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University of California, San Diego - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department


A leader in living tissue analysis, preventive and regenerative medicine, multi-scale and systems bioengineering, focused on understanding, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of human disease.

Bioinformatics Program

The Interdisciplinary Bioinformatics Graduate Program draws upon the expertise of affiliated faculty from the Division of Biological Sciences; Departments of Bioengineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science and Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Psychiatry; the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.

Computer Science and Engineering

Strengths include complexity theory, machine learning, bioinformatics, computer architecture, vlsi and embedded systems, computer vision, cryptography, security, databases, graphics, programming systems, computer systems, computer networking, ubiquitous computing and social dynamics.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

A leader in information technology and communications, as well as network infrastructure, embedded systems, electronic circuits/systems, photonic devices/systems, electromagnetics, electronic devices/materials, nanoelectronics/nano-photonics, signal processing/intelligent systems, robotics, optics, bionanotechnology, energy generation/conversion, and magnetic/optical storage.

Material Science Program

The Materials Science and Engineering Program at UC San Diego is interdisciplinary, with participation of faculty members from several departments. Faculty from the following departments participate in the Materials Science and Engineering Program: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), Structural Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Chemistry and Biochemistry, Nanoengineering, Bioengineering, Biological Sciences, School of Medicine, and School of Pharmacy.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

This interdisciplinary department covers mechanical, aerospace, chemical, and environmental engineering. Focus areas include fluid mechanics, combustion, solid mechanics, materials processing and behavior at extreme conditions, bio/nanomaterials, systems/control, energy, electromechanical devices and medical devices, advanced manufacturing, modeling and coordination algorithms.


Research in a broad range of topics, with particular focus on biomedical nanotechnology, nanotechnologies for energy conversion, computational nanotechnology, and molecular and nanomaterials.

NanoEngineering-Chemical Eng

The field of chemical engineering is defined by those activities in which the physical sciences, and especially the chemical sciences, are applied to the development and improvement of the technologies that drive our economy and maintain our physical well-being. Our graduate research programs emphasize those new technologies, and supporting techniques of analysis and design, that are expected to lead to continuing engineering advances into the next century.

Structural Engineering

Research in the Department covers a range of structural materials and structural types from nano-materials to large-scale structures, such as aircraft structures, ship hulls, geotechnical structures, buildings, and bridges. The Department has world-class experimental facilities and faculty engaged in the testing and computational simulation of the behavior of large-scale structural systems and components subjected to extreme loading, such as earthquakes, blast, impact, and balistic penetration. On-going research projects include the development of new design and assessment methods to improve the earthquake resilience of buildings and civil infrastructure systems, advanced engineering and damage detection methods for aircraft safety, new materials and intervention methods to protect structures and human bodies against extreme loading such as explosions and impacts, advanced sensing and non-destructive evaluation techniques to detect structural defects and monitor structural health, high-fidelity computational and modeling methods to study and improve the aerodynamics of wind-turbine blades, models to understand the functioning of biological structures, and innovative visualization methods for the preservation of heritage structures.

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials and Systems

The CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials & Systems brings together multidisciplinary teams of researchers and scholars to design materials and systems for extreme environments including ultra-high temperatures, extreme pressures and deformations, radiation and acidic conditions. Innovations and advancements in technologies for aerospace, energy, nuclear, biomedical, and national security applications are critically dependent on the design and performance enhancement of new materials and devices that thrive under extreme conditions.

One of the major objectives of the CaliBaja Center is to build research and education collaborations with international partners in the area of extreme materials and devices, medical device manufacturing, and environmental technologies.

Center for Algorithmic and Systems Biology

The Center for Algorithmic and Systems Biology (CASB) is dedicated to the study of computational approaches in biological sciences. It will serve as a worldwide bioinformatics conference center and forum for researchers in algorithmic and systems biology. CASB also aims to promote interactions among different departments at the University of California, San Diego; among different institutions in the San Diego region; and between academia and industry. The center also supports both original research and educational activities in bioinformatics.

