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  Winter 2014 Newsletter
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Dear Colleagues and Friends,
This is the 3rd quarterly Newsletter of our Department. As you will see below, our faculty and students continue to receive prestigious research grants and awards, publish in reputable international journals, and are featured in national and international media outlets. Also, we set a very ambitious recruitment target of 25 graduate students for the upcoming academic year 14-15. Early this month we invited our applicants to our yearly Open House and most of them have accepted. Stay tuned for future news about Mechanical Engineering at UC Riverside.
- Guillermo Aguilar, Professor and Chair, Mechanical Engineering Department

In this Issue:

1) Professor Venkatram Awarded $177K Grant
2) Professor Princevac's Research on Fire Behavior is Featured in Reuter’s News
3) Professor Franco and Colleagues make the cover of Nature Chemistry
4) Professor Garay Awarded $584K Grant from ONR
5) Professor Mangolini is a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER award
6) 1st Year MS Graduate Student, Cynthia Ajawara, Receives NSF Honorable Mention
7) ME Graduate Student, Christian Bartolome, Wins Best Overall Presentation Award at Conference
8) Professors Aguilar, Garay, Rao “Windows to the Brain” in the National News
9) ME Graduate Student, Omid Khandan, Wins Audience Choice Poster at ASME NEMB 2014 Conference
10) ME Open House is a Success!
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Professor Akula Venkatram Awarded $177K Grant


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Professor Akula
Venkatram was awarded a 2-3 years grant from the California Air Resources Board for $177K to examine the use of roadside barriers to reduce the impact of highway emissions on pollution levels close to roads. It is a joint UCR-UCLA project and it involves both field studies as well as modeling to explain the data.







Professor Elisa Franco and Colleagues make the cover of Nature Chemistry

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Professor, Elisa Franco, is among a group of researchers that have made important discoveries regarding the behavior of a synthetic molecular oscillator, which could serve as a timekeeping device to control artificial cells.

For more information, please see the published paper at Nature Chemistry and see the cover.



1st Year MS Graduate Student, Cynthia Ajawara, Receives NSF Honorable Mention

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This is considered a significant national academic achievement. Applicants receiving Honorable Mention are provided enhanced access to cyberinfrastructure resources, including supercomputing time, in support of research toward completion of the graduate program of study.


Brain Window: Here's a shocking new way to monitor the brain

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The Windows to the Brain (WttB) concept developed by Profs. Garay, Aguilar and Rao (pictured in that order) from the Department of Mechanical Engineering along with other colleagues was featured in the past issue of our newsletter, and was picked up in February by science reporter Sandra Tsing Loh in Loh Down on Science (http://www.lohdownonscience.org/podcast/brain-window/). As she explains in her post, “Researchers at the University of California, Riverside devised a way doctors can examine the brain through a small window in the skull. Yes, it’s an actual window—except not glass, since broken shards could be a problem. Instead, the scientists modified a material called "zirconia," a ceramic used in dental work that is much stronger than glass. Normally opaque, the team used heat and pressure to make zirconia clear. A brain window provides a porthole to image the brain with a technique called optical coherence tomography. Which is kind of like a sonogram, just using light instead of sound. Light could also be used to make neurons fire, or not fire, to treat Parkinson’s disease. “Hey, is this the coolest thing to happen to heads since Google glass? Don’t answer that.”



ME Open House is a Success!

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The Mechanical Engineering Open House was held April 10-11th and concluded with the MEGSA BBQ for current ME and MSE students as well as our newest students from cohort 2014-2015.  90% of the new admits who attended the Open House accepted our offers and will be joining the rest of our student body in fall 2014.  The event was sponsored by the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Association (MEGSA) and the ME and MSE departments.


Professor Marko Princevac's Research on Fire Behavior is Featured in Reuter’s News

marko news story01 The research is aiming to assist firefighting readiness and land management practices in planning of prescribed burn. This will be achieved through better understanding of fire physics which Prof. Princevac studies under controlled, laboratory, conditions. Link to more about this story




Professor Javier Garay Awarded $584K Grant from ONR

garay_largeProfessor, Javier E. Garay was awarded a 2-year grant as a principle investigator from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for $584K to continue his research on magnetic materials.



Professor Lorenzo Mangolini is a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER award


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Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering Lorenzo Mangolini has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER grant for his research investigating new manufacturing approaches for the fabrication of bulk-scale nanostructured materials. UCR News Link




ME Graduate Student, Christian Bartolome, Wins Best Overall Presentation Award at Conference

christianbartolome 2For his work titled “Development of a New Superfog Screening Tool through Theoretical, Experimental and Numerical Investigation” Christian Bartolome won the Best Overall Presentation Award at 18th Joint Conference on the Applications of Air Pollution Meteorology, which is organized as a part of 94th Annual American Meteorological Society Meeting. In the awarded work Christian explained the physics of extreme visibility impairment caused by smoke and developed a model that may assist land managers in planning controlled burns.”




ME Graduate Student, Omid Khandan, Wins Audience Choice Poster at ASME NEMB 2014 Conference

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ME Graduate Student, Omid Khandan, Wins Audience Choice Poster at ASME NEMB 2014 Conference The poster detailed results from ongoing studies focused on developing heterogeneous integration techniques for titanium-based microfluidic devices via anodic bonding of titanium and glass substrates. Omid's advisor is Assistant Professor, Masaru P. Rao.

Poster & author details: "Wafer-scale titanium anodic bonding for microfludic applications" O. Khandan, DT. Stark, A. Chang, and MP. Rao. 2014 ASME 3rd Global Congress on Nanoengineering for Medicine and Biology (NEMB 2014), San Francisco, CA, Feb. 2-5, 2014. ASME News Link

Give Now!

The financial support of our alumni, parents, and friends is an important part of the our success. Please consider making a donation in support of the Mechanical Engineering Department and its effort to advance academic excellence. Just click here:
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Tel: (951) 827-5830
        Fax: (951) 827-2899
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