UA in the News: May 2, 2012
May 2, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
UA engineer’s breakthrough will significantly quiet combustion engines
Tuscaloosa News – May 2
In a giant laboratory in the University of Alabama’s Alabama Institute for Manufacturing Excellence building Tuesday, Ajay K. Agrawal’s team started up a combustion engine and instructed everyone inside to insert their ear plugs. The sound of the engine — a long, silver tube — slowly rose from a quiet whine to a steady, near-shrieking sound that bit at unprotected ear drums. Agrawal explained that in the engine of an aircraft there are about 20 of these silver tubes making the same sound. The combination turns into a deafening noise. The team shut off the engine and inserted a small, gray cylinder inside before starting it back up, this time without warning people to insert their ear plugs. This time, the sound the engine made was more of a low hum, something that would still allow someone to carry on a quiet conversation. What makes such a demonstration possible is a breakthrough sponge-like material for which Agrawal, the Robert F. Barfield Endowed Chair and professor of mechanical engineering at UA, was recently granted a patent.
Al.com – May 1
NBC 13 (Birmingham) – May 1
Students tell tornado tales through series of plays
Tuscaloosa News – May 2
Like most who lived through April 27, 2011, in Tuscaloosa, Michael Carr has tales. This weekend, the storm comes to the stage. The Shelton State Community College theater coordinator directed and coordinated the collection of 10 short plays, most written by University of Alabama associate professor of theater Steve Burch’s playwrighting class. Known collectively as “Inside the Tornado,” the plays will be performed Thursday through Saturday at Shelton’s Bean-Brown Theatre. After huddling in the shower as the tornado roared through his Glendale Gardens neighborhood, Carr checked on others. His house was hard hit, but not destroyed. Family members were safe. As the city began to recover, Carr realized “This is a story I want to tell.” Burch suggested having his students write around a photograph. It showed a girl of early elementary school age, turned away from the camera, a Big Al bookbag on her back, looking over a field of debris topped by a clear blue sky. It’s a technique he uses often.
Inventure Renewables and Inventure International close $5 Million round with lead investor Wilmar International
Market Watch – May 2
Inventure Renewables and its sister company, Inventure International, have closed a $5 Million round of financing with an option to increase funding in a second tranche to a total of $12 Million…A portion of the funds will be used to build and operate a pilot plant to convert palm fiber waste and sugar cane bagasse into mixed sugars, which can be used for fermentation into ethanol, butanol, and the creation of carbon-neutral building blocks for a range of industrial chemicals frequently fabricated from petroleum…”The market potential for converting palm waste and sugar cane bagasse into sugars is tremendous,” said Mark Tegen, CEO of Inventure Renewables…Inventure Renewables operates at the Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneur Center at The University of Alabama, where innovations are brought out of the center and into commerce.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.