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The University of Alabama

UA in the News: June 12, 2012

Patented “noise sponge” quiets combustion
InTech – June 12
According to Science Daily, a sponge-like material employed by a University of Alabama engineering professor can significantly quiet combustion, possibly making work environments safer and extending the life of equipment. Dr. Ajay K. Agrawal, the Robert F. Barfield Endowed Chair and professor of mechanical engineering, was granted a patent for the breakthrough technology for noise reduction in combustion. This technology decreases the noise generated by combustion systems at the source by placing a sponge-like material directly in the flame. This patent is based on Agrawal’s work on jet engine combustion with Ultramet Corp., funded by the U.S. Navy. The challenge of cutting the sound level during the combustion process is that combustion happens at extremely high temperatures and pressure. Agrawal found a porous material—a composite material made of hafnium carbide and silicon carbide—that can tolerate the conditions of jet engine combustion. It can withstand intense levels of heat and pressure. The material is placed directly into the flame and acts like a sponge for the noise. Due to its high permeability, the foam allows gases to easily flow so combustion is not interrupted, yet is much quieter. The foam surrounds the flame, cuts the noise and eliminates the potential for engine instability.

UA students hold memorial for Nicholas Katzenbach at Malone-Hood Plaza (photos) – June 12
On the 49th anniversary of the “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door,” University of Alabama students, faculty and community members gathered Monday night for a memorial event for Nicholas Katzenbach, the U.S. deputy attorney general who confronted Gov. George Wallace. About 40 people attended the service at Malone-Hood Plaza, named after Vivian Malone and James Hood, the two black students who integrated the university on June 11, 1963, when Wallace stepped aside after blocking the entrance to Foster Auditorium. The memorial was organized by the Mallet Assembly, a UA student resident honors program established in 1961 by John Blackburn, a longtime UA administrator who as dean of men in the early 60s led several efforts to peacefully integrate the university.

Rose Towers at UA to be demolished beginning July 4
Associated Press – June 11
The University of Alabama will see a different sort of fireworks this Fourth of July — the sort intended for demolition rather than celebration. University spokeswoman Cathy Andreen says July 4 is the date officials have chosen for the demolition of Rose Towers, a 13-story dormitory building on the campus’ northern edge. The Tuscaloosa News reports the 750-bed dorm has been in service at the university since 1969. School officials approved tearing it down last year to make room for the second phase of the North Bluff Residential Community. That development includes new student housing with four and two-bedroom apartments centered around common living rooms and community kitchens. 
ABC 33/40 (Birmingham) – June 11
NBC 13 (Birmingham) – June 11

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.