2020 News Releases

    7/9/20

    $18M Boost to Materials Science Research at UC San Diego

    The National Science Foundation has awarded University of California San Diego researchers a six-year $18 million grant to fund a new Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).

    These research centers are transformative for the schools that earn them, putting their materials science research efforts into the global spotlight. In addition to research and facilities funding, MRSEC centers provide sustained research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students, and resources to focus on diversifying the pool of students studying materials science.

    The UC San Diego labs funded by this new MRSEC will focus on two important, emerging approaches to build new materials aimed at improving human lives.

    Full Story
    7/8/20

    UC San Diego NanoEngineers to lead MRSEC research thrust on Predictive Assembly

    In some ways, the field of materials science is where the pharmaceutical sciences were twenty years ago. A team of University of California San Diego researchers is working to change that. The team makes up the "predictive assembly" research thrust of the new $18M Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

     

    Today, computational and predictive tools are used in the pharmaceutical industry in order to design "small molecule" drugs with particular properties and behaviors. The challenge is that the design-before-you-synthesize approach hasn't worked for the larger-scale materials that are critical for many applications beyond small-molecule drugs. That's the work that will be done by the team led by nanoengineering professors Andrea Tao and Tod Pascal from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

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    7/8/20

    UC San Diego NanoEngineers to lead MRSEC research thrust on Living Materials

    University of California San Diego researchers are using the tools of the biotechnology revolution—in particular, genetic engineering and synthetic biology—to build new classes of materials with novel kinds of abilities. Materials that can repair themselves are just one example of the applications of the "living materials" research thrust that is a key component of the new $18M Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The team's big idea is to incorporate living organisms, either from plants or microbes, into their new materials. Living organisms have evolved over billions of years to perform complex functions and to sense the environment around them. Synthetic materials still lag far behind what biological systems can accomplish. The UC San Diego researchers are asking: why not use biology to program materials?

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    7/2/20

    UC San Diego receives $1.6 million to better prepare young adults for engineering and technical careers

    Longtime University of California San Diego supporter Buzz Woolley has pledged $1.6 million over the next three years to fund an innovative new initiative that will significantly expand the region’s engineering and technical workforce. Much of the work to create inclusive problem-solving materials for students and teachers will be based in the EnVision Arts and Engineering Maker Studio.

    Full Story
    7/2/20

    Women who mean business

    The University of California San Diego is proud to have been named a top 25 undergraduate university for female-founded startups by Pitchbook, a financial data and software company. Pitchbook tracked companies that raised their first round of funding between January 1, 2006 and August 31, 2019. UC San Diego landed in the No. 22 spot with 45 female founders whose companies raised over $580 million in first-round funding.

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    7/2/20

    Creating an engineering senior design project...at home

    Curbside delivery of 3D-printed parts, the cooperation of roommates, weekend build sessions in Riverside and communication, communication, communication. This is what it took for graduating engineering students, staff and faculty at UC San Diego to transition the hands-on, team-based capstone mechanical engineering design course to remote instruction in the age of COVID-19.

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    6/30/20

    Center for Microbiome Innovation names Dr. Andrew Bartko as Executive Director

    UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation names Dr. Andrew Bartko, a veteran research leader from Battelle Memorial Institute, as its new Executive Director. Bartko embarks on new role as founding executive director Dr. Sandrine Miller-Montgomery departs to lead Micronoma, a San Diego-based startup spawned out of the Center.

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    6/25/20

    Jacobs School of Engineering Launches Research Ethics Project

    Building a sustained culture where students, faculty and staff have the resources and comfort level to engage in ethical conversations on an ongoing basis is the goal of the Research Ethics Project at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. The project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), entered phase two in May.

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    6/23/20

    Researchers develop low-cost, easy-to-use emergency ventilator for COVID-19 patients

    A team of engineers and physicians at the University of California San Diego has developed a low-cost, easy-to-use emergency ventilator for COVID-19 patients that is built around a ventilator bag usually found in ambulances.  The team built an automated system around the bag and brought down the cost of an emergency ventilator to just $500 per unit--state of the art models cost at least $50,000. The device's components can be rapidly fabricated  and the ventilator can be assembled in just 15 minutes. The device’s electronics and sensors rely on a robust supply chain from fields not related to healthcare that are unlikely to be affected by shortages. 


