University of California, Riverside

Department of Mechanical Engineering



News 2009 - 2010


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2009-2010 News
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Mechanical Engineering 10th Anniversary Staff Recognition Awards

June 14, 2010

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year. The Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate degree Program was established in BCOE in 1994, with its first graduates in 1998. In 2000, the Department of Mechanical Engineering was established. Professor Akula Venkatram was the Founding Program Chair and subsequently Founding Department Chair. The first cohort of graduate students were initially admitted to the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department until the department established its own graduate program in September 2001. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the following departmental awards were announced by Professor and Chair Shankar Mahalingam today. The awardees were nominated by departmental faculty peers.

  • The Department of Mechanical Engineering 10th Anniversary Outstanding Research Award: Javier Garay
  • The Department of Mechanical Engineering 10th Anniversary Outstanding Teaching Award: Akula Venkatram
  • The Department of Mechanical Engineering 10th Anniversary Outstanding Service Award: Guillermo Aguilar

In addition, department faculty nominated staff members in recognition of their outstanding contributions.

  • The Department of Mechanical Engineering 10th Anniversary Outstanding Staff Award: shared by Roseanna Barron and Paul Stovall

Congratulations to all awardees!

Graduate Student Trevor Maynard Wins Award for Best Oral Presentation at the 90th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Atlanta

May 10, 2010

The department of Mechanical Engineering would like to congratulate Trevor Maynard for on his award for “Best Oral Presentation” at the 90th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in Atlanta, Georgia in January.

Trevor is a 2nd year Ph.D. student advised by Professor Marko Princevac and Professor Shankar Mahalingam. His work is titled “Laboratory Study of Particulate Emissions Factors of Prescribed Wildland Fires” and is sponsored through the SERDP project.

Congratulations Trevor!

Mechanical Engineering Announces Outstanding Teaching Assistants for the 2009-2010 Academic Year

April 27, 2010

The department of Mechanical Engineering would like to recognize Anh Nguyen, Maryam Shafahi, Younghoon Kim, and Uzair Ahmed for their outstanding TA service during the 2009-2010 academic year.

Anh and Maryam were selected by the Graduate Committee to be awarded by the Graduate Division as Teaching Assistant of the year and Younghoon and Uzair were selected by the Graduate Committee as the Departmental Teaching Assistants of the year.

Each TA was nominated by a faculty member then ranked by the Graduate Committee based on their TA evaluations as well as instructor feedback. Congratulations on your hard work guys; you are an inspiration to current and future Teaching Assistants!

Graduate Student Jesse Lozano Awarded by Graduate Division with the Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship

April 8, 2010

The department of Mechanical Engineering would like to recognize Graduate Student, Jesse Lozano received the "Graduate Research Mentorship Program" a competitive fellowship awarded by the Graduate Division. This fellowship will provide Jesse with stipend support plus payment of fees for two quarters. All students who received these awards campus wide were ranked both by their own programs and by a subcommittee of the Graduate Council based on a number of factors including diversity (where applicable), progress toward degree, quality of proposal, and of course departmental/program ranking.

Jesse’s proposal is titled “The Effect of Environmental and Fuel Properties on Wild Fires.” These topics are in line with Jesse’s Ph.D. dissertation plans.

Congratulations on your accomplishment Jesse!

First Year Graduate Students Anh Nguyen and Shannon Gott Receive Prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program Awards from NSF

April 6, 2010

The Department of Mechanical Engineering congratulates Shannon Gott and Anh Nguyen on their receipt of prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowships to support their doctoral studies.

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is extremely competitive and is known for selecting recipients who have not only achieved high levels of success in their past endeavors, but have also demonstrated strong potential for making important future contributions to their field and beyond. With this award comes a reputation that will follow each of the recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching.

Working with Professor Masaru Rao, Shannon’s research will focus on developing novel technological capabilities that will serve as critical enablers for: a) studies focused on advancing understanding of the effects of rationally-designed nanopatterning on vascular cell response; and b) eventual application of this understanding towards enhancement of the safety and efficacy of vascular stents.

Anh Nguyen will be working with Professor Heejung Jung and will conduct research that aims to improve the model involving the impact of aerosol compositions on cloud formation by looking into the effect of fuel sulfur content change in diesel to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity of diesel particulate matter.

