Here are just a few success stories that made 2020
exceptional for the University of Maryland's
A. James Clark School of Engineering.
The Mpact Challenge offered UMD engineering students the opportunity to take risks, gain unmatched experience, and collaborate with each other and accomplished faculty alike. Projects included a drone with the execution of a flying carpet; an industry-changing 3D-printed prosthetic foot; an electric bicycle able to travel 125 miles on a single charge; a solar-powered device that can pull drinking water out of thin air; and more.

Our superstar faculty won many awards and accolades this year. This month, Professors Bruce Jacob and Gang Qu have been elected Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), effective January 2021. The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of IEEE's fields of interest.

“Blue whirls”—small, spinning blue flames that produce almost no soot when they burn—have attracted great interest since their discovery in 2016, in part because they represent a potential new avenue for low-emission combustion. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Maryland and Texas A&M University have identified how these intriguing whirls are structured.

With $1 million in National Science Foundation funding, UMD engineers, neuroscientists, microbiologists, and physicists have made significant progress in developing a platform that can monitor and model the real-time processing of gut microbiome serotonin activity. Their goal is to one day package the platform into an ingestible capsule capable of detecting, treating, and monitoring gut-brain-axis diseases.

The coronavirus is an inflection point in history. How we spend time with family, how we work, how we learn and conduct research — it’s all changing. Someone needs to design those changes. Who better than an engineer?

Dr. Darryll J. Pines is now officially the University of Maryland, College Park’s 34th president. The A. James Clark School of Engineering experienced over a decade of innovation, growth, and success with Dr. Pines’s leadership as dean. 

We encourage everyone to join us and look back on Dr. Pines’s tenure — and, even more, support him as he leads our university in these challenging times.

Providing a steady hand in uncertain times and finding opportunity in adversity are hallmark traits of engineering, and reasons why it’s a great time to have an engineer leading our university.
Led by the University of Maryland, the Maryland Quantum Alliance will develop pioneering quantum technologies—including powerful computers, sensors and networks—and train the quantum workforce of tomorrow. The alliance is designed to push innovations from quantum science and engineering into the mainstream and further enhance the region’s primacy in a field that promises to revolutionize society.

Researchers have developed a way to use diamonds to see the elusive details of electrical currents. This new technique provides a map of the intricate movement of electricity in the microscopic world. The team demonstrated the potential of the technique by revealing the unusual electrical currents that flow in graphene, a layer of carbon just one atom thick. The technique could help researchers better understand graphene and other materials and find new uses for them.

The “heroic and extraordinary” efforts of Maryland engineers to deliver on the Clark School’s commitment to excellence in a COVID world are featured in the Fall 2020 issue of Engineering at Maryland magazine. The lead story, “Engineering Against COVID,” shows how the coronavirus pandemic stoked the imagination, ingenuity, resilience, and resolve that define what it means to be a Clark School engineer.

The Vertical Flight Society’s 37th Annual Student Design Competition challenged students from across the world to design and demonstrate a feasible modern-day VTOL vehicle based on the aerial screw concept. UMD aerospace engineering students created two successful designs—Elico and Samsara—which won first (Graduate Category) and second (Undergraduate Category) in this year's competition.

In response to COVID-19, researchers at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering are working tirelessly to create solutions and pool resources in efforts to minimize the spread of the disease, provide critical aid to health care workers and their patients, monitor the impact of social distancing and travel restrictions, and more. In recent months, various media outlets have covered the Clark School's response efforts.