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University of Maryland

Remarkable transformation - before and after shots of the face transplant recipient (Photo...

A gun accident fifteen years ago left Richard Lee Norris without his lips, nose, and with limited movement of his mouth. Now after a marathon 36-hour surgical procedure described as "the most extensive full face transplant completed to date," a team led by Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez at the University of Maryland has restored Mr. Norris' quality of life.  Read More

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu with the winners of the 2011 Solar Decathlon - Team Unive...

On the last two occasions, the overall winner of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has gone to Germany's Technische Universität Darmstadt but this year the top honor has stayed with one of the home teams. As the name might suggest, the University of Maryland's winning WaterShed project features some novel innovations to make the best use of water, in addition to an intriguing internal waterfall that helps reduce the load on the structure's air conditioning system. Read on for a brief look at the top five winning projects, as well as the People's Choice.  Read More

Hovering for 11.4 seconds has secured a place in the record books for the Gamera team, and...

A biology student has just hovered her way into the record books in a four-rotor, human-powered helicopter named after a giant flying turtle from Japanese kaiju movies. Gamera was built to try and claim the American Helicopter Society's Sikorsky Prize, that was set up in 1980 and has yet to be claimed. The team's first flights in May resulted in a 4.2-second U.S. national record, and now the record page has had to be rewritten again after the young pilot's frantic combination of hand and foot pedaling action kept Gamera in the air for nearly three times longer, during the recent summer flight sessions.  Read More

Harsha Agashe, a Ph.D. student in Contreras-Vidal's lab at UMD wears the Brain Cap, a non-...

Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) continue to advance the development of their “brain cap” technology that allows users to turn their thoughts into motion. The team has already had success in using EEG brain signals captured from the cap’s 64 electrodes attached to users’ scalps to reconstruct 3D hand movements and to control a computer cursor with their thoughts, and now the team has successfully reconstructed the complex 3D-movements of the ankle, knee and hip joints during treadmill walking. The aim is to provide a non-invasive technology that can return motor function to victims of paralysis, injury or stroke.  Read More

Kalantari hopes his sensors can prevent disasters like the I-35W bridge collapse in 2007 (...

According to a 2009 estimate by the U.S. Society of Civil Engineers, more than one in four U.S. bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. While newer “smart” bridges have embedded wired networks of sensors to monitor their structural integrity, the high cost of installing such systems on existing bridges is simply unaffordable for strained city, state and federal budgets. Now University of Maryland electrical engineering researcher Mehdi Kalantari has developed a tiny wireless sensor that monitors and transmits minute-by-minute data on a bridge’s structural integrity that he estimates is one-hundredth the cost of a wired network approach.  Read More

The WaterShed is the University of Maryland's entry in the 2011 Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy's 2011 Solar Decathlon competition is set to kick off at the National Mall's West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., in September. The event challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive and in the lead up, the University of Maryland Solar Decathlon team has unveiled its entry called the WaterShed – a structure designed to capture more than just energy from the sun.  Read More

SEM images of nickel-coated TMV arrays patterned using photolithography onto a silicon waf...

The first virus to be discovered was the Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) back in 1898. It is a rigid, rod-shaped virus that, under an electron microscope, looks like uncooked spaghetti. This widespread virus devastates tobacco, tomatoes, peppers and other plants, but engineers have managed to harness and exploit the self-replicating and self-renewing characteristics of TMV to build tiny components for more efficient lithium-ion batteries.  Read More

The peanut-shaped Hartley 2 comet is only the fifth comet to be studied at such close rang...

Mission controllers from the University of Maryland-led EPOXI mission celebrated last week as NASA's Deep Impact space probe flew close by the Hartley 2 comet, sending back rare and valuable data about the comet. This is only the fifth time that a comet core has been viewed from such a near distance by a space probe, and it is hoped that by understanding comets better we can learn more about the origin and history of our solar system.  Read More

UM researchers will test a prototype cooling system using a thermoelastic 'smart' metal th...

Many readers would be familiar with the electrical blackouts that occur in the summer months resulting from the extra load placed on electricity supplies by air conditioners. A new “smart” metal being developed by researchers at the University of Maryland (UM) could help cool homes and refrigerate food 175 percent more efficiently than current technology, not only giving strained electricity networks a bit of relief, but also drastically cutting summer electricity bills and greenhouse gas emissions.  Read More

'I'm outta here' - a crayfish performs a tail-flip (Photo: David D. Yager/Jens Herberholz,...

A team from the University of Maryland has studied the decision-making processes of crayfish in an effort to better understand the workings of the human brain. “Matching individual neurons to the decision making processes in the human brain is simply impractical for now,” explained psychologist Jens Herberholz, the study’s senior author. “History has shown that findings made in the invertebrate nervous systems often translate to more complex organisms."  Read More

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