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  • richardmitnick 1:18 pm on February 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Engineering the future of manufacturing", , , , , , , , Finding sustainable replacements for plastics, Renewable manufacturing, The University of Delaware (US)   

    From The University of Delaware (US): “Engineering the future of manufacturing” 

    U Delaware bloc

    From The University of Delaware (US)

    February 07, 2022
    Article by Maddy Lauria
    Photo by Evan Krape

    1
    Marianthi Ierapetritou, the Bob and Jane Gore Centennial Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has received $3 million in funding from the National Science Foundation’s Future Manufacturing program to explore renewable raw materials for chemical manufacturing.

    COE’s Marianthi Ierapetritou leads $3 million National Science Foundation (US) effort.

    Solving the climate crisis isn’t just about everyone driving electric vehicles and installing solar panels on our homes. It’s about redesigning the way we live, including sweeping changes to the way we produce everyday products.

    As researchers race to find the latest and greatest technologies the world needs to be more resilient and sustainable, one team of educators at the University of Delaware is aiming to create a blueprint for a more renewable manufacturing future with a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

    “It’s important to educate the new generation of engineers to try to change the mentality of how we’re utilizing the limited resources we have,” said Marianthi Ierapetritou, UD’s Bob and Jane Gore Centennial Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She will lead the project as she works with Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professors Dionisios Vlachos and Raul Lobo, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor Hui Fang and Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration Assistant Professor Kalim Shah to launch the future manufacturing project in 2022.

    The goal is to thoroughly examine existing literature around renewable products and processes in manufacturing, which will help researchers synthesize existing data and identify gaps in knowledge. From there, researchers can develop a framework for examining the potential economic, environmental and market impacts of alternative products and processes, while also evaluating the realistic probability of introducing new “green” solutions into existing supply chains and consumer markets.

    “The big idea here is how to better utilize available information,” Ierapetritou said. “It’s a collaboration between chemical engineering, computer science and public policy.”

    Several students at the undergraduate and graduate levels in both the College of Engineering and the Biden School will participate in some of the computational work, research and design while collaborating with real-world chemical companies and with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’s Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute as a manufacturing partner. The project’s funding is expected to span four years.

    By using computers to mine for innovations in existing studies — a task that would take multiple graduate students months or years to complete — these researchers can extract the information needed to better understand what it will take to change the way we produce and consume products.

    “We’re kind of a supporting team, while the chemical engineering team needs to use the information we are extracting,” Fang said. “It’s like we’re collecting all of the available recipes so we can enable the chef to create some new dishes.”

    Since many of the products used every day are created from petrochemicals (fossil fuels), researchers are looking for ways to create more renewable products that require less energy and produce less waste. A consensus of scientists around the world say that greenhouse gas emissions must reach zero globally to avoid a level of global warming expected to result in more catastrophic climate disasters than the deadly floods, fires and storms seen in recent years worldwide.

    But finding renewable and realistic replacements to the way societies manufacture products means getting innovative at the molecular level, explained Vlachos, Unidel Dan Rich Chair in Energy Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, director of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation and director of the Delaware Energy Institute.

    That task can be tackled much more efficiently when computer intelligence gets involved. Instead of using expensive laboratory equipment, chemicals, molecules and catalysts, researchers can use chemistry-informed and data science-informed computer programs to point them in the right direction.

    “You don’t want to build a $20 billion plant and then it fails. That would be a disaster,” Vlachos said. “I want my computer programs to make better predictions. So, how do you build the new chemical route to go from here to there? We need the computer to tell us.”

    That also means teaching computers chemistry, which means the models can only be as good as they’re trained to be. Still, these programs will be able to process information exponentially faster than a group of human researchers engaged in trial and error experiments, while also eliminating the need for physical resources.

    For example, computer programs could extract everything from existing scientific literature about how a molecule like the sugar glucose reacts. With that information, the model could then explore how different combinations of different molecules act, and what new outcomes varying combinations might have, like how combinations of sugar and salt might impact a cake mix.

    “We’re transforming this whole process and using computer science and computer simulations to understand options and give you the best alternative without even going into the lab,” said Ierapetritou. “That’s why it’s called ‘future manufacturing.’ It doesn’t address the current needs of manufacturing, but rather the future needs and where we’d like to go.”

    Beyond searching for the ideal molecules and processes to build more sustainable products, the project will also look at the feasibility of producing those items. If, for example, the raw materials to create something are only available seasonally at certain locations, like useable waste from corn after the fall harvest, would it be more efficient and cost-effective to have modular manufacturing units that can be relocated at certain times of the year instead of building one huge manufacturing plant that would require additional transportation of raw items?

    “I think it might revolutionize the way we’re thinking about supply chain,” Ierapetritou said. “Especially now that we’re all paying the price of not optimizing supply chains.”

    This same interdisciplinary team also is working on a similar project funded by NSF and in collaboration with The University of Kansas (US) and The Pittsburg State University (KY)(US) to find sustainable replacements for plastics.

    To possibly work, these solutions also need to be based in reality — meaning those options also need to consider the logistics and costs of production and processing, real-world markets, consumer attitudes and potential environmental impacts.

    “The second piece is the market piece,” said Shah, assistant professor with the Biden School. “How do we market this green or eco-friendly approach to industry?”

    The modeling Shah will work with through this project — called “agent-based modeling” — will allow researchers to simulate real-world circumstances to explore whether a certain product would work at a scaled-up level, he explained. But human behavior isn’t exactly easy to model.

    “We’re not going to assume we know how different kinds of actors are going to act,” Shah said. “We’re going to do behavioral surveys of people, communities, businesses, and use the behavioral and physical principles and ideas to try to translate what we get from the surveys into rules that we can program.”

    This project focuses on optimizing future processes that will be needed to develop new products that could offer climate-related benefits, either from the way that foundational materials are harvested, how those base chemicals are processed to how the products are actually produced. That includes the supply chain processes from start to finish, as well as the role that marketing a new “green” solution will play.

    By using agent-based modeling, researchers can simulate how a product and its related processing would fit into particular sectors, or where their proposed idea might hit unexpected roadblocks.

    “Think of it like whatever goes into the programming of the Sims game,” Shah said, noting that their model outputs will be a collection of numbers, diagrams and statistics, not nearly as aesthetic as a multi-million dollar virtual game.

