purdue engineering

New adhesive flexes its mussels!

Check out this new nontoxic glue developed by NSF-funded researchers at Purdue University. It’s modeled after adhesive proteins produced by mussels and other creatures, and it has been found to outperform commercially available products. Potential applications include surgical glue to replace sutures and staples. 


Let me play you the song of my people.

ENGR Nights (by OfficialENGR)

Great news! Both of the founders of Dyslexic Kids - Scott Forsythe and Alexandra Forsythe - have been selected by NASA to be paid engineering interns at NASA Langley this summer! Scott is a college freshman working toward a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Purdue. He will be continuing the work he began last summer at NASA - software development for the next generation weather satellite. Alex is a junior in high school but she has already earned over a year’s worth of college credit through AP tests and dual credit courses. She will be working on the electrical and computer engineering sides of the satellite project. 

Never let dyslexia hold you back! Reach for the stars, and you may get to work with an organization that actually does reach for the stars!

Conceptually, bioelectronics is straightforward: Get the nervous system to tell the body to heal itself. But of course it’s not that simple. “What we’re trying to do here is completely novel,” says Pedro Irazoqui, a professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue University, where he’s investigating bioelectronic therapies for epilepsy. Jay Pasricha, a professor of medicine and neurosciences at Johns Hopkins University who studies how nerve signals affect obesity, diabetes and gastrointestinal-motility disorders, among other digestive diseases, says, “What we’re doing today is like the precursor to the Model T.”

And here comes some of the future…

Can the Nervous System Be Hacked? - NYTimes.com


Sewing Machine Makes Cheap Stretchy Component Needed For Wearable Tech And Soft Robots

Purdue University engineers have come up with a new and simpler way to make stretchy connections for electronics. Such power- and information-transporting materials are needed for soft robotics, next-generation implants and wearable technologies to advance.

The group used a regular sewing machine to sew a wire in a zigzag pattern on a sheet of the plastic PET with water-soluble thread. A stretchy, rubbery polymer was poured over the wire and water was then used to dissolve the thread. The PET was pulled away after the thread dissolved and released it from the wire, which was now embedded in the rubbery polymer. 

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accioacacia  asked:

What's the difference between interior design and interior design technology? Also where do you study? (:


Interior Design in general, is an art degree in most universities/colleges. Most of the time, the Interior Design degree is offered by the School of Art of any college. Depending on the college you choose, you will be exposed to various things in this discipline but will mostly focus on the aesthetic and artistic side of the field. You’ll probably learn Color Theory, Drawing for Interior Design, autoCAD (a program used to draw architectural and engineering drawings), Textiles, History of Architecture, History of Furniture etc. You’ll be equipped to design and decorate an interior space. 

Interior Design Technology, which is what I’m studying, has an added perk of being part architectural in the courses it offers. I’m doing what I’d like to describe as an interior architecture program. I learn design courses and art courses like students in other colleges but I also learn architectural things like space planning, Lighting, Sustainable Design, Architectural Presentation, Interior Materials and Application, Project Management, Residential and Commercial Construction, just to name a few. I’m studying in Indiana-University-Purdue-University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) in Indiana. My degree will be conferred by the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. So in fact, I’ll be getting a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design and NOT Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design. 

Value-wise, my program (and others like mine that gives due focus to architectural and technical skills) will be more valuable to an employer as I have the skills of an architect but the design training of an interior designer. Not many colleges offer this pathway into Interior Design unfortunately and plenty of colleges train “Interior Decorators” more than “Designers”. The difference is that a Decorator knows all kinds of design principles and uses them but may not know how to draft, use autoCAD, plan lighting fixtures, plan spaces accordingly and understand construction processes and codes whereas a “Designer” has all the skills of a Decorator PLUS some of an Architect. It’s the best of both worlds, IMHO.

I love my degree program and in just one semester, I’ve learned a ton - I now know how to draft by hand, draft using autoCAD, plan spaces, understand design principles and elements, understand the design process as well as the construction process and also how to draw interiors. I’m only a Freshman but I can tell you that the skills I’ve learned so far are priceless! 

Depending on where you live, I’d advise you to look into ID programs that have the technology/architectural element in them. Otherwise, you might want to do the ID program and see if you can minor in architecture or perhaps, after you graduate, get a Master’s in Architecture. I’d also advise you to look at the courses the program offers first before signing up. If they teach you technical skills like the ones I’ve listed, then great! If they only have art courses, I’d say you should look into getting the technical skills elsewhere. 

That’s the short answer. Let me know if you’d like to know anything else. I also have the curriculum for my Bachelor’s if you want to see it. 

PS: These are just my honest opinions. If there are any ID students who disagree, let me know. 

Txch This Week: Bridge-Building Robots And Brain-To-Brain Instant Messaging

by Jared Kershner

This week on Txchnologist, we watched Purdue University engineers work on “robotic fabric” – a material that blends cotton with flexible polymer sensors and actuators made of shape-memory alloy that bends and contracts when electric current is applied. Because of its ability to change shape, the material could be used to create customizable soft robots as well as wearable performance-enhancing garments.

