Science & Technology

Penn Physicists Develop Force Law for Granular Impacts: Sand, Other Granular Matter's Behavior Is Better Defined

PHILADELPHIA -- Sand.  A single grain is tiny, but solid, and shares the physical properties of other solid matter.  But pack or transport millions of grains together - as modern society does with coffee grounds, flour and industrial chemicals - and granular materials act differently, baffling engineers.  They take the shape of their containers and flow freely, like liquids.

Jordan Reese

Penn's Weiss Tech House Announces Student Inventors Headed to PennVention Competition Finals

PHILADELPHIA -- Ten teams of student inventors have been selected to present their prototypes of innovative technologies at the University of Pennsylvania's third annual PennVention competition on April 6 at Penn's Weiss Tech House. Finalists will compete for more than $60,000 in cash and prizes and a chance to launch their products to market.

Jenny Brennan

Energy Working Group at Penn Hosts Mini-Symposium on Sustainable Energy

WHO: Energy Working Group at Penn, a multi-disciplinary group of University of Pennsylvania scientists and engineersGeorge Crabtree, senior scientist and director of the materials science division of the Argonne National Laboratory Joanne Milliken, director of the U.S. Energy Department hydrogen program

Jacquie Posey

MAGPI Hub at University of Pennsylvania Connects to New Internet2 Network

PHILADELPHIA -- The MAGPI advanced networking hub at the University of Pennsylvania has connected to the new Internet2 Network, providing the research and education community in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware with more than 10 times the capacity of its current network and with new on-demand bandwidth capabilities.

Julie McWilliams, Lauren Rotman

Penn Team Bridges the Digital Divide in Cameroon

Penn Team Bridges the Digital Divide in CameroonJan. 30, 2007PHILADELPHIA -- Some students in Cameroon now have computers thanks to a University of Pennsylvania engineering service organization.  A six member team of students, faculty and alumni of CommuniTech spent two and a half weeks during the winter break in Cameroon to establish computer labs.

Jeanne Leong



In the News


The New York Times

Grumpy dogs outperform the friendlies on some learning tests

Cynthia Otto of the School of Veterinary Medicine spoke about dog personality traits. At Penn’s Working Dog Center, she said, “we allow dogs to choose their careers and it’s based on their personalities and on their interactions and on their relationships.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

No battery? No problem. At Penn, a mini electric car draws energy from its surroundings

Min Wang and James Pikul of the School of Engineering and Applied Science discuss their work on a car that eats metal and breathes air. The technology also could run a generator during a power outage, with no noise or fumes.

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WHYY (Philadelphia)

Science vs science: The contradictory fight over whether electromagnetic hypersensitivity is real

Electromagnetic fields are everywhere, and especially so in recent years. To most of us, those fields are undetectable. But a small number of people believe they have an actual allergy to electromagnetic fields. Ken Foster, a professor emeritus of bioengineering, has heard these arguments before.  “Activists would point to all these biological effects studies and say, ‘There must be some hazard’; health agencies would have meticulous reviews of literature and not see much of a problem.”

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The Conversation

Neuralink’s monkey can play Pong with its mind. Imagine what humans could do with the same technology

Anna Wexler of the Perelman School of Medicine expressed skepticism about Neuralink, a company developing brain-machine interfaces. “Neuroscience is far from understanding how the mind works, much less having the ability to decode it,” she said.

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6ABC.com

University of Penn nursing student co-creates product to help frontline workers care for patients in the dark

Anthony Scarpone-Lambert, a senior in the School of Nursing, spoke about the wearable nightlight he helped develop. The invention allows nurses to check on patients at night without turning on bright white lights. "On average, patients regularly report poor quality of sleep as their number one complaint during hospitalization," he said.

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The New York Times

Biden’s push for electric cars: $174 billion, 10 years and a bit of luck

John Paul MacDuffie of the Wharton School spoke about the push to develop a robust charging network for electric vehicles in the U.S. “It is, famously, one of the ways that China has become the No. 1 country in E.V.s on most dimensions,” he said.

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MIT Technology Review

Keeping COVID vaccines cold isn’t easy. These ideas could help

Drew Weissman of the Perelman School of Medicine and Michael Mitchell of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about efforts to develop new ways to keep temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines cold during shipment.

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Philadelphia Business Journal

Strella Biotechnology, whose backers include Mark Cuban, expands its presence at Pennovation Works

Strella Biotechnology, a company developing technology to reduce food spoilage, has moved into a 2,000 square foot space at the Pennovation Lab. The company’s founders won the $100,000 Penn President’s Innovation Prize in 2019.

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WHYY (Philadelphia)

Wolf administration to buy half of state government’s electricity from solar

Mark Hughes of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy said Pennsylvania’s solar fields will provide jobs and tax revenue and move the state toward clean energy. “You want to make it hip, you want to make it cheap—but eventually you’re going to have to make it mandatory,” he said.

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The Atlantic

Why celebrities are agog over this tiny climate think tank

Zane Cooper, a doctoral candidate in the Annenberg School for Communication, said all networked computation, including cryptocurrency, is powered by fossil fuels and harmful to the environment. “Bitcoin reveals a fundamental truth about the relationship between computing and energy,” he said.

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