Thursday, January 15, 2009

eMotive: Out of Gas

RISD design students and engineering majors from Brown University combined their problem-solving resources in fall 2008 to tackle a growing global problem: the need for affordable, flexible transportation powered by renewable fuel sources. An outgrowth of the eMotive project – an ongoing collaboration between Industrial Design faculty Khipra Nichols BID ’78 and Michael Lye ’96 ID and Brown Engineering faculty Chris Bull – the Out of Gas! studio focused on the needs of urban commuters, using Providence as a test case.

Lye and Bull team-taught the studio, which brought together roughly 12 students from RISD and 12 from Brown to explore “where and how industrial design and engineering intersect” in the context of a real-world problem, Bull explains. In addition to reaping the benefits of complementary expertise, the students took full advantage of both institutions’ specialized facilities: the metal, wood and model shops at RISD, and the Prince Engineering Lab at Brown, which offers access to CNC and rapid prototyping technology.

More information:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Canadian Press article featuring nanoscience

Tiny particles lead medicine from science fiction to nanorobots fighting cancer
Jan 7, 2009

Article Excerpt:
Thomas Webster, an associate professor of engineering at Brown University in Providence, R.I., says that to peer at the intricacies of various tissues, such as bone or skin, through a super-powered microscope is to enter the nano world at a glance.

"What we're finding out is that nanomaterials make up our tissues," says Webster, editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Nanomedicine, who points as an example to enzymes and proteins that power the functions that give us life.

"So we are walking nano things. We are assembled from nanomaterials."