Piece of Mind

Piece of Mind

March 22nd, 2017

With just an inexpensive micro-thin surgical needle and laser light, University of Utah engineers have discovered a minimally invasive, inexpensive way to take high-resolution pictures of an animal brain, a process that also could lead to a much less invasive method for humans.A team led by University of Utah electrical and computer engineering associate professor Rajesh Menon has now proven the process works on mice for the benefit of medical researchers studying neurological disorders such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and aggression. Menon and his team have been working with the U. of U.’s renowned Nobel-winning researcher, Distinguished Professor of Biology and Human Genetics Mario Capecchi, and Jason Shepherd, assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy.The group has documented its process in a paper titled, “Deep-brain imaging via epifluorescence Computational Cannula Microscopy,” in the latest issue of Scientific Reports. The paper’s lead author [...]

Lawmakers Fund Engineering Initiative

Lawmakers Fund Engineering Initiative

March 13th, 2017

The Utah Technology Council, joined by Utah’s high tech industry and the state’s eight engineering and computer science programs has secured $4 million in ongoing funds from the Utah State legislature to continue to fund the Engineering Initiative.Since the 2015 appropriation, the funding of this initiative has added 657 additional engineering and computer science graduates per year in the statewide system—more than double the 250 promised in that appropriations request.   Despite this astounding increase, thousands of jobs remain unfilled, hindering industry growth and expansion. However, thanks to this increase in funding, the initiative will address this critical issue by:Recruiting more faculty in high demand disciplines.Building capacity by creating more class sections and developing online alternatives.Boosting retention through academic advising and career counseling.Strengthening outreach to women and underrepresented minorities.Richard Nelson, President and CEO of the Utah Technology Council stated, “The technology community[...]

PhD Student Receives Competitive Grant

PhD Student Receives Competitive Grant

March 10th, 2017

Konstantinos Oikonomou, a second-year PhD student at the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) receives a prestigious scholarship from the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED) and Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) through the Energy Research Triangle (ERT) Scholars competitive grant program. Konstantinos is pursuing his PhD degree at the ECE’s Utah Smart Energy Lab (U-Smart) under the supervision of Prof. Parvania. Konstantinos is interested in developing solutions for ensuring efficient and sustainable supply of electricity and water demand in urban areas that is becoming a challenge as urban population continues to grow with rapid pace. His research develops control methods to co-optimize the operation of urban power and water distribution systems in emerging smart cities, saving considerable amounts of precious energy and water resources. “ERT continues to support Governor Gary R. Herbert’s vision for accelerating Utah-based solutions to power o[...]

Utah’s Need for Engineers

Utah's Need for Engineers

March 3rd, 2017

Utah’s growth in the technology sector continues to skyrocket, and engineering colleges around the state are doing everything they can to meet the high demand for engineers.In the first six months of 2016, Utah had the greatest percentage increase of technology-related jobs in the U.S. with a growth of 7.7 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the number of tech-sector jobs in Utah grew from about 46,000 to 70,000 from 2005 to 2015, according to the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (see graphic above).Meanwhile on the front end, the number of students seeking engineering degrees has grown even more rapidly. At the University of Utah, for example, the number of first-year students enrolled in the College of Engineering has grown 178 percent in the last 10 years, according to the College.“In some areas of the state it’[...]

ECE Online Master’s Program

ECE Online Master's Program

February 28th, 2017

After Eidy Herrera graduated from the University of Utah in electrical engineering in 2010, she always wanted to continue on with her master’s degree. Then life happened.She started working, and she and her husband began a family. “Since I graduated, I wanted to do it,” she says about working toward a graduate degree. “I just wasn’t able to feed it into my schedule.”But six years later, Herrera, a 32-year-old systems engineer at L3 Technologies, is now going back to school to fulfill her dream of earning a master’s in electrical and computer engineering even though her whirlwind life has not slowed down. That’s now possible through the department’s new online master’s program, a full 30-hour curriculum toward a graduate degree that has the exact same requirements and courses as the on-campus program, only students take the classes through the web. The program launche[...]