     

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    6/22/20

    IEEE Spectrum Cover Story

    The cover feature of IEEE Spectrum this month is a feature on the UC San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors: Why Sweat will Power your next Wearable. Full Story
    6/19/20

    NIH grant to bioprint nanoparticles for ovarian cancer immunotherapy

    Nanoengineers at UC San Diego received a five-year, $2.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an immunotherapy for ovarian cancer using plant virus nanoparticles. The particles will be produced using 3D-bioprinting, enabling them to be released at specified intervals, instead of a continuous slow release.

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    6/18/20

    Using LEGO to test children's ability to visualize and rotate 3D shapes in space

    Researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed a test that uses children’s ability to assemble LEGO pieces to assess their spatial visualization ability. Spatial visualization is the ability to visualize 3D shapes in one’s mind, which is tied to increased GPAs and graduation rates in STEM college students.

     

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    6/17/20

    Nanosponges Could Intercept Coronavirus Infection

    Nanoparticles cloaked in human lung cell membranes and human immune cell membranes can attract and neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus in cell culture, causing the virus to lose its ability to hijack host cells and reproduce. Instead of targeting the virus itself, these nanosponges, developed by engineers at UC San Diego, are designed to protect the healthy cells the virus invades. 
     

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    6/17/20

    Nano-scale sponges for COVID-19 are already a win for San Diego

    A team of nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego is taking a unique approach to COVID-19 drug discovery. Their strategy is to intercept virus particles and neutralize them with nano-scale sponges before the virus can enter healthy human cells and replicate. These nanosponges did not appear out of thin air back in January when troubling reports started coming in. Professor Liangfang Zhang leveraged a platform technology his team has been developing and methodically maturing for a decade.

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    6/11/20

    How Stimulus Dollars are Spent will Affect Emissions for Decades

    The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have led to a record crash in emissions. But it will be emission levels during the recovery—in the months and years after the pandemic recedes—that matter most for how global warming plays out, according to a new Nature commentary from researchers at the University of California San Diego. While the skies have been noticeably cleaner, countries like the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and others have recently relaxed laws controlling pollution and vehicle energy efficiency standards.

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    6/11/20

    Graduating students honored with engineering Awards of Excellence

    Six students were selected from among their peers to receive an Award of Excellence for their outstanding academic, leadership and community contributions. 

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    6/11/20

    Pioneering Scientist and Innovator Larry Smarr Retires

    After 20 years at UC San Diego, Larry Smarr will step down as the director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and retire as a distinguished professor from the Jacobs School of Engineering’s Computer Science and Engineering Department at the end of this month. Dr. Ramesh Rao, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering, will serve as interim director of Calit2, in addition to his current position as the director of the Qualcomm Institute.

    During these two decades, Smarr grew the two-campus Calit2 into a collaborative discovery system that engaged hundreds of faculty, staff, students and companies.

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    6/4/20

    Class Acts: 2020 Grads Step into the Spotlight

    They’ve worked hard, made an impact, inspired their communities, and most of all, they’ve demonstrated incredible resilience in challenging times. Help celebrate the class of 2020’s remarkable achievements by reading their stories of hope as these new alumni create better futures for themselves and the world.

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    6/3/20

    International Symposium on Computer Architecture Honors Scientists for Paper's Lasting Impact

    The International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) is honoring a paper by UC San Diego Computer Science and Engineering Department Chair Dean Tullsen — along with Rakesh Kumar, then a PhD student at UC San Diego and first author on the paper, and Victor Zyuban — with the 2020 Influential Paper Award for its lasting impact. 

     

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    6/2/20

    Joel Conte Named to the Eric and Johanna Reissner Chair for Structural Engineering

    Structural engineering professor Joel Conte was named to the Eric and Johanna Reissner Chair in the Department of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego. Conte is the principal investigator for the operation and maintenance of the world’s largest outdoor shake table located at the UC San Diego Englekirk Structural Engineering Center at the University of California San Diego. The facility, which is also the second  largest shake table in the world overall,  is currently undergoing a major upgrade funded by the National Science Foundation. Once upgraded, the shake table will be able to reproduce all six components of ground motions experienced during earthquakes. Conte is the principal investigator on the $16.3 million upgrade grant. 

     

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    6/1/20

    These flexible feet help robots walk faster

    Roboticists at the University of California San Diego have developed flexible feet that can help robots walk up to 40 percent faster on uneven terrain such as pebbles and wood chips. The work has applications for search-and-rescue missions as well as space exploration.

