Friday, January 21, 2011

Engineers Without Borders

The UW Engineers Without Borders One Laptop Per Child project is looking for new members!

The One Laptop Per Child organization's mission is to create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low cost, low power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, enjoyable, self-empowered learning.

The UW Chapter of Engineers Without Borders is working towards this goal by developing software for the One Laptop Per Child organization's XO laptop ( ) and Sugar Operating System ( ). We are looking for anyone who knows or wants to learn Python and is interested in getting hand on experience in a project with real impact. Only minimal programming experience is required and the work is largely open ended.

If you are interested or have any questions, please email us at:

We meet on Fridays from 4pm-5pm in the Foster Business Library. You can check our wiki for the room number here:

Jeff Beorse

Bioengineering Team Capstone Project Topics, 2010-11

Project: Design and production of a biosensor system for non-invasive assessment of peripheral limb hemodynamic characteristics

Advisor: Charles Davis, Hemonix, Inc.

Project Description: Hemonix has developed a technology (PeriVasc) which can satisfy the needs of an effective means of noninvasively examining the hemodynamic characteristics of a region of vasculature in the peripheral limb. The essential physical parameters necessary for this kind of comprehensive noninvasive measurement were Pressure and Volume. Furthermore, these two parameters needed to be measured concurrently and coextensively on the same tissue samples in situ. We thoroughly assessed the various modalities of applying and measuring pressure and measuring volume changes which could be melded into an easy to use and familiar clinical device. We implemented the use of a standard blood pressure cuff as a pressure applicator and measurement device along with an integrated bioimpedance based electrode system to measure the volume changes in the underlying tissue beds. Accurate measurement of the relationships between Pressure and Volume required coextensivity of the two sensor systems and a complete circumference of the measured limb by both sensors. The ability of this technology to segment the peripheral vascular bed into vessel type segments allows for the novel, direct measurement of the Compliance of the vessels in situ. Therefore, the PeriVasc has great importance in both research and clinical applications.
The project that Hemonix proposes will focus on optimization and production of the sensory components of the system. The bioimpedance sensor was originally produced from a material that was specially made for vascular lab use for cutting custom electrodes for bioimpedance monitoring in vascular labs. We could cut and tape these electrodes together to form the channels that we desired in our electrode tests. The ultimate goal of this project is to convert the bioimpedance sensor production capability into a printing press-like machine that would automatically produce the electrodes at a low cost. The base material that we purchased had been produced in this fashion so we had a predicate device that we could point to in order to establish feasibility. Therefore, there is opportunity for students to combine the mechanical, electrical, material, and industrial engineering disciplines in the design and production of this machine.
Team recruitment: The vascular dynamics design team may be strengthened by the addition of a student majoring in Chemical Engineering or Industrial Engineering. The student would contribute to general development of the sensor system, evaluate the feasibility of possible designs for commercial manufacturing, and propose a method for fabrication of the sensor system on a commercial scale. It is expected that the student would use BIOEN 404-405 to satisfy the capstone requirement in his or her home department. Interested students may obtain additional information about technical aspects of the project by contacting Christopher Neils ( Students may apply to join the design team by submitting a statement of their interest, preparation, and senior course plan to the MSE or ChE department academic advisor, for forwarding to Bioengineering.

Design of a pressure monitoring device for the investigation of glaucoma asymmetry

Advisor: Parisa Taravati, M.D., Assistant Professor, Dept. of Ophthalmology, UW

Project Description: Glaucoma is a common disorder of the optic nerve and can result in irreversible loss of vision if left untreated. In glaucoma, damage to the optic nerve has been associated with increased intraocular pressure (increased pressure within the eye), and all glaucoma treatments are aimed toward lowering intraocular pressure to prevent additional vision loss. Glaucoma can affect the both eyes to the same extent, or it can affect one eye more than the other. However, not much is known about the reason for glaucoma affecting one eye more than the other. There have been studies showing that human intraocular pressure varies not only during the sleep-wake cycle, but also by changes in posture (i.e. sleeping upright, with head of bed elevated or lying flat). The purpose of this project is to design a pressure-monitoring device to ultimately determine if head position during sleep contributes to asymmetry of glaucoma between the eyes. The hypothesis that this device will help test is that sleeping on one side regularly would cause increased external pressure to the eye on that side, which in turn, would cause more damage to the optic nerve in an eye that already has glaucoma or is at risk of developing glaucoma.
Clinical Relevance: After informed consent is obtained, patients with glaucoma, elevated intraocular pressure, or who are suspects for glaucoma, will be asked to fill out a survey asking what position they usually sleep in. The patients’ charts will be retrospectively and prospectively reviewed to determine the type of glaucoma they have and whether or not they have asymmetry of glaucoma between their two eyes. Unfortunately, not much is known about how much agreement there is between a patient’s perceived sleep position and actual sleep position at night. For this reason, there is a need for a device that could measure the amount of time someone spends sleeping on either side, as well as how much pressure is exerted onto the eye when sleeping on that side. This information can then be used to: 1. Determine if patients’ reported vs. actual sleep positions correlate, and 2. Determine if the head position during sleep contributes to the asymmetry of glaucoma.
Team recruitment: The pressure-monitoring device design team may be strengthened by the addition of a student majoring in Electrical Engineering. The student would contribute to general development of the pressure-monitoring system, and specifically to the filtering, recording, and transmission of time and pressure data. Experience with wireless connectivity and microprocessor implementation is preferred, but not required. The EE team member should have an interest and some preparation in medically related subjects, such as biology, biochemistry, or physiology. It is expected that the student would use BIOEN 404-405 to satisfy the capstone requirement in his or her home department. Interested students may obtain additional information about technical aspects of the project by contacting Christopher Neils ( Students may apply to join the design team by submitting a statement of their interest, preparation, and senior course plan to the EE department academic advisor, for forwarding to Bioengineering.

