News Archive


Material scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift

Material scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift

September 24, 2020

A new 3D-printing method will make it easier to manufacture and control the shape of soft robots, artificial muscles and wearable devices. Researchers at UC San Diego show that by controlling the printing temperature of liquid crystal elastomer, or LCE, they can control the material’s degree of stiffness and ability to contract--also known as degree of actuation.  What’s more, they are able to change the stiffness of different areas in the same material by exposing it to heat. Full Story


Robots to Help  Children Touch the Outside World

Robots to Help Children Touch the Outside World

September 24, 2020

A team of University of California researchers is working to improve telepresence robots and the algorithms that drive them to help children with disabilities stay connected to their classmates, teachers and communities. The effort is funded by a $1 million grant from the National Robotics Initiative at the National Science Foundation.   Full Story


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

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

July 2, 2020

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


These flexible feet help robots walk faster

These flexible feet help robots walk faster

June 1, 2020

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. Full Story


UC San Diego undergraduates design Birch Aquarium's first virtual reality exhibit

UC San Diego undergraduates design Birch Aquarium's first virtual reality exhibit

December 5, 2019

Birch Aquarium at Scripps is breaking a barrier this spring. Instead of allowing visitors to just watch local marine life from behind glass, the aquarium is making it possible for visitors to experience life as fish do—thanks to a 360-degree virtual reality exhibit built by UC San Diego undergraduates. Full Story


Two engineers win Excellence in Stewardship awards

Two engineers win Excellence in Stewardship awards

May 22, 2019

Shu Chien, a professor of bioengineering and the department’s founding chair, and Jesse DeWald, staff director of the Envision Arts and Engineering Maker Studio, were both recognized with Excellence in Stewardship awards this year. Full Story


UC San Diego Giving Day

UC San Diego Giving Day

May 15, 2019

The challenge is on! UC San Diego is hosting its inaugural Giving Day for 1,960 minutes on Thursday, May 16 with a goal of bringing the university community together to create collective impact. To make Giving Day a bit more fun, several generous donors have created matching gift challenges for Jacobs School of Engineering projects. Full Story


UC San Diego Undergrads Design New New Birch Aquarium Exhibit

UC San Diego Undergrads Design New New Birch Aquarium Exhibit

November 15, 2018

Ten undergraduate students built a sound-matching exhibit that translates complicated scientific research into an exhibit that will soon be on display at Birch Aquarium at Scripps. It’s part of the Summer EnVision Experience (SEE), which brings together UC San Diego undergraduate students from multidisciplinary backgrounds to collaborate on a hands-on, real-world project from start to finish.  Full Story


EnVision Arts and Engineering Maker Studio doubles in size

EnVision Arts and Engineering Maker Studio doubles in size

February 12, 2018

The EnVision Arts and Engineering Maker Studio, which provides undergraduate engineering and visual art students with a space where theoretical coursework and hands-on experience intersect, quickly filled to capacity after it opened in 2015. The studio recently doubled in size, and students are taking full advantage of the space. Full Story


Undergraduate engineers, Birch Aquarium collaborate on innovative exhibits

Undergraduate engineers, Birch Aquarium collaborate on innovative exhibits

December 19, 2017

Ten UC San Diego undergraduates left an indelible mark on the Birch Aquarium this summer thanks to the Summer Engineering Experience (SEE) internship program. SEE was designed by the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering to provide sophomore and junior engineering students with hands-on experience creating, pitching and developing a project from start to finish.  Full Story


UC San Diego breaks income boundaries in engineering

UC San Diego breaks income boundaries in engineering

October 7, 2016

“This is just the beginning of what technology like this can do,” said Gabriel Davalos, an incoming aerospace engineering major. Davalos was referring to a miniature table lamp he and some of his peers built that turned on when something nearby made a loud noise. The students also fabricated a tiny house to protect the lamp using 3D printed materials and rapid prototyping tools. Full Story


