EECS News

Samueli School Dean Gregory Washington Apr 2, 2015
UCI Engineering Dean Elected to ASEE Deans Council Board

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) has elected Gregory Washington vice chair of its Engineering Deans Council Executive Board. Washington, dean of UC Irvine’s Samueli School of Engineering, will serve a two-year term (2015-17) and then automatically assume the chairperson position.

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 Casa del Sol structure earns a Dean's Choice Award Mar 31, 2015
Winter Design Review Features 100 Projects

The Samueli School of Engineering’s 2015 Winter Design Review featured 100 senior design projects, including poster displays and demonstrations, created by more than 600 students.

From left: Potma, Capolino, Wickramasinghe and Apkarian collaborated on a $2 million grant (Photo by Bill Ross) Feb 2, 2015
UCI gets $2 million from Keck Foundation for photonic microscope

The W.M. Keck Foundation has awarded $2 million to UC Irvine to develop a photonic “magnetic nanoprobe,” a microscope able to amplify, detect and possibly manipulate the extremely weak optical-frequency magnetic fields in matter.

Associate Professor Syed Jafar (center) and graduate student Arash Gholamidavoodi (right) accept a Best Paper Award at IEEE GLOBECOM 2014 Jan 20, 2015
Engineering Professors and Graduate Students Win IEEE Best Paper Awards

Engineering professor Syed Jafar and his graduate student Arash Gholamidavoodi earned a Best Paper Award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) GLOBECOM 2014, held last month in Austin, Texas. Their research proved a long-standing assumption regarding the benefits of multiple antennas as it relates to transmitting high data rates expected from fifth generation (5G) wireless networks.

“Engineering intuition dictates that if the channel coefficients at the transmitter are limited to a finite precision number then the various benefits of multiple antennas at the transmitter are lost. All prior attempts at proving this conjecture had failed,” explains Jafar. “By incorporating novel combinatorial reasoning along with more classical information and theoretic arguments, we’ve shown that this pessimistic engineering intuition is in fact provably correct.”

Solar decathlon team is designing a house to operate on renewable energy Dec 19, 2014
Students Shine at Design Review Despite Rain

The biggest storm of the season did not deter the more than 400 senior engineering students from displaying their project goals at the Fall Design Review Friday, Dec. 12. However the rainy weather did cause the event to move indoors. Eighty teams of students set up poster displays in Engineering Gateway, Engineering Tower and the Calit2 atrium.

Netup makes mobile Internet faster and cheaper Dec 15, 2014
Shoelace Wireless Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Calit2 TechPortal startup Shoelace Wireless, founded by a Samueli School professor and her former graduate student, today launches a Kickstarter campaign to fund Netup, its newest app created to make mobile Internet faster and cheaper.

By combining Wi-Fi and cellular networks, Netup helps mobile users stream HD videos more smoothly, download large email attachments instantly and browse the Internet faster. The app, which works seamlessly in the background, improves connection speed and reliability, and saves money on costly data charges by making intelligent decisions about which network to use and when to combine them. Netup supports Android devices from 4.0 to 5.0 and works with any cellular network.

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Payam Heydari with faculty at Princeton University Dec 12, 2014
Heydari Explains Emerging 5G Technologies on IEEE Lecture tour

Imagine downloading a movie to your smartphone in less than a second. That’s the potential of the next generation (5G) of cellular network technology.

Students Tasha Lam, Kristy Kim and Tess Hoang talk with mentor Sumalee Johnson, an ICS alumna Dec 10, 2014
Mentorship Program Helps Students Succeed

An undergraduate mentoring program sponsored by the Samueli School of Engineering and the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences seeks to support underrepresented students, keeping them interested and engaged in school and in their future careers.

Nov 18, 2014
NSF Funds New UCI Program Addressing Disparities in STEM Majors

UCI partners with community colleges to improve transfer process and retention    
UC Irvine has partnered with three community colleges (Irvine Valley College, Santa Ana College and Saddleback College) to improve the recruitment and retention of  women and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors. With a $1.8 million, three-year National Science Foundation grant, UCI has created a program called iStart (Innovate from the Start: Engaging Engineering and Computer Science Undergraduates).

According to the NSF 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators report, women and minorities – Black, Hispanic and Native Americans – are still underrepresented in STEM fields compared to the population at large. The report indicates women comprise only 13% of all engineers and just 25% of computer and mathematical scientists; while minority women comprise fewer than 1 in 10 employed scientists and engineers.

From left: Yosi Shacham-Diamand, Yossi Rosenwaks, Gregory Washington, Henry Samueli and Howard Gillman Nov 6, 2014
Engineering Sustainability Conference 2025 Addresses Challenges of the Future

For the third year in a row, faculty members from the Samueli School of Engineering and the Iby and Aladar Fleishman Faculty of Engineering at Tel Aviv University (TAU) came together for a joint workshop to address an engineering challenge of the future.

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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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.

Now in its 10th year, the internship program matches high-potential students with a faculty member and research area based on their interests. Spearheaded by Engineering Leadership Council member Stacey Nicholas, the program aims to inspire enthusiasm for STEM fields with the hope that the high school students will pursue these areas as they move forward in their education and careers.  Washington reports that 85 percent of the U.S. economy is tied to advances in STEM, but only 4 percent of our workforce is in these areas.

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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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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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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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.

Jul 2, 2014
Butterworth and Beall competitions reward the best in both hardware and software

To the naked eye, this year’s Butterworth Product Development Competition at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences looked much as it always has. All throughout the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) in late May, teams of earnest students, under the watchful eye of their industry, faculty and alumni mentors, gave impassioned presentations about their innovative projects to a panel of distinguished judges, with the results announced at a festive gathering that evening.

