Tag » Engineering

Spin-Offs Boost Oregon’s Economy
November 20, 2010

Spin-Offs Boost Oregon’s Economy

Young companies based on research at OSU are attracting investment capital and creating job.


Power Wave
October 30, 2010

Power Wave

Thanks to a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, Oregon State University and the private sector, wave energy is moving out of the lab and into the ocean. And none too soon. In the race for carbon-free sources of electricity, this one may make a real difference for Oregon and the nation. There are […]


OSU’s Next Gen Nuclear on Green Science Oregon
October 26, 2010

OSU’s Next Gen Nuclear on Green Science Oregon

There are a lot of ways to boil water. Nuclear energy does it without emitting as much carbon as coal, oil or gas. In the search for safer and more efficient nuclear technology, Oregon State University operates one of the few nuclear reactors on a college campus in the United States. A new production by […]


Seismic Safety
October 19, 2010

Seismic Safety

In an earthquake, Tom Miller knows which buildings to avoid.


Broken Beams
September 9, 2010

Broken Beams

Engineers like to break things. In my years reporting on university research, I’ve seen them bend reinforced wood beams as wide as my front door until they shatter. They’ll pummel stud walls repeatedly until the nails cry uncle. Bunker-sized concrete bridge beams will crack from one end to the other as they are stressed with […]


Uncharted Waters
July 23, 2010

Uncharted Waters

Communities, engineers and scientists prepare for the next tsunami

It may come like it did the last time, in the middle of a cold and blustery January night. Suddenly the ground will begin to shake, windows will shatter, bridges collapse, the electricity will go out and parents will frantically try to find a flashlight and dig sleepy kids out of bed, ignore everything else […]


On Track
July 17, 2010

On Track

OSU undergraduate accepted into summer biomedical program in Switzerland

By Nick Houtman and Darryl Lai Marsha Lampi runs for distance – 5,000 or 10,000 meters in track, 5,000 or 6,000 meters in cross-country. The former Lincoln High School student from Portland enjoys pacing herself but is always looking to improve. “I usually think, if only I had done this or that differently, I could […]


Tsunami safe?
May 10, 2010

Tsunami safe?

We’re overdue. If the Cascadia subduction zone behaves as it has in the past, an 8.0 to 8.5 earthquake and a resulting tsunami have a good chance of striking the Pacific Northwest in the next 50 years. That’s the take-home message from OSU marine geologist Chris Goldfinger’s studies of offshore debris flows. He has identified […]


April 24, 2010

Preview of Coming Attractions

After Chile, Oregon prepares for Big One

March 15, 2010: “The Bridge Team’s goal for today was to determine the geographical extent of bridge damage from the Chilean earthquakes. We did this by driving nearly 450 miles south along Route 5 (the Pan American Highway) from Santiago to Temuco, keeping along the outer edge of the zone of strong shaking (about 50 […]


Paying for Pavement
April 23, 2010

Paying for Pavement

Vehicle mileage fee could replace the gas tax

Praise the gas tax. For every gallon pumped into pickups, SUVs and miserly subcompacts, Oregonians put 24¢ into the state highway fund and another 18.3¢ into the federal. On top of that, two Oregon counties (Washington and Multnomah) and 21 cities add their own levies for local roads. In 2005, about 80 percent of Oregon’s […]


February 22, 2010

Two Business Startups Get Boost from OSU Fund

An innovative tax credit program aimed at fast-tracking commercialization of university research stands as a bright spot in Oregon’s sputtering economy.


February 22, 2010

Solar Gain

Photovoltaic advances lead to business development

With support from the University Venture Development Fund, Alex Chang and a student research team envision electricity-generating solar collectors built into windows, roofs and other building parts.


February 22, 2010

Girding the Grid: Engineers rethink power storage for wind

As wind turbines and solar arrays sprout up across the landscape, an urgent challenge arises: How to capture all that alternative energy for the electrical grid. Wind velocity and solar intensity vary wildly as weather changes and as seasons shift — fluctuations that are often out of sync with power demand. With $399,973 in funding […]


Product Lines
February 22, 2010

Product Lines

These 12 biotechnology, energy and computer software companies account for about 300 jobs and $100 million in investment. They have spun off directly from or leveraged relationships with Oregon State University research. (Source: OSU Office of Technology Transfer) Strands Personal recommendation software Corvallis, Oregon Fizzy Fruit Carbonated strawberries and grapes Portland, Oregon Clear Shape Technologies […]


January 22, 2010

Cells for Solar

Ocean plankton grow potential for solar technology

The diatom — an ancient form of single-celled algae — may hold the key to a new generation of cheap, clean solar technology.


Summer of Opportunity
June 23, 2009

Summer of Opportunity

Students plug into research experiences at home and abroad

Ah, summer vacation. Time to kick back, right? Not so much for OSU students who are discovering opportunities to expand their horizons. They’re modeling blood flow, studying wildlife conservation in Africa, surveying Oregon’s old-growth forests and teaching entrepreneurship.


