22 news posts related to Engineering

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UW, partners reach milestone in program using robots to monitor world’s oceans

Steve Riser (center, in black), students and technicians in July 2017 inside the UW School of Oceanography’s floats lab.

Around the planet’s oceans, nearly 4,000 floats — many of them built at the University of Washington — are plunging up and down, collecting and transmitting observations of the world’s oceans. This fall, one of these diving robots made the program’s 2 millionth measurement, reporting temperature and salinity recorded to a depth of about a mile. The Argo Program is a 20-year-old project to gather 3D data on the oceans. 

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New UW-authored children’s book offers a robot’s-eye view of the deep ocean

Author Dana Manalang and illustrator Hunter Hadaway.

After years working on a cabled observatory that monitors the Pacific Northwest seafloor and the water above, a University of Washington engineer decided to share the wonder of the deep sea with younger audiences. The result is “ROPOS and the Underwater Volcano” by Dana Manalang, an engineer at UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory. The book’s illustrator, Hunter Hadaway, is the creative director at the UW-based Center for Environmental Visualization. 

Read more at UW Today »

Harmful dyes in lakes, rivers can become colorless with new, sponge-like material

Anthony Dichiara, left, and Jin Gu prepare an experiment to remove color from water using a sustainably made, reusable sponge material.

Dyes are widely used in industries such as textiles, cosmetics, food processing, papermaking and plastics. Globally, we produce about 700,000 metric tons of dye each year to color our clothing, eyeshadow, toys and vending machine candy. During manufacturing, a tenth of all dye products are discharged into the waste stream — most escape conventional wastewater-treatment processes and remain in the environment, often reaching lakes, rivers and holding ponds, and contaminating the water for the aquatic plants and animals that live there. 

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Small hydroelectric dams increase globally with little research, regulations

Small dam with water flowing over its edge into shallow, rocky pond.

Hydropower dams may conjure images of the massive Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state or the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei, China. But not all dams are the stuff of documentaries. Tens of thousands of smaller hydroelectric dams exist around the world, and all indications suggest that the number could substantially increase in the future. These structures are small enough to avoid the numerous regulations large dams face and are built more quickly and in much higher densities. 

Read more at UW Today »