Rensselaer and Hudson Valley FLL To Host FIRST LEGO League Robotics Tournament

Troy, N.Y. — Can you think about how and why we use water? Just ask the 12 elementary and middle school teams from the Capital Region that will compete in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Regional Qualifying Tournament on Dec. 16 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. More than 120 area students have been working together to use their imagination and creativity in combination with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to explore and solve a real-world human water cycle problem as their project.

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has made a new collaborative research award to Dr. Jennifer Pazour, Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer and Dr. Diego Figueroa, Assistant Professor in the School of Earth Environmental, and Marine Sciences at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  This two-year research project will develop preliminary systematic resource allocation models for Gulf of Mexico mesophotic coral conservation.   Mesophotic reefs – located in deep water – provide diverse and valuable ecosystems, but are vulnerable to a number of threats.   An example are the South Texas Banks, which serve as a unique habitat for marine organism and are ecologically and economically important to the Gulf of Mexico.  This collaborative research project will combine Dr. Diego Figueroa’s expertise and data on oceanographic processes, anthropogenic effects and climate change impacts to biodiversity and connectivity of marine habitats with Dr.

Supporting the Development of Offshore Wind Power Plants

Troy, N.Y. — Offshore wind is becoming a reality in the United States, especially in the northeast states. To support this development, the Center for Future Energy System (CFES) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will present a webinar titled “Turbine and Transmission System Technologies for Offshore Wind (OSW) Power Plants.” The program will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. Advance registration is required.

Rensselaer Engineers Take To Flight

Amir Hirsa, professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering, and a group of undergraduate and graduate students recently returned from Sanford International Airport in Florida after completing an experiment in zero gravity.

“I couldn’t have asked for better people—smarter, more talented, harder-working, or more creative to work with. The ones that weren’t flying were working on their aerodynamics homework in the aircraft hangar,” said Hirsa.

Noninvasive Brain Imaging Shows Readiness of Trainees To Perform Operations

Troy, N.Y. — While simulation platforms have been used to train surgeons before they enter an actual operating room (OR), few studies have evaluated how well trainees transfer those skills from the simulator to the OR. Now, a study led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that used noninvasive brain imaging to evaluate brain activity has found that simulator-trained medical students successfully transferred those skills to operating on cadavers and were faster than peers who had no simulator training.