The Blue Whirl. Fire tornados, or ‘fire whirls,’ pose a powerful and essentially uncontrollable threat to life, property, and the surrounding environment in large urban and wildland fires. But now, a team of researchers in the Clark School say their discovery of a type of fire tornado they call a ‘blue whirl’ could lead to beneficial new approaches in reduced carbon emissions and improved oil spill cleanup. This research was covered by The New York Times, American Scientist, and others.
Better, Safer Batteries. Potentially flammable lithium-ion batteries are in many electronics, and the Department of Energy is spending tens of millions of dollars on creating a safer alternative. CBS This Morning reports from the Clark School's University of Maryland Energy Research Center where researchers are working to build a better battery – one that can’t catch fire.
Light-Up Nanospheres. Engineers in the Clark School demonstrate how the electrical response of a solar cell can be improved, leading to higher efficiency devices, in a new study that was published recently on the cover of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
Largest All-Women Hackathon. UMD's student-run Technica became the largest all-women hackathon in the world at this year’s annual event with more than 825 participants. Held November 5–6, women of all ages and from around the country and Canada gathered to attend various panels and workshops about programming languages, hardware, and design and to create interesting and innovative hacks.
Improving Oral Drug Delivery. UMD researchers are exploring new drug delivery strategies that could be used to deliver therapeutics to targets in the corrosive environment of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Their work could help improve treatment options for diseases of the gut, such as Crohn’s disease and a variety of inflammatory diseases.
Building a Cyclotron. The Washington Post recently profiled Timothy Koeth, director of the Clark School's Nuclear Reactor and Radiation Facilities,  who is helping Terp engineers to construct the largest cyclotron built by undergraduates. “Cyclotrons might not save the world,” Koeth says, “but the kids who build them will.”