News Archive

Suvranu De, the J. Erik Jonsson ’22 Distinguished Professor of Engineering and head of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering (MANE) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been selected to receive the 2022 ASME Edwin F. Church Medal.

People with type 2 diabetes who contract COVID-19 are nearly 50% more likely to wind up in intensive care if they have poorly managed their blood sugar levels over the long-term than those with better long-term glycemic control, according to a study using anonymized health care data.

Researchers have developed a new technique for revealing defects in nanostructured vanadium oxide, a widely used transition metal with many potential applications including electrochemical anodes, optical applications, and supercapacitors.

Materials and mechanical scientists are using machine learning to rapidly vet combinations of elements that could be used in next-generation environmental barrier coatings needed to protect vehicles traveling in the extreme conditions of aerospace and space environments. The project, led by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Faculty from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute served as experts in an exchange of information about developments in the field of sustainable energy, large-scale environmental change, and innovative and interdisciplinary research into energy storage and smart systems in the built environment on a recent visit by two members of the U.S. Congress.

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing protocols did not slow Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students Wyatt Delans and Jake Szottfried down when they needed to design and develop code for a robotic system capable of assembling a model trophy for a class project. Using new simulation and virtual reality lab capabilities at the university, they were able to design most of the project in their dorm rooms and then test it in a virtual environment before physically manufacturing it in the Manufacturing Innovation Learning Lab (MILL) at Rensselaer.

TROY, N.Y. — Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will study whether body heat, or even humidity from a person’s breath, for instance, may impact the effectiveness of the porous fibers that are used to make protective technologies, like face masks. With the support of a National Science Foundation grant, the team will use its expertise in fluid and solid mechanics to study the mechanical performance of fibrous materials when they are exposed to warm temperatures and humidity.

TROY, N.Y. — A novel experiment aimed at studying the mechanics of amyloid fibrils — a type of protein aggregation associated with diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s — started today aboard the International Space Station (ISS), led by a team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Like many other cells and organs within the body, cardiac cells possess a type of asymmetry that may play an important role in healthy heart formation and could serve as the basis for interventions to prevent congenital heart defects.

Nuclear power plants produce about 20% of the United States’ electricity. In order to increase the amount of carbon dioxide-free energy these plants can yield, improvements in efficiency and safety must be made. With support from $1.5 million in grants from the Department of Energy (DOE), researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will lead projects aimed at upgrading nuclear power plants with those goals in mind.

An innovative testing platform that more closely mimics what cancer encounters in the body may allow for more precise, personalized therapies by enabling the rapid study of multiple therapeutic combinations against tumor cells. The platform, which uses a three-dimensional environment to more closely mirror a tumor microenvironment, is demonstrated in research published in Communications Biology.

A number of vulnerabilities, known collectively as deep learning adversaries, hold artificial intelligence (AI) back from its full potential in applications like improving medical imaging quality and computer-aided diagnosis.

Accurate predictive simulations of the electrochemical reactions that power solar fuel generators, fuel cells, and batteries could advance these technologies through improved material design, and by preventing detrimental electrochemical processes, such as corrosion. However, electrochemical reactions are so complex that current computational tools can only model a fraction of all relevant factors at one time — with limited accuracy. This leaves researchers reliant on the trial and error of significant and expensive experimentation.

A new model, based on control theory, uses publicly available data to predict the minimal non-pharmaceutical intervention needed to control COVID-19 based on the vaccination rate in 381 metropolitan statistical areas — cities and their surrounding communities — across the country.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants throughout New York City and elsewhere use bespoke outdoor structures to offer safer dining experiences for their customers. However, many of these installations do not adequately protect servers, physically separate diners, provide thermal comfort, or easily disassemble if street maintenance is needed. 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing the ways in which we live, work, and spend our free time, from the smart devices in our homes to the tasks our phones can carry out. This transformation is being made possible by a surge in data and computing power that can help machine learning algorithms not only perform device-specific tasks, but also help them gain intelligence or knowledge over time.

TROY, N.Y. — Optoelectronic materials that are capable of converting the energy of light into electricity, and electricity into light, have promising applications as light-emitting, energy-harvesting, and sensing technologies. However, devices made of these materials are often plagued by inefficiency, losing significant useful energy as heat. To break the current limits of efficiency, new principles of light-electricity conversion are needed.

The future of quantum computing may depend on the further development and understanding of semiconductor materials known as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs). These atomically thin materials develop unique and useful electrical, mechanical, and optical properties when they are manipulated by pressure, light, or temperature.

More strategic and coordinated travel restrictions likely could have reduced the spread of COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic. That’s according to new research published in Communications Physics. This finding stems from new modeling conducted by a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequities in urban freight and the delivery of goods. This misalignment in the supply chain is perpetuating food insecurity, especially in areas where grocery store access is limited or non-existent and for those who have limited access to e-commerce.