Sunday, September 25, 2011

Technion experiment "Spring Spirit" shows covert policing more effective.

At the Road Safety Conference held at the Technion:

Covert law enforcement is a more effective means to ensure safety on the roads.

File:Israel police officers.jpg
Technion research at the Transportation Research Institute is dedicated to making Israel's roads safer.

The undercover enforcement method is the most effective and policemen and women also prefer it, so it appears from an experiment run by the Research, Information and Development Bureau of the Traffic Division of the Israel Police.

The results of the experiment, “Spring Spirit” as it was called, were presented in September at a conference held in the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Technion, on the subject of: Current research in the area of traffic safety and implementation in Israel. Chief Superintendent Iran Feinmessar, head of the bureau, said that the experiment ran for five months and ended at the end of July this year. The experiment tested different operational methods used by the national traffic police and was run in different police districts around the country. It included, among others, switching overt police units with covert ones and increasing the motorcycle units as well as helicopters. The Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Arava districts were used as control groups and no changes were made there.

The main conclusion of the experiment – covert enforcement is the most efficient. Additionally, the heavy motorcycle unit proved its worth and will, therefore, be more than doubled – from 45 motorcycles to 100. Chief Superintendent Feinmessar reported that the police have also begun operating undercover heavy motorcycle teams. “It will be interesting to see drivers’ reactions when they realize that the motorcycle riding alongside them is not what they thought it was,” he said.

Another experiment that the Research Bureau ran was in stationing volunteers in reflective vests at dangerous intersections. The volunteers just stood at the intersections, did not hand out fines or make comments to pedestrians or drivers that crossed the intersection. The result of their standing in the intersection wearing the reflective vest – a decrease in the number of cars that crossed the intersection on a red light down to zero and a drop to half in the number of pedestrians who crossed the street when the light was red.

The conference was organized by the National Road Safety Authority, the Transportation Research Institute and the Ran Naor Center for Road Safety Research at the Technion, headed by Prof. Shlomo Bekhor.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Global Blogger Revelations at Technion, Israel

Five international bloggers were brought to Israel by the organization Stand with Us, Once in a Lifetime program. Accompanied by Technion students the bloggers Feng Yimeng of China, Eunice Khong from Singapore, Marcello Arrambide of Venezuela, Chris Richardson from Australia and Kaustubh Katdare (The Big K) of India all visited the Technion on Sept. 12th . See what they had to say about their time on campus.

Meet the Bloggers!

Big K (Kaustubh Katdare)
The AussieNomad (Chris Richardson)   
TravellerFolio (Eunice Khong)
Wandering Trader (Marcello Arrambide)

Some live tweets from Technion City (@TechnionLIVE)

The Aussie Nomad
@theaussienomadThe Aussie Nomad
Oh we have our own cameraman following us too

 The Big K 
  &  having pakin good time.

The Aussie Nomad
@theaussienomadThe Aussie Nomad
This uni is crazy awesome smart (@ Technion)

Marcello Arrambide
Cell phone reception in israel is ridiculous.. I've had reception in airplanes, on mountain tops in the desert, and now.. Underwater

The Aussie Nomad
@theaussienomadThe Aussie Nomad
More photos of Haifa after meeting the amazing students that are running the trip. Love these #lifetimeisrael

Matt Kyhnn
@backpackingmattMatt Kyhnn
RT @theaussienomad: Off 2 Israel 4 a 10 day trip with@onceinlifetime2 Follow my fb page for updates

Marcello Arrambide
@WanderingtradrMarcello Arrambide
Shalom from israel everyone!!

New Year Greetings from Technion President

From the President

Welcome to this festive issue of TechnionLIVE, in which we celebrate the entry of the Jewish New Year. New Year is all about rejuvenation, initiation and new enterprise. You will notice that in this issue, we have received flattering coverage in the international press. While we love people to learn about Technion, it is important to remember that an institute of technology can never rest proudly on its laurels and announce its work is done. The spirit of innovation, progress and fresh inquiries into old problems is more alive now, in Technion's Centennial Year,  than ever before.

