By merging the ancient art of origami with 21st century technology, researchers have created a one-step approach to fabricating complex origami structures whose light weight, expandability, and strength could have applications in everything from biomedical devices to equipment used in space exploration. Until now, making such structures has involved multiple steps, more than one material, and assembly from smaller parts.
Early in the next decade, the first computers capable of at least one quintillion calculations per second will come online at Argonne National Laboratory. Phanish Suryanarayana in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is leading a team on a new project to make use of all those processors to study the interactions of atoms using quantum mechanics, building on computer code his team has developed in recent years. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the four-year, $2.8 million study — if everything goes well, as Suryanarayana puts it — will mean scientists can study and understand chemical systems that include up to 10 million atoms.
With another hurricane season beginning June 1 — and some forecasters predicting another busy one — researchers in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering are working on a tool to help first-responders use Twitter activity to identify developing crises after a storm while also helping civilians more effectively plug in to disaster response efforts.
Can you hide a building from a stress wave, like an earthquake or even some kind of blast or explosion? If that kind of “cloaking” were possible, it could shape how we design critical structures like nuclear power plants. Arash Yavari has started a new four-year, half-million dollar federally funded project to lay the mathematical foundations for that kind of technology and explore if it’s theoretically possible while still respecting the laws of physics.