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UC San Diego Engineering Ranks #9 in U.S. News and World Report Best Engineering Schools Rankings

UC San Diego Engineering Ranks #9 in U.S. News and World Report Best Engineering Schools Rankings

March 30, 2021

For the second year in a row, the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has ranked #9 in the nation in the influential U.S. News & World Report Rankings of Best Engineering Schools.    Full Story


Why Commercialization of Carbon Capture and Sequestration has Failed and How it Can Work

Why Commercialization of Carbon Capture and Sequestration has Failed and How it Can Work

March 22, 2021

There are 12 essential attributes that explain why commercial carbon capture and sequestration projects succeed or fail in the U.S., University of California San Diego researchers say in a recent study published in Environmental Research Letters.    Full Story


Three-layered masks most effective against large respiratory droplets

Three-layered masks most effective against large respiratory droplets

March 5, 2021

Researchers have shown that three-layered surgical masks are more effective than single or double-layered masks at stopping large droplets from a cough or sneeze from penetrating through the mask. Full Story


Human-centered mobility and transportation options for disadvantaged communities is the goal of new partnership

Human-centered mobility and transportation options for disadvantaged communities is the goal of new partnership

February 24, 2021

The University of California San Diego is teaming up with several community-based organizations and the San Diego Association of Governments to improve access to transportation for the county’s low-income and underserved neighborhoods. The team is adopting a human-centered design approach to their work to try and repair the harm done by car-oriented transportation policies of the past.    Full Story


Engineer inducted into prestigious biomedical institution

Engineer inducted into prestigious biomedical institution

February 22, 2021

Padmini Rangamani, a professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering, has been inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). She was recognized for outstanding contributions to multiscale computational modeling of cellular mechanobiology including spatial signal transduction and membrane trafficking processes.   Full Story


This robot doesn't need any electronics

This robot doesn't need any electronics

February 17, 2021

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have created a four-legged soft robot that doesn’t need any electronics to work. The robot only needs a constant source of pressurized air for all its functions, including its controls and locomotion systems. The team, led by Michael T. Tolley, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, details its findings in the Feb. 17, 2021 issue of the journal Science Robotics.   Full Story


Engineers earn NASA grant to enable flying taxis

Engineers earn NASA grant to enable flying taxis

February 12, 2021

A futuristic system of flying taxis and shuttles is one step closer to reality thanks to a team of engineers led by UC San Diego. They received a $5.8 million grant from NASA to create computational design tools that will help US companies develop more efficient air taxi designs. Full Story


In Memoriam: Juan C. Lasheras, Distinguished Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor

In Memoriam: Juan C. Lasheras, Distinguished Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor

February 9, 2021

Juan C. Lasheras, University of California San Diego distinguished professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Bioengineering, passed away on February 1, 2021 after a brief battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.   Full Story


Islands without structure inside metal alloys could lead to tougher materials for transportation, energy and defense

Islands without structure inside metal alloys could lead to tougher materials for transportation, energy and defense

January 29, 2021

An international team of researchers produced islands of amorphous, non-crystalline material inside a class of new metal alloys known as high-entropy alloys. This discovery opens the door to applications in everything from landing gears, to pipelines, to automobiles. The new materials could make these lighter, safer, and more energy efficient.   Full Story


A call to end funding discrimination against Black scientists in the United States

A call to end funding discrimination against Black scientists in the United States

January 26, 2021

Representatives from a network of women deans, chairs and distinguished faculty in biomedical engineering are calling upon the National Institutes of Health and other funding agencies to address disparities in allocating support to Black researchers.  The group made the call to action in the Jan. 26, 2021 issue of the journal Cell.    Full Story


Ten suggestions for female faculty and staff during the pandemic

Ten suggestions for female faculty and staff during the pandemic

January 21, 2021

“Ten simple rules for women principal investigators during a pandemic,” was published recently in PLOS Computational Biology.  It’s perhaps important to note that despite its title, the article is careful to say that the cardinal rule is that there are no rules. So all 10 points outlined are in fact suggestions. Also despite its title, Rangamani says most of the 10 points outlined in the publication can apply to all caregivers juggling work and caregiving during the pandemic.    Full Story


