ISE News and Events

The Poplar pipeline spills 31,000-gallon spill on January 17 into the Yellowstone River. It is a rare test of the capacity to respond to oil accidents in frozen water. Its cleanup progresses as the U.S. Senate voted to approve the pending Keystone XL project, which would cross the same river about 20 miles upstream, carrying almost 20 times as much crude.
ISE professors William “Al” Wallace, Martha Grabowski, and Thomas Sharkey, along with DHS Fellow and graduate student Richard Garrett, use computer simulation models to show how coast guard can respond effectively to future oil spills.
RPI faculty John Wen (ISE Department Head), Jonas Braasch (School of Architecture, Director of Center for Cognition, Communication and Culture), and Mei Si (Cognitive Science) held a media morning event showing off their assistive robotics research. Graduate and undergraduate students demonstrated a mobile assistive robot called Jamster, robot teleoperation, and social robotics. Numerous local media outlets reported on the event.
Thomas Sharkey, an Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at RPI, has launched a YouTube channel containing video tutorials to assist in the delivery of an Operations Research (OR) course. At RPI, these videos are specifically geared towards ISYE 4600: OR Methods, a required course for all Industrial and Management Engineering (IME) undergraduate students. The video tutorials serve as “virtual office hours” in the sense that they take students through the steps necessary to capture an application as an OR model or to apply an OR model to solve a problem.
The RPI IIE Student Chapter has won the Gold Award for the second year in a row. The award recognizes the chapter's overall achievements in AY 2013-2014. There are nearly 130 active student chapters in the US and the award places us among the top 1/3rd. The Chapter is getting ready for the new academic year with lots of exciting events for the IME students. Recently, the Chapter made contact with the Professional Chapter of Syracuse and is planning to have several joint events with them. These will include site visits, guest speakers, video conferencing and more.

Institute News

Carbon capture technologies play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories, while harnessing carbon dioxide (CO2) for other energy production. With the support of a grant from the Department of Energy, Miao Yu, the Priti and Mukesh Chatter ’82 Career Development Chair of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will develop a novel porous material capable of capturing even very small concentrations of CO2 in the air and collecting the gas for further use
Even as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic makes many aspects of the future uncertain, a generous gift will ensure that first-year students in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute continue to receive a hands-on education.
Each year tens of millions of tons of plastic are sent to landfills, while another 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean. It’s an exponential problem that requires an environmentally friendly solution.
With many people stuck inside for months on end, the built environment has played a significant role in the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from a new National Science Foundation grant, a team of engineers and social scientists will study the ways in which that built environment mitigates or exacerbates the pandemic.
Anyone who has experienced a midafternoon energy slump or suffered from jetlag has felt the effects of their body’s circadian rhythm. This internal clock helps regulate many of our physiological processes, including sleep, metabolism, and even how the brain functions. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute anticipate a future in which a combination of smart wearables and algorithms assess each person’s circadian rhythm and provide personalized feedback as to what light, sleep, and work schedule would be ideal for their particular internal clock.