08/09/10 — Of the 4,767 seniors who graduated this spring from UC Berkeley, 25 of them earned an A in every class, a perfect GPA. Reid Zimmerman is one of them. That record, along with a portfolio of outstanding leadership, character and extracurricular involvement, helped catapult the civil and environmental engineering graduate into the final round of consideration for this year's University Medal, UC Berkeley's most distinguished honor given to a graduating senior.
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.
07/30/10 Forbes.com — Marvell's Weili Dai takes her place on Forbes' list of entrepreneurs, innovators and businesspeople who left home and made their mark in the U.S. Dai arrived in Silicon Valley from China at age 17 in 1978, coming of age at the same time as the U.S. tech hub. She moved in with her grandparents before going on to study at the University of California at Berkeley. Today Marvell Technology, the semiconductor design company she went on to cofound 15 years ago with her Indonesian-Chinese husband and his brother, employs 5,000 worldwide and trades on the Nasdaq with an $11 billion market cap. The trio donated the funds for a building named after them at Berkeley
07/23/10 San Francisco Chronicle — Scientists from UC Berkeley, Stanford University and the Caltech have been given $122 million to come up with ways to produce fuels directly from sunlight. The U.S. Department of Energy announced the grant Thursday, with the mission to develop practical methods of manufacturing "carbon neutral" fuels similar to the way plants create energy via photosynthesis. "We're not talking about solar panels," said Peidong Yang, a professor of materials science and engineering at UC Berkeley who heads the Bay Area branch of the project. "We are going to develop technology to convert solar energy directly into chemical fuels like methanol, ethanol or just gasoline, through CO2 reduction."
07/22/10 Bloomberg.com — U.S. regulators could end a blanket ban on deep-water oil drilling by increasing oversight of troubled wells and improving safety industrywide, a UC Berkeley engineering professor who studies catastrophes said in an interim report on the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Robert Bea said regulators should determine which drilling operations should be suspended "on a case-by-case basis" as the industry works to improve blowout prevention equipment, inspection procedures and worker training programs.
07/16/10 The New York Times — Energy Secretary and former director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Steven Chu may hold a Nobel Prize in physics, but he has no training in geology, seismology or oil well technology. Nevertheless, he has stepped in repeatedly to take command of the effort to contain BP's runaway well, often ordering company officials to take steps they might not have taken on their own.
07/15/10 The Wall Street Journal — Some of Silicon Valley's best and brightest have decided not to immediately venture out into the work force. Instead, they are opting for graduate school. That applies to many of the latest engineering graduates from Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, and other local schools. According to several of this year's Berkeley electrical-engineering and computer-science grads and officials at Stanford, more engineering students of the class of 2010 opted to continue on with graduate degrees than in past years.
07/14/10 National Public Radio — "How To Defeat Your Own Clone And Other Tips For Surviving The Biotech Revolution," by UC Berkeley bioengineering Ph.D. Kyle Kurpinski and bioengineering lecturer Terry D. Johnson, offers up a detailed contingency plan for a future of biotechnological marvel. They've engineered a whirlwind tour that leaves you amused, yet newly fluent in bioengineering and human genetics. Their premise may be fantasy, but the science is real, and the authors' comic book spunk delivers a serious message.
07/13/10 Greentech Media — A new UC Berkeley study says the state can build renewables rapidly while making big money and adding jobs. A cutting-edge incentive program is the way California can meet its need for renewable energy while bringing enormous financial benefits to the state and adding jobs by the thousands, according to the study conducted by Dan Kammen and Max Wei of UC Berkeley's Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory Energy and Resources Group. A well-designed feed-in tariff will bring California $2 billion in additional tax revenue and $50 billion in new investment, while adding an average of 50,000 new jobs a year for a decade.
07/12/10 California Magazine — In 1985, Jack Moehle, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Berkeley, traveled to Chile to sort through the rubble left in the wake of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked the coast. He was one of a number of Californian and Chilean engineers who collaborated to study the structural damage. As a result of their research, both the United States and Chile modified their building codes to nearly identical standards. This year, Moehle and a Berkeley reconnaissance team returned to Chile in the aftermath of the 8.8 magnitude shaker on February 27. Because of the similarity in building codes, the sort of damage Moehle has found could predict how California would fare in a major quake.
07/05/10 Berkeley Lab — Engineers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California Berkeley have created the first nanosized light mill motor whose rotational speed and direction can be controlled by tuning the frequency of the incident light waves. This new light mill opens the door to a broad range of valuable applications, including a new generation of nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS), nanoscale solar light harvesters, and bots that can perform in vivo manipulations of DNA and other biological molecules.
07/03/10 Science News — Catastrophes come in all shapes and sizes, but some basic causative principles underlie most of them. Robert Bea, an engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, has studied system failures from space shuttle explosions to levee breaks during Hurricane Katrina -- but as a former oil rig worker he is most familiar with drilling disasters. Bea has thus assumed a key role in analyzing the response to the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He spoke with Science News about why the spill could have been foreseen.
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
06/15/10 Bloomberg — Two cutting-edge medical technologies, stem cell transplantation and gene therapy, were combined in an attack on the AIDS virus that may lead to new strategies for treating people infected with HIV. "If you could develop a therapy to make HIV-proof blood cells, then you could create a true cure for HIV. This is a very promising clinical trial that takes us in that direction," said David Schaffer, a professor of bioengineering at UC Berkeley, who co-directs the school's stem cell center and wrote a commentary accompanying the study.
06/11/10 The New York Times — Berkeley Engineering alumna Helen Zhu (ME), married Richard Ho, a University of Texas-trained engineer, in Menlo Park in May. Helen and Richard co-founded Chictopia.com, a social networking Web site with a fashion twist, in their San Francisco apartment just months after their 2007 engagement.
06/07/10 — Professor Van P. Carey of UC Berkeley's Mechanical Engineering Department is among a select group of professors worldwide that have been selected to receive awards as part of Hewlett Packard's 2010 Innovation Research Program. The award will provide $100K for the 2010-2011 academic year in support of Carey's research. The project led by Professor Carey teams him with HP's Sustainable IT Ecosystem Lab in an effort to develop compact and accurate models of the energy use in data centers.
06/06/10 San Francisco Chronicle — UC Berkeley engineering professor Robert Bea, 73, a former Shell Oil executive, is a student of disaster. He has spent decades investigating catastrophic engineering failures, from the New Orleans levee breaches in Hurricane Katrina to the space shuttle Columbia's fiery end. Now he has assembled a team of researchers to delve into the April 20 explosions that destroyed the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig and caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
06/03/10 — Albert P. Pisano, Professor and Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering and currently serving as Acting Dean of the College of Engineering at Berkeley, has been unanimously elected to receive Columbia University's 2009 Egleston Medal for Distinguished Engineering Achievement. Pisano was elected to receive the award for his "extraordinary pioneering work in the field of micro-electromechanical systems."
06/03/10 — On May 16, we sent more than 1,200 newly minted engineers into the world to invent stronger bridges, faster computers, greener energy, safer medicines and a host of other societal solutions. Our commencement ceremony in the Greek Theatre made me especially proud of our Berkeley engineers. They offer a rare blend of deep technical expertise and broad mastery of the human skills necessary to make a genuine impact.
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.