Media Watch

Solar Power World

University of California, Irvine, opens research microgrid in Shadow Mountain community

Solar Power World -
The Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine, joined the U.S. Department of Energy, KB Home, SunPower, Southern California Edison and Schneider Electric on May 22 to officially open the novel microgrid communities located in the Shadow Mountain master plan in Menifee, California. … “This is at the cutting edge of the next generation of home developments,” said Scott Samuelsen, professor of mechanical, aerospace and environmental engineering and the co-principal investigator with SunPower. “For homeowners, the digital age and home charging of electric vehicles demands the enhanced home energy security provided by microgrid technology.” Read More

Pneumatic computer uses pressure instead of electricity

New Scientist -
Lab-on-a-chip devices have been pursued for decades as smaller, cheaper and portable alternatives to manually doing routine biochemistry with clunky glassware. While some biochemical experiments have been miniaturised … most of these devices require much more equipment than just a chip. “You could hold the chip in your hand, and everything would be happening on that chip, but if you zoomed out, you would see a refrigerator-sized box that is controlling it. That’s not really lab-on-a-chip,” says Elliot Hui, [associate professor of biomedical engineering] at the University of California, Irvine. He and his colleagues set out to replace that huge box with a tiny computer that doesn’t need electricity and fits inside each lab-on-a-chip. Read More

Climate savior or ‘Monsanto of the sea’?

Food & Environmental Reporting Network -
As climate change intensifies, people are “panicking,” said Kristen Davis, [associate] professor of civil and environmental engineering and earth system science at University of California, Irvine. Added to this sense of urgency is a culture clash between scientists and environmentalists who favor a more precautionary approach and the tech industry’s “fake it till you make it” ethos, she said. Davis is part of a growing number of scientists, small-scale harvesters, and environmental groups that caution that some of these new ventures are rushing ahead before fundamental questions about how much kelp can responsibly be farmed – and how much carbon it can actually sequester — are answered. “The clock is ticking,” Davis said, “and people just want to move really fast.” Read More

Could seaweed be the 'fastest and least expensive' tool to fight climate change?

National Geographic -
Climate change is intensifying, and people are “panicking,” says Kristen Davis, [associate] professor of civil and environmental engineering and earth system science at University of California, Irvine. But seizing on seaweed-based carbon removal as a solution before the science is settled, she says, could cause environmental harm or distract from more surefire strategies, such as swiftly cutting emissions. “The science is not there yet to actually confirm that it’s a good idea,” Davis says. Read More
Irvine Standard

UCI professor sets drone flight record

Irvine Standard -
UC Irvine professor of electrical engineering and computer science Peter Burke has broken a Guinness World Record – for flying a drone halfway around the world. Burke and his team used cloud computing and the internet to fly the drone 11,440 miles, from Irvine to the island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean. Read More
Irvine Standard

Meet the extraordinary class of 2023

Irvine Standard -
Elizabeth Chiu B.S., Mechanical Engineering Medtronic Neurovascular has hired Chiu as a research and development engineer after she interned there the past two summers. … At UCI, Chiu served as president of the Society of Women Engineers, named the Most Outstanding Student Organization among UCI’s 600 student organizations, while she earned the title President of the Year. She also served as project manager of UCI’s groundbreaking HyperXite team. Read More
Irvine Standard

A mother’s medtech inspiration

Irvine Standard -
Michelle Khine’s latest medtech startup was inspired by one of the scariest moments of her life. In 2018, Khine, a UCI biomedical engineering professor and entrepreneur, was watching her newborn baby being treated for a collapsed lung when she noticed that doctors weren’t monitoring his breathing. As she soon discovered, respiration has long been a neglected vital sign. State-of-the-art monitors are often bulky and can be inaccurate. “I went back and told my students: ‘This is ridiculous!’” she recalls. Khine and one of her doctoral students, Michael Chu, went on to develop a new compact, wireless, noninvasive monitoring device. They launched a new company – the sixth Khine has founded since her grad-student days. Chu is now the CEO. The startup, Makani Science (Makani is Hawaiian for “wind”), has since made speedy progress, thanks to enthusiastic investors and local support from an Irvine accelerator and UCI incubator. Read More
Science News

With tools from Silicon Valley, Quinton Smith builds lab-made organs

ScienceNews -
Today, [Assistant Professor Quinton Smith’s] lab at the University of California, Irvine uses tools often employed in fabricating tiny electronics to craft miniature, lab-grown organs that mimic their real-life counterparts. “Most of the time, when we study cells, we study them in a petri dish,” Smith says. “But that’s not their native form.” Prodding cells to assemble into these 3-D structures, called organoids, can give researchers a new way to study diseases and test potential treatments. Read More
Orange County Business Journal

Jaw Joint Implant Co. From UCI Awarded $6M

Orange County Business Journal -
Cartilage, Inc. a bio-medical start up from the University of California, Irvine is developing a product that seeks to avoid such a “catastrophic” outcome for people afflicted with TMJ disorders, co-founder Kyriacos A. Athanasiou told the Business Journal. Athanasiou, a professor of biomedical engineering at UCI, leads the research team developing the startup’s engineering neocartilage implant, Hyaleon. Cartilage officials hope that the implant will restore TMJ function by generating missing tissue and repairing defects in the jaw joint. UCI and Cartilage’s research team last month received a $6 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine …. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to] Read More
Los Angeles Times

After landslide, an Orange County beach town finds itself between a bluff and a hard place

Los Angeles Times -
“If you invest in the beach and the sand protects the railroad, then the railroad protects the toe of the slope at Casa Romantica,” said Brett Sanders, a UC Irvine professor of civil and environmental engineering. “But then you have to think about the instability of the slope itself. There are different risks that have to be managed, and engineers can help.” [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to] Read More