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Stories of 2020: Highlights from Dartmouth Engineering

Dec 22, 2020   |   by Communications Office

It certainly was an unusual year in the life of our students, faculty, and staff. Through new and unexpected challenges, the Dartmouth Engineering community came together to continue the School’s mission of teaching and research with human-centered impact.

Below are some highlights of the stories from our website, magazine, and across campus:

Campus in the Time of COVID

Mechatronics mini-segway
Students in "Mechatronics" used digital control to design a feedback controller to stabilize a mini-segway and then implement the controller using a microcontroller.

In the Summer 2020 issue of Dartmouth Engineer magazine, we rounded up anecdotes that spoke to the challenges and triumphs of these unprecedented times. Listen to Dartmouth faculty and staff tell stories in their own words of their rapid transition to remote teaching and working amid a global health crisis. MORE

Gerngross Starts Antibody Company to Fight Coronaviruses

Adagio antibodies
Structures of cross-neutralizing antibodies bound to SARS-CoV-2 S.

Professor and biotechnology entrepreneur Tillman Gerngross raised $50 million in venture capital for his newest company, Adagio Therapeutics, to begin clinical trials of antibodies engineered to protect against SARS-CoV-2. Gerngross believes Adagio stands apart from competitors pursuing vaccines and antibody research because the team is working on broad neutralization to prevent against similar outbreaks in the future. MORE

Students Convert BiPAP System to Inexpensive Ventilator

BiPAP Conversion team
Kate French '19, Rose Gold, Shannon Kossmann '20, Becca Thomson '20, and Haley Richards '19, for their class "Intermediate Biomedical Engineering," developed an open-source design for converting a BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) system to an emergency COVID-19 ventilator.

A team of students felt the need to respond to the growing number of coronavirus cases and the resulting burden placed on hospitals by converting a BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) system into a ventilator for patients in the hospitals with compromised airways. MORE

Q&A: Needle in a Haystack

How do you find a needle in a hazardous haystack? With an autonomous electric-powered ground vehicle named FrostyBoy, of course. PhD students Joshua Elliott and Austin Lines tell the story of how FrostyBoy saved the day after a plane experienced engine failure while flying over the Greenland ice sheet. MORE

Dartmouth Engineers and MIT Create New Airline Scheduling Tool

Airline Scheduling Tool

Researchers from Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed an original approach to flight scheduling that, if implemented, could result in a significant increase in profits for airlines and more flights that align with passengers’ preferences. MORE

$3 Million Grant May Result in Fewer Unnecessary Breast Biopsies

Multi-modal Breast Imaging Platform
An innovative multi-modal breast imaging platform that simultaneously uses microwave and magnetic resonance imaging (sMMRI)—a first in the field.

An Academic-Industry Partnership spearheaded by engineers at Dartmouth received a $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to pursue the idea of developing a multi-modal breast imaging platform that simultaneously uses Microwave and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a first in the field. The approach may streamline the diagnostic process by providing substantially clearer imaging for doctors, potentially leading to more accurate diagnoses and reduced anxiety in patients. MORE

Engineering Students Seek a Second Win in NASA Competition

SHREWs: Strategic Highly-compliant Roving Explorers of other Worlds

For the second consecutive year, a team of Dartmouth Engineering students was named a finalist in NASA’s Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge. The Dartmouth team’s idea, “SHREWs: Strategic Highly-compliant Roving Explorers of other Worlds,” would allow for exploration of the Moon’s Permanently Shadowed Regions through a class of robots able to latch on to each other. MORE

Dartmouth Engineers Combine Material Science Expertise to Develop Concentrated Solar Power System

CSP System
This concentrated solar power (CSP) system uses a patented alloy developed at Dartmouth that could both increase efficiency and decrease the cost of harnessing and storing solar energy.

Professors of engineering Jifeng Liu (PI) and Ian Baker combined their materials science expertise (optoelectronics and high entropy alloys, respectively) to win a three-year $750,000 grant from the US Dept of Energy to develop high-temperature tubing material for a concentrated solar power (CSP) system. The researchers will be investigating the newly-discovered potential for this alloy to act as a high-efficiency solar thermal absorber when oxidized (photo by Eldred Lee Th'17 and Sheppard Somers '19). MORE

New NSF Industry-University Collaborative Research Center at Dartmouth Aims to Transform Power Electronics


Dartmouth partnered with leading electrical tech companies to form the first NSF-funded Industry-University Collaborative Research Center focusing on integrated power management and delivery for a wide range of electrified systems. Providing companies with unprecedented access to Dartmouth’s R&D expertise, facilities, and intellectual property, the Power Management Integration Center (PMIC) addresses a range of challenges facing next-generation power electronics. MORE

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