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spring 2012, issue no. 27
safEty/ sEcurity infrastructure, Hardware, cyber
from the dean
The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science is conducting vital research that will protect our civil and electronic infrastructure, and even more importantly, will play critical roles in saving lives. Destructive earthquakes in Japan, Chile, Haiti and New Zealand over the past three years have been sobering reminders that we live on a seismically active planet. And unquestionably this threat exists in California. Many of our Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty are on the ground floor, leading efforts to dramatically improve our infrastructure resiliency, including John Wallace, Jonathan Stewart, Scott Brandenberg, and Ertugrul Taciroglu. In this issue, we ask them to share some of the significant work they are doing. Further, a more subtle, but just as real a threat, can be a malicious electronic attack. Our faculty has some of the world’s very best minds working to prevent and intercept these threats. This issue features Q&A’s with computer science professor Rafail Ostrovsky and electrical engineering professor John Villasenor, experts on cyber security and hardware security respectively. This edition of UCLA Engineer also features a profile on our 2011 Alumnus of the Year, Ernst Volgenau PhD ’66, who began his business in the basement of his home three decades ago and ultimately grew it into a $1.7 billion global empire. Our career column features another successful alumnus, Shioupyn Shen PhD ’91, co-founder of CloudMosa Inc., who talks about the challenges and excitement of starting your own company. In addition, this issue highlights the impact of the important work our engineering students are making. Learn about the successes of our new student mentorship program and about the difference our graduate students are making at several K-12 schools. Finally, this issue includes new research of mouse genomes and cell-penetrating peptides; a story on a new faculty startup fostered by our Institute for Technology Advancement; exciting new developments within our Boelter Society; and our new endowed faculty chairs. I invite you to enjoy another enlightening issue of UCLA Engineer. Sincerely,
UcLa e Dean Vijay K. Dhir
associate Deans Richard D. Wesel Academic and Student Affairs Jane P. Chang Research and Physical Resources assistant Dean Mary Okino Chief Financial Officer Department chairs Benjamin Wu Bioengineering Harold G. Monbouquette Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Jiun-Shyan (J.S.) Chen Civil and Environmental Engineering Jens Palsberg Computer Science M.C. Frank Chang Electrical Engineering Jenn-Ming Yang Materials Science and Engineering Tsu-Chin Tsao Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering UcLa engineer aDvisory BoarD Jiun-Shyan (J.S.) Chen Vijay K. Dhir William Goodin Harold G. Monbouquette Mary Okino Richard D. Wesel externaL affairs commUnications Sheila Bergman Executive Director of External Affairs and Development Wileen Wong Kromhout Director of Media Relations and Marketing Matthew Chin Communications Manager
Vijay K. Dhir
office of externaL affairs (310) 206-0678 www.engineer.ucla.edu firstname.lastname@example.org
design: Etch Creative
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infrastructure resiliency: making Buildings safer from Destructive earthquakes
hardware and cyber security
Billion-Dollar Business allowed founder to continue to serve his country
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Developing a complete map of
mouse genetic variation Wileen Wong Kromhout
or decades, laboratory mice have been widely used in research aimed at understanding which genes are involved in various illnesses. But actual variations in past gene sequences of mice were unknown. While researchers were able to determine that a variant affecting disease was in a certain region, they couldn’t pinpoint the exact set of variants in that region. Now, in new research recently published in the journal Nature, an international team of investigators that included UCLA researchers, reports that it has sequenced the complete genomes of 17 strains of mice, including the most frequently used laboratory strains. The massive genetic catalog will provide scientists with unparalleled data for studying both how genetic variation affects phenotype and how mice evolved. UCLA Engineering researchers played a key role in the study, using UCLA-developed technology to help sequence a nearly complete map of mouse genetic variation. Cataloging the full set of variants is a first step in identifying the actual variants affecting disease. “The actual number of variants discovered is important because this gives the complete picture of how much variation exists in these mouse strains,” said Eleazar Eskin, an associate professor of computer science who develops
techniques for solving computational problems that arise in the study of the genetic basis of disease. The new study was led by groups from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford. Previous technology used in the genetic sequencing would, in some cases, make ambiguous predictions, and the locations of these ambiguities resulted in missing entries in the catalog of genetic variation in mice. “Our role in the collaboration was to apply a technique that we developed a couple years ago for predicting variants where the sequencer failed to make a prediction,” said Eskin, who holds a joint appointment in the department of human genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. With the full set of genetic information, researchers can now accurately predict the phylogeny — similar in concept to the family tree — of how the various mouse strains are related. The new study confirms that mice have a complex evolutionary history. The complete release is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/mouse-genetic-variation
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for drug delivery act like a SwiSS army knife Wileen Wong Kromhout
ell-penetrating peptides, such as the HIV TAT peptide, are able to enter cells using a number of mechanisms, from direct entry to endocytosis, a process by which cells internalize molecules by engulfing them. Further, these cell-penetrating peptides, or CPPs, can facilitate the cellular transfer of various molecular cargoes, from small chemical molecules to nano-sized particles and large fragments of DNA. Because of this ability, CPPs hold great potential as in vitro and in vivo delivery vehicles for use in research and for the targeted delivery of therapeutics to individual cells. But exactly how cell-penetrating peptides — and particularly the HIV TAT peptide — accomplish these tasks has so far been a mystery. “The HIV TAT peptide is special. People discovered that one can attach almost anything to this peptide and it could drag it across the cell,” said Gerard Wong, a professor of bioengineering and of chemistry and biochemistry, and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. “So there are obvious beneficial drug-delivery and biotechnology applications.” In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, UCLA Engineering researchers identify how HIV TAT peptides can have multiple interactions with the cell membrane, the actin cytoskeleton and specific cell-surface receptors to produce multiple pathways of translocation under different conditions. Moreover, because the researchers now understand how cell-penetrating peptides work, they say it is possible to formulate a general recipe for reprogramming normal peptides into CPPs. “Prior to this, people didn’t really know how it all worked, but we found that the HIV TAT peptide is really kind of like a Swiss Army Knife molecule, in that it can interact very strongly with membranes, as well as with the cytoskeletons of cells,” said Wong. “The second part wasn’t well appreciated by the field.”
In addition to the membrane activity, researchers discovered that the HIV TAT peptide also creates its own binding site out of the membrane. This means the peptide can actually go through the membrane and induce the cytoskeleton directly to have an endocytotic event. Researchers also noticed that small cargoes can be transferred directly, while cargoes larger than a few nanometers needed to be anchored to the membrane by the TAT peptide. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Schematic representation shows that HIV TAT (blue) can permeate membranes and interact with the cytoskeleton (green).
