UW takes major step in establishing ocean observatory

June 27, 2013

The University of Washington research ship Tommy Thompson sits a the end of Pier 91 and is getting ready to sail in a few days.

On board is a portion of the  570 miles of fiber optic cable that will turn the ocean floor off the northwest coast into a research paradise, and not just for scientists. The public will also be able to watch high definition video of hot volcanic vents and unusual sea life in real time starting in 2015. The public may even be invited to help with research.

UW gas-, electric-powered cars claim 1st and 2nd in national contest

June 27, 2013

Seattle is a long way from Detroit, but the West Coast team claimed a key win in last weekend’s student race car competition.

The University of Washington Formula Motorsports team took first place at the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers competition held June 19-22 in Lincoln, Neb. It’s one of the largest U.S. competitions that challenges engineering students to design and build a small race car fit for an amateur driver.

Silicon-based nanoparticles could make LEDs cheaper, greener to produce

June 12, 2013

Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are the most efficient and environmentally friendly light bulbs on the market. But they come at a higher up-front price than other bulbs, especially the ones with warmer and more appealing hues.

Researchers at the University of Washington have created a material they say would make LED bulbs cheaper and greener to manufacture, driving down the price. Their silicon-based nanoparticles soften the blue light emitted by LEDs, creating white light that more closely resembles sunlight.

UWGP + WOOF = SUPERTEAM

Today marks the launch of our new pilot program in Suzzallo Cafe in partnership with WOOF, a group of UW engineers working on 3D printing using recycled plastics.  This program will re-capture used compostable plastic utensils from Suzzallo and divert these materials to WOOF for use in 3D printing.  The program itself is designed to scale up to WOOF's needs, and we're ready to expand into other high-traffic cafes (like the UW Tower) if this initial phase is successful.

Foster Idea Lab participants brainstorm sustainable solutions

May 24, 2013

Looking for a challenge? How about trying to cut total emissions from the global commercial aviation fleet in half—even as it doubles from 20,000 to a projected 40,000 planes—by 2050.

That tall order is the very real pledge of the world’s aviation industry.

And leading the quixotic charge is the Boeing Company, whose Bill Glover provided the keynote for the 2013 Foster Idea Lab, a kind of high-level sustainability brainstorming session hosted by Net Impact at the University of Washington Foster School of Business.

UW helps lead the way for the next generation of oceanography

April 30, 2013

Information streams live from sensors two miles below the ocean surface, gathering data for years at a time and providing a video stream accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

After making do with battery-powered sensors that would need to be retrieved before their data could be accessed, engineers at the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory are working to make these groundbreaking live-sensor oceanography tools a reality through the world’s largest underwater observatory off the Washington coast.

A greener concrete? UW-led coalition seeks to reduce concrete’s carbon footprint

Concrete is the most widely used manmade material in the world. Each year, more than 1 cubic yard of concrete is created for every person on the planet.

Every year the United States alone uses about 300 million cubic yards of ready-mix concrete to make streets, bridges, buildings, dams and driveways — and it lasts a very long time.

But, what if concrete could be made “greener”? What would the global energy savings be if concrete had a 50 percent smaller carbon footprint?