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Dean's Column: Triton Monthly August 2014

Influential Faculty at the Jacobs School

Three professors from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering are listed on a new Thompson Reuters list of the most influential scientific minds of our time. Congratulations to Bioengineering professor Bernhard Palsson, NanoEngineering professor and department chair Joseph Wang and Structural Engineering professor Yuri Bazilevs.

Bernhard Palsson is part of our world-renowned bioengineering department. Its stature is routinely reflected in the rankings, including a #1 NRC ranking in 2010 and a #3 US News ranking in 2014.

Christophe Schilling is in our alumni spotlight this month. Schilling did his Ph.D. research in Palsson’s lab and went on to co-found Genomatica, where he serves as CEO.

Joseph Wang is listed on both the chemistry and engineering lists. This is fitting given that Wang is a professor and chair in our NanoEngineering Department which is by definition interdisciplinary. His publications reflect the broad and interdisciplinary nature of his work.

Wang is also the director of the new Center for Wearable Sensors here at the Jacobs School of Engineering. The Center accelerates the pace of innovation in wearable sensor systems by tackling the toughest research challenges and technical bottlenecks.

This is the first in a series of new “agile” research centers. I use the term agile because the centers can be set up quickly and are nimble enough to change course as research challenges and opportunities shift. Our plan at the Jacobs School is to launch three agile centers per year for the next three to four years. Each center will be built around a coordinated research vision and will partner with industry to solve problems. You can read more about the agile research center plan in my dean’s column in Pulse.

Yuri Bazilevs is being recognized for his contributions to computer science. Bazilevs is a professor of structural engineering at the Jacobs School and an associate director of the Center for Extreme Events Research, which is the second agile center at the Jacobs School. The fact that Bazilevs is being recognized for his contribution to computer science highlights one of the goals of the Center for Extreme Events Research, which is to combine the most advanced experimental and computational technologies for extreme events research.

You can read more about these professors and their research here, in the Jacobs School news center.

If you have feedback or thoughts on how we can work together to make the Jacobs School more influential, please contact me. I can be reached at

Albert P. Pisano
Dean, Jacobs School of Engineering