UW News

College of Engineering


March 2, 2021

UW Center for an Informed Public co-authors report on mis- and disinformation surrounding the 2020 U.S. election

The Election Integrity Partnership, a nonpartisan coalition of research institutions, including the University of Washington, that identified, tracked and responded to voting-related mis- and disinformation during the 2020 U.S. elections, released its final report, “The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Elections” on Tuesday, March 2. The report is the culmination of months of collaboration among approximately 120 people working across four organizations: the UW Center for an Informed Public, Stanford Internet Observatory , Graphika and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.


February 19, 2021

‘Small moon’ shapes allow DNA devices to attach in precise orientations

A black image with a white circle in the center. The circle has a hole that is slightly off center.

A team of engineers, including one at the University of Washington, has developed a technique that allows for the precise placement of molecules formed from folded DNA in not only a specific location but also in a specific orientation


Vice Provost for Research Mary Lidstrom stepping down after 15 years

portrait of mary lidstrom

After more than 15 years serving as Vice Provost for Research, Mary Lidstrom will step down from her position on Aug. 31, 2021, with plans to return full time to the faculty, concentrate on her research, and establish mentoring and diversity, equity and inclusion programs.


February 10, 2021

List of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists includes seven from UW

collage of portraits

Seven University of Washington scientists are included in Cell Mentor’s list of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists, published in December 2020. Cell Mentor is a collaborative resource between Cell Press and Cell Signaling Technology.


February 4, 2021

‘Audeo’ teaches artificial intelligence to play the piano

A hand pressing a piano key

A UW team created Audeo, a system that can generate music using only visual cues of someone playing the piano.


January 27, 2021

$11.45 million federal grant will develop transit, mobility tech for underserved groups

As part of the Transportation Data Equity Initiative, the UW is developing technology that will allow underserved groups to use tools similar to Google Directions and OneBusyAway to get from place to place.


January 18, 2021

Researchers use lasers and molecular tethers to create perfectly patterned platforms for tissue engineering

Image of a biological scaffold for tissue engineering that has had proteins tethered to it in a specific pattern, in this case the University of Washington's former logo

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a technique to modify naturally occurring biological polymers with protein-based biochemical messages that affect cell behavior. Their approach, published the week of Jan. 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses a near-infrared laser to trigger chemical adhesion of protein messages to a scaffold made from biological polymers such as collagen, a connective tissue found throughout our bodies.


January 12, 2021

Video: Detecting COVID-19 in wastewater

Man in hard hat and gloves in small room holding large vial with clear light brown fluid in it.

When someone has the coronavirus, some of it is shed in their fecal matter. So what we flush has become useful to UW researchers developing a new testing method for COVID-19 in sewage. They’re looking at wastewater that flows from people’s homes, sampling it at manholes and neighborhood pump stations before it goes to sewage treatment plants.


New treatment allows some people with spinal cord injury to regain hand and arm function

A hand picking up a tiny bead

Using physical therapy combined with a noninvasive method of stimulating nerve cells in the spinal cord, University of Washington researchers helped six Seattle area participants regain some hand and arm mobility.


December 7, 2020

The Smellicopter is an obstacle-avoiding drone that uses a live moth antenna to seek out smells

A hawkmoth in the lower right hand corner of the photo with an out of focus drone behind it

A team led by the UW has developed Smellicopter: an autonomous drone that uses a live antenna from a moth to navigate toward smells. Smellicopter can also sense and avoid obstacles as it travels through the air.


December 3, 2020

Tire-related chemical is largely responsible for adult coho salmon deaths in urban streams

A team led by researchers at UW Tacoma, UW and Washington State University Puyallup has discovered a chemical that kills coho salmon in urban streams before the fish can spawn.


November 24, 2020

Four UW faculty members named AAAS fellows for 2020

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named four University of Washington faculty members as AAAS Fellows, according to a Nov. 24 announcement from the organization. The four are part of a cohort of 489 new fellows for 2020, which were chosen by their peers for “their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.”


