News

Apr 5, 2013
Recent Award to Advance Research in Diabetes Treatment

Elliot Botvinick,  assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, was awarded more than $200,000 by the Iacocca Foundation to tissue engineer an implant for people with type 1 diabetes.

The current primary treatment of type 1 diabetes is the delivery of artificial insulin via injection or pump combined with careful monitoring of blood glucose levels. Botvinick and Jonathan Lakey, associate professor of surgery in UCI’s School of Medicine, are researching methods of improving the encapsulation of islet tissue. Encapsulation of islet tissue prevents direct contact between implanted cells and the host’s immune system and holds great promise as an alternative to pancreatic transplantation that does not require pharmaceutical immune suppression.

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Apr 5, 2013
Water Education Festival Draws Thousands of Elementary School Children to UCI

Professor Bill Cooper, known around campus as the water boy, spoke to more than 500 elementary school children about the importance of wetlands in treating water at the 2013 Children’s Water Education Festival. Held over two days in UCI’s Aldrich Park, the annual festival educates Orange County’s third, fourth and fifth graders about local water issues and how they can protect water supplies and their environment.

Presented by the Orange County Water District (OCWD) and offered as a free field trip for local schools, the event draws more than 7,000 children each year. Cooper’s presentation was one of 65 booths sprawled around the park.

“The OCWD, as one of the most progressive water agencies in the world, has sought to educate the public for years on the importance of water to Orange County, Southern California and California,” says Cooper, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Urban Water Research Center.

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Apr 3, 2013
Top Five Projects from Winter Design Review Announced

The top five student team projects have been selected from the 2013 Samueli School of Engineering Winter Design Review. The teams (see list below) will present their projects at the first annual Ingenuity UCI Student Technology Showcase on May 7 (ingenuity.uci.edu). The Ingenuity Showcase is a joint event with the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences.

 

Apr 1, 2013
Team TBA Takes First in Freshman Hovercraft Competition

It all came down to seconds. Team TBA’s hovercraft beat the Cliffhanger by less than 10 seconds. The hovercraft competition, held at the 2013 Winter Design Review, was the culmination of a two-quarter freshman experiential learning opportunity. A first of its kind in the UC system, the freshman course gives students a real hands-on engineering experience – to design, build and test a multidisciplinary project.

Fall quarter students built a remote control hovercraft; winter quarter students built an autonomous hovercraft. TBA team leader Nina Tamashiro said the class was a good experience. “I really enjoyed being able to work with tools, and I saw the importance of teamwork,” she says. “The hovercraft was a product of our collaboration. We were given a deadline and the essential tools needed. The rest was up to us to decide how to spend the time, which design to use, and who should do what.”

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Mar 28, 2013
UCI Energy Warriors Go to Washington

A student team calling themselves the Energy Warriors represented UCI at the second annual National Better Buildings Case Competition in Washington, D.C. in early March. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the competition challenges university teams to develop and present real-world business and technical solutions to cut energy waste and improve the efficiency in commercial buildings across the country.

The Energy Warriors were among 14 university teams that competed to find the best solutions to energy efficiency challenges presented in four case studies. The case studies consisted of real scenarios, background information, and data provided by organizations in the Better Buildings Challenge program—a broad public-private partnership working to make America's commercial and industrial buildings 20 percent more efficient by 2020.

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Mar 25, 2013
Inaugural Autism AppJam to Honor Autism Awareness Month in April

For two weeks this April, UC Irvine student teams will be tapping their energy and creativity to create the next generation of mobile apps to benefit persons with autism. This Autism AppJam is sponsored by UC Irvine and the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders of Southern California to honor Autism Awareness Month and to highlight the exciting technology advances that are improving the lives of those with autism.

On April 5, AppJam teams will kick start their effort to build the best app, culminating at an April 19 event, in which a team of judges — which include those from Blizzard Entertainment, Google, Yahoo and IBM — will award the top teams prizes and recognition.

Mar 22, 2013
Samueli School Ranks 21st among Public Engineering Graduate Programs in U.S. News and World Report Listing

The U.S. News & World Report ranked The Henry Samueli School of Engineering 21st among public engineering graduate programs (37th overall) in its annual listing of America’s best graduate schools. U.S. News ranks public and private graduate programs based on national reputation and the quality of students and faculty. The Samueli School was ranked 39th overall last year.

“I’m happy to see that we are moving in the right direction,” says Dean Gregory Washington. “The Samueli School will continue to expand our programs and grow our numbers of faculty and staff to provide the best research opportunities, an inspiring education, and innovative corporate partnerships for our graduate students.”

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Mar 6, 2013
Building Towers

Fellowship Program Brings Catalan Engineering Students to the Samueli School

The people of Catalonia, Spain, have a centuries-old cultural tradition of building human towers, or castells (castles). Usually seen at festivals or competitions, the castellers climb up each other and stand on their countrymen’s shoulders to construct a tower that can reach 10-human-stories high, often with a child on top. A crowd surrounds them, providing the safety net.

Successful engineer and Catalan native Peter J. Balsells is creating another sort of human tower, one of opportunity, right here at UC Irvine. In 1995, he endowed the Balsells-Generalitat Fellowship program in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering. Since then, nearly 100 of the most talented young engineers and scientists from Catalonia have come to UCI to pursue graduate studies and conduct research in engineering. 

