11/29/11 — For the first time since its founding in 1990, CalSol, Berkeley Engineering's solar car team, competed in the international World Solar Challenge (WSC). Held in October in Australia, the WSC drew 37 solar-powered cars to a weeklong “rayce” crossing 3,000 kilometers of the barren Outback from Darwin to Adelaide. CalSol's Impulse team members posted these reports from the field.
11/16/11 The New York Times — The University of California, Berkeley announced this week that it plans to open a large research and teaching facility here as part of a broader plan to bolster its presence in China. The public university said the Shanghai center would cater to engineering graduate students and be financed over the next five years largely by the Shanghai government and companies operating here. The program is expected to begin in July 2012.
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.
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.
04/27/11 Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center — The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center will give a public briefing presenting the preliminary results of a U.S. research team's reconnaissance trip to Japan to survey damage from the 9.0 magnitude Tohoku earthquake and ensuing tsunami of March 11, 2011. The briefing, to be held on April 28, is jointly organized by the PEER, GEER, and EERI's Learning from Earthquakes Program.
03/23/11 PRLog — Arts et Métiers ParisTech has finalized an exchange agreement for graduate students and researchers with UC Berkeley. The agreement will enable the exchange of graduate students, researchers, and faculty in science, technology, research and engineering fields between the institutions. "Arts et Métiers students are renowned among our faculties for their scientific excellence and their strong motivation. This is an exciting opportunity to increase their presence among us," said David Dornfeld, Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at UC Berkeley.
03/18/11 Los Angeles Times — As a crack is discovered in a Fukushima spent fuel pool, officials confront two crucial tasks: preventing a runaway chain reaction into the nuclear fuel and maintaining a massive flow of seawater through the damaged pools and reactor vessels. Edward Morse and Per Peterson of UC Berkeley's Department of Nuclear Engineering offer analysis.
03/17/11 California Watch — As Californians closely watch the catastrophe at Japan's nuclear plants, many engineers are also studying the failure of a dam in Japan's northeast Fukushima prefecture. The extent of the damage is still unknown. "One dam failure is too many," said Nicholas Sitar, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley.
03/15/11 Bloomberg — UC Berkeley nuclear engineering professor Don Olander said the damage to nuclear plants in Japan after an earthquake is different from the disaster at Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986. "This is a reactor which has two containments...If that is intact, if the melt has not gone through the bottom, then most of the fission products will stay inside. Chernobyl did not have that protection. Chernobyl was open and the entire core was destroyed."
03/15/11 KQED Forum — As Japan struggles to contain the worst nuclear emergency since Chernobyl, Michael Krasny talks with experts including Per Peterson, chair of the Nuclear Engineering Department at UC Berkeley, about the potential fallout from the nuclear reactors in Fukushima.
03/14/11 San Francisco Chronicle — As Japanese nuclear engineers struggled to contain partial meltdowns of two major nuclear power reactors in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami, experts in the United States said Sunday that a similar disaster would be highly unlikely here. Fifty-four power reactors regularly supply electricity throughout Japan, and the crisis represents "an incredibly rare worst-case disaster," said Jasmina Vujic, a professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley and a specialist in the design of reactor cores and radiation protection.
03/10/11 Nanyang Technological University — Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is launching a unique dual-degree program which integrates the best of engineering science, business management and liberal arts studies. The University of California, Berkeley is NTU's first overseas partner for the Renaissance Engineering Program. Students in the program will graduate with two degrees--the Bachelor of Engineering Science and the Master of Science in Technology Management --in four-and-a-half years.
02/08/11 Energy.gov — Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are using technology and innovation to bring clean-burning cookstoves to the developing world. Lead scientist Dr. Ashok Gadgil describes the partnership between the DOE lab and several non-governmental organizations including Oxfam America and the Clinton Global Initiative. Now with help from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Technology Commercialization Fund, Dr. Gadgil is bringing his latest innovation to Ethiopian households.
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 — 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.
10/20/10 Nan Yang Technological University — The National Research Foundation announced today the addition of two new research centers to the CREATE (Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise) program. UC Berkeley's program will conduct research on "Building Efficiency and Sustainability in the Tropics." Professor S. Shankar Sastry, dean of engineering at UC Berkeley, said, "The M3 (Measuring, Modelling and Mitigation) agenda for energy consumption of new and existing buildings represents an exciting fusion of some of the most novel emerging technologies."
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
03/03/10 — Inventor, researcher and educator Boris Rubinsky has taken his show on the road. During three prolific decades in Berkeley's labs and classrooms, the professor of bioengineering and mechanical engineering stacked up nearly 40 patents and cofounded half a dozen startups in surgical techniques, bionic technology and imaging. Now Rubinsky is finding inspiration in his new role as health care advocate for the economically disadvantaged, building endorsement for his conviction that inexpensive but scientifically advanced technologies can improve health care for underserved populations.
03/03/10 — The boys from the Amazonian orphanage decided to name themselves Los Científicos. The Scientists. It was a small but monumental achievement for Rick Henrikson and Richard Novak, two Berkeley bioengineering graduate students. The pair cofounded Future Scientist, a tiny but highly motivated aid organization whose mission is to teach science and practical technical skills to young people in rural, developing regions. Last August, Novak, Henrikson and nine other Future Scientists traveled to Peru for their first pilot project: teaching a two-week crash course on pathogenic microorganisms, disease transmission, optics and solar-powered electricity to schoolchildren living along the Amazon River. This slideshow tells their story.