    As scientists try to communicate a dire need for swift changes to address the climate crisis, simulations like the one Shah plans to develop for this project could be applied to other projects, as well. The computational and modeling work led by Fang could also be applied to other similar projects.

    “There are models at multiple scales and multiple levels, and eventually we want to bring that all together,” Vlachos said. “Then we need to bring in society and decision-making, not just the science itself, and see where we go.”

    “A science-based, fact-based, data-based model can help the country move in the right direction with the right science. Now we need to deliver. We will deliver.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Delaware campus

    The The University of Delaware (US) is a public land-grant research university located in Newark, Delaware. University of Delaware (US) is the largest university in Delaware. It offers three associate’s programs, 148 bachelor’s programs, 121 master’s programs (with 13 joint degrees), and 55 doctoral programs across its eight colleges. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, the Wilmington area, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is considered a large institution with approximately 18,200 undergraduate and 4,200 graduate students. It is a privately governed university which receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant state-supported research institution.

    University of Delaware (US) is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to The National Science Foundation (US), UD spent $186 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 119th in the nation. It is recognized with the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    University of Delaware (US) is one of only four schools in North America with a major in art conservation. In 1923, it was the first American university to offer a study-abroad program.

    University of Delaware (US) traces its origins to a “Free School,” founded in New London, Pennsylvania in 1743. The school moved to Newark, Delaware by 1765, becoming the Newark Academy. The academy trustees secured a charter for Newark College in 1833 and the academy became part of the college, which changed its name to Delaware College in 1843. While it is not considered one of the colonial colleges because it was not a chartered institution of higher education during the colonial era, its original class of ten students included George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith, all three of whom went on to sign the Declaration of Independence. Read also later signed the United States Constitution.

    Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus

    On October 23, 2009, the University of Delaware (US) signed an agreement with Chrysler to purchase a shuttered vehicle assembly plant adjacent to the university for $24.25 million as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring plan. The university has developed the 272-acre (1.10 km2) site into the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. The site is the new home of University of Delaware (US)’s College of Health Sciences, which includes teaching and research laboratories and several public health clinics. The STAR Campus also includes research facilities for University of Delaware (US)’s vehicle-to-grid technology, as well as Delaware Technology Park, SevOne, CareNow, Independent Prosthetics and Orthotics, and the East Coast headquarters of Bloom Energy. In 2020 [needs an update], University of Delaware (US) expects to open the Ammon Pinozzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center, which will become the new home of the UD-led National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals. Also, Chemours recently opened its global research and development facility, known as the Discovery Hub, on the STAR Campus in 2020. The new Newark Regional Transportation Center on the STAR Campus will serve passengers of Amtrak and regional rail.

    Academics

    The university is organized into nine colleges:

    Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
    College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
    College of Arts and Sciences
    College of Earth, Ocean and Environment
    College of Education and Human Development
    College of Engineering
    College of Health Sciences
    Graduate College
    Honors College

    There are also five schools:

    Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)
    School of Education (part of the College of Education & Human Development)
    School of Marine Science and Policy (part of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment)
    School of Nursing (part of the College of Health Sciences)
    School of Music (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)

     
  • richardmitnick 11:20 am on February 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Designs for the real world", , Because kids grow so quickly the prosthetics have to be replaced or resized every few years., , , , Creating an affordable 3D-printed prosthetic for children born with upper limb congenital disorders., , , It wasn’t easy work making a 3D-printed prosthetic with bendable knuckles; an opposable thumb and compressible fingertips., , The University of Delaware (US), This interdisciplinary program bridges the gap between theory and practice and it prepares the students well for what lies ahead after graduation.   

    From The University of Delaware (US): “Designs for the real world” 

    U Delaware bloc

    From The University of Delaware (US)

    February 02, 2022
    Maddy Lauria
    Photos courtesy of Cameron Jones and Ashlyn Kapinski

    1
    This 3D-printed prosthetic hand for children was created by University of Delaware students as part of the College of Engineering’s Capstone Design Program. The program challenges senior engineering students to design, build and create a solution to an engineering challenge posed by an industry sponsor.

    Senior engineering students team up to solve industry problems.

    Helping children with disabilities complete everyday tasks that many of us take for granted — like picking up a water bottle or throwing on a backpack — was an effort University of Delaware biomedical engineering senior and Honors student Cameron Jones knew he could get behind.

    Jones didn’t hesitate to sign up during the fall semester to be on the team tasked with creating an affordable 3D-printed prosthetic for children born with upper limb congenital disorders. Not only are high-end prosthetics extremely expensive and often not covered by insurance, but because kids grow so quickly they have to be replaced or resized every few years. It’s simply not possible for many families to spend the tens of thousands of dollars every few years on a new prosthetic.

    “It’s no fault of the kids, parents or families that they’re in this situation,” Jones said. “This is a great project to help the kids have a little more functionality. Why not just help the kids out?”

    From 3D prosthetics to automating food packaging operations to optimizing aircraft engines, 224 senior engineering students from the College of Engineering, including Jones, had the opportunity to work with big-name companies and philanthropic organizations on real-world problems during the fall 2021 Capstone Design Program. The students represented the College’s Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, with the majority coming from the biomedical and mechanical disciplines.

    At the beginning of the fall semester, Jones and three of his classmates teamed up and chose, from over 50 challenges, the project proposed by the MORE Foundation, an Arizona-based nonprofit whose mission is to empower individuals to “Keep Life in Motion ” through innovative research, community education and charitable assistance.

    While the students’ creation may not be as high-tech as expensive prosthetics that include electrical and sensing systems, it offers families who had to go without any assistance an affordable solution to make their children’s lives just a bit better.

    But it wasn’t easy work making a 3D-printed prosthetic with bendable knuckles; an opposable thumb and compressible fingertips. The trial-and-error process students explored ultimately led to a prototype that may enable a young person the ability to pick up something like a toy, a spoon or a water bottle for the first time in their lives.

    “Even in our final prototype, there are things we want to improve on,” Jones said. “But that’s the iterative process of engineering: you just have to keep redesigning and keep building.”

    In mid-December, about four months after accepting their engineering design challenge, Jones’s team and 51 others showcased their projects at the culmination of this six-credit interdisciplinary course. Since the program started in 1999, over 500 design challenges have been tackled by 2,000 engineering students working with 100 industry, academic and community sponsors. This time, sponsors included Stanley Black & Decker, Under Armour and Christiana Care, just to name a few.

