Welcoming 23 new faculty
Welcoming 23 new faculty
Jacobs School of Engineering logo
September 2020

Creating More Value from Research

More than six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, I continue to be inspired by the many people inside and outside the Jacobs School of Engineering who enable us to do the work that matters, in terms of education, mentoring and research. 

Together we continue to build momentum. We hired 23 inspiring and motivated faculty this year; our Task Force on Faculty and Student Racial Equity in the Jacobs School of Engineering has begun work (more on this soon); our community has raised more than $5 million since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to support students traditionally underrepresented in engineering and computer science; and we will soon be announcing the inaugural faculty director for the Jacobs School Research Ethics Initiative. This is just a sampling of the work that matters. 

I want to thank everyone who is working so hard under incredible pressure to create learning, research, and career opportunities for the Jacobs School and the entire UC San Diego community. (See below for Return to Learn and Research Ramp-up information.) Experiencing everyone come together to leverage engineering for good motivates me to take on more. 

NAE Deans’ Roundtable
I am the inaugural chair of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Deans’ Roundtable, and I am using this opportunity to bring attention to "a missing link" in how we do research in this country. Fixing this missing link will have direct positive impacts on our students, innovation workers, communities, industries, and our nation's long-term prosperity.
Capturing more value from research
We know that federally funded science and technology researchers across the US make important breakthroughs every day. The problem is that we do not capture enough of the value of the breakthroughs. That's the missing link. We need to increase the flow of innovation from academic research labs into US companies, organizations and communities. In short, we need to get better at capturing the value of the US research enterprise. 

To do this, the students and postdocs who are making so many of these breakthroughs need new kinds of tools: virtual and democratized tools that empower them to build on each others' work in contexts that are relevant for industry. 

I envision accomplishing these related goals together through new forms of public-private research partnerships that bring industry, academia and government together early on through "pre-competitive research" on influential technologies (which I call "platform technologies") that can be rapidly pivoted to solve emerging problems. 

I will continue to work on these projects at the national scale through the NAE Deans' Roundtable, and regionally through the Jacobs School Dean's Council of Advisors, and through other organizations. One of our first case studies is 6G wireless networks. A few more thoughts on this project are outlined here.
Please get in touch if you have thoughts or ideas. I can be reached at DeanPisano@eng.ucsd.edu

You make engineering matter
Engineering and computer science education and research matter more now than ever. I'd like to thank the Jacobs School staff and faculty for the incredible work that each of you do — so much of it behind the scenes. Your efforts make all the difference. 

Take care and stay safe. We are all in this together. 
~Albert P. Pisano, Dean
UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

Text: Welcoming 23 New Faculty
Welcoming 23 new faculty to the Jacobs School
The UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering is proud to introduce the 23 new professors hired in Fall 2020. These professors are among the more than 130 faculty who have joined the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in the last seven years. These new faculty, and the communities of scholarship and innovation they are creating and building on, point to an exciting future for everyone here at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Learn more about these new additions to our community in this video and PDF.
Thank you to Jacobs School donors to student scholarships
$5 Million in new support for Jacobs School students
New scholarships and fellowships for students who are traditionally underrepresented in engineering and computer science are being created at the Jacobs School thanks to more than $5 million in generous financial support from our community. Inspired by this vision and generosity, the Jacobs School is launching a new undergraduate scholarship program to support even more students. More than 25% of Jacobs School undergraduates are the first in their families to go to college. The goal is to give as many students as possible full opportunities to focus on classwork, research, team projects, and the intangibles of a well-rounded technical education that lead to deep learning, meaningful and impactful careers, and life-long friendships. 
researchers hold prototype battery
New anode material could lead to safer fast-charging batteries
Nanoengineers at UC San Diego have discovered a new anode material that enables lithium-ion batteries to be safely recharged within minutes for thousands of cycles. Known as a disordered rocksalt, the new anode is made up of earth-abundant lithium, vanadium and oxygen atoms arranged in a similar way as ordinary kitchen table salt, but randomly. It is promising for commercial applications where both high energy density and high power are desired, such as electric cars, vacuum cleaners or drills. This work is led by professor Ping Liu, incoming director of the Sustainable Power and Energy Center at the Jacobs School, and professor Shyue Ping Ong. Read coverage of the Nature paper in Ars Technica and Electronics Weekly
ecDNA is common in human cancer, drives poor patient outcomes
The multiplication of genes located in extrachromosomal DNA that have the potential to cause cancer drives poor patient outcomes across many cancer types, according to a Nature Genetics study by a team of researchers including computer science professor Vineet Bafna. This is the first time that a study has shown that the multiplication of these extrachromosomalDNA (ecDNA) genes is present in a broad range of cancer tumor types. The researchers found that ecDNA is a common event in human cancer, occuring at minimum in 14% of human tumors, with far, far higher frequencies in the most malignant forms of cancer. Read coverage in Genome Web.
UC San Diego engineers selected for DARPA Secure Silicon program

Engineers at UC San Diego have been selected by DARPA to participate in the Automatic Implementation of Secure Silicon (AISS) program to increase the security of our nation’s semiconductor supply chain. Engineers led by Sujit Dey, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director fo the Center for Wireless Communications at the Jacobs School, will create a framework to allow developers of new machine vision and artificial intelligence algorithms to more efficiently take advantage of both embedded software and hardware accelerators. The AISS program is part of DARPA’s larger Electronics Resurgence Initiative, which engineers at the Jacobs School are also part of; electrical engineering professor Andrew Kahng is leading a multi-institution project, which aims to develop electronic design automation tools for 24-hour, no-human-in-the-loop hardware layout generation.
Launch Event graphic
Nobel Laureate to headline IMDD Launch Celebration

Join us on Sept. 29 as we celebrate the launch of the UC San Diego Institute for Materials Discovery and Design (IMDD). The IMDD brings together students, faculty and research staff from across UC San Diego to deliver on the promise of materials science. We discover, design and characterize the advanced materials humanity needs. Our first win is already in: an $18 million MRSEC grant from the NSF.  Nobel laureate and lithium-ion battery inventor Stan Whittingham will help us inaugurate our new Institute at the free, virtual celebration. Register here to join us.  
Geisel Library
Return to Learn: UC San Diego's plans for fall 

UC San Diego continues to refine our plan for Fall Quarter. The Return to Learn program is designed with three adaptive pillars that will promote on-campus safety this fall, which are transmission reduction tactics, monitoring viral activity, and public health interventions. The success of this plan is dependent on the full support of our community in following campus safety requirements, including wearing a face covering, practicing physical distancing, completing the daily symptom and exposure screening, and washing hands often. The latest information on courses, research, student move-in and testing for students, faculty and staff is available at the Return to Learn website
UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering ranks #9 in USA
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