2016: A Year in Review

2016 proved to be a busy and exciting year for the School. Here are some of the year’s highlights.



Inventing the Bio-Machine: Ken Shepard
Imagine a camera that can electronically image a living bacterial colony without light or a platform that tracks over 65,000 channels of data from retinal neurons firing in real time. Those are just two of the many projects that Ken Shepard, head of the Bioelectronic Systems Lab, is working on at Columbia Engineering.



Extreme Engineering: Kartik Chandran engineers bacteria to transform waste into resources
Waste No More: A New Generation of Environmental Engineers. In our Extreme Engineering video series, Mechanical Engineering Professor, and former astronaut, Michael J. Massimino learns how MacArthur winner and Environmental Engineering Professor Kartik Chandran is disrupting our concept of waste.



Heat and Light Get Larger at the Nanoscale
A research team led by Michal Lipson was the first to demonstrate a strong, non-contact heat transfer channel using light with performances that could lead to high efficiency electricity generation.



A Flexible Camera: A Radically Different Approach to Imaging
A team led by Shree K. Nayar, T.C. Chang Professor of Computer Science at Columbia Engineering, has developed a novel sheet camera that can be wrapped around everyday objects to capture images that cannot be taken with one or more conventional cameras.



Expo Showcases Senior Design Innovation 
Showcasing their ingenuity and a broad array of research interests, Columbia Engineering’s Class of 2016 made the third annual Senior Design Expo the most colorful and wide-ranging yet.



Face of the Future
A new technique developed by Prof. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic repairs large bone defects in the head and face by using lab-grown living bone, tailored to the patient and the defect being treated.



Columbia Engineering Researchers Use Acoustic Voxels to Embed Sound with Data 
Researchers, working with colleagues at Disney Research and MIT, develop a new method to control sound waves, using a computational approach to inversely design acoustic filters that can fit within an arbitrary 3D shape while achieving target sound filtering properties.



Professor Tal Danino Programs Bacteria to Destroy Cancer Cells
Researchers programmed harmless strains of bacteria to deliver toxic payloads. When deployed together with a traditional cancer drug, the bacteria shrank aggressive liver tumors in mice much more effectively than either treatment alone. 



Professor Hod Lipson Serves Dinner in 3D
If Mechanical Engineering Professor Hod Lipson has his way, the next addition to our kitchen countertops will be a 3D food printer that revolutionizes how we think about and prepare food. 



Rio Design Challenges Push Forward
Thanks to two Rio-centered Design Challenges last year, Columbia students and faculty are pushing forward with innovative ideas designed especially for the city.



New $5M Grant to Support Robotics Research for Spinal Cord Injury Patients
One of Sunil Agrawal’s current projects, “Tethered Pelvic Assist Device (TPAD) and Epidural Stimulation for Recovery of Standing in Spinal Cord Injured Patients,” wins a five-year $5 million grant from the New York State Spinal Cord Injury Board.



Electrons in Graphene Behave Like Light, Only Better
Researchers discover that electrons mimic light in graphene, confirming a 2007 prediction – their finding may enable new low power electronics and lead to new experimental probes.



Columbia Engineering Magazine Feature: Erasing the Line between Imaging and Analyzing
As imaging and sensing technologies grow in both sophistication and accessibility, they do more than just gather data and produce images: They are research tools in their own right, providing scientists with the means to deepen our knowledge both about fundamental biological processes and about causes and progression of disease.



Defending the U.S. Power Grid from Malicious Hackers
Columbia researchers join an $8 million DARPA project to build automated grid defense systems.



Columbia Engineering Professor Eitan Grinspun’s Research Animates Disney’s Moana
Every time Maui, the Hawaiian demigod and one of the lead characters, tosses his mane of hair, Columbia Engineering Professor Eitan Grinspun’s work, which captures the laws of motion in computer algorithms, was on display.
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