Category » Innovation

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, […]


Sowing seeds for business
May 30, 2012

Sowing seeds for business

Startup companies and entrepreneurs work hand-in-hand with researchers

New startup companies are emerging from Oregon State research. Here are three young companies just getting their feet on the ground.


Data Driven
May 26, 2012

Data Driven

Chris Patton uses computer modeling to help build world-champion racecars

When Chris Patton was helping his Formula SAE team design a racecar for international competition, he made an unusual suggestion: angle the rear wheels outward in relation to the car. Common knowledge would warn against that move. Turning the rear tires outward makes the car less stable. But Patton, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering […]


New Corvallis microtechnology firm launches line of industrial micromixers
May 8, 2012

New Corvallis microtechnology firm launches line of industrial micromixers

Company aims for $2 billion microreactor life-sciences market

Microflow CVO (www.microflowcvo.com), a new company spun off from research in the Oregon State University Microproducts Breakthrough Institute (MBI), has launched its first product line of stainless steel micromixers. Inside the precision-engineered devices are a multilayer network of channels designed to meet manufacturer needs in the pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, personal care products and other industries. Dime-sized […]


Taking stock of wave energy
February 21, 2012

Taking stock of wave energy

Researchers make preparations for an emerging industry

These are the formative years of a West Coast wave energy industry, and scientists are working with businesses, communities and policymakers to gather environmental data, test new technologies and consider the options. Their work is coordinated through the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), a partnership between Oregon State University and the University of […]


New OSU spinoff company ships first product
December 21, 2011

New OSU spinoff company ships first product

Biosurfactant aims at pharmaceutical, cosmetic, environmental remediation and other global markets.

AGAE Technologies opened its doors in May 2011 on the basis of research by Xihou Yin, research scientist in the College of Pharmacy.


OSU undergraduate solves long-standing problem in organic chemistry
December 8, 2011

OSU undergraduate solves long-standing problem in organic chemistry

Sam Bartlett's findings make chemical synthesis faster, more efficient

When Sam Bartlett, an Oregon State University senior in chemistry, put on his lab coat, goggles and latex gloves in the summer of 2010, he didn’t expect to wind up helping organic chemists around the world. With guidance from Chris Beaudry, assistant professor of chemistry, he developed the most efficient and productive method yet reported […]


Mapmaker for the climate
December 6, 2011

Mapmaker for the climate

OSU grad student will help Web users visualize climate data

If you love 3-D graphics, the daily TV weather maps just keep getting better. With the sweep of an arm, an announcer can set winds and weather systems in motion like the master of ceremonies in a three-ring circus. We can sit back and watch clouds, rain and snow swirl over landscapes from local to […]


24/7 Checkup
October 28, 2011

24/7 Checkup

Sensors could transmit vital signs around the clock

A new chapter in high-tech medicine is being written by electrical engineers at Oregon State University. A team led by Patrick Chiang has confirmed that an electronic technology called “ultrawideband” could lead to the development of sophisticated “body-area networks,” systems of wearable sensors and communication devices designed to track an individual’s health. Such networks would […]


Testing Our Metal
October 27, 2011

Testing Our Metal

Research sharpens manufacturing's competitive edge

Chain saws, baseball bats, truck bodies, jet engine parts and bridges. All from America’s industrial heartland, right? Or made in China? Wrong. Companies that produce these and other metal products — from kitchen knives and laboratory incubators to steel fabrication stock — employ thousands of Oregonians. One of the tools in their toolbox is a […]


Chemistry for Life
October 27, 2011

Chemistry for Life

The foundation for OSU's new science center was built a century ago

In 2011, the first Baby Boomer turned 65 — the leading edge of a wave that is going to change the country. By 2030 one in every five Americans will be older than that. People are already living longer, taking time to travel and to enjoy their families. Think gourmet cooking classes, fishing trips and […]


The Science of Design
October 26, 2011

The Science of Design

On the cutting edge of functional apparel for health, comfort and sustainability

One day last spring, a Nike executive was touring Oregon State University’s apparel design facilities. After being shown the textile lab, the thermal lab and the chemistry lab, he blurted out: “Oh my gosh! This is design with beakers!” He was right — but only partly. Beakers are just the beginning of science-based apparel design […]


