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Contact: Chriss Swaney
(412) 268-5776

For immediate release:
April 5, 2001

Carnegie Mellon Institute For Complex Systems Creates New Technologies For 21st Century Economy

PITTSBURGH‹Carnegie Mellon University's Institute for Complex Engineered Systems is developing technology that will boost economic gains for several industry sectors, including many in the Pittsburgh region.

"We are working on a set of innovations that could transform the economies of a wide range of industries," said Christine Amon, institute director.

Some of those Carnegie Mellon research innovations include tissue engineering and microelectromechanical systems. Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) will enable tiny sensors, motors and pumps to be built right into microprocessors, which could have a big impact on transportation, food processing and home appliances. Industry analysts estimate use of MEMS could cut the cost of food processing by 50 percent and transportation delays by a third.

And just as chips, computers and communications propel today's booming economy, biology may be the driver of tomorrow's. Already, Carnegie Mellon researchers Phil Campbell and Kacey Marra are working in the institute's new area of tissue engineering where the ultimate goal is to repair or replace the body's failing organs. The tissue engineering project is a collaborative effort involving the College of Engineering, the School of Computer Science, the Mellon College of Science and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Researchers are using computational algorithms and advanced computing techniques to create technologies for artificial hearts and lungs. The research effort also involves improving bone repair and regeneration.

The institute's innovative edge also is evident in the newest wearable computer technology research now underway. The Spot wearable computer research is the latest attempt to turn wearable computers into wireless sensors the size of hearing aids. They are being built so they can be hidden behind a wall or embedded in clothing.

Funding for much of the institute's research comes from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance and the Center for Advanced Technology for Large Structured Systems at Lehigh University.


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