Department of

Structural Engineering

News Releases from 2020

UC San Diego Engineers Send Soil Into Outer Space To Tackle Mudslides On Earth

Long after wildfires are put out, they can leave environmental issues - such as mudslides - in their wake. Now, some San Diego scientists are considering looking for some extraterrestrial answers to this earthly problem. After months of major wildfires in 2018, some Californians experienced massive mudslides that killed 23 people and destroyed more than 100 homes. Wildfires attack the roots of plants and trees, which can produce gases that cause soil to fall apart. The 2018 mudslides and others like it sparked the curiosity of UC San Diego geotechnical engineer Ingrid Tomac. Full Story

Eyes on Wildfire

As California reacts to a record-breaking 2020 fire season, a backcountry observation network has reached a milestone of installing more than 610 cameras across the state. The AlertWildfire network has become a vital firefighting tool helping first responders confirm and monitor wildfires from ignition through containment.

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Portable and Noncontact Imaging System for Characterizing Composite Delamination

The aim of this research is to target the time-consuming elements of current Navy ultrasonic inspection methods and to demonstrate improved damage characterization in reduced time, while also lessening the burden on technicians to prepare, inspect, and report component damage.

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Eight teams of engineers and physicians work to tackle COVID-19 related challenges

The Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine program at UC San Diego is supporting eight COVID-19 related projects in early stages with microgrants. The program is a collaboration between the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute and the Institute of Engineering in Medicine launched in 2013 to bring engineers and clinicians together to develop innovative technologies and solve challenging problems in medical care. 

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UC San Diego named 4th best public research university in prestigious global rankings

Shanghai rankings celebrate campus as a world-renowned research powerhouse.

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A Prototype for Help in the Fight Against COVID-19

In the midst of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that had UC San Diego researchers racing to understand the complexities around the virus’s spread and to find ways to combat it, engineers and fabrication specialists at the Qualcomm Institute’s Prototyping Lab leapt into action. Vacuum exhaused isolation lockers, or VEILs, produced in the Prototyping Lab are ready to be delivered to local hospitals.

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Using LEGO to test children's ability to visualize and rotate 3D shapes in space

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed a test that uses children’s ability to assemble LEGO pieces to assess their spatial visualization ability. Spatial visualization is the ability to visualize 3D shapes in one’s mind, which is tied to increased GPAs and graduation rates in STEM college students. 

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Graduating students honored with engineering Awards of Excellence

Six students were selected from among their peers to receive an Award of Excellence for their outstanding academic, leadership and community contributions. 

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Joel Conte Named to the Eric and Johanna Reissner Chair for Structural Engineering

Structural engineering professor Joel Conte was named to the Eric and Johanna Reissner Chair in the Department of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego. Conte is the principal investigator for the operation and maintenance of the world’s largest outdoor shake table located at the UC San Diego Englekirk Structural Engineering Center at the University of California San Diego. The facility, which is also the second  largest shake table in the world overall,  is currently undergoing a major upgrade funded by the National Science Foundation. Once upgraded, the shake table will be able to reproduce all six components of ground motions experienced during earthquakes. Conte is the principal investigator on the $16.3 million upgrade grant.  

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UC San Diego Engineers and Doctors Team Up to Retrofit and Build Ventilators

Even as university campuses close across the nation in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, a team of engineers and physicians at the University of California San Diego is rapidly developing simple, ready-to-use ventilators to be deployed if the need arises.The project kick-started several weeks ago when news started to trickle in that communities in Northern Italy with widespread COVID-19 were in dire straits.“One of the biggest things we heard was that there weren’t enough ventilators to treat all of the patients coming into the hospitals,” said James Friend, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego. “It’s clear that if we’re not careful, we might end up in the same situation.”

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Barrett Romasko: structural engineer

Barrett Romasko’s path in college has been full of exploration. Romasko, a senior majoring in structural engineering with a focus on aerospace structures, applied to UC San Diego without knowing much about the different applications of structural engineering. His willingness to seek out new opportunities — through on-campus activities, classes, and internships — has been a contributing factor in helping him figure out his interests and goals for the future. 

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Structural engineering students showcase construction engineering skills

Structural engineering undergraduate students put their construction engineering skills to the test at the Associated Schools of Construction Region 6 and 7 competition in Reno, Nevada from February 5-8. 

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Lim(b)itless in India: UC San Diego Students Travel Abroad to Empower Amputees

In November, 2019, 10 UC San Diego students filed into a bustling amputee clinic in Jaipur, India. On one side of the room, men and women, some bearing crutches, watched as their new limbs took shape under the staff’s careful hands. For many of them, a prosthetic limb represented the chance to regain their mobility, independence and livelihoods. The students’ visit to the Jaipur Foot clinic—a non-profit known around the world for providing affordable, prosthetic limbs and other mobility aids to those in need—marked more than a year of painstaking work to develop technology connecting amputees directly to prosthetists. The work is part of Project Lim(b)itless, an initiative founded by Albert Lin, a recent amputee and researcher at the Qualcomm Institute (QI) at UC San Diego.

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