News Releases from 2019


UC San Diego launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

We are pleased to announce the formation of the San Diego Institute for Materials Discovery and Design, a joint initiative of the Jacobs School of Engineering and Division of Physical Sciences at the University of California San Diego. Our goal is to position UC San Diego as the recognized global academic leader in nanoscale and quantum materials design and discovery. The Institute’s unique approach will be to apply data analytics and machine learning together with rapid materials synthesis and multi-scale characterization in order to accelerate the discovery, design, synthesis and evaluation of novel functional materials. Full Story


UC San Diego Engineering Dean Albert P. Pisano inducted into National Academy of Inventors

Albert P. Pisano, professor and dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, has been named a 2019 fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). UC San Diego bioengineering faculty affiliate Paul Citron and electrical engineering alumna Mihri Ozkan (Ph.D. ECE ‘01) are also among the 168 new fellows inducted into National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellows in 2019. Full Story


Thermodynamics could be the future of computing, researchers say

As Moore’s Law reaches its limits, thermodynamic computing might prove to be the future of the field, says a new report from an international team of 38 researchers led by UC San Diego professor of practice Todd Hylton, released this month.  Full Story


UC San Diego Alumni Power San Diego Robotics Ecosystem

From companies worth billions of dollars to startups employing a small number of people, UC San Diego engineering alumni are at the core of the robotics ecosystem here in San Diego County.This was clearly evident at the sixth annual robotics forum organized by the UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute Nov. 7. The forum focused exclusively on local companies this year and was dubbed the San Diego Robotics Forum for the occasion. The goal was to showcase the breadth and depth of the region’s robotics strengths, and solidify San Diego’s reputation as Robot Beach. Full Story


New chip for waking up small wireless devices could extend battery life

A new power saving chip could significantly reduce or eliminate the need to replace batteries in Internet of Things (IoT) devices and wearables. The so-called wake-up receiver wakes up a device only when it needs to communicate and perform its function, saving on power use. Full Story


The Race to Stay Ahead of Wildfires

As if to keep up with the growing frequency and intensity of wildfires throughout California, a network of wildfire-spotting cameras grew from 35 stations last year to more than 300 as of late October. The ALERTWildfire system co-developed by UC San Diego is one of several products created by the university that are improving the technological capability of western states to deal with wildfires now that the once-rare catastrophic events are becoming commonplace. Jacobs School researchers are also working on this effort, developing drones to spot wildfires before they get out of control. Full Story


Study provides framework for 1 billion years of green plant evolution

An international consortium of nearly 200 plant scientists, including engineers at UC San Diego, has released gene sequences for more than 1100 plant species, the culmination of a nine-year research project. The advance was made possible in large part thanks to the development of new computational tools for sequence assembly and phylogenetic analysis.  Full Story


Three UC San Diego Researchers Receive Top Honors with NIH Director's Awards

Three UC San Diego researchers have received prestigious awards through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program, including the Pioneer Award and the New Innovator Award. Full Story


Thinnest optical waveguide channels light within just three layers of atoms

UC San Diego engineers have developed the thinnest optical device in the world—a waveguide that is three layers of atoms thin. The work is a proof of concept for scaling down optical devices to sizes that are orders of magnitude smaller than today’s devices. It could lead to the development of higher density, higher capacity photonic chips. Full Story


Forum heralds arrival of first stage of commercial 5G

“It is here.” That was the message from Sanyogita Shamsunder, vice president of Technology Development at Verizon, and the overall theme of the 2019 5G and Beyond Forum hosted by the Center for Wireless Communications at UC San Diego. After years of planning, testing and innovating, 5G has arrived, though there are still challenges to overcome before it’s ubiquitous. Full Story


New Award and Symposium Commemorate Professor Emeritus H. H. Wieder

A new award and symposium established through the UC San Diego Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering honor the late Herman “Harry” Wieder, professor emeritus of Applied Physics at UC San Diego. An expert in solid-state electronics, quantum wells and superlattice materials and devices, Wieder was a leader in his field and created a lasting legacy by mentoring the next generation of scientists. Full Story


IEEE Honors Daniel Sievenpiper with Prestigious John Kraus Antenna Award

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recognized Daniel Sievenpiper, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC San Diego, with the 2019 John Kraus Antenna Award. The award is granted to those whose research contributes to significant advances in antenna technology. Full Story


Three UC San Diego Engineering Professors Receive Presidential Early Career Awards

Three faculty members at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering have been named recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. Full Story