Remembering UC San Diego engineering professor Siavouche Nemat-Nasser

Remembering UC San Diego engineering professor Siavouche Nemat-Nasser

January 13, 2021

University of California San Diego engineering professor emeritus Siavouche "Sia" Nemat-Nasser passed away on January 4, 2021 due to complications of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). He was 84 years old. Professor Nemat-Nasser was a Distinguished Professor of Mechanics and Materials in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. He officially retired from UC San Diego in 2019 but remained active as a researcher through his Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials (CEAM). Full Story


Ocean acidification is transforming California mussel shells

Ocean acidification is transforming California mussel shells

January 11, 2021

Comparing new data with samples collected in the 1950s, UC San Diego researchers found that ocean acidification is transforming the composition of California mussel shells from mostly the mineral aragonite to the mineral calcite. Full Story


Jacobs School alumni kickstart Dean's Scholars of Excellence program

Jacobs School alumni kickstart Dean's Scholars of Excellence program

December 15, 2020

Education is the great equalizer. Jacobs School of Engineering alumni Mary Bui-Pham and Dan Pham have seen this play out in their own lives, and have donated the funds to endow a scholarship supporting students with outstanding academic merit, including students who have made or show potential to contribute to diversity, equity and inclusion; first generation; and low-income engineering students. Their gift launched the larger Jacobs School of Engineering Dean’s Scholars of Excellence program, a school-wide scholarship program meant to advance equal access to a Jacobs School education. Full Story


Passing of Shao-chi Lin, Professor Emeritus of Engineering at UC San Diego

Passing of Shao-chi Lin, Professor Emeritus of Engineering at UC San Diego

December 11, 2020

Shao-chi Lin, Professor Emeritus of Engineering at the University of California San Diego, died on October 8, 2020 at the age of 95. He is remembered by former students and colleagues as a talented and caring teacher, mentor and researcher; and an active member of the campus community.   Full Story


Researchers discover a new superhighway system in the Solar System

December 9, 2020

Researchers have discovered a new superhighway network to travel through the Solar System much faster than was previously possible. Such routes can drive comets and asteroids near Jupiter to Neptune’s distance  in under a decade and to 100 astronomical units in less than a century. Accordingly, they could be used to send spacecraft to the far reaches of our planetary system relatively fast, and to monitor and understand near-Earth objects that might collide with our planet.   Full Story


Veterans Day 2020 at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

Veterans Day 2020 at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

November 10, 2020

In recognition of Veterans Day, the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering is sharing the stories of two student veterans (electrical engineer Jack Bae and aerospace engineer Jeffrey Sei), while building for the future.  Full Story


IROS 2020: Autonomous mail delivery, robots practicing bartending, and more

IROS 2020: Autonomous mail delivery, robots practicing bartending, and more

November 5, 2020

From autonomous vehicles to robots practicing bartending and insect-like robots, engineers at the University of California San Diego are showcasing a broad range of pacers at IROS 2020, which is being held virtually from Oct. 25 to Nov. 25.    Full Story


$39 Million to better integrate renewables into power grid

$39 Million to better integrate renewables into power grid

October 28, 2020

The National Science Foundation has awarded $39 million to a team of engineers and computer scientists at the University of California San Diego to build a first-of-its-kind testbed to better understand how to integrate distributed energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, smart buildings and electric vehicle batteries into the power grid. The goal is to make the testbed available to outside research teams and industry by 2025.    Full Story


This 'squidbot' jets around and takes pics of coral and fish

This 'squidbot' jets around and takes pics of coral and fish

October 5, 2020

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have built a squid-like robot that can swim untethered, propelling itself by generating jets of water. The robot carries its own power source inside its body. It can also carry a sensor, such as a camera, for underwater exploration. Full Story


Material scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift

Material scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift

September 24, 2020

A new 3D-printing method will make it easier to manufacture and control the shape of soft robots, artificial muscles and wearable devices. Researchers at UC San Diego show that by controlling the printing temperature of liquid crystal elastomer, or LCE, they can control the material’s degree of stiffness and ability to contract--also known as degree of actuation.  What’s more, they are able to change the stiffness of different areas in the same material by exposing it to heat. Full Story