Center for Energy Research

The Center for Energy Research (CER) performs basic and applied research in fusion energy, solar energy, energy sciences, fuel cells, and energy storage. See to learn more about each area of our research: Fusion Energy, Energy Sciences, Renewable Energy, Energy Storage, Fuel Cells.

Center for Engineered Natural Intelligence

We build next-generation artificial intelligence systems derived from the biological brain. We are developing algorithms, software and hardware that enable new forms of low-power, real-time machine computation, learning, and intelligence.

The approach is unique. The capabilities we are developing are based on models, insights and algorithms derived from discoveries of the fundamental computational dynamics and physics that underlie neural computation in the biological brain. From neurobiological experiments to theory and algorithms, we abstract away biological details and capture the core algorithms.

We are working on developing situational and contextual learning systems â€" as well as analytics and pattern recognition systems â€" that function in real time, on ultra-low power, with minimal training requirements.

Our approaches go beyond, but are complimentary to, the existing capabilities of current methods in machine learning, artificial neural networks, and other forms of artificial intelligence.

Center for Extreme Events Research

At UC San Diego, we advance the engineering research essential to protect critical infrastructure and bio-systems from extreme hazardous events.

Center researchers are world-renowned experts in experimental and computational methods for extreme events research. We leverage this expertise to develop better ways to protect entire built infrastructures, as well as bio-systems, from extreme events such as blasts from terrorist attacks and mining explosions, car crashes, sports collisions, and natural disaster such as landslides.

After an extreme event, researchers from the Center for Extreme Events Research provide rapid damage and vulnerability assessments to the first responders so that they can make informed decisions in challenging situations.

Center for Memory and Recording Research

The Center for Memory and Recording Research was established at UC San Diego in 1983 to advance the state-of-the-art in information storage technology and to produce highly trained graduate students and postdoctoral professionals for the data storage industry. Pursuing a dynamic, interdisciplinary program of cutting-edge research defined in cooperation with government agencies and industry partners, the Center's faculty, researchers, and students continue to push the frontiers of scientific knowledge and engineering technology to meet society's ever-increasing need for high-performance, reliable, and secure information storage systems.

Center for Microbiome Innovation

The UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation leverages the university’s strengths in clinical medicine, bioengineering, computer science, the biological and physical sciences, data sciences and more to coordinate and accelerate microbiome research. We also develop methods for manipulating microbiomes for the benefit of human and environmental health.

We partner with industry to solve pressing challenges of mutual interest in the microbiome sciences.

We collaborate to develop better tools for microbiome sample reading and processing, metabolomics analysis, and big-data analysis.

When every minute counts, we can generate and analyze microbiome and metabolome data in as little as 48 hours.

We prepare students and postdoctoral researchers to innovate and lead in the rapidly evolving microbiome sciences. This emerging workforce hails from life sciences, engineering, computer science, medicine, pharmacy, physical sciences and beyond.

Center for Networked Systems

The mission of the Center for Networked Systems is to bring together leading faculty, students, and companies to investigate the most challenging, interesting, and important problems in computer networks, and to train our students to continue their leadership throughout their careers.

Center for Visual Computing

The Center for Visual Computing is researching and developing a future in which we can render photograph-quality images instantly on mobile devices. To pursue these kinds of research projects at the Center for Visual Computing, we draw together computer graphics, augmented and virtual reality, computational imaging and computer vision.

Center for Wearable Sensors

At UC San Diego, we are developing wearable sensor systems with real-time feedback that enable a wide range of new preventive-health, security and fitness applications.

We accelerate the pace of innovation in wearable sensor systems by tackling the toughest research challenges and technical bottlenecks. Our work to create a series of the world’s most advanced “lab on the body” systems is built around close collaborations between world-renowned faculty and students and our industry partners.

