August 1, 2012 marked five years since the collapse of the I-35W bridge spanning the Mississippi River, an accident that killed 13 people and injured many more. Traffic through the city of Minneapolis was disrupted for months. The new bridge, which opened in September 2008, was built containing hundreds of “Smart Bridge" sensors that allow engineers to monitor the bridge’s structural behavior. MSI Principal Investigator Catherine French (Civil Engineering) and her research group and collaborators are using MSI resources for some of the evaluation of the data produced by the sensors. A report on Professor French and her research aired on Minnesota Public Radio on the anniversary of the old bridge’s collapse. An article that mentions the new bridge also appeared in Popular Mechanics. MSI highlighted this project in the 2009 edition of the MSI Annual Research Highlights.


UMNews has profiled MSI Principal Investigator Michael Sadowsky in a recent story about the Minnesota Mississippi Metagenome Project. This project, which uses MSI resources, studies the microorganisms that live in the Mississippi River. The research team is investigating the differences in the microbes along the course of the river and how human activity affects them. 

Kenneth Beckmann, Director of the U’s Biomedical Genomics Center (BMGC), was interviewed recently on the OVPR Business blog. MSI is developing web applications for the BMGC.


MSI Principal Investigators Kent Reed (Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences) and Michael Sadowsky (Soil, Water, and Climate) and their projects are highlighted in the article. The Masonic Cancer Center, also mentioned in the article, has several researchers who use MSI.

posted July 27, 2012

George Weiblen, a curator at the Bell Museum of Natural History, is profiled on the OVPR’s Research blog. Dr. Weiblen and his team are identifying trees in 100 acres of New Guinea rain forest. MSI is currently working with Dr. Weiblen on a project to digitize collections at the Bell Museum. 


On June 27, two students visited MSI to learn about the MSI and the supercomputers. AJ (Alec) Olson and Jake Grisim, who are visually impaired, were given a tour of MSI by Yectli Huerta, HPC Systems Administrator, and Eric Badger, Student Technical Support Lead. AJ attends St. Croix Preparatory Academy and Jake attends Shakopee Middle School. Jake and AJ visited the machine room, where they learned about supercomputers and were able to touch and inspect various pieces of equipment. They are interested in careers in computers, and were eager to learn about the details of servers, networks, computer security, supercomputing hardware and software, and other details.

The students were accompanied by parents Jesse Grisim and Jill Olson and two teachers, Joya Bromeland (Teacher for Blind/Visually Impaired Students and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, St. Paul Public Schools) and Gail Morris (Teacher for Blind/Visually Impaired Students, Intermediate District 287).