Both recipients will receive a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, and a one-time $1,000 international travel allowance.

Once again congratulations to Shannon and Anh on their outstanding achievements. We wish them the best of luck in their research!

Ehsan Tarkesh-Esfahani Awarded with Lung-Wen Tsai Memorial Scholarship for Research in Mechanical Design

April 9, 2010

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is pleased to announce that Mr. Ehsan Tarkesh-Esfahani is the 2010 recipient of the Lung-Wen Tsai Memorial Award. This award is made possible through a generous donation by the Tsai family honoring Professor Lung-Wen Tsai. Professor Tsai was an internationally recognized expert in many sub-disciplines of mechanical engineering including robotics, machine and mechanisms design, design methodology, and automotive engineering. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design. He was a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The award is given to an outstanding graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, conducting research in the broad area of mechanical design.

As part of his graduate research, Ehsan has worked on a variety of research projects. He has developed natural language interfaces for modeling engineering systems. His current research focuses on novel brain-computer interfaces for CAD systems. He has published one conference paper and has submitted two journal articles. His former training is in the area of controls and robotics and he has several publications in those areas as well. Ehsan is a bright motivated person who has demonstrated remarkable versatility and independence in research. He conducts his graduate research under the supervision of Professor Sundararajan, and is expected to graduate with his Ph.D. in late 2011 or early 2012.

Congratulations Ehsan!

Professor Rao Awarded Prestigious Grant from the National Institute of Health

February 23, 2010

We are very pleased to announce that Masa Rao is the PI for a new grant titled “Ultrahigh throughput cellular manipulation via massively parallel microinjection,” funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The project includes his collaborator Christopher Ballas, Indiana School of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology as PI as well. The total award is for $545,569 for a period of 3 years. The focus of the research is on the development of advanced instrumentation for ultrahigh throughput microinjection-based manipulation with applications in drug discovery, transgenics, and cell-based therapeutics. The innovative aspect of their research is that it represents the first attempt to address microinjection’s limitations through not only automation, but also massive parallelization and monolithic integration of all functionality into a single MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) device.

Congratulations Masa!

Professor Garay Awarded an NSF Career Award

February 8, 2010

The department of Mechanical Engineering is pleased to announce that Javier Garay is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award for his proposal titled “Optoelectronic Nanocomposites: Controlling the properties of bulk ceramic heterostructures using external electric fields.” The ability to bend (refract) light using transparent materials is familiar and useful in many devices such as cameras and telescopes. Light refraction properties of a special class of materials called electrooptic materials can be controlled using electric fields. Since electric fields are relatively easy to generate and change, electrooptic materials allow light paths to be changed "on the fly." Electrooptic materials could find a host of new applications if the electrooptic response could be attained using smaller fields. The aim of this CAREER project is to extend the applicability of electrooptic ceramics by using a composite approach.

Typically ceramic composites are opaque, but by carefully controlling their structure large ceramic materials whose light transmittance properties can be controlled by applying electric fields will be produced. These materials should be useful in a wide array of consumer electronics such as digital cameras and advanced applications especially in the laser field.

Mahalingam Elected Fellow of ASME

February 4, 2010

Shankar Mahalingam

Shankar Mahalingam

Shankar Mahalingam, Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been elevated to the grade of Fellow in the national professional organization American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). ASME is the premier organization for promoting the art, science and practice of mechanical and multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences to our diverse communities throughout the world. The Fellow grade recognizes significant engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession. Candidates for the honor are nominated by their peers and selected by the Fellow Review Committee with final approval of the Committee of Past Presidents. ASME has 2,956 Fellows out of 93,537 members.

Mahalingam’s expertise is in the area of turbulent combustion, characterized by unsteady three-dimensional motion that can promote the mixing of fuel and air and lead to more vigorous combustion. He was among the earliest group of researchers to develop direct and large eddy simulation methodology to study the dynamics of coflowing jet diffusion flames. Over the last ten years, he has extended large eddy simulation to study fire behavior in shrub fuels. He is one of the leading experts in the area of modeling transition behavior in fires including marginal burning, and transition of surface fires to crown fires, utilizing both simulations and laboratory scale experimentation.