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    5/28/20

    Making matter out of light: high-power laser simulations point the way

    A few minutes into the life of the universe, colliding emissions of light energy created the first particles of matter and antimatter. We are familiar with the reverse process—matter generating energy—which occurs in an atomic bomb, for example, but it has been difficult to recreate that critical transformation of light into matter. Now, a new set of simulations by a research team led by UC San Diego’s Alexey Arefiev point the way toward making matter from light.

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    5/20/20

    I'm gonna contribute to the revolution of the pharmaceutical world

    When Qiangzhe “Oliver” Zhang was still a high school student in China applying to colleges in the United States, UC San Diego’s chemical engineering program at Jacobs School of Engineering was at the top of his list. “I knew they had this very new, very innovative nanoengineering program,” he said. “It’s one of a kind, and that got me really excited.” 

    Now, almost eight years later, Zhang is working at the leading edge of biomedical research under Liangfang Zhang in the Nanomaterials and Nanomedicine Laboratory, developing new technologies that could completely change how scientists combat viruses like HIV and SARS-CoV-2

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    5/19/20

    COVID-19: the Jacobs School community engages

    The Jacobs School community has stepped up to the many challenges the SARS-CoV-2 visus has put before us. This is a cross section of projects that Jacobs School faculty, students and staff have launched in response to COVID-19. Some of these efforts are sure to grow into larger, sustained efforts. Others will morph or conclude as needs and available resources change. Through it all, our commitment to bold innovation for the public good remains. 

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    5/19/20

    eCOVID platform provides remote patient monitoring

    Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a remote monitoring platform for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 but aren’t in need of hospitalization. The system is being tested by patients in a clinical trial at UC San Diego Health.

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    5/18/20

    Engineers develop low-cost, high-accuracy GPS-like system for flexible medical robots

    Roboticists at the University of California San Diego have developed an affordable, easy to use system to track the location of flexible surgical robots inside the human body. The system performs as well as current state of the art methods, but is much less expensive. Many current methods also require exposure to radiation, while this system does not. The system was developed by Tania Morimoto, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, and mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Connor Watson. Their findings are published in the April 2020 issue of IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. 

     

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    5/18/20

    New wearable sensor tracks Vitamin C levels in sweat

    A team at the University of California San Diego has developed a wearable, non invasive Vitamin C sensor that could provide a new, highly personalized option for users to track their daily nutritional intake and dietary adherence. The study was published in the May 18, 2020 issue of ACS Sensors.

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    5/18/20

    Computer Scientists Win Test of Time Award for Paper that Changed the Auto Industry

    UC San Diego computer scientist Stefan Savage and his colleagues first gave the automotive industry a wake-up call when they published research demonstrating the ability to hack a car’s computer system in 2010. This research, and the resulting academic paper, was honored with the Test of Time Award at this year’s IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy for its broad and lasting impact.

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    5/18/20

    A low-power, low-cost wearable to monitor COVID-19 patients

    Engineers at the University of California San Diego are developing low-cost, low-power wearable sensors that can measure temperature and respiration--key vital signs used to monitor COVID-19. The devices would transmit data wirelessly to a smartphone, and could be used to monitor patients for viral infections that affect temperature and respiration in real time. The research team plans to develop a device and a manufacturing process in just 12 months. 

     

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    5/11/20

    Undergraduate engineers design neonatal ECMO simulation

    In collaboration with physicians and surgeons at Rady Children’s Hospital, a team of undergraduate mechanical engineering students developed a neonatal simulation system for a critical and rare surgical procedure called ECMO. They developed this realistic simulation system- believed to be the first for neonatal patients—for their senior design project. 

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    5/11/20

    UC San Diego Team Delivers Protective Equipment to Hospitals in Baja California

    The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies in Baja California, and researchers with UC San Diego’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering are developing solutions to help. Nadir Weibel, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and head of the Human-Centered and Ubiquitous Computing Lab, is collaborating with university colleagues, government and industry to develop PPE solutions and to transport  supplies, like masks and face shields, to hospitals in Baja.

    Full Story
    5/7/20

    COVID-19: What is obvious and clear for us may not be for a lot of people

    This is my fifth year away from my family. If anyone knows about being out of reach from loved ones, it’s me. But unfortunately, with our current situation, it is likely you, too.

