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  • [ April 19, 2019]

    Journey from Energy Harvesting and 4D Printing to Medical Applications

    | Energy can be harvested from vibration and human motion. Piezoelectric and electromagnetic power generators were used to transform the mechanical energy from vibration and human motion into electrical energy. On the other hand, robotic exoskeletons that can assist people with impaired mobility have been developed. With the developed device, paralyzed individual can regain the ability to stand up and walk. Smart ankle-foot prostheses with compact cam-spring mechanism have also been implemented to help amputees walk with less effort while having more natural gait. Utilizing additive manufacturing into smart materials has led to 4D printing technology for creating structures that can change their shape and function on-demand and over time. Actuator units were designed and fabricated directly by printing fibers of shape memory polymers in flexible structures. They can serve as tubular stents and grippers for biomedical applications. In this talk, related research projects and key results will be presented.
  • [ April 09, 2019]

    Energy Loss Processes in Organic Solar Cells

    | Organic solar cells have the potential to revolutionise the way we harness the power of the sun. They are based on earth-abundant non-toxic raw materials and can be processed by inexpensive and scalable production technologies like roll-to-roll printing or vacuum processes on flexible substrates and on large areas. However, organic solar cells are still significantly less efficient compared to their inorganic counterparts. While organic molecules can absorb light much better than silicon, charge carrier extraction as well as energy losses at open circuit seem to limit the power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells. Over the past years, a particular focus has been put on a better understanding of the latter, highlighting the role of the charge transfer states in the generation and recombination of charge carriers as well as limiting the open circuit voltage, which will be the focus of this presentation.
  • [ March 26, 2019]

    A New Approach to Sequential Stopping for Stochastic Simulation

    | Simulation is a powerful numerical tool set for performance evaluation and optimization of stochastic systems. Successful implementation of this approximation scheme requires one being able to assess the quality of the estimators and control the estimation errors. In this talk, I will present a new sequential stopping framework for stochastic simulation problems in which variance estimation is difficult. Examples include steady-state simulation, parameter estimation using stochastic gradient descent, quantile estimation etc. The proposed procedure provides statistical guarantees for the quality of the estimators. This is joint work with Peter Glynn.
  • [ March 20, 2019]

    RSC Journal Publishing Workshop

    | Dr Sam Keltie will give an overview on his role and the scopes and review process for RSC journals, focusing on the materials & nanoscience journals. There will be time for Q&A throughout the workshop. The workshop is open to all members of the PKU community.
  • [ March 08, 2019]

    Similarity and Distance Between Networks

    | In this talk, we discuss techniques for measuring the structural distance/similarity between networks. We start by outlining very basic concepts to do so and elaborate on some historical developments. Afterwards, we outline a novel technique for comparative graph analysis using topological indices and draw some conclusions.
  • [ March 08, 2019]

    Building Toward the Digital Twin for Smart Logistics Operation

    | In this talk, we will introduce some new initiatives in Singapore in transforming the industry into the next generation industry, in particular in the logistics and maritime sectors. We will also present some of our latest work in developing a simulation optimization framework for digital twin for various systems, such as warehouse system and port system. This framework O2DES has the capability in incorporating optimization in the simulation, and optimizing the system parameters based on simulation output.
  • [ March 08, 2019]

    AGV Routing and Control for Transshipment Container Terminal

    | In this presentation, we develop a framework for routing and controlling the Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). As the AGV routing and control are done in real time, the framework requires the solutions to be generated very fast. To address this computational challenge, the solution framework consists of two stages. The first stage determines the rough routes of the AGVs. The second stage determine the detail routings and schedules of the AGVs. As solving the detail routings and schedules require high computing resource, we decompose the port layout into submodules where each of them can be solved almost independently. The output of the first stage (rough routes) becomes an input to the second stage which solve the detail routes and schedules for real time control. Whenever an AGV completes a task, the first stage will be called to revise the rough routes of the AGVs which includes the new task which is assigned to the AGV that has completed the previous task. The new rough routes will become input for second stage to solve the detail routes and schedules. We show this framework is promising and is able to generate the detail routes and schedules very fast.
  • [ Janurary 07, 2019]

    Turbulent/non-turbulent interfaces and their relation to turbulent entrainment

    | In many relevant flow cases, such as in jets or turbulent boundary layers, turbulent regions of the flow are bounded by non-turbulent fluid. The interface between such regions, the so-called turbulent/non- turbulent interface (TNTI) is known to remain sharp and well-defined even after long times. Here, we investigate how processes at the TNTI are related to turbulent entrainment, i.e. the incorporation of previously non-turbulent fluid into the turbulent flow. We show that turbulent entrainment is a viscous, small-scale process that is amplified by interface contortions across a range of scales. We also elucidate how these processes change in the presence of a stable stratification across the TNTI.
  • [ December 18, 2018]

    A Global Perspective on Energy Challenges and Mechanics

    | Based in Aberdeen, the “Energy Capital of Europe", from our recent research collaborations with the energy industries, and the experience chairing the 1st-9th International Symposium on Energy, this talk explores issues related to energy challenges and mechanics from a global perspective. The aim is to get a complete view of energy-related problems. The following topics are covered:
    - Life on earth currently faces a threat on a genuinely global scale.
    - Asset life extension.
    - The DESERTEC idea was initially developed in Germany for power production at a large scale, making use of solar energy in the deserts of North Africa with the option to transport a significant fraction of power to Europe.
    - Fusion energy is among the most environmentally friendly sources of energy.
  • [ December 18, 2018]

    Highly efficient differentiation of human iPSCs into functional endothelial cells using ETV2 mRNA

    | Current protocols to differentiate human induced pluripotent stem cells (h-iPSCs) into endothelial cells (h-iECs) lack reliability. Here we describe a method for rapid, consistent and highly efficient generation of h-iECs from h-iPSCs. The protocol entails delivery of modified mRNA encoding the transcription factor ETV2 at the intermediate mesodermal stage of differentiation. This approach reproducibly differentiated thirteen diverse h-iPSC lines into h-iECs with exceedingly high efficiency. In contrast, differentiation with the standard protocol, which relies on endogenous ETV2, was inefficient and notably inconsistent. Our method generated h-iECs that were functionally competent in many respects, including ability to form perfused vascular networks in vivo. Importantly, timely activation of ETV2 was critical and bypassing the mesodermal stage produced putative h-iECs with reduced expansion potential and that lacked ability to form functional vessels. Our protocol could have broad application in regenerative medicine and reliably provide an unlimited number of autologous h-iECs for vascular therapies.
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