Support for International Community

Support for International Community

January 31st, 2017

The University of Utah strongly supports the international members of our community and values their many contributions to this campus. The continued ability to attract and support outstanding students and the highest quality faculty and staff from around the world is critical to excellence in teaching, research, and community engagement. This past week, as most of you are well aware, President Trump signed an executive order that suspends entry into the United States for various categories of travelers. The current order affects immigrant and non-immigrant status holders from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. On Friday, Jan. 27, in anticipation of the president signing the executive order, a message of support and resources was sent to all international scholars and students at the U. The Office of General Counsel also reached out to employees affected by the travel[...]

I Can See Clearly Now

I Can See Clearly Now

January 26th, 2017

The days of wearing bifocals or constantly swapping out reading glasses might soon come to an end. A team led by University of Utah electrical and computer engineering professor Carlos Mastrangelo and doctoral student Nazmul Hasan has created “smart glasses” with liquid-based lenses that can automatically adjust the focus on what a person is seeing, whether it is far away or close up. Research on the adaptive lenses was published this week in a special edition of the journal, Optics Express. The paper was co-authored by U electrical and computer engineering associate professor Hanseup Kim and graduate researcher Aishwaryadev Banerjee. “Most people who get reading glasses have to put them on and take them off all the time,” says Mastrangelo, who also is a professor for USTAR, the Utah Science Technology and Research economic development initiative. “You don’t have to do that anymore. Yo[...]

Cynthia Furse To Receive Governor’s Medal

Cynthia Furse To Receive Governor's Medal

January 9th, 2017

Cynthia Furse, associate vice president for research at the University of Utah and professor of electrical and computer engineering, will receive the 2016 Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology, continuing a long list of University of Utah College of Engineering faculty who have been given the honor.“I’m very humbled to receive this honor. I’ve loved engineering,” she said. “It’s been a tremendously rewarding career.”Furse is one of six who have been awarded a medal in the “Academic/Research” category this year and is the only faculty member in the U’s College of Engineering to be named. The recipients will be honored during an awards dinner Jan. 18.The awards, sponsored by the Governor’s Office for Economic Development and the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative, have been given to people and companies who have “provided distinguished service or made significant contributions to Utah’s advanced scientifi[...]

ECE Faculty at CES 2017

ECE Faculty at CES 2017

January 4th, 2017

University of Utah electrical and computer engineering professors Carlos Mastrangelo and Cynthia Furse as well as associate professor Hanseup Kim will be showing off new technologies at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. They are two of four teams from the U that will be displaying their products during the convention. The teams are profiled in the U's campus newsletter.Four innovative University of Utah technologies will be exhibited at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017, the world’s largest and best-known technology trade show. The event runs from Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas. It marks the U’s third consecutive year at the event—and largest representation yet. CES, which attracted more than 177,000 visitors and 3,800 exhibitors from around the world last year, introduces next-generation innovations to the marketplace.“We look forward to our expanded involvement at CES 2017,” said Keith Marmer, executive[...]

High-Tech Hidden Messages From Everyday Products

High-Tech Hidden Messages From Everyday Products

January 3rd, 2017

Scientists at the University of Utah found that they could hide QR codes by using small rods printed with varying mixtures of silver and carbon and in varying lengths and orientations.(From Daniel Akst/The Wall Street Journal) Invisible ink has long been a staple of love, war and intrigue. In a new twist on the ancient concept of hidden writing, scientists have come up with a way to encode messages in innocuous-looking markings that can only be decoded with a specific type of electromagnetic radiation. And they managed it with cheap, off-the-shelf products available on the internet. Researchers at the University of Utah used a standard inkjet printer costing less than $60 and equipped it with specialty ink cartridges, also readily available, containing either carbon or silver. In printing, the inkjet device mixed the two as required by instructions from a computer, just[...]

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