I am so pleased to welcome the MAE community of students, faculty, and staff back to campus! I trust that Summer 2022 provided a respite to regroup and prepare for the coming academic year. My hope is that Fall 2022 proves to be the quarter when the university rejoins together as a community to work, learn, and discover.
There are exciting changes underway in the UC San Diego MAE Department. Firstly, our EBU-II Courtyard Renovation Project is progressing well, and will provide a dynamic space that is conducive to small collaborative research meetings, studying, and relaxation after its completion. Likewise, the department is in the final stages of wholesale renovations of our Design Studio and the commissioning of a large number of new experimental workstations in our Instructional Laboratories. These new facilities will serve our students for many years to come, and will provide faculty with the capability to incorporate demonstrations of critical engineering concepts in our theory-based courses. Lastly, we are completing the installation of major new capabilities in our Machine Shop that will serve our research and instructional needs.
Beyond these changes in MAE facilities, we celebrate the promotion of Renkun Chen to full Professor, as well as the promotions of Maziar Ghazinejad, Nicholas Gravish, and Oliver Schmidt to Associate Professor with tenure. Similarly, Professor Olivia Graeve has taken on the Directorship of the campus-wide Materials Science and Engineering Program; she was also named a member of the Latin America Academy of Sciences as well as a Jacobs Faculty Scholar.
We are delighted by the many new research grant winners and various awards announced over the summer, which you can read more about below. It is especially heartening to note that Assistant Professor Tania Morimoto and Assistant Professor Lisa Poulikakos both won the 2022 Beckman Young Investigator Award – the first time in the history of the award program that two faculty members from the same institution and department were selected in the same year. Finally, we are ecstatic to introduce and welcome Assistant Professor Xuanting Hao who holds a joint appointment in MAE and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
In closing, let me again say welcome back. What a delight to see students, staff, and faculty up close and in person. My best wishes to each of you for a healthy and productive quarter.
George R. Tynan
Professor & Chair
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
MAE Courtyard Renovation Project
The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department is in the midst of a major Courtyard Renovation project. The main goal of the renovation is to design a unique and dynamic space that fosters the collaboration of our campus community. We’ve aimed to preserve as much of the existing elements as possible, while also creating an environment that lends itself to small events and lectures. The tentative timeline for completion is Fall 2022. We look forward to sharing this dynamic space with our community of faculty, students, and staff.
MAE Laboratory Facility Upgrades
The Laboratory Facilities at MAE are in the process of a major upgrade. These enhancements include:
Three new 30 kilonewton load frames from Instron
- Multiple controls experiments
- Multiple material testers, including hardness, fatigue, and torsion
- All new workbenches for the undergraduate lab spaces
- A new design space to support the Aerospace Engineering program, with multiple laser cutters, hot wire foam cutting CNCs, 3D printers, and a CNC router
Aerospace Fabrication Lab
- Large CNC foam cutter
- CNC router
- Downdraft table
- 3D printers
- EDM sinker
- Wire EDM
- Haas VF2 Mill
- New Mills with CNC Capabilities
- Dedicated CAD/CAM Lab to teach MAE 152 & 156A
- Water jet
- Laser welder
Material Testing Equipment
30 kN Load Frame (3x)
- Charpy Tester
- Fatigue Tester
Olivia Graeve Appointed Director of the Materials Science and Engineering Program
Professor Olivia Graeve was recently appointed as the Director of the Graduate Program in Materials Science and Engineering at UC San Diego. The Materials Science and Engineering Program includes upwards of 150 M.S. and Ph.D. students and has faculty spanning across campus. As Director, Graeve will oversee the program growth, curriculum, and budget. Professor Graeve currently serves as the Director of the CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials and Systems at UC San Diego and was also recently nominated as a Jacobs Faculty Scholar.
Four MAE faculty recently received promotions within the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UC San Diego.
Renkun Chen, Associate Professor to Professor
Maziar Ghazinejad, Assistant Teaching Professor to Associate Teaching Professor
Nick Gravish, Assistant Professor to Associate Professor
Oliver Schmidt, Assistant Professor to Associate Professor
2022 Beckman Young Investigator Award
Assistant Professor Tania Morimoto and Assistant Professor Lisa Poulikakos were simultaneously awarded the Beckman Young Investigator Award in 2022. This is the first time in the Beckman Foundation's history that two awards (out of the 10 allocated nationwide) were given to the same department in the same year. Both faculty members were chosen out of a pool of over 225 applicants, and will receive $600,000 over the span of four years.