Engineering graduate students honored as Siebel Scholars

Engineering graduate students honored as Siebel Scholars

September 23, 2020

Five Jacobs School of Engineering graduate students pioneering tools to treat rare genetic disorders, studying microbes in cancer, developing noninvasive wearable biosensors, studying the physical principles underlying cell membrane deformation, and developing noninvasive methods for evaluating cardiovascular function, have been named 2021 Siebel Scholars. Full Story


Making space weather forecasts faster and better

Making space weather forecasts faster and better

September 16, 2020

 To improve the ability to forecast space weather, a multidisciplinary team of researchers, including Professor Boris Kramer at the University of California San Diego, received $3.1 million from the National Science Foundation. The researchers, led by Professor Richard Linares at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will also work on speeding up the forecasting abilities that are currently available. Full Story


Eight teams of engineers and physicians work to tackle COVID-19 related challenges

Eight teams of engineers and physicians work to tackle COVID-19 related challenges

August 20, 2020

The Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine program at UC San Diego is supporting eight COVID-19 related projects in early stages with microgrants. The program is a collaboration between the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute and the Institute of Engineering in Medicine launched in 2013 to bring engineers and clinicians together to develop innovative technologies and solve challenging problems in medical care.  Full Story


UC San Diego named 4th best public research university in prestigious global rankings

UC San Diego named 4th best public research university in prestigious global rankings

August 17, 2020

Shanghai rankings celebrate campus as a world-renowned research powerhouse. Full Story


Engineer Earns Presidential Award for Improving Underrepresented Student Access to STEM Experiences

Engineer Earns Presidential Award for Improving Underrepresented Student Access to STEM Experiences

August 7, 2020

Olivia Graeve, a UC San Diego professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the White House. The award was created in 1995 to honor extraordinary individuals whose efforts have helped provide underrepresented groups with access to opportunities in STEM. Full Story


A Prototype for Help in the Fight Against COVID-19

A Prototype for Help in the Fight Against COVID-19

July 23, 2020

In the midst of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that had UC San Diego researchers racing to understand the complexities around the virus’s spread and to find ways to combat it, engineers and fabrication specialists at the Qualcomm Institute’s Prototyping Lab leapt into action. Vacuum exhaused isolation lockers, or VEILs, produced in the Prototyping Lab are ready to be delivered to local hospitals. Full Story


Engineer and mathematician receive Newton Award for Transformative Ideas during COVID-19 pandemic

Engineer and mathematician receive Newton Award for Transformative Ideas during COVID-19 pandemic

July 21, 2020

Two UC San Diego professors—Melvin Leok from the Department of Mathematics (Division of Physical Sciences) and Boris Kramer from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Jacobs School of Engineering) are among the 13 award recipients of the Newton Award for Transformative Ideas during the COVID-19 Pandemic from the Department of Defense.  Full Story


New model connects respiratory droplet physics with spread of Covid-19

New model connects respiratory droplet physics with spread of Covid-19

July 20, 2020

Respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze travel farther and last longer in humid, cold climates than in hot, dry ones, according to a study on droplet physics by an international team of engineers. The researchers incorporated this understanding of the impact of environmental factors on droplet spread into a new mathematical model that can be used to predict the early spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19, and the role of respiratory droplets in that spread.  Full Story


$18M Boost to Materials Science Research at UC San Diego

$18M Boost to Materials Science Research at UC San Diego

July 9, 2020

The National Science Foundation has awarded University of California San Diego researchers a six-year $18 million grant to fund a new Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). These research centers are transformative for the schools that earn them, putting their materials science research efforts into the global spotlight. In addition to research and facilities funding, MRSEC centers provide sustained research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students, and resources to focus on diversifying the pool of students studying materials science. The UC San Diego labs funded by this new MRSEC will focus on two important, emerging approaches to build new materials aimed at improving human lives. Full Story


