UI Open Houses, March 11-12, 2011.

Beckman Institute, the Engineering Department, and the College of ACES all held their annual open house's on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12, 2011.

Lampmaker plans to ramp up production

CHAMPAIGN – Eden Park Illumination is producing a few hundred microplasma lamps every few weeks at its plant in west Champaign, co-founder Gary Eden said.

In the next 12 to 18 months, the company hopes to move to larger-scale production, said Eden, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois.

UI grad student wins Lemelson-MIT inventor prize

URBANA – University of Illinois graduate student Scott Daigle has won the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Illinois Student Prize, given annually to an outstanding student inventor on campus.

Daigle, a graduate student in mechanical science and engineering, started IntelliWheels Inc. to add automatic gear shifting to wheelchairs.

Champaign council gets update on 'Big Broadband'

CHAMPAIGN – Policy and technical conversations have been going on since Champaign-Urbana received a $22.5 million federal stimulus grant last year, and officials could be ready to break ground on a new high-speed Internet infrastructure by August, organizers told the city council on Tuesday.

Champaign council to be updated on Big Broadband project update this week

CHAMPAIGN – City council members will hear an update on the $24 million Big Broadband project when they meet this week as committees have been working on the details of the high-speed Internet network for months.

The council will meet in study session on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

NCSA to share in $4.5 million project

URBANA – The National Center for Supercomputing Applications will share in a $4.5 million project to help small and medium-sized manufacturers learn how to use state-of-the-art design technologies.

Douglas County: Alternate FutureGen status may help

TUSCOLA – Officials in Douglas County said on Monday they were disappointed about being passed over to host an underground storage site for carbon dioxide generated by the FutureGen coal plant.

But they also believe being named an alternate site puts the county in a prime position to host other projects.

Device failure blamed for outages in Mahomet

A mechanical device failure caused power outages Friday morning to Mahomet schools and businesses.

Leigh Morris, spokesman for Ameren Illinois, said the company had two outages
on file, both in the morning, due to mechanical device failure.

There was no evidence the outages were weather-related, according to Morris.

UI professor, others win Innovation awards

CHAMPAIGN – "Inventor extraordinaire" might be the best description of Mark Shannon.

The University of Illinois mechanical engineering professor has submitted more than two dozen inventions to the UI's Office of Technology Management over the last 14 years.

3 UI inventors to get shot at $30,000 honor

URBANA – Three University of Illinois students have been chosen as finalists for the $30,000 Lemelson MIT-Illinois Student Prize to be awarded March 9.

The prize is awarded annually to a student who has demonstrated "remarkable inventiveness and innovation."

This year's finalists are: