Thursday, January 29, 2009

TC becomes HCDE

The College of Engineering's Technical Communication department has a new name! According to University Week, it is now officially the Department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE).

Why the name change? "The field is changing," said professor and chair Jan Spyridakis. "Given where the computing world is going, our field is much broader than simply writing and editing. The new name reflects that broader focus."

To find out more about the change, read the entire article in University Week.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tiny Motors, Tiny Robots

The BBC has an interesting article/video about the development of nano-motors to power tiny robots. The innovation, which has applications in surgical procedures, was reported in the February 2009 issue of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. I believe the article is titled, "Piezoelectric ultrasonic resonant motor with stator diameter less than 250 ┬Ám: the Proteus motor," and is authored by James Friend and colleagues from the Micro/Nanophysics Laboratory at Monash University in Australia.

If you want to read the the original journal article, you're in luck! The University of Washington has a subscription to the electronic version, which means the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering (from 1991 to the present) is available to UW students, faculty, and staff online.

According the the BBC article, the "researchers' prototype measures a quarter of a millimetre wide - not much more than a couple of hairs side-by-side, and 70% smaller than the previous record holder."

If you need help accessing this (or any) article, just ask us.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Use the library? Win an award!

All undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Washington are eligible to compete for the UW Library Research Award. If you're a UW undergrad who knows how to do great research, you could be a winner! (Or if you know such an undergrad, encourage them to apply!)

The awards committee gives out six to ten awards each year. The prize is $750 for Non-Seniors and $1000 for Seniors.

Applying is a three step process and the first deadline is May 18, 2009.

So what are you waiting for? I did a quick scan of the past winners and didn't see any engineering students. You could be the first!

Learn more about the Library Research Award at their FAQ site.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Safari Tech Books Online

Safari Tech Books Online offers full-text technical reference books on topics such as networking, Java, Linux/Unix, Perl, .NET, desktop productivity, web development and more from O'Reilly and other publishers of IT books.

The UW Engineering Library provides you access to Safari for books published in 2007, 2008, and 2009 (such as the brand new title Beautiful Architecture shown below).

So take advantage of this awesome resource. If you're working from off-campus and need help connecting, refer to this previous post for more info, or ask us here.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Each month, NewsFlash highlights College of Engineering researchers (and sometimes students) who have been featured in magazines, newspapers, and other media.

For example, University of Washington professor Babak Parviz's work on developing a bionic contact lens was recently highlighted in a article.

So subscribe to the NewsFlash RSS feed to keep up with the latest breaking news about your colleagues at the UW College of Engineering.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Technology Pioneers of 2009

Students in the College of Engineering like to stay on top of new technologies. If you're interested in the companies behind many of the innovations shaping our world, you might want to take a look at the 34 companies selected as the top Technology Pioneers for 2009 by the World Economic Forum.

The WEF recognizes companies in three areas: Biotechnology and Health, Energy and Environmental Technologies, and Information Technology. According to the nomination form: "The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers programme focuses on distinguishing those innovations that will have a dramatic and sustainable impact on business and/or society."

You can also check out YouTube videos about Technology Pioneers here.

Only 5% of teens think engineers are “nerdy”

The Lemelson-MIT Invention Index is an annual survey that measures American teens’ perceptions about invention and innovation. According to their recent press release, this year's survey revealed that:
  • 85% of teens expressed interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with “curiosity about the way things work” as the driving factor for their interest.
  • 56% of those interested selected “protecting the environment” or “improving our society” as their inspiration.
  • 55% of teens believe scientists, engineers and mathematicians are best described as “intelligent." Only 5% of teens selected “nerdy” as the best description.
  • Nearly 2/3 of teens indicated that they may be discouraged from pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics because they do not know anyone who works in these fields.
Check out the entire article here.

Spread the Word for Science!

Announced on the blog of the Government Information Divison of SLA: A cooperative network of organizations called The Coalition for Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) has launched a U.S.-oriented effort called Year of Science 2009 (YoS09).

Basically a public relations campaign for Science, COPUS aspires to "... engage the general public in dynamic ways that will make science more accessible, personally meaningful, and locally relevant."