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Mon, 08/03/2015 | UW Today
New research shows a variety of pathways to crystal formation. Crystallization occurs across scientific disciplines; a shift in the picture of how it occurs has far-reaching consequences, says lead author and MSE affiliate professor James De Yoreo. These conclusions, published July 31 in Science with De Yoreo as lead author, have implications for decades-old questions in crystal formation, such as how animals and plants form minerals into shapes that have no relation to their original crystal symmetry or why some contaminants are so difficult to remove from stream sediments and groundwater. De Yoreo is also an affiliate professor in chemistry and a materials scientist and physicist at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Wed, 04/22/2015 | KOMO4 News
MSE grad student Caitlin Cramer demonstrates how solar cells can be incorporated into everyday household fixtures, like window blinds, to generate clean, affordable energy for the home. Cramer is a member of the company Flexolar, which is using research developed at the UW Clean Energy Institute (CEI) to build flexible and durable solar cells. Flexolar was one of four CEI-sponsored teams that competed in the 2015 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge.
Wed, 04/15/2015 | UW Electrical Engineering
MSE senior William Hwang, who has impressed faculty with his ability to excel at graduate level research, among other talents, has received the 2015 College of Engineering Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence. “I am very honored and humbled to be selected for this prestigious award,” Hwang said. Each year, the UW Engineering dean recognizes two students for academic excellence. Students are nominated by department chairs and must meet criteria including academic performance, research, leadership and extracurricular activities. Hwang will receive his award at the College of Engineering Awards event on May 28, 2015. Hwang, who graduates in June 2015 with a double degree and departmental honors in both Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering, got an early start on his UW education. Following middle school, he was admitted to UW in Spring 2011 as an early entrance program student through the Robinson Center for Young Scholars. Although an undergraduate, Hwang functions more like a graduate student, say his professors. In one instance, when Hwang reached a limit on what course materials could teach him about spin coating, he pursued advanced research as an independent study honors project. Working closely with EE faculty, Hwang has also contributed to two very different projects in speech and language processing: semantic similarity measures for text simplification and analysis of disfluencies in speech, which are filled pauses such as “um,” restarts and repetitions. “William made more progress on this problem than a graduate student who was previously working on it, and his system outperforms all current baselines in the literature,” wrote a faculty member in her nomination letter regarding Hwang’s research on text simplification. Hwang will intern at Intel this summer in the Architectural Verification group of the Xeon server processor line, where he will work on verifying the embedded system architecture of Intel’s 3rd third generation Xeon processor. In the fall, he will pursue begin a Master’s degree in Materials Science & Engineering at UW and haswith future plans to pursue a Ph.D. in either Materials Science & Engineering or Electrical Engineering. Hwang is also the recipient of the Mary Gates Research Scholarship, the James I. Mueller Award and four Departmental scholarships awarded to undergraduate students in the College of Engineering. Story adapted from UW Electrical Engineering website.
Thu, 03/26/2015 | UW Today
MSE's Xiaodong Xu, an associate professor in MSE and Physics, built a new nanometer-sized laser — using the thinnest semiconductor available today — that is energy efficient and compatible with existing electronics. The UW nanolaser, developed in collaboration with Stanford University, uses a semiconductor only three atoms thick. "We all want to make devices run faster with less energy consumption, so we need new technologies," said Xu. "The real innovation in this new approach of ours, compared to the old nanolasers, is that we're able to have scalability and more controls." Next steps include investigating photon statistics to establish the coherent properties of the laser's light.

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