Rebecca Erikson, an applied physicist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has created a microscope capable of magnifying objects up to 1,000 times by taking a glass bead and embedding it in a housing she built on a 3-D printer. This system can fit over a smartphone’s camera and costs less than a dollar in materials to produce, can magnify objects up to 1,000 times, giving the power of microscopic sight to emergency responders needing to identify biological specimens in the field, teachers, students and anyone with access to a 3-D printer.

NASA research scientist Walter Meier has reported that the Arctic Ocean is losing around 13 percent of its sea ice per decade – the ice that covers the Arctic region reached its likely minimum extent for the year last week. However, the Antarctic’s ice coverage has now surpassed its largest maximum extent since 2013.

Now we’re bringing you the news and trends we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation.

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Let me play you the song of my people.

High-Tech Wood: Research Unlocks Unexpected Products from Trees

by Michael Keller

The 21st century tree farm isn’t going to offer just the raw materials for paper, buildings and furniture. Technologies are starting to unlock new uses for trees–for biofuels, new chemicals and a product called nanocellulose, a carbohydrate building block of plants that might just be the next supermaterial.

It turns out that trees have been deploying their own nanotechnology for millennia, growing nanocellulose as a major component of their trunks for strength and to resist wind and rain while minimizing weight. Individual particles are less than a thousandth the width of a sand grain–generally less than 500 nanometers long and 20 nanometers wide. After it has been processed from wood pulp using high temperature and pressure to liberate it, the material is light, stiff and strong, is biodegradable and is cheaper to produce than many advanced products developed in a lab. It also exhibits highly sought-after properties.

Because it can add strength to materials in small enough quantities that allows light to pass through, the Army is looking at it as an additive for durable transparent composites. Others are investigating its use in applications from biocompatible implants and flexible displays and solar panels to better bioplastics, cosmetics and concrete. See a picture and learn more below.

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Physicists announce graphene’s latest cousin: stanene

Two years after physicists predicted that tin should be able to form a mesh just one atom thick, researchers say that they have made it. The thin film, called stanene, is reported on 3 August in Nature Materials. But researchers have not been able to confirm whether the material has the predicted exotic electronic properties that have excited theorists, such as being able to conduct electricity without generating any waste heat.

Stanene (from the Latin stannum meaning tin, which also gives the element its chemical symbol, Sn), is the latest cousin of graphene, the honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms that has spurred thousands of studies into related 2D materials. Those include sheets of silicene, made from silicon atoms; phosphorene, made from phosphorus; germanene, from germanium; and thin stacks of sheets that combine different kinds of chemical elements (see ‘The super materials that could trump graphene’).

Many of these sheets are excellent conductors of electricity, but stanene is — in theory — extra-special. At room temperature, electrons should be able to travel along the edges of the mesh without colliding with other electrons and atoms as they do in most materials. This should allow the film to conduct electricity without losing energy as waste heat, according to predictions2 made in 2013 by Shou-Cheng Zhang, a physicist at Stanford University in California, who is a co-author of the latest study.

That means that a thin film of stanene might be the perfect highway along which to ferry current in electric circuits, says Peide Ye, a physicist and electrical engineer at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. “I’m always looking for something not only scientifically interesting but that has potential for applications in a device,” he says. “It’s very interesting work.”

Stanene is predicted to be an example of a topological insulator, in which charge carriers (such as electrons) cannot travel through a material’s centre but can move freely along its edge, with their direction of travel dependent on whether their spin — a quantum property — points ‘up’ or ‘down’. Electric current is not dissipated because most impurities do not affect the spin and cannot slow the electrons, says Zhang.

But even after making stanene, Zhang and his colleagues at four universities in China have not been able to confirm that it is a topological insulator. Experimentalists at Shanghai Jiao Tong University created the mesh by vaporizing tin in a vacuum and allowing the atoms to waft onto a supporting surface made of bismuth telluride. Although this surface allows 2D stanene crystals to form, it also interacts with them, creating the wrong conditions for a topological insulator, says Zhang. He has already co-authored another paper examining which surfaces would work better.

Ralph Claessen, a physicist at the University of Würzburg in Germany, says that it is not completely clear that the researchers have made stanene. Theory predicts that the 2D tin lattice should form a buckled honeycomb structure, with alternate atoms folding upwards to form corrugated ridges; Zhang and his team mostly saw only the upper ridge of atoms with their scanning tunnelling microscope, except in a small spot where that ridge disappeared and a lower layer of tin atoms was exposed. However, they are confident that they have created a buckled honeycomb, partly because the distance between upper and lower layers matches predictions.

Claessen says that he would need to see direct measurements of the lattice’s structure — from X-ray diffraction — to be confident that the team has made stanene, and not some other arrangement of tin. This would require larger amounts of the material than Zhang and his co-authors have grown.

Yuanbo Zhang, a physicist at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, who was not involved in the study, is more convinced. “I think the work is a significant breakthrough that once again expands the 2D-material universe,” he says. “It’ll be exciting to see how the material lives up to its expectations.”

And Guy Le Lay, a physicist at Aix-Marseille University in France who was among the first to produce both silicene and germanene, preaches optimism in the attempt to verify stanene’s electronic properties. “It’s like going to the Moon,” he says. “The first step is the crucial step.”

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