UW News

College of Engineering


July 15, 2020

A GoPro for beetles: Researchers create a robotic camera backpack for insects

A beetle with a camera system on its back moves through a patch of moss

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a tiny wireless steerable camera that can ride aboard an insect or an insect-sized robot.


June 23, 2020

Laser allows solid-state refrigeration of a semiconductor material

A diagram showing the set up of an experiment for solid-state refrigeration using a laser.

A team from the University of Washington used an infrared laser to cool a solid semiconductor by at least 20 degrees C, or 36 F, below room temperature, as they report in a paper published June 23 in Nature Communications.


June 17, 2020

Is the air getting cleaner during the COVID-19 pandemic?

San Francisco at sunset

Using air quality data from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency monitors across the U.S., a UW-led team looked for changes in two common pollutants over the course of 2020.


May 28, 2020

UW launches new Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences with $2.5 million investment from Microsoft

researcher works with subject

The University of Washington today announced the establishment of the Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences (CREATE). Fueled by a $2.5 million inaugural investment from Microsoft, UW CREATE is led by an interdisciplinary team whose mission is to make technology accessible and to make the world accessible through technology.


May 15, 2020

Staff feature: What it’s like to photograph the stories of a quiet university campus and bustling medical center amid a pandemic

Fountain with light streaming in through the water

One of the essential roles that is often not seen is the work of our campus photographers. They continue to capture the visual stories and people on campus in a time when many of us aren’t there to see them ourselves. UW News asked one of our campus photographers to share some of his favorite photos he’s taken this spring, and to describe what it’s like working on campus now.


May 6, 2020

Should you help a sick person? UW psychology, computer science faculty study ‘moral dilemmas’ of COVID-19

Elderly man opening front door to find a bag of food on his doorstep

A new international study led by the University of Washington aims to gauge the perception of ethical situations as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves around the world.


May 1, 2020

Pacific oysters in the Salish Sea may not contain as many microplastics as previously thought

oysters on beach

University of Washington researchers have discovered that the abundance of tiny microplastic contaminants in Pacific oysters from the Salish Sea is much lower than previously thought.


April 23, 2020

Smart farming via satellite: NASA profiles UW researcher Faisal Hossain’s tech-based irrigation advisory system for Earth Day

Faisal Hossain, whose work has been featured by NASA

Noting the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, NASA has featured UW-led research by Faisal Hossain that uses satellite data to help farmers manage water more efficiently.


April 22, 2020

A contact-tracing app that helps public health agencies and doesn’t compromise your privacy

A person on a train looking at their phone. Other people are on their phones behind that person.

Researchers from the University of Washington and UW Medicine, along with volunteers from Microsoft, have developed a new contact-tracing app called CovidSafe.


April 16, 2020

‘Hands-on’ classes online? How some instructors are adapting to a new teaching environment

A postal service box with lab materials inside

When the UW announced it was moving its spring quarter 2020 classes entirely online to combat the novel coronavirus, instructors across campus faced a new, uncharted challenge.


April 14, 2020

How families can use technology to juggle childcare and remote life

A child in front of a laptop.

UW researchers are beginning a national study to help families discover technology that helps them both successfully navigate home-based learning and combat social isolation.


April 13, 2020

UW’s 3D printed COVID-19 face shields: From innovation to delivery

face masks

When the first U.S. COVID-19 patient emerged in Washington, UW Medicine, as the state’s foremost provider of advanced medical care, was thrust into the role of trailblazer. Its clinicians and researchers have since mustered a speedy and sometimes ingenious response.


‘I saw you were online’: How online status indicators shape our behavior

A closeup of a hand holding a phone

After surveying smartphone users, UW researchers found that many people misunderstand online status indicators but still carefully shape their behavior to control how they are displayed to others.


April 3, 2020

Watch videos of UW students’ ideas for public toilets, road safety and job matches in India

Students painting a wall a copper color

A UW study abroad program empowers students from all disciplines to apply their skills to real-life problems.