From Satellites to Biodegradable Surfboards

From Satellites to Biodegradable Surfboards

October 6, 2016

UC San Diego showcases real-world applications of research at Maker FaireA surfboard made of algae-based foam. A small satellite that could be put into orbit around the moon. A balloon that carries experiments to the outer reaches of the atmosphere. These were some of the innovations that students, faculty and alumni from UC San Diego showed off this weekend at San Diego Maker Faire, a gathering of more than 200 innovators in a festival-like atmosphere at Balboa Park.  Full Story


Maker Faire San Diego: Celebrating 'Geekdom' of Every Stripe

Maker Faire San Diego: Celebrating 'Geekdom' of Every Stripe

September 29, 2016

It’s billed as “The Greatest Show (&Tell) on Earth,” and researchers from the University of California San Diego will once again be part of the spectacle as Maker Faire San Diego takes over Balboa Park. Full Story


EnVision Interns: The Power of Volunteer Student Teams for a Maker Space

EnVision Interns: The Power of Volunteer Student Teams for a Maker Space

September 23, 2016

LED lights in the shape of a 3D printer head light up the word “3D” in the window of the EnVision Arts and Engineering Maker Studio, visible to passersby. Besides being visually appealing, the display is also providing information: the speed of the animation increases depending on how many 3D printers are being used in the Maker Studio. Full Story


UC San Diego Students Fabricate Device to Protect Seniors from a Fall

UC San Diego Students Fabricate Device to Protect Seniors from a Fall

June 21, 2016

Falls are the leading cause of death from injury among people 65 and older killing more than 400,000 people each year. A team of engineering undergraduates at the Jacobs School is working to address the situation thanks to AirSave, an impact protection system they designed. Full Story


UC San Diego Hosts Maker Space Symposium

UC San Diego Hosts Maker Space Symposium

June 17, 2016

The Southern California InnovationMaker3 Symposium was held at the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California San Diego on Thursday, June 16, 2016. The symposium is the second in a series of three events that bring together community college faculty interested in bringing maker spaces to their campuses with experts from the Maker community. Full Story


Engineering students compete for first place in Robolympics

Engineering students compete for first place in Robolympics

June 13, 2016

The Olympics may be in Rio de Janeiro this summer, but students in mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Nate Delson’s Introduction to Engineering Graphics and Design (MAE3) course competed in their very own version of them right here at the University of California San Diego – the Robot Olympics – with robots that they designed and built themselves. Full Story


Electrical Engineering Undergrads Build and Race Robots

Electrical Engineering Undergrads Build and Race Robots

March 23, 2016

The EnVision Arts and Engineering Maker Studio at UC San Diego teemed with excitement on the day of the final in an electrical engineering class called Making, Breaking and Hacking Stuff. Instead of a typical test, the class culminated in a cumulative final project – teams of two or three students used the knowledge and some of the parts they had acquired during the class’s previous projects to build a line-following robot. The teams competed to see who programmed their robot to follow a line most closely, and at the fastest speed. Full Story


Visual Arts and Engineering Transforming Education in New Maker Studio

Visual Arts and Engineering Transforming Education in New Maker Studio

March 17, 2016

The new 3,000 square foot studio on the third floor of the Structural and Materials Engineering building provides a wide range of design, fabrication and prototyping tools from 3D printers and welding stations to a sophisticated laser cutter. It’s a creative, hands-on, experiential space where visual arts and engineering communities converge; where students are empowered to think, design, make, tinker, break and build again. Full Story


Arts and engineering students collaborate in new course at UC San Diego

Arts and engineering students collaborate in new course at UC San Diego

March 11, 2016

Students from a structural engineering and a visual arts class are working together, shoulder to shoulder, on a collaborative final project despite the fact that they are in different classes. This visual arts and engineering mashup is happening in the new EnVision Maker Studio at UC San Diego and involves students in Structural Engineering 1 and Visual Arts 40.  Full Story


Making, Breaking and Hacking in Electrical Engineering

Making, Breaking and Hacking in Electrical Engineering

March 8, 2016

From a single resistor to LEDs, audio amplifiers and robots, freshman and sophomore students in Electrical Engineering’s new ECE5 class at the University of California, San Diego make and break as they get hands-on exposure to electrical engineering fundamentals. Full Story