Center for Wireless Communications

The Center for Wireless Communications was established in 1995 and rapidly became a leader in wireless communications research. With its preeminent faculty and high caliber graduate students, CWC partners with companies to address the emerging needs of the wireless communications industry. CWC faculty and students engage in a broad range of research areas ranging from wireless applications, to networking, digital communication systems and high-speed integrated circuits.

Charles Lee Powell Structural Research Laboratories

The Charles Lee Powell Laboratories at UCSD are multiple-location, multi-million-dollar facilities dedicated to research at the materials-, component-, assembly-, and systems-levels. The Powell Labs feature one of the largest assemblies of reaction-wall/strong floor systems in the world. The main testing facility was dedicated in 1986, and includes 12,179 assignable square feet of space. Additional facilities have been added as the scope and nature of Powell Labs research has expanded. With their test area dimensions, load capacities, state-of-the-art computer controlled servo-hydraulics, and data acquisition systems, the laboratories represent a unique tool for large and full scale testing of structures. In 2005, the Englekirk Structural Engineering Center opened as an expansion of Powell Labs (located eight miles from the UCSD campus), and is equipped with the world’s first outdoor shake table, and is adjacent to the country’s largest soil foundation-structure Interaction Facility.

Chinese Hamster Ovary Systems Biology Center

The Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) Systems Biology Center is uniquely positioned â€" and driven â€" to develop new resources and techniques that empower the biopharmaceutical industry to rationally engineer and optimize CHO cell lines for drug development. We train the next generation of cell line engineers to leverage novel genomic and systems biology tools to accelerate drug development.

Contextual Robotics Institute

The Contextual Robotics Institute at UC San Diego aims to advance the research required to develop useful robotic systems for the public good that "see, think and do." The Institute's mission is to advance contextual robotics through relevant grand challenge research, to educate and train students who are prepared to catalyze future developments in robotics; and to provide the talent and innovation to establish San Diego / Cali Baja as a leading robotics hub.

The Contextual Robotics Institute draws together a core group of researchers at UC San Diego from across engineering disciplines, computer and data sciences, and the cognitive and neurosciences into a highly collaborative environment. Shared research labs will accelerate the interdisciplinary research that is crucial for developing autonomous robotic systems that see, think and do.

Cymer Center for Control Systems and Dynamics

The Cymer Center’s mission is to maintain the highest international academic profile of UC San Diego’s control program, serve as a catalyst for interaction with industry and federal research sponsors, foster collaborations with researchers from other fields, and recruit outstanding undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and faculty in control systems to UCSD.

Control Theory. The CCSD team includes world leaders in the development of the mathematical and theoretical basis of control and dynamical system modeling, analysis, estimation, and design. These theories, while frequently engendered by specific applications, form the intellectual core of Control and Dynamic Systems and are applicable to a wide range of problem domains, some of which are mentioned below. The ability to access and to invent new theory is critical to the formulation of approaches to real problems and to the provision of performance specifications and guarantees.

CCSD’s research applications span a broad range: Control of Propulsion and Energy Systems; Sensor Networks and Unmanned Systems; Control of Structures and Noise; Control of Positioning Systems; Finance and Optimization; Biological Systems.

As mentioned above, besides applications, the center’s faculty are leaders in many areas of mathematical control theory, including robust control, nonlinear control, stochastic systems, adaptive control, system identification, optimal control and dynamic games, geometric mechanics and nonholonomic systems, delay systems, and distributed parameter systems.

Deep Decarbonization Initiative

The Deep Decarbonization Initiative is a combined effort of faculty across UC San Diego working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. We are focused on helping the world cut emissions of warming gases given the very real technology, economic and political constraints that exist.

Information Theory and Applications Center

The Information Theory and Applications Center is dedicated to the study of information theory fundamentals and their relations to communications, computer- and life-sciences, finance, statistics, and related disciplines. The center supports both original research and educational activities in these areas.

Institute for the Global Entrepreneur

The Institute for the Global Engineer at UC San Diego encompasses a series of programs, centers and initiatives all working toward a common goal: preparing engineers to become change makers and technical leaders who drive innovation within organizations both large and small.