The Apparel Industry’s Higher-Ed Partner
October 26, 2011

The Apparel Industry’s Higher-Ed Partner

OSU is tightly linked with the Portland area’s apparel community. Examples include: The OSU Design Network The network brings together professionals across the industry for informal gatherings and annual events in Portland, like last year’s Recycled Fashion Show — the longest-running fashion show of designs made from recycled materials in the country. OSU’s Apparel Research […]


Willamette Innovators Night Spotlights Creative Economy
October 14, 2011

Willamette Innovators Night Spotlights Creative Economy

WiN is the Willamette Valley's largest gathering of businesses, researchers, inventors and policymakers focused on the creative economy.

“Made in Oregon” means more than lumber, hazelnuts and pears. At the annual Willamette Innovators Night (WiN) on Nov. 10, established manufacturers from Oregon Iron Works to startups such as Trillium FiberFuels and the AirShip Technologies Group will discuss how research and industry partnerships are changing the state’s economic landscape. “WiN provides a seedbed for […]


Bright Idea
September 14, 2011

Bright Idea

The future of solar energy could be on your desk — the inkjet printer

In the beginning, there was silicon, and it was really good. Silicon is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. It gave us golden, sandy beaches and sunlit kitchen windows. Beer mugs and home insulation. Silicon Valley in California and Silicon Forest in the Pacific Northwest. Personal computers and the Information Age. And solar […]


Sticky Business
September 14, 2011

Sticky Business

Incidental discovery could lead to a revolution in the adhesives industry

The OSU researchers were working toward a hot-melt adhesive made from cheap and plentiful vegetable oils that could be used in wood composites. For that purpose, they were making little progress. But at one point, Kaichang Li, an international expert in wood chemistry and composites, and his postdoctoral research associate, Anlong Li, noticed that their […]


June 1, 2011

10 Places for Undergrads to Look for Research Opportunities

Support for student research can be as far away as a phone call or click of a mouse.

1. To help their peers find opportunities and OSU faculty members to mentor undergrads, a group of students worked with Susie Brubaker-Cole, associate provost for academic success and engagement, and Dan Arp, dean of the University Honors College, to produce a comprehensive guide to undergraduate research at Oregon State. 2. The OSU Research Office maintains […]


Building a Better Student
May 31, 2011

Building a Better Student

One research project at a time

When undergraduate students do hands-on research with eminent professors on projects that matter, everyone wins. Students become better thinkers and citizens; the professors who mentor them become better teachers and researchers. Employers get access to employees with critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills that are so important in an economy increasingly dependent on innovation […]


How Do You Know That?
May 31, 2011

How Do You Know That?

“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known but to question it.” — Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

As an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University in the 1970s, I immersed myself in learning about my field of choice, oceanography. I spent plenty of time in class studying the leading texts of the day. But my real education came from first-hand research experiences.


The Gamma and the Beta
May 31, 2011

The Gamma and the Beta

Nuclear detection improves monitoring

Fast, accurate, affordable detection of radiation — whether it’s from Japan’s damaged Fukushima plant, long-buried waste at Hanford’s WWII weapons site, or secret underground testing by rogue nations — is a pressing need internationally. Now, detection technology has taken a notable leap forward. A newly patented invention from Oregon State University uses “phoswich” technology (short […]


Blood Lines
May 28, 2011

Blood Lines

Ishan Patel found his niche in biomedical engineering

It wasn’t the most elegant way to enter a lab. Ishan Patel had just met his mentor for the summer of 2009, Dr. Owen McCarty at Oregon Health & Science University. The OSU bioengineering student wanted to make a good impression, and when McCarty told him to go across the hall and meet his research […]


Thinking Like a Physicist
February 21, 2011

Thinking Like a Physicist

OSU leads national effort to reform upper-level physics education

Walk into an upper-level college physics classroom almost anywhere in the country, and you’ll see students sitting down, listening to the professor and taking notes. Despite years of education research showing that students learn better by being active, the common curriculum for juniors and seniors in physics still emphasizes passivity. In recent years, a revolution […]