UC San Diego NanoEngineers to lead MRSEC research thrust on Predictive Assembly

UC San Diego NanoEngineers to lead MRSEC research thrust on Predictive Assembly

July 8, 2020

In some ways, the field of materials science is where the pharmaceutical sciences were twenty years ago. A team of University of California San Diego researchers is working to change that. The team makes up the "predictive assembly" research thrust of the new $18M Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Today, computational and predictive tools are used in the pharmaceutical industry in order to design "small molecule" drugs with particular properties and behaviors. The challenge is that the design-before-you-synthesize approach hasn't worked for the larger-scale materials that are critical for many applications beyond small-molecule drugs. That's the work that will be done by the team led by nanoengineering professors Andrea Tao and Tod Pascal from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Full Story


Creating an engineering senior design project...at home

Creating an engineering senior design project...at home

July 2, 2020

Curbside delivery of 3D-printed parts, the cooperation of roommates, weekend build sessions in Riverside and communication, communication, communication. This is what it took for graduating engineering students, staff and faculty at UC San Diego to transition the hands-on, team-based capstone mechanical engineering design course to remote instruction in the age of COVID-19. Full Story


Researchers develop low-cost, easy-to-use emergency ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Researchers develop low-cost, easy-to-use emergency ventilator for COVID-19 patients

June 23, 2020

A team of engineers and physicians at the University of California San Diego has developed a low-cost, easy-to-use emergency ventilator for COVID-19 patients that is built around a ventilator bag usually found in ambulances.  The team built an automated system around the bag and brought down the cost of an emergency ventilator to just $500 per unit--state of the art models cost at least $50,000. The device's components can be rapidly fabricated  and the ventilator can be assembled in just 15 minutes. The device’s electronics and sensors rely on a robust supply chain from fields not related to healthcare that are unlikely to be affected by shortages.   Full Story


Using LEGO to test children's ability to visualize and rotate 3D shapes in space

Using LEGO to test children's ability to visualize and rotate 3D shapes in space

June 18, 2020

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed a test that uses children’s ability to assemble LEGO pieces to assess their spatial visualization ability. Spatial visualization is the ability to visualize 3D shapes in one’s mind, which is tied to increased GPAs and graduation rates in STEM college students.  Full Story


How Stimulus Dollars are Spent will Affect Emissions for Decades

How Stimulus Dollars are Spent will Affect Emissions for Decades

June 11, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have led to a record crash in emissions. But it will be emission levels during the recovery—in the months and years after the pandemic recedes—that matter most for how global warming plays out, according to a new Nature commentary from researchers at the University of California San Diego. While the skies have been noticeably cleaner, countries like the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and others have recently relaxed laws controlling pollution and vehicle energy efficiency standards. Full Story


Graduating students honored with engineering Awards of Excellence

Graduating students honored with engineering Awards of Excellence

June 11, 2020

Six students were selected from among their peers to receive an Award of Excellence for their outstanding academic, leadership and community contributions.  Full Story


These flexible feet help robots walk faster

These flexible feet help robots walk faster

June 1, 2020

Roboticists at the University of California San Diego have developed flexible feet that can help robots walk up to 40 percent faster on uneven terrain such as pebbles and wood chips. The work has applications for search-and-rescue missions as well as space exploration. Full Story


Making matter out of light: high-power laser simulations point the way

Making matter out of light: high-power laser simulations point the way

May 28, 2020

A few minutes into the life of the universe, colliding emissions of light energy created the first particles of matter and antimatter. We are familiar with the reverse process—matter generating energy—which occurs in an atomic bomb, for example, but it has been difficult to recreate that critical transformation of light into matter. Now, a new set of simulations by a research team led by UC San Diego’s Alexey Arefiev point the way toward making matter from light. Full Story


Engineers develop low-cost, high-accuracy GPS-like system for flexible medical robots

Engineers develop low-cost, high-accuracy GPS-like system for flexible medical robots

May 18, 2020

Roboticists at the University of California San Diego have developed an affordable, easy to use system to track the location of flexible surgical robots inside the human body. The system performs as well as current state of the art methods, but is much less expensive. Many current methods also require exposure to radiation, while this system does not. The system was developed by Tania Morimoto, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, and mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Connor Watson. Their findings are published in the April 2020 issue of IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.   Full Story


