Thursday, July 28, 2011

UC San Diego Bioengineering Startup Genomatica Tops New Biofuels Ranking

Renewable chemicals developer Genomatica recently took the #1 spot in the 2011-12 “30 Hottest Companies in Renewable Chemicals and Materials” rankings by BiofuelsDigest. The rankings recognize innovation and achievement in renewable chemicals and materials development. (Read the Genomatica press release on this ranking.)
Genomatica CEO Christophe Schilling earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering in 2000 at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, under the guidance of professor Bernhard Palsson, the Galetti Professor of Bioengineering in the Department of Bioengineering.
Schilling launched ­Genomatica along with Palsson in 2000. Their aim was to enable the chemical industry, through Genomatica’s novel bio-manufacturing processes, to transform its feedstock base and take the “petro” out of the “petro-chemicals” business. Currently, professor Palsson serves at the chairman of the Genomatica scientific advisory board.
* Genomatica is a 2011 winner of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (read Genomatica press release), was recently named one of ‘10 Big Green Ideas’ by Newsweek and has been featured on

* Find links to Genomatica-related stories on this April 5 post on the Jacobs School of Engineering blog.
* The full ranking list is below:

The 30 Hottest Companies in Renewable Chemicals and Biomaterials for 2011-12 are:
1.     Genomatica
2.     Solazyme
3.     Amyris
4.     Gevo
5.     LS9
6.     Dupont
7.     Codexis
8.     Genencor
9.     Novozymes
10.   ZeaChem
11.     Cargill
12.    Cobalt Technologies
13.     Waste Management
14.     Ceres
15.     Elevance Renewable Sciences
16.     Dow Chemical
17.     Enerkem
18.     Coskata
19.     OPX Biotechnologies
20.     DSM
21.     Myriant
22.     Cosan
23.     Mascoma
24.     KiOR
25.     DuPont Danisco
26.     Virent
27.     LanzaTech
28.     POET
29.     Metabolix
30.     Honeywell’s UOP

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Medical Device Engineering / Wireless Embedded Systems MAS Programs Mentioned in San Diego Union Tribune


The San Diego Union Tribune ran a short story on the new Medical Device Engineering, and Wireless Embedded Systems programs being launched this fall here at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. These programs are the newest Master of Advanced Study programs from the Jacobs School. They join the AESE or Architecture-based Enterprise Systems Engineering, also a Jacobs School MAS program.

Medical Device Engineering / Master's Program Starts Fall 2011

A new Medical Device Engineering graduate program for working professionals begins this fall at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.
“The new master degree program will address an unmet need in San Diego – interdisciplinary graduate-level training for engineers and scientists who are already working in the medical device and diagnostic industries. The curriculum is focused on the interface between traditional disciplines, which is where the most exciting advances in medical device and diagnostic systems engineering are occurring,” said Juan C. Lasheras, a UC San Diego professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), and in the Department of Bioengineering – which the National Research Council (NRC) ranked as first in the country in 2010. Lasheras is also Director of the Center for Medical Devices and Instrumentation – part of the UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine. "

Keep reading. Check out a new article on the San Diego Medical Device Engineering program on the Jacobs School of Engineering website. "New UC San Diego Master Degree Program Aims to Keep the Medical Device and Medical Diagnosis Workforce Competitive

Silver and nickel nano-scaled devices swim through human serum

Two researchers at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego have built swimming devices at the nanoscale that can cruise through liquids when propelled by magnetic fields. These nanoswimmers ultimately could be used to deliver drugs in the human body.

Eric Lauga, from the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Joseph Wang, from the department of nanoengineering, and colleagues made the devices by attaching tails made of silver to heads made of nickel. The nanoswimmers traveled as fast as some natural organisms, including E.Coli, in human serum, according to Chemistry World.