Mahalingam has coauthored over 100 papers including refereed journal papers, refereed conference proceedings, and other non-refereed conference papers. He has served as an Invited Professor at the Labaratoire EM2C, Ecole Centrale Paris, and as a Visiting Professor at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. He would like to extend his appreciation to his former and current graduate students and departmental colleagues at the University of Colorado, Boulder and at UC Riverside. He is especially thankful to the USDA Forest Service for its continued support of his fire behavior research

Princevac receives the 2009 award for Boundary Layer Meteorology Research

October 5, 2009

The Department is very pleased to announce that Marko Princevac received the 2009 award for Boundary Layer Meteorology Research. This award was presented by Kipp and Zonen, a leading company that manufactures instruments for measuring solar and atmospheric properties. The award was presented at the recently concluded Annual Meeting of the European Meteorological Society in Toulouse, France, where Marko presented his paper titled “Field, Laboratory and Numerical Study of Turbulent Dispersion in Built Environments.”

Congratulations Marko!

Professor Dames Awarded $150,000 DARPA Young Faculty Award

September 30, 2009

We are very pleased to announce that Chris Dames is a recipient of the DARPA Young Faculty Award for his project titled “Ballistic-Elastic Thermal Rectification in Asymmetric Nanostructures.” The official start date is September 17, 2009 and the award includes an initial funding of $150,000 for one year, with a strong chance for a second year funding at the same level. More importantly, it brings significant recognition to Chris’ research and visibility to our department.

Congratulations Chris!

Ph.D. Student Anh Nguyen Awarded Prestegious UCTC Fellowship

September 28, 2009

 

Congratulations to Anh Nguyen, a first year Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering who was awarded a $22,000 UCTC fellowhsip to conduct transportation related research. She is one of four UCR students awarded for the 2009-2010 academic year. Anh will conduct her research under Professor Heejung Jung. Professor Jung encourages all eligible ME undergraduates to contact him if interested in pursing this fellowship along with graduate study at UCR on transportation, engines and emissions.

Details on UCTC (UC Transportation Center) are at http://www.uctc.net/.

Details on eligibility for the fellowship are at Professor Jung's homepage at http://www.engr.ucr.edu/~heejung/opportunity/.

Professor Xu named Co-PI for USC (National Science Foundation) for the Study of Realistic Initial Conditions for Large Scale Earthquake Rupture Simulations

September 23, 2009

The department of Mechanical Engineering is proud to announce that Guanshui (Alex) Xu is the PI of a new grant received as a subaward from USC (Prime Sponsor: National Science Foundation) for a project titled "Realistic Initial Conditions for Large Scale Earthquake Rupture Simulations.". The award is for $20,000. Co-PI's on this project are Professors Deterich and Oglesby from the Department of Earth Sciences. This award builds on Alex’s continued successful collaboration with faculty members in the Earth Sciences Department at UCR.

Congratulations Alex!

Professor Jung Receives $170,000 in Grant Money from the California Air Resources Board

September 18, 2009

We are very pleased to announce that Heejung Jung is the PI for a new grant titled “Measurement of Diesel Solid Nanoparticle Emissions Using a Catalytic Stripper for Comparison to Europe’s PMP Protocol,” funded by the California Air Resources Board. The award is for $170,000 for a total period of 18 months. His co-PI on this project is Dr. Tom Durbin from CE-CERT. I am very happy to note that this grant will enhance ME’s and CE-CERT’s visibility.

Congratulations Heejung!

Mechanical Engineering Faculty Receive over $2.0 Million Dollars in New Grants to Support Research Commencing in FY 2009-2010

September 16, 2009

The department is very pleased to announce that a large number of our faculty are recipients of new grants from federal, state, and industrial sources for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. The cumulative value of these new grants exceeds $2 million. In addition, several of our faculty members have received increments on existing contracts and agreements. A list of the PI's including a brief description of their funded projects is given below:

NEW GRANTS

Professor Chris Dames is the lead Principal Investigator (PI) on a National Science Foundation grant for a project titled "Measuring Thermal Conductivity of Graphene," in collaboration with co-PI Professor Jeanie Lau in Physics. This project commenced officially on July 1, 2009. His award is for $314,730 for a period of 3 years.