The complete release is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/cell-penetrating-peptides
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research News feaTure
Tokyo’s E-Defense shake table facility, where John Wallace spent his sabbatical in the fall of 2010. photo courtesy j. wallace
InfrasTrucTure resIlIency: Making Buildings safer froM destructive earthquakes Matthew Chin
he edges of tectonic plate boundaries are very seismically active regions. This includes California as well as other parts of the globe, such as the Pacific Rim, known as the Ring of Fire, and Turkey. Recent powerful earthquakes in Chile in 2010 and in Japan in 2011 were among the largest ever recorded. And another large earthquake centered close to the modern city of Christchurch, New Zealand, caused much extensive damage. UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty are closely examining some of the damage from the quakes mentioned and working to make buildings and infrastructure safer in the likely event of a large earthquake in the U.S. and in particular California. Below is just a glimpse into some of that work.
professor john wallace, directs a large lab at the base of Boelter Hall that simulates earthquake shaking on concrete structures. He’s also the principal investigator at NEES@UCLA, the mobile field lab of the National Science Foundation’s George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. Shortly after an 8.8 magnitude earthquake, one of the largest ever measured, struck off the coast of Chile in February 2010, Wallace led a field team to the capital city of Santiago to set up monitoring systems John Wallace at E-Defense, with on several buildings to study how Alberto Salamanca, assistant they responded to the quake and development engineer, and Zeynep Tuna, Ph.D. student.
strong aftershocks. Chile has concrete building codes very similar to those in the U.S. and gathering data following large ground motions could lead to insight on how California buildings would fare in a very large earthquake. “The study of buildings in Chile has helped us identify a handful of very important issues related to building safety that need to be addressed in our codes, issues that we would not have identified if not jolted by this quake,” Wallace said. The strong shaking caused some buildings to be permanently tilted from their foundations. One issue that may have contributed to that was the performance of thinner concrete walls in tall buildings. This field-collected data has been supplemented by lab tests at the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute and Earthquake-Defense facility, with the largest shaking table in the world, where Wallace spent his sabbatical in the fall of 2010. While the test results have not been completely reviewed, preliminary results suggest the issues identified in Chile do need to be addressed in the U.S., as well as Japan. “The goals now are to implement code changes in the U.S. that address these identified problems and to educate practicing engineers about these changes,” he said. Wallace is leading efforts this year within the American Concrete Institute to update code changes on reinforced concrete buildings to reflect what was learned both on site in Chile and in Japan. This fall, he will also chair a special session at the upcoming World Conference on Earthquake Engineering related to these efforts.
photo courtesy j. wallace
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We’re doing some good fundamental work. and the world will hopefully be a better place because of these types of projects.”
j onat h an s te wa r t
professor jonathan stewart, builds mathematical models of what to expect when an earthquake hits. On a national scale, he’s worked on large, multi-disciplinary teams developing ground motion prediction equations – which incorporate an earthquake’s magnitude, siteto-source distance, site characteristics, and Jonathan Stewart in Japan, various other factors to describe the intensity following the of shaking at a given area. These equations Tohoku earthquake. are integral components of probabilistic seisphoto courtesy j. stewart
mic hazard analysis, which affect building codes and standards nationally and globally. Stewart’s principal contributions to these efforts are in relation to the description of site effects on ground motion characteristics and regional variations in ground motions. Stewart works often with three UCLA alumni that are prominent contributors to these major projects, including Kenneth Campbell PhD ’77, Tim Ancheta PhD ’10, and Christine Goulet PhD ’08. “In every case, we’re trying to bring together all the best minds, as much data as we can worldwide, and continued on page 31
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Our computer system infrastructure can be vulnerable to malicious attacks. UCLA Engineering has some of the world’s best experts working to protect these critical resources. Below are interviews with two of those experts. John Villasenor, professor of electrical engineering. Tell me a little about your current research in the area of hardware security. What has been your focus? Why? Villasenor: While everyone has heard of threats such as software viruses, there is much less awareness of the risk that the chips at the core of today’s electronic devices and systems could themselves be compromised from the moment they are designed. Malicious circuitry can be built in to a chip and lie hidden for months or years until it is activated. At that point, there are many different types of hardware attacks that could be launched. For example, the attack could cause the chip, and therefore the device that contains it, to stop functioning. Another possibility is that data passing through the chip could be surreptitiously leaked. Given the vital importance of electronics systems for communications, national defense, the financial markets, the power grid and other aspects of our infrastructure, it is extremely important to ensure that the chips at the core of these systems have not been compromised.
Why would you say hardware security today is just as important as software security? For typical consumers, software security is more important because they can take steps to minimize the risk of having a software security problem. For example, they can use up-to-date antivirus software and exercise care regarding the types of personal information they provide when using electronic devices. By contrast, hardware security really needs to be addressed earlier in the supply chain — by the companies that are involved in designing chips, and the companies that purchase those chips to place in their products. For those companies, hardware security is an important, and often underappreciated, concern.
How has the advancement/change in technology affected this issue? First, chips are tested before they are inserted into products, but today’s chips are too complex to test exhaustively. As a result, an attack can remain hidden during the testing process. Second, the globalization of chip design has led to an enormous increase in the number of people who contribute to — and so have access to — the circuit designs that will eventually end up in a chip. These designs often involve outsourcing arrangements that can span multiple companies and continents, and involve many layers of suppliers. If even a tiny percentage of the people involved in designing chips act maliciously, that’s still an enormous concern.
In the media recently, you’ve been asked to address a few areas involving national security. What may be some issues that people aren’t looking at yet but in your opinion should? There are certainly people in the Department of Defense (DOD) who are well aware of the hardware security risk. For example the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is the main research arm of the DoD, has been funding important work in this area for a number of years. But the overwhelming majority of the electronics, including in DoD systems, involves the commercial supply chain. In most segments of the commercial world, hardware security isn’t really on the radar in any meaningful way. I think it is very important to be proactive, not reactive, regarding this vulnerability. To find out more about John Villasenor’s research in hardware security, and to read his essays on technology policy, visit his Web site at: http://ipl.johnvillasenor.com/
Rafail Ostrovsky, professor of computer science and mathematics and director of the center for Information & computation Security. Can you describe some major current issues in cyber security today? Ostrovsky: Our society gets more mobile and more interconnected every day. For example, most of our data either already leaves or soon will migrate to the clouds, owned by big corporations; our mobile data, including personal preferences regarding shopping, travel, and online searches, are mined by companies for targeted advertisements. This ubiquitous connectivity is both helpful and harmful. It is helpful in communicating with our friends, yet it is harmful as individual privacy often becomes compromised. The biggest challenge of cryptography is to allow individual privacy to be maintained without hindering services and conveniences that the Internet and mobile platforms and cloud-based computing has to offer. The idea is instead of limiting what the big corporations can touch, to allow processing and manipulation of encrypted data in a way that carefully controls the information flow, while at the same time protecting individual privacy.
With regards to those issues, can you describe some of the research you’re leading that addresses those issues? My group’s research focuses on developing new technologies for allowing willing participants to utilize benefits of the Internet and mobile platforms without violating individual privacy. What makes the research especially fun is trying to formalize in a rigorous mathematical sense what this means and how to prevent privacy breaches without limiting functionality and usefulness of the systems at hand. It is also important to be able to prove that even if some of the participants are malicious, and deviate from the protocol in an arbitrary, devious way, they cannot
sabotage the system. While important gains on this front have been made, many outstanding questions remain, especially when security and privacy guarantees must hold in a dynamic and changing environment, such as the Internet.
