2014 News

Hellman Fellows Oct 22, 2014
Two UCI Engineers Named Hellman Fellows

Two Samueli School engineers – Anne Lemnitzer and Timothy Rupert -- have been selected as Hellman Fellows for 2014-15. The Hellman Fellows Program aims to support the research of promising assistant professors who show capacity for great distinction in their chosen fields of endeavor.

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From Left: Samueli School Dean Gregory Washington, Filippo Capolino, Ozdal Boyraz, Regina Ragan and Marc Madou Oct 14, 2014
UCI engineers develop prototype of low-cost, disposable lung Infection Detector

NSF grant supports their efforts to improve manufacturing process for nanodevices

 Imagine a low-cost, disposable breath analysis device that a person with cystic fibrosis could use at home along with a smartphone to immediately detect a lung infection, much like the device police use to gauge a driver’s blood alcohol level.

Timely knowledge of a lung infection would let people with CF or other inflammatory respiratory conditions seek immediate treatment and thereby prevent life-shortening permanent damage to their already vulnerable airways.

Thanks to a nearly $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, UC Irvine engineers can continue developing this type of nanotechnology device – and potentially many others – using a more wide-scale manufacturing process.

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Nathan Cox, Rose Hills scholarship recipient Oct 3, 2014
Rose Hills Foundation Turns Dreams into Reality through Scholarship Support

$700,000 in scholarships to be awarded to 18 talented UCI undergraduates pursuing STEM degrees

UC Irvine has been awarded $700,000 from The Rose Hills Foundation to support students in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) pursuits. Each year for the next four years, The Rose Hills Foundation Undergraduate Science & Engineering Scholarships will assist 18 high-achieving undergraduates. The students will meet with one another at regular intervals throughout the year to discuss their goals and share their experiences. 

“This exciting new partnership with The Rose Hills Foundation will ensure that some of our best and brightest STEM students reach their full potential,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We are very grateful for this support and look forward to working with The Rose Hills Foundation to advance our shared goals.”

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NIH Heart Lung and Blood Institute Sep 24, 2014
NIH Funds UCI biomedical engineer’s proposed new imaging system

The NIH’s National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has awarded UC Irvine biomedical engineer Zhongping Chen a $2.6-million four-year grant to build a better imaging system for looking inside the arteries. 

Working with Qifa Zhou of USC Viterbi School of Engineering and Pranov Patel of the UCI School of Medicine, Chen proposes to capture the benefits of three sophisticated imaging technologies -- the high resolution of optical coherence tomography, deep tissue penetration of ultrasound imaging and the biomechanical contrast of optical coherence elastography (a technique that maps the elastic properties of soft tissue) – and combine them into a single catheter device.

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UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman Sep 18, 2014
UC Regents approve appointment of Howard Gillman as UC Irvine chancellor

The University of California Board of Regents today (Sept. 18) approved President Janet Napolitano’s selection of Howard Gillman, Ph.D., as the sixth chancellor of UC Irvine.

Gillman, UC Irvine provost and executive vice chancellor for the past year and interim chancellor since July 1, leads a campus with more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,400 staff. Consistently ranked among the nation’s best universities, it is a major intellectual and cultural center that generates an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion in Orange County, and provides medical care as the county’s only academic medical center.

A seasoned university academic leader and accomplished fundraiser, Gillman, 55, is a nationally recognized expert on constitutional studies and judicial politics. He has authored or co-authored seven books and dozens of articles, and has received several awards for teaching.

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St. Margaret's students with UC Irvine engineering professors Sep 17, 2014
St. Margaret’s High School Summer Internship Program Celebrates 10 Years at Samueli School

Seven high school students participated in this year’s St. Margaret’s Episcopal School Summer Internship Program at the Samueli School of Engineering. They presented their research projects to their parents, teachers and the engineering faculty and graduate students who mentored them at a recent event in the Harut Barsamian Colloquia Room, hosted by Samueli School Dean Gregory Washington.

Professor Bill Cooper Sep 15, 2014
Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Names Bill Cooper a Fellow

UC Irvine civil and environmental engineering professor Bill Cooper has been selected by his peers as a Fellow of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP). Cooper served as director of the UCI Urban Water Research Center before taking leave to become director of the National Science Foundation’s Environmental Engineering Program.

