Breaking news and information about projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic
HOW YOU CAN HELP DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
As we continue to address the challenges, both new and those we can’t anticipate, we encourage you to direct your support to our Grainger Engineering Priority Fund which provides vital, unrestricted support that allows the college to strategically invest in critical initiatives, including how we respond in times of global crisis.
August 23, 2021
Grainger College of Engineering faculty receive Presidential Medallion
University of Illinois President Tim Killeen honored 30 key leaders of the system’s COVID-19 response with the Presidential Medallion, the highest honor that the system president can bestow. Those honored included five faculty – Harley T. Johnson, Nigel Goldenfeld, Sergei Maslov, John Paul, and Abigail Wooldridge.
JULY 15, 2021
Illinois Researchers Advance COVID-19 Point-of-Care Technologies and Impact
Advances made by researchers are set to improve the ability to diagnose COVID-19 and other infectious diseases more quickly and at the point of care. The findings offer a new approach to viral detection that currently primarily rely on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests – the current gold standard for detecting COVID-19.
JULY 2, 2021
University of Illinois receives APLU award for COVID-19 testing program
The APLU honored the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for its COVID-19 testing protocol with the first Research Response to Community Crisis Award.
JUNE 4, 2021
Adapting laboratory techniques for remote instruction
In response to COVID-19, researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign designed a laboratory exercise to teach students how to use micropipettes, through remote learning, using at-home kits.
JUNE 1, 2021
U of I Collaborates with WACC to Build Sanitizing Robot
The Whiteside Area Career Center in Sterling, IL is the first organization in the country to build their very own sanitizing robot using the design and technology of the University of Illinois’s UVBot, which was developed in October 2020.
MAY 18, 2021
Portable, affordable, accurate, fast: Team invents new COVID-19 test
A new coronavirus test can get accurate results from a saliva sample in less than 30 minutes, researchers report in the journal Nature Communications.
APRIL 14, 2021
Jump ARCHES spring grants focus on COVID-19 vaccination and testing challenges, strategies
Seven research projects are sharing slightly more than $400,000 in funding through the Jump ARCHES research and development program to address challenges and expand on lessons learned about COVID-19 vaccinations and testing.
APRIL 14, 2021
Suppression of COVID-19 peaks reflect time-dependent social activity, not herd immunity
Scientists developed a model showing that a fragile, temporary state of immunity emerged during the early epidemic but got destroyed as people changed their social behaviors over time, leading to future waves of infection
MARCH 24, 2021
U.S. Covid-19 Supercomputing Group Evaluates Year-Long Effort
Researchers working on nearly 100 projects related to Covid-19 around the globe have had free access to some of the world’s most powerful computers in the past year, courtesy of a consortium led in part by the U.S. government and technology companies.
FEBRUARY 25, 2021
A New COVID Testing Collaboration
American University and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area partnered with researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to establish and operate a new mobile lab that they say will soon be able to process more than 50,000 tests per week.
JANUARY 29, 2021
'Shot in the dark' provides a path toward collaborative research that better predicts COVID-19 severity
A 'shot in the dark' three years ago has led to a collaborative effort to use AI and Machine Learning to bolster efforts in biomedical imaging. During the pandemic this research has been used to predict COVID-19 severity in patients.
JANUARY 15, 2021
University of Illinois researchers publish article describing Illinois RapidVent emergency ventilator
The design, testing, and validation of the Illinois RapidVent emergency ventilator has been published in the journal Plos One. The article, “Emergency Ventilator for COVID-19,” by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers, is the first of its kind to report such details about an emergency ventilator that was designed, prototyped, and tested at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
JANUARY 12, 2021
CSL professors research group testing, statistical analysis of COVID-19
Most of the United States has become fairly intimately acquainted with COVID-19 testing – be it by spit, nasal swab, or blood. While this type of individual work has been effective in identifying cases, CSL professors Venugopal Veeravalli and Lav Varshney are seeking to improve the efficiency of these tests and determine how to quickly detect changes in the distribution of disease prevalence data through their research project, "Efficient Strategies for Pandemic Monitoring and Recovery."
JANUARY 11, 2021
What Makes Building Ventilation Good Enough to Withstand a Pandemic?
Mechanical Engineering Professor Ty Newell speaks with Bloomberg about the role upgraded HVAC systems could play in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and other future emergencies.