But if you’d been to previous installments of the contest, you might have sensed that there were perhaps more snappily dressed students around. Well, there were – roughly twice as many. The 11th annual Butterworth development competition was also the inaugural year for the Beall Student Design Competition.

The Butterworth competition is named for, and generously supported by, Bren School alumnus Paul Butterworth (B.S. ’74, M.S. ’81), chief technical officer of AccessG2 Inc. The Beall competition is made possible by the generosity of the Beall Family Foundation.

Where Butterworth emphasizes software, and requires that at least one team member be from ICS, Beall focuses on hardware, and requires that least one team member be from the Samueli School of Engineering. The two competitions were not only concurrent and complementary, they also overlapped: Several teams entered their projects in both competitions.

There was also more prize money at stake – a total of $30,000 between the Butterworth and Beall contests.

From left: Satya Atluri, Syed Jafar and Matt Law Jun 25, 2014
Three Engineering Faculty -- Satya Atluri, Syed Jafar and Matt Law -- Among Most Highly Cited Researchers

Three Samueli School engineering professors – Satya Atluri, Syed A. Jafar and Matt Law – have been recognized as among the world’s leading scientific minds, according to the 2014 Highly Cited Researchers list published by Thomson Reuters. The list of highly cited scholars includes preeminent researchers in 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences who have demonstrated great influence in their field as measured by citations to their work. This list is based on papers published during the 11-year period 2002-2012. Researchers are selected not only for total citations but also for the number of highly cited papers contributed. When one researcher cites another’s work, he/she is acknowledging the relevance of that work to the current study. Fewer than one-half of one percent of all published researchers are included in the listing.

Satya Atluri, a Distinguished Professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the Center for Aerospace Research and Education, conducts groundbreaking mathematical work, including inventing the so-called “meshless method” that has aided the design of safer materials for aircraft. Throughout his career, his work has encompassed theoretical, applied and computational mechanics of solids and fluids; and structural longevity, failure prevention and health management. Atluri most recently received India’s Padma Bhushan award “for distinguished service of high order in the field of engineering and science.”

Syed Jafar, an associate professor in electrical engineering and computer science, analyzes the capacity of wireless communication networks. In addition to his earlier work on multiple antenna (MIMO) technology and cognitive radio, Jafar is best known for his seminal work on the idea known as interference alignment, in which he shows how a resource such as bandwidth in a network can be shared among competing users in such a manner that each user gets half of the total bandwidth free from interference from others. Jafar and his first year Ph.D. student Viveck Cadambe were among the youngest researchers ever to win the prestigious IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award, and interference alignment has since been recognized as one of the "Top Topics" and as a "Fast Moving Research Front" by Sciencewatch in 2011.

Matt Law, an assistant professor of chemistry who holds a joint appointment in chemical engineering and materials science, develops new nanoscale and Earth-abundant materials for producing electricity and chemical fuels from sunlight. Law’s current research interests include quantum dot solar cells, the physics of metal sulfide semiconductors, and devices that split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Ana Papio, Saman Kabiri and Franco De Flaviis Jun 17, 2014
Donation Expands Simulation Opportunity

Design. Test. Adapt. Repeat. For many years, trial and error guided product development. Engineers designed on paper, built a prototype, tested it in the lab, and made changes based on test results. They repeated the process an untold number of times, until the product met specifications. It was costly and time-consuming.

Today, engineers design and test products on their computers with CAD (computer-aided design) and simulation software. And now, thanks to a generous donation from software company ANSYS, Inc., a new generation of UC Irvine students has the opportunity to use the software simulation tools, making them ready and able to compete for jobs after graduation.

ANSYS has donated more than 500 licenses that cover both electrical and mechanical engineering software packages, as well as multi-physics (multidisciplinary) simulations. The donation also includes High Performance Computing (HPC) licenses for cluster computing, so that multiple computers can work together as one supercomputer to solve large-scale problems.

The simulation software predicts how specific devices will react in real-world situations. For example, what happens when you run electromagnetic currents through a printed circuit board? How does the antenna work in the system? What happens when you bend certain materials, drop them, or heat them up?
 
Engineering professor Franco De Flaviis has used the software for years in his research, and has had access to a limited number of licenses to share with his graduate students. He was instrumental in securing the new, much larger donation. “We’re really excited about this partnership with ANSYS,” he says. “Because everybody in industry uses this software, our students will be much more competitive when they graduate.”

Hua Sun with Henry Samueli Jun 17, 2014
UCI student is finalist in global Broadcom competition

UC Irvine graduate student Hua Sun presented innovative engineering research June 4 at the Broadcom Foundation University Research Competition. He was awarded $1,000 for his work on how to provide efficient, reliable wireless networks in the future. Sun, who’s seeking a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, was among 12 student finalists from 11 universities competing in a poster session at Broadcom’s annual Technical Conference. They shared insights into their projects and discussed how eventual applications of their research could improve lives and contribute to society.

"Hua Sun's enthusiasm for research is truly infectious," says Syed Jafar, an associate professor and Sun's Ph.D. adviser. "He is not intimidated by hard problems. He has the ability to quickly recognize the most meaningful aspect of a challenge and works tirelessly with great ingenuity to solve it. Collaborating with him is always a great pleasure."

More than 400 distinguished engineers judged the entries. “This competition, spearheaded by Broadcom co-founder Henry Samueli, celebrates academic excellence and social awareness among students who perform extraordinary research at the doctoral level,” said Paula Golden, executive director of the foundation. “The intellectual power of the finalists, who come from universities across the world, is profound, and we are honored to have them compete.”

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