Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Gabriel Rebeiz and Jason May are electrical engineers from the University of California, San Diego who have invented radio frequency integrated circuits that could lead to significantly less expensive imaging systems for identifying concealed weapons, for helping helicopters to land during dust storms, and for high frequency data communications. The UC San Diego engineers presented this circuit at the 2009 IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium on June 9, where it won one of the best three-student-paper awards.
On June 29, Semiconductor Today magazine ran a story on the millimeter wave imaging advance.
Monday, June 29, 2009
NanoEngineering by definition works at a very small scale. But this small-scale work is an increasingly big deal. Heather Chambers has a nice wrap up of some of the local big work in NanoEngineering and Nano-science in a recent story in the San Diego Business Journal.
The story is: Cutting-Edge Nanotech Devices Could Fight Disease From Inside the Body. (A short excerpt mentioning the Jacobs School's Joseph Wang from the NanoEngineering Department is below:
Another local UCSD researcher, nanoengineering professor Joseph Wang, said he envisions a system where the body’s glucose levels would automatically trigger nanodevices capable of administering insulin.
Toxicity still presents challenges, he said, although he envisions “many exciting opportunities and applications which are limited only by our imagination.”
Friday, June 26, 2009
Bioengineering professor Trey Ideker's recent work on antioxidants and longevity is featured in a Washington Post column by Jennifer LaRue Huget.
Trey Ideker, who holds posts in the schools of medicine and engineering at the University of California at San Diego, has found in laboratory tests that some limited exposure to oxidants may equip cells to better withstand larger exposures. His work, if borne out in humans, could have all kinds of implications for our understanding of aging and disease.Read the original press release, by Debra Kain, here.
Below is a subset of the 2009 media clips, including a smattering of blogs.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Surgeons at UC San Diego Medical Center are pioneering non-invasive surgical procedures that eliminate the need to open a patient’s abdominal wall—innovations that speed recovery time and significantly reduce pain for abdominal surgeries, such as gall bladder removal. Instead of cutting through the abdominal wall, surgeons deliver the camera, lights and surgical instruments by way of the natural openings in the patient’s body—the mouth, vagina or rectum. The surgery is called NOTES or Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery.
The UC San Diego surgeons want a better camera for NOTES, and for that they turned to engineers from the Jacobs School and Calit2.The team just completed the first prototype, called SurgiCam. The new camera boasts auto-focus and optical zoom—a big improvement over the digital zoom in today’s surgical cameras. Optical zoom will give surgeons the ability to change the field of view and obtain some peripheral vision, explains electrical engineering professor Yuhwa Lo. Lo invented the fluid-filled lens that is at the heart of SurgiCam—a lens that incorporates elements of both fish eyes and eagle eyes. The camera also doubles as a microscope, which could improve surgeons’ ability to remove cancer tissue.
photo caption (above): The SurgiCam team includes students from across UC San Diego including (left to right) Jack Tzeng and Frank Tsai, electrical and computer engineering (ECE) grad students, Calit2 engineer Daniel Johnson, ECE grad student Sung Hwan Cho, and Cameron Francis, a medical student.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The first paragraph of the story is below. Click here to read the full story by Juha-Pekka Tikka.
What recourse does an entrepreneur have when there is no venture capital for a start-up with a truly promising invention? At San Diego’s Biological Dynamics, 27-year-old founder Raj Krishnan’s solution is to win entrepreneur and student competitions—and so far he has won 13 awards, nine of them this year, including most recently a $40,000 first prize in the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge, where the judges were impressed with his presentation skills. “We went to the competitions because venture capital is extremely hard to find now, and we have been fortunate. It enables us now to protect our IP and pay bills,” Krishnan says.full story
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The famous fluid dynamics research from Jacobs School undergrads that may lead to better space toilets was featured in the prestigious journal Science, published by AAAS the science society.
