Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Graduation Weekend

We enjoyed celebrating with our graduating class and returning engineering alumni this past weekend! Best of luck in your future endeavors and keep in touch!

Here are photos from Commencement/Alumni Weekend. As always, you can download original files by clicking on the "all sizes" button on the top left corner of the photo.

Engineering Alumni Reception:

PRIME Brunch:

BEAM Dinner:

Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Brown FSAE places 25th

Brown FSAE Team traveled to Detriot, Michigan to compete against nearly 100 teams from around the world. Our team placed 25th this year and notably had the only female driver in the endurance competition. The team placed 16th on fuel efficiency. They are clearly aware of energy and resource consumption.

Brown's team has finished the endurance portion 12 out of the past 13 years, which is a portion of the race that less than 30% of teams complete. They should be applauded for their reliable car.

Here are the results from the FSAE website:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Biosensor to Measure Vitamin D Levels

A team from Professor Palmore's lab consisting of two grad students (Steve Rhieu and Vince Siu) and one undergraduate (Daniel Ludwig, '09) is in the Finalist round of the BMEIdea 2009 competition on June 9th – June 11th, in New York City, New York. This work was made possible by an OVPR seed grant and has a preliminary patent application submitted.

Here is the brief project summary:

We propose a new methodology to measure vitamin D levels in serum using electrochemical detection. Vitamin D is a prohormone that is hydroxylated in the liver to become 25(OH)D, which is further hydroxylated in the kidney by the enzyme CYP27B1 to become the biologically active form. The electrochemical approach is based on the hypothesis that the hydroxylation of 25(OH)D can be measured via the catalytic reaction of CYP27B1 immobilized on an electrode. The reaction requires a supply of electrons, generating a detectable current that is proportional to the concentration of 25(OH)D. Similar to a commercial glucose meter, our proposed vitamin D biosensor will use a disposable testing strip that is inserted in the portable device along with a sub-microliter sample. The sample is analyzed and the result is displayed both qualitatively and quantitatively on a liquid crystal display. Specific recognition of 25(OH)D by a CYP27B1-based electrode system eliminates the need for extensive extraction and/or purification of the sample allowing for inexpensive, accurate, and rapid measurements.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Car of the future

Faculty and students at Brown and RISD have teamed up to build a car of the future for urban areas. The vehicle, designed in part by senior lecturer and senior research engineer Chris Bull and his class, has a seven-horsepower biodiesel engine and potentially can go 100 miles on one gallon of fuel. The story was accompanied by a video featuring the car.
Full report online: www.projo.com/education/content/car_of_tomorrow_05-18-09_CPE6A1D_v32.3548ce6.html
Video of the car: http://www.projo.com/video/news-index.html?nvid=362376&shu=1

Monday, May 11, 2009

Engin grad earns outstanding dissertation award

Lijie Zhang (Ph.D., BME, 2009), won the Joukowsky Family Outstanding Dissertation Award for her thesis "Biologically Inspired Rosette Nanotube Nanocomposites for Bone Tissue Engineering, Orthopedic, and Vascular Applications".

The letter reads that she was selected out of over 200 PhD graduates this year for her superior achievement in research. The award will be given out during the Graduate School Commencement ceremony.

Lijie is now completing a post-doc at Rice University.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gao receives award

Huajian Gao has been selected to receive the 2009 Robert Henry Thurston Lecture Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers “for groundbreaking research on mechanical properties of both engineering and biological systems across multiple length scales”. Formal presentation of the award is scheduled to take place at the Robert Henry Thurston Lecture, during the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, November 13-19, 2009.

About the Robert Henry Thurston Lecture Award:

The Robert Henry Thurston Lecture was established in 1925 in honor of Robert Henry Thurston (Brown, B.S., Civil Engineering, 1859), the first president of ASME and a farseeing leader in science and engineering. The Robert Henry Thurston Lecture, presented annually at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress, provides an outstanding leader in pure or applied science or engineering with the honor of presenting to the Society a lecture that encourages stimulating thinking on a subject of broad technical interest to engineers. The Robert Henry Thurston Lecture was elevated to a Society award in 2000.

Robert Henry Thurston (1839-1903) was born in Providence, Rhode Island. His father, Robert Lawton Thurston, manufactured steam engines in Providence. The young Robert Henry Thurston went to Brown University, where he graduated as a civil engineer in 1859. He was the first professor of mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology (in 1871). There he established Stevens’ mechanical engineering curriculum. Historians credit Thurston with establishing the first US mechanical engineering laboratory for conducting funded research at an academic institution for higher learning. He was the first president (1880-82) of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.