Project: Design of a hand-held laparoscopic tool for improved dexterity

Advisor: Prakash Gatta, MD FACS, Valley Medical

Project Description: Laparoscopic surgery is a modern surgical technique in which operations in the abdominal cavity are performed through small incisions, as compared to larger incisions needed in traditional surgical procedures. There are a number of advantages to undergoing laparoscopic surgery versus an open procedure, including reduced pain due to smaller incisions, reduced hemorrhaging, and a shorter recovery time. The use of laparoscopic techniques has been augmented by the creation of specialized tools. There are current products on the market which translate the motions of a surgeon’s hand, but there is room for improvement in terms of dexterity and strength of these hand-held tools. Thus, the goal of this project is to engineer a laparoscopic hand-held tool that translates the 7 degrees of motion of a surgeon's hand into a 5-10 mm instrument. Ultimately, with the design of such a hand held tool, "force feedback" or haptics may be more of a possibility than with the robotic tools currently used.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Penn State REU in Electrical Engineering

Goals:Providing high quality and balanced REU Site activities in electrical engineering to enable participation and to stimulate interests in future research careers for talented and diversified domestic undergraduate students.

Program Dates: May 31, 2011 - July 29, 2011

NSF REU Scholar Positions Available: 12

Stipend: $4500 for 9 weeks plus free housing and travel support

Now Accepting Applications for Summer 2011

Click here for eligibility requirements and to access the online application.

Application Deadline: February 18, 2011

Financial Support: National Science Foundation

UW Environmental Innovation Challenge - INFO SESSION Thurs Jan 27 PIZZA!

UW Environmental Innovation Challenge
Information Session-
and PIZZA!
Thursday January 27, EE Bldg, 403 Conference Rm, 4:30-5:30

Are you participating or thinking about participating in the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge? We'll talk about judging criteria, logistics, and insights for the Challenge, which is on March 31. If you are looking for a team to join, come and hear what others are doing.

Who Does This Event?
If you've got a passion for clean-tech, the smarts to play in the emerging green economy, and the desire to leverage your background to make an impact, the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge can provide just the platform you've been looking for. Teams are cross-disciplinary, from undergraduates to grads, from colleges and universities across the state.

And don't forget, there's that chance to win $10,000.

First deliverable: INTENT TO SUBMIT DUE February 17, 2011

Intel Info Session for Engineers

Monday, January 24
5 - 6 p.m.
EEB 403
Food Provided

Please join us to hear from Brian Lagerstrom, representative of the Intel Architecture Group (IAG). Brian is a systems validation engineer, currently working on the next generation of Intel Core products. An overview of IAG's mission and goals will be presented along with possible job opportunities in the group.

Please bring your resume: Intel is hiring students for internships and full-time positions. Seeking students with backgrounds in: Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Materials Science, and Mechanical Engineering.

For more information on opportunities for students and recent college grads visit:

B.S. students must have the unrestricted right to work in the United States without sponsorship of a company.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Paid Summer Research - Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)

The Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium is happy to announce the application opening of the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP). SURP is a 9 week summer undergraduate research opportunity at the University of Washington for students majoring in the STEM fields.

The application due date is April 15, 2011 and the 9 week summer research stipend is $4,000 for full-time or $2,000 for part-time work.

You may find SURP details and the application at the following link:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

FAST Grant Deadline Extended to 1/19, NSDI Grants Now Available

1. FAST '11 grant applications are due January 19, 2011 (deadline extended)

Apply at

Guidelines and hints for completing a grant application can be found here:

FAST '11 registration is now open. The Early Bird Registration Deadline is
January 31, 2011.

