2019 Media Watch Archives

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Silicon Valley.com

Opinion: California needs a power company ready for today’s challenges

Silicon Valley.com -
Instead of controlling the power grid from a central location, PG&E had to send crews into the field to manually control the outages. “It’s an incredible travesty, this sort of really crude and unsophisticated approach for dealing with what is a very serious issue,” Jack Brouwer, an engineering professor and director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at UC Irvine, told the New York Times.
UCI Gets Most of $8M Grant

5G Technology Still Faces Heat, Signal Issues, Expert Says

Orange County Business Journal -
Reflecting the speed of tech changes, University of California, Irvine scientists said they’ve already developed silicon chips that are at least four times faster than the speed of the upcoming 5G and pushes technology into “the 6G standard.” Commercialization of the super-fast wireless transceiver could be a year or two down the road, project leader and UCI Professor Payam Heydari told the Business Journal in July. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]
UCI Gets Most of $8M Grant

Enevate Sees Demand for Fast-Charging Auto Batteries

Orange County Business Journal -
The company was co-founded in 2005 by [Marc] Madou and Ben Park, who is now Enevate’s chief technology officer and who has a Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from UCI. … [Jarvis Tou, Enevate executive vice president for marketing and products], called the company a “spinout” from the University of California, Irvine research. The company isn’t connected to UCI as a majority state is owned by outside investors and a minority share is held by employees. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]
Voice of America

California Power Companies Race to Upgrade Systems

Voice of America -
Distributed power production could also reduce the need for transmission lines in high risk areas allow “local production of renewable electricity, for example distributed solar and battery energy storage. Those are also very important technologies for avoiding wildfires,” said Jack Brouwer, an engineering professor at the University of California, Irvine. The director of the university’s National Fuel Cell Research Center, Brouwer says new fuel cell technology, similar to that being introduced in cars, can create more local generation. The university’s medical center gets 30 percent of its power from fuel cells.
Philanthropy News Digest

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Announces 2019 Inventor Fellows

Philanthropy News Digest -
Launched in 2016, the $36 million fellowship program recognizes early-career innovators at U.S. universities who are creating tools and technologies with the potential to accelerate progress in the areas of scientific research, environmental conservation, and patient care. … The 2019 Moore Inventor Fellows are … Chang Liu (University of California, Irvine), whose engineered yeast cells, which act like an immune system, will support the rapid, scalable, and affordable evolution of custom antibodies for drug discovery and biomedical research ….
AZoNano

Visualizing Electric Charge Density of Materials at Sub-Angstrom Resolution

AZoNano -
This method is an advancement in electron microscopy—from detecting atoms to imaging electrons—that could help us engineer new materials with desired properties and functionalities for devices used in data storage, energy conversion and quantum computing,” stated team leader Xiaoqing Pan, UCI’s Henry Samueli Endowed Chair in Engineering and a professor of both Materials Science & Engineering and Physics & Astronomy.
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.

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