    Many sponsors are looking to upgrade or expand existing products or technologies in new ways to make consumers’ lives easier or safer. For example, the Maryland-based tool and hardware manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker challenged mechanical engineering students to come up with a new dual floor cleaning solution that would allow for mopping and vacuuming within one tool.

    “This interdisciplinary program bridges the gap between theory and practice and it prepares the students well for what lies ahead after graduation,” said Ashutosh Khandha, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

    Pandemic problems

    COVID-19 has posed unprecedented challenges for most industries, and companies are looking for innovative ways to address their unique problems. In the case of W.L. Gore & Associates, company officials wanted to showcase how well its N95 mask performs against its competitors.

    Not only would their project have to interactively display how the mask works, and do so safely, but it would also have to be aesthetically pleasing since it would be on display for anyone passing through the Gore Capabilities Center in Newark, Delaware.

    Working on a project related to the pandemic was important to mechanical engineering senior Clare Dudley, who said her family has been hard hit by COVID-19.

    “This is something we built that a big company like Gore is going to use and hearing them say they liked it was really cool,” Dudley said.

    Now, as these students head to graduate school, industry or elsewhere, they’ll be able to say their design is on display for a well-known international company. Khandha said about two-thirds of UD engineering students pursue industry careers after graduation, so facing a challenge on a tight timeline (the months-long semester) prepares them for the real world.

    In addition to the devastation and problems the pandemic has caused, the expanded use of virtual meeting formats has also made it easier than ever to connect across continents and time zones. While a return to campus this fall revived the hands-on, in-person elements of the program, 2021 also marked the first time an international sponsor participated in the Capstone Design Program.

    The University of Cape Town (SA) proposed three interdisciplinary engineering projects, including one that could have a significantly positive impact on low-income families struggling with a surprisingly common medical condition.

    Around the world, a variety of diseases can lead to anorectal malformations that can be life-threatening and often require surgery, devoted at-home care and follow-up procedures. In South Africa, a severe wealth disparity means that some families are unable to afford the devices needed to help a child recover from anoplasty, a procedure that involves reconstruction of the anus.

    “When people don’t have really good access to dilators, they use household objects,” said faculty adviser Julie Karand, explaining the importance of the University of Cape Town’s effort to find an alternative take-home dilator for communities in South Africa. The device UD students aimed to create was a more affordable and user-friendly version of the dilator kits hospitals would normally give to patients.

    They were able to create a safe, plastic-based product that comes as one unit with exchangeable extensions that are different sizes, instead of a package of separate pieces. The students worked with medical professionals to get the sizing correct and ended up with a product that costs less than $6 to make, which is a fraction of the cost of the hospital-issued devices.

    Not only did they find a cheaper solution, but their design will also be universally available since it can be 3D-printed. The open-source nature of their results was a requirement of the project proposed by the University of Cape Town.

    “We’re trying to provide access to this medical device for everyone,” said biomedical engineering senior Tori Reiner, one of the students on the five-student team that tackled this project. “This project opened my eyes and allowed me to put my foot in the door to start working on something significant like this to make the world a better and healthier place.”

    Lessons learned

    While many of the teams were able to successfully engineer assigned challenges into new and improved solutions, every year there are a few problems posed that cannot be solved in just a matter of months. And over the years, it seems that the challenges have become more and more complicated, said Khandha.

    “We also have a lot more industry focused projects compared to previous years,” he said, noting that despite the increasing level of challenge, students have still been able to succeed year after year.

    From understanding the problem to evaluating multiple solutions to finally designing and creating an end-product, UD’s Capstone Design Program aims to give students the time-constrained, interdisciplinary experiences they’re sure to encounter after graduation.

    The project even inspired Jones’ teammate, Ashlyn Kapinski, an Honors biomedical engineering senior, to create a children’s book on how to use and care for the 3D-printed prosthetic hand.

    “This project has meant so much to me in addition to re-designing the prosthetic hand,” Kapinski said. “I think educating children on how to use their device is crucial to ensuring their safety and avoiding frustration. User guides are usually too dense and technical for a child to understand, and I hope that by providing a guide in a picture-book format, we can better get the right message across in a fun way.”

    While many teams end the semester with a final product, not having a perfect prototype in hand after just a few months isn’t necessarily seen as a failure. In such cases, the projects can continue as independent study the next semester, or the project may return for the next group of senior engineering students to tackle, Khandha said. Even for teams who did finalize their project, these blossoming engineers may still have ideas for further improvements, as is the case with Kapinski and Jones’ team’s 3D prosthetic, for example.

    “Engineers are at the interface of technology and human needs,” Khandha said. “Being able to be productive with limited resources in face of the challenges that we cannot anticipate, like COVID, and still having the fundamental engineering skills to be independent and conduct the required work, that’s a big deal.”

    To see all the 2021 senior design projects, including 90-second videos produced by each of the 52 teams, go to http://www.engr.udel.edu/senior-design-celebration.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Delaware campus

    The The University of Delaware (US) is a public land-grant research university located in Newark, Delaware. University of Delaware (US) is the largest university in Delaware. It offers three associate’s programs, 148 bachelor’s programs, 121 master’s programs (with 13 joint degrees), and 55 doctoral programs across its eight colleges. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, the Wilmington area, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is considered a large institution with approximately 18,200 undergraduate and 4,200 graduate students. It is a privately governed university which receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant state-supported research institution.

    University of Delaware (US) is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to The National Science Foundation (US), UD spent $186 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 119th in the nation. It is recognized with the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    University of Delaware (US) is one of only four schools in North America with a major in art conservation. In 1923, it was the first American university to offer a study-abroad program.

    University of Delaware (US) traces its origins to a “Free School,” founded in New London, Pennsylvania in 1743. The school moved to Newark, Delaware by 1765, becoming the Newark Academy. The academy trustees secured a charter for Newark College in 1833 and the academy became part of the college, which changed its name to Delaware College in 1843. While it is not considered one of the colonial colleges because it was not a chartered institution of higher education during the colonial era, its original class of ten students included George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith, all three of whom went on to sign the Declaration of Independence. Read also later signed the United States Constitution.

    Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus

    On October 23, 2009, the University of Delaware (US) signed an agreement with Chrysler to purchase a shuttered vehicle assembly plant adjacent to the university for $24.25 million as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring plan. The university has developed the 272-acre (1.10 km2) site into the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. The site is the new home of University of Delaware (US)’s College of Health Sciences, which includes teaching and research laboratories and several public health clinics. The STAR Campus also includes research facilities for University of Delaware (US)’s vehicle-to-grid technology, as well as Delaware Technology Park, SevOne, CareNow, Independent Prosthetics and Orthotics, and the East Coast headquarters of Bloom Energy. In 2020 [needs an update], University of Delaware (US) expects to open the Ammon Pinozzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center, which will become the new home of the UD-led National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals. Also, Chemours recently opened its global research and development facility, known as the Discovery Hub, on the STAR Campus in 2020. The new Newark Regional Transportation Center on the STAR Campus will serve passengers of Amtrak and regional rail.

    Academics

    The university is organized into nine colleges:

    Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
    College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
    College of Arts and Sciences
    College of Earth, Ocean and Environment
    College of Education and Human Development
    College of Engineering
    College of Health Sciences
    Graduate College
    Honors College

    There are also five schools:

    Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)
    School of Education (part of the College of Education & Human Development)
    School of Marine Science and Policy (part of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment)
    School of Nursing (part of the College of Health Sciences)
    School of Music (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)

     
  • richardmitnick 9:44 am on February 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Marine viruses and microbes", , , , , The University of Delaware (US)   

    From The University of Delaware (US): “Marine viruses and microbes” 

    U Delaware bloc

    From The University of Delaware (US)

    January 31, 2022
    Adam Thomas
    Photos courtesy of Viral Ecology and Informatics Lab.

    With UD’s research ship, team uses revolutionary technique to study oxygen-producing bacteria.

    1
    Co-Chief Scientist Shawn Polson releases the holey sock drogue, a type of sea anchor, that will drift 15 meters below the ocean surface. The science team followed the drogue for two experiments on either side of the Gulf Stream.

    If a person wanted to study gazelles in Africa, the last thing they would want to do is put a fence around them. For one thing, they wouldn’t be able to observe their natural behavior and, for another, the lions would have a field day.

    According to University of Delaware Professor Eric Wommack, the same can be said for microbes in the ocean. Usually, when researchers study ocean microbes, they collect water samples in containers and bring the samples back to the lab. Just like fenced-in gazelles, this doesn’t allow them the chance to observe the microbes’ behavior in their natural habitat.

    “If you take the water and you put it in a big container, you change it,” said Wommack, deputy dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and professor of environmental microbiology. “There are actually protists, things that eat bacteria, and when you put everything in a bottle, the protists go crazy. It’s a real challenge to study processes in the ocean when you can’t watch the same environment over time.”

    In an attempt to study microbes in their natural environment, co-chief scientists Wommack and Shawn Polson, an associate professor of computer and information sciences and director of the Bioinformatics Core Facility in the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB), led other members of the Viral Ecology and Informatics Lab (VEIL) in a National Science Foundation (US) EPSCoR-funded (NSF grant no. 1736030) mission on the R/V Hugh R. Sharp, UD’s 146-foot ocean-going research vessel.

    2
    University of Delaware (US) R/V Hugh R. Sharp shown after delivery to UD Marine Operations in Lewes, DE, (US)

    They spent eight days at sea to conduct what is known as a Lagrangian Experiment, monitoring a single water mass over time. (Joseph-Louis Lagrange, who died in 1813, was an Italian-born French mathematician who excelled in all fields of analysis and number theory and analytical and celestial mechanics.)

    Viral Ecology and Informatics Lab

    The members of the VEIL involved in the experiment included Wommack; Polson; Barbra Ferrell, VEIL lab coordinator; Rachel Keown, doctoral student in biological sciences; Amanda Zahorik, doctoral student in biological sciences; and Amelia Harrison, VEIL technician and master’s degree graduate in marine biosciences. In addition, they were joined by Bruce Kingham, director of the UD Sequencing and Genotyping Center.

    2
    Members of the science party and R/V Sharp crew prepare to deploy the MetOcean Telematics drifter buoy, equipped with iridium satellite telemetry and GPS. The buoy allows the science team to follow and sample a single body of water for several days.

    During their time on the Sharp, they monitored a single water mass and sampled the viral and bacterial host populations found in that water mass. In doing this, they looked to determine how virus and bacteria populations interact, by observing which groups became more or less abundant and how quickly those changes occurred.

    They were specifically interested in looking at two photosynthetic bacteria that are abundant in the world’s oceans and key players in the world’s carbon cycle.

    Known as Prochlorococcus (PRO) and Synechococcus (SYN), these two photosynthetic bacteria are responsible for the production of roughly 25% of the oxygen on earth that exists in the atmosphere. While PRO tends to be dominant in the deepest parts of the ocean, SYN tends to be dominant closer to the shore.

    Because they provide 25% of atmospheric oxygen, they are important players in the global carbon cycle and many other nutrient cycles so anything that impacts the ecology of the two groups of organisms — such as the viruses — has an impact on these nutrient cycles.

    Viruses and microbes in the ocean

    The lab worked with MetOcean Telematics, a company that develops and manufactures state-of-the-art data acquisition equipment. Their current-monitoring buoys are typically used for remote oceanographic and meteorological research, but the buoy was also ideal for VEIL’s Lagrangian Experiment. The buoy was equipped with Iridium satellite telemetry, GPS and a holey sock drogue, a type of sea anchor, that stayed 15 meters down in the water. As long as the researchers followed the buoy, they knew they would be sampling the same water.

    Usually, when research like this is conducted, researchers will go to the same spot in the ocean over time. When they do that, however, they are not sampling the same water because currents are constantly moving water around the ocean. In addition, viruses are produced and disappear quickly so by sampling one spot and not following the same patch of water, means that changes in viral communities could simply be a result of water movement and not changes in viral-host interactions.

    “This type of experiment was really different,” said Ferrell. “We were able to follow a specific body of water around. Instead of collecting samples at the same place and watching currents bring different communities into our location, we were following and sampling the same water over several days. Hopefully, that will tell us more about the infection dynamics going on in that water body.”

