team wins $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for gloves that translate sign language

Two University of Washington undergraduates have won a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for their “SignAloud” invention — gloves that can translate American Sign Language into text or speech.


July 20, 2015

The Next MacGyver will be a woman — and a UW engineering student may invent her

Concept art for "The Mind" television proposal

Astronautics doctoral student Nao Murakami wants to invent the heir to Angus MacGyver — the 1980s television hero who inspired a generation of engineers by foiling criminals with household items like cooking oil, a shop vac or a tube sock. Only this time the engineering heroine will be a woman.


June 2, 2015

UW researchers scaling up fusion hopes with DOE grant

UW researchers are scaling up a novel plasma confinement device with a DOE grant, in hopes of producing a self-sustaining reaction to create fusion energy.


October 8, 2014

UW fusion reactor concept could be cheaper than coal

A prototype of the UW's current fusion experiment.

University of Washington engineers have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output.


February 20, 2014

NASA’s ‘Mohawk Guy’ advocates ‘audacious,’ creative engineering

Bobak Ferdowsi photo

Bobak Ferdowsi, a NASA flight engineer who became known as “Mohawk Guy” after sporting a mohawk hairstyle during the 2012 rover Curiosity’s landing on Mars, spoke to a class of University of Washington aeronautics and astronautics engineering students on Feb. 19. Ferdowsi was a student in the department and graduated from the UW in 2001.


April 4, 2013

Rocket powered by nuclear fusion could send humans to Mars

Image of a spacecraft powered by a fusion-driven rocket.

Astronauts could be a step closer to a fast journey to Mars using a unique manipulation of nuclear fusion devised by UW scientists and those at a Redmond company.


June 28, 2012

Plasma startup creates high-energy light to make smaller microchips

In one of the twists of scientific discovery, a UW duo working on fusion energy — harnessing the energy-generating mechanism of the sun — may have found a way to etch the next generation of microchips.