According to recent statistics, Israel has become an innovation superpower. To upkeep and develop this position, the innovation, excellence in teaching and application must go on. This means being alive and responsive to the needs of tomorrow - whether in areas on the national agenda such as social justice, or in outreach projects to bring engineering skills to developing nations.

Technion prides itself as the high-tech Eden - the creative force behind Israel's emerging status as Silicon Valley's single serious competitor. 41 Technion graduates are listed in Dun & Bradstreet’s List of Top 125 business leaders. More than 70 percent of our graduates are employed in the high-tech sectors that drive the country’s economic growth;  25 percent of them are CEOs and vice presidents, and 39 percent fill other management positions. 17 percent of our alumni are involved in start-ups - a figure without parallel in the entire developed world.  In 2010, exports of services from start-up companies in Israel accounted for more than $622 million. 59 of 121 Israeli companies on Nasdaq are founded or run by Technion graduates.  In November 2010, these companies were given a market value of more than $28.2 billion. In real terms, this means that Technion alumni have created wealth in excess of $28 billion. As I write, leaders from Intel are at Technion City tapping into this flare for innovation at the 2011 Technion-Intel Symposium.  

Beyond the statistics, our deeper pride is in a loyalty to basic research - the fertile soil from which all innovation springs. In the coming year, we will continue to take global responsibility in pioneering energy researchlife sciencenanotechnology and medicine

A Happy New Year to you all. We look forward to meeting you at various events throughout our centennial celebrations - in which we celebrate the century that was and the century that is to come. May this next year bring us a renewed passion for pure and applied research, and an even wider capacity for standards of excellence and innovation for the benefit of all the planet.

Peretz Lavie.

Bright lights of Moshal

Highly motivated, determined to be of service to others, passionate about excellence, Technion's Moshal scholars are exemplary students - showing the value of a program that determines that bright minds from underprivileged background must be given the chance to pursue their dreams.

Through the generosity of Mr. Martin Moshal, the Moshal Scholarship Program provides scholarships to needy and deserving undergraduate students at the Technion. The scholarships are granted to approximately 20 students for the four years of their undergraduate studies at the Technion. The scholarship includes tuition fees, dorm accommodation and an allowance.

The Moshal Scholarship Program is now entering its third year at the Technion and the third class of first-year students is under selection. Recipients of the scholarship may study in any of the Technion’s 17 faculties.

In addition, the Moshal Scholarship Program grants scholarships to students studying at Bar Ilan and Ben Gurion Universities in Israel.

Following are the touching, inside stories of two Moshal scholars currently studying at Technion.

Savi Esacov
Age: 25
Born: The former USSR.
Raised:  Nazareth Illit.
Studying: Electrical engineering, entering his second year.

"I made aliya eighteen years ago from the former USSR, in 1993. My parents and I went to live in Nazareth Illit, where I studied through junior high. After that I attended the military boarding school that is part of the Hebrew Reali School of Haifa, where I was an honors student. I was an athlete, and I participated in various competitions. I’m still active, even after my legs were injured during my military service.

After high school I was drafted to the army, where I was an infantry combat soldier. Due to injuries I was transferred to the Field Intelligence Corps. I went on to become an officer and performed six years of army service, attaining the rank of Captain. I decided to finish my army service last year. Thursday was my last day of military service, and the following Sunday I began my studies at the Technion.

What made you choose to study electrical engineering?

"I’ve always been interested in exact sciences. I had very good grades, and I was drawn to this field specifically because of the challenge it poses. I always aim high.

Having said that, I just barely got through my first year. The coursework was difficult, it was a very different experience than anything I ever encountered. I know that in colleges there is more of an emphasis on students’ social lives, while here at the Technion all we do is study hard.

Tell me about your background.

I come from a family with no formal education. Neither of my parents studied at university, but I think that the environment you grow up in has a critical impact. It can help you make it to university, even though parents sometimes lack the means to help, like in my case.

When I was a child, I received a computer as part of a project for computer literacy among children. I’m proof of the project’s success.

I went to a private high school and then to the army; people helped me, and the army helped. During my army service as an officer I was unable to save up anything because I had to support my family. I was frightened of leaving the army - how was I going to make it financially?