March 31, 2020

UW researchers need your (digital) coughs

A photo of the front of the Gates Center

UW researchers are developing an app that will allow health organizations to monitor coughs from self-quarantined COVID-19 patients from home.


March 30, 2020

Three UW students selected as 2020 Goldwater Scholars

Three undergraduate students at the University of Washington are among 396 around the country who have been named Goldwater Scholars for 2020.


March 18, 2020

How people investigate — or don’t — fake news on Twitter and Facebook

A Facebook post that shows a picture of a crazy cloud formation over Sydney. The text above the picture says "A friend posted this pic of last night's storm in Sydney. Think there might be a craft in there somewhere?"

UW researchers watched 25 participants scroll through their Facebook or Twitter feeds while, unbeknownst to them, a Google Chrome extension randomly added debunked content on top of some of the real posts.


March 17, 2020

Survey: What blocks your bus?

A King County Metro bus in Seattle.

UW researchers are inviting the public to share their experiences on their regular commutes in a survey.


March 10, 2020

‘Age of A.I.’ documentary on YouTube features UW experts

three people stare at graph on screen

A documentary series produced and released this winter by YouTube features UW computer scientist Pedro Domingos and members of the UW-based Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.


March 2, 2020

Navigating the potential pitfalls of tracking college athletes

A close up of a hand holding oars. On the person's wrist is a fitness tracker

UW researchers interviewed 22 athletes and staff members from three college athletics programs to see how collecting data from college athletes might encroach on their autonomy.


February 27, 2020

Video: Warming Arctic means less ice, bigger waves

ship surrounded by ice

Throughout the month of November 2019, a team of University of Washington researchers chased storms in the Arctic Ocean. The project, Coastal Ocean Dynamics in the Arctic, or CODA, is looking at how water currents shift and waves hit the coast with more open water, to provide better forecasts and predictions for the region’s future.


February 18, 2020

Simple, fuel-efficient rocket engine could enable cheaper, lighter spacecraft

A rocket takes off

UW researchers have developed a mathematical model that describes how rotating detonation engines work.


February 13, 2020

Researchers at AAAS to discuss latest science on Cascadia earthquake hazards

earthquake damage to brick building

At a Saturday afternoon session, researchers from the University of Washington and federal agencies will discuss the emerging research on Pacific Northwest megaquakes.


Hydropower dams cool rivers in the Mekong River basin, satellites show

A river in the foreground while children run on the beach in the background

Using 30 years of satellite data, UW researchers discovered that within one year of the opening of a major dam in the Mekong River basin, downstream river temperatures during the dry season dropped by up to 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C).


Immune cells consult with neighbors to make decisions

An illustration showing immune system cells migrating to a wound site.

Scientists and physicians have long known that immune cells migrate to the site of an infection, which individuals experience as inflammation — swelling, redness and pain. Now, researchers at the University of Washington and Northwestern University have uncovered evidence that this gathering is not just a consequence of immune activation. Immune cells count their neighbors before deciding whether or not the immune system should kick into high gear.


February 10, 2020

UW’s Steve Kramer elected to National Academy of Engineering

headshot

Steve Kramer, a professor of UW civil and environmental engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Kramer is among 87 members and 18 international members newly elected to the academy, one of the highest professional distinctions in engineering.


February 3, 2020

The one ring — to track your finger’s location

A close up of the ring with the wristband in the background

UW researchers have created AuraRing, a ring and wristband combination that can detect the precise location of someone’s index finger and continuously track hand movements.


January 22, 2020

What’s in Puget Sound? New technique casts a wide net for concerning chemicals

A researcher works in a chemical hood

Using a new “non-targeted” approach, UW and UW Tacoma researchers screened samples from multiple regions of Puget Sound to look for potentially harmful compounds that might be present.


December 19, 2019

Mindful travel, Silicon Valley’s evolution, Schumann on viola, Seattle history — UW-authored books, music for the Husky on your list

A list of several UW-authored books and cds that might make good holiday gifts.

