UW News

Department of Mechanical Engineering


September 22, 2014

New degree programs aplenty starting with school year

The University of Washington is offering a number of new degree programs with the start of fall quarter 2014.

Through new degree programs starting this fall, students will learn architecture from a liberal arts perspective, complete social sciences degrees online, become expert in the teaching of science, and much more.


June 23, 2014

Ferroelectric switching seen in biological tissues

An illustration of the molecular structure of tropoelastin, the smallest unit of the protein elastin.

University of Washington researchers have shown that a favorable electrical property is present in a type of protein found in organs that repeatedly stretch and retract, such as the lungs, heart and arteries. These findings are the first that clearly track this phenomenon, called ferroelectricity, occurring at the molecular level in biological tissues.


June 20, 2014

UW students’ electric-hybrid car takes 2nd in international competition

Members of the UW team test their car during the competition.

The University of Washington’s Advanced Vehicle Works team won second place in the international EcoCAR 2 competition this month for turning a Chevrolet Malibu into a highly efficient hybrid vehicle running on electric grid energy and biodiesel.


April 15, 2014

UW graduate’s lens turns any smartphone into a portable microscope

Photo of the micro phone lens on a smartphone.

The Micro Phone Lens, developed by UW mechanical engineering alumnus Thomas Larson (’13), can turn any smartphone or tablet computer into a handheld microscope.


February 6, 2014

UW’s James Riley elected to National Academy of Engineering

A large 'W' is at the north entrance to the UW campus.

James Riley, a University of Washington professor of mechanical engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded an engineer.


Credit card-sized device could analyze biopsy, help diagnose pancreatic cancer in minutes

the device is shown up close.

University of Washington scientists and engineers are developing a low-cost device that could help pathologists diagnose pancreatic cancer earlier and faster. The prototype can perform the basic steps for processing a biopsy, relying on fluid transport instead of human hands to process the tissue.


September 11, 2013

UW engineers to make cookstoves 10 times cleaner for developing world

An example of one of the more efficient cookstoves used in developing countries.

University of Washington engineers have received a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to design a better cookstove, which researchers say will use half as much fuel and cut emissions by 90 percent.


June 27, 2013

UW gas-, electric-powered cars claim 1st and 2nd in national contest

Racecar competing in Lincoln, Neb.

The University of Washington Formula Motorsports team took first place at the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers competition held June 19-22 in Lincoln, Neb.


May 6, 2013

New device can extract human DNA with full genetic data in minutes

close-up view of the device.

A new device will give hospitals and research labs a much easier way to separate DNA from human fluid samples to help with genome sequencing, disease diagnosis and forensic investigations.


April 15, 2013

High glucose levels could impair ferroelectricity in body’s connective tissues

Figure shows how glucose can suppress ferroelectric switching

Researchers found that a protein in organs that repeatedly stretch and retract can lose their functionality when exposed to sugar.


April 12, 2013

New device could cut costs on household products, pharmaceuticals

Surfactant gel structure forms after passing through device.

A new procedure that thickens and thins fluid at the micron level could save consumers and manufacturers money, particularly for some soap products.


January 24, 2013

Organic ferroelectric molecule shows promise for memory chips, sensors

Image of electric response

A paper in Science describes an organic crystal that shows promise as a cheap, flexible, nontoxic material for the working parts of memory chips, sensors and energy-harvesting devices.



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