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From international, national and local sources, highlights continuously updated news, events, and announcements affecting Virginia’s engineering community. Virginia’s Professional/Technical societies, colleges and universities, private firms, and industry are strongly encouraged to submit news pertaining to their engineering activities. We want to hear from and about you. Contact us at for details.

Most Recent News Item:
Fitter Increases Benefits Of Wearing A Mask During COVID-19 Pandemic
September 25, 2020

Whether homemade or commercially manufactured, breathable cloth and disposable face masks fit everybody differently, leaving gaps at the top, sides, bottom – or any combination thereof – that could allow virus particles to escape.

Now, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) engineers has developed a simple and inexpensive do-it-yourself fitter that ensures a tighter mask seal around the wearer’s nose, mouth and face.

According to information, known as the Badger Seal, the mask fitter is a soft, adjustable “frame” with elastic worn either as ear loops or behind the head. With readily available materials, such as elastic cord, foam wire or pipe cleaners, the fitter is easy to make at home in minutes.

When worn over non-medical-grade disposable masks, the Badger Seal significantly improves the masks’ filtration performance, according to research conducted by Scott Sanders and David Rothamer, UW-Madison professors of mechanical engineering and experts in measuring gases and particles in internal combustion engine processes.

The idea for the Badger Seal evolved out of Prof. Sanders’ research on the efficacy of face masks. In those tests, Prof. Sanders used a mannequin wearing various face coverings – a shield, a homemade four-layer tightly knit mask, and a disposable non-medical-grade filtering mask – to demonstrate how tiny particles from a human breath and larger droplets from a sneeze escape from, or are trapped by, each mask. His results, outlined in a new video, show each mask’s effectiveness at containing both.

During his tests, Prof. Sanders also taped the edges of the masks to the mannequin’s face – resulting, unsurprisingly, in the best filtration performance. But while a mannequin might not mind a taped mask seal, Prof. Sanders knew he needed a practical solution for people who wanted to “up” the performance of their masks.

He turned to Lennon Rodgers, who specializes in engineering design and directs the Grainger Engineering Design Innovation Laboratory, the engineering makerspace at UW-Madison. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rodgers pioneered several personal protective equipment, or PPE, solutions now in wide use around the world.

News Items
Below are listed the 12 most recent News Items.
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Fitter Increases Benefits Of Wearing A Mask During COVID-19 Pandemic
September 25, 2020

A team of engineers has developed a simple and inexpensive do-it-yourself fitter that ensures a tighter mask seal around the wearer’s nose, mouth and face.

New Device Makes Homes ‘Smart’
September 25, 2020

Researchers have developed a single device that can track 17 types of appliances using vibrations.

Underwater Sentinels Used To Study Water’s Heat Content
September 24, 2020

Far below Hurricane Laura’s fury in the churning Gulf of Mexico, an array of underwater instruments were taking the temperature of the ocean…

The Future of Stainless Steel in Bioprocessing
September 24, 2020

Report examines the advantages and limitations of both stainless steel and single-use technologies.

New Process That Transforms Paper Developed
September 23, 2020

Engineers developed a simple printing process that renders any paper or cardboard packaging into a keyboard, keypad…

AHRI Announces Second Webinar In Refrigerant Series
September 23, 2020

Panel of experts to discuss IEC/UL Standard 60335-2-89 and refrigerant charge level requirements.

Process Developed To 3D Print Heart Valve Models
September 22, 2020

Researchers have developed a groundbreaking process for multi-material 3D printing of lifelike models of the heart’s aortic valve and the surrounding structures…

New Paradigms in Photobiology: Redefining Photosynthetic Photons Webinar Scheduled
September 22, 2020

Review the emerging evidence that far-red photons (700-750) have photosynthetic activity…

Virginia STEM Education Commission Presents Recommendations
September 21, 2020

Commission recommends the implementation of three key elements.

Researchers Study Controlling Cells In The Body To Treat Conditions
September 21, 2020

Like electronic devices, biological cells send and receive messages, but they communicate through very different mechanisms.

Updated ASCE Standard 44 Published
September 18, 2020

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) presents guidelines for programs aimed at dispersing supercooled fog in the updated Standard Practice for the Design, Operation, and Evaluation of Supercooled Fog Dispersal Projects

Engineers Developing High-Speed Light Detectors
September 18, 2020

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame is building a new class of fast, tunable imaging detectors…

News Items Archive
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