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    5/5/20

    UC San Diego's Earth 2.0 COVID-19 Response Platform Connects Clinicians with Resources, Engineers and Answers

    Everything about the COVID-19 pandemic is new: the virus’s transmission to humans, the stay-at-home orders, the challenges many caregivers are facing. With so much in flux, providers are often being asked to find solutions. In response, a group of UC San Diego faculty, with the help of hundreds of students, has stepped up to create an online portal called Earth 2.0 COVID-19 Rapid Response.

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    5/5/20

    The heart of experimentation beats outside the classroom anyway...

    Working from home as an experimental scientist is a bit… impossible. My lab mates and I synthesize new materials destined for next-generation lasers, magnets, and batteries. We work with custom-built, expensive equipment with special power supplies and materials that are toxic, carcinogenic, and corrosive. These things don’t exactly fit nicely into graduate student apartments, or really any home outside the Stark family.

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    5/4/20

    Grit and Resolve

    I never thought we would face so much headwind as a school. Despite the challenges, we are maintaining the forward momentum that we have spent more than six years building together. The health and safety of our students, staff and faculty is my number one priority. This is the foundation of our momentum.

     

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    5/1/20

    Green method could enable hospitals to produce hydrogen peroxide in house

    A team of researchers has developed a portable, more environmentally friendly method to produce hydrogen peroxide. It could enable hospitals to make their own supply of the disinfectant on demand and at lower cost.

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    4/28/20

    Students harness their knowledge for ventilator challenge

    Two groups of engineering students at UC San Diego spent their spring break harnessing their knowledge to contribute to the ventilator shortage the world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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    4/27/20

    Creating an Early Alert System for COVID-19

    To better understand early signs of coronavirus and the virus' spread, physicians around the country and data scientists at UC San Diego are working together to use a wearable device to monitor more than 12,000 people, including thousands of healthcare workers. The effort is already underway at hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area and at the University of West Virginia.

     

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    4/23/20

    Making recombinant-protein drugs cheaper

    By cleaning up mammalian cell lines that produce recombinant-protein drugs, researchers forge a path to purer, cheaper drugs that treat cancer, arthritis and other complex diseases

    Full Story
    4/20/20

    Marrying molecular farming and advanced manufacturing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine

    UC San Diego nanoengineers received a Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant from the National Science Foundation to develop—using a plant virus—a stable, easy to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine patch that can be shipped around the world and painlessly self-administered by patients.

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    4/20/20

    Engineering student leaders honored by Gordon Center

    The Gordon Engineering Leadership Center at UC San Diego recently announced the 2020 winners of its Engineering Leadership Awards, which recognize undergraduate and graduate engineering students who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, technical ability, communication, and teamwork.

     

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    4/20/20

    'Decoy' nanoparticles can block HIV and prevent infection

    Flipping the standard viral drug targeting approach on its head, engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a promising new “nanosponge” method for preventing HIV from proliferating in the body: coating polymer nanoparticles with the membranes of T helper cells and turning them into decoys to intercept viral particles and block them from binding and infiltrating the body’s actual immune cells. 

    Full Story
    4/20/20

    Engineering telemedicine app, universal control system for ventilators for COVID-19 care


    Engineers in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego have partnered with physicians at the Mayo Clinic to create a telemedicine to help critical care specialists provide the best possible care, even when resources are stretched thin. The team is also working on a universal control system that would work with any DIY ventilator.

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    4/16/20

    Incoming President of Quiz Bowl Club Represents Campus in 'Jeopardy!' College Championship

    UC San Diego was one of 15 schools represented in the 2020 Jeopardy College Championship, thanks to Alistair Gray, a second year computer science and linguistics double major.

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    4/16/20

    Undergraduates simplify intubation tool for senior design project

    A team of UC San Diego undergraduate engineers helped design a simple, all-in-one tool to perform endotracheal intubations, which could simplify the steps clinicians need to take when performing the time-sensitive, complex procedure. The mechanical engineering students took on the challenge as their senior design project, with direction from project sponsor Dr. Taylor Graber of the Department of Anesthesiology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. 

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    4/15/20

    Economic Impact of COVID-19 will Make the Fight Against Climate Change Harder

    Measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus have reduced the demand for fuel and slashed oil prices. Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the chief long-term cause of climate warming, have slid perhaps by one-fifth and pollution is down, but can we expect COVID-19 to create lasting change in reversing global warming?

    “I doubt it,” said David Victor, professor of international relations at the University of California San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. “While the pandemic might alter societies permanently, the same market forces that drive our dependence on fossil fuels are still in play and may even be reinforced with the economic fallout of COVID-19.”