The Dean of Students office at the Technion found me the Moshal Scholarship Program. Without this scholarship I would have no way of being here at the Technion, and I’m truly grateful. My chance of graduating is thanks to the Moshal Scholarship Program. People who have to study less because they have to support themselves, or take a break from studying have less of a chance of graduating. There’s a chance of not coming back.

I’ve met the other scholarship recipients. I believe that when people are able and willing, they can get a higher education. That’s what I like about Israel. I don’t know what it’s like in other places, but here, even when things get tough, people help you out.

What do you do besides school?

My girlfriend and I have been together for over three years. She’s studying nursing. I live at the dorms on campus, and have been granted permission to live there next year too. People have helped me a lot to
make that work out.

I’ve started doing some work for “Acharai”, a project that prepares young people for the army. We hold workshops in high schools, mainly working with underprivileged communities.

I really love mountain bike riding. During the summer vacation I managed to bike a lot, several times a week. I rode about 30-40 km every trip. It’s amazing, I love it. I think it’s a sport that is really being developed here in Israel.

I also get called up for reserve service, I’m an army intelligence officer in reserves.

What are your aspirations for the future?

To study and graduate with high grades, having acquired the necessary tools to help me join the industry. There is a lot of competition out there and I’m going to have to work hard after I graduate. The Technion
is probably the hardest place to study in Israel, and I hope to learn as much as possible I can find a job I enjoy. In order to find a management position in a technological company, I have to be very professional.

I also hope to start a family, and I think that’s the most important thing in the world.

Why did you choose to study at the Technion?

I always try to choose the biggest challenge, that’s how I get my satisfaction. Everyone around me is giving their best effort, we all have the same goal, and that helps a lot.

Do you want to add anything?

I’d like to thank the Moshal Scholarship Program for making my studies possible. I’m truly grateful.

Savi Esacov, Electrical Engineering

Oshrat Israel

Age: 24
Born and raised:  Haifa.
Studies:  Faculty of Chemical Engineering, 3rd year.
Hobbies: Swimming; reading.

"Though I undoubtedly have a special background and a unique family, I have never lacked anything.  My parents have always provided me with everything I’ve needed and have always stressed the importance of education.

I was born and raised in Haifa; both my parents are deaf. I’m the eldest child. I have a younger sister and brother who are twins; my sister is doing her military service, and my brother lives at home with me and my
parents, he has Down syndrome.

Growing up, my childhood was pretty ordinary. People always ask me, what was growing up in your family like? But this is the only family I’ve ever had, and everything I’ve achieved is thanks to them, especially in terms of education.

My sister and I attended one of the very best schools in Haifa, and we were both honor students. My academic achievements are very important to my parents, especially to my father. He believes that academic excellence comes first. He wants us to accomplish everything he hasn’t managed because of his disability.

My father is retired. In the past, he worked for the Rambam Hospital. My mother is a homemaker.

I do my best to help out at home. I live with my parents; I’m their ears and mouth, their way of communicating with the world. I’m glad I can help out. That’s who I am.

Why did you choose chemical engineering?

After high school, I searched for a field that would combine my interest in science and management, so I chose chemical engineering. I’m enjoying my studies, I’m about to start my third year. I’m especially interested in nanotechnology.

What are your aspirations?

I hope to graduate successfully, then go on to graduate studies or find work in my field in Israel. My parents are very proud of me for studying.

How does the Moshal Scholarship affect your studies?

I’m really enjoying my studies, but it isn’t easy. The Moshal Scholarship helps very much by enabling me to dedicate myself to my studies, along with helping my family. Last year I volunteered for a chemistry project
for junior high school students, which included conducting experiments with the kids. I enjoyed that. This year I’m hoping to help a first or second year student at the Technion with hearing disabilities make a fresh start in his or her studies.

I’m very grateful for Moshal Scholarship, it isn’t something I take for granted. My family and I are very thankful for the options it’s given me to dedicate myself to my studies while helping my family. It’s an incredible gift.

How do you juggle your intensive studies with helping your family?