November 17, 2020

UW part of $5.8M contract to study wireless charging on moon

an image of the moon

A team of organizations — led by the space technology company Astrobotic and including the University of Washington and the UW spinout WiBotic — has received a $5.8 million contract to develop a line of lightweight, ultrafast wireless chargers that could help both humans and robots live and work on the moon.


November 2, 2020

Break it up: Polymer derived from material in shrimp’s shells could deliver anti-cancer drugs to tumor sites

Mouse mammary cancer cells that are being treated with a nanoparticle that can deliver an anti-cancer drug into the cells.

A University of Washington team led by Miqin Zhang, a professor of materials science and engineering and of neurological surgery, has developed a nanoparticle-based drug delivery system that can ferry a potent anti-cancer drug through the bloodstream safely. Their nanoparticle is derived from chitin, a natural and organic polymer that, among other things, makes up the outer shells of shrimp.


October 28, 2020

SoundWatch: New smartwatch app alerts d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing users to birdsong, sirens and other desired sounds

A wrist with a smartwatch on it. The smartwatch has an alert that says "Car honk, 98%, Loud, 101 dB" It also has options to snooze the alert for 10 minutes or open in an app on the user's phone.

UW researchers have developed SoundWatch, a smartwatch app for deaf, Deaf and hard-of-hearing people who want to be aware of nearby sounds.


October 22, 2020

Simple actions can help people survive landslides, UW analysis shows

aerial view of mud and trees with building remains

Simple actions can dramatically improve a person’s chances of surviving a landslide, show records from 38 landslides in the U.S. and around the world. People who survived landslides tended to have moved upstairs or to higher ground, among other key actions.


October 12, 2020

Engineering lecture focuses on contact tracing: Monitoring COVID-19 infections while respecting privacy

A photo of the front of the Gates Center

This fall the UW’s annual engineering lecture will feature Stefano Tessaro, an associate professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.


October 8, 2020

Airdropping sensors from moths: Researchers use flying insects to drop sensors from air, land them safely on the ground

UW researchers have created a sensor system that can ride aboard a small drone or an insect, such as a moth, until it gets to its destination.


October 7, 2020

UW books in brief: Children’s books on STEM professionals, a courageous personal memoir — and UW Press looks back at 100

New books by UW faculty members include children’s works profiling STEM researchers and a personal memoir of an immigrant’s journey to freedom. Also, UW Press remembers a century of publishing, and a book on British colonialism is honored.


October 6, 2020

All together now: Experiments with twisted 2D materials catch electrons behaving collectively

A diagram showing the overlap between the atomic layout of sheets of 2D materials

In a paper published Sept. 14 in the journal Nature Physics, a team led by the University of Washington reports that carefully constructed stacks of graphene — a 2D form of carbon — can exhibit highly correlated electron properties. The team also found evidence that this type of collective behavior likely relates to the emergence of exotic magnetic states.


October 5, 2020

Video: Using ‘Street View’ to track pandemic in Seattle over time

A 360 camera is mounted on top of a sedan

As the city of Seattle shut down in March 2020 to try to slow the spread of COVID-19, a group of University of Washington researchers decided to track how the city would react.


October 1, 2020

Faculty/staff honors: Teaching and mentoring award; three Aeronautics & Astronautics professors recognized — and state dance educator of the year

Etienne Cakpo

Recent honors to UW faculty have come from the American Institute for Aeronautics & Astronautics, the American Society of Composites, the Coalition for Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology and the Dance Educators Association of Washington.


September 30, 2020

UW researchers driving around Seattle to track COVID-19 response over time

A panoramic view of a street corner. Cars and a pedestrian are labeled

UW researchers developed a project that scans the streets every few weeks to document how Seattle has reacted to the pandemic and what recovery looks like.