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    4/9/20

    3D printed corals provide more fertile ground for algae growth

    Researchers have 3D printed coral-inspired structures that are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae. The work could lead to the development of compact, more efficient bioreactors for producing algae-based biofuels, as well as new techniques to repair and restore coral reefs.

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    4/9/20

    Call for Citizen Scientists to Contribute to COVID-19 Studies

    The Microsetta Initiative, a crowdsourced research effort based at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, has expanded its capabilities to now allow citizen-scientists around the world to help collect crucial information about SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causing a COVID-19 pandemic.

    “We are now positioned to collect data that will help drive epidemiological studies of where the virus is and isn’t, and help researchers determine who is at greatest risk, who is already immune, how the virus is transmitted and how it spreads through a population,” said Rob Knight, professor and director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation and co-founder of The Microsetta Initiative, which is run by his research lab at UC San Diego School of Medicine under Scientific Director Daniel McDonald. 

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    4/9/20

    UC San Diego researchers move closer to producing heparin in the lab

    In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of California San Diego researchers moved one step closer to the ability to make heparin in cultured cells. Heparin is a potent anti-coagulant and the most prescribed drug in hospitals, yet cell-culture-based production of heparin is currently not possible. Heparin is currently produced by extracting the drug from pig intestines, which is a concern for safety, sustainability, and security reasons. 

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    4/8/20

    Bioengineers inducted into prestigious biomedical institution

    Two researchers at the Jacobs School of Engineering were inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. The College of Fellows is comprised of the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers in the country.

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    4/8/20

    Thanks to 'flexoskeletons,' these insect-inspired robots are faster and cheaper to make

    Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a new method that doesn’t require any special equipment and works in just minutes to create soft, flexible, 3D-printed robots. The structures were inspired by insect exoskeletons, which have both soft and rigid parts--the researchers called their creations “flexoskeletons.” 

     

     

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    4/7/20

    Company founded by engineering alumni advances 1-hour COVID test

    Medical diagnostic company Fluxergy, founded by UC San Diego engineering alumni, submitted an Emergency Use Authorization to the FDA for their quick, point-of-care COVID-19 test.

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    4/2/20

    WiFi-Boosting 'Smart Surface' Could Help Remote Workers and Students

    UC San Diego engineers developed a "smart surface" that can be stuck on the wall to improve WiFi connectivity  in the home and office. It can make WiFi signal available in dead spots, and also make the existing connection twice as fast. 

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    3/31/20

    Discovery of new biomarker in blood could lead to early test for Alzheimer's disease

    UC San Diego researchers discovered that high blood levels of RNA produced by the PHGDH gene could serve as a biomarker for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. The work could lead to the development of a blood test to identify individuals who will develop the disease years before they show symptoms.

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    3/26/20

    UC San Diego Engineers and Doctors Team Up to Retrofit and Build Ventilators

    Even as university campuses close across the nation in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, a team of engineers and physicians at the University of California San Diego is rapidly developing simple, ready-to-use ventilators to be deployed if the need arises.

    The project kick-started several weeks ago when news started to trickle in that communities in Northern Italy with widespread COVID-19 were in dire straits.

    “One of the biggest things we heard was that there weren’t enough ventilators to treat all of the patients coming into the hospitals,” said James Friend, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego. “It’s clear that if we’re not careful, we might end up in the same situation.”

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    3/20/20

    UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering jumped to #9 in U.S. News and World Report Rankings of Best Engineering Schools

    The University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering jumped to the #9 spot in the influential U.S. News and World Report Rankings of Best Engineering Schools. This is up from #11 last year and #17 four years ago. It’s the first time the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has broken into the top 10 of this closely watched ranking.

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    3/20/20

    How Robots Can Help Combat COVID-19: Science Robotics Editorial

    Can robots be effective tools in combating the COVID-19 pandemic? A group of leaders in the field of robotics, including Henrik Christensen, director of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute, say yes, and outline a number of examples in an editorial in the March 25 issue of Science Robotics. They say robots can be used for  clinical care such as telemedicine and decontamination; logistics such as delivery and handling of contaminated waste; and reconnaissance such as monitoring compliance with voluntary quarantines.

     

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    3/17/20

    Making cell modeling more realistic

    UC San Diego researchers have developed a computational tool that makes modeling and simulation of complex cellular processes more true to life. The tool, dubbed GAMer 2, simplifies the process of using realistic cell geometries in mathematical models.

