Industrial engineering

Making art out of earthquakes

3/26/2013 The Atlantic - Industrial engineering professor and artist Ken Goldberg discusses his latest project – an "Internet-based earthwork" called Bloom, which makes the constant low-level seismic action of the Hayward Fault near campus visible as a dynamic artwork.

White House report provides roadmap for revitalizing U.S. manufacturing

7/17/2012 - The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a report on July 17 that provides a roadmap for revitalizing manufacturing industries in the U.S. The report is a product of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) Steering Committee, whose membership includes leading manufacturing experts from industry and six universities, including the University of California, Berkeley.“For the U.S economy to flourish, America must have a robust manufacturing sector,” said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau. “This report maps out exciting and innovative strategies by each of the university, government and business sectors that can ensure that the U.S. will play a leadership role in advancing manufacturing. We at UC Berkeley are excited by this report and are ready to play an active role in moving forward the report’s recommendations.”

UC Berkeley leads nation in tech CEO graduates

7/5/2012 Network World - The University of California at Berkeley is the number one university for producing U.S. tech industry CEOs. Graduates include Paul Jacobs, CEO and chairman of Qualcomm, who holds three degrees from Berkeley: bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering. Another graduate of Berkeley is Paul Otellini, CEO and president of Intel, who holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business, as does Shantanu Narayan, CEO and president of Adobe.

Startup incubator

5/1/2012 UC Berkeley’s new SkyDeck start-up accelerator lets young entrepreneurs skip the borrowed-garbage phase while launching their innovative ventures.

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.

Girls meet ‘the science of better’

2/9/2012 - Industrial engineering professor Rhonda Righter (M.S.’82, Ph.D.’86 IEOR) is tackling a new assignment: serving as a volunteer role model to 35 middle-school girls. Visiting an after-school science enrichment program called Techbridge, Righter described her field and how she chose it to a group of students at Oakland’s American Indian Public Charter School. Her presentation was intended to introduce the girls to engineering with the hope that they will one day be inspired to pursue studies and careers in it or a related field. “Industrial engineering is all about making things better,” Righter explained. “We’re like detectives who solve puzzles.”

Professional master’s opens for enrollment

12/14/2010 - A man of compact build and modest manners, Coleman Fung (B.S.’87 IEOR) is living proof that behind that unassuming demeanor could be lurking an engineering dynamo. Appearing in Sibley Auditorium on Nov. 19, Fung tossed aside his prepared remarks to engage the audience in a light-hearted exploration of the personality traits of an engineer. His talk, entitled “Preparing Engineers for Leadership,” was one of several events celebrating the launch of Berkeley Engineering’s new professional master’s, a one-year intensive program that combines in-depth technical studies with a core leadership curriculum in business skills like management and finance.

Experience keeps UC Berkeley's Robert Bea in the hot spotlight

9/27/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Shuttered in his home office, Robert Bea is plugging away at a report that will, once again, make him a target. The UC Berkeley engineering professor is investigating, with a group he assembled, the April explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The blast killed 11 workers and created the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The report, due in December, likely will place blame on oil giant BP, which leased the platform, and the facility's operator, Transocean. And it is likely to bring a volley of public-relations cannonballs to Bea's front door, as did his criticism of Army Corps of Engineers following the failure of the levees in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. But despite the stress, health problems and angst, Bea is not apologizing.

PG&E exceeded its own maximum pressure standard on San Bruno pipeline

9/17/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Federal investigators have determined that the natural gas in the pipeline that exploded in San Bruno was running at a higher pressure than the maximum limit PG&E has told the public it maintained. "Between 375 and 400 psi still sounds safe, but it's all premised on a defect-free line," said Bob Bea, a professor of engineering at UC Berkeley with extensive pipeline experience. "Here's where the demands on the pipeline from internal pressure have to be matched with a set of capacity questions. Was the steel brittle? Did we have a combination of corrosion and fatigue?"

The inconvenient truth about traffic math: Progress is slow

8/28/2010 The Wall Street Journal - This month's 60-mile traffic jam in China has demonstrated a frustrating truth about traffic: It is far easier to measure than mitigate. Mathematicians, engineers and planners are making steady advances in assessing traffic congestion and explaining it, but traffic math's strides in reducing congestion are modest, simply because the number of cars often exceeds roadway capacity. If population and the economy keep growing, "there is absolutely no way congestion can stop increasing," says Alex Bayen, an associate professor of systems engineering at UC Berkeley.