Where will we be 10 years down the road in regards to cyber security? I see cyber security being far more pervasive ten years from now. Most of our devices, including buildings, cars, and home appliances will be wirelessly interconnected and will attempt to be more “helpful” to their owners. That will make our lives easier on the one hand, and more dangerous on the other. Imagine, for example, if you can switch on your stove, your microwave and your air-conditioner remotely through a hand-held device, or just a few hand gestures in front of your iPad. It sounds very appealing for individual citizens, but also could make it much easier for criminals to cause damage through identity theft or for terrorists and rogue states to cause massive political and economic damage through cyber-attacks that will be coupled with physical systems and control devices. This is the challenge of cyber security: to allow ever increasing ease of use and convenience for individual citizens and businesses, while at the same time protecting individual privacy and national cyber security. It’s an exciting time for those of us working in this field, since both the good guys and the bad guys continue to develop ever more sophisticated attacks and defense systems — we must be ahead of the bad guys at all times. The full text of the Q&A with Professor Ostrovsky, including his thoughts on cloud computing issues, is available at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/cybersecurity-Q-and-A To find out more about Professor Ostrovksy’s research in cryptography and other areas of computer science, visit his Web site at: www.cs.ucla.edu/~rafail/
Billion-Dollar Business Allowed Founder to ContInue to Serve hIS Country Wileen Wong Kromhout
t’s hard to believe, SRA International, Inc., a government IT services and system-integration company, with revenue of $1.7 billion and nearly 7,000 employees, began in the basement of Ernst Volgenau’s home in Reston, Virginia in 1978. To comprehend the success of the company, one only needs to understand the man behind it. Volgenau PhD ’66, President and CEO of SRA International for almost 30 years and currently Chairman of the Board, came from humble beginnings. Growing up on a small farm in western New York, he learned the value of dedication and hard work and credits his parents and siblings for setting high expectations and being great role models. Volgenau dreamed of becoming an astronaut and as a young man was offered a scholarship to MIT to study nuclear engineering. At the same time, he was also selected for appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Volgenau choose to serve his country. “It was a tough choice, but I decided on the Naval Academy, and spent four years there,” remembered Volgenau. “Later I transferred to the Air Force because of poor eye sight. In those days, your eyes had to be perfect and the Navy would have given me restricted commission. The Air Force, however, allowed me to join a combat missile squadron without that limitation and also promised me graduate school.” During his early years in the Air Force, Volgenau was assigned to Los Angeles with his young wife, Sara. He had a masters degree and was working in the Air Force space program in the early 1960s at a time when there were many space initiatives – satellites and other space vehicles. Volgenau also began teaching graduate courses at UCLA Extension, where a professor encouraged him to obtain a Ph.D. in engineering.
“UCLA was all work and no play,” said Volgenau. “In those days, I had to finish my exams and dissertation in a limited amount of time. My wife, Sara, and I lived in Woodland Hills, and we had two young children. We were very busy. But my whole thought process was changed as a result of my graduate studies at UCLA.” Volgenau ultimately spent two decades in the Air Force, where he put his engineering degrees to work on space boosters and satellites. He then taught and attended the Air Force astronaut school. Later he was an analyst in a Pentagon office informally known as “the Whiz Kids.” Eventually he managed computer development projects at the Air Force Logistics Command. Just before starting SRA International, Volgenau was Director of Inspection and Enforcement for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He managed 700 engineers and physicists who inspected all commercial nuclear power plants in operation and under construction. For ten years, he taught evening classes in engineering, operations research, and computer systems in graduate schools at UCLA, Wright State University, American University, and George Washington University. “I taught these classes in order to keep academically proficient in areas related to my work,” said Volgenau. “When I worked in aerospace programs, I taught control systems. When I worked in computers, I taught computer design and management. One of my Ph.D. fields was in computer design. I was really interested in that field and wanted to start a firm that would specialize in the application of computers. When I started SRA International, there were not many companies like it.” Volgenau believes wholeheartedly in serving society. The values he holds most dear have been embedded deeply in SRA, which has the ethic “honesty and service.”
ucla was all work and no “play. In those days, I had to finish my exams and dissertation in a limited amount of time. My wife, Sara, and I lived in Woodland Hills, and we had two young children. We were very busy. But my whole thought process was changed as a result of my graduate studies at ucla.”
SRA was named by Fortune magazine as one of the 100 best companies to work for in America for ten years in a row. “Our ethic of honesty and service has four components,” said Volgenau. “First, we are always honest. Second, we do good work for our customers. Third, we care for one another, and fourth we serve society in other ways, for example through charitable contributions of time and money.” When asked to provide some words of wisdom on starting a company in today’s economic environment, Volgenau said, “Be prepared to work very hard and sacrifice a lot. Plan ahead… don’t just open your doors. Hire really good people, give them plenty of responsibility and insist on working together as a team.” “Most important of all,” Volgenau continued, “is to have high ethical standards. Really good people want to be part of something special. Being successful financially
is essential, but a company should also stand for something.” Today, Volgenau credits his wife, Sara, for helping him achieve much of his success by being such a strong partner at home. He enjoys spending time with his family of three wonderful daughters, three great sons-in-law, and nine promising grandchildren. He is proud of his service in the military and proud to be an American.
New MeNtorship progrAM Helps Students Ease into University Life Matthew Chin
ll UCLA Engineering students are admitted after having proven themselves by earning top grades in the classroom. However, navigating university life is more than just classes and labs, homework and projects. It’s managing a busy academic schedule, while also fitting in those extracurricular activities that complete the college experience. Along with all that comes choosing the path that best fits their own interests and future career goals. Getting through the first two years can be tough for all students, and even overwhelming for some. To ease this important transition to university life, UCLA Engineering put into place a new program this year that matches every entering freshman and new transfer student with an engineering upperclassman trained to be a mentor. “There’s always been so much experience that upperclassmen could offer, but so inaccessible in a way, unless you got involved with a club,” said electrical engineering senior Tammy Chang, who led a pilot mentor effort in her major last year, and is now the student lead for the school-wide effort. Student organizations offer some form of tutoring and mentoring along with opportunities to work on club projects. However new students had to actively seek out those groups. Now, thanks to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs and the SEASnet computing facility, peer mentoring has been made easily accessible to those
students and the process has been streamlined through CourseWeb, the electronic home for an engineering student’s academic life. “You always have people who are coming in who need help, and you always have people who have been here for a while who can help, and possibly who want to help,” Chang said. “And all we’re doing this year is providing a connection between those two groups.” Instead of needing to be active with a specific organization, now all incoming students automatically know there’s a mentorship program even before they begin their fall quarter. In this year’s program, mentees were paired with mentors from their own major. Students who are undeclared were matched with mentors through studentrun societies like Society of Women Engineers (SWE); the engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi; and the Engineering Society of UCLA (ESUC). Throughout the fall quarter each group held its own events that included info-sessions with academic counselors. “We received such an overwhelmingly positive response from mentees and mentors who were in the electrical engineering pilot program last year, that we decided to implement this school-wide,” said Richard D. Wesel, associate dean of academic and student affairs. “We have great students who want to be mentors and incoming students who are really helped by their peers. This new effort simply makes it much easier for everyone to connect.”
3 photos: catherine lee, ucla eta kappa nu
The new student mentorship program also complements other advising opportunities already in place at the school, including academic counseling, as well as the faculty mentorship program, where professors provide advice each quarter to assigned mentees on topics ranging from undergraduate research to graduate schools and working in industry.
