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Growing number of climate disasters causing problems
Climate change is challenging infrastructure like seawalls, drainage culverts, and wastewater systems. Carrick Eggleston, professor and head of WPI’s Department of Civil, Environmental, & Architectural Engineering explains that extreme rainfall is happening more frequently in New England, and in some places, a storm that used to have a 1 in 100 chance of happening in any given year now has a 1 in 8 chance of happening in any given year.
Fire protection engineering professors Albert Simeoni and James Urban were quoted in a Reuters Fact Check article on the dynamics of the devastating fires in Hawaii. They explain how wildfires spread and why some things in a burned area avoid damage when so much else is destroyed.
Agence France-Presse interviewed Purvi Shah, professor at The Business School, about the phenomenon behind the recent resurgence of items such as Barbie, Furbies, and Grimace. Shah has done extensive research in this area, even coining the term "nostalgic brand love", which is a main driver behind the newfound popularity. The original article was published in French and widely circulated to English media outlets such as MSN and Barron's.
Global health professor Tsitsi B. Masvawure provided analysis for this WalletHub article on uneven and lagging efforts in the U.S. to address gender inequality. She points out reasons why the country ranks poorly on many health metrics used to measure gender gaps.
Computer science professor Neil Heffernan spoke with Government Technology about the public discussion over regulations of artificial intelligence. He explained why regulations could stifle research and development and lead to monopolization.
Research co-led by mathematical science professor Mayer Humi was featured in the Universe Today article. Humi developed the math models that shows an optimal trajectory that places the shuttle into an elliptical orbit and minimizes the thrust requirements. “This type of shuttle and trajectory, said Humi, is needed for any plans to establish a permanent Human presence on the Moon, but could also lead to a thriving Earth-Moon economy.”
Robotics engineering professor Markus Nemitz is working to create soft robots, made of flexible materials, which can go where other robots, and humans, cannot. His work was highlighted in this report by Spectrum News 1 Worcester.
Imagine flexible robots that can dive, swim, climb, and crawl to assist in challenging search and rescue environments. This Worcester Business Journal article outlines the efforts by robotics engineering professor Markus Nemitz to develop them and to create an obstacle course to test the robots.
Drought and high winds were major factors in the devastating Maui fire. In this Los Angeles Times article, fire protection engineering professor James Urban explains the dangerous combination and how flying embers can spread. The article was republished by more than 40 newspapers and digital outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Houston Chronicle, Miami Herald, and Yahoo!
Research led by chemical engineering professor Xiaowei Teng finds potential in using ions from seawater as a possible replacement for lithium in batteries. The published research is summarized in an article on EnergyPortal.eu
Recent WPI graduates Paul Pacheco and Elizabeth LeMay will be brand-new teachers in local classrooms this fall, and talked with the Telegram & Gazette about how WPI prepared them for their new careers, what they're looking forward to, and and what they're nervous about.
Provost Wole Soboyejo was interviewed for the article in Nature, "Is it time for tenure to evolve?" In the article, he discusses his own pathway towards tenure as well as WPI's move to broaden its tenure system in 2021, offering tenure to professors who focus more on teaching than research, who weren't eligible before. "Already, the institution is seeing benefits, says Soboyejo, including a substantial drop in the attrition rate for teaching-focused faculty members."
Robotics engineering professor Carlo Pinciroli shares how artificial intelligence could be used to make drones better at completing complex and dangerous missions. He tells Lifewire that advancements in AI technology could also minimize the risk of human harm during those missions.
Purvi Shah, associate professor at the Business School and an expert on brand deletion, talked with Spectrum News 1 about the possible strategies underlying social media giant Twitter's transition to X.
Humanities & arts professor David Spanagel shared his insight on the history of atomic bomb development with HuffPost. Spanagel explains how the 'father of the atomic bomb', Julius Robert Oppenheimer, failed to question whether it was the right thing to do for humanity.