Smart sensors in the woods

3/19/2012 - About 60 percent of the water used in California comes from Sierra Nevada snowmelt. Monthly measurements help water managers estimate the amount of water held in the snowpack and allow them to allocate the state’s most precious resource. Now, the Sierra Nevada is going high tech. Wireless sensors developed by Steven Glaser, professor of civil and environmental engineering, are being tested in an ambitious pilot project at the UC Merced Sierra Nevada Research Institute.

When the car is the driver

2/17/2012 National Public Radio - This week the state of Nevada finalized new rules that will make it possible for robotic self-driving cars to receive their own special driving permits. Do people notice a self-driving car and gawk? "We get a lot of thumbs up," says Berkeley Engineering alum Anthony Levandowski (M.S.'03 IEOR), one of the leaders of Google's self-driving car project. Google's fleet of robotic cars has driven more than 200,000 miles over highways and city streets in California and Nevada.

PEER signs contract with Caltrans to continue research on the seismic performance of lifelines

2/17/2012 Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center - The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER), headquartered at the University of California, Berkeley. has just signed a three-year research contract with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to carry out a comprehensive multidisciplinary research program on the seismic evaluation and performance of lifelines. This new funding from Caltrans launches a new phase of investigation for the PEER Lifelines Research Program.

Dr. David Dornfeld receives AMT's Charles F. Carter Jr. Advancing Manufacturing Award

2/1/2012 Association of Manufacturing Technology - Dr. David Dornfeld, Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability at UC Berkeley, has received the Association of Manufacturing Technology's Charles F. Carter Jr. Advancing Manufacturing Award. Dr. Dornfeld is specifically recognized for his research toward advancing the understanding of burr formation and prevention, sustainable manufacturing, micro-machining, precision manufacturing and chemical-mechanical planarization

Ashok Gadgil wins Zayed Future Energy Prize's Lifetime Achievement Award

1/18/2012 Lab Manager Magazine - UC Berkeley civil and environmental engineering professor Ashok Gadgil has won the Lifetime Achievement award of the 2012 Zayed Future Energy Prize. The $3.5 million prize recognizes and rewards innovation, leadership and longterm vision in renewable energy and sustainability. Gadgil was recognized for "his sustainable humanitarian work in Darfur -- providing energy efficient cooking stoves known as Berkeley-Darfur stoves, cutting the need for firewood by 55 percent."

Diesel truck emissions in Oakland fall sharply

1/17/2012 Institute of Transportation Studies - Recent field studies conducted by UC Berkeley civil and environmental engineering professor Robert Harley and his research team show that emissions of unhealthy pollutants from diesel trucks in West Oakland have been reduced by half in a matter of months, as a result of state regulations that banned the oldest, dirtiest trucks and set deadlines for retrofitting middle-aged trucks with diesel particle filters.

Paving the way

10/17/2011 - Often it’s only an unexpected pothole or a bumpy road that draws our attention to pavement conditions. But for civil and environmental engineering professor Carl Monismith (B.S.’50, M.S.’54 CE), the ups-and-downs of pavement have been worth his ongoing consideration for the past 60 years. As the co-director of the Pavement Research Center (PRC), Monismith has been studying pavement design and technology since 1951.

Tapping the West’s water

9/12/2011 - Two years ago David Sedlak, UC Berkeley professor of civil and environmental engineering, was invited to speak at the Nobel Conference in Minnesota about his area of expertise: urban water systems. Seeing an opportunity to tell the story of the water delivery networks that are falling apart under our feet, Sedlak did more than deliver a talk describing the problem. He came up with an idea to help solve it.

In vino veritas

9/12/2011 - As any wine-sipping oenophile knows, the quality of a wine is influenced, among other things, by the geography, geology and climate of the specific vineyard in which the grapes are grown. The French even have a word for it — terroir — which can be loosely translated as “a sense of place.” For Berkeley Engineering alum Jason Mikami, whose boutique winery produces a handcrafted Zinfandel wine using grapes from his family’s estate, the terroir of the vineyard is not only evident in his wines, but also in his own journey as a winemaker.