News Releases from 2018


Hardware-software co-design approach could make neural networks less power hungry

A team led by the University of California San Diego has developed a neuroinspired hardware-software co-design approach that could make neural network training more energy-efficient and faster. Their work could one day make it possible to train neural networks on low-power devices such as smartphones, laptops and embedded devices. Full Story


The future of healthcare robotics: from home helpers to hospital and surgery assistants

By 2050, the number of people over age 60 will double worldwide. By 2100, it will triple. This population shift will generate dramatically increased demand for caregiving and healthcare services--demand that can’t be met by humans only. In addition, five billion people worldwide lack access to adequate healthcare, especially surgery. These are some of the problems that experts in the field of healthcare robotics from industry and academia came together to tackle during the 2018 Contextual Robotics Institute Forum held Nov. 8 at the University of California San Diego.  Full Story


Jacobs School alum charges startup to $1 million prize

A startup with a Jacobs School alumnus as its CTO won the $1 million grand prize at 43North, the startup pitch competition with the largest prize pool in the U.S. Christopher Ellis, a 2017 electrical and computer engineering graduate, is the CTO of SparkCharge, which is developing a portable electric vehicle charging system that can fit in the trunk of a car, to make distance limitations on electric cars a thing of the past.  Full Story


Samsung licenses 5G polar coding technology developed by UC San Diego engineers

Samsung and the University of California San Diego recently signed a major license agreement for the telecommunications industry, for a standard-essential error-correction technology developed by engineers from the Jacobs School of Engineering. This new technology plays a key role in the 5G wireless communications standard, where it is used to encode and decode polar codes. Polar codes have been recently ratified as part of the 5G New Radio enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) standard, with commercial deployments expected in 2019 to eventually penetrate hundreds of millions of wireless devices.  Full Story


Undergraduate Engineers Get Hands-on Experience with Autonomous Vehicles

The Introduction to Autonomous Vehicles course is all about hands-on learning by doing. Over the course of the quarter, students enrolled in the class build a small robotic car, train it to run autonomously, and trick it out with a bonus feature of their choosing. Full Story


Using personal data to predict blood pressure

Engineers at UC San Diego used wearable off-the-shelf technology and machine learning to predict an individual’s blood pressure and provide personalized recommendations to lower it based on this data. Full Story


From stair-climbing robots to motion planning algorithms: UC San Diego at IROS 2018

From stair-climbing robots to algorithms that help robots navigate the world, researchers at the University of California San Diego are making a strong showing at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, or IROS 2018, which takes place Oct. 1 to 5 in Madrid, Spain. Full Story


UC San Diego clinician-engineer teams selected as 2018 Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine awardees

Four clinician-engineer teams from UC San Diego have been selected to receive the 2018 Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine (GEM) awards. GEM, an initiative of UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) and UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine (IEM), brings engineers and clinicians together to develop innovative technologies that can be applied to solving challenging problems in medical care. This year’s projects address challenges in the areas of urology, telerobotic surgery, oncology, and spinal cord injuries. Full Story


These tags turn everyday objects into smart, connected devices

Engineers have developed printable metal tags that could be attached to plain objects, like water bottles, walls or doors, and turn them into "smart" Internet of Things devices. The tags can also be fashioned into paper-thin control panels that can be used to remotely operate WiFi-connected speakers, smart lights and other smart home appliances. The metal tags are made from patterns of copper foil printed onto paper-like materials and disturb WiFi signals when touched. Full Story


UC San Diego selected to lead development of open-source tools for hardware design automation

The University of California San Diego has been awarded $11.3 million over four years from DARPA to lead a multi-institution project which aims to develop electronic design automation tools for 24-hour, no-human-in-the-loop hardware layout generation. Full Story


Nanocrystals emit light by efficiently 'tunneling' electrons

Using advanced fabrication techniques, engineers at the University of California San Diego have built a nanosized device out of silver crystals that can generate light by efficiently “tunneling” electrons through a tiny barrier. The work brings plasmonics research a step closer to realizing ultra-compact light sources for high-speed, optical data processing and other on-chip applications. Full Story


5G and Beyond: health care and smart transportation

The 5G and Beyond Forum hosted by the Center for Wireless Communications (CWC) at the Jacobs School of Engineering focused on the new applications this enhanced communication network will enable, particularly in health care and smart transportation. Full Story


Graduating students honored with Awards for Excellence

Here are some highlights from the impressive resumes of the 2018 Jacobs School of Engineering student award winners, recognized by the IDEA Engineering Student Center and Dean Albert P. Pisano at the Ring Ceremony. Full Story


A sprinkle of platinum nanoparticles onto graphene makes brain probes more sensitive

Graphene electrodes could enable higher quality imaging of brain cell activity thanks to new research by a team of engineers and neuroscientists at the University of California San Diego. The researchers developed a technique, using platinum nanoparticles, to lower the impedance of graphene electrodes by 100 times while keeping them transparent. In tests on transgenic mice, the electrodes were able to record and image neuronal activity (calcium ion spikes) at both the macroscale and single cell levels. Full Story


Celebrating the successes of UC San Diego's most dynamic grads

Thousands of UC San Diego’s best and brightest will take the stage this weekend as the Class of 2018 participates in the campus’ various commencement ceremonies June 16-17. Students such as engineering physics major Matt Morris overcame obstacles and gave back while making their mark at UC San Diego.  Full Story


UC San Diego electrical engineering professor Shadi Dayeh honored for compound semiconductor research

