Materials & Innovations

IRS sniffing around tech transfers?

By / October 23, 2008

The AAAS’ latest Policy Alert alerted us to the following announcement that the IRS actually made Oct. 1: Approximately four hundred U.S. colleges and universities will begin receiving compliance questionnaires from the Internal Revenue Service in the next few days as part of the agency’s focused effort to study key areas in the tax-exempt community. …

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Video of the week: Cracking up over mugs

By / October 22, 2008

One tradition of The American Ceramic Society’s annual meetings and the coinciding MS&T conferences is the student mug drop competition. The purpose of the Ceramic Mug Drop contest is to promote spirited and collegial competition among students by demonstrating their prowess in manufacturing a ceramic mug possessing high strength, mechanical reliability, and aesthetics. Mugs are…

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Rice University study to track nanomaterials’ path

By / October 21, 2008

Rice University is undertaking a new study, funded by the National Science Foundation, that will track “tagged nanoparticles” as they travel through the environment. The purpose of the study, which focuses on fullerenes, is to learn how these nanoparticles impact the environment and natural systems, according to a university press release. Rice’s research team will be jointly headed…

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Oddest announcement of the week

By / October 19, 2008

This is verbatim: SCI Files Patent for Nano Enhanced Bamboo Friday, October 17, 2008 For Immediate Release– Survival Consultants Int’l. LLC has filed a patent on the methodology of growing nano enhanced bamboo. Bamboo is a world wide resource. The entire human race has become so entrenched in the uses of steel, copper, etc..(all building…

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Purdue cuts LED costs with silicon

By / October 17, 2008

Experts at Purdue University say the United States could cut its total energy consumption and related carbon emissions by approximately 10 percent through the broad adoption of light-emitting diode technology. Known to be about four times more efficient than incandescent lights, one LED “negative” has prevented the technology’s widespread domestic use: prohibitive cost. LEDs are “at least 20 times” more…

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Foldable and stretchable circuits: teaching silicon new tricks

By / October 17, 2008

Researchers led by John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have developed a new form of flexible, stretchable silicon integrated circuit. Not only can these new silicon circuits wrap around complex shapes, but they can do so without sacrificing electrical performance while stretching, compressing and folding…

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Interview available about Imperial College’s new ceramic center

By / October 14, 2008

Back in April, ACerS’ magazine, the Bulletin, announced that the Imperial College (U.K.) was establishing a Structural Ceramic Center funded at £6 million over a five-year period by an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s Science and Innovation Award. The Center is being directed by Bill Lee, a professor at Imperial College and head of…

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Light-emitting glass – the next big thing?

By / October 14, 2008

If you can get beyond the heavy hype, it appears Planilum – billed by its developers as “the world’s first light-emitting material,” a “technology that redefines our relationship with light” and light that “establishes a dialogue between the ethereal and the functional” – might actually be a great product. Its codevelopers – Paris’ Saazs Institute and Saint-Gobain – say the technology…

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Embedding electrical components in cast metals

By / October 13, 2008

Smart parts – parts that can track themselves and predict their own breakdown – may soon be possible thanks to new ceramic materials and cast-metal manufacturing methods being developed at the Fraunhofer Institute in Bremen, Germany. According to an Institute press release, Fraunhofer scientists are developing a way to make light-metal parts “intelligent” by embedding electrical components…

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DuPont takes DOD wearable power prize

By / October 12, 2008

The DuPont/Smart Fuel Cell Team came out the million-dollar winner Oct. 8 in the Department of Defense’s Wearable Power Prize competition. DuPont is based in Delaware and SFC is headquartered in Brunnthal, Germany. DuPont has a minority stake in SFC and the group’s methanol-powered pack actually began to be deployed among combatants this summer: “Our…

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