Innovation has a new home at Sears think[box]

Unraveling how a brain works, block by high-tech block

High-tech blocks used to test cognitionPsychologists have long used building blocks to assess cognitive skills. But researchers at Case Western Reserve University are embedding the blocks with technology that may provide a clearer view of problems a child or adult may suffer due to developmental disabilities, brain trauma or dementia.
In testing college-age adults, blocks with sensors inside detected hyperactivity and revealed the problem-solving strategies used by each subject. The sensors also detected performance accuracy and the time each user took to complete given tasks.

Dry adhesive holds in extreme cold, strengthens in extreme heat

Dry adhesiveResearchers from Case Western Reserve University, Dayton Air Force Research Laboratory and China have developed a new dry adhesive that bonds in extreme temperatures—a quality that could make the product ideal for space exploration and beyond.
The gecko-inspired adhesive loses no traction in temperatures as cold as liquid nitrogen or as hot as molten silver, and actually gets stickier as heat increases, the researchers report.

Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership awards $1 million for promising university-based biomedical engineering technologies

Petri dishesThe Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership (CCTRP) announced more than $1 million in funding and support for the 2016 cycle. Four projects were selected for full program funding. Projects range from diagnostic and screening technologies to cancer therapeutics. Six pilot grants also were awarded for earlier-stage projects.
The 10-year-old program, a partnership between Case Western Reserve University and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, invests more than $1 million annually in direct funding and support services to help research teams from Case Western Reserve advance products from the laboratory to the marketplace, where they can be available to improve patient care.

PhD student Souvik Ghosh wins national award

Blue ribbon awardSouvik Ghosh, a PhD student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, won the 2016 John Coburn and Harold Winters Student Award in Plasma Science and Technology.
He received the award at the 2016 AVS International Symposium and Exhibition in Nashville last week.
Souvik works in the lab of Mohan Sankaran, the Leonard Case Professor of Engineering, in the field of flexible and printable electronics. His research interests include developing the chemistry and engineering the hardware technologies to enable microplasma patterned direct-write on flexible thin films and developing precursors for inkjet printing of metallic nanoparticles. 

FGC Plasma Solutions’ Felipe Gomez del Campo speaks at international energy policy conference

Felipe Gomez del CampoGraduate student Felipe Gomez del Campo participated in a panel discussion at an international energy policy conference in Rome in September.
Gomez del Campo is founder and CEO of FGC Plasma Solutions LLC, which he launched in 2013 to market a device that uses plasma to make jet fuel more efficient. (Learn more about him and his startup.
At the conference, Gomez del Campo spoke with Robert Armstrong, director of the MIT Energy Initiative, in a fireside chat-type discussion.