On Campus, January 2013

In December, Dr. Mun Choi, IL A ’87, was appointed as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Connecticut. Starting June 2012, Dr. Choi has been serving as interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Previously, he was dean of engineering and a professor of mechanical engineering. Read more biographical information here

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The News-Gazette (IL) recently reported on a local start-up company fundraising on Kickstarter in hopes of developing their new product. The company is Oso Technologies and was started by five University of Illinois graduate students in 2011. Read the article

The group is “making sensors that tell people when their plants need watering.” The system will measure soil moisture around the plant and send signals to devices (computers and smart phones) to indicate that plants need to be watered. Trevor R. Hutchins, IL A 2012, is one of the founders of Oso Technologies. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in electric and computer engineering.

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Researchers at Penn State University recently published results from a study conducted on prolonging the life of batteries in an all-electric locomotive. The Norfolk Southern Railway No. 999 is the first all-electric, battery-powered locomotive in the United States. It uses 1,000 lead-acid batteries.

Dr. Christopher D. Rahn, MI G ’86, and two research assistants conducted the study to “reverse the sulphation to rejuvenate the battery and bring it back to life.” The results were published in the recent issue of the Journal of Power Sources. Click here to read more about their research of lead-acid batteries

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