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Recent News


Shirley Meng named finalist for 2018 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

The Blavatnik Family Foundation recently announced the finalists for 2018 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. SPEC Director and nanoengineering professor Shirley Meng is among the finalists. Full Story


Lasers, batteries and autonomy: get the latest updates at Research Expo

Breakthrough lasers, better batteries for electric vehicles, and autonomous robots are on the docket for the faculty tech-talks at the 37th annual Jacobs School of Engineering Research Expo at the University of California San Diego.  Full Story


A new podcast series from the Jacobs School of Engineering puts spotlight on graduate students

All science is exciting. If that sounds like the premise for a podcast series focused on graduate students, you’re right. The all-science-is-exciting comment recently landed University of California San Diego NanoEngineering Ph.D. student Jungwoo Lee in front of a microphone. She is the first of a series of current and former graduate students from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering who will be sharing perspectives on research in not-too-technical terms as well as talking about what motivates them. Listen to the six-minute conversation on SoundCloud. Full Story


Supercomputers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with excellent color quality

Computers have helped researchers develop a new phosphor that can make LEDs cheaper and render colors more accurately. An international team led by engineers at UC San Diego first predicted the new phosphor using supercomputers and data mining algorithms, then developed a simple recipe to make it in the lab. Unlike many phosphors, this one is made of inexpensive, earth-abundant elements and can easily be made using industrial methods. As computers predicted, the new phosphor performed well in tests and in LED prototypes. Full Story


UC San Diego innovator in data storage technologies elected to National Academy of Engineering

Eric Fullerton, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and nanoengineering at the Jacobs School and Director of the School's Center for Memory and Recording Research, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering “for invention and development of multilayer, high-density magnetic recording media.” His innovations made it possible for hard disk drives and non-volatile memories to store data at unprecedented levels. Full Story


Recycling and reusing worn cathodes to make new lithium ion batteries

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed an energy-efficient process to recycle and regenerate cathodes from spent lithium ion batteries, making them work just as good as new. The process involves harvesting the degraded cathode particles from a used battery and then boiling and heat treating them. Researchers built new batteries using the regenerated cathodes. Charge storage capacity, charging time and battery lifetime were all restored to their original levels. Full Story


Shirley Meng Named Inaugural Holder of UC San Diego Zable Endowed Chair in Energy Technologies

Nanoengineering professor Shirley Meng has been appointed the inaugural holder of the Zable Endowed Chair in Energy Technologies in the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. As director of the UC San Diego Sustainable Power and Energy Center, Meng is leading efforts to advance solutions to some of the key technical challenges associated with energy generation, storage and power management. Full Story


Watching atoms move in hybrid perovskite crystals reveals clues to improving solar cells

The discovery of nanoscale changes deep inside hybrid perovskites could shed light on developing low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells. Using X-ray beams and lasers, a team of researchers led by the University of California San Diego discovered how the movement of ions in hybrid perovskites causes certain regions within the material to become better solar cells than other parts. Full Story


Shirley Meng featured on ECS podcast

NanoEngineering professor and SPEC Director Shirley Meng is featured in an in-depth interview on the Electrochemical Society (ECS) podcast. Full Story


Engineers develop tools to share power from renewable energy sources during outages

 A team of engineers at the University of California San Diego has developed algorithms that would allow homes to use and share power from their renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, during power outages. The approach involves strategically disconnecting the devices, called solar inverters, from the grid.  Full Story


Announcements


February 22, 2018

Energy Applications of Ionic Materials

Prof. Doug MacFarlane from Monash University is giving a seminar on "Energy Applications of Ionic Materials." March 16th, Friday at 10 AM in Jack Keil Wolf Auditorium in CMRR Learn More


July 17, 2017

Advanced Electrochemical Energy Storage Systems for Vehicle Electrification

Dr. Mei Cai from General Motors is giving a seminar on "Advanced Electrochemical Energy Storage Systems for Vehicle Electrification." July 17th, Monday at 2 PM in Cymer Conference Center, SME Learn More


