Technology Today Podcast launched in November 2018, offering a new way to listen and learn about the technology, science, engineering and research impacting our lives and changing our world. The podcast is presented by Southwest Research Institute, a nonprofit contract R&D organization developing innovative solutions for government and industry clients. Podcast host Lisa Peña is breaking through the tech jargon and talking to the scientists, engineers and researchers building the future of technology. It’s a conversation bringing tech to life and helping us understand how technology, science, engineering and research link to our daily lives.
Episode 30: Recycling Plastic for Fuel
Earth Day is April 22. This month, we’re learning about an Earth-friendly recycling technique turning piles of plastic into useful chemicals and fuels. Billions of tons of plastic are discarded in landfills. Much of it ends up in oceans in places like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Irresponsibly dumped plastics disrupt the environment and harm wildlife. A team at SwRI has a solution. They are fine tuning a process to turn mountains of plastics into an oil, which can then be turned back into plastic, other chemicals or fuels. They are also helping big companies enter a new era in plastics recycling.
Listen now as SwRI Chemical Engineer Eloy Flores discusses pyrolysis for plastics, a new way to recycle and clean up the planet.
Episode 29: Floodlight™ and Searchlight™
Machine learning is powering cutting-edge software tools, Floodlight™ and Searchlight™, helping chemists sift through an overflow of data. Chemists look for chemical signals in samples of food, drugs, personal care products, carpeting, upholstery and other items we use every day. Identifying these signals and studying these chemical fingerprints could improve health and safety by creating better products and better public policies. Floodlight and Searchlight are speeding up this process, churning out weeks of work in a fraction of the time and saving chemists from data overload.
Listen now as SwRI Analytical Chemist Kristin Favela and SwRI Computer Scientist Michael Hartnett discuss how they combined their expertise to create these fast and precise machine learning tools.
Episode 28: Transformative, Powerful 5G
You may already have a phone or device equipped with fifth-generation mobile network technology — 5G. But 5G applications extend way beyond talk and text. 5G technology processes data at never-before-reached speeds, and we’ve only scratched the surface of what it can actually do. Our guest today is an SwRI 5G expert collaborating with the military to strengthen 5G security and explore its potential in health care. He tells us faster phone service, accessible virtual reality applications and high-intensity gaming are just the beginning. This powerful mobile network will eventually change lives and save lives.
Listen now as SwRI 5G developer Jody Little discusses the capabilities and possibilities of 5G technology.
Episode 27: Finding a COVID Cure
SwRI scientists have pinpointed a potential drug therapy in the search for a COVID cure. After screening millions of drug compounds using SwRI’s Rhodium software, they have narrowed down the field to one strong hit with a family of related therapies. After testing is complete, their treatment could halt the virus and save lives. A scientist on the inside explains how they sifted through millions to find the one, what new virus strains mean for their research and what must happen before the therapy can be authorized to treat COVID patients.
Listen now as SwRI Scientist Dr. Jonathan Bohmann explains the process of finding a COVID cure.
Episode 26: 2020 Top Listen and Learn Moments
2020 has been an unprecedented, unpredictable year. As many transitioned to working from home, we changed how we record our podcast, but our goal to bring you meaningful discussions on technology, science, engineering and research remained the same. This year, we covered hypersonic speed, COVID-19 research, mask testing, asteroid exploration, cybersecurity awareness and much more.
Listen now as we review our year and highlight our top listen and learn moments of 2020.
Episode 25: SwRI’s 2020 R&D 100 Award Winners
The “Oscar of Innovation” goes to…
R&D World Magazine recognized SwRI’s Laser Coating Removal (LCR) Robot and the System Performance and Real Time Analysis (SPARTA) software, with prestigious 2020 R&D 100 awards. Often called the “Oscars of Innovation,” the awards recognize the top 100 revolutionary technologies each year. Since 1971, SwRI has won 47 R&D 100 awards.
The LCR Robot removes paint and coatings from aircraft, eliminating the need for costly, time-consuming and potentially hazardous manual removal. SwRI Engineer and Director Paul Evans discusses the robot’s impact on the aircraft industry. SPARTA software is on the frontlines of electronic warfare, protecting U.S. fighter jet crews. SwRI Staff Engineer Finley Hicks explains how the breakthrough software thoroughly tests critical safety systems.
Great & informative!
Really interesting interviews. Thanks!