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Five Top Stories from 2023 (And Five You May Have Missed)

A composite image featuring a student working in a lab, students and a professor in the Plant Conservatory, a portrait of alumnus and astronaut Victor Glover and student dancers arranged in a pose during a performance.
Written By Gabby Ferreira

As 2023 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back on some of our favorite news stories from the past year. Here are five of our top stories from 2023, and five more you may have missed.

Top Stories

1. Glue Breakthrough

A professor and two students work on innovative glue in the lab.

An innovative, ecofriendly glue designed by a Cal Poly chemistry research team in collaboration with an East Coast company has been approved for a U.S. government patent.The new adhesive, which will be formally known as D-Glue, has potential to reduce landfill waste and positively impact the environment on a broad scale. 

Learn more >>>

2. Shoot for the Moon

Three students work on the autonomous rescue vehicle, which looks like a small boat, in a lab at Cal Poly.

In June, two teams of engineering students flew to Houston to compete in NASA’s Micro-g NExT (Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams) Challenge. The challenge invites student teams from around the country to design, build and test a tool or device that addresses a current challenge in space exploration. NASA doesn’t pick a winner — instead, they learn from all the prototypes as they develop solutions for future missions.

Read more about the challenge >>>


3. Early Wildfire Warning

A wildfire blazes in the mountains of California.

Two Cal Poly professors recently secured a patent for their innovative approach in curbing wildfire spread, which leverages equipment within power grids to detect a blaze a mile away from the transmission line in under a minute. The approach is already attracting significant interest from utility companies.

Read more about their innovative method >>>

4. Part of A Global Fight

Student Sal Deguara wears protective lab gear as he examines a chemical compound.

Fourth-year chemistry student Sal Deguara works on modifying compounds that could one day be used in the global fight against both Ebola and anthrax. Deguara, who works with chemistry professor Scott Eagon, is the most recent student to be involved in this research, which has been ongoing for a few years.

Learn more about Deguara's project >>>

5. Mustangs in Space

Alumnus Victor Glover wears a blue NASA flight suit and crosses his arms as he poses for a portrait.

In April, alumnus Victor Glover was named the pilot of the crew that will travel around the moon on Artemis II, the first crewed mission on NASA’s path to establishing a long-term lunar presence for science and exploration.

Read more about Victor Glover's upcoming mission >>>

Stories You May Have Missed

1. Rise of the Robots?

An AI-generated picture of a robot typing at a computer.

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to advance, Cal Poly News turned to English professor Deb Donig for her expertise. Donig, cofounder of Cal Poly's Ethical Technology Initiative, gave her insight on the ethical implications of AI, specifically ChatGPT.

Read our conversation with Donig >>>

2. Falling Forward

A dancer is lifted up by other dancers and strikes a graceful pose.

Orchesis Dance Company’s winter concert, “Falling Forward,” explored gravity, inertia and unbridled expression. In addition to the spectacle, the show serves a capstone experience for students in the Theatre and Dance Department, paralleling the artistic and technical rigor a professional dancer undergoes in preparation for a concert.

Read about the winter 2023 concert here >>>

3. Green Vision

Professor Jenn Yost works with two students in the Plant Conservatory.

Take a peek inside the new Cal Poly Plant Conservatory, which features greenhouses showcasing three distinct growing environments and plants from around the world. 

See photos of the conservatory >>>


4. Olive This Research

Grad student Ningjing Hua wears laboratory gear while conducting olive research.

Food science graduate student Ningjing Hua and fourth-year food science student Kiveli Pandelidis are studying whether the waste from olive production could be used to make biomethane, a clean-burning energy source.  

Learn more about their work >>>


5. Beat the Heat

Students present their tree canopy research to a professor, who is sitting.

Over the summer, a group of students embarked on a project to map California's tree canopy cover, which could ultimately help city managers across the state locate areas in need and help offset the heat island effect, which warms cities.

Read more here >>>