The snappy summary of the project is included in the June 12, 2009 issue in the "random samples" section. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/vol324/issue5933/r-samples.dtl
If you are reading this from a computer at a university or other organization with an institutional subscription to Science, you should be able to follow the link no problem. Below I have excerpted the story for those without this access:
As if cramped quarters and freeze-dried ice cream weren't enough, astronauts face the unpleasant necessity of urinating in near-zero gravity. Apollo crews solved this problem with condom like devices. Current models consist of a vacuum-cleaner-like hose with attachable funnels for males and females—now more sophisticated, but still sometimes uncomfortable and messy.
So 10 engineering students from the University of California, San Diego, have teamed up with thermal and fluids engineer Eugene Ungar of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, to develop something better. In January, they were accepted into NASA's Microgravity University, a program that gives undergraduates the chance to conduct experiments on board a plane that performs parabolic maneuvers to simulate ultralow gravity. By April, the students were in the air testing their "pee machine," a contraption that pushes a column of water through a simulated urethra into an acrylic box where they can track the flow dynamics with high-speed cameras."We're really going to hit hard with designing and testing different methods for collecting urine in the coming years," says Timothy Havard, student leader of the project. One promising design, he says, is a receptacle filled with a honeycomb network that harnesses surface tension and the velocity of the fluid to capture the urine with minimal splash-back.
And don't forget about the relatead space toilet video I produced:
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Well, if you need a reminder of what ENSPIRE is all about, check out the two minute video embedded below. It's a student-run event organized by TESC the Triton Engineering Student Council. Read the story at the Jacobs School site.
I have also listed all the Jacobs School web stories that are focused on undergrads. Check it out, and send me links to other interesting projects Jacobs School undergrads are involved in both inside and outside the classroom.
Fluid Dynamics Research to Make Peeing in Space More Comfortable and Sanitary
Toward Cheap Underwater Sensor Nets
Junkyard Dreams: UC San Diego Students Vie for Winning Derby Status
Robotic Mouse Makes Maze Debut at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
UCSD Engineering Students Drive Into the Future With Electric Racecar
Steel Bridge Designed and Built by Jacobs School Undergrads Finds Home at UCSD Library
Jacobs School Students to Compete in Battle of the Brains in Stockholm
UC San Students Lift 'Dow Jones' For Annual Engineering Competition
Employers Mine UC San Diego for NextGen Engineers
E-Games 2009 Highlight Coolness of Engineering
Will a Mechanical Engineering Undergrad Win the Best Book Collection Prize Three Years in a Row?
UC San Diego Engineering Students Launch Cockroaches and Cameras Into Space
UC San Diego Engineering Students Create 'Wall of Widgets' for Mobile Internet
Jacobs School Water Conservation Research Makes Headlines around the World
Hands-on Engineering Design Course Presentations: Monitoring Heart Rate Variability and More
Intro to Computer Programming Gets a Makeover
Chemical Engineering Student Wins Library Research Prize
MAE Undergrad Goes Nano and Makes the Cut
The High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) is a National Science Foundation funded network research project, which also functions as a collaborative cyberinfrastructure on research, education, and first responder activities.
HPWREN has a consistent stream of interesting news updates available online (or you can sign up to get them via email).
The HPWREN 2008 summary video is here.
The HPWREN project includes creating, demonstrating, and evaluating a non-commercial, prototype, high-performance, wide-area, wireless network in San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial counties. The network includes backbone nodes at the UC San Diego and San Diego State University campuses, and a number of "hard to reach" areas in remote environments.
Monday, June 15, 2009
The history of CERT, the expression detection software that is behind a long list of fascinating research projects at UC San Diego's Machine Perception Laboratory, is outlined in an interesting Technology Review article by Mark Williams. The inventor of the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) that is behind CERT is involved in a TV show called "Lie to Me"...and that is probably part of what led to this story... (You have to register for free to read the article online at Technology Review.)
Computer science PhD student Jacob Whitehill used CERT in his 2008 proof of concept research that "turns your face into a remote control."
I am working on a press release for another computer science PhD who uses CERT in his work. I hope to have that posted later this week. Any reporters out there want the scoop early? send me an email.
ENSPIRE is part of Engineer’s Week and is organized by the undergraduates who run TESC (Triton Engineering Student Council).
I'm still vetting the video below...see anything that needs to be changed? Let me know.