Professor Thomas Stahovich is the lead PI on a National Science Foundation grant for a project titled "Transforming Statics Instruction through the Creation and Evaluation of Efficient and Effective Practice Experiences," in collaboration with co-PI Professor Bob Calfee in the School of Education. Their work officially gets underway on October 1, 2009. The award is for $399,695 for a period of 3 years.

Professor Akula Venkatram is the PI for a new grant titled "Improving understanding of regional and near-source air quality impacts of distributed generation sources," funded by the California Energy Commission. The award is for a total of $650,000 for the period July 15, 2009 through March 1, 2013. One of the principals is Professor Marko Princevac who will be working with Professor Venkatram on the plume rise component of this project.

Professor Marko Princevac is the lead PI on a project titled "Superfog formation: laboratory experiments and model development" that is funded by the Joint Fire Sciences Program and administered by the USDAFS. This project runs from July 2009 through June 2012 and is for a total of $247,436. Professor Princevac's Co-Investigators on this project are Professors Shankar Mahalingam and Akula Venkatram.

Professor Javier Garay is the PI for a new equipment grant titled "Increasing the Capabilities of the Spark Plasma Sintering System: Adding gas Process Control and Glove Box Features," funded by the Army Research Office. The award is for $55,070 for the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.

Professor Guillermo Aguilar is the PI for a new grant titled "Experimental Assessment of Laser-Assisted Cryosurgery: Ex-vivo and In-vivo Studies," funded by the UC Cancer Research Coordinating Committee. The award is for $43,660 for the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.

Professor Guillermo Aguilar is the PI for a new grant titled "Model for Performance Assessment of LS Duet ET and HS," funded by the Lumenis Ltd (INCL COHERENT, ESC MEDICAL GROUP). The award is for $42,845, effective July 27, 2009. This contract represents the 1st phase of a project that will be funded in three phases. This phase is focused on the development of a mathematical/numerical model to simulate 810 nm pulsed laser irradiation and distribution within human skin. The purpose is to assess and optimize the performance of a medical laser device which is primarily used for laser epilation. This device combines auxiliary parallel contact cooling and skin suction procedures in current treatment protocols, which has been one of the subjects of study in Guillermo's lab over the past few years. Subsequent phases will focus on model validation and effectiveness through clinical studies, respectively.

Professor Shankar Mahalingam is the PI on a project titled "Collaborative Research: A Fundamental Investigation of Fire Initiation and Fire Behavior in Sparse Vegetation," funded by the National Science Foundation. Professor Mahalingam will collaborate with Professor Thomas Fletcher at BYU's Chemical Engineering Department. They will work closely with scientists at the USDA Forest Service laboratories in Riverside and Montana. The award period is October 1, 2009 through August 31, 2012. UCR as the lead organization will receive $297,333.

Professor Guanshui Xu is the PI of a subaward from USC (Prime Sponsor: National Science Foundation) for a project titled "Realistic Initial Conditions for Large Scale Earthquake Rupture Simulations.". The award is for $20,000. Co-PI's on this project are Professors Deterich and Oglesby from the Department of Earth Sciences.

RENEWALS
Renewal's on existing contracts for the new fiscal year are:

Professor Qing Jiang as PI for an ongoing project titled "Development of Low-Power Piezoelectric Acoustic Wave Pressure Sensors with Automated Calibration," received an increment of $24,000 from 3E Technologies International, Inc.

Professor Shankar Mahalingam as PI of a cooperative agreement for a project titled "Experimental and Numerical Modeling of Wildland Fire Spread Transitions," received an increment of $42,568 from USDA Forest Service.

Professor Cengiz Ozkan as PI for an ongoing grant titled "DNA Assembly Integration to Block Co-Polymers," received a continuation award to the tune of $55,000 from the University of Massachusetts (Prime Sponsor: National Science Foundation). His co-PI on this grant is Professor Mihri Ozkan from the Electrical Engineering Department.

Professor Chris Dames as PI for an ongoing grant titled "nanostructured Materials for Power-Thermoelectrics," received a continuation award to the tune of $37,763 from the Research Triangle Institute.

 

Professor Aguilar Receives 3 Phase Contract from Lumenis Ltd.

