View this email in your browser
Powering the New Engineer

Check out more news about the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at our online news source, The New Engineer.

Have you made a move recently? Update your contact information


Weighing the great AI pause

L-R: My Thai, Ph.D., professor in CISE and associate director of the Nelms Institute for the Connected World ; Lisa Anthony, Ph.D., associate professor and director of Intelligent Natural Interaction Technology in CISE; Barbara Evans, Ph.D., J.D., holds a dual appointment as a professor in both the Levin College of Law and the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering
In March, 1,000 top tech experts including Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman published their call for a six-month moratorium on further development of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4, citing what they perceived to be a potential runaway risk without sufficient guardrails. In May, Geoffrey Hinton, known as the “Godfather of AI,” resigned his post at Google to use that time to speak out about the technology he helped create.  


University of Florida and Synhelion to scale up solar hydrogen energy solution

Jonathan Scheffe, Ph.D., associate professor in MAE
Synhelion and its partner, University of Florida, announced today that their joint project has been awarded US$ 2.7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). The project aims to accelerate the large-scale development and deployment of concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technology to produce green hydrogen for industrial decarbonization and electric power generation and storage.


What lessons has Florida learned from mistakes with past hurricanes?

David O. Prevatt, Ph.D., professor of civil and coastal engineering at the University of Florida’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, studied the damage patterns and storm surge of Hurricane Ian for an interim report submitted to the Florida Building Commission.

He said Floridians continue to be slow to make the changes needed to fortify themselves against the costly impacts of storms.

“When we rise to the occasion, we learn from our failures,” he said Thursday. “I contend that our learning from failure in a context of wind hazards is too slow and the growth of housing — being built in very vulnerable areas — far exceeds our ability to do something about it.”


U.S. DOE announces $40M for more efficient cooling for data centers

Saeed Moghaddam, Ph.D., William F. Powers professor in MAE
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $40 million in funding for 15 projects that will develop high-performance, energy efficient cooling solutions for data centers. Used to house computers, storage systems, and computing infrastructure, data centers account for approximately 2% of total U.S. electricity consumption while data center cooling can account for up to 40% of data center energy usage overall. The selected projects—located at national labs, universities, and businesses—seek to reduce the energy necessary to cool data centers. These efforts will lower the operational carbon footprint associated with powering and cooling this critical infrastructure and support President Biden’s goals to reach net-zero carbon by 2050. 


AI helps create better, simpler hepatitis, COVID-19 tests

L-R; Long Nguyen, Piyush K. Jain, Ph.D., Shah Rising Star assistant professor
Going beyond pregnancy and COVID-19, the world could someday soon come to rely on at-home tests for many diseases thanks in part to AI-fueled improvements. UF scientists have used artificial intelligence tools to simplify a test that works for both hepatitis C and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The simplified test happens in one small test tube in just a few minutes. With further refinement, it could arrive at doctor’s offices soon and, one day, become available as home tests that are as easy as a pregnancy test.

Clearing hurdles: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) program propels future leaders in engineering

National SHPE delegates at the White House

SHPE, including delegates from UF SHPE, was granted an unprecedented three-hour briefing on “Building the Next Generation of Hispanic Leaders in STEM” with officials at the White House. The discussion revolved around how academia, the private sector, and government can increase Hispanic representation in the tech ecosystem by lowering education and career barriers for Hispanic students and professional engineers.


AI being used to better predict harmful algal blooms in Southwest Florida

Enrique Orozco López, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate in CCS
Dr. Orozco Lopez has been developing the AI model to better manage the water flow from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River with the goal of reducing the amount of released nutrients at produce harmful algal blooms.

Deepika Singh elected to Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

Deepika Singh Ph.D. (MS MSE ’91), co-founder and former CEO of Sinmat; CEO of R&D Investment Holdings
“Dr. Singh’s inventorship, leadership and entrepreneurship make her an outstanding choice for the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame,” said Michele Manuel, chair of the UF Department of Materials Science & Engineering. “Through scientific discovery, she advanced research and commercialized technology which has significantly impacted the state of Florida and the nation. Her efforts can be directly and tangibly connected to the economic growth in the city of Gainesville, the state of Florida, and beyond.”

Solar Gators take first place in Formula Sun Grand Prix

UF’s Solar Gators, a student-run engineering design team, won first place in the 2023 Electrek Formula Sun Grand Prix.

SECME supports the changing face and future of engineering 

From June 21-23, the University of Florida’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering hosted the 46th annual Southeastern Conference for Minority Engineers (SECME) competition for middle and high school students from the Southeast region of the U.S. Participants from schools in Texas, Alabama, and Florida competed in the categories of mousetrap car racing, AI coding and ethics, and VEX robotics. 

Denise R. Simmons selected as American Society for Engineering Education fellow for exemplary contributions to civil engineering workforce development

The ASEE Fellow nomination is an honor bestowed on individuals to spotlight their significant contributions to engineering education. The nominee must be recommended by another Fellow or active ASEE member. ASEE acknowledged Dr. Simmons for her “leadership in anchoring engineering education research in the context of civil engineering workforce development, expanding our understanding of competence development especially through out-of-class activities, and furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion in engineering education and practice.” 

How a horse whisperer can help engineers build better robots

“There are no fundamental guiding principles for how to build an effective working relationship between robots and humans,” said Eakta Jain, an associate professor of computer and information science and engineering at UF’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. “As we work to improve how humans interact with autonomous vehicles and other forms of AI, it occurred to me that we’ve done this before with horses. This relationship has existed for millennia but was never leveraged to provide insights for human-robot interaction.”

Research on traffic sign recognition security wins two awards at vehicle security and privacy symposium 2023

With advancement in Connected, Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technology, comes new concerns for safety and security. Researchers have developed a new kind of attack which affects a CAV’s ability to accurately recognize a traffic sign.

The collaborative project, “WIP: Infrared Laser Reflection Attack Against Traffic Sign Recognition Systems,” received two awards at the Inaugural Symposium on Vehicle Security and Privacy 2023, co-located with the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS) 2023. The symposium was held in San Diego, California from February 27 – March 3, 2023.


UF engineering students and alumni awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Eleven students from the University of Florida’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, as well as nine alumni, were selected to receive awards from the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). The NSF GRFP recognizes outstanding graduate students from across the country in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Recipients are identified as high-potential, early-career scientists and engineers.


Forward and Up

See how our college is creating societal values in the far future and dissolving walls between the university and industry research and development in the latest college video.

Dean's Excellence Fund

Gifts made to the Dean’s Excellence Fund help students through experiential learning opportunities that emphasize team-based learning, hands-on projects, student-organized competitions, internships, and externships to develop their leadership and innovation skills.
Give Now
Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  LinkedIn  Instagram  Flickr