    Because the viruses in the water turn over once a day, in order to study them effectively, the researchers took samples every six hours around the clock. They did this for two and a half days in one location close to the shore to sample for SYN and one location on the far side of the Gulf stream, over 250 miles out to sea, to look for PRO.

    Floating laboratory

    Once they retrieved their samples, the researchers worked constantly, performing microbial DNA extraction on board the ship. They used PCR to produce multiple copies of specific DNA sequences that provide insight into the biology of viruses, and sequenced the DNA while at sea. The MinION device, a portable sequencer from Oxford Nanopore Technologies, is about the size of a tablet and generates data within hours. The group also brought along two high performance computational nodes that allowed them to begin the bioinformatics analysis of the data while at sea.

    The researchers will now look at DNA from the bacteria and the viruses they collected as well as the RNA from bacteria.

    “DNA tells us something about which bacteria and viruses are there,” Ferrell said. “RNA tells us something about proteins that are being produced, so it helps us understand what bacteria and viruses might be doing. It’s exciting to see viral proteins being produced, because that tells us about current viral infections in our samples.”

    The research team credited the crew of the Sharp with helping to make the study so successful, especially when it came to locating the floating buoy. This allowed the team to focus on collecting and sampling.

    Usually, this type of research could take months. By using the capabilities of the R/V Sharp, a regional class vessel in the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), the team was able to collect, filter and process the samples on the ship, retrieving sequenced data and processing it before they got back to land.

    “We sped up our process from months to hours,” said Wommack. “It’s something that is pretty cutting edge for microbial oceanography, and I think it will be quite revolutionary. It was an amazing feeling as a scientist and as a microbial oceanographer to be able to leave the ship with sequence data.”

    Master’s thesis gene identification

    From that sequenced data, the researchers can identify the viral populations and determine if a gene they are looking at is specific to Cyanophages — viruses that infect cyanobacteria such as PRO and SYN.

    The idea to look for a specific gene from a Cyanophage sprung from Harrison’s master’s thesis.

    Harrison, who received a master’s degree from the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment (CEOE) and a bachelor’s degree from UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), has worked with Wommack and Polson since 2014, when she was a first year undergraduate student. She recently started a new position at UD as a bioinformatics trainer in the CBCB Bioinformatics Core.

    Harrison’s master’s thesis looked at Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), an ancient gene that has different requirements for survival and can be used as an environmental indicator. For instance, there are RNRs that like oxygen and ones that are totally inactivated by oxygen, so having a specific RNR present in an environment indicates whether that is an oxygen-rich or oxygen-depleted environment.

    “We figured out that we could get an idea about a viral population, at least in the marine environment, by looking just at these RNRs,” said Harrison. “This is pretty incredible because viruses as a whole, there’s no gene that all of them encode. There’s no universal marker, which there is for a lot of other organisms.”

    It’s known that moving from the coast to the open ocean means moving from SYN populations to PRO populations, but by using this gene as a marker, the researchers could learn whether moving from SYN to PRO also meant a change in the viruses themselves and whether those viruses were more present at certain times of the day — from high light to low light.

    “We were interested in seeing: are the viruses so generalized that there is always going to be something that they can infect or do they need specific conditions?” said Harrison. “The advantage to this RNR is that, since it’s a protein-coding gene, it also tells us something about the virus itself.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Delaware campus

    The The University of Delaware (US) is a public land-grant research university located in Newark, Delaware. University of Delaware (US) is the largest university in Delaware. It offers three associate’s programs, 148 bachelor’s programs, 121 master’s programs (with 13 joint degrees), and 55 doctoral programs across its eight colleges. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, the Wilmington area, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is considered a large institution with approximately 18,200 undergraduate and 4,200 graduate students. It is a privately governed university which receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant state-supported research institution.

    University of Delaware (US) is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to The National Science Foundation (US), UD spent $186 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 119th in the nation. It is recognized with the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    University of Delaware (US) is one of only four schools in North America with a major in art conservation. In 1923, it was the first American university to offer a study-abroad program.

    University of Delaware (US) traces its origins to a “Free School,” founded in New London, Pennsylvania in 1743. The school moved to Newark, Delaware by 1765, becoming the Newark Academy. The academy trustees secured a charter for Newark College in 1833 and the academy became part of the college, which changed its name to Delaware College in 1843. While it is not considered one of the colonial colleges because it was not a chartered institution of higher education during the colonial era, its original class of ten students included George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith, all three of whom went on to sign the Declaration of Independence. Read also later signed the United States Constitution.

    Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus

    On October 23, 2009, the University of Delaware (US) signed an agreement with Chrysler to purchase a shuttered vehicle assembly plant adjacent to the university for $24.25 million as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring plan. The university has developed the 272-acre (1.10 km2) site into the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. The site is the new home of University of Delaware (US)’s College of Health Sciences, which includes teaching and research laboratories and several public health clinics. The STAR Campus also includes research facilities for University of Delaware (US)’s vehicle-to-grid technology, as well as Delaware Technology Park, SevOne, CareNow, Independent Prosthetics and Orthotics, and the East Coast headquarters of Bloom Energy. In 2020 [needs an update], University of Delaware (US) expects to open the Ammon Pinozzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center, which will become the new home of the UD-led National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals. Also, Chemours recently opened its global research and development facility, known as the Discovery Hub, on the STAR Campus in 2020. The new Newark Regional Transportation Center on the STAR Campus will serve passengers of Amtrak and regional rail.

    Academics

    The university is organized into nine colleges:

    Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
    College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
    College of Arts and Sciences
    College of Earth, Ocean and Environment
    College of Education and Human Development
    College of Engineering
    College of Health Sciences
    Graduate College
    Honors College

    There are also five schools:

    Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)
    School of Education (part of the College of Education & Human Development)
    School of Marine Science and Policy (part of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment)
    School of Nursing (part of the College of Health Sciences)
    School of Music (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)

     
  • richardmitnick 8:52 am on December 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Exploring the deep ocean", Any iron(III) that was formed would react with the hydrogen sulfide to form elemental sulfur and regenerate the iron (II) as a catalyst., , , Hydrothermal vents act as a previously unmeasured source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the ocean., Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, Iron can exist in different forms or oxidation states in nature., Iron(II): dissolved or ‘free’ iron is not stable in oxygenated waters, Iron(III): usually present in waters with a lot of oxygen, , Rainwater and cloud water usually get the highest amount of reactive oxygen species that you can measure but the team’s data rival it and surpass it., ROS are highly reactive chemicals formed from oxygen such as hydrogen peroxide and superoxide., ROS: reactive oxygen species, The finding has implications for the ocean’s global carbon cycle., The presence of iron(II) and absence of iron(III) was at first confusing because there was plenty of oxygen available at the vent sites., The University of Delaware (US), We found plenty of reactive oxygen species down there.   