Does anyone know about any cool apps made by UC San Diego students? The Web site says that the app serves up video.
UCSD crafts iPhone 'app' for campus information
LA JOLLA: UC San Diego is jumping on the
The La Jolla campus has created a software application for the touch-screen device that gives students and others direct access to course schedules, campus maps and other university information.
The free application joins the tens of thousands of other applications that have been created for Apple's
iPhoneand iPod Touchover the past year.
Stanford University and other academic institutions have also created applications for the handheld gadgets, but UCSD says it's the first public university to offer such a comprehensive “app” linked to the latest campus information.For more information about the application and download instructions, go to
Thursday, June 11, 2009
EETimes journalist R. Colin Johnson covered the Toward Cheaper Imaging Systems for Identifying Concealed Weapons on the Human Body research presented this week at RFIC2009.
"Terahertz SiGe imager sees through clothes"
Chip in low-cost silicon germanium process enables 'X-ray vision' using harmless millimeter waves
PORTLAND, Ore. — Silicon-germanium (SiGe) RF chips now in lab prototype form could one day be used in millimeter-wavelength W-band imaging devices sensitive enough to "see" through clothing to reveal concealed weapons.
EEs from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) presented their design at the IEEE RFIC Symposium in Boston on June 9. The chip operates in the terahertz range (1 THz = 1,000 GHz) to provide X-ray-like vision, but using safe, naturally occurring millimeter wavelengths. The designers said the chip could be produced using inexpensive silicon processing techniques. Read the full story here.
On Monday, June 8, our own Maurizio Seracini, director of Calit2's Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3), was in Canada to be honored at commencement ceremonies of McMaster University.
(Thanks to Calit2 Life for the content of this post).
They gave him an honorary Doctor of Letters degree, to add to his previous degrees in bioengineering (from UC San Diego, Class of '73) and electrical engineering (University of Padua). According to the Hamilton Spectator newspaper reporter covering the Calit2 scientist's address to the McMaster Convocation, Seracini "is a modern-day Renaissance man approaching problems in the same way Leonardo did five centuries ago."
Reporter Mark McNeil added that Seracini "urged an interdisciplinary approach to university education. He encouraged students studying sciences to also explore the arts to become more rounded." The newspaper also picked up on Seracini's call in his speech for great works of art to be treated like patients. "You need to define when, how and if to restore it," the adjunct professor in UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering structural engineering department is quoted as saying. "Just like you would do in the medical field. You would not accept the idea of surgery without going through a full range of diagnostics." Officials from McMaster also indicated that they hope to bring Seracini back to the campus on the western end of Lake Ontario to give guest lectures.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
“Our success at this conference is a direct result of the investment that UC San Diego has made over many decades in the field of wireless communications. The RFIC field requires an interdisciplinary team, because it requires innovation in the areas of electronic devices, integrated circuit theory, electromagnetic theory and communications systems. The broad skills of the UCSD faculty have made this extraordinary level of research innovation possible,” said Larson.
The next highest school was National Taiwan University with 6. UC Berkeley had 4 and MIT had 2.
Read the UC San Diego press release on work toward a cheaper airport imager for detecting condealed weapons here:
A SAW-Less CDMA Receiver Front-End with Single-Ended LNA and Single-Balanced Mixer with 25% Duty-Cycle LO in 65nm CMOS
H. Khatri from UC San Diego, L. Liu, T. Chang, and P. S. Gudem from Qualcomm Inc; L. E. Larson from UC San Diego.
A DC-102GHz Broadband Amplifier in 0.12 μm SiGe BiCMOS
J. Kim and J. F. Buckwalter, UC San Diego
Low-Loss 0.13μm CMOS 50 - 70GHz SPDT and SP4T Switches
Y. A. Atesal, B. Cetinoneri, G. M. Rebeiz, UC San Diego
A Two-Channel Ku-Band BiCMOS Digital Beam-Forming Receiver for Polarization-Agile Phased-Array Applications
B. Cetinoneri, Y. A. Atesal, G. M. Rebeiz, UC San Diego
A 25 dBm High-Efficiency Digitally-Modulated SOI CMOS Power Amplifier for Multi-Standard RF Polar Transmitters
S. Pornpromlikit from UC San Diego, J. Jeong from Kwangwoon Univ, C. D. Presti from UC San Diego, A. Scuder from STMicroelectronics, and P. M. Asbeck from UC San Diego.
