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Spring 2016

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Winter 2016

    Winter 2016: Energy Evolution

    From carbon dioxide conversion to landfill mining, researchers at UTA are seeking viable alternative energy options.

  • 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.

Say What?

Safe Sounds

Engineer developing smaller hearing aid that could allow users to identify danger nearby 

Safe Sounds Illustration

About 5 percent of the world's population has disabling hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization. Electrical engineering Associate Professor Sungyong Jung hopes to help those 360 million people by improving hearing aids so they offer more power in a smaller package.

"Even the smallest standard directional hearing aids really are still too bulky and cannot reside comfortably on the user's ear for a long time," Dr. Jung says. "The new system will be highly efficient and allow the size of the hearing aid to be reduced."

Jung received a three-year grant from the Korean Electrotechnology Research Institute to build an integrated circuit for a tiny microphone that will fit inside the new hearing aids. Its design will be modeled after the Ornia ochracea, a parasitic fly with an exceptionally small auditory system.

In addition, Jung plans to construct the new integrated circuit with a direction-tracking algorithm that would allow hearing-impaired people to identify the direction where an oncoming noise—or a potentially dangerous situation—is coming from. The product will be compatible with certain electronic devices and controlled by smartphones.

"Minimizing the size while maintaining the highest level of function is a highly rewarding challenge that Dr. Jung is undertaking," says Khosrow Behbehani, dean of the College of Engineering. "His research is a wonderful example of how UTA engineering faculty and their students are developing solutions that address critical issues in the area of health and the human condition."

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

More articles from this issue

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