Honoring our innovators
Dear Berkeley Engineering alum,
This month, UC Berkeley announced a partnership with NASA Ames Research Center and SKS Partners to develop a new research hub that will catalyze innovations in aviation and space exploration. Called the Berkeley Space Center, the 36-acre development will be located at NASA Ames’ Moffett Field in Mountain View. We’re proud of the leadership of NASA Ames Director Eugene Tu (B.S.’88 ME) and Alexandre Bayen, UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences (EECS) and associate provost for Moffett Field program development, for making this happen. Read more about the center and what it means for Berkeley Engineering, including our new aerospace engineering program.
October has been a month packed with exciting news. At the start of the month, we celebrated our annual Engineering Homecoming with an engaging panel on the AI Revolution. Professors Sayeef Salahuddin and Claire Tomlin, who is also chair of EECS, were joined by Jill Finlayson, managing director of the CITRIS Innovations Hub, as they discussed developments in this field. Scenes from the Alumni and Parents Weekend at Homecoming are included in this newsletter.
One major development I’m happy to share with you is that UC Berkeley is teaming up with Stanford to co-lead the Northwest AI Hardware Hub, one of eight Microelectronics Commons regional innovation hubs funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. We look forward to sharing more details about planned research at the hub – which will receive $15.3 million in its first year – as they become available.
These announcements and events highlight the entrepreneurial strength of Berkeley Engineers, a theme you may notice in this newsletter. We’ve highlighted the sustainable work of Tammy Hsu’s eco-friendly dye company, Huue, and Toby Ricco’s electric powertrain company, Bimotal. Berkeley Engineering is proud to support many programs that help students and faculty entrepreneurs. It’s no wonder that UC Berkeley was recently named the top university when it comes to alumni who have founded venture-backed startups.
This spirit of innovation has always been strong at Berkeley. I’d like to end with some words about Joseph Thomas Gier, an alum who became the first Black tenured professor at the University of California in 1952. Gier was a world-renowned expert in electrical engineering and solar energy, and he co-invented and patented several instruments used to measure thermal and luminous radiation. His devices were used in the earliest days of aerospace exploration, proving that UC Berkeley’s contributions to the field of aerospace began long before we officially launched an undergraduate major.
Earlier this semester, we commemorated Gier’s achievements with a statue in front of Blum Hall. The next time you return to campus, we invite you to take a look at this statue, which displays Gier’s theorems and blueprints on the base.
Happy reading and stay in touch!
Fiat Lux — and Go Bears!
Tsu-Jae King Liu
Dean and Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering