Researcher to image lab earthquake formation, precursory signals with ultrasound

An individual sits at a desk holding two rocks attached to lab instruments.

By Mariah R. Lucas

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Earthquakes are notoriously hard to predict, and scientists currently rely on seismic hazard maps to predict the likelihood of an earthquake to strike a particular region. Jacques Rivière, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics (ESM) and of acoustics, received a five-year, $750,000 Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to advance the use of ultrasound sensors to image lab-based earthquakes and better understand the precursory events that lead to them. 

Alliance works to keep America prepared for nuclear incidents

By Jamie Oberdick

It was an unusual scene on an overcast day in July 2022 at the University Park West Campus intramural fields. Near quiet tennis courts, a group of around 100 first-year college students, high school students, graduate students from several universities, faculty and administrators, and military visitors gathered around several display tables, including one dishing out Berkey Creamery ice cream. Nearby, a somewhat ominous, mysterious large black drone hovered with a distinct high-pitched buzz. 

In-place manufacturing method improves gas sensor capabilities, production time

Gas sensor capabilitites

By Mariah R. Lucas

When used as wearable medical devices, stretchy, flexible gas sensors can identify health conditions or issues by detecting oxygen or carbon dioxide levels in the breath or sweat. They also are useful for monitoring air quality in indoor or outdoor environments by detecting gas, biomolecules and chemicals. But manufacturing the devices, which are created using nanomaterials, can be a challenge. 

Penn State adaptive screen system for buildings featured in Lisbon Triennale

Array of adaptive screens in a window

By Pamela Krewson Wertz

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A Penn State-designed window screen system that automatically changes its shape based on indoor and outdoor environmental conditions is part of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal through Dec. 5. The responsive building façade system features screens made of smart and bistable materials that are located inside a building’s windows that open and close based on the weather conditions and lighting outside, as well as the indoor lighting and climate requirements.

Engineers improve electrochemical sensing by incorporating machine learning

Electrochemical Sensing

By Mary Fetzer

Combining machine learning with multimodal electrochemical sensing can significantly improve the analytical performance of biosensors, according to new findings from a Penn State research team. These improvements may benefit noninvasive health monitoring, such as testing that involves saliva or sweat. The findings were published this month in Analytica Chimica Acta.

Smart chip senses, stores, computes and secures data in one low-power platform

Smart chip - low-powered platform

By Mariah Chuprinski

Digital information is everywhere in the era of smart technology, where data is continuously generated by and communicated among cell phones, smart watches, cameras, smart speakers and other devices. Securing digital data on handheld devices requires massive amounts of energy, according to an interdisciplinary group of Penn State researchers, who warn that securing these devices from bad actors is becoming a greater concern than ever before.  

Laser Writing May Enable ‘Electronic Nose’ For Multi-Gas Sensor

By Ashley J. WennersHerron

Environmental sensors are a step closer to simultaneously sniffing out multiple gases that could indicate disease or pollution, thanks to a Penn State collaboration. Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics in the College of Engineering, and Lauren Zarzar, assistant professor of chemistry in Eberly College of Science, and their teams combined laser writing and responsive sensor technologies to fabricate the first highly customizable microscale gas sensing devices.