Category » Innovation

At the Interface
January 24, 2014

At the Interface

Anthropologist-turned-engineer brings social science to computing

In the late 1980s, computer engineer Cherri Pancake made a discovery that startled her: Despite the millions of dollars invested in computer hardware and the explosive growth in software, no published research focused on how people actually use these devices. The issue came up when Sue Utter, Pancake’s master’s student at Auburn University, wanted to […]


Federal Boost for OSU Spinoff
January 23, 2014

Federal Boost for OSU Spinoff

Department of Energy supports NuScale Power

A promising new form of nuclear power that evolved in part from research more than a decade ago at Oregon State University has received a significant boost: up to $226 million in funding to NuScale Power from the U.S. Department of Energy. NuScale began as a spinoff company based on the pioneering research of OSU […]


Neighbors in Tech: Advantage Partners
January 22, 2014

Neighbors in Tech: Advantage Partners

HP and Oregon State collaborate on next-gen products

In most neighborhoods, talk turns to family, weather or sports. But when the neighbors include a global high-tech company and the state’s largest research university, the conversation bends to technology. “In choosing a location for its Advanced Products Division in 1974, key criteria for HP included quality of life and proximity to a great engineering […]


The Gas Track
January 22, 2014

The Gas Track

OSU-Cascades undergrad builds a lab

For an undergraduate, Josh Tibbitts faced an unusual problem last winter: where to find a source of high-pressure natural gas for a new research lab. We’re not talking about double or triple the pressure that produces the blue flame in your furnace or a kitchen stove — typically less than one-quarter of a pound per […]


On a Wing and a Dare
October 10, 2013

On a Wing and a Dare

Pilotless aircraft monitor the environment

On a warm afternoon last summer in the hills west of Corvallis, three Oregon State University students went hiking in the McDonald-Dunn Forest when they became “lost.” A few scattered belongings — a backpack, shoes, a shirt — marked their trail in an emergency response exercise. Rather than send out a full-scale operation on foot […]


A Cheaper Cell
October 10, 2013

A Cheaper Cell

Antifreeze shows promise in solar cell manufacturing

Faster, cheaper, better. The conventional wisdom says you can’t get all three at the same time. But researchers at Oregon State say otherwise — at least when it comes to new materials for making solar cells. Engineers have found a less expensive, less toxic, better performing — and surprising — substance for solar cell manufacturing: […]


Seeing the Planet
October 9, 2013

Seeing the Planet

OSU's "remote sensing" story

From satellites, balloons, high-altitude surveillance planes and even a two-seater Cessna, Oregon State scientists have been gathering data on the planet for nearly a half century. Their work has helped manage crops, detect threats to Western forests, track activity in Cascade volcanoes and reveal new details about ocean currents and how they interact with the […]


The Hidden Costs of Research
October 9, 2013

The Hidden Costs of Research

Oregon State's rate for "overhead" is quite low

Imagine for just a moment that you: 1) are independently wealthy; 2) are a genius, and; 3) have a brilliant idea for a research project (for those readers who already satisfy all three criteria, please indulge me a bit of editorial whimsy). You begin your project with every intention of following the scientific method. You […]


Seedbed for Startups
October 9, 2013

Seedbed for Startups

Advantage Accelerator adds fuel to Oregon State’s entrepreneurial fire

Methane-powered engines. Autonomous helicopters. Online shopping assistants. Electricity from wastewater. These new products and the business opportunities they generate are in the pipeline at Oregon State University’s Advantage Accelerator. They are among 14 research concepts or spinoff companies selected to participate in a program that spurs the creation of new companies from university-based research. Five […]


Mapping the Columbia
July 30, 2013

Mapping the Columbia

Cartography students create atlas for iBooks

The Columbia River Basin comes to life in a new digital atlas produced by Oregon State University cartography students. They have created an iBook — accessible via Apple’s iPad — which combines the look and feel of a traditional paper book with the touch-screen features of a tablet computer. Through colorful maps, animations, photos and […]


da Vinci Days 2013: Stories from the Edge of Science
July 25, 2013

da Vinci Days 2013: Stories from the Edge of Science

Oregon State scientists take audiences on a planetary journey

Leonardo da Vinci combined the practical and the beautiful, the mechanical and artistic. At the 2013 da Vinci Days festival in Corvallis, Oregon State University scientists, engineers and mathematicians shared their journeys under Antarctic sea ice, to an African village, to Mars and through a mathematical landscape.


Online and Face-to-Face
May 22, 2013

Online and Face-to-Face

Active learning combines technology and teamwork

The hallowed “sage on the stage” tradition is giving way to a more interactive process leavened by Wi-Fi and the Web.


Seeing the Light
May 22, 2013

Seeing the Light

New window technology will save energy and money

Oregon scientists and startups have joined forces to create the next generation of “Low-E” window technology.


