ChEMS News

This project is designed to help patients with Parkinson's Disease Mar 31, 2014
97 Senior Projects Displayed at Winter Design Review

Engineering students proudly showed off their senior design projects at the 2014 Winter Design Review in mid-March. More than 500 students were involved in 97 projects.

The students had been working on their projects for two quarters, and the Winter Design Review provided an opportunity for them to present their ideas to industry reviewers, as well as display and demonstrate the projects to a wider audience. About 45 industry representatives were on hand to review and give student teams feedback on their innovative ideas. Sixteen teams were selected for Dean’s Choice Awards (see below).

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Professor James Earthman demonstrating how titanium clubs can cause golf course fires Mar 19, 2014
Titanium Clubs Can Cause Golf Course Fires, UCI Study Finds

Sparks fly when head hits rocks in the rough, potentially igniting brush

Titanium alloy golf clubs can cause dangerous wildfires, according to UC Irvine scientists. When a club coated with the lightweight metal is swung and strikes a rock, it creates sparks that can heat to more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit for long enough to ignite dry foliage, according to findings published recently in the peer-reviewed journal Fire and Materials. Orange County, Calif., fire investigators asked UC Irvine to determine whether such clubs could have caused blazes at Shady Canyon Golf Course in Irvine and Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo a few years ago.

“One fire almost reached homes before they stopped it. This unintended hazard could potentially lead to someone’s death,” said Samueli School chemical engineering & materials science professor James Earthman, lead author on the paper. “A very real danger exists, particularly in the Southwest, as long as certain golf clubs remain in use.” He suspected that the titanium heads on some clubs designed for use in “the rough” – natural areas off irrigated fairways – could be to blame for the fires.

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Assistant Professor Kristen Davis judges the water filtration competition Mar 14, 2014
Samueli School Celebrates E-Week

Nearly 900 engineering students participated in E-Week 2014, organized by the Samueli School’s Engineering Student Council (ESC).  This year’s theme was “The Art of Engineering,” and all students who checked in received a Samueli School t-shirt. The celebration featured the Dean’s Pancake Breakfast, an Awards Banquet, 10 competitions, a BBQ and the annual softball game, pitting students against faculty. Students broke the professors’ long-running winning streak with a tie game. 

E-Week is an annual event aimed at increasing public awareness and appreciation for the engineering profession. Established in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, the weeklong celebration provides an avenue for students to demonstrate inventiveness and imagination through a variety of events.

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H. Kumar Wickramasinghe Dec 12, 2013
Engineer Named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Professor H. Kumar Wickramasinghe is among 143 innovators to be named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for 2013. Wickramasinghe is a UC Irvine professor and the Henry Samueli Endowed Chair in electrical engineering and computer science, with joint appointments in biomedical engineering and chemical engineering and materials science.

Being named a NAI Fellow is distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

Wickramasinghe, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is a well-respected pioneer in nanotechnology. He currently holds 94 patents. Some of his most significant inventions and contributions to the nano field include the development of the vibrating mode atomic force microscope (AFM), the magnetic force microscope, the electrostatic force microscope, the Kelvin probe force microscope, the scanning thermal microscope, and the apertureless near-field optical microscope. Most of these scanning probe microscopes are standard instruments used today for nano-scale characterization.

"I am humbled and honored to be among this distinguished group of Nobel Laureates and National Medal Prize winners,” says Wickramasinghe. “The greatest thrill I get is to see some of my inventions translated to practice and in use all over the world."

Hung Nguyen Oct 28, 2013
Chemical Engineer’s Research Makes the Cover of Advanced Healthcare Materials

Hung Nguyen’s research is featured on the cover of the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Healthcare Materials. An assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science, Nguyen investigates the self-assembly of biological and biomimetic nanoscale materials based on amino acids and nucleic acids for applications in nanotechnology, drug delivery, tissue engineering, gene therapy, disease diagnostics, antiviral therapeutics and imaging agent development.

The Advanced Healthcare Materials journal featured Nguyen’s study involving peptide amphiphiles, an emerging class of self-assembling molecules. He and his team, including first author graduate student Iris Fu, an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, used simulations to examine the self-assembly process in detail.

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Farghalli Mohamed with UCI Chancellor Michael Drake Oct 7, 2013
Well-Loved Professor Retires, Goes out with a Rhyme

Beloved engineering professor Farghalli A. Mohamed celebrated his retirement and 70th birthday in late September surrounded by colleagues, faculty, staff and friends.

Ali Mohraz Sep 23, 2013
NASA to Fund Microgravity-related Research at the Samueli School

NASA has selected a project of Ali Mohraz’s to fund under its “Research Opportunities in Complex Fluids and Macromolecular Biophysics” program. 

squid sketch by Doris Dialogu Sep 9, 2013
UCI researchers fabricate new camouflage coating from squid protein

Material that mimics calamari skin is invisible to infrared cameras

building a fuel cell Jul 22, 2013
Having Fun, FABcamp Style

The Samueli School’s FABcamp got off to a boisterous beginning with a full roster of middle school children. The first group of 9 girls and 20 boys could be seen touring labs and walking around the school in bright yellow t-shirts. 

