News: MAE

Mexican border

Bold Plan? Replace the Border Wall with an Energy–Water Corridor

By: Mark Fischetti - Scientific American

MAE's Professor Barthelmie and Profesor Sara Pryor (EAS) are part of this proposed project. Building solar, wind, natural gas and water infrastructure all along the U.S.–Mexico border would create economic opportunity rather than antagonism. Here’s an idea: Instead of an endless, inert wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, line the boundary with 2,000 miles of natural gas, solar and wind power plants. Use some of the energy to desalinate water from the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean and ship it through pipelines to thirsty towns, businesses and new farms along the entire border zone. Hire... Read more

Zhiting Tian

"MIT Technology Review" China Science and Technology Youth Heroes List released!

By: Sina Technology - Self Media Synthesis

Zhiting Tian, assistant professor and Eugene A. Leinroth Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow (MAE) Award category: inventor Reasons for winning: Mainly engaged in interdisciplinary research in the field of nanoscale heat conduction and energy conversion. Related research breaks the traditional notion that polymers are only thermal insulators, laying a solid foundation for organic thermal diodes, thermal switches, and on-demand heat flow control. For the first time, the winners discovered significant thermal rectification in asymmetric polymers, as well as thermal switching in temperature-sensitive... Read more

Cornell Chronicle

Study creates roadmap for responsible geoengineering research

By: David Nutt - Cornell Chronicle

“Part of the genesis of this paper is that a long time ago I got tired of going to meetings and not being able to say much more than, ‘If you do geoengineering, it will get colder,’” said lead author Douglas MacMartin, senior research associate and senior lecturer in mechanical and aerospace engineering. “We actually need to do the research to understand what the impacts are and understand the uncertainties,” MacMartin said. Read more

Rob Shepherd award

NSF Announces Awards for Soft Robotics Research

By: Sarah Bates, NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is investing $20 million in 10 research awards to push forward the frontiers of engineering research in soft robotics. “Configurable, strong, mobile robots could safely explore environments too hostile for humans, such as disaster zones and the deep ocean,” said Dawn Tilbury, NSF's assistant director for Engineering. “They could allow unprecedented extension of human perception and action to places we’ve only dreamed about, opening up vast reservoirs of knowledge and potential for innovation.” From robots with programmable “skins” that allow them to alter... Read more

Ankur Singh helps a student

Assistant Professor Ankur Singh received research excellence award

Ankur Singh is an Assistant Professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. Dr. Singh has strong expertise in the engineering of biomaterials-based platforms for cell and immune modulation, cell-biomaterial interactions, cell adhesion, stem cell engineering, and vaccines. He received his postdoctoral training at Georgia Tech where he employed engineering and molecular cell biology principles to understand human stem cell reprogramming and differentiation, stem and mature cell adhesion, force response and mechanotransduction. Dr. Singh received his Ph... Read more

Meinig Family Professor of Engineering

Brian Kirby named to endowed professorship

Brian J. Kirby , Professor with indefinite tenure, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, was elected the Meinig Family Professor of Engineering , effective November 1, 2018. Brian has long been distinguished in research, teaching and service, and this recognition is a wonderful testament to his impact and leadership. Education Stanford University 2001 Website Kirby Research Group Read more

John Brancaccio Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Silvia Ferrari named to endowed professorship

Silvia Ferrari , Professor with indefinite tenure, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, was elected the first John Brancaccio Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering , effective November 1,2018. Biography Silvia Ferrari is a Professor of MAE at Cornell University. Prior to that, she was Professor of Engineering and Computer Science, and Founder and Director of the NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) and Fellowship program on Wireless Intelligent Sensor Networks (WISeNet) at Duke University. She is the Director... Read more

Meredith Silberstein promoted

Biography Meredith Silberstein is an Assistant Professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. She received her Ph.D. in June 2011 from the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering with a major in solid mechanics and a minor in energy. Afterward, she served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, investigating mechanochemically active materials. Research Interests Meredith Silberstein's Mechanics for Materials Design (MMD) Lab is devoted to using mechanical experiments and modeling methods in... Read more

Nelly Andarawis-Puri promoted

Biography Dr. Andarawis-Puri joined the Cornell MAE faculty as the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor in January 2016. Prior to her appointment at Cornell, she was an Assistant Professor in the Leni and Peter W. May Department of Orthopaedics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She holds a B.S. from Columbia University in Biomedical Engineering, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Bioengineering, specializing in Biomechanics, with Dr. Louis Soslowsky as her graduate mentor. Following her graduate studies, she completed her post-doctoral training... Read more

Shape shifting robot

Shape-shifting modular robot is more than the sum of its parts

By: Melanie Lefkowitz

General-purpose robots have plenty of limitations. They can be expensive and cumbersome. They often accomplish only a single type of task. But modular robots – composed of several interchangeable parts, or modules – are far more flexible. If one part breaks, it can be removed and replaced. Components can be rearranged as needed – or better yet, the robots can figure out how to reconfigure themselves, based on the tasks they’re assigned and the environments they’re navigating. Now, a Cornell-led team has developed modular robots that can perceive their surroundings, make decisions and... Read more