UC San Diego engineers build flexible battery packs in new EnVision Maker Studio

UC San Diego engineers build flexible battery packs in new EnVision Maker Studio

March 8, 2016

Groups of freshmen Nanoengineering undergraduates from the University of California, San Diego are creating flexible battery packs the size of a credit card, from scratch. The students will test their batteries by attaching an LED bulb and looking for a glow.  Full Story


UC San Diego 'Revolutionizes' Annual Symposium and Open Studios

UC San Diego 'Revolutionizes' Annual Symposium and Open Studios

March 3, 2016

The UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts is hosting, Local Revolutions: the Ninth-Annual Ph.D. Symposium and Open Studios, Sat. March 5 with events happening at the Visual Arts Presentation Lab (SME 149), Pepper Canyon Hall and throughout the Visual Arts Facility (VAF). This year’s symposium, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., features keynote speaker Lucy R. Lippard, a renowned writer, activist and curator who has published several books about contemporary art and cultural studies. Open Studios runs from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the VAF and features more than 30 artist studios alongside group exhibitions, performances and film screenings. Full Story


UC San Diego Visual Arts Students Break Boundaries at the Mall

UC San Diego Visual Arts Students Break Boundaries at the Mall

January 29, 2016

The University of California, San Diego is an institution known for achieving scientific and creative innovations. So it is no surprise that the Department of Visual Arts broke boundaries and crossed audiences when it recently transformed a 2,500 square-foot, San Diego Art Institute (SDAI) project-space at Horton Plaza into an unexpected home for innovative contemporary art.The project, entitled, “Date Night,” involved UC San Diego students Trevor Amery, Kim Schreiber, Morgan Mandalay, Seth Ferris, Jessica Frelund, Javier Fresneda, Dustin Brons and Audrey Hope, who helped plan the weekend-long program involving local contemporary artists. Full Story


New UC San Diego Visual Arts Major Emphasizes Designing for the Future

New UC San Diego Visual Arts Major Emphasizes Designing for the Future

January 7, 2016

With an eye on the future and an emphasis on students’ marketable skills, the UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts offers a unique approach to design with a new undergraduate major called “speculative design.”  Full Story


Gadgetron Robot Factory allows students to create and learn

Gadgetron Robot Factory allows students to create and learn

January 4, 2016

Students unleashed “robot mayhem” during the last day of CSE 91 at UC San Diego. Robots with funny monikers, such as “Bash Ketchum,” ran loose in a miniature arena, where they spun around, played music and generally created creative chaos. It was all part of a class designed to teach students how to design and program robot. All student teams used the Gadgetron Robot Factory, a tool developed at UC San Diego to design the robots.    Full Story


Experience Chemical Engineering course gives students a taste of engineering in the real world

Experience Chemical Engineering course gives students a taste of engineering in the real world

January 4, 2016

In a brightly-lit laboratory room just east of Warren Quad, seventeen students pored over their iPad-based lab reports and put the finishing touches on their engineering projects. These students, mostly freshmen, were part of Professor Aaron Drews’ CENG 4 Experience Chemical Engineering seminar, a course designed to give students a rich hands-on introduction to chemical engineering. The class, which is currently in its pilot phase, is part of Jacobs School Dean Albert P. Pisano’s vision for experiential learning activities that expose students to “real-world challenges that require them to integrate theory and practice.” Full Story


Bone-fracture puzzles introduce undergraduates to real-world engineering

Bone-fracture puzzles introduce undergraduates to real-world engineering

August 26, 2015

In a new project-based class, first-year bioengineering students at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering produced 3D-printed models of fractured ankles from 2D images of real patients. Full Story


3D Printing Debuts at Robot Competition for Mechanical Engineering Undergraduates

3D Printing Debuts at Robot Competition for Mechanical Engineering Undergraduates

August 20, 2015

In the Spring of 2015, the students in Introduction to Engineering Graphics and Design (MAE3), taught by mechanical and aerospace engineering professors Nate Delson and Mike Tolley, were tasked with designing a robot that can “recycle” – or rather, move items from a small staging area representing their dorm room into the correct recycling bin a few feet away. Full Story