"All I'm armed with is RESEARCH."
Mike Wallace, who gained prominence from the Mike Wallace Interviews of the 1950s, said the above quote, and this aptly applies to the University of Minnesota. The University is a research-oriented university and almost all departments in the University, be it liberal arts or engineering or language or management, research is an integral part of the curriculum. The college of Science and Engineering is comprised of several departments and today I will take you through a journey of the different kinds of research work going on in the engineering departments.
But first, I would like to share a FUN FACT. Can any of you tell me some of the inventions from the University of Minnesota that are now common household names? Well, if you did not know already, the retractable seat belt in the car was invented by Professor James J. Ryan in 1963. The first human heart pacemaker was developed by Medtronic's (one of the world's largest medical device companies, which is headquartered in Minneapolis) founder Earl Bakken in 1957, who was a student of the University of Minnesota. In 1980, two University students invented the successful Roller blades that many of you love wearing and flying past people. The flight black box recorder which records conversations in the cockpit was also invented here at the University.
So, what is it that made these people invent things that we use till today, and how did they apply their knowledge in science, engineering and management to come up with such brilliant ideas? I think the answer lies within the several laboratories and research facilities at the University of Minnesota and the people who run them. The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) has 12 academic departments that includes science, engineering, mathematics, statistics, and geography and earth sciences. The buildings are located on the East Bank of campus.
Below I have shared a few images of research facilities and laboratories in CSE that have been doing path-breaking research in the field of semiconductor processing, micro and nanotechnology, and medical devices. Successful and meaningful collaborations with companies like 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) and Medtronic have given a huge boost to the University and industry relationship, which is essential in terms of creating and training talent, and funding research work at the University.
The inauguration stone of the Microelectronics Research Lab, commonly known as Minnesota Nano Center is a cleanroom for semiconductor processing that is used by professors, students and industry. It is supplemented by another facility at the Physics and Nanotechnology building.
NOTICE below the scientist in his cleanroom suit. One does feel like an astronaut in them!!!!
The image below shows a Post Doctorate and a masters student working on nanotechnology research areas at the 3D Micro and Nano Engineering Science Group under Prof. Jeong-Hyun Cho of the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The image below is the prototyping lab of the Medical Device Center @ U of MN. (Photo courtesy: http://www.mdc.umn.edu/mdc/electrical.html)