In memory of Robert Hecht-Nielsen, an influential neuroscientist, entrepreneur and UC San Diego professor

Robert Hecht-Nielsen was an influential neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and electrical engineering professor at the University of California San Diego. He passed away in his sleep on May 26, 2019 in Del Mar, Calif. He was 71 years old. A pioneer in the development of neural networks, Hecht-Nielsen authored the first textbook on the subject, Neurocomputing, in 1989.  Full Story


Students recognized for smart wheelchair research at CHI

A team of undergraduates from UC San Diego won third place in the student research competition at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) in Glasgow, Scotland. Their research aimed to understand the needs of wheelchair users, and develop an affordable, smart wheelchair kit with multiple levels of autonomy. Full Story


Graduating IDEA Scholars embrace new challenges

Among the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering’s class of about 1,600 students that graduated with baccalaureate degrees on June 15 were 41 IDEA Scholars. These students from first generation or underrepresented backgrounds in engineering chose to go above and beyond the already taxing coursework required to earn an engineering degree, and participate in mentoring programs, technical workshops, serve as peer education leaders, and push and support each other through to graduation.  Full Story


Graduating students honored at Ring Ceremony

On June 15, about 1,600 students will earn baccalaureate degrees in engineering, making the Jacobs School the third largest engineering school in the country, and second in the number of women earning engineering baccalaureates. All of these students are exceptional and have made a positive impact on our community, but 11 students were selected from among their peers as particularly outstanding. Full Story


Educational Vision Technologies Scales Up with Seed Round

After winning just about every entrepreneur and startup pitch challenge on UC San Diego’s campus, raising $100,000 in a friends and family investment round, being accepted into the local Connect Springboard incubator program and securing paid pilot programs with two universities, Educational Vision Technologies is ready to scale up. Full Story


Changing the World One Startup at a Time

UC San Diego celebrates a year of innovation, including several engineering startups and technology license deals. Full Story


Making Art with AI

In Machine Learning for the Arts, Robert Twomey, a postdoctoral researcher, teaches students how to use tools commonly associated with artificial intelligence applications in computer science and engineering--to create and modify text, images, drawings, videos and more. Full Story


Smart, sustainable, safe transportation effort expands

The Smart Transportation Innovation Program, a UC San Diego-based global collaboration of academic, industry and community partners, celebrated its first year with a workshop highlighting the progress the program has made toward its goal of smart, sustainable and safe transportation solutions, and offering ideas of what the consortium will focus on in the future. Full Story


Project in a Box: Dream it. Build it.

An Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department program at UC San Diego designed to motivate and empower undergraduate students has found a creative way to challenge young people to think outside the box by first asking them to dive into one. Project in a Box is a student-led organization at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering that originated in 2016 with a mission to make experiential learning more accessible to undergraduate students on campus. Full Story


Engineering Students Find New, Unexpected Careers in Biomedicine

Two years ago, as fourth-year undergraduate students majoring in engineering, Yan Gong and Lu Xu had no idea they were about to enter the world of biomedicine. They were in a circuits class when their professor recommended them for positions in Imanuel Lerman’s lab, which was searching for students to help with developing a treatment for chronic pain. One of their first meetings with Lerman was at a hospital where Lerman,  associate professor with UC San Diego’s Department of Anesthesiology, asked the two students to solve an issue with interference that was jamming his medical research neurotechnology devices. Without his tools, he couldn’t accurately measure his patients’ physiological responses to a novel neurotechnology he hoped would dampen their responses to pain. Full Story


Power Prof

Nicholas Abi-Samra brings his expertise and experience to the University of California San Diego, where he is offering a series of classes on power systems in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This quarter, he is teaching a class on power grid resilience for adverse conditions, a one-of-a-kind-course based on the textbook he authored, which was endorsed by North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the watchdog for utilities in the United States and parts of Canada and Mexico. To Abi-Samra’s knowledge, it’s the only class of its kind to be offered in the United States. Full Story


Two Jacobs School alumni to be recognized at UC San Diego Alumni Awards Celebration

Taner Halicioglu, a computer science alumnus, will be recognized as Outstanding Alumnus during the 2019 Alumni Awards Celebration Weekend, May 31 to June 2. True Xiong, an electrical and computer engineering alumnus, will be recognized as a Changemaker. Full Story


