New this week on Full Circle

FURI paves way to graduate school, career goals
Biomedical engineering student Nathan Gaw and chemical engineering student Justin Jordan gained important skills for graduate school and career goals through the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative. The program supports undergraduate student participation in research under the mentorship of ASU engineering faculty members. It provides laboratory experience that gives students skills to make them better qualified for graduate studies and the job market. Read online

Chattopadhyay awarded Regents’ Professor distinction
To add to a long legacy of engineering achievements, Chattopadhyay has been awarded the Regents’ Professor title — the highest honor for faculty at Arizona’s state universities — for her strides in cutting-edge aerospace research and contributions to students. She is the ninth ASU engineering faculty member to be selected as a Regents’ Professor, and the fifth in the past five years. Read online

Rittmann recognized for impact on environmental conservation
Outstanding contributions to environmental conservation have earned Arizona State University Regents’ Professor Bruce Rittmann an award from American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES). The association acknowledges his accomplishments as “a pioneer in the development of biofilm fundamentals and the holder of five patents related to membrane biofilm reactor technology” for their impact on environmental conservation. Read online

ASU engineers to lead national solar energy technology projects
Arizona State University engineers will lead two multi-university/industry research teams in support of a new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program to develop technologies that use the full spectrum of sunlight to produce inexpensive power during both day and night. Stephen Goodnick, professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, will lead the project High-Temperature Topping Cells from LED (Light-Emitting Diode) Materials, which has been allocated $3.9 million. Goodnick is also deputy director of ASU LightWorks, a strategic framework for light-inspired research. Zachary Holman, assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, will lead the project Solar Concentrating Photovoltaic Mirrors, which has been allotted $2.6 million. Read online

In the news

Natcore Technology Adds Scientist to Accelerate Laser and Quantum Dot Progress (Wall Street Journal)
Som Dahal, a Fulton Engineering Alum who earned his Ph.D. under research advisement of Christiana Honsberg, has joined Natcore Technology Inc. as a Senior Research Scientist. Dahal is an electrical engineer with particular expertise in quantum dot nanostructures and silicon solar cell fabrication.

ASU solar projects will get up to $6.5M from Department of Energy (Phoenix Business Journal)
Arizona State University engineers will lead two multi-university/industry research teams in support of a new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program to develop technologies that use the full spectrum of sunlight to produce inexpensive power during both day and night.

Using 3-D printing to treat children’s heart defects (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia use a 3-D printer to build a patient-specific replica that they can take apart, cut, and sew up to find the best approach, and are part of a multicenter trial to assess the effects of printed-heart pre-surgical planning. The technique — pioneered by ASU bioengineer David Frakes —is an integral part of planning for doctors at Phoenix Children’s Hospital where Frakes’ lab is located.

ASU engineers have role in new national manufacturing research consortium (Phys.org and HispanicBusiness.com)
Arizona State University electrical engineers Srabanti Chowdhury and Raja Ayyanar will lead research for the university’s role in a new national consortium formed to develop the next generation of power electronics. 
Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the work of the Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute is expected to boost the nation’s manufacturing industry and create new jobs. The institute led by North Carolina State University brings together 18 companies, five universities and two major laboratories.

Researchers Study How Rare-Earth Nanoparticles Trigger Inflammation (Chemical & Engineering News)
Paul Westerhoff, associate dean for Research and Graduate Affairs and professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, comments on work demonstrating that rare-earth oxides have toxicological properties that are different from other metal oxides. These unique properties mean researchers in academia and industry need to take special care with the materials, he says.

Microplastics in Our Water” on The Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC-FM)
Microbeads, tiny pieces of plastic commonly used in personal care products, are showing up in waterways across the nation. These tiny particles are considered potentially dangerous to the environment because of their tendency to absorb toxins in the water and then get consumed by fish and other organisms. Rolf Halden, Director of the Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University, and Sherri Mason, Associate Professor of Chemistry at SUNY Fredonia, explain the hazards of these particles in our water.

ASU professor designs biohybrid devices modeled after sperm to help cancer patients (statepress.com)
Recently referred to as “sperm-bots” or “bio-bots”, biohybrid swimmers are a recent breakthrough in the science of biomechanics. Jagannathan Rajagopalan, assistant professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, and a research unit at the University of Illinois are the first to demonstrate that structures could be powered by cells, and not an external force, on the nanoscale.