02/09/12 — The College of Engineering has launched a new major-driven largely by undergraduate interest-that focuses in a comprehensive way on the generation, transmission and storage of energy, with additional courses on energy policy. Beginning in fall 2012, the new interdisciplinary Energy Engineering major will be offered through the Engineering Science Program and extract from the best energy-related courses already offered by the College. “The objective of this major is to produce students who are well-rounded energy experts,” says Tarek Zohdi, mechanical engineering professor and chair of the Engineering Science Program.
10/17/11 — We have become a nation of traders, regulators and middle parties. But are we still a nation of designers and makers? In the 1950s, manufacturing contributed more than 25 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. Today, that share has fallen to below 12 percent. China is rapidly overtaking the United States as the world's largest manufacturing nation.
10/17/11 — David Olmos (B.S'11 ME) spent his summer working with the nonprofit organization blueEnergy in Central America as part of an internship with Cal Energy Corps, a program launched in spring 2011 to help develop sustainable energy and climate solutions around the world. Now a graduate student in mechanical engineering, Olmos sent this report from the field.
09/28/11 PhysOrg.com — The developers of the fuel-efficient Berkeley-Darfur Stove for refugee camps in central Africa, including Berkeley Engineering professor Ashok Gadgil, are at it once again, this time evaluating inexpensive metal cookstoves for the displaced survivors of last year's deadly earthquake in Haiti.
08/18/11 — When it comes to manufacturing know-how, Berkeley Engineering is the College of Big Shoulders. From minuscule chips to massive aircraft, we invent the tools and methods that power the assembly lines of American manufacturing.
05/04/11 — In the 1970s, the Berkeley-bred SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) revolutionized microelectronics by creating a toolkit now used worldwide as the standard for circuit design. Our new Synthetic Biology Institute (SBI), launched on April 25, aims to repeat this feat with biological and chemical engineering.
05/04/11 — To build a car powered completely by the sun, a team of Berkeley students is burning lots of midnight oil. A year-and-a-half in the making, a sleek vehicle called Impulse was unveiled at Cal Day and is on track to compete in the world's premier solar car race this October. Behind the effort is the 73-member crew of CalSol, the campus's student-run solar vehicle team. This fall, 15 to 20 students will withdraw from school for the semester to participate in CalSol's first-ever entry in the World Solar Challenge, an 1,800-mile road race across Australia.
03/02/11 — Not long after the Loma Prieta quake struck, Marwan Nader (M.S'89, Ph.D'92 CE) gazed at the hole in the Bay Bridge as he stood a safe distance away, part of a Berkeley team inspecting the damage. Twenty-two years later, he's still standing on the bridge, so to speak. As lead design engineer of the self-anchored suspension (SAS) bridge, he is responsible for the standout architectural feature of the new portion of the bridge that will replace the old eastern span.
02/02/11 — In the south India city of Hubli, turning on the tap is no easy task. Residents frequently skip work, postpone errands or keep children home from school in anticipation of the precious-but notoriously unreliable-arrival of water along urban pipelines. Missing a delivery can translate into days without household water. “Literally, people wait around their house until the water comes on,” says Anu Sridharan (B.S'09, M.S'10 CEE). Sridharan is part of a Berkeley-based student team pursuing a novel-but surprisingly simple-fix to what is a common occurrence in the developing world. Their project, called NextDrop, deploys ubiquitous mobile phones to alert residents when water is flowing in a neighborhood.
12/14/10 — 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.
12/14/10 — More than 9 million South African children walk to school every day. Three million walk for more than an hour, and in the rural countryside, some walk more than four hours. “It's madness,” says Louis de Waal (M.S'72 CEE), who grew up in rural South Africa and spent his professional life designing and building thousands of kilometers of roads there, many of which opened up inaccessible places deep in the country's interior. Now retired, De Waal is on a mission to improve mobility for all South Africans, especially in rural areas. The goal, says the 73-year-old Cape Town resident, is to keep children in school and help adults reach work more easily, ultimately easing poverty and slowing the flood of people forced to move to urban areas for work.
11/04/10 — Domestic flight delays put a $32.9 billion dent in the U.S. economy, and about half that cost is borne by airline passengers, according to a study led by UC Berkeley researchers and released last month. The comprehensive report analyzed flight delay data from 2007 to calculate the economic impact on both airlines and passengers, including the cost of lost demand and the collective impact of these costs on the U.S. economy. The report was commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration to clarify key discrepancies in earlier studies.
11/04/10 — A key tenet of Berkeley Engineering is to educate leaders. To us, engineering leadership extends beyond simply creating new technologies and managing technology innovation. Truly transformative engineering leadership calls for a comprehensive understanding of the economic, legal, social and environmental implications of novel and emerging technologies and services in societal scale systems.
11/04/10 — With campus and national dignitaries on hand and a sunny Homecoming Friday as a backdrop, the doors of Richard C. Blum Hall officially opened on Friday, October 8. It was a big occasion to celebrate what one project architect called a "little jewel box" of a building, small in scale but grand in its historic origins and its lofty goals. The program it will house also bears the name of Richard C. Blum, Haas alumnus, UC Regent and global philanthropist who championed the center to mobilize Berkeley students and faculty against global poverty.
09/08/10 — As the fall semester 2010 kicks off, the campus is buzzing not only with students but also with capital improvements at the heart of the Berkeley Engineering quadrant. These projects represent the continuation of our strategic plan to transform the educational experience for our 2,800-plus undergraduates.
08/09/10 — Artificial skin that bestows the sense of touch on prosthetic limbs. Nanochips that control the latest smart phones and devices. Sheets of low cost solar cells as easy to install as unrolling a carpet. All future scenarios, yes, but ones that EECS associate professor Ali Javey is working to realize in the next decade or so. Javey, a chemist by training, develops new electronic materials and methods of processing existing materials destined for future applications.
08/08/10 ABC News — Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a laser backpack that scans its surroundings and creates an instant 3D model. The modeling tool, built by a team led by electrical engineering professor Avideh Zakhor, can make video games more realistic and buildings more energy efficient.
06/17/10 BusinessWire — Yissum Research Development Company Ltd., the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, introduces solid organic electric battery based upon treated potatoes. This simple, sustainable, robust device can potentially provide an immediate inexpensive solution to electricity needs in parts of the world lacking electrical infrastructure. A group of scientists, including Prof. Boris Rubinsky at UC Berkeley, study the electrolytic process in living matter for use in various applications, including the generation of electric energy for self-powered implanted medical electronic devices
06/03/10 — Waste heat: It's when heat produced in a combustive process goes unused, dissipating into the air or water. Automobiles, industrial facilities and power plants all produce waste heat, and a lot of it. A holy grail awaits anyone who can improve the current fossil fuel system. One estimate places the worldwide waste heat recovery market at one trillion dollars, with the potential to offset as much as 500 million metric tons of carbon per year. What's the magic solution? Some Berkeley engineers believe the answer lies not in a sophisticated device, but in materials: specifically, finding a new material with spectacular thermoelectric properties that can efficiently and economically convert heat into electricity.
05/05/10 — About every 10 days, falling rock shatters the tranquility of Yosemite National Park. "It's a dynamic place," says park geologist Greg Stock. "Rockfall is the most powerful geologic force acting on the park today. The goal is to eventually predict rockfalls and better constrain the hazard." Enter Valerie Zimmer, a Berkeley geoengineering Ph.D. student who launched her doctoral work studying rockfall in mines using tiny acoustic sensors to document the rock mechanics and geophysical forces underground.