Saturday Engineering for Everyone

Saturday Engineering for Everyone is an open and free lecture series aimed at people of all backgrounds who are interested in learning about engineering.

Talks take place from 10:00-11:00 a.m. in the Grainger Auditorium (ECEB 1002), just off the lobby of the ECE Building, located at 306 N. Wright St., Urbana.

Metered parking is available on Wright Street south of University Avenue, and in the north parking structure off University Avenue between Mathews and Goodwin avenues.

Jan 1, 2024 - May 31, 2024 Spring 2024

From Illinois to the Moon: The Life and Legacy of George R. Carruthers

From Illinois to the Moon: The Life and Legacy of George R. Carruthers

Lara Waldrop

1002 Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, 306 North Wright Street, Urbana IL

Technology that Touches You Back!

Technology that Touches You Back!

Modern devices can reproduce stunning visual graphics and life-like audio, but did you know that there are new displays that can recreate the sense of touch?

Craig Shultz

1002 Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, 306 North Wright Street, Urbana IL

Teaching Robots Common Sense

Teaching Robots Common Sense

Saurabh Gupta

1002 Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, 306 North Wright Street, Urbana IL

From Nikola Tesla to TESLA: How the Electric Grid Became the Most Complex System Ever Engineered

From Nikola Tesla to TESLA: How the Electric Grid Became the Most Complex System Ever Engineered

Alejandro Dominguez-Garcia

1002 Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, 306 North Wright Street, Urbana IL

The Quantum Physics of an Ordinary Morning

The Quantum Physics of an Ordinary Morning

We tend to think of quantum mechanics as an abstract and arcane area of physics that only applies in the exotic situations found in physics labs, billion-dollar particle accelerators, or near black holes. In fact, the development of quantum physics has its roots in very mundane, everyday phenomena.

Chad Orzel

1002 Electrical and Computer Engineering Building, 306 North Wright Street, Urbana IL

Related Videos

SEE: Teaching Robots Common Sense
SEE: Teaching Robots Common Sense

ECE Assistant Professor Saurabh Gupta is working on building robots that can intelligently interact with the physical world around them. While we have artificial intelligence systems that can pass the bar exam, today’s robots are nowhere close to the physical intelligence of even 5-year olds. In this talk, we will discuss why programming robots is hard and what we can do about it.

SEE: Technology that Touches You Back!
SEE: Technology that Touches You Back!

Modern devices can reproduce stunning visual graphics and life-like audio, but did you know that there are new displays that can recreate the sense of touch?

SEE: From Illinois to the Moon - The Life and Legacy of George R. Carruthers
SEE: From Illinois to the Moon - The Life and Legacy of George R. Carruthers

Professor Lara Waldrop will discuss her NASA research project, The Carruthers Geocorona Project. The name honors Dr. George R. Carruthers, a prominent, three-time Illinois alumnus. As one of the first African American men to earn a doctorate in astrophysics, Dr. George R. Carruthers is known as a trailblazer. He invented the camera that took the first images of space, significantly improving our understanding of space and earth science.

SEE: Unleashing the invisible world of wireless signals
SEE: Unleashing the invisible world of wireless signals

Emerging applications such as smart cities, autonomous vehicles, or smart metaverse all rely on embedded systems that are engaging with the physical environment through sensors. Recent advances in wireless technologies present new promising possibilities to harness the wireless infrastructure in and around buildings and cities to act as a non-intrusive sensing platform. 

SEE: Finding Gas Pump Skimmers Using Mobile Phones
SEE: Finding Gas Pump Skimmers Using Mobile Phones

Card skimmers are small devices that can fit on top of real card readers at self-service terminals such as gas pumps or ATMs. They easily blend in with the machine, making them hard to spot. Associate Professor Kirill Levchenko and graduate student Maxwell Bland are part of a team of computer scientists who developed an app enabling state and federal inspectors to detect card skimmers installed in gas pumps or ATMs.

SEE: New directions in computer chip design
SEE: New directions in computer chip design

In this lecture, we'll talk about some chips our lab has developed that are built on plastic – they can roll, they can bend, and they may cost less than a penny. We are using these chips to enable new applications and hit new benchmarks in cost, performance, and energy efficiency.

SEE: Bardeen, Brattain, and the Point Contact Transistor to Light Emitting Transistor Structures
SEE: Bardeen, Brattain, and the Point Contact Transistor to Light Emitting Transistor Structures

Professor Dallesasse will present the history and applications of the transistor, key advances in transistor technology and the potential uses and benefits of newer applications including light-emitting transistors and the transistor-injected quantum cascade laser.

SEE: Gamifying Engineering Education: Moving the Classroom into Virtual Reality
SEE: Gamifying Engineering Education: Moving the Classroom into Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality provides a disruptive platform for teaching and learning, in an immersive, realistic and, most importantly, interactive three-dimensional environment. 

Colloquium: Protonic Non-Volatile Programmable Resistors for Analog Deep Learning
Colloquium: Protonic Non-Volatile Programmable Resistors for Analog Deep Learning

Increasing workloads of deep learning problems and a slowdown in transistor scaling progress have fueled interest in energy-efficient analog hardware accelerators in recent years.

Bioinspired Cameras: Lessons Learned from Nature and Adopted in the Operating Room
Bioinspired Cameras: Lessons Learned from Nature and Adopted in the Operating Room

Researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have returned their gaze to the natural world to develop a camera inspired by the mantis shrimp that can visualize cancer cells during surgery.

The robots are coming...to your farm
The robots are coming...to your farm

Assistant Professor Girish Chowdhary, Donald Biggar Willet Faculty Fellow of agricultural and biological engineering (ABE) and computer science (CS), has spent years developing robotic technology to improve on traditional farming practices. He is now leading an effort to improve farming practices even more by making it autonomous through artificial intelligence.

What does Earth look like from 1,000,000 miles away?
What does Earth look like from 1,000,000 miles away?

Prof. Waldrop's research explores the properties and behavior of the atmospheric boundary region that protects our habitable environment from outer space and sustains our technological infrastructure.

Improving testing for COVID-19 and other viruses
Improving testing for COVID-19 and other viruses

Rashid Bashir, a Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering and the dean of the Grainger College of Engineering at Illinois, will discuss his research into simple-to-use COVID-19 testing that doesn't require processing at a lab.

Large-scale saltwater desalination to mitigate climate change
Large-scale saltwater desalination to mitigate climate change

Prof. Allen is proposing an innovative approach to desalination that uses thermodynamics to separate ocean-water into potable water and salt.

Fun with Photons!
Hey Nemo, Can you hear me now?