DECEMBER 23, 2020
Disposable surgical masks best for being heard clearly when speaking, study finds
Using a unique laboratory setup, Illinois researcher Ryan Corey tested how different types of masks affect the acoustics of speech.
DECEMBER 12, 2020
Bloom Energy using Illinois developed COVID-19 testing for expansion of California lab
Alumnus KR Sridhar's company Bloom Energy is expanding a California COVID-19 testing lab using a system developed by Grainger Engineering researchers.
DECEMBER 4, 2020
Paper-based electrochemical sensor can detect COVID-19 in less than five minutes
Bioengineering graduate student, Maha Alafeef, has co-developed a rapid, ultrasensitive test using a paper-based electrochemical sensor that can detect the presence of the virus in less than five minutes. The team led by professor Dipanjan Pan reported their findings in ACS Nano.
NOVEMBER 30, 2020
Podcast: COVID Trickle-Down Effects: The Good, The Bad, And The Ponies
On this episode of the "Rising to the Challenge" podcast, Professor Bill King explains the lightning-fast development of Illinois RapidVent and potential new courses that may result like "engineering in an emergency".
NOVEMBER 17, 2020
Study of non-COVID-19 deaths shows 2020 increase in several demographics
U.S. deaths from non-COVID-19 causes were significantly higher in the first months of the pandemic than in previous years across several demographics, according to a new study by computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and internal medicine professor Janet Jokela.
NOVEMBER 6, 2020
New mobile COVID-19 lab prototype completed
The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has completed the prototype for a mobile laboratory, called mobileSHIELD, designed to demonstrate a way to rapidly deploy I-COVID, the saliva-based test for COVID-19 developed at Illinois.
NOVEMBER 4, 2020
Podcast: Tech It or Leave It
This podcast features professor Nigel Goldenfeld, who talks about the computer modeling the school—and the state—depended on to develop its testing protocols. Rashid Bashir, Dean of the Grainger College of Engineering, talks about a test that can detect COVID-19 with your cell phone.
OCTOBER 28, 2020
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Develops Robot to Sterilize Spaces
The Grainger College of Engineering at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Health Care Engineering Systems Center has developed the UVBot: a robot that can be built out of easily accessible objects and programmed to clean spaces using UV light, which kills COVID-19."
OCTOBER 2, 2020
Bioengineering professor Aaron Timperman awarded NIH funding for COVID-19 research
Bioengineering professor Aaron Timperman has received an award from the National Institute of Health for his research, "A Microfluidic System Coupling Amplified Nanofluidic Virion Purification and Mass Spectrometry for Detection of SARS-CoV-2."
SEPTEMBER 4, 2020
Portable smartphone COVID-19 test delivers results in under 40 minutes
Scientists have designed a rapid, portable COVID-19 test that can provide results on a smartphone. Its developers claim that it could broaden access to affordable testing in regions that lack expertise, infrastructure, and specialized equipment for laboratory-based testing.
AUGUST 31, 2020
Study: Portable, point-of-care COVID-19 test could bypass the lab
Illinois researchers developed a microfluidic cartridge for a 30-minute COVID-19 test. The cartridges are 3D-printed and could be manufactured quickly.
AUGUST 26, 2020
The University of Illinois COVID-19 testing plan is so aggressive that it accounts for 20% of the state's tests
The University of Illinois is requiring its students to be tested for COVID-19 twice a week, using rapid saliva tests developed by University researchers that provide results within hours.
AUGUST 24, 2020
If the University of Illinois can’t prevail over COVID-19, no other big university will be able to either
CS professor Sheldon H. Jacobson writes an opinion piece in the Chicago Sun Times about the University's plan to re-open safely
AUGUST 21, 2020
CSL Postdoc researches speech acoustics, face masks
CSL Postdoc Ryan Corey, one member of the hearing loss community, is researching different types of masks to determine the impact different materials have on verbal communication.
AUGUST 19, 2020
Mesh++ helps Champaign schoolchildren access internet for remote learning
Mesh++, a startup that came out of the University of Illinois startup ecosystem and was founded by an ECE grad, is part of a collaborative effort to provide wireless Internet connectivity to Champaign Unit 4 students living in the Shadowwood Mobile Home Park.
