Mechanical Engineering

Stanford researchers stretch a thin crystal to get better solar cells

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Type: 
Research News

Crystalline semiconductors such as silicon can catch photons and convert their energy into electron flows. New research shows that a little stretching could give one of silicon's lesser-known cousins its own place in the sun.

Slug: 
Stretching Solar-Cell Performance
Short Dek: 
Stanford researchers stretch a thin crystal to create solar cells that absorb more energy.

Nature loves crystals. Salt, snowflakes and quartz are three examples of crystals – materials characterized by the lattice-like arrangement of their atoms and molecules.

Industry loves crystals, too. Electronics are based on a special family of crystals known as semiconductors, most famously silicon.

To make semiconductors useful, engineers must tweak their crystalline lattice in subtle ways to start and stop the flow of electrons.

Semiconductor engineers must know precisely how much energy it takes to move electrons in a crystal lattice.

Last modified Thu, 25 Jun, 2015 at 9:54

Stanford collaboration with General Motors recognized by the American Society for Engineering Education

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Type: 
Research News

Excellence in Engineering Education Collaboration Award recognizes joint development of course that helps GM engineers improve products, processes and services.

Slug: 
ASEE Honors Stanford, GM
Short Dek: 
Excellence in Engineering Education Collaboration Award recognizes university's work with automaker on manufacturing design course.

 

Stanford University and General Motors have received an Excellence in Engineering Education Collaboration Award from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in recognition of Stanford’s long-standing collaboration with General Motors’ Technical Education Program (GM TEP). 

Last modified Thu, 25 Jun, 2015 at 12:55

Grippy, not sticky: Stanford engineers debut an incredibly adhesive material that doesn't get stuck

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Type: 
Research News

A material inspired by the unique physics of geckos' fingertips could allow robotic hands to grip nearly any type of object without applying excessive pressure.

Slug: 
Grippy, Not Sticky
Short Dek: 
Stanford engineers debut an incredibly adhesive material that doesn't get stuck

A promising new adhesive material was born out of a scrap.

David Christensen, a mechanical engineering graduate student at Stanford, was trimming a piece of adhesive modeled after the grippy fingers of geckos and noticed that the thin scrap seemed particularly grippy. He shared this observation with his colleague Elliot Hawkes, who laminated a piece of non-stretchable, but very flexible, film to the back of the scrap. They found that the combination greatly magnified the grip and allowed some surprising properties.

Last modified Thu, 28 May, 2015 at 11:48

Mechanical engineering students showcase imaginative research at first MECON

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Type: 
Research News

Students and faculty organized this inaugural Mechanical Engineering Conference to showcase the breadth of interdisciplinary research by the ME community.

Slug: 
Mechanical Engineering Conference
Short Dek: 
Mechanical engineering students showcase the breadth of interdisciplinary research.

Could we create 3D models of the brain so accurate that surgeons could use them to plan operations? Build space probes that hop over the surfaces of low-gravity comets and asteroids? Or develop micro-devices that would train lab-grown muscle cells to patch damaged hearts?

These were just three among the more than one hundred projects that were showcased at a recent conference designed to give students and faculty a chance to get a sense of the broad range of interdisciplinary initiatives being pursued by members of Stanford's mechanical engineering community.

Last modified Fri, 22 May, 2015 at 9:51

Revenge of the DrEd - ME218C Bot Presentations

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Revenge of the DrEd
Date/Time: 
Wednesday, May 27, 2015. 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Location: 
DrEd Swamp (ah hem…Terman Pond)
Sponsors: 
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Admission: 
Free

Last modified Mon, 18 May, 2015 at 14:35

Designing Life Critical Systems, a Surgical Robotics Seminar - Dr. Chris Carlson

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Friday, May 22, 2015 - 11:00am
Date/Time: 
Friday, May 22, 2015. 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sponsors: 
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Contact Info: 
650-725-913, phicks@stanford.edu

Last modified Mon, 18 May, 2015 at 13:42

The Stanford Design EXPErience - Presentations & Fair

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The Stanford Design EXPErience - Celebrating Student Design Project Work

Date/Time: 
Thursday, June 4, 2015. 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Sponsors: 
Mechanical Engineering Design Group
Contact Info: 
650-721-2896, rnariyos@stanford.edu
Admission: 
Free, open to the public with registration

Last modified Mon, 18 May, 2015 at 10:43

Beth Pruitt elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers

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Type: 
Research News

In an interdisciplinary blend of engineering and medicine, Pruitt seeks to detect and measure the minute forces generated by living cells.

Slug: 
Pruitt elected fellow of ASME
Short Dek: 
Professor elected fellow of ASME for research on creating micro-electrical systems (MEMS)

Associate Professor Beth Pruitt has been elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) for work that includes a focus on creating micro-electrical systems (MEMS) to detect the minute forces that cells exert upon one another as they carry out the basic mechanics of life.

Last modified Thu, 7 May, 2015 at 14:50

Five faculty members receive NSF Early Career Development awards

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Type: 
Research News

Assistant professors Amin Arbabian, Michael Lepech, Marco Pavone, Manu Prakash and Sindy Tang awarded grants to help promising junior faculty pursue outstanding research while also improving education.

Slug: 
Five Faculty Members Get NSF Grants
Short Dek: 
Arbabian, Lepech, Pavone, Prakash and Tang receive Early Career Development awards.

Five Stanford Engineering faculty members have received National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) awards for 2015. The CAREER program helps promising junior faculty pursue outstanding research while also improving education.

Last modified Thu, 2 Apr, 2015 at 16:16

Stanford engineer helps crack mystery of bird flight

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Type: 
Research News

A team led by mechanical engineer David Lentink has identified the design qualities that make bird wings famously efficient over a wide range of flight styles. The research could lead to improved aircraft design.

Slug: 
Cracking the Mystery of Bird Flight
Short Dek: 
Stanford engineers identify the design qualities that make bird wings efficient over a wide range of flight styles.

It has taken more than a million fine samples of aerodynamic force and airflow combined to determine what makes a hummingbird's wings so adept at hovering.

The team led by David Lentink, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford, believes that the results could have significant impacts in both aerodynamic research and in advancing bio-inspired designs of drones and other aircraft.

Last modified Thu, 26 Mar, 2015 at 11:24