Hall, Engineering IV and Engineering V. The places they found were beneficial to new students getting to know the school, such as the undergraduate lounge where tutoring is available. Other events have included class scheduling and resume building workshops. Mentors with SWE, Tau Beta Pi and ESUC also held an introductory session on different
We have great students who want to be mentors and incoming students who are really helped by their peers. This new effort simply makes it much easier for everyone to connect.”— r ic h a r d d . w esel For electrical engineering freshman Emily Im, the student mentorship program has helped boost her confidence. Im met with her mentor, and attended an informational “pathways” workshop on the different course pathways offered in electrical engineering. Now she says she is much more positive about the next few years. “I knew that majoring in engineering was going to be difficult, but I didn’t have any background knowledge and I felt that I was just diving into the unknown,” Im said. “I know more of what to expect in the future and just knowing that someone is willing to answer any of my questions is comforting as well.” For their first event, to help become more acquainted, several of the mentor groups held scavenger hunts around campus with their mentees. However the one held by electrical engineering mentors got rained out. But as good problem-solving engineers would do, the mentors devised an alternate program for that day. They changed the scavenger hunt to an exercise on how best to navigate the campus when it rains. Mentees had to use binary code to decipher clues that would take them around Boelter
majors for undeclared students. In addition, mentors in Materials Science and Engineering held a gingerbread house workshop, complete with a load-bearing competition. Events planned for winter quarter focused on potential internships and other summer experiences. Chang, who empathizes with many of the new students as she herself transferred into engineering from statistics, suggested that this year the student mentorship program has reached about 40 to 60 percent of its potential. “The way we can continue to improve this program is by making it known to students that this is something meaningful,” Chang said. The complete release is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/new-mentorship-program
1 Mentor Tammy chang 2 an electrical engineering mentor workshop 3 Front row, from left: Saqib Mohammad (Mentor), Queenie Ma (Mentee), Emily Im (Mentee), Nicholas Tsianos (Mentee)
bring clean energy workshops to high school classrooms Matthew Chin
nergy takes work. Hard work, and a lot of it, in fact. That’s the starting point in the EnGen Roadshow, a presentation to Los Angeles-area high school science classes created by several UCLA graduate students in engineering and the sciences. Through the use of several demonstrations, including a hand-crank generator, a steam engine, photovoltaic cell, and even a mini-hydroelectric generator, the graduate students begin a discussion on where different sources
Clean Green IGERT Fellows of energy come from; the technologies and efficiency of converting them to a more useful form of electricity; then finally, the environmental impacts that they each have. The students are all fellows in UCLA’s Clean Green Integrative (CGI) Graduate Education Research Traineeship (IGERT), a National Science Foundationfunded program that aims to develop leaders in environmental energy through integrated research and
coursework in the science, business and policies of clean technology. The interdisciplinary program includes engineers, as well as chemists, economists, statisticians and public policy students. Designing a program to educate K-12 students on clean energy is part of the program’s mission. Additional funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires a program with impact on the future of green technology in greater Los Angeles. The Clean Green IGERT fellows decided to focus their efforts at the high school level. “Many of us felt that we were not exposed to the fundamentals of clean energy in high school and we hoped to make students aware of energy issues as they are beginning to seriously contemplate their future career paths,” said Clean Green IGERT fellow Leland Smith, a materials science and engineering graduate student. “We hoped to show the relevance of math and science education on real world problems.” So far, the group has presented to three high schools, including Bell Gardens High; Alexander Hamilton High in Los Angeles, and Redondo Union High in Redondo Beach. At Hamilton, the fellows gave their talks in teacher Dina A. Kraemer’s Advanced Placement environmental sciences classes. Her course is geared to helping students discover strong connections between science, technology and public policy issues. Clean Green IGERT fellow Joshua Shapiro demonstrates solar thermal energy. “I cannot emphasize enough the power of 20something grad students presenting,” Kraemer said. “The kids are mesmerized by individuals that are close in age and see their future in them.”
Leland Smith at Hamilton High in Los Angeles
At the front of the classroom, the fellows had high school students try a hand-crank generator or lifting a bucket of water overhead for hydroelectric power, both of which connect to an LED that lights up when it receives electricity. But for the students, turning the crank or lifting that bucket starts to become difficult after a minute. And that’s the exactly what the UCLA graduate students want, as it shows just how much work it takes to convert even a little bit of potential energy into the more useful form of electricity. Following the demonstrations, the Clean Green IGERT fellows discuss the many types of energy sources, as well as their effects on the environment. Many of the high schoolers’ questions ask where clean and renewable energy currently stands and when it will become more readily available. “Our energy consumption comes at a price, and it is up to us as a society to determine what that price should be,” said Shapiro, an electrical engineering graduate student. “We believe that by educating about where electricity comes from and the real costs associated with producing electricity, people will become more prudent consumers of energy.” While the lessons are intended to benefit the students they present to, it’s been a positive learning experience for them as well. “As grad students, we spend a lot of time thinking about the fine details of energy technology and talking with people who have a deep knowledge of the problem,” Smith said. “It becomes easy to take for granted that people have a high level of understanding of these issues. It is entirely different to speak with people who know high school science, but not much more about clean energy. As tomorrow’s leaders in clean energy, this is an invaluable
experience for the Clean Green IGERT fellows.” In addition to the outreach component, the Clean Green IGERT faculty members have developed two graduate clean energy courses designed to spur discussion and collaboration between the fellows. The topics include policy, economics, energy harvesting, storage, and conservation. The classes are cross-listed and available to all graduate students. “One of the premises of our program is to assemble a broad-range of disciplines all involved in clean energy,” said electrical engineering professor Diana Huffaker, director of the Clean Green IGERT and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute. “It is at the interface of standard disciplines that innovation can come about.” A short video of the EnGen Roadshow’s demonstrations is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/clean-energy-workshops
Ronald and ValeRie SugaR ChaiR in engineeRing
established with $1 million gift Wileen Wong Kromhout
CLA Engineering has announced the establishment of the Ronald and Valerie Sugar Chair in Engineering, made possible by a $1 million gift from UCLA alumni Ronald D. ’68, MS ’69, PhD ’71 and Valerie ’71 Sugar. The endowed chair will support an engineering professor who is not only an accomplished researcher but also an excellent teacher and student mentor. Ronald Sugar, is chairman emeritus of Northrop Grumman Corp., having served as the company’s chairman of the board and CEO from 2003 until his retirement in 2010. During his tenure, Northrop Grumman grew into the nation’s second largest defense contractor, with 120,000 employees and $35 billion in annual revenue. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman in 2001, Sugar held executive positions in the aerospace, defense and automotive industries, including chief financial officer of TRW Inc.; executive vice president of TRW Automotive Electronics; president and chief operating officer of TRW Aerospace; and president, COO and director of Litton Industries. In 2001, Sugar became president, COO and director of Northrop, assuming the role of chairman and CEO in 2003. He is currently a director of Apple Inc., Chevron Corp., Amgen Inc. and Air Lease Corp. and serves as senior adviser to the private investment firm Ares Management LLC. Sugar is also a trustee of the University of Southern California, a member of the UCLA Anderson School of Management board of visitors, a director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, a director of the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools and a national trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. “I am thankful to the university for once providing me the opportunity and financial support to earn engineering degrees, which later proved indispensable in my career,” Sugar said. “I look forward to supporting the teaching and research activities of distinguished faculty at UCLA Engineering for many generations to come.”