The Beckman Young Investigator (BYI) Program is designed to recognize and provide support for auspicious faculty members at the start of their career. Centering around life and chemical sciences, the BYI Program aims to spur the development of new methods and tools that will expand the horizon of scientific knowledge. It was established in 1991 by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, which offers support for research on the forefront of science.
Read more detailed information about the awardees here.
Drew Lucas and Oliver Schmidt Receive ONR Grant
Assistant Professor Drew Lucas and co-PI Associate Professor Oliver Schmidt received a grant from the ONR (Office of Naval Research) to study nonlinear internal wave transformation in the ocean.
Their work outlines a tightly-integrated, cutting-edge observational and numerical investigation of coherent structures that arise during the nonlinear evolution of shoaling internal waves, propagating internal bores, and ultra-sharp surface gravity currents. It will leverage more than a decade of experience with fiber optic Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) with numerical modeling to yield an improved predictive capacity for small-scale dynamics in the ocean. Specifically, the proposed work will improve understanding of the physics of small-scale coherent structures in evolving, nonlinear coastal and open ocean flows using a purpose-built fiber optic Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) system.
Jan Kleissl Awarded Grant for Flexible EV Workplace Charging
Professor Jan Kleissl and Co-PI Byron Washom (UC San Diego Director of Strategic Energy Initiatives) received a grant through TotalEnergies for "Smart Charging Aggregation, Flexibility and Decarbonization for Electric Vehicles".
Together, TotalEnergies and UC San Diego will demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of flexible electric vehicle (EV) workplace charging. Large EV charging datasets from UC San Diego will establish how much EV charging can be shifted during the day. Additionally, EV drivers will be incentivized to charge mid-day when there is excess solar energy on the power grid. With its 2,500 EV drivers and 300 EV charging stations, UC San Diego presents a unique lens into the future of electrified transportation. TotalEnergies will apply lessons learned across its global portfolio of EV charging sites.
Boris Kramer Receives Three-Year ONR Grant
Assistant Professor Boris Kramer received a 3 year research grant from the ONR (Office of Naval Research) for Nonlinear Data-Driven and Structure-Preserving Hamiltonian Model Reduction.
Computational modeling, simulation, and control of physical systems characterized by Hamiltonian mechanics are essential for many naval applications, such as ocean flow modeling, plasma physics, and continuum mechanics models that follow a principle of least action. In collaboration with the University of South Carolina, Kramer and his team will develop a mathematically rigorous nonlinear structure-preserving data-driven reduced-order modeling (SP-DDROM) strategy for Hamiltonian systems to produce computationally efficient structure-preserving reduced-order models (ROMs) through learning from high-dimensional data. Since ocean simulations often have to be produced for decades to centuries of real time, ROMs play a crucial role in efficiently making long-term predictions.
Alexey Arefiev Awarded Multiple Grants
David Saintillan Awarded NSF Grant
Numerical simulation of chromatin dynamics inside the cell nucleus, with colors corresponding to individual chromosomes.
Professor David Saintillan received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant titled “Discovering the Principles of Active Self-Organization in the Differentiating Genome Using Multi-Scale Modeling and In-Vivo Experiments”.
This collaborative project will combine mathematical and computational models by Professor Saintillan with high-resolution live cell imaging experiments by collaborators at New York University to elucidate the physical principles underlying the dynamics and reorganization of chromatin – the functional form of DNA in cells – inside the differentiating cell nucleus. In order to characterize the changes in genomic organization occurring during differentiation, experiments will be performed in live cells before and after differentiation. These experiments will guide the development of novel coarse-grained computational models for chromatin dynamics in heterogeneous environments and of first-principles continuum theories capable of capturing the wide range of time and length scales in this problem. The overarching goal of this research is to discover the fundamental physical mechanisms governing the spatio-temporal organization of the differentiating genome.
Michael Davidson Wins William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Grant
Assistant Professor Michael Davidson received a grant through the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to research open model-based collaboration on decarbonized power systems. The grant will support the creation of the Power Transformation Lab which will be launched this fall.
The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department is pleased to announce additional offerings for our Master’s program beginning in Fall 2022. MS students may pursue our existing Core MS program or choose from one of four specialized programs in Aerospace Engineering Systems, Materials and Robotic Design, Applied Ocean Science/Environmental Flows, or Energy and Climate. Four additional programs will be added in Fall 2023, including Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, Controls and Mechatronics, Power and Energy Systems, and Computational Engineering and Science.
Grand Prize for 2023 Global Young Scientists Summit
Vinod Ramakrishnan, an MAE PhD student, took home the Grand Prize for the 2023 Global Young Scientists Summit for his research in metamaterials under Assistant Professor Michael Frazier. The Summit is multidisciplinary in nature and provides the opportunity for budding researchers and top scientists to collaborate and discuss some of the most pressing scientific issues.
