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Fall 2015

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.

fired up

Power to the People

UT Arlington technology could create more efficient energy, solve power shortages 

fireworks or explosion inside a bisected light bulb

There are about 7 billion people living in the world today. Nearly a billion of them have access to electricity only intermittently, while another billion have no access at all. A team of UT Arlington researchers is addressing this problem head-on by developing a new power generator that can produce electricity 25 percent more efficiently than existing technology, reduce emissions, and potentially alleviate power shortages in remote areas of the world.

The device was created by aerospace engineering doctoral candidates Raheem Bello and James Peace, Professor Frank Lu, and Adjunct Instructor Dibesh Joshi. Their generator harnesses pressure gain combustion, also known as detonation.

“Up to 70 percent of energy is lost in current gas turbine combustion engine technology just because that technology hasn’t changed in several decades,” Bello says. “We capture the bulk of that energy more efficiently so it’s not wasted as heat in the body of the engine.”

The group formed the company Afthon to support the project. Their patented technology would be able to replace conventional engines in everything from cars to rockets to power plants.

“We’re looking for our generators to have the same impact on power that the cellphone had on communications for the 1.3 billion people without access to electricity,” Bello says.

Dr. Lu believes the technology has the potential to radically alter the world of energy: “This new energy technology can be a game-changer globally.”

Photograph by C.J. Burton/Corbis

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