March


Viswanathan and Sripad co-author piece on two-wheeled EV’s
The Hindu

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan and Shashank Sripad recently co-authored a story on vehicle electrification in India for The Hindu. The authors note major gains made in Asia toward electrification and especially the benefits offered by two-wheeled electric vehicles. “The electrification success story in India hinges on electrifying two-wheelers, which will require lowering costs of Li-ion batteries, increasing charging speed and improving the charging infrastructure,” they conclude.


February


Viswanathan discusses motivation behind Tesla acquisition
Quartz

According to MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan in Quartz, ultracapacitors probably had little to do with motivating Tesla’s recent move to acquire ultracapacitor manufacturer Maxwell Technologies. The exact motivation behind the decision is still unclear; however, speculation is that Maxwell’s dry electrode technology could increase storage capacity for Tesla batteries or may help cut costs in the manufacturing process.


Saha wins first preliminary round of 3MT

MechE Ph.D. candidate Dipanjan Saha won the first preliminary round of CMU Libraries’ Three Minute Thesis (3MT). The internationally recognized competition challenges Ph.D. students to consolidate their research projects, goals, and ideas in a three-minute oral presentation. The aim of the presentation is to be accessible to a wide general audience without sacrificing technical and scientific understanding of the presentation topics.


Winners of the 2018 College of Engineering Staff Recognition Awards announced

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 College of Engineering Staff Recognition Awards! At the 24th annual staff award ceremony winners were announced and length of service awards were distributed. The winners in each category were:
  • Continuous Excellence Award: Beth Hockenberry (CEE)
  • Innovation Award: Megan Kearns (CyLab)
  • Inspirational Leadership Award: Sandra DeVincent Wolf (Dean's Office)
  • Spirit Award: Deborah Kuntz (EPP)
  • Rookie Award: Mi Kim (MechE)
  • Burritt Education Award: Kate Sencindiver (MechE)

Faculty and students remember John Wiss
Mechanical Engineering

John William Wiss, a MechE professor for 30 years, passed away on January 13, 2019. He is remembered as a beloved teacher, mentor, and colleague, as well as a leader of Carnegie Mellon Racing (CMR), serving as faculty advisor and helping to fund the team himself.“John’s heart was really in the work. He enjoyed teaching the internal combustion engines course and working with the CMR team. Indeed, he was partly responsible for starting CMR,” said Satbir Singh, an associate teaching professor who now teaches the course and advises the team. “I learned a lot from John.”


Presto comments on lost productivity during shutdown
physicsworld.com

The 2018-2019 government shutdown halted a wide range of science-related agencies, including NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. MechE’s Albert Presto commented that losing a month in productivity can really hurt scientists, especially those working on time-sensitive projects or just getting started. “It’s hard to quantify in terms of dollars how much the shutdown cost scientists in lost time,” he says. Presto was also quoted in Science News


Rubin speaks at children’s school in Valencia
Radio Valencia

EPP/MechE’s Ed Rubin recently spoke with children at a school in Valencia about climate change. You can listen to a short, non-English clip on Radio Valencia.


MechE students create IoT-enabled grilled cheese robot
Hackaday

MechE students Taylor Tabb, Mitchell Riek, and Evan Hill were featured on Hackaday for their automated grilled cheese-making robot. The robot, named “The Cheeeseborg,” is IoT-enabled via Google Assistant and was created for the students’ electromechanical design capstone project.


January


Whitefoot joins group of experts in refuting EPA proposal
Science Magazine

MechE/EPP’s Katie Whitefoot recently joined experts from 10 other leading universities and institutions in co-authoring a study challenging the EPA’s 2018 proposal to freeze fuel economy and emissions standards between 2020 and 2025. The authors contend that the decision, which contradicts a report made in 2016 and affirmed by the EPA in 2017, “has fundamental flaws and inconsistences, is at odds with basic economic theory and empirical studies, is misleading, and does not improve estimates of costs and benefits of fuel economy standards beyond those in the 2016 analysis.”