Brent Renneke


Center at U turns research into patents

As Arthur Erdman observed high-class research in the medical device field being done at the University of Minnesota, he noticed nothing usable in the field was being produced. âÄúMany of the ideas were put on a shelf and never went anywhere,âÄù Erdman, professor in mechanical engineering, said. In an effort to translate this research into something functional in medical practice, the University built a center solely devoted to furthering research in the medical device industry.

U professor researches to protect global food supply

A new threat to our global food supply is spreading out of Africa, and a professor at the University of Minnesota is working to halt the menace by working with a weed no larger than what you may find in your own front yard. David Garvin, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor in agronomy and plant genetics , is working with Brachypodium , a grass species native to Europe and Africa, to research methods of disease resistance in crops like barley, oats and wheat. Garvin said Brachypodium serves as a model organism for other, more agriculturally significant grasses.

Journalism professor asks students to unplug

A professor at the University of Minnesota asked her students to turn off their iPods, cell phones and laptops and turn on the 8-track players, landlines and typewriters. Last month, Heather LaMarre, assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, asked the students in her principles of strategic communication course to go five days without using technology created after 1984. The students were allowed to use technology for only work and school purposes.

U researchers get inside look at heart

In a lab in the basement of a University of Minnesota building, researchers have performed heart transplants with humans, swine, canines and guinea pigs acting as donors. But the recipient of the different transplant hearts always stays the same. The Visible Heart Laboratory transplants a heart and maintains its physiological processes by placing it into an apparatus that allows for truly unique research for scientists and premier bench testing for the labâÄôs collaborator, Medtronic, a medical technology company based in Minneapolis.

Plumb Bob ensures IT Week goes out with bang

When Betsy Cossette was a first-year student at the University of Minnesota, she felt that her excitement about Institute of Technology Week was not shared by her peers. Cossette would ask her classmates if they were attending an IT Week event and would generally receive the same response: âÄúWhat is IT Week?âÄù This question alarmed Cossette, because she was and is a member of Plumb Bob, a University student group given the role of organizing and promoting the weeklong event. âÄúI would think, âÄòWe are not doing our jobs right,âÄô âÄù Cossette, who is now a senior in chemical engineering, said.

Grad student uses physics to analyze basketball

A graduate student in physics at the University of Minnesota recently had a research paper recognized at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology conference, and it had nothing to do with matter, forces or energy. It was about the game of basketball and used theory rooted in the heart of physics to analyze the game in a truly unique way.

University center maps Antarctica for scientists

About 4,000 scientists travel around the vast, ice-covered continent of Antarctica each year to look at topics ranging from climate change to the search for dark matter, and prior to 2007, they were doing it blind. Previously, scientists in Antarctica used inaccurate maps created 40 years ago to navigate the treacherous continent, according to Michelle LaRue, geospatial analyst at the Antarctic Geospatial Information Center. Today, AGIC, based out of the University of Minnesota, works to make sure a lack of geographical vision is no longer an issue.

U receives $16M for fluid power research

A University of Minnesota research facility looking to transform the fluid power industry received a $16 million grant renewal Monday from the National Science Foundation. The four-year grant will be given to the Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power, ensuring the center will continue research into improving fluid powerâÄôs overall efficiency and effectiveness. The grant from the NSF is the centerâÄôs major source of funding, according to Kim Stelson, center director and professor in the department of mechanical engineering.

U study links chronic illness, self-harm

A study at the University of Minnesota revealed a considerable increase of self-harm in youth going through a chronic illness. Adolescents ranging in ages from 10 to 19 showed a considerable increase in instances of self-harm, suicidal thoughts and suicide when afflicted with mental and physical chronic illnesses, according to Dr. Andy Barnes, lead author of the study and assistant professor in pediatrics and adolescent health. Barnes said chronic illness affects the youth in a way that is unique, and it stands out from other factors in the adolescentâÄôs world.

Int’l medical conference comes to University

Minnesota has the greatest density of medical device companies in the world, and once a year all the different sectors of this highly competitive industry come together in a unique way on the University of Minnesota campus. The annual Design of Medical Devices Conference, which began Tuesday at both the Radisson University Hotel and McNamara Alumni Center, is the largest medical device conference in the world and hosts more than 500 companies in the industry.