I live with my parents and brother, and I try to be around the house to help. Thanks to wonderful improvements in technology, even if I’m not home, my parents can call me and we can have video calls so they can sign me what they need, or send me text messages.

Oshrat Israel, Chemical Engineering

"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world."
Nelson Mandela

Saturday, September 17, 2011

NANO powders and pseudo-elasticity. Technion Research Highlight.

Physical Review Letters reports: Technion researchers discover a new mechanism for contact formation between crystalline nanoparticles in nanopowders

Nanopowders are the basis of many nanotechnologies; Technion researchers coin a new term in the field of nanomechanics: “pseudo-elasticity”

Pictures of the simulations that were performed in the Technion show the process of contact formation between two nanocrystals. (Left) The atomic structure of nanocrystals before contact. (Right) The pseudo-elastic mechanism in action (1 to 8). In order to demonstrate the mechanism, only some of the atoms necessary for the process are shown. One can see that during the process of adhering, many defects are created (the atoms appear in dark grey in pictures 3-7), but at the end, the nanocrystals do not exhibit any defects (8). Illustration: Technion Spokesman.

Technion researchers have discovered a new mechanism for adhesive contact formation between crystalline nanoparticles, and have thus shed light on a long-standing mystery surrounding the adhesion between nanocrystals. The report appears in the prestigious scientific journal, Physical Review Letters.

 “In the scientific world today, there are two central schools of thought regarding the way nanocrystals come into contact,” says Prof. Eugene Rabkin of the Faculty of Materials Engineering at the Technion. “One school asserts that the crystals homogenously stretch in order to stick together (elastic deformation), but once they adhere, they return to their original shape. According to the other school of thought, as they approach, the inter-atom forces are strong enough to overcome the individual nanocrystals’ strength and compel them to change shape irreversibly (plastic deformation).”

Metallic nanocrystals have an orderly atomic structure, and the way in which they can undergo plastic deformation is by creating a linear “defect” in the orderly atomic structure. These linear defects, which are called “dislocations”, were first observed under a microscope in the mid-1950s and since then they have served as an important basis for understanding the mechanical characteristics of materials. Because of the size of nanocrystals, they generally have a perfect atomic structure and do not have dislocations.

 “Justification for both schools of thought has been offered, yet without a way to resolve the contradiction between them,” adds Prof. Rabkin. “On the one hand, analytical models have shown that the stresses that are created in nanocrystals during the contact formation are large enough to create a large number of dislocations; on the other hand, in experimental observations, only isolated dislocations were observed in the nanocrystalline clusters, in contradiction to the models.”

In order to resolve the contradiction, the Technion researchers used advanced simulation tools that run on high-performance parallel computer located on campus. “The calculation is performed at the atomic level,” relates Dr. Dan Mordehai who today is a member of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion, but who was a post-doctoral fellow in Prof. Rabkin’s group when the research was conducted. “We describe the nanocrystals using the atoms that comprise them and the forces between these atoms, and thus, we actually allow the atoms to choose their preferred “path”. These calculations include several hundreds of thousands of atoms and we have to execute them on parallel computer – that is, execute the calculation on a number of computers simultaneously.”

The Technion researchers found, for all intents and purposes, that neither of the schools of thought described the process in its entirety. In their simulation they showed that when the nanocrystals approach each other, the force of their interaction rises to become as great as that which creates many dislocations (as predicted by the second school of thought). Nevertheless, during the adhering process between the nanocrystals, additional dislocations are created, which “repair” the defects, and by the end of the adhering process, they no longer have any dislocations, as observed during experiments.

Thus the new nanomechanical term, coined by the Technion researchers, “pseudo-elasticity” was born. This mechanism enables nanocrystals to retain their original shape, despite the forces acting upon them, which are large enough to overcome their own strength limit. This mechanism may have great importance in many additional fields in contact mechanics for each pair of bodies that gets within a few nanometers of each other.

Prof. David Srolovitz, who is the head of the Institute of High Performance Computing in Singapore, participated in this research.

