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The World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies has released what it calls the "10 most promising technology trends that can help deliver sustainable growth in future decades, as global population and material demands on the environment continue to rise rapidly."
The University of Michigan is at the forefront of research and development in a number of areas that are featured among the technology breakthroughs the council described as "nearing large-scale deployment." The university also has a number of experts in this technology.
U-M School of Public Health Professor Andrew Maynard is a member of the council that identified the tech trends for this year.
"A sustainable future demands smart technology development," he said. "The council's top 10 technology trends provide unique insight into up-and-coming innovations that could change the world for the better. The challenge is to ensure responsible development that improves lives and stimulates economies without creating new problems for the next generation."
The trends named by the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies are:
-OnLine electric vehicles
-3-D printing and remote manufacturing
-Energy-efficient water purification
-Carbon dioxide conversion and use
-Enhanced nutrition to drive health at the molecular level
-Precise drug delivery through nanoscale engineering
-Organic electronics and photovoltaics
-Fourth-generation reactors and nuclear waste recycling
U-M experts and projects that fit with these trends:
OnLine Electric Vehicles
Bruce Belzowski, assistant research scientist in automotive analysis at the U-M Transportation Research Institute, is an authority on the North American and global auto industry, alternative powertrains and automotive information technology. He can be reached at (734) 936-2704 or .
Peter Sweatman, director of the U-M Transportation Research Institute and head of UMTRI's ITS Integration Group, is an expert on connected-vehicle technologies and sustainable transportation. He can be reached at (734) 936-2070 or .
Jim Sayer, research scientist in human factors at the U-M Transportation Research Institute, specializes in the areas of driver assistance, collision avoidance and advanced safety systems development, and is project manager for the U.S. DOT's Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment. He can be reached at (734) 764-4159 or .
3-D printing and remote manufacturing
Scott Hollister, associate professor of oral surgery at the U-M Medical School and professor of biomedical engineering at the College of Engineering, can discuss 3-D printing in health care. He uses the technique to make materials for tissue reconstruction. He has worked on a tracheal reconstruction device for children, and on materials for complex facial reconstruction. He can be reached at (734-647-9962 or .
Victor Li, professor of civil and environmental engineering and materials science and engineering, can discuss self-healing materials. He has developed a self-healing, bendable concrete designed to bend and crack in narrow hairlines rather than break and split in wide gaps, as traditional concrete behaves. It could lead to safer, more durable infrastructure. Watch a video about it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvpoe_6KwEU. He can be reached at (734) 764-3368 or .
Enhanced nutrition to drive health at the molecular level
Dana Dolinoy, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the School of Public Health, explores how environmental exposure to chemical, nutritional and behavioral factors alters gene expression and affects health and disease. The American Society for Nutrition selected Dolinoy as the 2011 recipient of the Kretchmer Award, given to a young investigator for a substantial body of independent research with potential relevance to improving child health. She can be reached at .
Sharon Kardia, professor of epidemiology, looks at gene-environment and gene-gene interactions and the development of novel analytical strategies to understand the complex relationship between genetic variation, environmental variation and risk of common chronic diseases. Kardia is director of the U-M Life Sciences and Society program, which focuses on the need for society to address the social and ethical implications of the revolution in the life sciences. She can be reached at (734) 763-1871 or .
Peter Mancuso, associate professor of environmental health sciences and faculty member of the graduate program in immunology at the School of Public Health, is an interdisciplinary scientist who brings expertise in physiology and immunology to study the effects of environmental factors (tobacco smoke exposure), nutrition and obesity on molecular mechanisms that impact pulmonary host defense against infection. Prior to his career in academia, Mancuso was employed as a food scientist in research and development in the food industry. He can be reached at (734) 615-5158 or .
Precise drug delivery through nanoscale engineering
Lola Eniola-Adefeso, assistant professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, can discuss precise drug delivery through nanoscale engineering. She has recently discovered that nanoparticles—popular candidates for ferrying drugs—have a major weakness: they get trapped in the bloodstream. For more information, go to che.engin.umich.edu/college/about/news/stories/2013/february/drugcarrier. She can be reached at (734) 936-0856 or .
Organic electronics and photovoltaics
Stephen Forrest, vice president for research and a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, physics and materials science and engineering, can discuss organic electronics and photovoltaics. Among his advances are efficient organic LEDs for displays. He can be reached at (734) 647-1147 or .
Max Shtein, associate professor of materials science and engineering and chemical engineering, can discuss organic electronics and photovoltaics. He has conducted research on organic semiconductors and the design and fabrication of organic semiconductor solar cells, transistors and LEDs. He can be reached at (734) 764-4312 or .
Kamal Sarabandi, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, can discuss remote sensing. His research involves using microwave and millimeter-wave remote sensing in satellites to measure vegetation, soil moisture and snow, and in smaller systems for collision avoidance and self-driving cars, as well as for detecting concealed weapons. He can be reached at (734) 936-1575 or .
Fawwaz Ulaby, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, can discuss remote sensing. Ulaby has directed numerous NASA-funded projects aimed at developing high-resolution satellite radar sensors for mapping Earth's terrestrial environment. He can be reached at (734) 647-1789 or .
Edward Zellers, professor of environmental health sciences and chemistry, is developing new chemical sensing technologies that are miniaturized, wireless instrumentation for measuring low concentrations of volatile organic compounds for indoor-air quality assessments, personal-exposure monitoring, breath analysis and ambient air pollution mapping. Zellers and colleagues have recently developed prototype microsystems and field tested them in homes suffering from vapor intrusion from contaminated groundwater. He can be reached at (734) 936-0766 or .
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Laurel Thomas Gnagey
Nicole Casal Moore
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