Undergraduate engineers design neonatal ECMO simulation

Undergraduate engineers design neonatal ECMO simulation

May 11, 2020

In collaboration with physicians and surgeons at Rady Children’s Hospital, a team of undergraduate mechanical engineering students developed a neonatal simulation system for a critical and rare surgical procedure called ECMO. They developed this realistic simulation system- believed to be the first for neonatal patients—for their senior design project.  Full Story


Students harness their knowledge for ventilator challenge

Students harness their knowledge for ventilator challenge

April 28, 2020

Two groups of engineering students at UC San Diego spent their spring break harnessing their knowledge to contribute to the ventilator shortage the world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Full Story


Undergraduates simplify intubation tool for senior design project

Undergraduates simplify intubation tool for senior design project

April 16, 2020

A team of UC San Diego undergraduate engineers helped design a simple, all-in-one tool to perform endotracheal intubations, which could simplify the steps clinicians need to take when performing the time-sensitive, complex procedure. The mechanical engineering students took on the challenge as their senior design project, with direction from project sponsor Dr. Taylor Graber of the Department of Anesthesiology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.  Full Story


Economic Impact of COVID-19 will Make the Fight Against Climate Change Harder

Economic Impact of COVID-19 will Make the Fight Against Climate Change Harder

April 15, 2020

Measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus have reduced the demand for fuel and slashed oil prices. Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the chief long-term cause of climate warming, have slid perhaps by one-fifth and pollution is down, but can we expect COVID-19 to create lasting change in reversing global warming?“I doubt it,” said David Victor, professor of international relations at the University of California San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. “While the pandemic might alter societies permanently, the same market forces that drive our dependence on fossil fuels are still in play and may even be reinforced with the economic fallout of COVID-19.” Full Story


Thanks to 'flexoskeletons,' these insect-inspired robots are faster and cheaper to make

Thanks to 'flexoskeletons,' these insect-inspired robots are faster and cheaper to make

April 8, 2020

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a new method that doesn’t require any special equipment and works in just minutes to create soft, flexible, 3D-printed robots. The structures were inspired by insect exoskeletons, which have both soft and rigid parts--the researchers called their creations “flexoskeletons.”    Full Story


Company founded by engineering alumni advances 1-hour COVID test

Company founded by engineering alumni advances 1-hour COVID test

April 7, 2020

Medical diagnostic company Fluxergy, founded by UC San Diego engineering alumni, submitted an Emergency Use Authorization to the FDA for their quick, point-of-care COVID-19 test. Full Story


UC San Diego Engineers and Doctors Team Up to Retrofit and Build Ventilators

UC San Diego Engineers and Doctors Team Up to Retrofit and Build Ventilators

March 26, 2020

Even as university campuses close across the nation in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, a team of engineers and physicians at the University of California San Diego is rapidly developing simple, ready-to-use ventilators to be deployed if the need arises.The project kick-started several weeks ago when news started to trickle in that communities in Northern Italy with widespread COVID-19 were in dire straits.“One of the biggest things we heard was that there weren’t enough ventilators to treat all of the patients coming into the hospitals,” said James Friend, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego. “It’s clear that if we’re not careful, we might end up in the same situation.” Full Story


This wearable device camouflages its wearer no matter the weather

This wearable device camouflages its wearer no matter the weather

February 21, 2020

Researchers at the University of California San Diego developed a wearable technology that can hide its wearer from heat-detecting sensors such as night vision goggles, even when the ambient temperature changes--a feat that current state of the art technology cannot match.  The technology can adapt to temperature changes in just a few minutes, while keeping the wearer comfortable.  Full Story


Ultrasound device improves charge time and run time in lithium batteries

Ultrasound device improves charge time and run time in lithium batteries

February 18, 2020

Researchers at the University of California San Diego developed an ultrasound-emitting device that brings lithium metal batteries, or LMBs, one step closer to commercial viability. Although the research team focused on LMBs, the device can be used in any battery, regardless of chemistry.   Full Story


