News Update June 14, 2005

CT News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Campus Technology

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News for Tuesday, June 14, 2005

* UCI Scientists Demo Nanotech Computing Breakthrough
* Energy Dept. Names 18 Schools for Solar Home Decathlon
* U. Waterloo Wins GM, Energy Dept. Engine Design Contest
* Philadelphia CC, Electrical Workers, Join Forces for Training
* VCU Police Force Installs In-Vehicle Digital Video Cameras
* Georgia Prof Wants RFID for National Truck Tracking System

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UCI Scientists Demo Nanotech Computing Speed Breakthrough

Scientists at the University of California at Irvine
School of Engineering have demonstrated that carbon
nanotubes can route electrical signals on a chip faster
than traditional copper or aluminum wires–at speeds of
up to 10 GHz. The breakthrough could lead to faster
and more efficient computers, and improved wireless
network and cellular phone systems, the scientists said.

Peter Burke, an assistant professor of electrical
engineering and computer science, one of the
researchers who developed the technology, said the
speed-up resulted from using nanotubes to connect
transistors. "Our prior research showed that nanotube
transistors can operate at extremely high frequencies,
but the connections between the transistors were made
out of somewhat slower copper, thus forming a bottleneck
for the electrical signals.

“In this technology we show that nanotubes can also
quickly route electronic signals from one transistor
to another, thus removing the bottleneck." A nanotube
is made from carbon and consists of a graphite sheet
wrapped into a cylinder only a few nanometers wide.
A nanometer is one billionth of a meter, or the size
of 10 atoms strung together.

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Energy Dept. Names 18 Schools for Second Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy last week named 18
university teams from the U.S., Canada and Spain
who will travel to Washington, D.C., in October to
participate in the second Solar Decathlon competition.
The teams will compete to see who can build and operate
the best designed and most energy-efficient solar-powered
home. For two years, the teams worked on the design,
research and testing necessary to build and power the
homes. Late this summer, the homes will be shipped to
Washington, D.C. where they will comprise a "solar
village” on the national mall.

The teams will compete in 10 contests that will judge
architecture, livability, comfort, and power generation
for heating and cooling, water heating, and powering
lights and appliances. Each solar house must also power
an electric car.

The colleges and universities competing in the 2005
Solar Decathlon are: California Polytechnic State
University, Carnegie Mellon (PA), University of
Pittsburgh, Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Concordia
University (Canada) and the Universite de Montreal,
Cornell University (NY), Crowder College (MO), Florida
International University, New York Institute of Technology,
Rhode Island School of Design, Universidad Politecnica de
Madrid, University of Colorado, Denver and Boulder,
University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts,
Dartmouth College (NH), University of Michigan, University
of Missouri, Rolla and the Rolla Technical Institute (MO),
Universidad de Puerto Rico, University of Texas at Austin,
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and
Washington State University.

For more information, visit
http://www.solardecathlon.org.


U. Waterloo Wins GM, Energy Dept. Engine Design Contest

A team from the University of Waterloo took top honors
last week in a competition to design the most fuel
efficient engine. The team from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada,
was among 17 universities from across North America that
created a virtual advanced propulsion technology vehicle
with the goal of improving on-road fuel economy and
reducing emissions.

The competition, dubbed the Challenge X, was sponsored
by General Motors Corp. the U.S. Department of Energy,
and a host of tech firms. The Waterloo team's propulsion
technology design is a series fuel cell hybrid that uses
a Hydrogenics PEM fuel cell engine with a COBASYS 288-volt
NiMH battery and a Ballard 54-kilowatt electric drive. The
design will be engineered into a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox in
years two and three of the Challenge X competition.

The teams for the 2004-2007 Challenge X competition were,
Michigan Technological University, University of Michigan,
Mississippi State University, University of Tennessee,
Ohio State University, University of Texas at Austin,
Pennsylvania State University, University of Tulsa,
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (IN), University of
Waterloo (Canada), San Diego State University, University
of Wisconsin-Madison, Texas Tech University, Virginia Tech,
University of Akron, West Virginia University, and the
University of California, Davis.

For more information, visit:
http://www.challengex.org


Philadelphia CC, Electrical Workers, Join Forces for Training

The Community College of Philadelphia last week launched an
educational partnership with the International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers (IBEW) to help train electricians.

The initiative, known as the IBEW Applied Studies Program,
offers electrician apprentices the opportunity to earn 18
credit hours for completing their electrician apprenticeships
at IBEW. The program is part of the College's Applied Studies
curriculum, whereby students earn college credit for experience
and work.

Community College of Philadelphia faculty will teach courses
at IBEW. In addition to the 18 credits for their apprenticeship
experience, the students receive 44 credits toward an
accelerated associate in Applied Science degree. IBEW subsidizes
the cost of their apprentice's education, and the college offers
the applied studies credits and courses taught on site at IBEW.


VCU Police Force Installs In-Vehicle Digital Video Cameras

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), which has the fourth
largest campus police force in the nation, has purchased
in-vehicle digital video cameras for its cruisers that will
record activity both inside and outside the patrol car. VCU
said it would obtain Mobile Video Enforcer (MVE) digital
camera systems from Motorola, Inc.

VCU's has 160 buildings between two campuses that are 1.5
miles apart and integrated into downtown Richmond, VA. "It's
hard to tell where the university ends and the city begins,"
said Willie Fuller, VCU Police Department chief and president
of the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement
Administrators (VACLEA). "There are a lot of transient people
and vehicle traffic going through the campus. Putting digital
video cameras in our vehicles gives us another tool to monitor
and capture what is going on in our campus community."

The MVE system consists of a Mobile Digital Video Recorder
(MDVR) mounted in an officer's vehicle and a Digital Video
Management Solution (DVMS) located at the police department.
The DVMS automatically uploads, archives, and organizes
captured video from the MDVR units. Video clips and still
images can be retrieved within seconds from the database in
a standard format for training or forensic evidence.


Georgia Prof Wants RFID for National Truck Tracking System

Georgia Southern University professor Bob Cook has suggested
building a system that would incorporate cutting-edge radio
frequency identification (RFID) devices, truck weigh stations,
and law enforcement vehicles to gather information for a
proposed national truck tracking center.

Cook's suggestion is to attach a small RFID unit with its
own identification code to each truck and container. Every
time a truck passes through a weigh station, an electronic
reader would sense the RFID devices and feed the truck and
container's location into a national truck tracking computer
system. Cook also wants to equip law enforcement vehicles
with RFID sensors. The sensors would then collect truck
tracking information in the normal course of their patrols
and transmit it back to a computer system.
"RFID is catching fire in the transportation industry,"
said Tom Armstrong, director of strategic development
and information technology for the Georgia Ports Authority,
which is working with Cook on the project. "We are looking
to the day when there is a national infrastructure in place,
and even further down the road, an international
infrastructure that can capitalize on RFID possibilities."
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