Former postdoc Wenbo Shi in Professor Desiree Plata’s lab and colleagues from Yale University research featured on cover of Advanced Functional Materials

September 12th, 20192019 News in Brief

Former postdoc Wenbo Shi in Gilbert W. Winslow Career Development Assistant Professor Desiree Plata’s lab and colleagues from Yale University research is featured on the cover of Advanced Functional Materials. Their paper titled, “Engineering carbon nanotube forest superstructure for robust thermal desalination membranes,” can provide insight into an effective strategy to engineer carbon nanotubes to elucidate the structure-property-performance relationship of the nanocomposite membranes and to guide the design of robust thermal desalination membranes. Read more here.

Former postdoc Wenbo Shi in Gilbert W. Winslow Career Development Assistant Professor Desiree Plata’s lab and colleagues from Yale University research is featured on the cover of Advanced Functional Materials. Their paper titled, “Engineering carbon nanotube forest superstructure for robust thermal desalination membranes,” can provide insight into an effective strategy to engineer carbon nanotubes to elucidate the structure-property-performance relationship of the nanocomposite membranes and to guide the design of robust thermal desalination membranes. Read more here.

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Professor Admir Masic and graduate student Janille Maragh publish research paper titled “The Temple Scroll: reconstructing an ancient manufacturing practice,” in Science Advances

September 12th, 20192019 News in Brief

Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Assistant Professor Admir Masic, Graduate student Janille Maragh, and colleagues published today a research paper titled, The Temple Scroll: reconstructing an ancient manufacturing practice,” in Science Advances. The Temple Scroll, one of the longest (almost 25 feet long), whitest, and best-preserved of all the texts from the Dead Sea scrolls collection, is significant due to the layered structure of its parchment, which includes a collagenous base material and an atypical inorganic overlayer.The researchers utilized advanced material characterization tools in order to analyze the chemistry of the materials. They found that evaporitic sulfate salts were [...]

Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Assistant Professor Admir Masic, Graduate student Janille Maragh, and colleagues published today a research paper titled, The Temple Scroll: reconstructing an ancient manufacturing practice,” in Science Advances. The Temple Scroll, one of the longest (almost 25 feet long), whitest, and best-preserved of all the texts from the Dead Sea scrolls collection, is significant due to the layered structure of its parchment, which includes a collagenous base material and an atypical inorganic overlayer.The researchers utilized advanced material characterization tools in order to analyze the chemistry of the materials. They found that evaporitic sulfate salts were used, indicative of a unique ancient production technology. Their findings could provide insight into how to preserve invaluable historical documents. Read more on MIT News.

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Professor Elfatih Eltahir, Jeremy S. Pal SM ’97, PhD ’01 and postdoctoral associate Suchul Kang published research paper in Geophysical Research Letters titled “Future heat stress during Muslim pilgrimage (Hajj) projected to exceed ‘extreme danger’ levels”

September 4th, 20192019 News in Brief

Breene M. Kerr Professor Elfatih Eltahir, Jeremy S. Pal SM ’97, PhD ’01, and postdoctoral associate SuchulKang published research paperin Geophysical Research letters titled, “Future heat stress during Muslim pilgrimage (Hajj) projected to exceed ‘extreme danger’ levels.” Researchers explain that soon the once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca, will be hot enough to pose extreme danger due to the combination of rising temperatures as well as humidity. Professor Eltahir stressed that substantial adaptation measures need to be taken to limit the impact of climate change. Read more on MIT News.

Breene M. Kerr Professor Elfatih Eltahir, Jeremy S. Pal SM ’97, PhD ’01, and postdoctoral associate SuchulKang published research paperin Geophysical Research letters titled, “Future heat stress during Muslim pilgrimage (Hajj) projected to exceed ‘extreme danger’ levels.” Researchers explain that soon the once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca, will be hot enough to pose extreme danger due to the combination of rising temperatures as well as humidity. Professor Eltahir stressed that substantial adaptation measures need to be taken to limit the impact of climate change. Read more on MIT News.

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Professor Cathy Wu’s PhD work on autonomous vehicles featured in Wired Insider article

August 30th, 20192019 News in Brief

Gilbert W. Winslow Assistant Professor Cathy Wu’s PhD work on Autonomous vehicles was featured in a Wired Insiderarticle. The article discusses the inevitable issue of traffic, and how researchers used reinforcement learning to create simulations and visualizations of traffic flow. At the University of Berkeley, the Director for the Institute of Transportation Studies and Liao-Cho Professor of Engineering, and Professor Wu who was a PhD student at the time, conducted research on the ways in which autonomous vehicles could positively impact traffic flow. Their studies found that if there are five to 10 percent of autonomous vehicles on the road, [...]

Gilbert W. Winslow Assistant Professor Cathy Wu’s PhD work on Autonomous vehicles was featured in a Wired Insiderarticle. The article discusses the inevitable issue of traffic, and how researchers used reinforcement learning to create simulations and visualizations of traffic flow. At the University of Berkeley, the Director for the Institute of Transportation Studies and Liao-Cho Professor of Engineering, and Professor Wu who was a PhD student at the time, conducted research on the ways in which autonomous vehicles could positively impact traffic flow. Their studies found that if there are five to 10 percent of autonomous vehicles on the road, it can help alleviate localized congestion which would in turn, lessen traffic at the larger scale. Read more here.