Lim(b)itless in India: UC San Diego Students Travel Abroad to Empower Amputees

Lim(b)itless in India: UC San Diego Students Travel Abroad to Empower Amputees

February 6, 2020

In November, 2019, 10 UC San Diego students filed into a bustling amputee clinic in Jaipur, India. On one side of the room, men and women, some bearing crutches, watched as their new limbs took shape under the staff’s careful hands. For many of them, a prosthetic limb represented the chance to regain their mobility, independence and livelihoods. The students’ visit to the Jaipur Foot clinic—a non-profit known around the world for providing affordable, prosthetic limbs and other mobility aids to those in need—marked more than a year of painstaking work to develop technology connecting amputees directly to prosthetists. The work is part of Project Lim(b)itless, an initiative founded by Albert Lin, a recent amputee and researcher at the Qualcomm Institute (QI) at UC San Diego. Full Story


Passion drives True Tritons to service

Passion drives True Tritons to service

January 30, 2020

From creating scholarships and providing leadership, to student mentoring and preserving the arts, four shining examples of Triton passion and commitment will be honored Feb. 7 at UC San Diego’s True Triton Celebration to be held in the Great Hall on campus. Full Story


Mechanical engineering student awarded Brooke Owens Fellowship

Mechanical engineering student awarded Brooke Owens Fellowship

January 24, 2020

Surya Vohra, a mechanical engineering student at UC San Diego, has been selected as a 2020 Brooke Owens Fellow. The Fellowship is awarded to exceptional undergraduate women in aerospace. This marks the fourth year—since the beginning of the Brooke Owens Fellow program—that a UC San Diego engineering student has been awarded a fellowship.  Full Story


Engineering professor Graeve inducted into Mexican Academy of Sciences

Engineering professor Graeve inducted into Mexican Academy of Sciences

January 16, 2020

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Olivia Graeve has been inducted into the Academia Mexicana de Ciencias (Mexican Academy of Sciences or AMC). The AMC, established in 1959, is a non-profit non-governmental association of distinguished members of the Mexican scientific community. Graeve, a Tijuana native and UC San Diego alumna, is one of only three corresponding members inducted in 2019. Corresponding members are researchers who reside outside of Mexico but have made significant contributions to the development of science in Mexico.  Full Story


The Epic Lives of Albert Lin

The Epic Lives of Albert Lin

January 9, 2020

UC San Diego engineering alumnus Albert Yu-Min Lin can be described in many ways: explorer, engineer, scientist, artist, surfer, humanist, traveler, philosopher, father. It’s a challenge to capture Lin, whether in a few words or just for a quick phone call. He seems to have an endless supply of momentum—an energy, curiosity and optimism as big as the world he is continually exploring. Full Story


Thin hair is stronger than thick hair, study shows

Thin hair is stronger than thick hair, study shows

December 13, 2019

Despite being four times thicker than human hair, elephant hair is only half as strong -- that's just one finding from researchers studying the hair strength of many different mammals. Their work shows that thin hair tends to be stronger than thick hair because of the way that it breaks. Full Story


UC San Diego launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

UC San Diego launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

December 13, 2019

We are pleased to announce the formation of the San Diego Institute for Materials Discovery and Design, a joint initiative of the Jacobs School of Engineering and Division of Physical Sciences at the University of California San Diego. Our goal is to position UC San Diego as the recognized global academic leader in nanoscale and quantum materials design and discovery. The Institute’s unique approach will be to apply data analytics and machine learning together with rapid materials synthesis and multi-scale characterization in order to accelerate the discovery, design, synthesis and evaluation of novel functional materials. Full Story


News Obituary: Professor Joanna McKittrick

News Obituary: Professor Joanna McKittrick

December 12, 2019

Joanna McKittrick, a pioneering engineer at the University of California San Diego and a renowned expert in materials science, passed away Nov. 15, 2019. She was 65. McKittrick was one of the first women to join the engineering faculty at UC San Diego in 1988, in what is now the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and was then Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences (AMES). She is remembered by her colleagues as a generous collaborator and by students and alumni as an inspiring and caring mentor. McKittrick was a great advocate for under-represented students in science and engineering and served as research advisor for many undergraduate students through the years. Full Story


This App Teaches Sketching Skills to Improve Graduation Rates in Science and Engineering

This App Teaches Sketching Skills to Improve Graduation Rates in Science and Engineering

November 19, 2019

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a touchscreen app to teach students how to sketch 2D projections and 3D views freehand. This teaches students spatial visualization--the ability to think in 3D. This skill is important in many STEM fields, from Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) in engineering to using ultrasound for medical procedures. The Spatial Vis Engineering app is now available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for phones and tablets, and can also run on newer Chromebooks.  Full Story