SHANA TOVA! 10 Technion highlights of the year

Come share with us an insider's look at some of the exciting projects that took place at Technion in the year תשע"א. It has been a year of new challenges with outstanding science and groundbreaking innovation. From outreach projects in Nepal, to a visit to the Technion alum enterprise striving to make Israel a "Better Place" by freeing it of oil dependence, each video rewards your time!

I. 100 Years of Israeli Science and Technology

Preparing for the Technion Cornerstone Centennial.
In April 1912 the cornerstone was laid for the first Jewish university in the Middle East, the Technikum later to be called Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
The Technion opened its door for the first students in 1924 and the engineers and scientists educated there were instrumental in building the country.
Thank you to the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the World Zionist Organization for historical footage.

We look forward to sharing this 100 year legacy with you throughout 2012 at Technion and across the world.

Can we compress 100 years into 60 seconds? If we go for the essence of the miracle, yes. Check it out on the YouTube channel of the State of Israel here.

II. The science of the blood test.

A revolutionary approach to testing blood for cancer and other diseases where fast diagnosis saves lives. Prof. Arie Admon of the Smoler Proteomics Center in Technion's Faculty of Biology discusses the simple, universal blood test under development.


III. Brainstormers active 24/7

Approximately 7 million people suffer from Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases in the United States alone. Prof. Moussa B.H. Youdim, Director of the Eve Topf and U.S. National Parkinson Foundation in Technion's Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, develops drugs that restore neurons in the brain. Watch the full length clip here.


IV. Alumni strive for a Better Place

In December 2010 Technion International School of Engineering students made a visit to the Better Place Visitor's Center in Israel to test drive the electric car and learn more about this exciting global venture. Technion alumnus Shai Agassi is the founder and chief executive of Better Place, the leading electric vehicle services provider. Agassi is focused on one of this century's biggest challenges, moving the world from oil-based to sustainable transportation. Better Place is building the infrastructure and intelligent network to deliver a range of services to drivers, enable widespread adoption of electric vehicles, and optimize energy use.


V. Student YoYo innovations

What laws of science, physics and engineering are found in a yo-yo? In this year's Dr. Bob's TechnoBrain competition, supported by Dr. Robert Shillman in memory of Neev-Ya Durban, students met the challenge to design the longest yo-yo on earth. The mission: to build a YoYo that would bounce the highest after being dropped from a 100-foot high crane. Technion thanks Dr. Robert Shillman, Amdocs and Rafael for their generous support. This year's contest took place on June 15, 2011 during the annual Board of Governors meeting.

VI. Breath-test for Cancer

Wouldn't it be revolutionary if doctors could sniff out cancer? Prof. Hossam Haick of the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering is developing the Na-Nose -- an artificial nose that will be able to detect cancer and other diseases at the early stages. The patient exhales into the device and with an array of nano sensors the non-invasive device will do its life saving work.

VII. Engineers Without Borders

Technion Prof. Mark Talesnick of the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Prof. Bernard Amadei of the University of Colorado discuss Engineers Without Borders and Technion's participation in this exciting international initiative.

VIII. Walk Tall

Argo Medical Technologies, established by Technion Electrical Engineering graduate Dr. Amit Goffer, develops and manufactures ReWalk™ the first commercially viable upright walking assistance tool. ReWalk enables paraplegics to stand, walk, climb stairs and drive. 


IX. Student Job Fair

Technion students and graduates are sought after by all the major companies in Israel. Twice a year they visit campus to recruit Technion graduates for full time work and students for part time positions. Fifty companies and thousands of students filled the center of the campus in June 2011.

X. A Decade since 9/11

Terrorism can strike anywhere at any time. In the decade since 9/11, scientists from Technion - Israel's top Institute of technology, have been silently at work in mapping future threats and in developing the expert solutions to safeguard our world. In an age of advanced science and technology, counter-terrorism depends on advanced solutions from the world's leading universities. At Technion, the application of excellence to affirm global home front security touches all fields, from advanced sensors to graduate-generated technology behind Israel Aerospace Industries' Arrow -- anti-ballistic missile system and Rafael's Iron Dome - the protective shield to intercept rockets.