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Feb 28, 2013
Students, Staff and Faculty Enjoy E-Week

E-Week 2013 proved a rousing success as students burst hot dogs into flames, built bridges with Popsicle sticks and dropped eggs five stories.

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.

Feb 26, 2013
Samueli School Engineering Student and Alumnus Place Third in Google Hackathon

UC Irvine senior engineering student Sean Burke and UCI alumnus Jorge Zamora ’09 took third prize in Google’s recent Youtube Hackathon in Los Angeles.

Feb 19, 2013
E-Week Kicks Off

Despite gray clouds and cool weather, more than 200 students turned out Tuesday morning for a free breakfast to kick off National Engineers Week, or E-Week. Engineering professors joined the Samueli School’s Dean Gregory Washington to cook and serve up pancakes, of all shapes and sizes, to a line of hungry students.

“I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the week of activities, and learn something new about engineering,” said Dean Washington. “I just learned from Albert Yee (professor and department chair of chemical engineering and materials science) that there is a ‘right’ way, scientifically, to mix pancakes.”

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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Feb 11, 2013
Calvin Mackie Addresses the Issue of Underrepresented Minorities in STEM Fields

“We need a hand-to-hand movement,” said Calvin Mackie about the need to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The former engineering professor turned motivational speaker, mentor and technology entrepreneur spoke to UCI students, staff and administrators who gathered at the Calit2 Building Auditorium. The event was sponsored by The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and the UCI Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.

“We’ve figured out how to scour the city to find those in brown and black communities to play football, basketball and baseball. Why can’t we do it for STEM?” asked Mackie. “If we keep believing there is an archetype STEM student, we’re not going to reach the underrepresented minorities that we need, that will help us compete on a global scale.”

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Jan 18, 2013
W.M. Keck Foundation grants UCI $1 million for deep-ocean power science lab

Researchers will explore use of marine conditions to produce clean energy

The W.M. Keck Foundation has granted $1 million to UC Irvine to build a campus laboratory in which researchers can explore the potential of using the deep ocean’s low-temperature and high-pressure conditions to generate carbon-free power from methane hydrates.

Three-dimensional, ice-like structures with natural gas locked inside, methane hydrates are found under the Arctic permafrost and in ocean sediments along nearly every continental shelf in the world. They’re difficult to recover, though, because they require low temperatures and high pressure to remain solid. The new laboratory will investigate novel strategies for utilizing the natural gas contained in methane hydrates through high-pressure combustion and for immediately capturing and mitigating any carbon dioxide emissions.

“This will be the only facility in the world capable of examining both high-pressure combustion and carbon sequestration,” said Derek Dunn-Rankin, professor and chair of mechanical & aerospace engineering and lead investigator on the project.

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Jan 17, 2013
Tau Beta Pi Honor Society Initiates New Members

The UC Irvine Tau Beta Pi Chapter, which has around 300 total members, has initiated 41 new members. Tau Beta Pi is a national honor society open to all engineering disciplines and is the oldest and largest honor society at the Samueli School.

Students must complete an initiation process by meeting a set of requirements and demonstrating commitment to the organization before becoming official members.  An initiate must be in the top 8 percent of their junior class or top 5 percent of their senior class, and display exemplary character and integrity.

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Dec 17, 2012
Broadcom Foundation Funds Graduate Engineering Fellowships at UC Irvine’s The Henry Samueli School of Engineering

Universities that help graduate students offset the rising costs of earning an advanced degree are better positioned to recruit top talent. And with several years of tuition increases and state funding decreases, graduate schools are looking to corporate partners for support. The Henry Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) is pleased to announce that Broadcom Foundation has pledged such assistance in the form of graduate fellowships. 

Broadcom Foundation will contribute $400,000 over two years to establish graduate fellowships at the Samueli School. The gift will fund four electrical engineering graduate students each year for the next two years.

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Dec 7, 2012
Take Note: Three recent awards advance research in healthcare, transportation and materials science

Ahmad Falahatpisheh has been awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association. Falahatpisheh works on computational and experimental cardiac fluid dynamics. His project involves modeling the flow inside the heart of patients with a complex congenital heart malformation called tetralogy of Fallot.

Kenneth Mease has received a seed grant of $50,160 from NASA. The grant will fund Mease’s research project titled Strategic Air Traffic Flow Control via Aggregate Modeling.

Ali Mohraz has received a Distinguished Young Rheologist award from TA Instruments, a manufacturer of analytical instruments for thermal analysis, rheology, and microcalorimetry. The award is an instrument grant, in the form of a $50,000 rheometer (a device that measures the way flows respond to applied forces).

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Nov 29, 2012
Engineering Students Build Tire Tester for Free Wheelchair Mission

Seven engineering students spent their summer putting what they’d learned in the classroom to good use on a project for the Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM).

Nov 26, 2012
Colloquia Room Named for Harut Barsamian

A few days before the Thanksgiving holiday, Samueli School Dean Gregory Washington was giving thanks to Harut Barsamian at a gathering of his family, friends and colleagues.

Nov 16, 2012
Combining Passion for Research With Search for a Cure

As an undergraduate electrical engineering student at the prestigious Zhejiang University in China, Jiawen Li found her passion for research was propelled by the death of her beloved grandfather.

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