For more information, read the Chemistry World story, or the researchers’ paper in the journal Soft Matter.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Solar Map--and Fish

Next time you find yourself at the Birch Aquarium, make sure to check out Boundless Energy, a new exhibit which showcases research by Jan Kleissl, a professor of environmental engineering here at the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Kleissl and Ph.D. student Anders Nottrott created a solar map of the state of California, which allows homeowners, photovoltaic installers and utilities to better predict how much power they will get out of their solar-power systems. The map is on display in the courtyard of the aquarium, which has 240 solar panels on its roof, generating 49.2 kilowatts of power.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Medical Device Engineering / Attend a Free Informational Roundtable

UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering is hosting an Information Roundtable
Master of Advanced Study – Medical Device Engineering
8:30 – 9:30am   August 2, 2011
BIOCOM  4510 Executive Drive, Plaza One, San Diego, CA 92121
Free Event – Free Parking
RSVP or for more information: or 858-361-8160

Learn more by downloading the Medical Device Engineering PDF

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Updated: UC San Diego Near-Space Balloon Breaks Campus Record

The Near-Space Balloon Team at the Jacobs School of Engineering broke its own altitude record today, with a flight that went up to more than 100,000 ft. The team launched the balloon from the desert, near El Centro.
Check out coverage of the launch in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Also, here's a blow-by-blow account of the flight and the team's adventure on a bombing range to get back their payload, posted by team member Tim Wheeler, on the Jacobs School's Facebook page:

    • Tim Wheeler Everything is set and ready for the flight. We are preparing to launch our balloon to 125,000 ft with a payload of two video cameras, a canon s95, a particle sampler, and two tracking devices. Time to set our alarms to 3 am and get some rest for tomorrow!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Tim Wheeler Time to rise and shine for launch day! Wind forecasts still look great.
      11 hours ago ·
    • Tim Wheeler ‎4 am, half an hour ahead of schedule. Everything is packed, we are full of caffeine, and we are rolling out to the desert.
      10 hours ago ·
    • Tim Wheeler Balloon has been launched! Currently sailing to the upper Stratosphere.
      5 hours ago ·
    • Tim Wheeler ‎70,500 ft of altitude and counting
      5 hours ago · · 1 person
    • UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering Thanks for keeping us updated Tim! We're putting your updates on Twitter too.
      4 hours ago ·
    • Tim Wheeler We broke 100,000 ft. Highest we have ever been!
      4 hours ago ·
    • Tim Wheeler The balloon has landed. 32.97652 -115.78264 Unfortunately, it is in a difficult place. We will see what we can do. It is over 100 degrees out here, so we will be bringing lots of water.
      3 hours ago ·
    • UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering Good luck! Thanks for keeping us posted today!
      about an hour ago ·

  • Tim Wheeler Well, we just got back after a long day. The balloon landed in a bombing range just east of the Brawley farm lands. The larger balloon size and much smaller payload caused significant uncertainty in our predictions, not to mention the lack of wind data for altitudes above 90,000 ft. We were nevertheless determined to retrieve our payload, and after making our way past the "Danger: Bombing Range" signs, and cautiously approaching a large, ominous structure, introduced ourselves to the station leader
    15 hours ago ·
  • Tim Wheeler They were in the middle of a bombing exercise; what looked to be monitoring two fighter jets dropping ordnance. The chief was very friendly, and after we gave him the balloon touchdown coordinates he was able to give us approval to enter the base since our area of interest lay far out of harms way.
    14 hours ago ·
  • Tim Wheeler What followed was a grueling 2 mile hike in 109 F heat to retrieve the payloads. Interesting terrain, including packed sand which gave away as you walked, causing you to sink four or five inches in at times, made it all the more exciting. We were able to get to the exact coordinates using the gps lock we had, and all payloads looked great safe for a few scrapes and bruises from impact.
    14 hours ago ·
  • Tim Wheeler A quick look at the data shows great footage from the Go Pro video camera.
    14 hours ago ·
  • Tim Wheeler Unfortunately, the tracker which provides altitude information, an APRS device, was not updating to the internet as it should have been, despite working very well from our vantage point monitoring it via hand-held radios. Thus, we do not know the actual peak altitude. Our highest altitude reading was at just over 100,000 ft, on what we believe was the descent. Taking a look at the descent rate and extrapolating to burst using the flight footage should give us a better estimate. Since our previous altitude record was around 86,000 ft, this definitely was our highest flight to date.
    14 hours ago ·
  • Tim Wheeler The distance between launch and landing is 33.8 miles. The balloon did not fly a perfectly straight course, however.
    14 hours ago ·
  • Tim Wheeler All of the imagery is with the rest of the team