    From The University of Delaware (US) : “Exploring the deep ocean” 

    U Delaware bloc

    From The University of Delaware (US)

    December 20, 2021

    Adam Thomas
    Photo Illustration by Tammy Beeson |
    Photos courtesy of George Luther, The National Science Foundation (US)/HOV Alvin

    UD alumni recall their undergraduate research trip to the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

    1
    Seen here over a background showing a hydrothermal vent, Nicole Coffey and Richard Rosas joined School of Marine Science and Policy Professor George Luther on a research cruise as undergraduates and had the opportunity to travel to the deep sea in the Alvin submersible.
    WHOI ALVIN submersible

    Nicole Coffey and Richard Rosas were undergraduate students at the University of Delaware in 2017 when they joined UD professor George Luther on a research cruise to the East Pacific Rise — a mid-oceanic ridge located on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The region is known for its hydrothermal vent activity and is located more than 500 miles off the coast of Acapulco, Mexico.

    While that experience took place more than four years ago, enough data were collected that Coffey, who is now a doctoral student at The Oregon State University (US), and Rosas, a doctoral student at The Texas A&M University (US), were recently co-authors with Luther on a paper published in the PNAS.

    Timothy Shaw, a professor from The University of South Carolina (US), served as the lead author on the paper and was also a member of the research cruise.

    The research paper showed that hydrothermal vents act as a previously unmeasured source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the ocean. ROS are highly reactive chemicals formed from oxygen such as hydrogen peroxide and superoxide.

    This process has long been recognized in surface waters and attributed to photochemical and biochemical reactions, but this paper showed that large amounts of iron coming from hydrothermal vents react with the oxygen in ambient bottom waters to form hydrogen peroxide as a metastable ROS species.

    Iron can exist in different forms or oxidation states in nature. The researchers found a lot of iron(II) — which is typically thought of as dissolved or ‘free’ iron and is not stable in oxygenated waters — but not a lot of iron(III) — which is usually present in waters with a lot of oxygen, such as the bottom waters that were being sampled.

    They discovered that any iron(III) that was formed would react with the hydrogen sulfide to form elemental sulfur and regenerate the iron(II) as a catalyst.

    This ROS as hydrogen peroxide was detected at concentrations 20 to 100 times higher than the average for photo produced ROS in surface waters. Additionally, the hydrogen peroxide was measured at a concentration up to six micromolar, which is 6% of the original dissolved oxygen concentration of the cold bottom waters that mix with the vent waters.

    The concentration of hydrogen peroxide would be expected to form at the same rate as the elemental sulfur produced, which was 20 micromolar. The imbalance showed that hydrogen peroxide further reacts with other components in seawater.

    “The intensity is really spectacular compared to what you see in surface waters and cloud waters,” said Luther, the Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Studies in the School of Marine Science and Policy. “Rainwater and cloud water usually get the highest amount of reactive oxygen species that you can measure but our data rivals it and surpasses it.”

    In addition, the finding has implications for the ocean’s global carbon cycle. The hydrogen peroxide can react further with reduced iron to form hydroxyl radical in a process known as the Fenton reaction. This hydroxyl radical can react with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to mediate the mineralization of DOC to carbon dioxide and form hydroxylated benzene compounds, thus impacting the carbon cycle in the ocean.

    Both Coffey and Rosas were integral in the process of collecting the samples and processing the data.

    Rosas, who graduated in the spring of 2018 from UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, worked closely with Shaw on the physical instrumentation to collect the samples from the vent sites.

    In order to do this, Rosas descended to the seafloor twice in Alvin, a submersible, and helped collect samples from the hydrothermal vents using syringe samplers that were held by an arm known as a manipulator on the Alvin submersible. The syringe samplers were filled with horseradish peroxidase and a reagent that would permit hydrogen peroxide to react quickly with a sample to form a colored agent for its detection.

    “I had no idea that I would have the opportunity to actually be inside Alvin and go down for a dive, let alone two,” said Rosas. “It was a highlight of my life so far, being able to go down in the ocean and see the vents in person was astounding. It’s so hard to express what that meant to me as someone who was aspiring to do marine science and oceanography.”

    Coffey also had the opportunity to travel in Alvin to look at the seafloor vents as she was on the first science dive of the cruise to canvas the seafloor to see how many vent sites would be good for sampling.

    “Vents are so ephemeral. They might be on one month and off the next,” said Coffey. “Our job was to go out, see what the situation was down there, and report back to say ‘P vent will be great for this’ or ‘Q vent will be good for that.’ ”

    Coffey conducted the iron measurements for the paper and said the presence of iron(II) and absence of iron(III) was at first confusing because there was plenty of oxygen available at the vent sites.

    “We found plenty of reactive oxygen species down there, as well as reduced sulfur, and one of the ideas we had is that the iron is acting as a catalyst,” said Coffey. “When you generate superoxide or peroxide, those are reactive and can facilitate a lot more reactions within marine chemistry. The idea behind this was that the iron and sulfur are playing a role in generating these reactive oxygen species that are then transported away from the vents and then take part in other chemistry.”

    Both Coffey and Rosas stressed that this was a formative experience for them as undergraduates, and they were happy to get to help out on the research cruise all the while taking classes onboard the ship as undergraduate students.

    “It’s hard to express how grateful I am about that opportunity,” said Rosas. “The experience was invaluable, especially as someone who wants to study the ocean. You don’t really grasp how massive the ocean is until you’re out far enough that you can’t see land in any direction.”

    Coffey said that for any undergraduates out there, one of the most important things they can do if they are interested in research is to reach out and tell someone. She said she never would have gotten to go on the cruise if she hadn’t told her adviser about her interest in ocean chemistry.

