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Academic Minute: Women in STEM Fields

In another Inside Higher Ed  segment, Rick Vaz, co-director of the Center for Project-Based Learning, discussed "Women in STEM Fields." “Project-based learning could be a powerful strategy to attract and retain more talented women into science and technology fields,” he said.

A Small Step for Space Force Is Not a Giant Leap for Uniform Design

The New York Times sought President Leshin’s insight for this article. (scroll down to 12th graph). “The fact is, the vast majority of the women and men serving in the Space Force will be doing their important work right here on Earth, just like other members of the military,” Leshin said. “The same is true for people at NASA.”

Cutting Edge: Local university testing new rust-free materials

WCVB highlighted research by Adam Powell, associate professor of mechanical engineering, who is testing a new type of welding that may make the joint between light metal alloys more resistant to corrosion, including salt spray, leading to future designs of durable, next-generation metal car joints used in ultra-light car doors and other vehicle body applications. “Typically, if you reduce the weight by 10 percent, you get five percent better gas mileage,” (1:40) Powell told WCVB.  

WPI prof gets award

The Telegram & Gazette in it's College Town section reported on Bruce Bursten, chemistry and biochemistry professor, being named by the American Chemical Society (ACS) to receive the 2020 ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry.

WPI Shows Off New PracticePoint Labs-a Place Where Ideas can be Tested

The Telegram & Gazette in this article, highlighted the university’s ribbon-cutting at PracticePoint, its membership-based development and testing facility. PracticePoint labs is a collaborative health care technology facility that university, state and business leaders hope will deliver breakthroughs in medical devices.

WPI Marks Opening of New $17M PracticePoint Facility

The Worcester Business Journal highlighted WPI’s PracticePoint ribbon-cutting event in its article​, "WPI Marks Opening of New $17M PracticePoint Facility​." PracticePoint is the university’s membership-based development and testing facility. The goal of this alliance space is to advance healthcare technologies and launch better medical cyber-physical systems, through collaboration across the spectrum of product development and implementation. 

LePage Interviewed About Governor’s Proposal to Ease Traffic Congestion

Suzanne LePage, instructor, civil and environmental engineering, was interviewed by Boston 25 as part of a segment on Boston traffic congestion and a Baker Administration proposal to give tax credits to employers letting employees telecommute. “If we’re going to just try to work within the capacity that we have that, to me, seems like a logical solution,” she said of the Baker proposal.

WPI Researcher Gets $1M Grant to Develop Technology for Deaf Users

Erin Solovey, assistant professor of computer science, was featured in a Telegram & Gazette article. Solovey received a $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that could lead to significant breakthroughs in technology platforms for the ASL-signing Deaf Community.

WPI Professor Adam Powell discusses benefits of new welding technique on car designs

WBUR radio aired a segment about Adam Powell, associate professor of mechanical engineering, who is testing a new type of welding that may make car joints more resistant to corrosion, leading to lighter and more fuel efficient cars. Powell said the welding process is ideal for car doors, which are “especially beneficial for a car with reduced weight in some other parts that need just another 20 or 40 pounds of additional weight reduction to get to that smaller engine.”

WPI Researcher Uses Corrosion Test Chamber to Simulate Road Salt Impacts on Future Car Designs

WBZ Radio reported on Adam Powell, associate professor of mechanical engineering, testing a new type of welding that may make the joint between light metal alloys more resistant to corrosion, including salt spray, leading to future designs of durable, next-generation metal car joints used in ultra-light car doors and other vehicle body applications. This “could cut the weight in half of a lot of major parts of a vehicle,” Powell told WBZ.

Repeated N.W.T. wildfires can hit boreal forests hard

The Canadian Broadcast Corporation quoted Professor Albert Simeoni, fire protection engineering, in this article. He said Canadian findings in a new paper from Natural Resources Canada scientists quantify and add direct evidence to what he and others have seen in other places, including in eucalyptus forests in Australia . “We have observed that repeated heat insults to vegetation and the soil was damaging and this corroborates this observation," Simeoni told the CBC.

Revolutionary thinking? Colleges let students opt out of admissions exams.

The Christian Science Monitor ran a lengthy story about test-optional practices at universities nationwide, and included comments from Andrew Palumbo, dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, and WPI sophomore Hezekiah Owuor. The story explores how universities are increasingly reinforcing the importance of students’ talents and character.

WPI is researching ways to help your car survive New England’s salt-covered winter roads

MassLive reported on WPI's research to help cars survive New England's salt-covered winter roads. ​Adam Powell, associate professor of mechanical engineering, was awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office for the research.


WPI Receives Funding from the National Science Foundation to Develop a Website that Children Can Use to Design and Play Math Games

WBUR talked to Erin Ottmar, assistant professor of learning sciences and psychology, about the NSF grant she and other WPI researchers received to develop a website that children can use to design and play math games that develop computational thinking skills. "Currently, there's very few K-8 teachers who are trained in computer science, so part of the idea is to bridge that gap and be able to increase computational thinking for our students," Ottmar said.

Central Mass. college enrollment grew 9% over decade

The Worcester Business Journal reported that WPI, which has the largest enrollment of any college in Central Massachusetts, saw its student body grow from 4,002 in the fall of 2010 to 5,371 in the fall of 2018, the latest year for which information is available through the Worcester Business Journal's research department.

5 takeaways from Day 2 of the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum

The Robot Report quoted Gregory Fischer, professor of mechanical engineering, in its coverage of the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum in California. He described the work done at WPI’s PracticePoint development and testing facility on robotic systems that can work on a patient inside an MRI machine. “We’re adding cooperative control like that for an autonomous car, with the doctor pushing the gas and the robot steering,” said Fischer, who is also director of PracticePoint. “PracticePoint is working in real time in clinical environments.” 

Ring Recommends Users Update Their Home Security System Passwords After String of Hacking Incidents

Time interviewed Craig Shue, associate professor of computer science, for this article (scroll down to 8th graph).  Shue told Time he agrees hackers are likely getting Rings users’ account information from third parties. “I would also encourage everybody to do their own form of risk assessment and determine what they need in these devices and whether it’s worth the risk to have that functionality,” he added. 


Fat-shaming pregnant women isn’t just mean, it’s harmful

An article written by Angela Incollingo Rodriguez, assistant professor of social science and policy studies, was published in The Conversation. Rodriguez’s research suggests that nearly two-thirds of pregnant and postpartum women experience some form of weight stigma. In the article she writes, “As a health psychologist studying weight stigma and its consequences, I see pregnancy as an important new avenue for research.”

How to Fix College Admissions

The Wall Street Journal spoke with Dean Andrew Palumbo, admissions and financial aid, for this article. (Go down to header: “Get Rid of the SAT and ACT”; scroll down two more paragraphs). “If it’s not a great predictor and potentially acting as a barrier for students who are at or above peers but bad testers, what message are we sending?” Palumbo told the newspaper.

WPI Researcher to Develop Analytical Tool for Asylum Cases

NPR Hartford reported on Andrew Trapp, associate professor of operations and industrial engineering, developing analytical tools to estimate capacities for holding sites, judges, and other resources needed to humanely process migrant asylum cases at the U.S. southern border.