UC San Diego Giving Day

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


ICRA 2019 preview: bots, drones and neural nets

From ways to improve long-distance surgery techniques to better ways to get robots to work with humans in manufacturing settings and to a testing platform for UAVs, engineers at the University of California San Diego will make strong showing at the 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation May 20 to 24 in Montreal, Canada.  Full Story


Q&A with UC San Diego Electrical Engineering Professor Pam Cosman

Following a string of awards and honors, University of California San Diego electrical engineering professor Pamela Cosman spent some time on a Q&A for the general public that touches on her research; diversity, equity and inclusion; and advice for students. Full Story


Robots to the Rhino Rescue

Researchers at UC San Diego and San Diego Zoo Global have joined forces to save the critically endangered northern white rhino from extinction. They are developing flexible robotic catheters that could aid in artificial insemination and embryo transfer on rhinos.  Full Story


Blood substitute made from nanoparticles wins top prize at Research Expo 2019

Research Expo 2019 got some new blood this year, thanks to UC San Diego nanoengineering PhD student Jia Zhuang. He won the grand prize at Research Expo for his work to develop nanoparticles that could serve as a more stable and easy way to store and mimic red blood cells for transfusions. Full Story


Unearthing Mysteries of the Maya

UC San Diego computer science students are venturing into Maya tunnels in Guatemala, and at home in San Diego, to bring these ancient buried sites to virtual life. Part of the Engineers for Exploration (E4E) group, the students are guided by Computer Science and Engineering Professor Ryan Kastner and Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Curt Schurgers.  Full Story


Enjoy the Ride

When it comes to creating an aerodynamic, race-worthy car that successfully competes in a field of more than 100 teams from around the world, it takes not only a solid racing crew, but also a crew of dedicated scientists and engineers. Luckily, the Triton Racing Program at UC San Diego isn’t short on such crew members. Full Story


UC San Diego electrical engineer Massimo Franceschetti named a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow

Massimo Franceschetti, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California San Diego, has been awarded a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship. His work focuses on the mathematical foundations of engineering systems, with applications to networks, control, computation, communication, and sensing. Full Story


UC San Diego engineer Andrew Kahng awarded Ho-Am Prize

University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering Professor Andrew B. Kahng has been awarded the 2019 Ho-Am Prize for Engineering, the highest award for engineering in Korea. Full Story


Working to Change the Future of Prosthetics

Taylor Henderson, an electrical and computer engineering master’s student, is working to lower the barriers to entry for fabricating artificial muscle actuators. She’s developing an algorithm that uses supervised learning to model actuator configurations and return the necessary specifications.  Full Story


Anticancer vaccines, natural language for computers, and multifunctional materials take center stage at UC San Diego Research Expo

The University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering was just ranked the #11 graduate engineering program in the country by US News. Hear from more than 200 of these talented graduate students as they present their research at the 38th annual Jacobs School Research Expo, a showcase of the top engineering and computer science work underway at UC San Diego. Full Story


International Research Collaboration: Cybersecurity Meets Artificial Intelligence

Researchers from different areas of expertise are collaborating and joining forces to provide all-embracing solutions for current global cybersecurity threats. Two renowned cybersecurity and machine learning research institutions have come together to form the new CYSMICS center, which is a joint effort between the Cybersecurity Research Centre (CYSEC) at Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, and the Center for Machine-Integrated Computing & Security (MICS) at the University of California San Diego. Full Story


Gojoya Announces Investment From Intel Capital

Gojoya, Inc, a startup company built on technology developed by Professor Joseph Ford’s group at the University of California San Diego, is developing next generation imaging systems with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) for multiple markets including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), robots, autonomous driving, and mobile phones. Gojoya announced that it has received an investment from Intel Capital. Full Story


Engineers developing education kit to teach students practical skills in integrated photonics

Engineers are developing an educational toolkit to bring integrated photonics into the college engineering and science curriculum. The kit is designed to teach students practical skills in integrated photonics and equip them to meet the growing demand for technicians and engineers in the industry. Full Story


Electrical Engineer Pamela Cosman Honored with Inaugural Dr. John and Felia Proakis Chancellor Faculty Fellowship

A new fellowship from UC San Diego’s Office of the Chancellor ensures research funds to support the studies of a scientist on campus. Pamela Cosman, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the fellowship’s inaugural recipient. Full Story


Overcoming Delays in Long-Distance Surgery

An engineering-surgery team at UC San Diego is working to extend the reach of surgeons by allowing them to operate remotely on patients located across a city, country, or even the globe. They are developing predictive augmented reality systems that could help make telesurgery a reality. Full Story