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MISTI Chile: “Dos chicas solas en las montañas, Guau”

August 27th, 2019Uncategorized

By Shannon Wing '22 I woke up on Saturday morning at 9am to a text from a friend, “I am heading off to hike Cerro Provincia. I am assuming you and Lulu aren’t going to make it since you were up late last night, but just in case, I have my three person tent and you are still welcome to join me.” Jokes on her, I laughed. She clearly doesn’t know Lulu and I that well. I grabbed my backpack, a bar for breakfast and took off to the metro to meet Lulu. We then ubered to the start of [...]

By Shannon Wing ’22

I woke up on Saturday morning at 9am to a text from a friend, “I am heading off to hike Cerro Provincia. I am assuming you and Lulu aren’t going to make it since you were up late last night, but just in case, I have my three person tent and you are still welcome to join me.” Jokes on her, I laughed. She clearly doesn’t know Lulu and I that well. I grabbed my backpack, a bar for breakfast and took off to the metro to meet Lulu. We then ubered to the start of the trailhead. 11am start – not bad.

As you can probably tell by now from my last posts, I don’t tend to take rest days and I for sure do not miss a beautiful hiking opportunity. Neither does my friend Lulu and we have figured out from traveling with each other this summer that this is a bit of an unhealthy combination. I would argue, however, that it has led us to some pretty incredible experiences here in Chile.

This past weekend we had a 2-day traverse of Cerro Provincia and Cerro San Roman planned. Our main goal was to get some acclimatization days in before we head to Peru for two weeks to hike one of the most beautiful alpine treks in the world, the Huayhuash. Can you tell I am excited? It has been on my bucket list ever since I figured out I enjoyed hiking. Our second goal, was to have a great time. Both were accomplished, and we even made some new friends along the way.

The first night we were lucky enough to snag a spot in the refugio on top of Cerro Provincia. Our friend had chosen to camp below the summit, but since we were going for the traverse, we had to make the summit of Provincia that day. In the refugio we met 2 chileans, one who would be joining us on the traverse. We also got to experience one of the most incredible sunsets I have seen to date. This is the only time that I have appreciated the smog of Santiago; it for sure makes for a beautiful sunset. 

The next morning we headed out for 15km of snow-covered ridgeline, right in the backyard of Santiago! There were challenges in route-finding, wind and steep slope management that we met in stride. We made good friends with the Chilean who had an “I’ll just follow you” attitude. In sketchy terrain, we would wait for him to catch up to pass and made sure to include him whenever we made a route change or decision. He was alone and the weather the next morning was looking questionable, so we made sure he made it down with us. It felt as though we were in it together. 

There was some scrambling up and down rock, passing down packs, and glissading down snow slopes. We finished the last 2 miles in the dark with our headlamps, but we made it. We came out on a random sidestreet and sitting on our backpacks in an empty parking lot, eating our snickers bar, we ordered our uber. Crazy that such beautiful mountaineering can be just an ubers ride away. Our uber driver, very confused why there were two random girls at the end of this street asks, “Where did you both come from”, we reply “the mountains!” to which he goes “Two girls alone in the mountains, wow.”

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MISTI Bikepacks the Atacama

August 27th, 2019CEE, Uncategorized

By Shannon Wing '22 When hearing about the Atacama Desert from my coworkers, I immediately knew that it was where I wanted to go for my one long weekend of the summer. Not until a few weeks after booking my flights did I have the idea to bikepack through the Atacama since it’s flat, there is lots of open space, it would be cheap and well, it would be an adventure. I pitched the idea to my adventure buddy for the summer, Lulu, and from there we were on our computers doing lots of research. There surprisingly wasn’t much to [...]

By Shannon Wing ’22

When hearing about the Atacama Desert from my coworkers, I immediately knew that it was where I wanted to go for my one long weekend of the summer. Not until a few weeks after booking my flights did I have the idea to bikepack through the Atacama since it’s flat, there is lots of open space, it would be cheap and well, it would be an adventure. I pitched the idea to my adventure buddy for the summer, Lulu, and from there we were on our computers doing lots of research. There surprisingly wasn’t much to find. No one had done and documented a bikepacking trip through the Atacama besides a famous mountainbiker, and we were neither good at mountain biking or famous, so her itinerary wasn’t going to vibe with us. Now, at this moment I do admit we should have questioned WHY no one has done an overnight bikepacking trip through the Atacama, but as you can tell from the title, we did not.

Before we left, we had acquired two other MISTI students, Cooper and Gianna, that were crazy enough to join us despite my thorough explanation that we have never done a biking trip as long as this,  and we would not have a route planned until we arrived. If I can, this is how I prefer to travel since it gives you the ability to be flexible. I think the best knowledge you will find about a place is when you hit the ground and ask, and that was exactly the plan. Show up with a hostel booking for one night, find a bike rental shop, a tourist information center, and anyone else that could give us details on where to bike, where to camp and what to see. Then, we would take off on our adventure. 

The plan went accordingly as we arrived, rented cheap bikes, acquired all of our equipment and food, and got a route to bike. The route, however, did not go as planned. Roads that were on our map did not exist in real life and campsites that we were told existed were nowhere to be found. Being good environmentally friendly citizens, we did not illegally free camp, but rather stayed in random people’s houses instead that, to quote Cooper, were “Quite possibly the three nicest people I have met in my life.” A huge thank you to them for taking us stranded travelers in! I think that it is also worth noting that at one point we had a llama in our backyard.

Yes, we backtracked and biked much more than expected, but also encountered many beautiful sites including Valle de la Luna, Lagunas Altipanicas, and Salar de Atacama. We even managed to fit in some sandboarding at Valle de la Muerte and swam in one of the alpine lagoons. Ultimately, the trip did not go as planned, but I would say it was for the better. Cheers to the bikepacking crew!

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