Skip to content ↓

Topic

Civil and environmental engineering

Download RSS feed: News Articles / In the Media

Displaying 1 - 15 of 187 news clips related to this topic.
Show:

Fast Company

MIT researchers have developed a new approach to removing methane emissions from the air using zeolite, an inexpensive material used in cat litter, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. Prof. Desiree Plata explains that compared to carbon dioxide, “methane is actually much worse, from a global warming perspective. What this allows us to do is bring immediate climate benefit into the Earth system and actually change global warming rates in our lifetime.”

The Conversation

The Conversation reporter Stacy Morford spotlights research by climatologist Judah Cohen and atmospheric scientist Mathew Barlow, which shows how changes in the Arctic can lead to changes in the stratospheric polar vortex, and cold waves in North America and Asia. “Our research reinforces two crucial lessons of climate change: First, the change doesn’t have to occur in your backyard to have a big effect on you,” write Cohen and Barlow. “Second, the unexpected consequences can be quite severe.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Veronique Greenwood writes that Prof. Tami Lieberman examined the human skin and found that each pore had a single variety of Cutibacterium acnes bacteria living inside. “Each person’s skin had a unique combination of strains, but what surprised the researchers most was that each pore housed a single variety of C. acnes,” writes Greenwood. “The pores were different from their neighbors, too — there was no clear pattern uniting the pores of the left cheek or forehead across the volunteers, for instance.”

Inside Science

Inside Science reporter Will Sullivan writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that during Covid-19 lockdowns in the spring of 2020 there was a reduction in human activities that release aerosols into the atmosphere, resulting in diminished lightning activity. 

The Hill

Writing for The Hill, Prof. Jinhua Zhao, Prof. Franz-Josef Ulm, Research Scientist Anson Stewart and Principal Research Scientist Randolph Kirchain explore how to maximize the impact and effectiveness of the infrastructure spending bill. “Here’s what we should do," they write. "Modernize planning tools to consider systems holistically, get out of technology ruts, and, most fundamentally, measure performance.”

National Geographic

MIT scientists have mapped out the web of a tropical tent-web spider and assigned each strand a tone audible to humans reports, Hicks Wogan for National Geographic. “We’re trying to give the spider a voice, and maybe someday, communicate with the arachnid via vibrations,” explains Prof. Markus Buehler.

Mashable

Mashable video producer Jules Suzdaltsev shares that MIT scientists and a team of researchers have successfully created full-scale, self-navigating robotic boats ready to wade through the Amsterdam canals. “The boats use GPS, lidar, cameras and control algorithms to reach their full self-navigating capabilities,” writes Suzdaltsev.

The Boston Globe

Nth Cycle, a company co-founded by Prof. Desiree Plata, has developed an extraction device that uses electric signals to identify valuable metals or black mass leftover from discarded electric batteries. “This modular system is easy to move and adapt and is far more efficient and environmentally friendly than the traditional methods of smelting or using a chemical wash to sort out the metals from the gunk,” writes Jon Chesto and Larry Edelman for The Boston Globe.

CBS News

Prof. Yossi Sheffi speaks with David Pogue of CBS Sunday Morning about what’s causing the current supply chain breakdowns. "The underlying cause of all of this is actually a huge increase in demand,” says Sheffi. “People did not spend during the pandemic. And then, all the government help came; trillions of dollars went to households. So, they order stuff. They order more and more stuff. And the whole global markets were not ready for this."

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Sara Castellanos spotlights Prof. Markus Buehler’s work combining virtual reality with sound waves to help detect subtle changes in molecular motions. Castellanos notes that Buehler and his team recently found, “coronaviruses can be more lethal or infectious depending on the vibrations within the spike proteins that are found on the surface of the virus.”

Motherboard

A team of researchers led by MIT visiting scientist Judah Cohen has found that climate change is amplifying winter weather disasters, including the rare cold snap in Texas and other southern states in February 2021, reports Becky Ferreira for Motherboard. “The team used both observational data and climate models to expose ‘stretching events’ in the polar vortex that cause its circular shape to become elongated across the Arctic,” writes Ferreira. “This phenomenon ‘is linked with extreme cold across parts of Asia and North America.’”

The Guardian

A new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that climate change is likely causing more extreme winter weather, reports Hallie Golden for The Guardian. The researchers found that changes in the Arctic brought on by climate change “actually increased the chances of tightly spinning winds above the North Pole, known as the Arctic stratospheric polar vortex, being stretched and thus boosting the chances of extreme weather events in the US and beyond.”

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Adam Vaughan writes that a new study led by visiting scientist Judah Cohen finds that climate change may be causing more extreme winter weather in North America and Eurasia. “If you expected global warming to help you out with preparing for severe winter weather, our paper says the cautionary tale is: don’t necessarily expect climate change to solve that problem for you,” says Cohen. “This is an unexpected impact from climate change that we didn’t appreciate 20 years ago.”

Dezeen

Dezeen reporter Rima Sabina Aouf writes that MIT researchers have created an inflatable prosthetic hand that can be produced for a fraction of the cost of similar prosthetics. “The innovation could one day help some of the 5 million people in the world who have had an upper-limb amputation but can't afford expensive prostheses.”

Wired

Wired reporter Max G. Levy writes that MIT researchers have developed a glue inspired by barnacles that can adhere to wet tissues and stop bleeding in seconds. “For us, everything is a machine, even a human body,” says research scientist Hyunwoo Yuk. “They are malfunctioning and breaking, and we have some mechanical way to solve it.”