AUGUST 16, 2020
Illinois ECE sends lab kits worldwide to support remote learning
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Illinois ECE) is sending more than 1800 electrical and computer engineering lab kits around the world. The kits are aimed at helping all Illinois ECE students receive the tools they need to thrive in a remote learning environment.
AUGUST 4, 2020
University of Illinois faculty--supported by Jump Partnership--develops simple N95 respirator mask decontamination technology with microwave oven plasmas
A group led by NPRE professor David Ruzic developed a method for healthcare professionals to decontaminate N95 masks using a microwave oven.
JULY 30, 2020
University Of Illinois partners with EduSourced to launch project-based public health training
In Forbes: The University of Illinois partnered with EduSourced, a software platform specializing in project-based learning, to launch a public health collaboration between students, alumni, and officials from the World Health Organization/Pan-American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO).
JUNE 30, 2020
Eight projects awarded funding for AI research to mitigate COVID-19
Eight University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign projects are among 26 to receive the first C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute awards for artificial intelligence techniques to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
JUNE 25, 2020
WYSE outreach brings STEM home
The Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering program (WYSE) is working with organizations around Illinois to bring engineering kits to students with limited access to online services during a summer disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
JUNE 21, 2020
How scientists test face mask effectiveness against coronavirus
Grainger Engineering researchers are a part of an NBC news report on how scientists around the world have conducted research that finds wearing face masks can significantly decrease the spread of the coronavirus by blocking droplets created when a person coughs, sneezes, or talks that would carry the virus.
JUNE 9, 2020
Jump ARCHES Projects-- Priority Call 2020
Seventeen research projects are sharing nearly $800,000 in funding through the Jump ARCHES research and development program.These projects were submitted to an unprecedented special call for Jump ARCHES proposals to address COVID-19, pandemics, and other public health crises through smart health, data analytics, AI, and other technologies.
MAY 15, 2020
Creativity in Crisis: Why design thinking is essential when the world turns upside down
Siebel Center for Design director Rachel Switzky talks with professor Bill King about creative thinking and the design process for Illinois RapidVent.
MAY 12, 2020
Belkin Works With The University Of Illinois On FlexVent™ Gas-Operated Ventilator In Response To The COVID-19 Crisis
Illinois RapidVent team are the experts who “guide the way” as Belkin announces they will produce at least 10,000 emergency ventilators based on the Illinois RapidVent design, pending FDA approval.
MAY 7, 2020
Aerospace student volunteers preparing vials for COVID-19 testing.
Aerospace engineering junior Zana Essmyer is a volunteer in the Department of Microbiology at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale preparing the tubes for Coronavirus tests.
MAY 6, 2020
Holonyak Lab faculty members receive three NSF Rapid Grants to develop quicker tests for COVID-19
Three HMNTL faculty members have received NSF Rapid Response Research (RAPID) Program grants, all of which aim to shorten the amount of time it takes to process a COVID-19 test.
MAY 1, 2020
Study explains best fabric choices for COVID-19 masks
Mechanical science and engineering professor Taher Saif spoke about a study that he and his graduate students, Onur Aydin and Bashar Emon, performed on the effectiveness of common household fabrics for use in homemade masks.
APRIL 30, 2020
Q&A with epidemic-modeling expert Carolyn Beck
For many years, ISE professor Carolyn Beck has been building mathematical models to predict how epidemics spread through populations, and her research has gained renewed relevance in the wake of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Beck explains how epidemic models can inform policymaking and how her research improves their accuracy.
APRIL 28, 2020
Fagen-Ulmschneider featured as creating one of best data models for understanding Coronavirus
CS professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider's 91-DIVOC data visualization is featured in Popular Mechanics as one of the best ways to understand Coronavirus.
MARCH 24, 2020
Airport security in a post-COVID-19 world
CS professor and airport security expert Sheldon Jacobson writes an OP-ED for The Hill about the how airports might need to changes to keep travelers and employees safe after air travel picks back up.
APRIL 23, 2020
Grainger College of Engineering team introduces Illinois RapidAlarm
A team has released the design of an alarm and sensor package for emergency, pressure-cycled ventilators. Illinois RapidAlarm, it can be used with the Illinois RapidVent, as well as a wide range of commercial and developing emergency ventilators that would otherwise require constant monitoring by critical care staff.
