Manufacturing, schools foster new workforce development

In a Sunday feature story about the future of manufacturing in the Worcester area, Diran Apelian, the Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Engineering and founding director of the Metal Processing Institute, discussed WPI’s emphasis on teaching students entrepreneurship. 

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Surviving the Inferno
  • Brian Meacham, associate professor of fire protection engineering, was interviewed for the second of a two-part series on last month’s Grenfell Tower fire in London. In an interview in his lab, Meacham described the concerns regarding the combustibility of materials used in the tower’s cladding system. 
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What would happen if bees disappeared?
  • The Boston Globe interviewed Robert Gegear, assistant professor, biology and biotechnology, in the Q&A, “What Would Happen if Bees Disappeared?” Gegear discussed his new bee app that allows users to import a photo or video of a bee to a database for analysis.
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NASFM Foundation Commissions The Most Extensive Literature Review Of Building Code “Trade-Offs” To Date

International Fire Protection Magazine featured an article regarding an extensive literature review of fire safety codes conducted for the National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research & Education Foundation by Nick Dembsey, professor of fire protection engineering. 

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It’s now clear US voting is hackable. Here are 6 things we must do to prevent chaos.

VOX published an op-ed by Suzanne Mello Stark, an associate teaching professor in computer science, which raises questions about our voting system’s vulnerability to hackers.

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Smartphone app tracks, identifies bee-plant interactions

 “The app collects data on individual species of bee and flowers and allows us to figure out what the individual needs of the species are ... so people can make changes to their yard, learn what flowers to plant, and tell us how do we conserve lands to increase bee diversity,” Robert Gegear, professor of biology and biotechnology, told the T&G.  

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London Fire’s Death Toll Rises to 30; Some Victims Might Never Be Identified

The New York Times interviewed  Brian Meacham, associate professor of fire protection engineering, about this week’s tragic high rise apartment building fire in London. Meacham weighed in on the differences between building codes in the United States and the United Kingdom saying, “building codes in Britain put a lot of the onus on building engineers to comply with nonmandatory guidelines on sprinkler systems, alarms and fire exits.”

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International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee on Radiation Protection Conference

WPI Physics professor David Medich discussed the four-day international radiation protection forum at WPI. “Every type of medical imaging test has a purpose and, if not done properly, you will not get the information you need,” he said.

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Haptic Glove Creates Realistic Force Response

Referring to him as a “leader in haptic technology,” the American Society of Mechanical Engineers featured Cagdas Onal, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, in the article.  “Many potential applications exist, including prosthetic/orthotic devices, wearable technologies, robotic collaborators/assistants, elder care, and systems that augment human performance,” Onal said.

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As I See It: Plight of the bumblebee, and how to save it
  • Biology and biotechnology assistant professor Robert J. Gegear wrote an op-ed in the Telegram & Gazette in which he stresses that bumblebee decline has detrimental effects on our ecology and notes differences between bumblebees and honeybees, which were the subject of a prior editorial. 
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Underwater Power Kites: Flying Wings Across Ocean Currents Can Tap a Surprising Degree of Clean Energy

Mechanical Engineering published the article by David Olinger, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

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A Future Finally Free of Cell Phone Chargers Gets a Little Closer

USA Today interviewed Alexander Wyglinski, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, for the lead article in its Tech section. Commenting on sound waves generated by technology able to generate enough power to keep multiple devices running, Wyglinski said, “in general, just like with any other signal, there’s an issue with it getting weaker the farther away it travels from the transmission source.” 

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WPI researcher aims for a better, cheaper commute

The Telegram & Gazette, interviewed Yanhua Li, assistant professor of computer science and data science, for the article, "WPI researcher aims for a better, cheaper commute." He’s developing an idea for a new kind of transit system, CityLines, inspired by airlines and built for urban areas.

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U.S. cyber bill would shift power away from spy agency

This Reuters’ article included comments from Susan Landau, professor of cybersecurity policy. In the article, Landau stated that “the new bill was an effort to put the process ‘into civilian control.’”

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First Woman To Earn Degree From WPI Crosses Stage 60 Years Later
  • Referring to her as “the first lady” of WPI, CBS Boston/WBZ-TV reported on 86-year-old Audrey Carlan ’57, who received an honorary doctoral degree during the university’s Graduate Ceremony yesterday, where nearly 800 master’s and doctoral degrees were awarded. Although she received the first degree awarded by WPI to any woman—15 years before the first female undergraduates were awarded degrees—she did not attend commencement because she was more than eight months pregnant.
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Industrial robots are security weak link

Mike Gennert, director of WPI’s Robotics Engineering program, discusses some of the challenges faced by companies and IT departments using industrial robots. 

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Local Researchers Create More Freedom For Amputees With New Prosthetic Devices

This story features WPI-developed prosthetic technology. The work is aimed at providing better prosthetics options for injured soldiers and others with transradial amputations who have found it difficult or impossible to perform a wide range of daily tasks with current one-degree-of-freedom hand-wrist prostheses. 

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Education: Engineering a path for women

Worcester Magazine profiled WPI’s Camp Reach and its proven results of getting young women interested in engineering. “In terms of what we know about research on girls and the way students behave differently in teams, there are just different ways that boys and girls approach problems and the way they’ll approach work in a teamwork setting,” said Sue Sontgerath, WPI’s director of pre-collegiate outreach.

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Worcester Students Helping Kids Worldwide by Building Inexpensive Prosthetics

Fox 25 News aired a feature about an afterschool program at the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science (located at WPI), during which high school juniors and seniors construct 3-D prosthetic hands for children in other countries. The prosthetic hands built by these students cost about $35 in material, a fraction of the cost for prosthetics from hospitals and other providers. 

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States Step in to Fill Rescinded FCC Web Privacy Rule Void

Craig Shue, assistant professor of computer science at WPI , notes states’ rights related to the FCC Broadband privacy bill.

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