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Monday, March 20, 2023



UW Space Place director talks solar eclipse

In a week, one of the summer’s most hotly anticipated events will arrive, as Americans everywhere finalize plans to travel to a 70 mile wide strip of land stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. “It’s the return of the corona after one hundred years,” said Jim Lattis, director and co-founder of the UW Space Place.

UW-Madison's Badgerloop placed high and won an innovation award Sunday at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition II in Hawthorne, Calif.

Badgerloop reveals newest Hyperloop pod to public

The Badgerloop team unveiled their latest pod on June 17 in the Engineering Hall to the public. This coming August, they will take their pod and travel to Hawthorne, California to compete in the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition II. Sponsors and community members got up close to the pod and talked with Badgerloop members who worked on different aspects of the pod, including electrical systems, virtual reality, propulsion, feasibility and more. Badgerloop is a student organization at UW-Madison comprising of mostly undergraduate students.

Kevin Barnett works in a lab at the department of energy bioenergy technologies office at UW-Madison to better the procedure for deriving 1,5-pentanediol, a possible substitute for a petroleum-like chemical.

Cheaper, more sustainable way to produce plastic precursors

Scientists and engineers at UW-Madison developed an economically feasible process to synthesize a possible substitute for petroleum-derived chemicals from non-edible biomass. This substitute, called 1,5-pentanediol, is a type of alpha, omega-diol that has two alcohol groups attached at the beginning and the end of a long carbon chain, which is mostly synthesized as a byproduct of other commercially produced diols. The research was published this April in the journal, ChemSusChem. “We hope to be able to make larger quantities and volumes and be able to put it in the applications that are currently used for other molecules,” said Zachary Brentzel, a graduate research assistant in college of engineering at UW-Madison and the first author of this paper.

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