UC San Diego Alumni Power San Diego Robotics Ecosystem

UC San Diego Alumni Power San Diego Robotics Ecosystem

November 14, 2019

From companies worth billions of dollars to startups employing a small number of people, UC San Diego engineering alumni are at the core of the robotics ecosystem here in San Diego County.This was clearly evident at the sixth annual robotics forum organized by the UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute Nov. 7. The forum focused exclusively on local companies this year and was dubbed the San Diego Robotics Forum for the occasion. The goal was to showcase the breadth and depth of the region’s robotics strengths, and solidify San Diego’s reputation as Robot Beach. Full Story


Measuring cell-cell forces using snapshots from time-lapse videos of cells

Measuring cell-cell forces using snapshots from time-lapse videos of cells

November 5, 2019

A new computational method can measure the forces cells exert on each other by analyzing time-lapse videos of cell colonies. It could enable researchers to gain fundamental insights into what role intercellular forces play in cellular biology and how they differ in healthy and diseased states. Full Story


UC San Diego Scientists Awarded Nearly $5 Million to Study Triggers of Deadly, Toxic Algal Blooms

UC San Diego Scientists Awarded Nearly $5 Million to Study Triggers of Deadly, Toxic Algal Blooms

October 29, 2019

Researchers from the University of California San Diego want to know what causes an oceanic algal bloom to turn deadly. To find out, researchers are gearing up to hunt for blooms along California’s coast using a suite of technologies that can target and sample ocean microbes and sift through genetic code in real time. All of this is made possible by a new $4.9 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The multidimensional effort will build upon recent discoveries about these temperamental microscopic algae under a project funded by NOAA’s Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB), a nationally competitive research funding program. Full Story


Piranha-proof fish scales offer inspiration for better armor

Piranha-proof fish scales offer inspiration for better armor

October 16, 2019

Material scientists have discovered what makes the scales of the massive Amazonian freshwater fish, Arapaima gigas, resistant to breaking when a piranha bites. The answer could serve as inspiration for stronger, lightweight and flexible synthetic armors. Full Story


Clingfish biology inspires better suction cup

Clingfish biology inspires better suction cup

October 15, 2019

A team of engineers and marine biologists built a better suction cup inspired by the mechanism that allows the clingfish to adhere to both smooth and rough surfaces, such as rocks in the area where the tide comes and goes. Researchers reverse engineered the clingfish’s suction disk and developed devices that cling well to wet and dry objects both in an out of water. The devices can hold up to hundreds of times their own weight. They could be used in a wide range of applications from handling and packaging for produce, to robotic grippers in manufacturing, to the recovery of archaeological artifacts. Full Story


These new soft actuators could make soft robots less bulky

These new soft actuators could make soft robots less bulky

October 11, 2019

UC San Diego engineers have developed a way to build soft robots that are compact, portable and multifunctional. The advance was made possible by creating soft, tubular actuators whose movements are electrically controlled, which makes them easy to integrate with small electronic components. Full Story


Building binational bridges through STEM

Building binational bridges through STEM

October 10, 2019

For seven weeks this summer, 120 high school and college students called UC San Diego’s campus home as they conducted groundbreaking research on how the human brain works, how to design materials to withstand earthquakes, how to build safer batteries, and 57 equally challenging topics. These students hailed from both the United States and Mexico, and were here to use science as a means of developing friendships that will last a lifetime, and maybe even trickle down to more positive binational relations. Full Story


Research Reveals Self-sharpening Mechanism in Sea Urchin Teeth

Research Reveals Self-sharpening Mechanism in Sea Urchin Teeth

September 19, 2019

Even millions of chewing cycles and regular contact with rocks and hard shells can’t dull sea urchins’ teeth. New research from Northwestern Engineering researchers, in collaboration with the University of California San Diego, reveals that the chemical composition and microstructure of sea urchin teeth are optimized for sharpness preservation – findings with the potential to influence the design of tools for mining, boring, and machining operations.  Full Story