Ronald and Valerie Sugar
Sugar, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Royal Aeronautical Society, graduated summa cum laude in engineering in 1968 from UCLA, where he also received his master’s and doctoral degrees in the same field. He was subsequently honored as a UCLA Engineering Alumnus of the Year. Valerie Sugar, Ronald’s wife, graduated magna cum laude in history in 1971 from UCLA and earned a master’s degree in library science from USC in 1972. She held professional positions in library science and computer science at the RAND Corp. and Aerospace Corp. Subsequently, she has focused on family, artistic and philanthropic endeavors. The complete release is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/sugar-chair
Building the SmaRt gRid of the futuRe: ucla teams with Korea’s energy Research institute Wileen Wong Kromhout
CLA Engineering has entered into a 10-year partnership with the government-supported Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) in South Korea to collaborate on smart-grid research and the development of new technologies with the aim of creating a robust smart grid on an international level. As part of that effort, the Smart Grid Energy Research Center (SMERC) is using the campus — in particular, Boelter Hall and the Engineering IV and V buildings — as an experimental lab to observe how wireless sensing and control systems can help create the smart grid. The team, led by mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Rajit Gadh, the center’s director, is retrofitting these structures with cutting-edge sensors and smart meters that can, for example, gauge and adjust the amount of power needed in a room at a particular time
Rajit Gadh’s visit to Korea’s smart-grid demo project on Jeju Island. of day and control appliances, lights, and heating and air-conditioning systems depending on energy pricing or power availability on the grid. Jung-in Choi, a Korean professor, who has also been working on smart grid research since 2005, introduced KIER to Gadh. Choi came to UCLA on sabbatical from Kyungwon University and learned about Gadh’s research through several news articles.
“I think SMERC is one of the most active research institutes in the smart-grid field today,” he said. “In particular I have been most interested in the open architecture platform for the smart grid — Dr. Gadh’s WINSmartGridTM in particular. KIER needs an open architecture platform technology, and I thought a partnership between KIER and SMERC would be beneficial for both.” The UCLA WINSmartGridTM (Wireless Internet Smart Grid) is a network platform that allows electrically operated machines and appliances such as plug-in electric vehicles, washers, dryers and air conditioners to be wirelessly monitored, connected and controlled through a wireless communications framework. Control signals can subsequently be sent via the WINSmartGridTM network, which in turn can dynamically control various appliances in real time. Gadh envisions electric vehicles guzzling energy into their batteries overnight, when power is cheap, and then dispensing it back into homes and offices during the day, when electricity demand is at its highest. In UCLA’s Parking Structure 9, located next to the retrofitted engineering buildings, Gadh has installed two EV charging stations with devices that collect and wirelessly transmit data about electricity usage back to his lab. As part of Korea’s effort to grow its technology and knowledge in the area of green and renewable energy, the country in 2009 launched a national smart-grid demonstration project with the construction of a smart-grid testbed on Jeju Island. The test bed will become the world’s largest smart grid community, allowing the testing of the most advanced technologies. The complete release is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/smart-grid-kier
research school news News
professor’s startup begins Full-Scale Operations Wileen Wong Kromhout
ydogan Ozcan, associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering, has garnered a great deal of media attention and professional recognition in recent years for his work on lensless computational microscopy. Most recently, The Scientist, a magazine focusing on the life sciences, research and technology, declared Ozcan’s microscopy platform the top innovation of 2011, claiming the No. 1 spot in their Top 10 list. His group’s computational microscopy technology, with the help of UCLA Engineering’s Institute for Technology Advancement (ITA), has now led to a spinoff called Holomic LLC. A few months ago, Holomic officially announced its founding and start of full-scale operations in Los Angeles, after receiving $2.5 million in seed funding from a strategic investor as well as an NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant of $383,000. “Holomic LLC’s mission is to commercialize technologies created by my research group at UCLA and expand the range and number of microscopy applications to benefit communities in the United States, other industrialized nations, as well as resource-limited countries,” said Ozcan, founder and director of the company. “Holomic would not have reached this stage without the support of the School of Engineering as well as ITA. I am thankful for their support.” According to Les Lackman, deputy director of ITA, the Institute helped spin off two successful companies prior to Holomic. One is WaveConnex, Inc. with Frank Chang, distinguished professor and chair of the Electrical Engineering Department and the other, Easel Biotechnologies with James Liao, professor and vice chair of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. “ITA is a leading organization that helps incubate advanced breakthroughs from our research labs to industry, with the goal of streamlining the creation of products, processes and services that fill the needs of society,” said Dean Vijay K. Dhir about ITA when it first opened. “This new institute adds an important
Professor Ozcan’s compact, lightweight optofluidic platform integrates imaging cytometry with florescent microscopy. component to our mission of education, research and service, and it will help UCLA Engineering remain on the forefront of transitioning dynamic, worldchanging research.” Ozcan’s telemedicine microscopy platform captures images using a technology termed Lenseless Ultra-widefield Cell Monitoring Array platform based on Shadow imaging (LUCAS). With this computational approach, the microscope can be miniaturized to the point where it fits on most cell phones, while remaining inexpensive enough for widespread use in developing countries. Holomic is currently in the development stage and plans to introduce a product line of portable, cell phone or wireless based microscopes for a wide range of applications, including scientific research, point-of-care diagnostics, pathology labs, telemedicine and environmental monitoring. First product releases are planned for late 2012. The complete release is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/holomic-startup
UCLA Engineering Dean Vijay K. Dhir with Bolter Society Leadership Committee chairs, Lawrence and Carol Tannas.
the Development of two new programs Cadance Hinkle
amed for the first dean of the school, Llewellyn M. K. Boelter, the Boelter Society is the leadership giving society at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. Members of the Boelter Society show inspirational leadership by making an investment in the school’s students, faculty and future. With over 225 members, who donate at least $1,000 annually, and 100 Lifetime members, who contribute a minimum of $100,000 over their lifetime, the Boelter Society enables the dean and department chairs to respond quickly to new opportunities and address the most pressing needs of the school, including student projects and programs, faculty recruitment, improvement of lab and classroom spaces and ensuring for the operational vitality of the school. The Engineering External Affairs Office is currently in the process of developing two new programs within the Boelter Society; the Young Professional Boelter Society and the Boelter Society Leadership Committee. These two programs will engage more supporters and make a large impact on the future of the school by increasing discretionary funding through the Annual Fund to meet the needs of the school as it continues to grow. While these programs will provide the school with more opportunity and flexibility, they will also provide alumni and donors an expanded network of supporters who all share the same commitment to the school’s excellence and future. The Young Professional Boelter Society will help keep young alumni connected to the school and allow them to forge new connections with other alumni and supporters. Quarterly networking events that feature leading figures
in the world of engineering and innovation will be just one of the benefits of joining. Members of the Young Professional Boelter Society are asked to contribute a minimum of $250 a year for the first five years after graduation and a minimum of $500 for the next five years, allowing the school’s newest graduates to contribute at a significant level and be a part of group that sustains the school’s superior reputation. The Boelter Society Leadership Committee, generously chaired by Larry ’59, MS ’61 and Carol Tannas, is a group of volunteers who have committed to supporting the school financially and to inspiring others to do the same. Leadership Committee members, who contribute at a level of $5,000 or more, work with other members of the Boelter Society to encourage involvement and financial support. As the school enters into upcoming projects, including the build out of Engineering VI, it is critical that funding and external support are able to keep pace with continuing developments which will help facilitate the overall growth of the school. The Leadership Committee will help the school meet the needs of students and faculty, ensuring that the brightest minds are working in the best facilities to meet the challenges facing the world today. The fifth floor lobby of Boelter Hall will soon have a brand new recognition wall that acknowledges the support of every Boelter Society member. For more information about joining either the Young Professional Boelter Society or the Boelter Society Leadership Committee, contact Kaci Silverman at email@example.com or at 310-206-4327.