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    3/16/20

    Undergraduate students bring Intranet to rural Ghanaian school

    A team of undergraduates, who are part of the Global Ties program at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, developed a self-sustaining and scalable computer server and intranet system. The system will allow teachers at the Semanhyiya American School (SAS) in the rural village of Senase, Ghana, to download Internet pages and educational materials that students can access anytime at school—even when there is no Internet. 

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    3/13/20

    Pathways toward realizing the promise of all-solid-state batteries

    UC San Diego nanoengineers offer a research roadmap describing four challenges that need to be addressed in order to advance a promising class of batteries, all-solid-state batteries, to commercialization. The researchers describe their work to tackle these challenges over the past three years.

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    3/12/20

    'Spillway' for electrons could keep lithium metal batteries from catching fire

    UC San Diego nanoengineers developed a safety feature that prevents lithium metal batteries from rapidly overheating and catching fire in case of an internal short circuit. The clever tweak does not prevent battery failure, but rather provides advance warning of failure and makes it much safer.

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    3/11/20

    New record set for cryptographic challenge

    An international team of computer scientists has set a new record for integer factorization, one of the most important computational problems underlying the security of nearly all public-key cryptography currently used today.

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    3/10/20

    Computer scientists receive $1 million DARPA grant to address information onslaught

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $1 million grant to Computer Science and Engineering Department professors Tajana Rosing, Sanjoy Dasgupta and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department professor Tara Javidi to explore how hyperdimensional computing (HD) can help address informational onslaught. The project is called HyDREA (Hyperdimensional Computing: Robust, Efficient and Accurate).

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    3/4/20

    UC San Diego synthetic biologists redesign the way bacteria 'talk' to each other

    Bioengineers at the University of California San Diego have redesigned how harmless E. coli bacteria “talk” to each other. The new genetic circuit could become a useful new tool for synthetic biologists who, as a field, are looking for ways to better control the bacteria they engineer to perform all sorts of tasks, including drug delivery, bioproduction of valuable compounds, and environmental sensing.

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    2/27/20

    Scientists Design Way to Use Harmless Bacteria to Detect Heavy Metals in Drinking Water

    A team from UC San Diego and the San Diego startup Quantitative BioSciences has a new approach to continuous monitoring of heavy metal contamination in drinking water using bacteria as sensors of contamination. The team recently published their advances in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

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    2/25/20

    Light-shrinking device enables detection of ultra-tiny substances

    Engineers at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley have created light-based technology that can detect biological substances with a molecular mass more than two orders of magnitude smaller than previously possible. The research could lead to the development of ultra-sensitive devices that can quickly detect pathogens in human blood and considerably reduce the time needed for patients to get results from blood tests.

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    2/25/20

    Researchers Develop Framework that Improves Firefox Security

    Researchers from the University of California San Diego, University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University and Mozilla have developed a new framework to improve web browser security. The framework, called RLBox, has been integrated into Firefox to complement Firefox’s other security-hardening efforts.

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    2/21/20

    This wearable device camouflages its wearer no matter the weather

    Researchers at the University of California San Diego developed a wearable technology that can hide its wearer from heat-detecting sensors such as night vision goggles, even when the ambient temperature changes--a feat that current state of the art technology cannot match.  The technology can adapt to temperature changes in just a few minutes, while keeping the wearer comfortable.

     

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    2/19/20

    Controlling CAR T cells with light selectively destroys skin tumors in mice

    UC San Diego bioengineers have developed a control system that could make CAR T-cell therapy safer and more powerful when treating cancer. By programming CAR T cells to switch on when exposed to blue light, the researchers controlled the cells to destroy skin tumors in mice without harming healthy tissue.

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    2/18/20

    Ultrasound device improves charge time and run time in lithium batteries

    Researchers at the University of California San Diego developed an ultrasound-emitting device that brings lithium metal batteries, or LMBs, one step closer to commercial viability. Although the research team focused on LMBs, the device can be used in any battery, regardless of chemistry. 

     

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    2/17/20

    New chip brings ultra-low power Wi-Fi connectivity to IoT devices

    More portable, fully wireless smart home setups. Lower power wearables. Batteryless smart devices. These could all be made possible thanks to a new ultra-low power Wi-Fi radio developed by UC San Diego engineers. It enables Wi-Fi communication at 5,000 times less power than commercial Wi-Fi radios.