At the Summit, Vinod will have the opportunity to improve his research acumen and build potential collaborations. He will present his research on multistable metamaterials that are capable of tuning their material properties such as stiffness, inertia and damping post fabrication via geometric reconfiguration, which allows for a highly customizable dynamic response.
The MAE Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Committee exists to increase advising support for MAE graduate students in a peer mentorship capacity, to improve communication between graduate students and the MAE department, and to collaborate on pathways for improvement.
Check out the P2P website to learn more or contact us via email.
MAE Graduate Student Council Event
The MAE Graduate Student Council (GSC) hosts bi-weekly "Tea Times" for students, faculty, and staff.
Please check the MAE Graduate Student Council website for more information.
Summer 2022 Doctoral Defenses
Isaac Cabrera (PI: Marc Meyers (Co-Chair), Albert Lin (Co-Chair))
"Innovating Technologies for Affordable and Accessible Prosthetic Healthcare"
Justin Laughlin (PI: Padmini Rangamani)
"Incorporating Realistic Cellular Geometry Into Systems Biology Models"
Imoleayo Abel (PI: Miroslav Krstic)
"Safety-Critical Control of Nonlinear Systems: Input Delay Compensation and Prescribed-Time Safety”
Future Plans: Senior Engineer of Autonomous Vehicle Controls at NVIDIA
Antoni Garcia de Herreros (PI: Juan Carlos Del Alamo (Co-Chair), Padmini Rangamani (Co-Chair))
"Designing Microfluidic Devices for the Study of Cardiovascular Diseases”
Richard Inman (PI: Carlos Coimbra)
"Natural Convection Evaporation from Flat Surfaces at Very Low Rayleigh Numbers"
Masih Haseli (PI: Jorge Cortes)
"Data-Driven System Analysis Using the Koopman Operator: Eigenfunctions, Invariant Subspaces, and Accuracy Bounds"
Future Plans: Postdoctoral Researcher at UCSD with Professor Cortes
Xingzhong Wu (PI: Javier Garay)
"Synthesis and Densification of Nanocrystalline Al2O3 and AlN Ceramics with Improved Optical Transparency for Thermally Robust Photonic Applications"
Future Plans: Research Scientist at Corning Incorporated
Lewis Fowler-Gerace (PI: Leonid Butov)
"Indirect Exciton Propagation in van der Waals Heterostructures"
Michael Breeden (PI: Andrew Kummel)
"Atomic Layer Deposition for Continued Scaling of Interconnects"
Future Plans: Process Engineer at Applied Materials
Steven Bopp (PI: Zhaowei Liu)
"Engineering Optical Properties and Nonlinearities in Metallic Nanofilms and Nanocomposites"
Sanahan Vijayakumar (PI: Michael Sailor)
"Functionalized Porous Silicon for Sensing, Imaging and Drug Delivery"
Future Plans: Research Electronics Engineer at DuPont
Zach Dake Promoted to Financial Manager of MAE
Zach Dake was promoted to the MAE Financial Manager position, effective September 1, 2022. Zach previously served as the Director of Student Affairs in MAE for the past 5 years. In his new role, Zach will be responsible for the administration, development, and management of all fiscal activities in MAE, including the supervision of the Research Administrators and Faculty Assistants.
During his time leading the department in Student Affairs, Zach demonstrated exceptional analytical, organizational, and leadership abilities. He has been an active member in the campus community by serving on divisional committees, and he collaborated extensively with other units to improve system-wide processes. We are ecstatic for Zach’s transition as our new Financial Manager.
Eir Fileccia - Research Administrator 3
Eir Fileccia joined the MAE department as a Research Administrator 3 effective August 29th, 2022. Eir is responsible for providing analytical and financial support for the processing of proposals, contracts, and grants. More specifically, Eir will be managing pre and post-award processes as well as the financial analysis of extramural gifts and faculty funds.
Eir joins MAE from the Department of Biological Sciences where she worked as a Research Administrator in the processing of pre and post awards. Prior to her career at UC San Diego, Eir worked in industry as a Payroll and Billing Coordinator for a medical company. We believe that Eir’s background and experience in research administration will help her transition into her new role seamlessly.
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Late registration fee payment deadline (to avoid being dropped from enrolled classes or wait listed courses)
Deadline for Graduate students to file for leave of absence, in absentia or to apply for half-time study for current quarter
Deadline to file for Advancement to Candidacy for Master's degrees
Deadline for all students to drop classes without "W" grade
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