Chat with other attendees on the FAST '11 Facebook page:


2. NSDI '11 grant application is now available

NSDI '11 grant applications are due February 21, 2011.

Apply at

Guidelines and hints for completing a grant application can be found here:

NSDI '11 will feature a poster session. The submission deadline and more
details will be available here:

Register online by Monday, March 7, 2011 and save!

Chat with other attendees on the NSDI '11 Facebook page:

14th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium

Friday, May 20, 2011.

To present their work at this event, students must submit an application by Friday, February 25th, 2011.

The Symposium is a celebration of undergraduate accomplishments in research, scholarship, and creative expression in all academic disciplines. Students may present their research either in a poster session or an oral presentation session. We will also have a dedicated performance space in nearby Meany Hall for performing arts presentations. Last year, over 750 students participated in this exciting event.

Undergraduate Research Information Session

Primarily for undergraduates who have yet to begin research, the sessions provide research resources, information on funding, and suggestions for approaching faculty. Additionally, the sessions are highly student-driven, with an emphasis on student questions and concerns. Students interested in attending the UW, including community college transfer students, are welcome to the sessions. Register here:
-Wednesday, January 19, 1:30-2:30pm, OUGL 220

Summer Engineering Research, University of Michigan, deadline January 28th

Two weeks remain for the January 28, 2011 application deadline for summer undergraduate research in engineering at the University of Michigan. Several internship positions are available. Please help us spread the word to engineering undergraduates at the junior level. Eligible students include those graduating December 2011, May 2012, December 2012 and May 2013.

Website & Online application

May 31-July 28, 2011

-$4,000 summer stipend
-on-campus housing
-some meals
-travel allowance
-GRE Test Prep course
-seminars, meetings, activities
-CIC research conference

January 28, student application deadline
February 25, department student selection deadline
Early to mid March, student notification

Feel free to contact me directly with questions or at

Peace Corps on Campus!

Find out how the Peace Corps can jump-start your career! Learn about what it means to be a volunteer, have your questions answered, and gain tips to guide you through the application process. Returned volunteers from Uganda, Namibia & Moldova will share their personal experiences, provide information, and answer questions about applying, volunteering, and everything you've ever wanted to know about Peace Corps! With thousands of positions in 77 countries, how far will you go? Check out event details below:

Info Session
Thursday, January 20th, 5:00 pm
Gowen Hall, room 201

Hints and Tips for Acing the Peace Corps Application & Interview
Tuesday, January 25, 5:00 pm
Gowen Hall, room 201

Part-time undergraduate research opportunity - paid

Student programmer needed for natural language processing research project
10 hours/week, pay rate is DOE

This project, under EE Prof. Mari Ostendorf, involves automatic analysis of
multiparty text (e.g. wiki discussions) to extract information about social
interaction. The system involves communicating with a web server to exchange
information with collaborating researchers at other sites working with the
same data.

The candidate will be responsible for a variety of coding tasks, including:
- maintaining and making major modifications to a simple Tomcat-based web
service and its associated clients, using provided WSDLs
- interfacing the Tomcat-based web service with existing research software
written in C++, Java, and Perl
- using and modifying existing scripts to interface with a MySQL database
- running other custom software provided by the researchers.

The successful candidate must be fluent in Java, and comfortable with perl,
UNIX, and shell scripting. Tomcat and SOAP/HTTP experience is highly desired
(experience with Apache or other web servers may be substituted.) Experience
with MySQL and text processing techniques will be very helpful but not

For more information or to apply, contact Brian Hutchinson

NASA-APL Internship Program is now accepting applications

I am pleased to announce the launch of the 2011 NASA / Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) application. It is online and available at

Since 2004, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has offered summer projects to students interested in working on NASA missions or space-related research opportunities at APL. Students participating in the NASA/APL Internship Program will work at APL, and will contribute to current and future missions during their assignments in the Space Department. APL's Civilian Space Business Area makes critical contributions to the missions of its major sponsor, NASA, to meet the challenges of space science. They conduct research and space exploration; develop and apply space science, engineering, and technology--including the production of one-of-a-kind spacecraft, instruments, and subsystems; and focus primarily on the science discipline of space physics and planetary science. The Laboratory has built instruments and spacecraft to destinations such as Pluto, Mercury, the Sun and our moon. Continuing these challenges, APL is supporting NASA as it implements initiatives to explore the reaches of our solar system. The 399-acre campus, 20 miles north of Washington, DC, is home to 4,100 men and women who work on more than 400 programs that protect our homeland and advance the nation's vision in research and space science.

Below are relevant deadlines.
  • Dec 22 - Application Launched
  • Feb 7 - Application Deadline
  • Mid March - Selections Complete
Space Grant Contributions
The NASA/APL program does not depend on funding from Space Grant, though assistance would be appreciated and will allow the program to place more students on NASA or space related projects.