  A teacher discusses respectful world travel, a historian explores Silicon Valley’s evolution, a professor and violist plays the music of Robert Schumann and a late English faculty member’s meditation on Seattle returns … Here’s a quick look at some gift-worthy books and music created by UW faculty in the last year — and a…


December 16, 2019

Faculty/staff honors: Distinguished teaching honor, new editor for environmental health journal, overseeing education in Uganda, Allen School honors

statue of George Washington on UW campus

Recent honors to UW faculty and staff include the new editorship of a major journal, a post with the Republic of Uganda and honors from the American College of Physicians, the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.


December 9, 2019

Brian Johnson receives $4.9 million from U.S. Department of Energy to support solar energy systems

Brian Johnson, assistant professor in the UW Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, has received a $4.9 million grant across three years from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Brian Johnson, assistant professor in the UW Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, has received a $4.9 million grant across three years from the U.S. Department of Energy.


December 6, 2019

Astronomy fellowship demonstrates effective measures to dismantle bias, increase diversity in STEM

a person smiling and looking at the camera

Joyce Yen — director of the University of Washington’s ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change, an NSF-funded body to promote female STEM faculty on campus — recently worked with the Heising-Simons Foundation to dismantle bias and promote diversity in a prominent grant that the Foundation awards to postdoctoral researchers in planetary science. In this Q&A, Yen shares the many, sometimes counterintuitive ways bias can work against goals toward greater diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM fields.


December 4, 2019

Warmer temperatures will increase arsenic levels in rice, study shows

closeup of rice grains on rice plants

UW researchers have found that warmer temperatures, at levels expected under most climate change projections, can lead to higher concentrations of arsenic in rice grains.


December 2, 2019

Carpentry Compiler helps woodworkers design objects that they can actually make

A wooden birdhouse

UW researchers have created Carpentry Compiler, a digital tool that allows users to design woodworking projects. Once a project is designed, the tool creates optimized fabrication instructions based on the materials and equipment a user has available.


November 27, 2019

A method with roots in AI uncovers how humans make choices in groups and social media

Woman holding a smart phone

Using a mathematical framework with roots in artificial intelligence and robotics, UW researchers were able to uncover the process of how a person makes choices in groups. And, they also found they were able to predict a person’s choice more often than more traditional descriptive methods.


November 20, 2019

Emissions from electricity generation lead to disproportionate number of premature deaths for some racial groups

A coal power plant in West Virginia.

UW researchers have found that air pollution from electricity generation emissions in 2014 led to about 16,000 premature deaths in the continental U.S. In many states, the majority of the health impacts came from emissions originating in other states.


November 15, 2019

UW aerospace engineer part of $1.7M grant to study corals

A healthy reef in Indonesia teems with life.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from multiple institutions — including the University of Washington — has received a two-year $1.7 million National Science Foundation grant to study coral growth.


November 5, 2019

Fall storms, coastal erosion focus of northern Alaska research cruise

freight shipping container in foreground and research ship in background

A University of Washington team is leaving to study how fall storms, dwindling sea ice and vulnerable coastlines might combine in a changing Arctic.


November 4, 2019

Single discrimination events alter college students’ daily behavior

Five hands making fists in a circle. All arms have black Fitbit trackers on them.

UW researchers aimed to understand both the prevalence of discrimination events and how these events affect college students in their daily lives. Over the course of two academic quarters, the team compared students’ self-reports of unfair treatment to passively tracked changes in daily activities, such as hours slept, steps taken or time spent on the phone.


Light-based ‘tractor beam’ assembles materials at the nanoscale

A diagram of an optical trap

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a method that could make reproducible manufacturing at the nanoscale possible. The team adapted a light-based technology employed widely in biology — known as optical traps or optical tweezers — to operate in a water-free liquid environment of carbon-rich organic solvents, thereby enabling new potential applications.



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