2014 Saudia Arabia International Program Sep 11, 2014
Saudi Arabia International Program Continues to Improve in its Third Year

Saudi Arabia International Program students celebrated the conclusion of the 10-week accelerated session with a spirited Summer Symposium in the Harut Barsamian Colloquia Room. At the event, 13 international engineering students displayed their hard work with posters and oral presentations, while faculty, staff and guests toured the room and voted on their favorite project. 

Now in its third year, the Saudi Arabia International Program is a collaboration between Salman bin Abdulaziz University and the Samueli School of Engineering. Students are matched with engineering faculty whose special expertise aligns with their own interests and career goals. The curriculum encompasses fundamental knowledge and introduces tools and programs required to pursue an advanced career in technical areas related to their specialization.

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Douglas Thorpe ’82, Photo by Steve Zylius Sep 10, 2014
The king of drones
Douglas Thorpe ’82 has spent decades developing unmanned aerial vehicles for all kinds of uses

On an overcast morning in late May 1976, Douglas Thorpe ’82, then a UC Irvine freshman, was on his way to school when a small plane fell out of the sky. The single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza crashed in an empty field near campus, killing everyone on board. Thorpe was first on the scene, and what he saw changed his life.

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UCI Distinguished Professor Satya Atluri. Photo by Steve Zylius Sep 10, 2014
UCI Distinguished Professor Satya Atluri Recognized with AIAA Crichlow Trust Prize

The American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) announced in August that UCI Distinguished Professor Satya Atluri has been selected to receive the Walter J. and Angeline H. Crichlow Trust Prize, one of the AIAA’s most prestigious awards. Presented every four years, the prize recognizes an individual for a specific achievement or body of work that has become significant during the immediate past 15 years.

Peter J. Burke Sep 9, 2014
Awards Recognize Excellence in Teaching, Research and Innovation

Seven Samueli School faculty members earned 2014 recognition awards at last spring’s faculty meeting. Dean Gregory Washington initiated the annual awards to acknowledge the valued contributions of faculty.

The awards were given to one junior, mid-career and senior faculty member in each category of research excellence and teaching innovation, and one professor was selected as the Innovator of the Year. Here are the honorees, excerpted from the nomination forms.

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UC Irvine doctoral student Kristen Goodrich and campus academic sustainability director Abigail Reyes examine a severely eroded and flood-ravaged canyon area in Tijuana, Mexico, as part of UCI’s FloodRISE project. Steve Zylius / UC Irvine Aug 13, 2014
Rising waters

UCI students help coastal communities brace for climate change

UC Irvine undergraduates Tristan Lanza and Enrique Uribe have been catching the bus regularly from campus down to Newport Beach to knock on doors. Lanza, 21, noticed the first time they neared the coast right where flooding would likely begin.

Back in UCI’s Engineering Tower, graduate student Adam Luke, 23, pores over computerized hydraulic models that he has spent weeks constructing of the Tijuana River estuary straddling the U.S.-Mexico border. This is where flooding would hit hardest, he thinks, gazing at a destitute Mexican canyon community. And here, he notes, taking stock of Imperial Beach on the U.S. side, is where higher king tides combined with fiercer storms could swamp several streets.

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission Aug 8, 2014
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Awards Training Grants to UCI

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has awarded the Samueli School’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science two major training grants for students who plan on future careers in the nuclear field. The grants, totaling $600,000 over four years, will fund graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships.

The NRC is committed to increasing the capability of U.S. universities and colleges to educate and train a new workforce that can conduct research and development in the field of energy demand and safe and efficient nuclear energy.

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Ahmad Falahatpisheh Aug 7, 2014
UCI Biomedical Engineering Postdoc Receives Prestigious Scholarship from American Heart Association

The American Heart Association (AHA) has awarded UC Irvine postdoctoral scholar Ahmad Falahatpisheh with a two-year ($82,000) scholarship. Falahatpisheh, an expert in computational modeling of the heart, works with Dr. Arash Kheradvar, associate professor of biomedical engineering, in the Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology.

