Inventing the Future
Superstrong, Reversible Adhesive That Works Like Snail Slime
Using snail slime as inspiration, Penn Engineers led by Shu Yang created a reversible superglue that is adjustable when wet but cement-like when dry. When the wet adhesive dries, it locks firmly in place and is even strong enough to hold a fully grown adult. Durable, reversible adhesion, like that demonstrated in the material developed by Yang’s team, could allow for reusable envelopes, gravity-defying boots, and revolutionized industry assembly.
‘Nanocardboard’ can Levitate Using Only the Power of Light
Through working on a problem with blood filters, Penn Engineers developed what they call “nanocardboard,” a material that’s as thin as a few strands of DNA and weighs less than a thousandth of a gram, but stiff enough to resist flopping. In testing their material, they discovered an unexpected property: the material weighs so little that, when exposed to light, it can levitate. Their discovery, although still in the initial phases, could lay the groundwork for future smart dust sensors or weather sensors.
Training the next generation of globally minded researchers
In a crisis, shelter is one of the first things people need. But a disaster tent can do more than just keep out the elements; with the right materials, it can collect water, store solar energy, or stop the spread of germs. As part of the Research and Education in Active Coatings Technologies for the Human Habitat program, students conduct fundamental materials science research that can improve lives while engaging in international collaborations and educational activities.
Penn Engineers are Sending Robots Underground in DARPA Subterranean Challenge
In an attempt to make robots function more effectively underground where satellite-based communication breaks down, a team of Penn Engineers have entered DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge. To meet the incredibly high standards set by DARPA, Penn Engineers have partnered with two companies to combine legged and aerial robots into a robotics system that can explore underground environments like subways, tunnels, and caves.
Nanostructured Diamond Metalens Designed for Compact Quantum Technologies
The spin of electrons found in diamonds are prime candidates for use in quantum technologies, but collecting information from electrons deep inside a crystal is a daunting task. Penn Engineers addressed this problem by devising a way to pattern the surface of a diamond that makes it easier to collect light from the electron spins inside. Called a metalens, this surface structure contains nanoscale features that bend and focus the emitted light, despite being effectively flat.
MEAM Summer Seminar: “Small, Autonomous, Flying Robots that can Feel and Map their Environment”
CBE Doctoral Dissertation Defense: “Anisotropy and Aggregation in Self-Assembled Polymer Nanocomposites”
MEAM/LRSM Seminar: “Enabling Soft, Flexible 2D Materials and Sensors”
Six Penn Engineers Receive Tenure
The School of Engineering and Applied Science has granted tenure to six faculty members: Brian Chow, David Issadore, Dongeun (Dan) Huh, Linh Thi Xuan Phan, Amish Patel and Aleksandra Vojvodic.
César de la Fuente Named Penn Presidential Professor
César de la Fuente, assistant professor in the Perelman School of Medicine and in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been awarded a Presidential Professorship by University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann. Presidential Professorships, which have terms lasting five years, are awarded to outstanding scholars who, according to the award announcement, “demonstrably contribute excellence and diversity to Penn’s inclusive community.”
Mark Yim and CJ Taylor Named New Director and Deputy Director of GRASP Lab
Mark Yim, Professor and Director of Integrated Product Design in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, has been named director of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing & Perception (GRASP) Laboratory at Penn, and CJ Taylor, Professor in Computer and Information Science, has been named deputy director. The GRASP Lab incorporates a selective and rigorous robotics program for graduate and doctoral students.