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BME study shows software helps surgeons find liver tumors, avoid blood vessels

Jul. 17, 2017—The liver is a particularly squishy, slippery organ, prone to shifting both deadly tumors and life-preserving blood vessels by inches between the time they’re discovered on a CT scan and when the patient is lying on an operating room table. Surgeons can swab the exposed liver lightly on the surface with a special stylus, capturing the shape of...

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Bicycle remix: a $25 Craigslist buy, scrap metal tubing, welding and curiosity

Jul. 11, 2017—When Nick Belsten first eyed the pile of scrap metal tubing, he saw wind chimes. Castoffs from fences installations, the galvanized pipe pieces held too much potential to be ignored. Belsten packed as much as he could around furniture and other household goods headed to his family’s home in Florida. He did craft a fine...

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Mechanical engineering students devise locking system for Nashville public art

Jul. 6, 2017—When the Nashville Public Art Program commissioned a series of artistic bicycle racks, city officials did not expect vandals to remove one and stick it up in a tree. Outright theft was another problem. Maintenance presented still others. When a rack needs attention, workers have had to break up concrete mounting posts or try to...

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PhD student wins summer grant to study potential vaccine for pediatric neuroblastoma

Jul. 5, 2017—A grant from cancer research nonprofit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is allowing a Vanderbilt chemical engineering doctoral student to advance his research on a potential vaccine against pediatric neuroblastoma. Kyle Garland is spending his summer on a project titled Immunotherapeutic Targeting of the STING Pathway to Combat Neuroblastoma. He’s working with John Wilson, assistant professor...

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BME team develops device to remove ICU alarm noise, improve patient sleep

Jul. 1, 2017—The ICU is no place to get good rest, as anyone who has worked, visited or stayed in one knows. Alarms designed to alert clinicians disrupt patient sleep, adding to their stress and disorientation. The alarms are shrill, frequent and often false. What if an in-ear device could block a specific alarm sound – in...

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Emeritus professor integral to early success of materials science program dies

Jun. 29, 2017—William Frances Flanagan, who taught at Vanderbilt University for more than 30 years and was renowned for his research on the causes of stress corrosion cracking in alloys and metals, died June 15 in Maryland. He was 90. “Bill” Flanagan was recruited from General Motors to Vanderbilt in 1968 as an associate professor of metallurgical engineering...

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Alumni Mechanical Engineering News


Retired ME professor, sailing coach remembered for patience and passion for how things worked

Jun. 28, 2017—Johnny Hall Dunlap, a Vanderbilt University alumnus and professor emeritus of mechanical engineering known for his devotion to students, died June 17 in Nashville. He was 85. Dunlap earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Vanderbilt in 1953, graduating magna cum laude. He was offered a teaching position in 1955 while performing engineering research at...

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Tiny circuit boards stay operational in warm water, dissolve when cooled

Jun. 26, 2017—Building transient electronics is usually about doing something to make them stop working: blast them with light, soak them with acid, dunk them in water. Professor Leon Bellan’s idea is to dissolve them with neglect: Stop applying heat, and they come apart. Using silver nanowires embedded in a polymer that dissolves in water below 32...

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