Media Watch Archives

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The New York TImes

In a High-Tech State, Blackouts Are a Low-Tech Way to Prevent Fires

The New York Times -
“It’s an incredible travesty, this sort of really crude and unsophisticated approach for dealing with what is a very serious issue,” said Jack Brouwer, an engineering professor and director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine. “We have technological solutions for this that exist,” Mr. Brouwer said. Unfortunately, he said, California regulations and planning have been “insufficient for that technology to be used instead of just turning the power off.” [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here: AccessNYT.com]
Technology.org

Team to study socioeconomic effects of coastal flooding in California

Technology.org -
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine are leading a new project with three other UC campuses to study the impact of coastal flooding on disadvantaged communities in California. … “Coastal flooding poses major challenges worldwide that are worsening with climate change and the continued expansion of coastal cities,” said co-investigator Brett Sanders, UCI professor of civil & environmental engineering. “Over just the past few years, the U.S. has suffered hundreds of billions of dollars in losses from flooding disasters linked to hurricanes and intense rainfall, and both the delta and L.A. metro regions are vulnerable to flooding disasters.”
LAist

Mass Blackouts Threaten To Be The New Norm To Prevent Wildfires. Is There A Better Way?

LAist -
Fall fire weather isn't anything new for Californians. It's usually hot, dry and windy this time of year. What is new, however, is the state's largest power companies shutting off electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes in the hope of preventing their power lines from sparking wildfires. … "When you meet your electric demand only with local resources, it's possible, but the amount of energy storage you need increases and that makes it more expensive," said Brian Tarroja, professional researcher in civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Irvine.
c&en

3-D printing forms superstrong, fracture-resistant ceramics

c&en -
3-D printing offers a way to build ceramics without those fatal flaws, says Lorenzo Valdevit at the University of California, Irvine. He and his team used a commercially available technique called two-photon polymerization direct laser writing to build silicon oxycarbide structures that could withstand up to 7 GPa of pressure before breaking apart. That’s more pressure than high-strength steel can endure before it breaks, Valdevit says.
Spectrum News

Beyond 5G May Help Avoid Buffering on Cell Phones

Spectrum News 1 -
You are about to hop on a plane. You want to download a movie quickly. On the current 4GLTE technology, the download would take you a few minutes. But thanks to an invention that is smaller than a penny developed by researchers at University of California Irvine, that download could only take you a few seconds.
OC Weekly

Asm. Petrie-Norris Asks Governor to Sign Sea-Level Rise Bill

OC Weekly -
Two UC Irvine scientists, Dr. Kathleen Treseder and Dr. Brett Sanders, spoke at the event about the need for the bill (click here for our recent story on Treseder’s research on the link between climate change and Valley fever; click here for our extensive look at how sea-level rise will affect Orange County’s coastline, which relied heavily on Sanders’s research).
Science

Forget single genes: CRISPR now cuts and splices whole chromosomes

Science -
These issues can be a deal-breaker when biologists want to make hundreds or thousands of changes to an organism's genome, says Chang Liu, a synthetic biologist at the University of California, Irvine. … “Now, I can make a series of changes in one segment and then another and combine them together. That's a big deal,” Liu says. The new tools will bolster industrial biotechnology by making it easier to vary the levels of proteins that microbes make, Liu and others say.
PhysOrg

US infrastructure unprepared for increasing frequency of extreme storms

Phys.org -
Engineers often use statistical estimates called IDF curves to describe the intensity, duration, and frequency of rainfall in each area. The curves, published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), are created using statistical methods that assume weather patterns remain static over time. “Design engineers at cities, consulting companies, and counties use this for different purposes, like infrastructure design management, infrastructure risk assessment and so forth. It has a lot of engineering applications,” said Amir Aghakouchak, a hydrologist at the University of California, Irvine who was not involved with the new study.
OC Weekly

How Sea-Level Rise Will Change Orange County

OC Weekly -
“Coastal communities face huge uncertainties,” said Brett Sanders, a civil and environmental engineering professor at UC Irvine. “Engineers aren’t used to designing within that uncertainty. But you can do something small for now, like increase the height of the seawall a little to provide protection against high-tide events. You may be able to design a better system in the future.” … Sanders’ main effort these days seems to be trying to understand how municipalities deal with sand. To that end, his current project, which is funded by NOAA, is on how communities can manage sediment to mitigate the effects of sea-level rise.
EOS

2019 AGU Section Awardees and Named Lecturers

EOS -
Our colleagues have been selected for these prestigious honors for their sustained and unique contributions to advancing our understanding of Earth, its atmosphere and oceans, and planets and astral bodies beyond our own. … Hydrology Section … Walter B. Langbein Lecture* Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, University of California, Irvine ….

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