Purdue research

A novel way to create sheet metal could generate big energy savings in motorized machines.

Purdue University engineers are getting a $1.5 million federal grant to begin studying the new process and its applications this summer.

The three-year project will focus on adding larger amounts of silicon to the small steel parts that help power electric motors.

Silicon helps the steel waste less electricity, says Purdue materials engineer Kevin Trumble, but adding enough to make a difference isn’t easy.

A Purdue University professor is getting nearly half a million dollars from the USDA to study how food policies creating new labels and certifications can affect prices and consumer choice.

The research received $483,000 from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture this month. It seeks to answer questions about things like GMO label requirements.

Purdue University is seeing more research funding from its corporate partners, a trend that has officials hoping they can be less reliant on public funding.

Purdue gets about a quarter of its research funding from the private sector. An average of 500 companies chip in every year.

But the school’s corporate and global partnerships officer, Dan Hirleman, says the funds those companies contribute have increased from $37 million in 2013 to as much as $55 million the past few years.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

A Purdue University researcher and her students are using store-bought spinach leaves and lasers to try to better understand photosynthesis -- that’s the process by which many plants make their food.

But Yulia Pushkar and her students have a bigger goal in mind – understanding how the plants turn sunlight into energy so much more efficiently than solar panels.

Her study of a compound known as Photosystem II could help scientists learn how to better harness the sun’s power.