James C. Liao
named to Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Chair in Chemical Engineering Wileen Wong Kromhout
James C. Liao
ames C. Liao, the Chancellor’s Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been named the holder of the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Chair in Chemical Engineering. The chair, established through an endowment by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, honors the memory and the life work of Ralph Parsons, founder of the global engineering and construction firm bearing his name. The foundation was established in 1961 and has been
Jim’s work as a leading educator and researcher in biofuel technology.” Over the past few years, Liao has received widespread attention for his work in developing methods for the production of more efficient biofuels. This has included genetically modifying E. coli bacteria and modifying cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide to produce the liquid fuel isobutanol — a reaction powered directly by energy from sunlight, through photosynthesis.
This endowment will not only support our efforts to enrich the educational experience of our students but will also support our research in a vitally important area.” independent of the company since 1976. It strives to support and facilitate the work of Southern California’s best nonprofit organizations, recognizing that those in need today will go on to shape the future of the region and help it set and achieve new goals. The endowed chair is intended to educate a brand of engineers who can design new technological products and systems while at the same time anticipating and preventing adverse social and environmental impacts, such as pollution. Much of Liao’s research focuses on creating new ways to produce environmentally friendly biofuels and chemicals. “Jim Liao is a world renowned scholar in metabolic engineering, synthetic biology and systems biology,” said Dean Vijay K. Dhir. “In addition, he is an excellent teacher and mentor who has been recognized with several major awards in his field. This chair will help support
“It is an honor to be named the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Chair in Chemical Engineering,” Liao said. “This endowment will not only support our efforts to enrich the educational experience of our students but will also support our research in a vitally important area.” In 2010, Liao was awarded the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The first UCLA professor to receive the award in its 15-year history, Liao was recognized for his groundbreaking work recycling carbon dioxide for the biosynthesis of higher alcohols. This process turns CO2 into products that can be used in alternative transportation fuels or chemical feedstock, reducing greenhouse emissions. The complete release is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/liao-parsons-chair
Jennifer Wortman Vaughan
named to Symantec term chair in computer Science Wileen Wong Kromhout
ennifer Wortman Vaughan, UCLA assistant professor of computer science, has been named the holder of the Symantec Term Chair in Computer Science. The chair was established to support the teaching and research activities of a distinguished junior faculty to foster innovation in computer science. Vaughan’s research interests are in machine learning, algorithmic aspects of economics, and social computing. Machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence, is a scientific discipline concerned with the design and development of algorithms that allow computers to calculate behaviors or predictions based on empirical data, such as collections of documents on the Web or sets of tagged images. It is currently one of the most active areas of computer science research, in large part because of its widespread applicability to problems as diverse as natural language processing, speech recognition, spam detection, search, computer vision, gene discovery, medical diagnosis, and robotics. The growing popularity of the Internet and social networking sites like Facebook has led to the availability of novel sources of data on preferences, behaviors, and beliefs of massive populations of users. A major goal of Vaughan’s research is to bridge the gap between theory and practice by designing a new generation of machine learning models and algorithms to address and explain the issues commonly faced when attempting to aggregate local information across large online communities. “I am very excited be named the Symantec Term Chair,” Vaughan said. “Symantec’s support will enable me to enhance my research efforts here at UCLA,
Jennifer Wortman Vaughan
which is especially valuable to me as an early career scientist. I look forward to many future opportunities to interact with Symantec’s world-class team of researchers.” Symantec was founded in 1982 by visionary computer scientists. The company is focused on providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help businesses and consumers secure and manage their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries and employs more than 3,500 software engineers. The complete release is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/vaughan-symantec-chair
named to Jonathan B. Postel Chair in ComPuter sCienCe Wileen Wong Kromhout
ixia Zhang, a professor of computer science, has been named the holder of the Jonathan B. Postel Chair in Computer Science. The chair, established through an endowed fund initially created by a distinguished group of Jonathan Postel’s friends and family, honors the famed computer scientist’s lifetime achievements. Known as one of the Internet’s pioneers, Postel was a three-time graduate of UCLA Engineering, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering and his Ph.D. in computer science. As part of professor Leonard Kleinrock’s ARPANET team at UCLA, he was one of the programmers who helped create the Internet’s precursor. After graduation, Postel continued his research at the nonprofit MITRE Corp. and the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) before moving on to a 21-year career at the University of Southern California’s Information Science Institute. His research contributions included Internet protocol design and verification, multimedia computing and communications, electronic commerce, the Internet domain-name system, and a range of additional Internet protocols. Over the years, Postel became a leading spokesman for and architect of systematic organization in the rapidly growing online community and was recognized worldwide for his major role in the development and management of the Internet. He died in 1998. This chair is one of two at the school established in honor of Postel. The other, the Jonathan B. Postel Chair in Networking, is held by Deborah Estrin, a distinguished professor of computer science. The Postel Chair in Computer Science is intended for a faculty member of significant stature in computer science who will continue the great strides Postel made in Internet-related research. In 1999, Zhang coined the term “middlebox” to refer to the new components that are not in the original IP (Internet protocol) architecture. The term was quickly picked up by the community and is now used everywhere. Zhang’s research group has been tackling topics like
Lixia Zhang, during her office hours photo: matthew chin
resiliency, security issues in the global routing system and domain name system (DNS), and the system challenges in deploying cryptographic protections in global-scale open systems such as the Internet. Her group has developed several Internet monitoring tools which are widely used by the Internet research and operational communities. “It is an honor to be named the Jonathan B. Postel Chair in Computer Science,” Zhang said. “I consider myself fortunate to have joined Internet research early on and to have had opportunities to work closely with Dr. Postel. My career goal is to not only help the Internet grow but to also help train new generations of Internet engineers and researchers by teaching students how to think architecturally.” Zhang has already received several accolades for her work including the 2009 IEEE Internet Award for her contributions toward developing the Internet’s architecture. Since 2010, Zhang has been leading a 12-campus project funded by the National Science Foundation, to develop a new Internet architecture called Named Data Networking (NDN), which holds great promise for meeting the challenges and opportunities presented by computing in the 21st century. The complete release is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/zhang-postel-chair
The Leonard KLeinrocK Term chair in ComputEr SCiEnCE EStabliShEd Wileen Wong Kromhout
he Leonard Kleinrock Term Chair in Computer Science has been established with gifts totaling $500,000 from nine of Kleinrock’s former students and an estate gift from Kleinrock himself. The chair will be a five-year term chair supporting outstanding junior faculty in computer science in their teaching, research and public service activities. “Professor Kleinrock is one of our most accomplished and cherished faculty members,” said Vijay K. Dhir, dean of UCLA Engineering. “He has built a rich tradition of mentorship, and as noted by the 40th anniversary of the Internet developed here at UCLA, he has created a culture of innovation that continues to this day. It is the school’s honor to be able to create this chair in his name.” Kleinrock developed the mathematical theory of data networks a decade before the Internet’s birth, published the first paper and book on the subject, and directed the transmission of the first message ever to pass over the Internet, in 1969. After more than four decades, he is widely considered the world’s leading authority and researcher in the field of computer network modeling, analysis and design. As a distinguished professor of computer science, Kleinrock has supervised and mentored the research of scores of outstanding computer scientists — 47 students so far, with more in the pipeline — who work at major laboratories, universities and commercial organizations around the world. Kleinrock is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His honors include the Ericsson Prize, the Marconi Prize, the NAE Draper Prize and the Okawa Prize. He also received the 2007 National Medal
Leonard Kleinrock, with the Interface Message Processor (IMP) that sent the first Internet message in 1969.
