Top 10 UD engineering developments of the year

The University of Delaware’s College of Engineering celebrated plenty of good news this year. We welcomed 16 new faculty members and two members of the dean’s team. Our scholars are publishing breakthroughs in top academic journals, and our students are engaging in world-class research and educational opportunities. Read on for more of our favorite news of 2017:

10. Andreas Malikopoulos on Connected and Automated Vehicles

A new member of UD’s mechanical engineering department, Andreas Malikopoulos established a driving simulator lab and a small-scale smart city to test connected and automated vehicles. The principal investigator of a $4.2 million, three-year project funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E), Malikopoulos develops and implements control technologies to allow vehicles to bypass roadblocks, change speed based on traffic conditions, and adjust their powertrains to optimize efficiency. This year, he was also named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

9. Helping Kids Break the Code

Lori Pollock, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Computer and Information Sciences, and Chrystalla Mouza, an associate professor whose research focuses on education technology, received a new three-year $997,348 grant that focuses on computer-science-related professional development for teachers. This fall, when Delaware Gov. John Carney signed a law requiring high schools in Delaware to offer at least one computer science class, Pollock and Mouza were invited guests.

8. UD Biomedical Engineering Chair to lead national organization

Dawn Elliott, chair of the University of Delaware’s biomedical engineering department, was elected president of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). Founded in 1968, this professional society for biomedical engineering and bioengineering has more than 7,000 members. Elliott was also one of three engineering professors at UD to receive a named professorship this year.

7. Engineering Dean Named to Chemical Heritage Board

Babatunde Ogunnaike, William L. Friend Chair and dean of the College of Engineering, was named to the board of directors of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Based in Philadelphia, the Chemical Heritage Foundation preserves scientific history and examines how science has shaped modern life. Ogunnaike brings academic and industry experience to the board.

6. iSuite

Students interested in cyber security now have access to a new facility with the equipment and capabilities to hold “live-fire” cyber defense and warfare training. The facility is part of the new $2 million Innovation Suite, known as the iSuite, in Evans Hall. In addition to the Cyber Range, the 4,500-square-foot iSuite includes the Collaboration Hub and the Makerspace, which may enhance the culture of innovation being fostered at UD.

5. New Partners in Research

A new partnership between the University of Delaware and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory was announced during a two-day Innovation in Materials Science workshop this fall. The University’s new partnership with Argonne was formalized with a signing ceremony as the workshop opened Thursday Oct. 18.

4. New Engineering Major

This fall, UD welcomed its first students in a new major in construction engineering and management. The program, which is offered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will prepare students to be leaders in the rapidly evolving construction industry. The civil engineering department also welcomed a new chair this year.

3. Making Better Material for Fuel Cells

A team of UD engineers developed a technology that could make fuel cells cheaper and more durable and published their results in Nature Communications. The Center for Fuel Cells and Batteries also named a new director.

2. Building the Future With Biopharmaceuticals

A symbolic groundbreaking was held for a new six-story, $156 million Biopharmaceutical Innovation Building on UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) campus. There, chemical engineering professor Kelvin Lee will direct NIIMBL, the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals. Lee also received an NSF grant this year to engineer Chinese hamster ovary cells.

1. Discovery Could Transform Industries

Synthetic rubber and plastics are produced from butadiene, a molecule traditionally made from petroleum or natural gas. But those manmade materials could get a lot greener soon, thanks to a team of scientists from three U.S. universities, including some affiliated with the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI) based at the University of Delaware. The team found a high-yield, low-cost method to manufacture butadiene and published their results in ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering. CCEI researchers are also making jet fuel that’s more environmentally friendly than current offerings.