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In the ongoing search for strong, lightweight materials, researchers are looking at an odd source – sea urchins, which have spines made of chalk, a generally brittle substance. The highly complex three-dimensional structure of sea urchin spines that is 70 to 80 percent porous creates a stable and strong structure. Studying the sea urchin is part of a $540,000 National Science Foundation grant being investigated by Ling Li, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering. By using design rules...

Michael von Spakovsky, professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering and director of the Center for Energy Systems Research at Virginia Tech, has been named the Robert E. Hord Jr. Mechanical Engineering Professor by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. The Robert E. Hord Jr. Professorship of Mechanical Engineering was established by a gift from the late Robert E. Hord Jr. Hord, who earned his bachelor’s degree in 1949 and a master’s degree the following year, both from the...

Professor Ronald K. Hanson from Stanford University will be the featured speaker Oct. 4 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Hanson's talk is: Evolution of tunable laser absorption sensors for combustion and propulsion. The talk will be held in 310 Kelly Hall. Professor Hanson is hosted by Assistant Professor Joseph Meadows....

Professor Robert O. Ritchie from the University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will be the featured speaker Nov. 1 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Ritchie's talk is: Damage-tolerance in engineering and biological materials. The talk will be held in 310 Kelly Hall. Professor Ritchie is hosted by Assistant Professor Ling Li....

Professor Thomas A. Zawodzinski  from the University of Tennessee Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be the featured speaker Dec. 6 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Zawodzinski's talk is: Making use of renewable electrons with redox flow batteries and related 'open' systems.  The talk will be held in 310 Kelly Hall. Professor Zawodzinski is hosted by Assistant Professor Zheng Li....