of Science, the highest honor for achievement in science bestowed by the President of the United States. Kleinrock received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the City College of New York and master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
named Packard Foundation Fellow Matthew Chin
he David and Lucile Packard Foundation has named Dino Di Carlo, assistant professor of bioengineering, a 2011 recipient of a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering. He was among 16 recipients in this year’s class of Packard Fellows. The Fellowship Program was established in 1988 and arose out of David Packard’s commitment to strengthening research groups that are the heart of universitybased science and engineering programs. By supporting unusually creative professors early in their careers, the Foundation hopes to develop scientific leaders, to further
the work of promising scientists and engineers, and to support efforts to attract talented graduate students into university research in the United States. Di Carlo will apply the unrestricted grant to conduct research on using the mechanical properties of a cell, rather than molecular properties, as clinically useful and low-cost indicators of a patient’s health. This approach takes advantage of microscale fluid physics to sequentially align, squeeze, and measure thousands of cells per second to potentially identify cancer, infection, and transplant rejection. “The real hope is to develop an automated approach to take advantage of the differences in varied physical properties amongst cells to enable inexpensive clinical diagnostics,” Di Carlo said. “We have been pioneering precision techniques to engineer and control cell positions in flowing fluids and we are taking advantage of this expertise to stretch and analyze cells quickly using purely fluid-induced forces.” Di Carlo is developing a technology to measure the mechanics of thousands of cells per second in an automated fashion. The technique relies on the ability to flow cells one by one at high rates into a fluid wall and capture the changes in cell shape upon hitting that wall with a high-speed camera that can snap over 100,000 photos per second. Software then automatically identifies the cells and extracts information concerning the changes in cell shape that can be reported back to the end user, such as the doctor, in an easy-to-read format. Di Carlo anticipates the approach, if successful, could find broad applications in cases when the physical properties of cells reflect disease state, as in screening for cancer, identifying infection, or monitoring transplant patients for rejection.
Dino Di Carlo
The complete release is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/dicarlo-packard-fellow
Aydogan Ozcan (center) photo credit: phil channing
Electrical Engineering Professor receives Prestigious Pecase award Wileen Wong Kromhout
ydogan Ozcan, associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering, has received the country’s highest honor for science and engineering researchers who are at an early stage of their careers. Ozcan was one of 94 researchers recently announced by President Obama, as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Ozcan’s research is in photonics and its applications in nano- and bio-technology. Most prominently, he has developed new powerful optical imaging and sensing architectures that can be incorporated into mobile phones. Essentially becoming mobile labs, these phones can analyze fluids to test for HIV, malaria, and other infectious diseases in body fluids, or analyze water quality following a disaster. These devices, which are relatively inexpensive to produce, have broad applications for improving health care in resource-poor regions. “I’m very honored to receive the PECASE award,” Ozcan said. “This will support our existing efforts to create smart global health systems through innovative uses of photonics and computational technologies.” “Ozcan’s research in photonics applications, in particular his work with mobile phone platforms, holds great potential, and he is a truly deserving recipient of this honor,” said Dean Vijay K. Dhir. “This award also
reflects the excellence of the school’s faculty, who are committed to conducting research that addresses the critical needs of the country across many areas.” Ozcan has already received several prominent honors for his research, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award; the National Geographic Emerging Explorer Award; the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award; Young Investigator Awards from the Office of Naval Research and from the Army Research Office; MIT’s TR35 Award, IEEE Photonics Society and SPIE Young Investigator Awards, and a Grand Challenges Explorations Award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The PECASE award recipients are nominated by 16 federal department and agencies. The recipients’ early accomplishments demonstrate the greatest promise in continuing America’s preeminence in science and engineering. Ozcan’s nomination was from the Department of Defense. Ozcan is also a member of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI).
named nIH new Innovator Matthew Chin
ndrea M. Kasko, assistant professor of bioengineering, has received a 2011 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award from the National Institutes for Health (NIH). The NIH award program supports exceptionally creative investigators at an early stage in their career who have proposed highly innovative projects. These projects hold potential for a significant impact on an important biomedical or behavioral research problem. The research grant is for $1.5 million over five years. The award supports Kasko’s research in utilizing light-responsive biomaterials to fabricate and manipulate chemically and physically complex three-dimensional cell microenvironments. The research has applications in developmental biology, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, therapeutics and disease models. “It’s a great honor to be selected for the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award,” Kasko said. “This particular award allows us to tackle a large and complex problem that is, how can we recreate the natural environment of cells and use it to understand their behavior and discover new therapies – without having to break the project up into several smaller projects. Being able to assemble a larger team to simultaneously explore multiple areas allows us to work at a more rapid pace and to get a much more complete picture than we would otherwise be able to do. We’re excited to see where this research takes us.” Kasko leads a research group that works with hydrogels, which are widely used for three-dimensional cell culture because they recapture some of the important properties of the natural environment of cells, such as high water content. “What is unique about our approach is we have incorporated chemical groups into our hydrogels that respond to light,” she said. “This allows us to change the environment around the cells, for example, by releasing a drug, or making the material softer.
Light-responsive biomaterials can help create physically and chemically complex 3-D scaffolds for cells. Precise control over biomaterial properties in 3-D is critical to capture the complex cascades of signals and complex microenvironments found in nature. Down the road, generating accurate 3-D models of tissue, whether healthy or diseased, could help researchers understand how that tissue develops or heals, and how it responds to its environment. Kasko is the fifth UCLA Engineering faculty member to receive the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in the past three years. The complete release is available online at: www.engineer.ucla.edu/kasko-NIH-innovator
IDEAS. DISCOVERIES. SOLUTIONS. LEGACY.
YOUR LEGACY MATTERS. Consult with a UCLA estate planning professional today.
800-737-UCLA www.legacy.ucla.edu 196 4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091 4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273 7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436 7892590360 0113305305 4882046652 1384146951 941
Shioupyn Shen phD ’91:
ThE PoWEr AND rESPoNSIBILITy oF LEADING yoUr oWN CoMPANy Wileen Wong Kromhout
Shioupyn Shen, who studied under the advisement of Leonard Kleinrock, distinguished professor of the Computer Science Department, received his Ph.D. from UCLA Engineering in 1991. Upon graduation, Shen had a successful career working for companies like Microsoft and Google. At Microsoft he worked on NT Networking, Directory Service and SQL Server. At Google he worked on Gmail, Ads Syndication and Google WiFi. Shen, with the opportunity to observe the tech titans from the inside, acquired a vast array of industry experience. In 2009, he founded CloudMosa, Inc., with the mission to revolutionize the Web experience on mobile devices through cloud computing. The company developed the Puffin Web Browser — with the goal of making it the fastest and most powerful Web browser on mobile platforms.
How did the opportunity to start your own company come about? Shen: One of the most crucial skills for success is the ability to screen ideas quickly and to pursue opportunities early. I am a hands-on person with a technical and analytic background to evaluate ideas keenly. In 2006, I was designing an inexpensive tablet computer – my version of OLPC (One Laptop per Child) — with a far superior Web browser. With the launch of the iPhone in early 2007 and the EeePC in late 2007, I realized that a hardware revolution had started. When Amazon EC2 came out of Beta in late 2008, I knew the timing was right. I took a leave of absence in early 2009 to implement a prototype, and then decided to devote myself full time to pursue this opportunity.
Was it a hard decision to leave Google to run a start-up? Leaving Google was one of the hardest decisions of my life. Google was named the best company to work for in recent years. However, mobile Internet and cloud computing offered some of the best opportunities in decades. I asked myself “what would I do if I could do anything,” and the decision became obvious — choose the path with more interesting challenges and far superior opportunities than staying in my comfort zone.
