News Releases from 2018

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Scientists use artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials

Artificial neural networks—algorithms inspired by connections in the brain—have “learned” to perform a variety of tasks, from pedestrian detection in self-driving cars, to analyzing medical images, to translating languages. Now, researchers at the University of California San Diego are training artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials. Full Story

UC San Diego receives award from Energy Department for battery research in advanced vehicle technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $2.5 million to a team led by the University of California San Diego for battery research in advanced vehicle technologies. The project is aimed at developing cobalt-free cathode materials for next-generation lithium-ion batteries. Shirley Meng, a professor of nanoengineering and the director of the Sustainable Power and Energy Center at UC San Diego, is the lead investigator on the project. The team involves Maxwell Technologies, a San Diego-based company that develops and manufactures energy storage and power delivery solutions. Full Story

Close-ups of grain boundaries reveal how sulfur impurities make nickel brittle

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have shed new light on a scientific mystery regarding the atomic-level mechanism of the sulfur embrittlement of nickel, a classic problem that has puzzled the scientific community for nearly a century. The discovery also enriches fundamental understanding of general grain boundaries that often control the mechanical and physical properties of polycrystalline materials. Full Story

What's causing the voltage fade in Lithium-rich NMC cathode materials?

Researchers led by a University of California San Diego team have published work in the journal Nature Energy that explains what’s causing the performance-reducing “voltage fade” that currently plagues a promising class of cathode materials called Lithium-rich NMC (nickel magnesium cobalt) layered oxides. Full Story

UC San Diego's EV Charging Program Awarded for Modeling

The University of California San Diego has been honored with the 2018 Grid Edge Innovation Award for serving as an epicenter for research, development and commercialization on smart electric vehicle (EV) charging. UC San Diego has collaborations with over 18 companies and organizations in providing 135 EV charging stations on campus. In May alone, more than 700 different EVs were charged by UC San Diego’s world-renowned microgrid.UC San Diego is the first university to receive a Grid Edge Innovation Award from Greentech Media, a leading information services company for technologies, markets and businesses shaping the future of the electricity sector. Representatives from the campus will officially accept the honor on June 21 at a ceremony in San Francisco, Calif. Full Story

UC San Diego engineer receives award from Energy Department to advance concentrating solar power research

Renkun Chen, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California San Diego, has received a $1.18 million dollar award from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office to develop technology that can advance next-generation concentrating solar power (CSP) systems. Full Story

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