Fully Integrated Dual-Band Power Amplifiers with On-Chip Baluns in 65nm CMOS for an 802.11n MIMO WLAN SoC
A. Afsahi from UC San Diego and Broadcom Corp, A Behzad from Broadcom Corp, V. Magoon from Broadcom Corp, L. E. Larson from UC San Diego
Background Estimation of Power Amplifier Nonlinearities for OFDM Signals
P. V. Kolinko , L. E. Larson from UC San Diego.
High-Performance W-Band SiGe RFICs for Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging
J. W. May, G. M. Rebeiz from UC San Diego
A 4-Channel 24-27GHz CMOS Differential Phased-Array Receiver
T. Yu, G. M. Rebeiz, from UC San Diego
A Dual-Band CMOS CDMA Transmitter without SAW and Driver Amplifier
M. Farazian from UC San Diego, B. Asuri from Qualcomm Inc, Y. Zhao from Qualcomm Inc, L. E. Larson from UC San Diego
Injection Locked Oscillator Arrays for Spectrμm Analysis
T.D. Gathman, J.F. Buckwalter from UC San Diego
Monday, June 8, 2009
Electrical engineers from UC San Diego have created high-performance W-Band silicon-germanium (SiGe) radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for passive millimeter-wave imaging. This advance could lead to significantly less expensive imaging systems for identifying concealed weapons, for helping helicopters to land during dust storms, and for high frequency data communications. Electrical engineers from UC San Diego presented this circuit at the 2009 IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium. This work was also selected as one of the best three student papers at RFIC 2009.
Draft PDF of the paper is available here:
Jacobs School version of press release is here:
Video is coming soon.
The new millimeter wave amplifier system works at the same frequency and follows the same underlying principles as some of the most advanced security imaging systems now in use in airports. The new UC San Diego circuit is unique in that it uses standard silicon semiconductor technology, while today’s security imaging systems working in the same millimeter frequency range often rely on expensive gallium arsenide or indium phosphide amplifiers. This advance is from the laboratories of Gabriel Rebeiz, a professor of electrical engineering at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering and a world leader in millimeter-wave RFIC design, phased-arrays and Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).
The RFIC Conference is the premiere annual conference in the world for reporting recent research developments in Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFICs). These circuits are responsible for the communications links in all wireless devices. This year, UC San Diego has 11 (out of 140) papers at the conference, which is much more than any other university.
“Our circuit functions at the same frequencies as some of the most advanced millimeter wave imagers around. The big difference is that we are using a commercial silicon semiconductor process technology while other systems are typically customized and very expensive. The technologies that we use are very inexpensive and reliable, so we should be able to bring the costs of those sorts of systems down, perhaps even to handheld scanners some day,” said Jason May, an electrical engineering PhD student at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering and the first author on the RFIC 2009 paper.
The new circuit also includes an antenna that can be used to capture radiation in the millimeter wave frequency emitted from the human body and from objects under a person’s clothing. This radiation passes through clothing largely or completely unaffected.
Imagers operating at millimeter waves are particularly useful because they can resolve images down to a millimeter scale, fine enough detail to identify small objects and separate items on a person’s body.
“By the size of the signal we detect, we can tell the temperature of the signal we are looking at,” explained Gabriel Rebeiz, the electrical engineering professor at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering supervising the project. “An imager with our chip could resolve images down to a millimeter scale, enabling us to identify very small objects that are on someone’s body,” said Rebiez.
“A ceramic knife concealed against a person’s leg, for instance, might appear one or half of one degree cooler than the rest of their body. We could then tell that something is there and we could exactly determine its shape,” said May.
Using signal processing, these kinds of scanners can put together an image of a temperature map of a person’s body that includes any objects underneath the clothing.
