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Power to the Batteries 5/21/15
Power to the Batteries
Better solar panels and wind turbines are important to helping ensure a low-carbon future. But they are not enough. The energy from these intermittent sources must be stored, managed, converted and accessed when it’s needed most. And the cost of the battery systems that do this work needs to drop.This is where the new Sustainable Power and Energy Center at UC San Diego comes in. NanoEngineering professor Shirley Meng is the inaugural director of the center.
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Alumnus Reaches for the Stars 5/21/15
Alumnus Reaches for the Stars
Robert Kolozs, a Jacobs School alumnus, is president of San Diego Composites Inc., a company he cofounded in 2004. The company built and tested more than 1,000 parts for NASA’s Orion spacecraft, a vehicle designed to carry astronauts to destinations in deep space, including an asteroid and Mars. On Dec. 5, Orion launched atop a Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex for a two-orbit, four-hour test flight. San Diego Composites manufactured everything from the vehicle’s windows to light composite elements connecting the spacecraft’s inner and outer shells. The company also built a key component of the system that would allow Orion’s crew to eject in an emergency.
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Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections 5/18/15
Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This nanosponge-hydrogel minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA – without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.
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Alumni-led company Tortuga Logic releases toolkit to transform hardware systems developers' approach to security 5/18/15
Alumni-led company Tortuga Logic releases toolkit to transform hardware systems developers' approach to security
Tortuga Logic, a company co-founded by Ryan Kastner, a professor of computer science at the University of California, San Diego, computer science Ph.D. alumnus Jason Oberg and former postdoctoral researcher Jonathan Valamehr, released May 14 a comprehensive toolkit aiming to transform the way hardware designers and system architects test the security of hardware designs.
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Event empowers students to study STEM fields 5/14/15
Event empowers students to study STEM fields
As a ninth grader, Diana has dreamt of being many different things, but an engineer has never been one of them.“I guess it just isn’t something you think could really happen for a lot of people. Those kinds of jobs feel so far away,” she said.She was among 150 students who attended the Empower High School Conference on Saturday, April 25—an event that hopes to make STEM jobs a more realistic career goal for students.By the end of the event, she was enthusiastic: “My favorite part of the day was touring the labs. Seeing all the resources here is definitely inspiring. It makes you feel like you could something really cool,” said Diana.   
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UC San Diego Student Takes Third Place at UC Grad Slam 5/14/15
UC San Diego Student Takes Third Place at UC Grad Slam
In a three-minute TED-style talk, UC San Diego graduate student Alex Phan explained to University of California President Janet Napolitano and a panel of judges how his work holds the potential to transform care for glaucoma patients and lead to better understanding of the disease. Phan was one of 10 graduate students to compete in the first UC-wide Grad Slam tournament, which took place May 4 in Oakland. Phan took third place and received a $1,000 prize for his presentation.The Grad Slam challenges students to take years of academic work and present it to a general audience in just three minutes, without using any jargon or technical lingo. The result is a fun and engaging glimpse at the variety and impact of graduate student work across the University of California. It’s also an opportunity for students to practice communicating their research, a skill of growing necessity as public funding for research and higher education becomes more competitive.
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The Basement Is Open for Business 5/14/15
The Basement Is Open for Business
The basement of Mandeville Hall has been transformed into the nexus of innovation at UC San Diego—bringing together students and alumni, ideas and inspiration, earnest ambition and real-world experience. The humble beginnings you see here testify to the growth made possible by innovation, as the page is turned on a new chapter of university history.
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Into the Amazon 5/14/15
Into the Amazon
In the summer of 2013, alumnus Jeffrey Lehmann was drinking wine on the patio of Marc Meyers, a mechanical engineering professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Though nearly a generation between them, the two had become friends shortly after Lehmann graduated and applied his engineering degree to new energy technologies before becoming a full-time filmmaker. Meyers, raised in Brazil, mentioned the Roosevelt River and his nearly lifelong desire to conduct a scientific expedition down its waters. He asked Lehmann to document the journey, and a uniquely UC San Diego story was born—blending science, history and environmentalism into one audacious adventure.
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