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    2/14/20

    Building a new generation of software programming languages

    Nadia Polikarpova. a computer science professor, is a recent recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for work to help software developers increase productivity and reduce the number of mistakes in their code. She is also a 2020 recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship. Each year, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awards two-year fellowships to just over 100 early-career scientists and scholars who demonstrate a unique potential to make a substantial contribution to their fields.

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    2/13/20

    Your AI stylist will see you now

    Do you ever wonder what shoes or purse you should wear with your outfit? Well, have no fear: AI is here to help. Computer scientists at UC San Diego, in collaboration with Pinterest, developed “Complete the Look,” an AI-powered tool that recommends accessories and other fashion items to match your outfit based on just one photo.

     

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    2/6/20

    Lim(b)itless in India: UC San Diego Students Travel Abroad to Empower Amputees

    In November, 2019, 10 UC San Diego students filed into a bustling amputee clinic in Jaipur, India. On one side of the room, men and women, some bearing crutches, watched as their new limbs took shape under the staff’s careful hands. For many of them, a prosthetic limb represented the chance to regain their mobility, independence and livelihoods. The students’ visit to the Jaipur Foot clinic—a non-profit known around the world for providing affordable, prosthetic limbs and other mobility aids to those in need—marked more than a year of painstaking work to develop technology connecting amputees directly to prosthetists. The work is part of Project Lim(b)itless, an initiative founded by Albert Lin, a recent amputee and researcher at the Qualcomm Institute (QI) at UC San Diego.

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    2/5/20

    What's for Dinner? AI Can Help

    Research from computer scientists at the University of California San Diego could eventually lead to AI-generated recipes—customized to your personal taste. The study breaks new ground in natural language processing, which studies how AI understands and generates human (natural) language. The research was published on arXiv.org.

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    2/5/20

    Integrating robots in public and private spaces for the common good

     UC San Diego alumna Hee Rin Lee, now an assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Media and Information, explores how we can integrate robots into our lives for social good, whether it be in a retirement community or a bustling factory. The roots of her research go back to her time in the lab of computer science professor Laurel Riek here at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. 

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    2/4/20

    Jacobs School faculty, student, staff honored with Inclusive Excellence Awards

    Three members of the Jacobs School of Engineering community were awarded 2020 Inclusive Excellence Awards for their outstanding contributions toward increasing diversity at all levels at UC San Diego. 

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    2/3/20

    Algae Shown to Improve Gastrointestinal Health

    A widespread, fast-growing plant called Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is famous in scientific laboratories due to its position as the world’s most exhaustively studied algae. Researchers at the University of California San Diego recently completed the first study examining the effects of consuming C. reinhardtii and demonstrated that the algae improves human gastrointestinal issues associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) such as diarrhea, gas and bloating. Results of the project are published in the Journal of Functional Foods.

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    2/3/20

    Assessing 'stickiness' of tumor cells could improve cancer prognosis

    Researchers led by UC San Diego built a device that sorts and separates cancer cells from the same tumor based on how “sticky” they are. They found that less sticky cells migrate and invade other tissues more than their stickier counterparts, and have genes that make tumor recurrence more likely.

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    1/31/20

    Microsized bacterial bait could provide new treatment for infections

    Micromotors that swim to infected sites in the body to lure, trap and destroy bacteria could offer a more efficient form of treatment against pathogens. Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a “microtrap” that zips around in an acidic environment (like that found in the stomach) and serves as a toxic bait for E. coli bacteria.

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    1/30/20

    Machine learning technique speeds up crystal structure determination

    A computer-based method could make it less labor-intensive to determine the crystal structures of various materials and molecules, including alloys, proteins and pharmaceuticals. The method uses a machine learning algorithm, similar to the type used in facial recognition and self-driving cars, to independently analyze electron diffraction patterns, and do so with at least 95% accuracy.

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    1/30/20

    Passion drives True Tritons to service

    From creating scholarships and providing leadership, to student mentoring and preserving the arts, four shining examples of Triton passion and commitment will be honored Feb. 7 at UC San Diego’s True Triton Celebration to be held in the Great Hall on campus.

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    1/30/20

    UC San Diego startup selected as finalist in UC Pitch contest

    A startup founded by a UC San Diego electrical and computer engineering graduate student is one of five finalists in the 2020 UC Pitch Startup Showcase held Jan. 29 and 30 in tandem with the Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation Summit in Monterey, Calif.