APRIL 23, 2020
Inexpensive, portable detector identifies pathogens in minutes
ECE professor Brian Cunningham co-led a multi-institutional team to demonstrate an inexpensive and rapid smartphone-based pathogen testing device designed to ease pressure on testing laboratories during pandemics such as COVID-19.
APRIL 22, 2020
Abdelzaher repurposing social networking models to predict COVID spread under different social distancing policies
Covid-19 has served as an interesting case study for professor Tarek Abdelzaher, who for years has studied how information propagates through social media.
APRIL 20, 2020
Aerospace engineering faculty adapt to online learning, including lab work
Faculty in the Department of Aerospace Engineering are using a number of digital tools to help deliver students a quality instructional and lab experience while working remotely.
APRIL 14, 2020
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health team up to design and produce face shield for health care workers
A team of engineers, physicians, researchers and designers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health has developed and launched production of a face shield for health professionals responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
APRIL 13, 2020
Online Resources Make for Smoother Transition to Virtual Instruction as Faculty and Students Face Challenges Together
Our faculty and students have utilized a variety of online resources already in place before the pandemic shut down campus. Now more than ever, they are finding effective, and sometimes creative, ways to stay engaged.
APRIL 10, 2020
A desire for data accessibility sparked the creation of a viral visualization
Q&A with CS's Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider about his project to explore the global growth of COVID-19.
The project was also recently named to The Verge's list of "Best Graphs and Data for Tracking the Coronavirus Pandemic."
APRIL 5, 2020
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers developing smartphone app for COVID-19 testing
A team of University of Illinois researchers led by Illinois ECE Professor Brian T Cunningham are working on a smartphone application that would detect the novel coronavirus within 30 minutes, without the need for a diagnostic lab.
APRIL 2, 2020
Wang talks to Vox about why coronavirus scammers can send fake emails from real domains
CS professor Gang Wang and his colleagues interviewed email administrators in 2018 to investigate the low adoption rates of the authentication systems and found that “email administrators believe the current protocol adoption lacks the crucial mass due to the protocol defects, weak incentives, and practical deployment challenges.”
MARCH 27, 2020
The Grainger College of Engineering and Carle Health demonstrate working prototype of emergency ventilator for COVID-19 patients
The Illinois RapidVent emergency ventilator was developed in less than a week. Preliminary tests show performance equivalent to commercial devices; additional tests ongoing.
MARCH 26, 2020
Grainger Engineering faculty to co-lead new $367 million C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute, early work will focus on pandemics
Thomas M. Siebel (BA History ’75, MBA ’83, MS CS ’85), founder and chief executive of C3.ai, said the public-private consortium would spend $367 million in its initial five years, aiming its first awards at finding ways to slow the new coronavirus that is sweeping the globe.
MARCH 26, 2020
Task Force brings A.I., machine learning, and simulation together to face the challenge of COVID-19
The COVID-19 Task Force is a collection of bright minds amongst health care and engineering at Illinois bringing together AI technologies, machine learning, health data analytics, and simulation to provide real-time solutions to the challenge of COVID-19. We invite you to collaborate with us and our faculty at Illinois, whether you’re in the healthcare industry or academia, to come together and fight COVID-19.
MARCH 26, 2020
University of Illinois System assisting state in COVID-19 response
The University of Illinois System is sharing expertise and resources from across its three universities and healthcare enterprise to support the state’s efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
MARCH 25, 2020
Hauser leads work on robotic avatar for hands-free medical care
Illinois Computer Science Associate Professor Kris Hauser and his team are creating a new type of avatar that could provide a similar ability to health care workers, who could treat patients remotely during a pandemic like the current COVID-19 crisis.
MARCH 25, 2020
Coronavirus Crisis: Silicon Valley green energy leader answers Gov. Newsom's call to action on ventilators
Bloom Energy CEO KR Sridhar (MS '84, PhD '90) has stepped up to deliver refurbished ventilators for California's growing need, with estimates that it could refurbish hundreds of ventilators a week to help meet the anticipated high demand.
MARCH 18, 2020
CS PhD student helps Reddit's coronavirus community become a destination for up-to-date, civil forums for information and discussion about the pandemic
As a moderator, CS PhD student Rick Barber has helped the Reddit message board /r/coronavirus grow to more than 1.2 million members — almost a million of whom signed up in the last two weeks.