Monthly Archives: September 2011

President Honors Two Badger Engineers

Mike Arnold

Mike Arnold

Congratulations are in order for Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Mike Arnold who has been awarded the country’s highest honor for scientists at the beginning of their research careers. Arnold is among 94 researchers named by President Obama to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Since 1996, the annual PECASE awards have honored the most promising researchers in the Unites States, nominated by nine federal departments and agencies. Though at the start of their careers, these scientists and engineers have already demonstrated exceptional research and promise.
Arnold’s work is motivated by society’s rapidly growing energy consumption due to the expansion of the worldwide industrial economy, as well as the continued demand for smaller, faster, more sensitive and economical electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices. He was nominated by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Sam Zelinka

Sam Zelinka

Also receiving the award is U.S. Forest Service Materials Researcher Samuel L. Zelinka who earned his BS, MS and PhD from the UW-Madison Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 2005, 2006 and 2009. Zelinka explores corrosion of metal fasteners in wood, electrical properties of wood, and does fundamental research on wood-moisture relations. He was nominated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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What Does it Feel Like to Fly Over Planet Earth?

Earth from the ISS

Earth from the ISS

A time-lapse taken from the front of the International Space Station as it orbits our planet at night. This movie begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. We highly recommend you select 1080p, let the video load and watch this in full screen. Absolutely breathtaking! Flying over Earth

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William Gurstelle Plays With Fire and So Can You

Take an old turntable, set a crucible of kerosene in the middle, surround it with a three-foot cylinder of aluminum mesh and then turn it on. What you get, according to William Gurstelle (BSME, ’78) is a wicked-cool flame.

“It creates its own weather system on top of the turntable,” says Gurstelle. “It’s a really thin pencil-like flame higher than the screen and it’s amazing to look at.”

This, and a host of other adventures are included in Gurstelle’s latest book, “The Practical Pyromaniac,” which details projects from the relatively simple to what Gurstelle calls ‘quite involved.’ At the same time, the book explores the history of fire and explains how our understanding of it has evolved.

“We use fire everyday but we don’t really understand it. If you ask ten different people what fire is, you’ll get ten different answers,” he says. “The right answer is that it’s a chemical reaction. It’s a high-temperature self-sustaining chemical reaction between oxygen and a hydrocarbon fuel producing water and carbon dioxide. That’s not a very satisfying answer so, with my book the idea is to really understand fire by playing with it.”  (more…)

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Badger Engineer Recalls Working With Steve Jobs

Michael DhueyMichael Dhuey (BSECE, ’80) worked at the forefront of several computer breakthroughs. During his 25 years at Apple Computing, he worked on the Lisa Project, which laid the foundation for the Macintosh. He also developed hardware for the little tool that’s become omnipresent: the iPod. We last talked with Dhuey in 2008. VentureBeat, a blog on innovation, more recently talked to him about his experiences with Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Read the article here.
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Homecoming and Engineers’ Day

This year’s Engineers’ Day will be held on Friday, October 14. The day begins with a continental breakfast at 8:00 a.m. in the lobby of Engineering Hall and seminars starting at 8:45 a.m. in Room 1800 Engineering Hall. The evening reception, banquet and awards ceremony will be held at the Monona Terrace Convention Center beginning at 5:30 p.m. Visit the Engineers’ Day website for more information and to register for the events.

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Murfie.com Reviewed in Wall Street Journal

Murfie.com, the latest venture by serial entrepreneur Matt Younkle (ECE, ‘97) was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal. Murfie will digitize your CD collection and put it in “the cloud.” The digital versions of your discs reside on its website where you can sell and trade.
From the article:
‘Murfie wants to become the Internet’s largest used-CD emporium. (It takes a 30% cut.) As a used-CD store, they are unique in that buyers don’t need to wait for a disc in the mail—the music can be downloaded. And because these are used-CDs you’re buying, the prices are lower than normal. An example: I found John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” for $4 ($3 for the CD plus $1 for the rip and download) on Murfie. It’s $8 on iTunes.’
Read the full article here or Google ‘Sending Your Discs to Cloud Heaven’

Note to all you Badger Engineers: Are you starting a business? Do you have an interesting opportunity for other Badger Engineers? Let us know and we’ll share it here.

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