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    1/29/20

    Land, Sea & Air

    Student engineering clubs push the limits of Tritons and their vehicles—here’s the fastest, deepest and highest-flying out there.

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    1/28/20

    Ozgur Sinanoglu (PhD '05), Cybersecurity Trailblazer

    In Ozgur Sinanoglu’s Design for Excellence lab at New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus, a major development in cybersecurity has emerged. The Electrical and Computer Engineering professor and his team of eight researchers have made news over the last couple of years with their strides to create a chip that can stand up to a variety of threats and attempts to violate its security. A first-of-its kind chip that would be unhackable. Sinanoglu is an alumnus of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego. 

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    1/24/20

    Mechanical engineering student awarded Brooke Owens Fellowship

    Surya Vohra, a mechanical engineering student at UC San Diego, has been selected as a 2020 Brooke Owens Fellow. The Fellowship is awarded to exceptional undergraduate women in aerospace. This marks the fourth year—since the beginning of the Brooke Owens Fellow program—that a UC San Diego engineering student has been awarded a fellowship. 

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    1/23/20

    Engineer Transforms Personal Experiences into 'Bridges to Education' for Underrepresented Students

    When he was 10 years old, Oscar Vazquez-Mena learned that his ancestors, the ancient Mayans, had once been a technologically advanced culture that excelled in mathematics, astronomy, art and architecture. He became inspired to follow in their footsteps. Now, as an assistant professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego, Vazquez-Mena is working to support the educational development of students from marginalized communities in the United States and across the border.

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    1/16/20

    Engineering professor Graeve inducted into Mexican Academy of Sciences

    Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Olivia Graeve has been inducted into the Academia Mexicana de Ciencias (Mexican Academy of Sciences or AMC). The AMC, established in 1959, is a non-profit non-governmental association of distinguished members of the Mexican scientific community. Graeve, a Tijuana native and UC San Diego alumna, is one of only three corresponding members inducted in 2019. Corresponding members are researchers who reside outside of Mexico but have made significant contributions to the development of science in Mexico. 

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    1/9/20

    Growing strained crystals could improve performance of perovskite electronics

    A new method could enable researchers to build more efficient, longer lasting perovskite solar cells and LEDs. By growing thin perovskite films on different substrates, UC San Diego engineers invented a way of fabricating perovskite single crystals with precisely deformed, or strained, structures.

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    1/9/20

    Measuring Mutations in Sperm May Reveal Risk for Autism in Future Children

    In a study published Dec. 23, 2019 in Nature Medicine, an international team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, describe a method to measure disease-causing mutations found only in the sperm of the father, providing a more accurate assessment of ASD risk in future children.

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    1/9/20

    The Epic Lives of Albert Lin

    UC San Diego engineering alumnus Albert Yu-Min Lin can be described in many ways: explorer, engineer, scientist, artist, surfer, humanist, traveler, philosopher, father. It’s a challenge to capture Lin, whether in a few words or just for a quick phone call. He seems to have an endless supply of momentum—an energy, curiosity and optimism as big as the world he is continually exploring.

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    1/8/20

    Bianca Zadrozny (PhD '03): Developing Novel Approaches to Natural Resources Discovery and Exploration

    Since earning her PhD in computer science in 2003, Bianca Zadrozny has pursued her computer science career, in both industry and academia, in two countries. Her path has led her to IBM Research in Brazil, where she oversees natural resources analytics research.  Her group’s mission is to conduct research projects in data-driven and physically driven analytics, aiming to develop novel technologies that can help in smarter natural resources discovery and exploration.

     

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    1/8/20

    UC San Diego Researchers Receive $2.6M NSF Grant to Help Train Autistic Adults for Tech Employment

    A team of researchers from the University of California San Diego has been awarded a $2.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an employment-training program that will tap into the talent and potential of autistic adults for technology work.

     

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    1/7/20

    Preserving Libraries in the Sand

    Interdisciplinary partners at UC San Diego are using drones and 3D-modeling to save Puerto Rico’s indigenous history from the sea. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in late 2018, Eric Lo, a Jacobs School alumnus who now works at the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego, touched down in Puerto Rico with a single goal: find the ancient archaeological site he had helped monitor for more than a year and assess the damage. 

     

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    1/6/20

    oSTEM earns Chapter of the Year award

    Just three years after it was founded, UC San Diego’s chapter of oSTEM — Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — was awarded the Chapter of the Year designation at the oSTEM Annual Conference in Detroit. 

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