Shadi Dayeh, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, has been selected by the International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors (ISCS) to receive the 2018 ISCS Young Scientist Award. Full Story


Engineering student leaders honored

Top performing engineering student leaders were honored at the 9th annual Engineering Leadership Awards celebration on May 17. The event, presented by the Gordon Engineering Leadership Center at UC San Diego, recognizes undergraduate and graduate engineering students who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through their communication skills, teamwork abilities and implementation of technical solutions in competitions or real-world challenges. Full Story


Department of Defense Awards Ten Grants to UC San Diego Researchers to Develop Instrumentation

The Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grants support the development of instruments that have a wide range of military applications. In all, 10 grants were awarded to UC San Diego that will help researchers reproduce the extreme conditions of matter that exist in planets, improve ocean weather and climate prediction, and analyze acoustics in the deep ocean. Full Story


Artificial muscles, robotic grippers, health care robotics

From a gripper equipped with gecko-inspired adhesives, to artificial muscles and robotic joints, to talks on human-robot interaction and health care robotics, the University of California San Diego will have a strong presence at the 2018 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 21 to 25 in Brisbane, Australia. Full Story


Flames "On Edge" wins big at Research Expo

The research presented at Research Expo 2018 was “on fire” thanks to UC San Diego mechanical engineering graduate student Luca Carmignani. He took home the top prize at Research Expo for his work to understand the spread of fire over real-world 3D shapes. Full Story


Clinical Trial Tests Tattoo Sensor as Needleless Glucose Monitor for Diabetes Patients

A temporary tattoo for glucose monitoring developed by engineers at UC San Diego is being tested in a phase I clinical trial. The study will test the tattoo sensor’s accuracy at detecting glucose levels compared to a traditional glucometer. The clinical trial is enrolling 50 adults, ages 18 to 75, with either type 1 or 2 diabetes or diabetes due to other causes. Full Story


Eight Jacobs School alumni recognized at UC San Diego's first 40 Under 40 awards

From startup founders to VPs at major technology companies, eight alumni of the Jacobs School of Engineering were recognized in the first 40 Under 40 awards bestowed by the University of California San Diego. Full Story


UC San Diego Team Wins International Routing Contest

Team TritonRoute from the University of California San Diego won the 2018 Initial Detailed Routing Contest at the 22nd ACM International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD), held March 25 to 28, 2018 in Monterey, Calif.  ISPD is the premier forum for exchange of ideas and presentation of research on topics related to the physical design of very large-scale integrated circuits. Full Story


Tiny injectable sensor could provide unobtrusive, long-term alcohol monitoring

Engineers have developed a tiny, ultra-low power chip that could be injected just under the surface of the skin for continuous, long-term alcohol monitoring. The chip is powered wirelessly by a wearable device such as a smartwatch or patch. The goal of this work is to develop a convenient, routine monitoring device for patients in substance abuse treatment programs.  Full Story


Flash of Light in Research Expo Artwork Comes from a Supercontinuum Laser Source

The flashy photo that's part of the imagery for Research Expo 2018 is a photo of a supercontinuum laser source from the lab of University of California San Diego electrical and computer engineering professor Boubacar Kanté. This instrument is being used to help researchers develop more efficient solar materials and compact, ultra-sensitive sensors. Kanté is one of three faculty speakers on April 19 at Research Expo 2018 at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Full Story


Lasers, batteries and autonomy: get the latest updates at Research Expo

Breakthrough lasers, better batteries for electric vehicles, and autonomous robots are on the docket for the faculty tech-talks at the 37th annual Jacobs School of Engineering Research Expo at the University of California San Diego.  Full Story


Electrical engineer supports student access and faculty excellence

 UC San Diego has amassed many accolades in recognition of its status as a world-class research university. Yet, there’s one that Charles Tu, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, is most proud of: being named one of the nation’s best public universities for its dedication to upward social mobility, research and public service by both Washington Monthly magazine and the New York Times.  Full Story


New '4-D goggles' allow wearers to be 'touched' by approaching objects

A team of researchers at UC San Diego and San Diego State University has developed a pair of "4-D goggles" that allows wearers to be physically "touched" by a movie when they see a looming object on the screen, such as an approaching spacecraft. The device was developed based on a study conducted by the neuroscientists to map brain areas that integrate the sight and touch of a looming object and aid in their understanding of the perceptual and neural mechanisms of multisensory integration.  Full Story


UC San Diego innovator in data storage technologies elected to National Academy of Engineering

Eric Fullerton, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and nanoengineering at the Jacobs School and Director of the School's Center for Memory and Recording Research, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering “for invention and development of multilayer, high-density magnetic recording media.” His innovations made it possible for hard disk drives and non-volatile memories to store data at unprecedented levels. Full Story


Engineers, Technology Featured in New National Geographic Documentary on Maya 'Megalopolis'

Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings," a new one-hour National Geographic special premiering FEb. 6 at 9/8 p.m. central, shows how LiDAR laser imaging technology is revolutionizing archaeology and features the WAVE data visualization  technology created by researchers at the University of California San Diego. Albert Yu-Min Lin, who earned a Ph.D. at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, hosts the program. Full Story


Researchers Develop New Thin Transparent and Lightweight Touchscreen Pressure Sensor Arrays

Researchers from UC San Diego and UT Austin have demonstrated zinc-oxide thin-film transistor sensors for new functionality in touch screen displays on mobile devices. Full Story