Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Faculty Talks at Research Expo on Thursday April 15

The faculty talks at Research Expo 2010 on Thursday look pretty sweet to me...too bad there are two concurrent tracks...I'd like to hear/see all of them. All of the talks touch tough on energy or energy efficiency in some way. (Check out hot student posters at Research Expo )

Session One (3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.)

Bioengineering: "Integrated Systems Neuroengineering," by Gert Cauwenberghs.

The convergence of wireless silicon integrated systems, neurotechnology, and machine intelligence offers unprecedented opportunities to advance the effectiveness, efficiency, affordability, and ease of brain interfaces for neurological monitoring and human-machine communication. We present examples of such advances in wireless non-contact electroencephalogram (EEG) brain activity sensors, and other highly energy efficient, non obtrusive health monitoring devices for body area sensor networks.

Bioengineering: "Therapeutic application of nitric oxide releasing hybrid hydrogel/glass nanoparticles," by Pedro Cabrales.

Given the important role of nitric oxide in pathophysiologic states, controlled and sustained intravascular nitric oxide delivery could profoundly impact treatment of cardiovascular disease and other health problems. Nitric oxide is generated through thermal reduction of nitrite and then trapped within dry hybrid hydrogel/glass nanoparticles, and its release is controlled through hydration. The potential for using nitric oxide to treat cardiovascular, inflammatory, thrombotic disorders and infectious disease complications will be presented.

Electrical and Computer Engineering: "Quantum Structures for Photovoltaic Applications," by Paul Yu.

The harvesting of solar energy critically depends on the capture and conversion of solar energy, and the transport of energy in usable forms to the users. Quantum wells, quantum dots and nanowires are potential candidates for enhancing the conversion efficiencies in future solar cells. Their status will be presented.

Electrical and Computer Engineering: "Power Estimation and Optimization Techniques for On-Chip Interconnection Networks," by Bill Lin.

Networks-on-Chips (NoCs) are an important class of interconnection fabric for both chip multiprocessors and systems-on-chips. High-quality, early-stage design exploration is needed to understand the power-delay-area tradeoffs. However, existing architectural estimation models, in one way or another, assume a specific architecture and underlying circuit implementation. Furthermore, existing NoC optimizations do not incorporate traffic behavior of the target applications. These two failings limit the quality of NoC design space exploration and result in designs that are not well-matched to the corresponding applications. In this talk, I will describe our ongoing work on the use of statistical learning techniques to automate the generation of accurate architectural-level power estimation models and our ongoing work on trace-driven NoC optimizations.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering: "Thermoelectric materials for waste heat to useful energy conversion: The role of Nanotechnology," by Prab Bandaru.

In this talk, Prof. Bandura will explain how thermoelectric materials can be used to convert heat to electricity. Over the past few years, theoretical calculations and laboratory demonstrations have implied that nanostructures, such as quantum wells, nanowires, and quantum dots could be used to increase the figures of merit by an order of magnitude.
The Promise and Challenges of Solar Thermal Energy Conversion Renkun Chen, Professor By turning the sunlight into heat, one can potentially harness the whole spectrum of the solar radiation, whereas a photovoltaic solar cell can only utilizes a part of the solar spectrum. The heat can then be converted into electricity by several different technologies, such as thermophotovoltaics (TPV), thermoelectrics (TE), and traditional thermodynamics heat engines. Recent research progress and scientific and technical challenges associated with these technologies will be discussed.

Research Expo Faculty Talks Session Two (3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

Computer Science and Engineering: "Cyber-Physical Energy Systems," by Rajesh Gupta.

Societal use of energy presents one of the exciting opportunities for use of embedded computing in improving energy efficiency from datacenters to buildings. In this talk, we explore the notion of "collaborative heterogeneity" in building communication and computing systems that can be aggressively duty-cycled.

Computer Science and Engineering: "Energy-Efficient Computing," by Tajana Simunic Rosing

Whether it is low power devices, or large servers, understanding how energy is spent in computing systems is the key goal of research from the System Energy Efficiency Lab. We start with measurement, characterization and modeling of computing systems, and then design and implement new energy management strategies to ensure excellent performance with low energy consumption.

NanoEngineering: "Materials Challenges for Electric Energy Storage & Conversion," by Shirley Meng.

New and improved materials for energy storage are urgently required to make more efficient use of our finite supply of fossil fuels, and to enable the effective deployment of renewable energy sources. In this talk, Prof. Shirley Meng explains that by combining knowledge-guided synthesis/characterization and ab initio computation we can develop and optimize new nanomaterials for low-cost, high energy and more reliable electric energy storage.

Structural Engineering: "Advanced Modeling and Large-Scale Simulation of Wind Turbines," by Yuri Bazilevs.

Yuri Bazilevs will explain how wind is a major source of alternative energy and how wind turbines harvest wind energy and convert it to electricity and power. His work addresses current modeling deficiencies and focuses on developing an advanced geometry modeling and simulation framework for large-scale computational analysis of wind turbines.

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