September 28, 2020

Soundbites: UW researchers examine deceptive ads on news websites

In this video: Franziska Roesner, associate professor in the Allen School Eric Zeng, graduate research assistant in the Allen School Journalists: download soundbites here With the election season ramping up, political ads are being splashed across the web. In the age of misinformation, how can news consumers tell if the ads they’re seeing are legitimate? USA…


Q&A: UW researchers clicked ads on 200 news sites to track misinformation

A study by UW researchers found that both mainstream and misinformation news sites displayed similar levels of problematic ads. UW News had a conversation with the team about this research, where ads on news sites come from, and how things might change leading up to the election.


September 11, 2020

‘Dancing in the sky’: UW professor Cecilia Aragon tells of beating fear, becoming competitive pilot in memoir ‘Flying Free’

Cover of "Flying Free" by Cecilia Aragon

A conversation with UW professor Cecilia Aragon about her new memoir, “Flying Free: My Victory Over Fear to Become the First Latina Pilot on the US Aerobatic Team”


September 9, 2020

UW joins Public Interest Technology University Network

The University of Washington has joined forces with schools across the country to be part of the Public Interest Technology University Network, or PIT-UN.


September 3, 2020

First responders get training on how to decontaminate masks

N95 masks under a green light

A University of Washington-led team has developed a box that can decontaminate N95 respirator masks using ultraviolet light.


September 2, 2020

UW Books: Climate change meets restoration science in ‘Anticipating Future Environments’; ‘Building Reuse’ in paperback — and Anu Taranath’s ‘Beyond Guilt Trips’ named a Washington State Book Award finalist

Recent news about UW-authored books includes a UW Press book on salmon habitat restoration amid climate change and a paperback edition of a book on building reuse. Also, Anu Taranath’s “Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World” is a Washington State Book Award finalist.


September 1, 2020

UW launches Institute for Foundations of Data Science

people at white board

The University of Washington will lead a team of institutions in establishing an interdisciplinary research institute that brings together mathematicians, statisticians, computer scientists and engineers to develop the theoretical foundations of a fast-growing field: data science.


August 31, 2020

UW receives NSF funds for investment in an interdisciplinary quantum future

A person standing smiling at the camera

The National Science Foundation has awarded $3 million to establish a NSF Research Traineeship at the University of Washington for graduate students in quantum information science and technology. The new traineeship — known as Accelerating Quantum-Enabled Technologies, or AQET — will make the UW one of just “a handful” of universities with a formal, interdisciplinary QIST curriculum.


August 26, 2020

Faculty from Allen School, Evans School tapped for NSF institutes on artificial intelligence

The National Science Foundation has announced five new institutes devoted to AI research and based at universities around the country. Six University of Washington faculty will be affiliated with the institutes.


August 20, 2020

Faculty/staff honors: Public service award, endowed professorship, cybersecurity grant — and a UW professor among Talented 12

Jessica Ray, UW assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been named a member of the 2020 Talented 12 list of young chemists working to solve world problems by the weekly newsmagazine Chemical & Engineering News, or C&EN.

Recent honors and grants to University of Washington faculty and staff have come from the American Chemical Society, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Science Board and the family of engineers Ganesh and Hema Moorthy.


August 14, 2020

UW team developing model to help lower COVID-19 infections in King County, guide eventual vaccine distribution

A UW Medicine worker wearing personal protective equipment stands outside a car at a drive up testing clinic

A UW team has received a grant to develop a model that uses local data to generate policy recommendations that could help lower COVID-19 infections in King County.


August 7, 2020

Faculty/staff honors: Grants for STEM equity, HIV prevention; innovation award — and a White House honor for engineering mentoring

Eve Riskin, professor and associate dean in the UW College of Engineering, has been named a recipient of a 2019 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Recent honors and grants to University of Washington individuals and units have come from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the Marconi Society — and the White House.


July 16, 2020

7 University of Washington researchers elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2020

Seven scientists and engineers at the University of Washington have been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences, according to an announcement July 15 by the academy.


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.


June 2, 2020

Faculty/staff honors: East Asia Resource Center grant; career awards in robotics, information processing

Students study in the East Asia Resource Center in the Jackson School of International Studies.

Recent honors to UW faculty and staff have come from the British Computer Society Information Retrieval Specialist Group, the Freeman Foundation and the IEEE.



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