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Before heading to Australia, the students visit the Forge Wetland in Irvine. UCI professor Stanley Grant (far left) explains to Lynze Cheung of UCI, Maddy Walzem of UC San Diego and Clint Rosser of UC San Diego (from left) how the field instrument he’s pointing at (an acoustic Doppler velocimeter) measures water flow. Courtesy of Elena Sy Su Jul 29, 2014
Walkabout for water

Twelve UC undergrads go Down Under to study Aussie approaches to drought, conservation and resource management

Bright undergraduates from UC Irvine, UCLA and UC San Diego spent some of this summer Down Under, immersing themselves in drought solutions, wetlands design and related issues – sometimes literally.

“I thought it was ground, and it wasn’t. It was water, it was cold, and it got way deep,” says Clint Rosser, who’ll be a UC San Diego senior this fall, describing how he accidentally plunged waist-deep into a mucky wetland near Melbourne, Australia, in mid-July.

He and 11 others were part of this year’s Undergraduate Partnerships for International Research & Education Program Down Under, funded by the National Science Foundation. While submerged, Rosser asked his fellow student researchers to pass him a bottle so he could collect a water sample for pollutant analysis.

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Sabee Molloi Jul 24, 2014
Academy of Radiology Research honors Sabee Molloi as Distinguished Investigator

Sabee Molloi, professor of radiological sciences at UCI, has been named a Distinguished Investigator of the Academy of Radiology Research. The honor recognizes imaging researchers for their significant contributions in the field of medical imaging. Molloi, who holds joint faculty appointments in biomedical engineering and electrical engineering, focuses on developing novel diagnostic imaging techniques for breast cancer and cardiac disease.

At UCI, his research group has developed a dual-energy mammography technique that takes images of a breast at different energy levels to measure tissue density, which is important because women with dense breast tissue are four to five times more likely to develop tumors. And partnering with Carlos Iribarren, a research scientist from Kaiser Permanente, he is assessing whether breast arterial calcification detected by mammography can be used to gauge cardiovascular disease risk. For this effort, the two have received a $6.8 million grant from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute to study mammography-identified calcium buildup in breast arteries in more than 5,000 African American, Latino, Asian and white women at three Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Northern California. The researchers will test whether these calcifications correlate with several cardiovascular disease risk factors. A technique to accurately measure breast arterial calcium mass was developed in Molloi’s laboratory.

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illustration by Matt Woodworth Jul 16, 2014
Squid Skin Protein Could Improve Biomedical Technologies, UCI Study Shows

Conductivity could charge up futuristic disease treatments

The common pencil squid (Loliginidae) may hold the key to a new generation of medical technologies that could communicate more directly with the human body. UC Irvine materials science researchers have discovered that reflectin, a protein in the tentacled creature’s skin, can conduct positive electrical charges, or protons, making it a promising material for building biologically inspired devices.

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Dean Gregory Washington, Engineering Mentee Deysi Alvarado, Dean Hal Stern Jul 15, 2014
Mentorship Program Makes a Strong Impression in its First Year

At a spirited June event in the Student Center’s Pacific Ballroom, a group of students from both the Samueli School of Engineering and the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences gathered with their mentors to celebrate a successful end to the two schools’ inaugural Undergraduate Mentorship Program.

Dean Washington with will.i.am Jul 8, 2014
UCI engineering dean attends White House Makers Faire

Event provides inspiration for turning student and community ideas into prototypes

Gregory Washington, dean of UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and a strong advocate for American manufacturing, recently attended the first White House Makers Faire, which spotlighted production innovation at campuses nationwide. UC Irvine showcased its 3-D design and printing capabilities, including the National Center for Rapid Technologies, or Rapid Tech. The nonprofit trains students in 3-D techniques and provides faculty and private businesses with efficiently produced, critically needed product prototypes.

Washington mingled with the host of the “Bill Nye the Science Guy” educational TV show, musical super star will.i.am and other creative minds. What most impressed him were products he saw from schools.

Jul 3, 2014
Research Leads to Novel Inhaler

Asthma sufferers and others with pulmonary disorders are well acquainted with nebulizers. They’re those sometimes bulky gadgets, also known as inhalers, which disperse an aerosol stream of medication directly into the lungs.

Unfortunately, though, most commercial nebulizers are capable only of poly-disbursement, meaning they disperse droplets of varying sizes. That is not efficacious for many pulmonary drugs, which are effective only when droplets are a specific size: 2-6 microns. Adding mesh screens to the commercial inhalers helps create some droplets of desirable size, but the often-viscous medicines can get stuck in the mesh, clogging the devices.

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