August 17, 2009

We are very pleased to announce that Guillermo Aguilar is the PI for a new grant titled “Model for Performance Assessment of LS Duet ET and HS,” funded by the Lumenis Ltd. (INCL COHERENT, ESC MEDICAL GROUP). The award is effective July 27, 2009. This contract represents the 1st phase of a project that will be funded in three phases. This phase is focused on the development of a mathematical/numerical model to simulate 810 nm pulsed laser irradiation and distribution within human skin. The purpose is to assess and optimize the performance of a medical laser device which is primarily used for laser epilation. This device combines auxiliary parallel contact cooling and skin suction procedures in current treatment protocols, which has been one of the subjects of study in Guillermo’s lab over the past few years. Subsequent phases will focus on model validation and effectiveness through clinical studies, respectively.

Congratulations and good luck to Guillermo on phase 1!

CE-CERT Awards Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Annemarie Fata with the Roberta Nichols-Yakel Scholarship

August 4, 2009

The Department of Mechanical Engineering would like to congratulate Annemarie Fata, on her outstanding achievement. Annemarie, was awarded the Roberta Nichols-Yakel Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. She is studying environmental flow under the supervision of Professor Marko Princevac. The department is very proud of Annemarie and the outstanding quality of her academic performance and research.

Aguilar is Awarded Grant from the UC Cancer Research Coordinating Committee

August 4, 2009

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is very pleased to announce that Guillermo Aguilar is the PI for a new grant titled “Experimental Assessment of Laser-Assisted Cryosurgery: Ex-vivo and In-vivo Studies,” funded by the UC Cancer Research Coordinating Committee. The award is for $43,660 for the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.

Congratulations Guillermo!

Garay is Awarded Another Grant from the Army Research Office

August 3, 2009

The Department of Mechanical Engineering very pleased to announce that Javier Garay is the PI for a new equipment grant titled “Increasing the Capabilities of the Spark Plasma Sintering System: Adding gas Process Control and Glove Box Features,” funded by the Army Research Office. The award is for $55,070 for the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.

Congratulations to Javier!

Venkatram and Princevac Receive New Grants

July 27, 2009

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is very pleased to announce that Akula Venkatram is the PI for a new grant titled "Improving understanding of regional and near-source air quality impacts of distributed generation sources," funded by the California Energy Commission. The award is for a total of $650,000 for the period July 15, 2009 through March 1, 2013. One of the principals is Marko Princevac who will be working with Venky on the plume rise component of this project. We are also happy to announce that Marko Princevac is the lead PI on a project titled "Superfog formation: laboratory experiments and model development" that is funded by the Joint Fire Sciences Program and administered by the USDAFS. This project runs from July 2009 through June 2012 and is for a total of $247,436. Marko's Co-I's on this project are Shankar Mahalingam and Akula Venkatram.
Congratulations to Venky and Marko!

Dames and Stahovich Receive New NSF Grants

July 13, 2009

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is very pleased to announce that Chris Dames and Tom Stahovich are both lead PI's on National Science Foundation grant awards they have recently received. Chris's project titled "Measuring Thermal Conductivity of Graphene," is in collaboration with Jeanie Lau in Physics and commenced officially on July 1, 2009. His award is for $314,730 for a period of 3 years. Tom's project titled "Transforming Statics Instruction through the Creation and Evaluation of Efficient and Effective Practice Experiences," is in collaboration with Bob Calfee in the school of education. Their work officially gets underway on October 1, 2009. The award is for $399,695 for a period of 3 years.

Congratulations to both Chris and Tom!

UCR Students Have the Right Formula for Competition Bourns College of Engineering seniors get the checkered flag in building a race car from the ground up as part of the annual SAE Collegiate Design Series.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) - A team of 13 UCR graduating seniors took a victory lap at the California Speedway in Fontana to end a year-long project. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) at the Bourns College of Engineering successfully completed a competition to design and build a formula race car. A total of 81 universities from around the world made the trek to Fontana's Auto Club Speedway from June 17 through 20 to be judged on design and endurance.

Out of the 81 entries, 35 passed the safety and technical examination, including UCR's team. Teams participating this year came from the United States, Canada, China, Korea, India and Mexico. More

 
 
 


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Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Bourns College of Engineering
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