June 23, 2009

Camps Build Confidence and Sharpen Minds

Kids engage their brains in cool ways — and get empowered at the same time

From Corvallis labs to Newport tidepools to Salem campgrounds, OSU experts are challenging K-12 kids to stretch their thinking and deepen their understanding of the natural and built environments. This summer, hundreds of Oregon children are limbering up their synapses in subjects as diverse as math and fine arts, engineering and journalism. They’re building brain […]


April 24, 2009

Building Materials for Sustainability

In the burgeoning green building sector, Oregon is poised to become a national leader. A new R&D partnership forged with cross-university linkages positions the state as a major powerhouse in 
sustainable materials, technologies and designs. Oregon BEST (Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center) has pulled together $1.6 million in multi-source funding to infuse and expand […]


April 24, 2009

Kearney Hall, Showcase for Civil Engineers

An antiquated building on OSU’s northeast corner has undergone a thoroughly modern makeover. Celebrants who attend Kearney Hall’s grand opening on May 15 will observe its 19th-century heritage faithfully refurbished on the exterior. But on the inside, Kearney has been utterly transformed. With its recycled materials, nontoxic finishes, salvaged woods, efficient lighting, low-flow fixtures and […]


Power Surge
April 23, 2009

Power Surge

New nuclear technologies meet needs for electricity and safety

Last winter, the cavernous vault housing OSU’s nuclear test facility was base camp for a team of elite scientists from Shanghai and Beijing. For six months, the Chinese engineers studied every bolt, tube and plastic elbow in the scale-model reactor. They ran accident simulations and analyzed the data. They posited every scenario under the sun, […]


Power Surge
April 21, 2009

Power Surge

Nuclear power tends to stir strong feelings, both pro and con. New engineering approaches address issues such as waste, operating safety and proliferation and underscore the potential for nuclear to raise living standards while reducing carbon emissions. See the Power Surge story in Terra.


February 24, 2009

“Expedition” in Computational Sustainability

Scratch below the surface of a natural resources question and you’ll often find a tough nut to crack. The complex interactions among species and their habitats have bedeviled scientists from before Charles Darwin’s day to the present, preventing them in many cases from generating information that managers need to develop effective policies. Now a group […]


Wired Watershed
January 23, 2009

Wired Watershed

Fiberoptics bring new precision to ecosystem sensing

It took a potato launcher, a canoe and a helium-filled balloon to propel a high-tech scientific enterprise during an international workshop at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest.


Lessons from the Magic Planet
January 23, 2009

Lessons from the Magic Planet

Researchers are engaging the curious in meaningful inquiry

Researchers are engaging the curious in meaningful inquiry


Air Beneath Their Wings
September 23, 2008

Air Beneath Their Wings

Five undergraduates — five dreams. Blake Kelley sees a bright future for nuclear power and is learning all he can about reactor designs. For Hiromi Omatsu, the future is in technology that enables elderly people to stay in their own homes. Writing is Stephen Summers’ love. He publishes poetry and fiction in OSU’s student literary […]


Fear and Loading
September 23, 2008

Fear and Loading

Whether you venture onto a few wooden planks over a trout stream, a steel colossus over a swift river or a concrete viaduct carrying bumper–to–bumper commuters, you trust the beams and girders to hold you up. This act of faith, made daily by millions of motorists on U.S. highways, was shaken last summer when a […]


No Barriers
July 19, 2008

No Barriers

Access to mass transit opens the world to people with disabilities At night when she dreams, Marlene Massey hikes the Cascades on sturdy legs. But when she gets up in the morning, a four-inch curb can stop her cold. That’s because the 50-year-old Corvallis woman is in a wheelchair after losing a big chunk of […]


Sustainable Supply Chains
July 19, 2008

Sustainable Supply Chains

Recycling spurs innovation

Recycling isn’t just for consumers. Manufacturers are finding competitive advantages in what is known as “end-of-life product management,” says OSU business professor Zhaohui Wu. While dealing with old desktop computers and other high-tech cast-offs can be expensive, innovative companies are redesigning their products — and their supply chains — in response to “take-back” laws cropping […]


Wired Fantasies
July 19, 2008

Wired Fantasies

There’s a cyber-equivalent of souping up your car inside and out: “modding.” It’s part of the DIY (“do it yourself”) computer culture. Instead of gutting and customizing your ride, you’re modifying your PC. Modder Richard Surroz sees himself as a kind of PC Picasso, or perhaps a Rodin. “I can’t paint, I can’t sculpt, but […]


Devoted to Nano
June 1, 2008

Devoted to Nano

The submicroscopic search for a better battery

Undergrad Anna Putnam is squirming. The interviewer has touched a raw nerve in the chemical engineering major. “You’re digging deeply into my life,” she says, shifting in her chair. Her confession comes with reluctance: “My first term at OSU, I struggled in math.” Pressed, she admits the worst: “I got a C in vector calculus.” […]