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Dean's Column

Wearable Sensors: First in Series of New Centers at the Jacobs School

I am pleased to announce that we have launched the Center for Wearable Sensors here at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. In the upcoming issue of Pulse that goes to the printer and goes online in mid July, you’ll find plenty of information about our new center, which is designed to accelerate wearable-sensor research in order to improve human health and address a range of security and fitness issues.

This is the first in a series of new “agile” research centers at the Jacobs School. Each will apply emerging and converging technologies to address big challenges facing society. Our second new center—the Center for Extreme Events Research—is well underway. You’ll be hearing more soon.

Since I began as Dean in September 2013, I have consistently said that the Jacobs School is a great place, and my goal is to build on excellence and make it even better. The agile centers are a powerful tool to do just this. We will further enrich the intellectual environment for our students, expand and deepen collaborations with industry partners, and strengthen our research profile—all while leveraging engineering as a force for the public good.

I describe the new centers as “agile” because they can be set up quickly and are nimble enough to change course as research challenges and opportunities shift. Our plan is to launch three new centers per year for the next three to four years. Each center will be built around a coordinated research vision created by a group of faculty. Centers will engage with the larger engineering community through initiatives such as workshops, which will connect faculty, students, industry partners, research funders and other constituents. I hope to see many of you—the Jacobs School’s alumni and friends—at these workshops in the coming years.

Soon after my call went out across the Jacobs School for ideas for new centers, more than 10 groups of professors volunteered for further discussion and exploration. I view the strong interest as a testament to both the strength of our faculty and a deeply held desire at the Jacobs School to ensure that our work has the greatest impact possible.

One high-impact path forward is entrepreneurship. The agile centers will create environments where coordinated groups of world-class researchers from different disciplines work together. These teams, in turn, will be well positioned to benefit from the Jacobs School’s programs focused on developing, training and supporting entrepreneurs.

Just this spring, we announced the latest resource for our entrepreneurs: the Triton Technology Fund. It is a venture capital fund created by a group of our alumni that invests in innovations from UC San Diego alumni, students, faculty and staff.

These are exciting times at the Jacobs School, and I welcome your ideas on how we can work together to fulfill our mission to educate tomorrow’s technology leaders; conduct leading-edge research and drive innovation; and transfer discoveries for the benefit of society.

I can be reached at:

Albert P. Pisano, Dean
Jacobs School of Engineering

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