The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather


    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower


    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships


    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

6 days ago

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO cites UAH research collaboration in keynote speech

(Michael Mercier/UAH)

University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) research that identified 125 naturally occurring compounds with computational potential for efficacy against the COVID-19 virus was part of a keynote speech by Antonio Neri, president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), at the HPE Discover event on Tuesday, June 23.

Neri cited the research collaboration between HPE and Dr. Jerome Baudry’s team in UAH’s Baudry Lab.

The UAH team used donated time on the HPE Sentinel supercomputer to assess the potential treatment efficacy of naturally occurring compounds against the proteins made by COVID-19 in the first such research using a supercomputer to speed results. Dr. Baudry (pronounced Bō-dre) is a molecular biophysicist and the Mrs. Pei-Ling Chan Chair in the Department of Biological Sciences.


In his keynote, Neri told over 100,000 registrants from the computing, scientific and business worlds that the HPE collaboration with Dr. Baudry “allowed his research team to deliver results in weeks versus months or years.”

Concurrent with Neri’s keynote, a seven minute and 17 second video interview with Dr. Baudry that was conducted on the UAH campus on May 23 was presented on demand to participants.

In the first test batch 50,000 naturally occurring compounds were tested for efficacy against the proteins made by COVID-19. The Baudry Lab still has over 350,000 naturally occurring compounds to test in future batches.

Promising compounds will undergo a computational technique called pharmacophore analysis to find what the chemicals have in common and flag chemical features important for future research.

After that, the next phase for the compounds is in vitro testing by a partner laboratory that will use live virus and live cells. Those chemical molecules found most efficacious will form the basis for future drug research and development processes that include testing for efficacy, tolerance and adverse effects in human trials. That process might also include chemical modifications to make the drug more efficient, better tolerated or both.

Located in UAH’s Shelby Center for Science and Technology, the lab is searching for potential precursors to drugs that will help combat the global pandemic.

(Courtesy of UAH)

9 months ago

Nobel laureate to speak on ‘Probing the Universe with Gravitational Waves’


Dr. Rainer Weiss, a 2017 Nobel laureate in physics, will speak about “Probing the Universe with Gravitational Waves” on Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. in Room 100 of the Material Sciences Building at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Dr. Weiss will discuss how the observations of gravitational waves from the mergers of compact binary sources opens a new way to learn about the universe. Sponsored by the UAH Department of Physics & Astronomy, his lecture will describe some of the difficult history of gravitational waves, which were first proposed about 100 years ago. The talk will end with a vision for the future of gravitational wave astronomy.


Best known for inventing the laser interferometric technique used in 2016 by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) to detect gravitational waves for the first time, Dr. Weiss shares the Nobel Prize with Dr. Kip Thorne and Dr. Barry C. Barish “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.”

He is a professor of physics emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University (LSU). He was chair of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) Science Working Group.