Institute of Engineering in Medicine

The School of Engineering and UCSD Health Sciences formed the Institute for Engineering in Medicine in 2008 for the integration of engineering principles and novel technologies with biomedical and translational research. Key technology areas include imaging, genotyping-phenotyping, systems biology, medical devices, and nanotechnology. One example is a subcutaneous microdevice that provides continuous glucose monitoring in diabetes and automatically adjusts insulin dosage. The CTRI formally partnered with the new Institute and will serve as its translational research center.

Research in the Institute of Engineering in Medicine focuses on the convergence of disease, technology, and sciences by applying an engineering approach to medicine. The four initial disease focus areas are cancer, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. The technology areas include imaging, genotypeing-phenotyping, bioinformatics & system biology, medical devices and instrumentation, nanotechnology & nanomedicine, and stem cells.

The IEM establishes new frontiers for research in healthcare by interfacing engineering and biomedical sciences using the team science approach. With active involvement of industry partners and clinical colleagues, the technologies developed in the IEM are effectively transferred to the private sector and healthcare delivery to enhance the health and wellbeing of people.

Qualcomm Institute (UC San Diego Division of California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology)

“Qualcomm Institute represents a new mechanism to address large-scale societal issues by bringing together multidisciplinary teams of the best minds.” Larry Smarr, Director, Qualcomm Institute

The U.S. -- and California in particular -- have long held sway as the world’s innovation leaders. But, given the rapidly changing nature of the world and emergence of the global economy, they are in danger of losing the competitive edge they’ve had.

Significantly, this new economy is being fueled by exciting scientific developments arising out of basic research in nanotechnology, life sciences, information technology, and telecommunications. And these disciplinary areas are creating a spiral vortex, interpenetrating and changing each other as they themselves change. This is where the opportunity to stay competitive lies.

Giving the changing climate of competitiveness, the University of California has leveraged its strong research and technical capabilities to create a secret weapon: the California Institutes for Science and Innovation (Cal ISIs), which have the ability to drive innovation.

But to drive innovation, you must be innovative: Qualcomm Institute represents a new mechanism to address large-scale societal issues by bringing together multidisciplinary teams of the best minds (both on and beyond UC campuses) in a way that had been impossible earlier.

Qualcomm Institute is taking ideas beyond theory into practice, accelerating innovation and shortening the time to product development and job creation. Where the university traditionally has focused on education and research, Qualcomm Institute extends that focus to include development and deployment of prototype infrastructure for testing new solutions in a real-world context.

Qualcomm Institute represents an experiment in inventing the university research environment of the future to continue to fuel innovation in the global economy. It:
o Builds horizontal links among departments to foster multidisciplinary studies.
o Creates research teams consisting of members who can be located anywhere because of the Internet.
o Supports involvement by faculty, students, industry, government, and community partners.
o Enables prototyping in Qualcomm Institute "living laboratories."
o Provides technical professionals as the bridge between academia and industry.

San Diego Supercomputer Center

SDSC serves as a critical IT partner to large scale research projects in life sciences, geosciences, engineering and other disciplines. SDSC researchers collaborate on projects ranging from cellular signaling to earthquake effects to preserving large and irreplaceable data.
In addition to extending the reach of scientific accomplishments by providing high-performance hardware technologies and integrative software technologies SDSC's mission also includes providing deep inter-disciplinary research expertise to the community.

Sustainable Power and Energy Center

The Sustainable Power and Energy Center undertakes research and develops higher-performance and lower-cost materials and devices for energy generation, storage and conversion. Our target industries are electric vehicles, microgrids, photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, wearable power devices, and more.

UC San Diego’s world-renowned microgrid serves as a real-world test-bed for our work, which is rooted in thoughtful analyses of the economics of distributed energy.

At every point along the way, we train and mentor our students to become tomorrow’s workforce for green and advanced energy.