02/23/10 Los Angeles Times — The fact that Toyota's quality and safety problems have affected almost every model in its line suggests that the automaker has a systemic management problem, said Robert Bea, a UC Berkeley professor who has accumulated about 800 case studies of corporate and government-agency meltdowns. Bea said the cultural and organizational problems affecting Toyota are similar to those that allowed NASA and the Army Corps of Engineers to ignore structural issues leading to the Columbia space shuttle and Hurricane Katrina disasters.
02/22/10 — Professor Emeritus Erich G. Thomsen has died at the age of 103. Erich graduated in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, with a B.S. in 1936, M.S. in 1941 and Ph.D. in 1943. After a brief engineering career of some five years in the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry, he joined the faculty of the University of California in 1951. He specialized in teaching and research in metal processing and published some 100 technical papers in engineering journals.
02/22/10 Computerworld — If you want to have a high-paying job on graduation day, study computer science. That's the advice coming out of the top U.S. computer science programs. "We feel that the bust is over, and the number of computer science students is going to keep increasing," says Kate Riley, director of operations for the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at UC Berkeley. Undergraduate enrollment in UC Berkeley's EECS degree program is up 8% from last year.
02/18/10 Material Views — In his IoM Franklin Mehl Award lecture this morning, Robert Ritchie, professor of materials science at UC Berkeley, took his audience on a tour de force through the cutting edge of scientific research on mechanical behavior of biological materials and the potential to synthetically produce nature-like structural materials
02/16/10 The Washington Post — C.D. "Dan" Mote, Jr., who has led the University of Maryland on a 12-year journey into the top tier of public universities, will resign in August, he said Monday, confident that "the place is in good shape" and that it is time for someone else to take charge. Mote received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley. During his career he also served as UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor of University Relations, was president of the UC Berkeley Foundation, and held an endowed chair in mechanical systems.
Tim Sands, Berkeley Engineering alum and former faculty member, appointed executive vice president and provost at Purdue
02/11/10 Purdue University — The Purdue University board of trustees has ratified the appointment of Timothy D. Sands as the university's next executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. A native of California, Sands earned a bachelor's degree with highest honors in engineering physics and a master's degree and doctorate in materials science from UC Berkeley, where he was also a professor of material science and engineering prior to coming to Purdue.
02/11/10 National Public Radio — Do all the fancy electronics cars need to squeeze 40 or 50 miles out of a gallon of gas mean we've compromised on safety? "Absolutely not," says Simon Washington, director of the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at the University of California, Berkeley. He says that when carmakers are faced with a trade-off between safety and fuel economy, safety typically wins.
02/09/10 ABC News — Navy Commander Scott Shackleton, fifth cousin of the great explorer and assistant dean for capital projects and facilities in the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, found his opportunity to follow in Sir Ernest Shackleton's footsteps. For the last three weeks, Cmdr. Shackleton served as an operations officer at McMurdo Station, near the Antarctic coast, as part of this year's Operation Deep Freeze, the annual resupply mission for the research personnel who live on Antarctica year-round.
02/06/10 United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office — Berkeley Engineering alumnus Arun Sarin (M.S.'78 MSE), former CEO of Vodafone and recipient of the Berkeley Engineering Innovation Award, has been named a Knight of the British Empire by the Queen of England for services to the communications industry.
U.S. Green Building Council approves sustainability studies courses offered by UC Berkeley Extension
02/04/10 PR Newswire — UC Berkeley Extension today announced its new designation as a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Education Provider. USGBC sets the standards for the green building industry in the United States and abroad through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System certification program. UC Berkeley Extension is the first continuing education program at the University of California, and one of the few public continuing education programs in the country, to offer USGBC-approved course credits.
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.
02/03/10 — Their ingenious designs integrate mechanical and electrical systems into working prototypes that may zoom, zing, fly, agitate, pull, dispense or write their way into engineering glory. At the end of every semester, students in ME 102 "Mechatronics" demonstrate their final mechanical engineering design projects for the public during an open house in Etcheverry Hall. "It was almost overwhelming to see what the students could not only dream up but also fabricate and test in such a short amount of time," says graduate student instructor Sarah Wodin-Schwartz.
02/03/10 — Berkeley Engineering alumna Michelle Khine, now an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at UC Irvine, has discovered an inventive scientific approach to fabricating cheap microfluidic devices using Shrinky Dinks. When her method of printing microfluidic patterns on Shrinky Dink sheets -- using a laser-jet printer, then heating them in a toaster oven to create patterns of channels and microwells -- was featured and published online in Lab Chip, it had more downloads in one month than any other paper previously posted by the UK's Royal Society of Chemistry.
02/03/10 — No offense to medical schools, but students last fall liked taking "Anti-Medical School," a new graduate seminar at Berkeley. While medical schools generally teach what is known in medicine, Anti-Medical School explores what is unknown and unsolved in medicine, and that's what students found compelling. At each weekly lecture, like the one on Alzheimer's taught by neurologist and neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley, a UCSF physician presents a problem in need of an engineering solution in hopes of engaging the students in solving thorny, real-world clinical challenges as part of their master's or doctorate research.
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.