Texas Instruments engineers develop smart sprinkler system

Thu, Jun 4, 2015 - 11:12am

Urmil Shah, a software engineer for Texas Instruments Inc. wanted to do something to help people save water in drought-prone Texas.

So, he and fellow TI employee Michael Erdahl spent 12 weeks developing a smart sprinkler system and app that uses weather information, water usage, soil conditions, city water restrictions and other data to prevent over watering and avoid fines.

“Last year, Texas was in drought conditions and I thought, ‘How can I help save water,’ ” Shah said. He calls their system Google’s Nest smart thermostat for sprinklers.

The system can save people 20 percent to 30 percent of...

Tags: Research

Israel-Texas researchers win top desalination award

Wed, May 27, 2015 - 12:20pm

Texas is no stranger to droughts, a fact that long ago prompted local leaders to seek technologies that ensure a steady supply of water. With Israel a world leader in water technology, it was only natural that the longhorn state would team up with the Jewish state.

One of the fruits of that collaboration — a joint desalination project involving researchers from the Technion in Haifa and the University of North Texas — has won the $125,000 Desal Prize competition sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge, with support from Sida, the Swedish...

Tags: Research

Mike Nasi, guest columnist: EPA’s Clean Power Act is all pain, no gain for Texas economy, energy production

Thu, May 14, 2015 - 12:37pm

Texas’BALANCED energy portfolio is what drives our state’s economic growth and provides job security to millions. Texas energy jobs aren’t just in oil fields, mines and power plants. The affordable electricity rates provided by our diverse energy supply ensure that other employers, such as those in our vast manufacturing and technology industries, maintain and grow their operations in Texas. Our diverse energy mix keeps...

Tags: Research

UNT looking for participants for Gray Pride study

Wed, May 13, 2015 - 12:27pm

University of North Texas’ Center for Psychosocial Health Research is looking for 120 more participants in its Project Gray Pride.

A research study, which examines health and psychosocial issues in LGBT folks 50+ years old, is looking for participants. The study is intended to advance research on health and quality of life of the aging LGBT community (50+ years), an under-represented group in current research.

We hope to identify needs for the community in the areas of mental health, healthcare, social services, and legislation. All information we collect is kept strictly confidential, and the results of our study...

Odd bunch of quasars is really chowing down

Thu, May 7, 2015 - 12:21pm

According to new data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, a group of unusual giant black holes seems to be eating up excessive amounts of matter.

This new finding may help astronomers understand how the largest black holes were able to grow so rapidly in the early universe.

It also suggests that some quasars are even more adept at devouring material than scientists previously knew.

“Even for famously prodigious consumers of material, these huge black holes appear to be dining at enormous rates, at least five to ten times faster than typical quasars,” says study leader Bin Luo, a postdoctoral researcher...