Laser Associate Sciences Jun 21, 2013
Engineering Students Achieve a Strong Showing at Merage Business Plan Competition

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering was well represented in the 2013 Business Plan Competition at UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business, with teams from Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology dominating the campuswide division.

NSF logo Jun 4, 2013
Five Engineering Grad Students Earn NSF Research Fellowships

The National Science Foundation has granted five UC Irvine engineering graduate students a research fellowship, and another three honorable mentions. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. 

As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend, opportunities for international research and professional development. Here are the Samueli School’s 2013 NSF fellowship program awardees:

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G.P. Li Jun 3, 2013
Collaborator in Chief

Don’t let the piles of paperwork fool you – G.P. Li has a systematic strategy for pursuing innovation

G.P. Li learned how to make an elevator pitch early in his career. His first corporate gig was with IBM, an innovative company that holds the top spot for number of U.S. patents granted. Today, the UC Irvine engineering professor and director of the campus’s California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology makes it his mission to teach students this valuable skill.

“My goal is to train them to be future leaders – CEOs and CTOs,” says Li, who has founded four companies based on his inventions.

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May 9, 2013
Tenacity pays off for tissue engineer

Public Impact Fellowship supports Seema Ehsan’s efforts to develop a better way of testing cancer drugs

The cost of bringing a new drug to the marketplace, from discovery to clinical trials, ranges from $55 million to more than $1 billion. Seema Ehsan aspires to change that, particularly for cancer drugs. A chemical engineering doctoral candidate, she spends eight to 10 hours a day in the laboratory growing tumors.

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Apr 11, 2013
American Ceramic Society Names Professor Martha Mecartney a Fellow

Martha Mecartney, professor of chemical engineering and materials science at UCI’s The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, has been named a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS). The Society gives the title of Fellow to scientists, engineers and business leaders who have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the ceramic arts or sciences, broad and productive scholarship in ceramic science and technology, conspicuous achievement in ceramic industry, or by outstanding service to the Society.

“It is an incredible honor to be selected as a Fellow among such esteemed colleagues, and I am delighted,” says Mecartney, whose research is in the development of new multiphase oxide ceramics for energy applications, understanding how grain boundaries and interfaces control physical and chemical properties, and analytical transmission electron microscopy. “What's taken me by surprise is the outpouring of congratulations from around the world."

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Feb 27, 2013
NSF Grants Prestigious CAREER Award to Professor Timothy Rupert

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recognized Timothy Rupert with a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.

Jul 2, 2012
ChEMS Associate Professor’s Research Featured in Journal

Szu-Wen Wang’s research featured in Advanced Functional Materials

Associate Professor Szu-Wen Wang, Ph.D., Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, has had her research on biomaterials published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials and featured in Materials View.

Biomaterials made from natural units, such as self-assembling biological complexes, have a variety of applications in materials science and nanotechnology. The functionality of protein-based materials, however, is frequently limited by the absence of specific chemical conjugation sites.

Mar 28, 2012
ChEMS Assistant Professor’s Research Featured in Two Journal Cover Articles

Ali Mohraz featured in cover articles in Advanced Materials and Langmuir

Assistant Professor Ali Mohraz, Ph.D., Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, has had his research on interfacial colloid assembly featured as cover articles in the journals Advanced Materials and Langmuir.

Particle self-assembly at liquid interfaces is a complex phenomenon involving elements of interfacial phenomena, suspension mechanics and thermodynamics. A better understanding of the interplay between these various elements can pave the way for new applications of these multi-phase systems in diverse technologies including drug delivery, personal care, oil industries and food products.

Mar 23, 2012
ChEMS Assistant Professor Receives Nuclear Energy University Programs Award

Mikael Nilsson receives award from the U.S. Department of Energy

Assistant Professor Mikael Nilsson, Ph.D., Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, has received a Research and Development Award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP).

Nilsson’s proposal entitledMicroemulsions and Aggregation Formation in Extraction Processes for Used Nuclear Fuel: Thermodynamic and Structural Studies”is related to chemical processing of used nuclear fuel. The project goal is to study the formation of chemical aggregates that may cause upsets in the process.

Feb 28, 2012
Mending a Broken Heart
Ph.D. candidate Aaron Chen wins Public Impact Fellowship for cardiac patch research

Since stem cells were first discovered to be a basis of new medical treatments, researchers have touted their potential to repair the human heart.

Millions of Americans suffer heart attacks each year, and those who survive never fully recover. Left behind is scarred and dead tissue that never mends, and research has focused on utilizing stem cells to initiate new growth.

UC Irvine doctoral candidate Cheng-Wei “Aaron” Chen is pursuing another approach. He believes that human embryonic stem cells can be used to create tissue — a sort of cardiac patch that could be grafted onto damaged heart areas and stimulate regrowth.

Dec 16, 2011
Two Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Graduate Students Present at International Conference

Ko Nee and Michael F. Gray make presentations at the 19th International Solvent Extraction Conference

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