Innovation has a new home at Sears think[box]

Graduate students win awards for posters at Electronic Materials and Applications Meeting

Blue ribbon awardWilliam Huddleston and Kevin Pachuta, graduate students in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, received second and third place awards, respectively, at the eighth Electronic Materials and Applications Meeting.
The meeting, organized by the American Ceramic Society, was held in January in Orlando.
Huddleston’s and Pachuta’s posters were selected for awards from 43 entries.

Engineering students show Rwandan villagers how to install solar panels

Engineering students meeting with Rwandan villagersFor years, Daniel Lacks has taken Case Western Reserve University engineering students to African villages, showing them a different way of life and, more recently, aiding those they visited by installing solar panels in their villages.
What he and his students didn’t realize, though, was the inherent problem with that model.
Last summer, Lacks, chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, returned to the first village where he and his students installed solar panels in 2014—only to find that the system hadn’t worked for months and the villagers didn’t know how to fix it. Though the solution ultimately was an easy one, he knew it could become a common problem.

Engineering student presents at American Society of Transplant Surgeons symposium

Jessica PowellJessica Powell, a junior studying biomedical engineering, biomaterials and tissue engineering, recently gave a presentation at the American Society of Transplant Surgeons 17th annual State of the Art Winter Symposium.
Her presentation, titled “Synthetic Liver Function is Preserved in Transgenic Porcine Livers Perfused with Human Blood,” detailed research she’s conducted at a xenotransplant lab at the University of Maryland.

Student startup wins Cleantech University Prize

TiresCase Western Reserve University student entrepreneur Pavel Galchenko and his startup RVS Rubber Solutions will be competing in the final round of the Clean Energy Trust Challenge this spring after winning the Midwest Regional Competition in February.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 100 million pounds of tire components discarded during the manufacturing process are dumped in landfills nationally each year because the body ply—the tire’s largest component—can’t be effectively recycled.

Researchers secure $2 million NIH grant to test portable sickle cell monitor

Image of red blood cells with sickle cell diseaseResearchers at Case Western Reserve University will use a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop and test a small, portable blood-adhesion monitor for sickle cell disease patients.
The engineers and doctors hope to make the device as useful as the at-home insulin monitors diabetes patients use to manage their disease.

Sickle cell patients suffer painful damage to joints and organs during events called vaso-occlusive crises. These random and unpredictable crises occur when the misshapen and abnormal sticky blood cells that are characteristic of the disease clog blood vessels.