Media Watch Archives

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Risk of electricity shortages rises with extreme heat waves

Marketplace -
The question is, “can we build new resources fast enough to compensate for decommissioning of existing resources and to handle elevated peak loads on the grid due to intensifying extreme weather events?” said Brian Tarroja [associate researcher] at the University of California, Irvine. Read More
Associated Press

Pedro Pascal and World Bank’s Ajay Banga among those named to Carnegie’s 2023 Great Immigrants list

Associated Press -
World Bank President Ajay Banga, Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan, singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette and “The Mandalorian” star Pedro Pascal are on this year’s Great Immigrants list announced Wednesday by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. ... Since 2006, the foundation has assembled an annual list of notable naturalized American citizens to celebrate the contributions immigrants make to the country and how they strengthen democracy. ...The Carnegie Corporation of New York’s 2023 Great Immigrants are: … Kyriacos A. Athanasiou, University of California, Irvine [Distinguished] Professor [of biomedical engineering] …. Read More
LA Weekly

Top 10 Inspiring Innovators Pushing the Boundaries in Their Industries

LA Weekly -
Justin Stovner, a true innovator, has left an indelible mark on the biotech industry. During college, Justin’s innovative journey began when he co-founded Syntr Health Technologies, Inc., a breakthrough company focused on harnessing the potential of adipose tissue for various applications. … While nurturing his company’s growth, he continued his pursuit for knowledge and obtained a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the esteemed University of California, Irvine. During his master’s program, Justin embarked on an extraordinary journey to reshape the agricultural industry by developing a groundbreaking device for the rapid isolation of plant cells for genetic modification. Read More
Physics Magazine

Wildfire Predictions from a Water Tank

Physics -
“This is an important contribution to the wildland fire literature,” says Tirtha Banerjee, an expert in turbulent flows in natural environments [and associate professor] at the University of California, Irvine. The research “provides insights into the complex interaction of strong buoyant plumes with canopy turbulence,” he says. Banerjee adds that this information is essential for predictions of the spread of fires through the dispersal of burning pieces of wood. Read More

UC researchers gather around the fire

Farm Progress -
Early one morning in May, students and staff from UC Irvine and UC Riverside gathered at the South Coast Research and Extension Center to collect data for their own research projects. South Coast REC, located in Irvine, is part of a statewide network of research and education facilities operated by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. ...Tirtha Banerjee, [associate] professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Irvine, coordinated the field day with [Luca] Carmignani …. Jacquelynn Nguyen, a Ph.D. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at UC Irvine, is interested in understanding how ash from wildfires and prescribed burns can be used as a treatment for per- and polyfluorinated substances. PFAS are a group of “forever chemicals” that can be found in heat-resistant materials – including fire extinguisher foam – and are extremely difficult to eliminate. Read More

Sustainable Aviation Hydrogen Powerplant Developer Hydroplane has Been Awarded a Prestigious Caltestbed Voucher from The California Energy Commission

Hydrogen Central -
Sustainable aviation hydrogen powerplant developer Hydroplane has been awarded a prestigious CalTestBed voucher from the California Energy Commission to conduct testing and accelerate commercialization of its revolutionary new electric propulsion system. … The award will permit Hydroplane to conduct ground-based commercialization studies at the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFRC) at the University of California at Irvine. The team will assess performance of the fuel cell powerplant in conditions that simulate the flight environment – for example, changes in altitude and temperature. Read More
Los Angeles Times

Wildfire burn areas in California are growing ever larger due to greenhouse gas emissions

Los Angeles Times -
Study authors determined that California wildfires consumed five times more area between 1996 and 2021 than in the 25 years prior — an increase chiefly attributed to climate change. Researchers also determined that the 50-year period as a whole saw a 172% increase in burn area. “This is very, very high,” said study co-author Amir AghaKouchak, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Irvine. “Even if it was much lower, still it would be significant, but 172% is really serious.” [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to] Read More

Climate change has fueled larger wildfires in California, scientists say

The area burned from wildfires in California’s northern and central forests increased fivefold from 1971 to 2021, an increase driven largely by human-caused climate change, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. … “It has become clear that anthropogenic climate change is the major driver of this increase in wildfire damage,” Amir AghaKouchak, a UCI professor of civil and environmental engineering and a co-author of the paper, said in a release. … “By acting now to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions and pursue more sustainable transportation, energy production and agricultural practices, we can reduce the adverse effects of global climate change.” Read More

Your Daily Phil: Around the Web

eJewish Philanthropy -
Susan and Henry Samueli, who recently made an unprecedented donation to Israel’s Beilinson Hospital, donated $50 million to the University of California Irvine’s engineering school to create three new multidisciplinary research institutes. The school will be renamed the Henry Samueli School of Engineering… Read More

Human-caused climate change to blame for increase in California's wildfires, says study -
"The 10 largest fires in California history have all occurred in the past two decades, and five of those have happened since 2020," said co-author Amir AghaKouchak, UCI professor of civil and environmental engineering. "Through our study, it has become clear that anthropogenic climate change is the major driver of this increase in wildfire damage." Read More


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