    “Looking back, it really set me up because I got to do my thesis with George, and he helped me figure out that I wanted to stay at UD for my masters,” said Coffey. “Without that conversation with my adviser, I don’t know if I would have gotten here. I’m sure I would have done well and gotten somewhere I was happy, but those doors might not have been opened.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Delaware campus

    The The University of Delaware (US) is a public land-grant research university located in Newark, Delaware. University of Delaware (US) is the largest university in Delaware. It offers three associate’s programs, 148 bachelor’s programs, 121 master’s programs (with 13 joint degrees), and 55 doctoral programs across its eight colleges. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, the Wilmington area, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is considered a large institution with approximately 18,200 undergraduate and 4,200 graduate students. It is a privately governed university which receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant state-supported research institution.

    University of Delaware (US) is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to The National Science Foundation (US), UD spent $186 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 119th in the nation. It is recognized with the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    University of Delaware (US) is one of only four schools in North America with a major in art conservation. In 1923, it was the first American university to offer a study-abroad program.

    University of Delaware (US) traces its origins to a “Free School,” founded in New London, Pennsylvania in 1743. The school moved to Newark, Delaware by 1765, becoming the Newark Academy. The academy trustees secured a charter for Newark College in 1833 and the academy became part of the college, which changed its name to Delaware College in 1843. While it is not considered one of the colonial colleges because it was not a chartered institution of higher education during the colonial era, its original class of ten students included George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith, all three of whom went on to sign the Declaration of Independence. Read also later signed the United States Constitution.

    Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus

    On October 23, 2009, the University of Delaware (US) signed an agreement with Chrysler to purchase a shuttered vehicle assembly plant adjacent to the university for $24.25 million as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring plan. The university has developed the 272-acre (1.10 km2) site into the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. The site is the new home of University of Delaware (US)’s College of Health Sciences, which includes teaching and research laboratories and several public health clinics. The STAR Campus also includes research facilities for University of Delaware (US)’s vehicle-to-grid technology, as well as Delaware Technology Park, SevOne, CareNow, Independent Prosthetics and Orthotics, and the East Coast headquarters of Bloom Energy. In 2020 [needs an update], University of Delaware (US) expects to open the Ammon Pinozzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center, which will become the new home of the UD-led National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals. Also, Chemours recently opened its global research and development facility, known as the Discovery Hub, on the STAR Campus in 2020. The new Newark Regional Transportation Center on the STAR Campus will serve passengers of Amtrak and regional rail.

    Academics

    The university is organized into nine colleges:

    Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
    College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
    College of Arts and Sciences
    College of Earth, Ocean and Environment
    College of Education and Human Development
    College of Engineering
    College of Health Sciences
    Graduate College
    Honors College

    There are also five schools:

    Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)
    School of Education (part of the College of Education & Human Development)
    School of Marine Science and Policy (part of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment)
    School of Nursing (part of the College of Health Sciences)
    School of Music (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)

     
  • richardmitnick 11:35 am on December 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Ag-inspired engineering", , , , Common ground between corn and bridges that will allow them to better understand the structural stability upon which both objects rely., How a building or bridge deforms — how it bends or flexes under the weight of cars on it or in the face of a large storm., , Plant Science, Studying the phenomenon of how or why things bend or flex, The University of Delaware (US), Whether they were looking at concrete or plant material both engineers were trying to quantify the object’s structural stability., While the stakes may seem higher when someone is trying to pinpoint the weak points on a busy bridge so it doesn’t collapse farmers also stand to lose a lot when an entire crop — their livelihood   

    From The University of Delaware (US) : “Ag-inspired engineering” 

    U Delaware bloc

    From The University of Delaware (US)

    December 08, 2021
    Maddy Lauria
    Photos courtesy of Colleges of Engineering and Agriculture and Natural Resources

    1
    Two UD professors from two different colleges have found common ground between corn and bridges that will allow them to better understand the structural stability upon which both objects rely.

    How engineering principals support plant science

    When Tropical Storm Isaias pummeled the East Coast in summer 2020, it created life-threatening tornadoes and weather conditions that ruined homes and flattened farm fields across Delaware. But in Newark, in a small field planted with different varieties of corn, one professor noticed that not all of the plants had the same damage.

    University of Delaware Assistant Professor Erin Sparks wondered: what allows some corn stalks to stay standing while others are knocked to the ground? The answer is complicated, but Sparks is getting much closer to understanding these plant mechanics thanks to an engineering-based approach typically used on man made structures proposed by the College of Engineering’s Monique Head.

    As associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Head has been using advanced technology and digital image correlation (DIC) to understand and estimate how a building or bridge deforms — how it bends or flexes under the weight of cars on it or in the face of a large storm — without ever having to touch the structure itself. To do that, she utilizes high-resolution cameras that capture an immense amount of data, not unlike the equipment used by professional surveyors. Just like old-school movies, the equipment is used to take an immense amount of photographs that can then be pieced together, analyzed using complex DIC algorithms, allowing Head to see how structures shift over time due to various influences, such as wind or weight.

    It took a few years for Head and Sparks to connect the dots between their work. After four shared events outside of the classroom, including one encouraging young female students to explore futures in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and hearing each other use so many similar descriptions as they spoke about their work, they saw clearly that they shared much more common ground than just being science-minded colleagues at UD. Sparks’ questions about corn and Head’s work with bridges were almost exactly the same: whether they were looking at concrete or plant material they were both trying to quantify the object’s structural stability.

    “We realized we were trying to study the phenomenon of how or why things bend or flex,” Head said. “Moreso, we’ve done that with bridges. We wanted to see if we can do the same thing to quantify the response in corn and if we could use the same methodologies in a non-contact way.”

    While the stakes may seem higher when someone is trying to pinpoint the weak points on a busy bridge so it doesn’t collapse farmers also stand to lose a lot when an entire crop — their livelihood — is destroyed because the plants are broken or bent to the ground. And just as some bridge foundations may be difficult to reach, so are the underground root systems of plants like corn.

    “People often think of plants as basically a rigid attachment to the ground and a stick,” said Sparks, who teaches plant molecular biology in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. But that’s not the case at all, especially with corn plants, which have a complex above- and below-ground root system that is able to rotate and shift, she said.

    “Dr. Head and her team, Shaymaa Obayes (doctoral student), Luke Timber (master’s student), and David Bydalek (2020 graduate), were able to take measurements of what’s actually happening as plants bend and flex, and translate this information into models,” Sparks said. That modeling approach cuts back on the amount of time needed working directly with the plants in the field, and allows researchers to explore infinite combinations of variables to better understand why the corn behaves the way it does.

