MAE students Daniel Yang, Yuncong Chen, and Will Warren of the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab won $10K for the Best Overall Project in the Student Infrared Imaging Competition sponsored by DRS technologies. There work has relevance to the deployment of small robotic vehicles for reconnaissance in burning buildings to assist in firefighting operations. For a brief description of their work, click here.
June 18, 2013: Fire, it is often said, is mankind's oldest chemistry experiment. For thousands of years, people have been mixing the oxygen-rich air of Earth with an almost endless variety of fuels to produce hot luminous flame. There's an arc of learning about combustion that stretches from the earliest campfires of primitive humans to the most advanced automobiles racing down the superhighways of the 21st century.
The Coordinated Robotics Lab has developed new image processing techniques for characterization of structural fires by small self-righting Segway-like vehicles. This system takes the thermal data taken by the vehicle's infrared camera and maps it onto the 3d scene constructed using the vehicle's stereo RGB cameras, thereby creating a temperature-painted virtual reality as it drives through a smoky building with hot spots and people distributed within it. Click here for an explanatory video.
The newest book by Dr. Vlado A. Lubarda, Adjunct Professor of MAE, entitled Topics in Solid Mechanics: Elasticity, Plasticity, Damage, Nano and Biomechanics (450 pages), has been published by the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts in its monograph series. This book was printed by the Obod Press (http://www.stamparijaobod.
Mechanical engineers at the University of California, San Diego invented a robot designed to scoot along utility lines, searching for damage and other problems that require repairs. Made of off-the-shelf electronics and plastic parts printed on an inexpensive 3D printer, the SkySweeper prototype could be scaled up for less than $1,000, making it significantly more economical than the two models of robots currently used to inspect power lines.
"For having taught thousands of students, written textbooks and conducted seminal research on the mechanical behavior of materials.
Professor Frank Talke has been selected to receive STLE’s International Award for 2013. The STLE International Award is the highest technical honor of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, which bestows lifetime honorary membership in STLE. The award is given to Prof. Talke in recognition of his outstanding contributions throughout his industrial and academic career to the field of tribology and lubrication research.
Ratnesh Lal has been named fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Lal is an authority on biomedical applications of atomic force microscopy (AFM) and nanoscale imaging of complex biological systems. Research in his lab involves the development of nanotechnologies for, and multi-scale biophysical and system biology studies of, channels and receptors. His research on amyloid ion channel paradigm provides a new perspective on the mechanism underlying protein misfolding diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, ALS, diabetes and many systemic diseases.
This year, the UCSD Microgravity Team has been accepted into NASA's Microgravity University program to pursue research involving biofuel combustion in near zero-gravity conditions. Microgravity University, or the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program, offers undergraduate student teams the opportunity to propose, design, and fly their own experiments aboard the "Vomit Comet" aircraft.
Dr. Frank Talke, Distinguished Professor of MAE, has received the 2012 ASME/ISPS Distinguished Institution Award for his dedication to the information storage and processing Systems Division and for excellence in research and contributions to the data storage industry.
CARLOS F. COIMBRA knew from the outset that he would have to crack the code of clouds. As an engineering professor new to the University of California’s campus in Merced, he led a successful drive to get 15 percent of the school’s power from an array of solar panels.
But clouds, wandering and capricious, had foiled his efforts on two occasions by casting sudden shadows, forcing the school to rely on conventional power instead. To neutralize the clouds, he would have to track them.