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.
03/03/10 — After 70 years in environmental engineering, Harvey Ludwig (B.S.'38, M.S.'42 CE) has learned a thing or two about the field. Ludwig ran his own environmental engineering consulting firm in the United States for 26 years before moving to Thailand to start a company that consulted on water and sanitation projects there and in other developing countries around Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It was an eye-opening experience, and ever since, Ludwig has freely shared his insights on how to translate Western technologies into best practices for emerging markets.
03/02/10 CNN.com — Earthquakes alone don't kill people; collapsed buildings do. But can people engineer buildings that wouldn't crumble when subjected to the rumblings of the Earth? High costs keep countries such as Haiti from adopting the latest building techniques and technologies, said Nicholas Sitar, professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley. He said making buildings more basic might actually make them stronger and would cost less than high-tech upgrades
03/01/10 The Washington Post — The earthquake, centered 200 miles southwest of the capital, was one of at least a dozen in Chile since 1973 that were larger than magnitude 7. The quakes release stresses between two tectonic plates that are moving past each other at a rate roughly one-third faster than the plates that define the San Andreas fault in California, according to Jonathan Bray, a professor of geotechnical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley.
02/27/10 Gwinnett Daily Online — Chile's preparedness and the extent of Saturday's earthquake explain why the loss of life and property was far less than the death and destruction Haiti's less powerful quake caused last month, experts say. "The Haiti earthquake was shallower, the high population area was closer to the fault that ruptured and, very importantly, the buildings and infrastructure in Chile are designed considering earthquake effects - whereas Haiti had no building codes,'' said Jonathan Bray, an earthquake engineering professor with the University of California, Berkeley.
02/25/10 UC Berkeley Mechanical Engineering Department — Continuation funding over the next three years, bringing the total to $5M, has been awarded by DARPA to Professor Costas Grigoropoulos of the Mechanical Engineering Department for research on "Nanofabrication by Tips coupled with Lasers."
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.