Texas ranch during an ice storm.

The recent weather events in Texas shocked its entire energy-water infrastructure, leaving more than 4 million homes and businesses without electricity and water, and directly causing more than 50 deaths. The economic cost is estimated at several billion dollars — way more than that of Hurricane Maria for Puerto Rico in 2017. The power grid in Texas was pushed to the brink — at one point, it was less than five minutes from a catastrophic collapse that would have led to weeks of total blackout across the state.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), a nonprofit organization responsible for…


Mohammad R. Jahanshahi, left, an assistant professor in Purdue’s Lyles School of Civil Engineering, and doctoral student Fu-Chen Chen review results using the new system. (Purdue University image/Erin Easterling)

Nuclear power is a vital component of a low-carbon, sustainable energy future. The United States already is the largest supplier of nuclear power, with 99 reactors in 30 states. But our nation has an aging infrastructure, and inspection is crucial to keep current with maintenance, catch issues at the earliest stages, and remediate them for safety and performance.

My Purdue research team is applying deep neural networks to improve inspections.

Traditional inspection is a tedious, time-consuming, subjective — and intermittent — approach that depends on an inspector’s experience and focus on the task. Nuclear reactors are submerged in hot water…


Thermal management facility for ultra-fast charging of electric vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to become dominant in the automobile market in the foreseeable future. This development will require not only a network of charging stations along highways and roads but also faster charge-ups at those stations. In turn, quicker charge-ups will necessitate a significant increase in the electrical current passing through the charging cable — which unfortunately goes hand in hand with a tenfold or more increase in heat. …


Connected Intersection at US 231 and Martin Jischke Drive, West Lafayette, IN

Autonomous and connected systems have captured the imagination and are driving advances in many fields, from mobility to agriculture, robotics, space, and other areas. As the physical world, computing, and networking converge increasingly, it is important to distinguish between autonomous and connected as they relate to vehicles.

Although there is a lot of interest in the efficiencies and opportunities that can be gained through autonomous, or “driverless,” vehicles, there are huge near-term opportunities involving big data coming from connected vehicles driven by humans. …


The idea behind a brain-machine interface is simple. Normally, movements are planned in parts of the brain called the premotor cortex and the motor cortex, sending signals to the spinal cord that activate the muscles needed to make precise, controlled movements. People with spinal cord injury, stroke, or neurodegenerative diseases may experience paralysis because that signal stream is interrupted at some stage. Yet these people often have most of their brain areas, including the premotor and motor cortices, intact.

A brain-machine interface (BMI) involves recording the neural signals associated with movement intention directly from those parts of the brain. You…


The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated how crucially important it is to bring new and innovative medical products to market as quickly as possible, while still ensuring they are safe and effective and perform as intended. If new discoveries and products linger in the lab or in research, they provide no benefit to patients. Taking too long to reach market also can starve a startup of funding or make an established company cancel a project, with the promise of the research never realized.

Take as an example medical devices. These range from tongue depressors and exam gloves to implanted defibrillators and…


Blood flow dynamics in a growing brain aneurysm: a) MR angiography images of a brain aneurysm acquired at the University of California San Francisco; b) blood flow streamlines in the aneurysm obtained with patient-specific computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations; c) shear stress on the aneurysmal wall computed from CFD; and d) aneurysm growth over time observed in follow up MRI studies.

One of the many pluses of the virtual world is the ability to model before taking an irreversible action. Combining that modeling with medical imaging is a powerful combination of both worlds: the predictive powers of a virtual tool with the real-world images of the subject.

Take, for example, brain aneurysms — the local dilations of arteries in the brain that are estimated to affect 2 to 5 percent of the U.S. adult population. …


Young Kim (right), a Purdue associate professor of biomedical engineering, and his team and collaborators have developed a smartphone app that can accurately extract information about a person’s blood hemoglobin content from a photo of the inner eyelid. (This photo was taken before Purdue instituted COVID-19-related requirements for social distancing and face masks while indoors.) (Purdue University photo/Vincent Walter)

Mobile health (mHealth) technologies will play a key role in digital initiatives to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes, reduce cost and inequality, and enhance the patient experience. These mHealth applications depend on the ubiquity and simplicity of the smartphone. But numerous mHealth apps require accessories and complex attachments to the phone — weakening user acceptance and hampering practical translation from research to use.

We’re taking a different approach — to completely minimize the complicated hardware and avoid smartphone attachments. Current smartphones already sport high-performance, built-in sensors and cameras. …


Humans are— if they want to be, Neera Jain writes in a Forbes opinion piece published April 30, 2021. The Purdue assistant professor of mechanical engineering maintains that humans need to exercise agency when it comes to how technology shapes how we live and work.

A common trope in our literature and pop culture is when a creation takes on a life of its own, growing so uncontrollable that its creator can no longer manage it. As far back as Frankenstein and his monster to more modern examples such as Ultron in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” we’ve all seen some…


An estimated 25.5 million people have some type of travel-limiting disability, making daily trips to work, doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, and family outings difficult, if not impossible. Autonomous vehicles (AVs) have the potential to make such trips, which most people take for granted, available and convenient for persons with disabilities. The promise of freedom of travel using AVs — via an accessible, inclusive design — is an exciting prospect that will dramatically enhance their independence, employment potential, and overall health and well-being.

Persons with disabilities face a variety of specific transportation challenges, including entering and exiting public vehicles like buses…

Purdue College of Engineering

Known as the “Cradle of Astronauts,” with a long list of pioneers includes Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart. Ranked Top 10 nationwide by USNWR.

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