Undergraduate engineers advance shock wave mitigation research

Undergraduate engineers advance shock wave mitigation research

September 13, 2019

A team of undergraduate engineers at UC San Diego has discovered a method that could make materials more resilient against massive shocks such as earthquakes or explosions. The students, conducting research in the structural engineering lab of Professor Veronica Eliasson, used a shock tube to generate powerful explosions within the tube—at Mach 1.2 to be exact, meaning faster than the speed of sound. They then used an ultra high-speed camera to capture and analyze how materials with certain patterns fared. Full Story


Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

August 22, 2019

Using lasers, engineers have developed a new ceramic welding technology that works in ambient conditions, making it more practical than traditional methods that require melting the parts in a furnace at extremely high temperatures. This could make it possible to build ceramic-encased electronics. Full Story


Researchers Adopting Global Approach to Studying Microplastics and Microfibers

Researchers Adopting Global Approach to Studying Microplastics and Microfibers

August 20, 2019

Scientists at UC San Diego are working to understand plastic degradation in the ocean, particularly smaller particles called microplastics and related microfibers. They are monitoring microfibers around the world to better understand how these fibers enter and spread in the environment, while also partnering with industry to identify possible avenues to limit plastic pollution and develop remediation strategies. Full Story


Eye-controlled soft lens paves way to soft human-machine interfaces

Eye-controlled soft lens paves way to soft human-machine interfaces

August 2, 2019

UC San Diego engineers have developed a soft robotic lens whose movements are controlled by the eyes—blink twice and the lens zooms in and out; look left, right, up or down and the lens will follow. The lens is the first example of an interface between humans and soft machines.  Full Story


Graeve selected by HACU as inaugural leadership fellow

Graeve selected by HACU as inaugural leadership fellow

August 1, 2019

Jacobs School of Engineering professor Olivia Graeve has been selected by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities as a fellow in its inaugural Presidential Leadership Academy. The program, also known as La Academia de Liderazgo, is designed to increase Hispanic representation in top leadership positions in higher education. Full Story


Get up and go bots getting closer, study says

Get up and go bots getting closer, study says

July 15, 2019

Robotics researchers at the University of California San Diego have for the first time used a commercial 3D printer to embed complex sensors inside robotic limbs and grippers. But they found that materials commercially available for 3D printing still need to be improved before the robots can be fully functional. Full Story


Three UC San Diego Engineering Professors Receive Presidential Early Career Awards

Three UC San Diego Engineering Professors Receive Presidential Early Career Awards

July 3, 2019

Three faculty members at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering have been named recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. Full Story


NSF funds UC San Diego plan to generate, and study, the world's first high-intensity laser pulses shaped like a corkscrew

NSF funds UC San Diego plan to generate, and study, the world's first high-intensity laser pulses shaped like a corkscrew

July 2, 2019

UC San Diego mechanical engineers have calculations for how to create high-intensity twisted laser beams – a flavor of laser pulse the world has likely never seen. These researchers also have done the math on how to use these corkscrew shaped laser pulses to do cutting-edge research. Finally, they have predictions on how the materials that they plan to “drill” into with corkscrew light pulses will respond. Full Story


Graduating IDEA Scholars embrace new challenges

Graduating IDEA Scholars embrace new challenges

June 27, 2019

Among the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering’s class of about 1,600 students that graduated with baccalaureate degrees on June 15 were 41 IDEA Scholars. These students from first generation or underrepresented backgrounds in engineering chose to go above and beyond the already taxing coursework required to earn an engineering degree, and participate in mentoring programs, technical workshops, serve as peer education leaders, and push and support each other through to graduation.  Full Story


UC San Diego engineering students help 5-year-old move arms again

UC San Diego engineering students help 5-year-old move arms again

June 25, 2019

Five-year-old Max Ng was a perfectly healthy boy until, at the age of two, he contracted a rare virus called acute flaccid myelitis. Similar to polio, the virus attacked the nerves in his spinal cord, leaving his arms limp at his sides. Max hasn’t been able to lift or lower his arms on his own to use his fully-functioning hands for the three years since.Now, thanks to a lightweight motorized exoskeleton built by four UC San Diego undergraduate engineering students, Max is moving his arms to feed himself and play with his parents.   Full Story


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