Imagers, high speed communications systems, and other applications that operate at the millimeter wave frequency are poised to become increasingly prevalent and influential as the circuit technologies for integrating them with existing silicon technologies matures.
“Our success at this conference is a direct result of the investment that UC San Diego has made over many decades in the field of wireless communications. The RFIC field requires an interdisciplinary team, because it requires innovation in the areas of electronic devices, integrated circuit theory, electromagnetic theory and communications systems. The broad skills of the UCSD faculty have made this extraordinary level of research innovation possible," said Larry Larson, Professor and Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.
“High-Performance W-Band SiGe RFICs for Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging,” by Jason May and Gabriel Rebeiz, University of California, San Diego. Presented at 2009 IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) Symposium, June 7-9, 2009.
This work is funded by DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the United States of America.
Eric Yates from SDNN, the San Diego News Network, wrote about UC San Diego's shake table out at the Englekirk Structural Engineering Center.
Also, check out an interesting story in Forbes about the changing media landscape in San Diego.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
The UC San Diego undergrads who are studying fluid streams in zero gravity with the hope of making more comfortable and sanitary urine collection devices for space travel were profiled in the San Diego Union Tribune today.
Read Scott LaFee's story here.
This story in the Union Tribune links back to the video I produced about the Microgravity Project.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Thanks Brandon for sending these photos related to the "Fluid Dynamics Research for Better Space Toilets" story.
And Tim, nice job on the KPBS interview.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The Microgravity Project is part of http://aiaa.ucsd.edu/, which is UC San Diego’s student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The following Jacobs School of Engineering undergraduates participated in the 2009 Microgravity Project at UC San Diego: Timothy Havard, Christie Carlile, Geoffrey Meier, Samina Bhatia, Derek Peterson, Jacqueline Yu, Arvin La Rosa, Colin Sheredy, Jeremy Burke and Brandon Maryatt.
More photos from NASA Johnson Space Center are here and even more Microgravity University photos are here.
The Jacobs School of Rock is back. All the info is at the Jacobs School of Rock web site.
Friday June 5, 2009.
Porter's Pub at UC San Diego.
Doors open at 5 PM, the show starts at 6PM.
Seven bands. No cover!!!
Come and see just how much the Jacobs School rocks.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Congratulations to the bioengineering grad students from the Jacobs School who took first place last night at the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge. The winning students are from a team that bears the same name as their startup company: Biological Dynamics. Raj Krishnan is one of the founders, a bioengineering grad student and no stranger to the winners circle.
I recently wrote a story highlighting the many university research awards he was won this year. Read that story here.
Second Place went to Tritonics, a team that includes UC San Diego bioengineering grad student Saleh Amirriazi.
Third Place went to Radio Fast, which includes Mehmet Parlak, an ECE/Calit2 grad student.
Xconomy San Diego covered this story The first two graphs from that story by Juha-Pekka Tikka are excerpted below...followed by photos taken by Jacobs School alumna Nikki Truitt (Thanks Nikki!)
A biotechnology company aiming to revolutionize early-stage cancer screening last night won the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge. Biological Dynamics, led by bioengineering PhD student and CEO Raj Krishnan and his fellow graduate students David Charlot and Roy Lefkowitz, took home the $40,000 first prize.
Biological Dynamics has developed a screening tool that identifies secondary cancer biomarkers such as free circulating DNA from unnatural cell death. Krishnan’s technology helps to detect signs of early stage tumors with a cost-effective blood test that takes less than 30 minutes and shows signs of almost every cancer type, according to the already much-awarded team.
Engineering undergrads at UC San Diego are studying the fluid dynamics of water in order to build a more comfortable and sanitary urine collection device for space travel.
The mechanical and aerospace engineering undergraduates from the Jacobs School of Engineering mimicked the behavior of streams of human urine in zero gravity in order to collect the data necessary to make better space urinals for both women and men.
Watch the 3 minute video below and read the full story here. (Embed code for the video is available here or from the tool bar under the video).
Monday, June 1, 2009
Read Doug Ramsey's full story here.
Watch a web video interview with Rajesh Gupta here.