May 12, 2017

Modeling the LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 High-Voltage Cathode: from bulk properties to interfacial chemistry

Dr. Marco Olguin from Army Research Lab is giving a seminar on "Modeling the LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 High-Voltage Cathode." May 17th, Wednesday at 9 AM in Cymer Conference Center, SME Learn More


May 8, 2017

Tools for in-situ and operando microscopy

Mr. Norman Salmon from Hummingbird Scientific is giving a seminar on "Tools for in-situ and operando microscopy." May 10th, Wednesday at 11 AM in Jack Keil Wolf Auditorium in CMRR Learn More


February 3, 2017

In situ Imaging of Batteries with MRI

Prof. Alexej Jerschow from New York University is giving a seminar on "In situ Imaging of Batteries with MRI." February 1st, Wednesday at 11am in Cymer Conference Center, SME Learn More


Announcements Archive



Press Coverage


April 1, 2018

Chemical Engineering Magazine

Lithium Battery Demand Drives Process Evolution

The drive for higher capacity and enhanced performance from lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), in conjunction with skyrocketing demand for electronic devices and electric vehicles (EVs), has necessitated innovations in sourcing, processing and recycling the major materials used in battery manufacturing, especially lithium and cobalt. One side effect of the increasing demand for lithium is a rush-to-market tendency from mining companies. "Over the next several years, a number of companies are coming online to extract lithium carbonate from spodumene ore, which is typically about 8% Li2O by weight." Full Story


March 26, 2018

Waste Dive

University of California professor develops lithium-ion battery recycling method

Batteries pose a safety risk for waste collectors and MRF operators, since they can be damaged and create fires. A dedicated system for recycling batteries would not only have the potential to cut down on manufacturing and mining costs, but could also improve safety conditions for recyclers. The challenge, of course, is bringing the technology to a viable scale. Right now, the recycling process has only been demonstrated in a laboratory setting and takes about 10 hours, not exactly conducive for commercial use. Full Story


March 16, 2018

The San Diego Union Tribune

UCSD professor devises way to recycle lithium-ion batteries

The promise of a global electric vehicle transformation has a looming problem. The cathodes in the lithium-ion batteries typically used in electric vehicles, or EVs, are made of metal oxides that contain cobalt, a metal found in finite supplies and concentrated in one of the globe's more precarious countries. But nanoengineering professor Zheng Chen at the University of California San Diego says he has developed a way to recycle used cathodes from spent lithium-ion batteries and restore them to the point that they work as good as new. Full Story


March 16, 2018

Los Angeles Times

New way to recycle lithium-ion batteries could be a lifeline for electric cars and the environment

Finding a way to recycle lithium-ion batteries on a large scale could greatly reduce the demand -- as well as curb the rising costs -- for cobalt in electric vehicles. It also could help alleviate the environmental concerns surrounding aging batteries in smartphones, laptops and other digital devices, as well as EVs. Zheng Chen, an assistant professor at UC San Diego, says he has developed a way to recycle used cathodes from spent lithium-ion batteries and restore to perform as well as they did when new. Full Story


March 6, 2018

KPBS

High-Tech Battery Research Comes With Ethical Dilemmas

When you think about battery research, ethical issues may not be the first thing to come to mind. But scientists who work with batteries know better. "Some of the materials used in the batteries, like cobalt, have a lot of child labor issues," said Shirley Meng, a nanoengineering professor at UC San Diego, referring to the Congo's yearslong practice of using children to mine cobalt. Meng will address the use of cobalt, the potential for conflicts of interest and other ethical issues Tuesday night at the Fleet Science Center. Full Story



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Ioana Patringenaru

Public Information Officer
Email: ipatrin@ucsd.edu
Phone: +1 (858) 822-0899

Liezel Labios

Public Information Officer
Email: llabios@ucsd.edu
Phone: +1 (858) 246-1124

Jacobs School of Engineering Newsroom