    With Head an experienced, tenured professor and Sparks a newer, untenured faculty member, they teamed up in 2020 and pursued funding for their interdisciplinary, collaborative work through UD’s Research Foundation Strategic Initiatives grants, which provided $45,000 in funding to support one doctoral student pursuing this work in Head’s lab.

    But when Shaymaa Khudhair Obayes, a civil engineering doctoral student, first heard about working with corn instead of bridges, she wasn’t so sure how it would pan out.

    “My master’s was related to the design of bridges, and I expected I’d work on bridges as well as I pursued my Ph.D.,” Obayes said, admitting that shifting her focus to corn was quite difficult at first. “It’s kind of like engineering from a different perspective.”

    Applying what she knows about engineering theories and analysis to something new also boosted her confidence in her abilities as a professional, she said. Obayes already has a job in her home country, Iraq, but has many options for her future engineering career.

    “At the end of my work, we learned we can apply all of the engineering theories to the corn and it works very well,” she said. “Now, if someone talks about the connection between agriculture and engineering, I already see the relationship between them and how we can use engineering to make improvements.”

    A collaborative journal paper on their findings is submitted and expected to be published in the near future, Head said.

    By using digital imaging, modeling and analysis tools, these researchers have been able to mimic how a corn plant’s stalk and root system could be represented with engineering mechanics, which Head said has not been done before with field measurements to support the analysis. From there, researchers can try to figure out what attributes caused a plant to stay upright or get knocked to the ground.

    2
    Engineers like Monique Head can learn a lot about the structural stability of a bridge without ever coming into contact with it thanks to structural monitoring techniques that include high-tech cameras and modeling.

    “We can understand the science of why it’s doing what it’s doing,” Head said. “The monitoring enabled us to see things we wouldn’t be able to with the naked eye.”

    Sparks said there’s a lot of interest from companies in trying to understand these characteristics, as well, when they’re breeding different varieties. Knowing exactly what could compromise a corn stalks’ ability to stand tall could lead to hardier plants and better yields for farmers, which would have a positive impact on agricultural-based economies. One company is even trying to figure that out with their own proprietary approach that involves a high-tech wind simulator that allows them to see how well their varieties stand up.

    3
    The same techniques used to understand how bridges withstand loads can be applied to corn as well, allowing researchers to better understand what characteristics help a plant stay standing while others get knocked over by wind, for example.

    “We’re taking a deconstructed approach,” Sparks said. “That if we understand the architectures that lead to stability, then we don’t have to wait for a wind event to select for that. The next question for us is: how do those architectures interact with different soil types or with different management strategies?”

    By scaling down engineering applications and models from a large bridge to a single corn stalk, they were also able to get incredibly fine measurements, down to 1/100 of an inch. That precision has allowed Head to update the models she uses for bridges, as well.

    “That’s a really nice thing about collaborative research: You can see things from other people’s perspectives and really bring it together to something unique,” she said.

    The work is inspired by nature, Head said, but in a way that is helping engineers and scientists better understand what is happening in order to then inform their equations and produce accurate, predictive modeling that would illustrate how specific situations — 50 mile per hour northeast winds, for example — would impact the object they’re studying. It’s also allowing them to take a more holistic approach to these mechanics and has raised questions about how variations in soil properties could be playing a key role in the stability of corn and built structures, as well.

    Their work, which has spanned about two years after hitting delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has now opened the door to a wide breadth of future research for faculty and students at UD.

    “We have more ideas than we can possibly manage at the moment,” Sparks said with enthusiasm. “I would call this foundational work, and now we’re going to be able to go in 30 different directions.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Delaware campus

    The The University of Delaware (US) is a public land-grant research university located in Newark, Delaware. University of Delaware (US) is the largest university in Delaware. It offers three associate’s programs, 148 bachelor’s programs, 121 master’s programs (with 13 joint degrees), and 55 doctoral programs across its eight colleges. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, the Wilmington area, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is considered a large institution with approximately 18,200 undergraduate and 4,200 graduate students. It is a privately governed university which receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant state-supported research institution.

    University of Delaware (US) is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to The National Science Foundation (US), UD spent $186 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 119th in the nation. It is recognized with the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    University of Delaware (US) is one of only four schools in North America with a major in art conservation. In 1923, it was the first American university to offer a study-abroad program.

    University of Delaware (US) traces its origins to a “Free School,” founded in New London, Pennsylvania in 1743. The school moved to Newark, Delaware by 1765, becoming the Newark Academy. The academy trustees secured a charter for Newark College in 1833 and the academy became part of the college, which changed its name to Delaware College in 1843. While it is not considered one of the colonial colleges because it was not a chartered institution of higher education during the colonial era, its original class of ten students included George Read, Thomas McKean, and James Smith, all three of whom went on to sign the Declaration of Independence. Read also later signed the United States Constitution.

    Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus

    On October 23, 2009, the University of Delaware (US) signed an agreement with Chrysler to purchase a shuttered vehicle assembly plant adjacent to the university for $24.25 million as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring plan. The university has developed the 272-acre (1.10 km2) site into the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. The site is the new home of University of Delaware (US)’s College of Health Sciences, which includes teaching and research laboratories and several public health clinics. The STAR Campus also includes research facilities for University of Delaware (US)’s vehicle-to-grid technology, as well as Delaware Technology Park, SevOne, CareNow, Independent Prosthetics and Orthotics, and the East Coast headquarters of Bloom Energy. In 2020 [needs an update], University of Delaware (US) expects to open the Ammon Pinozzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center, which will become the new home of the UD-led National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals. Also, Chemours recently opened its global research and development facility, known as the Discovery Hub, on the STAR Campus in 2020. The new Newark Regional Transportation Center on the STAR Campus will serve passengers of Amtrak and regional rail.

    Academics

    The university is organized into nine colleges:

    Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
    College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
    College of Arts and Sciences
    College of Earth, Ocean and Environment
    College of Education and Human Development
    College of Engineering
    College of Health Sciences
    Graduate College
    Honors College

    There are also five schools:

    Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)
    School of Education (part of the College of Education & Human Development)
    School of Marine Science and Policy (part of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment)
    School of Nursing (part of the College of Health Sciences)
    School of Music (part of the College of Arts & Sciences)

     
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