Balancing Work and Family
May 21, 2013

Balancing Work and Family

Drew Arnold juggles personal and professional

Babies don’t wait for you to get your master’s degree. They arrive on their own schedules and change your life. Drew Arnold learned that lesson when he became a father. He also found that sleep comes in a distant third to family and education. In 2010, he began a graduate program in mechanical engineering at […]


OSU Advantage: Sustainable Semis
May 21, 2013

OSU Advantage: Sustainable Semis

Partnership with Daimler Trucks North America produces carbon-fiber prototype

Trucking companies are looking for new ways to cut fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. A partnership between Oregon State and Daimler is making inroads


Sea Trio
May 21, 2013

Sea Trio

Oregon State will lead design and construction of coastal research vessels

Oregon State has been designated by the NSF as the lead institution for the design, building and launching of as many as three state-of-the-art research vessels.


Flight Plan
May 21, 2013

Flight Plan

UAV technology can create jobs, save money and lives

UAVs can help manage wildfires, support a search-and-rescue mission, plant trees to avoid wind or heat damage, monitor wildlife, improve irrigation, detect crop-disease outbreaks and gauge environmental health.


On the Drawingboard
May 21, 2013

On the Drawingboard

Space for the new paradigm of teaching and learning

A new learning laboratory will be a seedbed for the latest concepts in active teaching and learning to Oregon State.


Biochar video
May 3, 2013

Biochar video

Learn how biochar is made, sequesters carbon and protects water quality

Perry Morrow, student in the Oregon State University Water Resources Graduate Program, produced this video on biochar, the carbonized remains of plants. Turning low-value wood and other biomass into biochar sequesters carbon from the atmosphere for hundreds of years. The resulting material may also benefit water quality by absorbing pollutants such as copper, lead, zinc […]


The Glove Goes Wireless
January 23, 2013

The Glove Goes Wireless

Student team wins national award for innovative design

A student-designed “wireless hand sensor” may not only help reduce hand and wrist injuries associated with repetitive motion but may have applications in robotics, medicine and computer gaming.


January 10, 2013

Advantage for Business

Oregon State creates "one stop shop" for businesses to access market-driven research, skilled workforce

OSU officials have launched a new initiative called Oregon State University Advantage, designed to boost the university’s impact on job creation and economic progress in Oregon and the nation. “Oregon State University Advantage should foster increased bottom-line success for business,” said Rick Spinrad, OSU vice president for research. “It will dramatically increase private industry access […]


Robots Learn to Walk
October 8, 2012

Robots Learn to Walk

An era of walking robots that can help people with physical disabilities, take on dangerous missions or aid in disaster response is about to begin. One of the leaders in this emerging field, Oregon State University engineer Jonathan Hurst, was recognized in October by Popular Mechanics with one of its “Breakthrough Innovator” awards of 2012. […]


Partners in Science
September 27, 2012

Partners in Science

The Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry has been created through a collaboration of state, federal and private sector partners.


Behind the Screens
September 10, 2012

Behind the Screens

OSU-UO partnership aims at greening the flat-panel display industry

Some of today’s flat-panel TV and computer screens are nearly as big as a living room wall. They bring us unimaginably sharp detail, from the spots on butterfly wings to the grimace on a linebacker’s face. Whether hooked up to your cable feed, DVD player or wi-fi, this technology is becoming integral to daily life. However, our love of flashy high-res has a dark side.


Space Dreams
August 6, 2012

Space Dreams

Don Pettit talks about exploration, colonizing other planets and raising zucchini on the International Space Station

When he’s on Earth, Don Pettit dreams about space. But when he’s in space, he dreams about walking on Earth.  “Dreams may have something to do with humans never being satisfied, which is why we go exploring in the first place,” he says. If there’s a gene for the urge to explore new worlds, Pettit […]


Value-Added Scientist
June 1, 2012

Value-Added Scientist

Mark Whitham’s know-how is a sought-after commodity for small canners hoping to kick-start or upgrade their facilities.


“They Never Tasted Fish Like This Before”
June 1, 2012

“They Never Tasted Fish Like This Before”

A Coos Bay entrepreneur teamed up with an Oregon Sea Grant seafood specialist to create a new business and local jobs.


Running Clear
May 30, 2012

Running Clear

Gary Klinkhammer turned water analysis into environmental protection

The Arctic Ocean, 1997. Gary Klinkhammer had strapped a water chemistry analyzer onto the hull of a retired U.S. Navy nuclear submarine to measure carbon. He had come to this bleak and desolate place looking for organic matter, fertile detritus dumped into the ocean by massive rivers in Siberia and North America. “The Arctic in […]


Turncoat Proteins
May 30, 2012

Turncoat Proteins

Scientists scope out the earliest signs of disease

It’s one of life’s little ironies. The proteins in our bodies fight infection, carry messages, ferry oxygen and build tissue. But then, like double agents in a spy novel, they can betray us. They overreact to a virus and attack our own organs. They promote cancer, help clog arteries or set up roadblocks in the […]


Business Partners
May 30, 2012

Business Partners

Entrepreneurs leverage OSU research in startup companies

One sunny spring afternoon, friends sat together in the backyard of a Corvallis home sipping wine, bemoaning the recent hike in gas prices to $3.50 per gallon. Among them were a former product-development specialist for Hewlett-Packard and an Oregon State University chemist. Perhaps inspired by the bioethanol in their glasses, what might happen, they wondered, […]