2021 Media Watch Archives

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Daily Pilot

Estancia High engineering team builds a better car, wins Energy Invitational

Daily Pilot -
Started in 1998 by Michael McCarthy, a mechanical and aerospace engineering [Distinguished] professor at UC Irvine, the Energy Invitational began as a college competition but later expanded to include high school entrants. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.] Read More
National Geographic

‘Megadrought’ persists in western U.S., as another extremely dry year develops

National Geographic -
“When we sweat, water evaporates from our skin, and that evaporation acts as a cooling mechanism for our body,” says Amir AghaKouchak, [professor, civil and environmental engineering], a climate scientist at the University of California, Irvine. “Earth’s surface works the same way.” Agha Kouchak and a colleague Laurie Huning recently found that in the western U.S., snow droughts lasted 28 percent longer after 2000, compared with the previous 20 years. And the effects cascade. Less snow can lead to drier soils, which can increase the chance of heat waves, which dry soils further. Read More

Biomedical engineers spotlight disparities in knee and jaw joint treatments

Technology -
“A thoroughgoing research, funding and treatment ecosystem exists for the relief of osteoarthritis and other ailments of the knee, but a similar infrastructure for the temporomandibular joint is comparatively lacking,” said senior co-author Kyriacos A. Athanasiou, UCI Distinguished Professor of biomedical engineering. “Both joints are essential to a good quality of life, so we would like to see people suffering from TMJ disorders given the same range of options as others have with their knees.” Read More
Irvine Standard

What does AI mean for you? Opportunity.

Irvine Standard -
Neil Sahota, chief innovation officer at [Global AI Initiatives and a lecturer in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering], University of California, Irvine writes, “As the coveted place to launch an AI venture, Irvine is attracting the best and brightest minds from all over the world. This is critical for the city, spurring business growth and maintaining home values. Without these opportunities, Irvine would lose a lot of talent and not reap the full benefits from having a top University – UC Irvine – in its backyard. Thankfully, having a powerful attractor like AI helps to retain more of our young professionals and encourages the migration of other top talent into the city and county.” Read More
Orange County Register

Where’s the sand? Coastal cities hope delivery to local beaches will come

Orange County Register -
“We need our rivers to deliver sediment to the coast. If we don’t have that, we have to truck it to fill in the beaches,” said Brett Sanders, professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Irvine. Coasts aren’t just facing sea-level rise, they are facing it with shrinking beaches, he said. “It’s a double-whammy.” … Sanders enlisted a team of students to help create modeling that shows the rate of erosion along various areas of OC’s coast, with drone footage that shows how drastic the coastline is changing. Just last week, Sanders hosted a virtual talk about the changing coast.  [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here: https://guides.lib.uci.edu/news/ocregister] Read More
Yahoo News

California hits near-record temperatures, sparking early fears for wildfire season

Yahoo News (Independent) -
“CALFIRE data show that each new year of the 21st century has been a record breaker in terms of wildfire damage in California,” study co-author Tirtha Banerjee, UCI assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, wrote. “We also have seen that about 80 percent of the total number of the state’s wildfires over the past few decades have been small, measuring less that 500 acres. But when fires get large, their deadliness greatly increases.” Read More
Venture Beat

AI Weekly: How the power grid can benefit from intelligent software

VentureBeat -
Neil Sahota, chief innovation officer at [Global AI Initiatives and a lecturer in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering], University of California, Irvine, says intelligent software opens the door to the deployment of AI designed for power grid use cases. Utilities are already employing AI to address the windfalls and fluctuations in energy usage. Precise load forecasting ensures operations aren’t interrupted, thereby preventing blackouts and brownouts. And it can bolster the efficiency of utilities’ internal processes, leading to reduced prices and improved service. Read More
IEEE Spectrum

How Broadcom’s Henry Samueli Is Giving Away Billions

IEEE Spectrum -
[Henry] Samueli doesn’t give anonymously. He and his wife believe it is important to have their philanthropy be visible because, he says, “We want to set an example and motivate others to get involved in philanthropy and be proud to show it.” Another university that has benefited from his generosity is the University of California, Irvine. In 2017 the Samueli Foundation donated $200 million, the largest gift in the university’s history. The gift was used for the construction and endowment of the Susan and Henry Samueli college of health sciences, which is focused on interdisciplinary integrative health. UCI also reported that the Samuelis provided $30 million in funding toward the construction of an interdisciplinary science and engineering building, which opened in February. Read More

After revival, Iran’s great salt lake faces new peril

Science -
The shallow lake was at its most expansive in recent decades in the late 1990s …. But a 5-year dry spell that began in 1998 was coupled with increasing water diversion for irrigation. “We call it anthropogenic drought,” says Amir AghaKouchak, [professor of civil & environmental engineering], a hydrologist at the University of California (UC), Irvine, who first visited Urmia as a student in 1998. … In the past few years, such worries receded as ample precipitation helped boost lake levels by about 1.5 meters. “Nature has been kind,” says Soroosh Sorooshian, [Distinguished Professor, civil & environmental engineering], a water expert at UC Irvine. Read More

Most Of LA, Ventura, San Bernardino Counties Are Now In ‘Severe Drought’: Report

A new report by U.S. Drought Monitor says that most of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, as well as half of Riverside County, are now in ‘severe drought.’ … “When you have this perfect combination you have dead trees, you have dry fuels, you have a very dry atmosphere—this is the perfect recipe for massive wildfires,” added Tirtha Banerjee, assistant professor at UC Irvine. Read More


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