02/03/10 — I am honored and excited to have been tapped to serve as acting dean while Dean Sastry is on leave this spring to join his wife, EECS professor Claire Tomlin, in Stockholm during her appointment as the Tage Erlander Guest Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology. For those of you who don't know me, I have been on the College of Engineering faculty for 26 years and chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department for the last six. I know we will accomplish a lot during these next six months.
Berkeley Engineering in the News
02/01/10 Los Angeles Times — In the aftermath of events like the Haiti quake, teams of 'disaster researchers' rush to the scene to study what happened. It's not morbid curiosity: Their work will alleviate future catastrophes. "We're not waiting for these things to happen, and we don't want them to happen," said Jonathan Bray, chairman of the Geo-engineering Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association and professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley. "But when they do, we want to be able to learn the lessons that can be learned."
01/29/10 National Science Foundation — Berkeley Bioengineering Assistant Professor Mohammad Mofrad has received a 2010 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award. CAREER awards are given to young researchers in science and engineering who have also translated their work into significant education activities.
01/27/10 Scientific American — The bacteria responsible for most cases of food poisoning in the U.S. has been turned into an efficient biological factory to make chemicals, medicines and, now, fuels. UC Berkeley bioengineering professor Jay Keasling and his colleagues have manipulated the genetic code of Escherichia coli, a common gut bacteria, so that it can chew up plant-derived sugar to produce diesel and other hydrocarbons.
01/26/10 Oakland Tribune — Haiti's construction industry is to blame for hundreds of thousands of deaths in a tragedy that will repeat itself unless there are changes to building practices there, a Berkeley engineer said Tuesday. In one of the first technical reports on this month's earthquake, Eduardo Fierro, president of BFP Engineers, presented his preliminary findings at UC Berkeley following a week of reconnaissance in Haiti that started just two days after the magnitude 7.0 quake struck Jan. 12.
Michael Barclay – Wilson Sonsini attorney and EECS alum known as ‘Keeper of All Knowledge’ – retiring
01/26/10 Law.com — Attorney Michael Barclay (Berkeley Engineering alumnus, M.S. '74 EECS) is retiring after 17 years with the Silicon Valley firm Wilson Sonsini, where he hasn't strayed far from his electrical engineering roots: He wears big, thick-rimmed glasses and is known as the "keeper of all knowledge" by his colleagues. He plans to travel, study guitar and volunteer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
01/25/10 Department of Defense — Alper Atamturk, professor of industrial engineering and operations research at UC Berkeley, was named by the the U.S. Department of Defense as one of 11 distinguished university faculty scientists and engineers forming the 2010 class of its National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship program. NSSEFF provides grants to top-tier researchers from U.S. universities to conduct unclassified, basic research that may transform DoD's capabilities in the long term.
01/25/10 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering — UC Berkeley civil and and environmental engineering faculty member John Dracup, Professor of the Graduate School, has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, a special tribute for those who have had a significant impact on their field within the earth and space sciences.
01/23/10 TimesLeader.com — Berkeley Engineering alum Timothy O'Donnell had a big '09 in pro triathlons, highlighted by a world title in Australia. "I still have a lot of unfinished business in the sport," says O'Donnell, whose future career goals include winning the Ironman Triathlon World Championship and an Olympic gold medal.
01/23/10 CBS News — Researchers tell us America gets a "B+" for knowing what causes earthquakes, but a "C+" when it comes to securing infrastructure. Short-term predictions are simply not possible yet, and earthquakes can happen in places you wouldn't expect. Khalid Mosalam, an engineering professor at UC Berkeley, works in one of 15 university labs across the U.S. testing port stability, how much stress steel beams can handle and what happens inside a building during an earthquake. "Any heavy content of the building if not secured to the walls of the building, they would tend to be tossed around," Mosalam said, adding that such objects would also cause injuries or worse.
01/21/10 TheScientist.com — California synthetic biologists are launching a production facility that will provide free, standardized DNA parts for scientists around the world. BIOFAB aims to boost the ease of bioengineering with "biological parts" that are shared resources, standardized and reliable enough that they can be switched in and out of a genome like electronic parts in a radio. Adam Arkin, BIOFAB's codirector and a professor of bioengineering at UC Berkeley, says the group has already hired scientists who are in the lab, making constructs.
01/19/10 FOXNews.com — Tech wizards at UC Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering are developing mini-robots to help locate earthquake survivors easily, cheaply, and quickly, without jeopardizing the lives of rescuers. They're made of cardboard, plastic, and parts of computers and bits of old toys, and operated by remote control. The goal of the project: to develop swarms of the cheap, diminutive robots that can hunt down the survivors of disasters and relay the location of survivors back to the surface.
01/18/10 ABC News — Earthquake rescues could be made safer and faster with a new robot being developed at UC Berkeley by engineering grad students Paul Birkmeyer and Kevin Peterson with Professor Ron Fearing.
01/18/10 The New York Times — After studying reconstruction work in western India following a 2001 earthquake that killed more than 20,000 people, Berkeley Engineering alumna Elizabeth A. Hausler founded Build Change to help communities build earthquake-resistant housing. Her organization is now developing a plan to help rebuild homes in Haiti, where many of the destroyed buildings were made of concrete block, without adequate reinforcement against shaking.
01/15/10 CBS News — A UC Berkeley engineer who founded a non-profit that builds earthquake-resistant homes in developing nations says many of the deaths in the devastating temblor in Haiti could have been avoided. Her organization, Build Change, has helped to design and build more than 5,300 earthquake-resistant homes in China and Indonesia. Hausler plans to go to Haiti in late February or March so her group will not be in the way of search and rescue efforts.
01/08/10 San Francisco Business Times — The San Francisco-based Asian Pacific Fund on Friday named two recipients of the fourth annual Chang-Lin Tien Education Leadership Awards, which recognize the accomplishments and leadership of Asian Americans working in higher education. S. Shankar Sastry, dean of the College of Engineering, UC Berkeley, and Meredith Jung-En Woo, dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia, each will receive an unrestricted grant of $10,000.
01/07/10 Berkeley Lab — UC Berkeley ranks second in a survey of U.S. academic institutions best suited to take advantage of cleantech trends by fostering a pipeline of collaboration of businesses, universities, state initiatives, investors and research dollars.
01/05/10 Biotechnology Industry Organization — The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced a distinguished panel of judges -- including Jay Keasling, professor of bioengineering at UC Berkeley -- to evaluate nominations for The Biotech Humanitarian Award and select the 2010 Honoree. BIO created the award to recognize an everyday hero who has helped to heal, fuel and feed the planet through their work in the broad biotech arena.