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Engineering (ENG) Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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From right, Tom Killian and Robert Raphael, both of Rice, and Glauco Souza of Nano3D Biosciences. Scientists Grow Cells in 3-D Using Magnetic Fields
The new technique yields 3-D cells that more closely resemble those inside the body and could led to improvements in early drug screenings
Released  June 11, 2010
Photo of a water coming out of a water fountain. Much of U.S. Water Safe, But Problems Remain
Looking more carefully at the water we drink
Released  March 10, 2010
Video showing gecko feet. Following in the Footsteps of Nature
Researchers move one step closer to nature with the development of polymers and directional adhesion that follow the workings of a gecko's foot
Released  February 9, 2010
Photo of the OrbiTouch keyboard. Getting a Better Grip on Gaming
System originally developed for people with carpal tunnel syndrome is now used by thousands of gamers
Released  January 6, 2010
Photo of the Seawall experiment in the Large Wave Flume at Oregon State University. Building Tsunami-resistant Cities
Mary Beth Oshnack describes her undergraduate and graduate research to understand tsunami wave forces and improve building construction in hazard-prone coastal communities
Released  October 20, 2009
Photo of JBEI Director Jay Keasling with Rajit Sapar in lab with a beaker of cellulose sludge. Microbe Metabolism Harnessed to Produce Fuel
NSF-supported researchers use synthetic biology technology to engineer the next generation of biofuels
Released  September 10, 2009
Photo of person with disabilities piloting a robotic mobility and manipulation system in kitchen. Robotic Systems Help People With Disabilities
Bioengineering and mechanical engineering professor Rory Cooper describes how rapid prototyping and robotics are providing promising solutions for those with severe manipulation and mobility challenges
Released  August 21, 2009
Photo of Sudipta Seal holding a bottle containing billions of ultra-small, engineered nanoceria. Nanoparticles Explored for Preventing Cell Damage
Engineers investigate using nanoparticles both as a preventative and a treatment for disease
Released  July 14, 2009
Photo of Ben Wen holding algae biodiesel that was produced using a new solid catalyst method. Algae: A New Way to Make Biodiesel
NSF small business grantee Ben Wen describes a new catalytic approach for algae biodiesel production that uses less work and energy, produces less waste, and makes a lot more fuel
Released  June 24, 2009
Photo of Karen Smilowitz who helps nonprofit organizations streamline their work. Libraries, Food Banks Benefit From Transportation Modeling
NSF CAREER awardee Karen Smilowitz applies the art of operations research to find optimal solutions to problems in the nonprofit sector
Released  June 10, 2009
Illustration showing advanced chips In Industrial Manufacturing, Efficiency Falls as Technology Advances
A comprehensive study of old and new manufacturing processes, from machining metal to making carbon nanofibers, shows that the more advanced technologies are less efficient in their use of energy and materials per kilogram of output
Released  May 1, 2009
Photo showing bright red-orange photoluminescence from porous silicon nanoparticles. Safer Nano Cancer Detector
Nanoparticle test in mice could pave the way for human uses
Released  April 30, 2009
Eight thumbnail images and 2008 in Review 2008: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities that made news last year
Released  March 13, 2009
Photo of water coming out of a faucet. Clean Water for a Crowded, Contaminated World
Revolutionary purification techniques address impending global water crisis
Released  February 2, 2009
Photo of Raul Cal modeling the cool laser eye-protecting glasses used during the experiments. Lab Tests Show Wind Turbine's Air Flow
Researcher describes NSF-supported wind tunnel experiments that mimic atmospheric airflow around wind turbines to advance our understanding of real wind farm conditions
Released  November 25, 2008
Photo of Ayusman Sen's laboratory team in 2008. Nanoparticles Taught to Swim
NSF-supported research team at Penn State creates nanoscale motors powered by catalytic reactions that convert chemical energy into motion
Released  November 20, 2008
Photo of Jonathan Arnold and Heinz-Bernd Schuttler discussing their work on biological clocks. The Biological Clock's Incredible Influence Revealed
University of Georgia researchers find that the number of genes under the control of the biological clock in bread mold is dramatically higher than previously reported
Released  November 5, 2008
Photo of Afsaneh Rabiei who invented an ultra-strong and lightweight composite metal foam. Foamy Invention Could Save Energy and Lives
NSF CAREER awardee Afsaneh Rabiei's ultra-high-strength composite metal foam could revolutionize impact protection
Released  October 29, 2008
Three-dimensional reconstructions of magnetic resonance images of the rat gastro-intestinal tract. Gut Reaction: Digestion Revealed in 3-D
James Brasseur and his multidisciplinary team image the dynamic mixing of fluids and nutrient exchange in the human digestive system
Released  October 17, 2008
Illustration of a bioparticle (left) ready to bind antigens (yellow) from tumor cells. Natural Bio-Army Trained to Fight Cancer
Bioengineer Tarek Fahmy and colleagues are engineering new nanoscopic and microscopic biomaterials to stimulate the body’s production of killer T-cells to fight infectious diseases
Released  August 8, 2008
Photo of Todd McDevitt pointing to an aggregate of embryonic stem cells with blue-stained nuclei. Stem Cell Research Goes Beyond Biology
Todd McDevitt tells how engineering can help us understand stem cell differentiation and develop approaches to realize the potential of stem cells for regenerative therapies
Released  July 17, 2008
Photo of Professor Israel Wachs with the combined Raman-Infrared spectrometer/microscope. Scientist Explores Invisible Environmental Helpers
Researcher uses his expertise in catalysis to impact major environmental issues
Released  April 25, 2008
2007 In Review 2007: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities reported last year
Released  January 30, 2008
Photo of Shirley Ann Jackson and William Bialek Top Scientists Promote Innovative, Multidisciplinary Global Problem-Solving Strategies
 
Released  December 11, 2007
An artist's rendition of the proposed Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory design. Team Selected for the Proposed Design of the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory
Released  July 10, 2007
Researchers have created bricks from fly ash that look and perform like normal bricks. Follow the "Green" Brick Road?
Bricks made from coal-fired power plant waste pass safety test
Released  May 22, 2007
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have grown the world's longest carbon nanotube arrays. The Longest Carbon Nanotubes You've Ever Seen
Crafted with breakthrough manufacturing technique, centimeter-long fibers are visible to the naked eye
Released  May 10, 2007
"NanoBucky" is a 3-D nanoscale model made from tiny, carbon nanofiber "hairs." Getting a Feel for the Nano World
New models help introduce the blind to careers in nanoscale science and engineering
Released  March 27, 2007
Layers of silica nanorods look like shag carpet when viewed with a scanning electron microscope. New Coating Is Virtual Black Hole for Reflections
Non-reflecting material may help solar cells catch more of the Sun's rays
Released  March 1, 2007
Illustration of computer screen and sensor embedded in a bridge span. Life Can Be a Strain
From enormous mining trucks to human knee implants, sensor technology is teaching us when enough is enough
Released  February 21, 2007

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