What is the biggest challenge of starting your own company? One of the biggest challenges I had to face was hiring; it is challenging to compete with top tier companies when it comes to recruitment. Additionally, many highly skilled and successful engineers had already retired to pursue other interests. The best candidates are founders of failed start-up companies, who are hard to find and difficult to recruit. Fortunately, the timing was a blessing for CloudMosa; in early 2009, many excellent engineers became available because of the global financial crisis.
For someone who has had the experience of being on both sides, what advice would you give a student deciding which path to take? Regardless of which path a student takes, my best advice is to be analytic, i.e., to develop the mathematical skills to be comfortable with numbers. When “it doesn’t add up,” the subtle clues are more obvious to those who are more sensitive to numbers. In terms of career choice, it is mostly determined by personality. Are you a passionate person or a disciplined person? Passionate people make better entrepreneurs but must be cautious because “curiosity kills the cat.” Disciplined people are better at climbing the corporate ladder but must be able to take risks because “care kills the cat.”
What advice would you give an alumnus trying to make a similar career transition? Nowadays, the line between an engineer and an entrepreneur has blurred, and it is common for someone to transition back and forth depending on the opportunities available. My best advice is to alternate between the two worlds. First, be an entrepreneur in graduate school when the cost is the lowest. If unsuccessful on the first try, then work for one of the most selective companies right after graduation. Work hard to build a superb technical reputation and wait for some over-achieving bosses to become entrepreneurs.
What has been the best part about running your own company? With great power come great responsibilities. If I took too much pleasure in my power, I would have failed my responsibilities. The best part is not the pleasure but the experience — an experience to make each day count. Every morning when I wake up, I am glad that the company is still growing. I must treat every day as the best opportunity to improve the company as well as the last chance to help the company survive. In terms of being my own boss, it is just a façade; the wife is always the real boss.
What about your education/experience at UCLA Engineering has contributed to your career success? The value of education is intangible; it shapes our character more than builds our skills. During my time at UCLA, I received an excellent foundation on which the rest of my career was based. I was very fortunate to have Dr. Kleinrock as my thesis advisor. In addition to the classroom lectures and thesis advice, the most valuable asset I acquired was self-confidence — it made me a strong enough person to plow through the darkest days of my career.
ALUMNI CLASS NOTES 1940s
Louis G. Walters ’47, MS ’49, PhD ’51 former assistant professor and adjunct associate professor, UCLA Engineering
George Bekey ’50, MS ’52, PhD ’61 has published another book. Robot Ethics is co-edited with P. Lin and K. Abney from the philosophy department at the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. The book was published by MIT Press, 2012. His previous book Autonomous Robots was also published by MIT Press in 2005.
My principal Faculty responsibilities were the management of the automatic control discipline and the off-campus UCLA Engineering programs to extend the UCLA footprint to engineering centers throughout Southern California. I served as engineering professor in residence at the China Lake Naval Air Station (1951-1952) and later in San Diego, offering graduate seminars in automatic control theory, critical to the aerospace industry in that area. I had co-founded an aerospace engineering enterprise which Ford Motor Company quickly acquired. Within weeks, Samuel Herrick (professor of astronomy at UCLA) and five of his graduate students joined in a UCLA team effort to provide orbit determination technology and software for the Air Force centers for satellite R&D (Air Force Satellite Test Center) and operations (Air Force Space Command). The engineering context of the historical astronomy practice was named “astrodynamics” and incidentally, each of Herrick’s graduate students achieved their academic objectives through an off-campus graduate program in Orange county, hosted by Ford. I managed the development and technical evolution of astrodynamic products for these centers for four decades, ending as a member of the Air Force Science Advisory Board committee on Space Surveillance, Asteroids and Comets. The unusual combination of educational opportunities between 1943 and 1945 was in preparation for a military assignment (Philippines) to establish a radar network capable of tracking weather balloons to extreme altitudes, to understand difficulties in scheduling B29 flight schedules in the SW Pacific. The effort clocked wind speeds of over 200 knots, now described as the “jet stream.” I retired at age 80, and now divide my time between Washington state and Keauhou, Hawaii. My current contact is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Harry G. Bieker MS ’54 is 85 years old and still working. He lives in Grants Pass, Oregon. Edward G. Coffman, Jr. ’56, MS ’61, PhD ’66 won the 2011 Harold Larnder Prize of the Canadian Operational Research Society. He is a professor emeritus in both the computer science and electrical engineering departments of Columbia University. He retired as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff of Bell Laboratories in 1999. He is a Fellow of IEEE and ACM. Coffman’s work in computer engineering started in 1958 as a systems programmer at the System Development Corporation. Highlights of his career include his work as a co-inventor of time-sharing systems and a co-inventor of computer networks. Gary MacDougal ’58 is currently co-chair of the $400million America for Bulgaria Foundation (www.americaforbulgaria.org), believed to be the largest foundation in Eastern Europe with an annual budget of $20 million. MacDougal’s special interest has been helping the Roma, about 10% of the population of the Balkans with about 60% unemployment rate, remove barriers to education, jobs and property ownership. MacDougal and his wife Charlene have traveled to Bulgaria to work regularly for the past 20 years. (www.macdougal.com) Bill Revell ’59 spent 46 years as an engineer at Lockheed in Sunnyvale, Calif., as well as a four- year stint in Aurora, Colo. He went on to earn a master’s degree in mathematics at San Jose State University. He married Elaine Perry,
and they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2010. They have two sons, Michael and James. They built a house in Saratoga, Calif. where they lived for 45 years, before recently moving to San Jose.
1960s George Ng ’63, now in retirement, resides in San Diego. John O’Keefe ’67 was recently named chief technical officer of Instantiations Inc., an Oregon-based software development company. O’Keefe joined Instantiations in 2006 after retiring from IBM. John Roebuck MS ’65, owner of Roebuck Research and Consulting, initiated and co-authored a technical article on re-inventing anthropometry for design of ear-related products. It was published in the Proceedings of the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Tom Stone ’67, MS ’69 has retired from full-time work in the planning, design, and construction of large international and domestic transportation projects. For 10 years he oversaw the creation and development of DesertXpress, which recently was environmentally cleared to become the nation’s first dedicated passengeronly interstate high speed rail system - as a private initiative linking Southern California and Las Vegas. From his home office in Golden, Colo., Stone still provides part-time consulting services on large transportation projects, including the Exposition Corridor Phase 2 light rail line from Los Angeles to Santa Monica, and the proposed I-70 Mountain Corridor Advanced Transit System in Colorado.
1970s Nick Brestoff ’71, was looking to get more science and engineering into his life after 36 years as a trial attorney. He now represents plaintiff inventors in patent infringement cases, on contingency. Hiroshi Eto ’79 was recently promoted to senior executive service as programs director for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division office in Cincinnati, Ohio. Eto overseas $2 billion in civil works and military programs across seven district offices located in Chicago; Detroit; Buffalo; Pittsburgh; Huntington, W.Va; Louisville, Ky.; and Nashville.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) awarded William R. Goodin, MS ’71 PhD ’75, ME ’82, the Outstanding Branch Counselor Award for 2011. This international award is presented to individuals who, through their work as counselors and advisors, exemplify IEEE’s commitment to the educational, personal, professional, and technical development of students in IEEE related fields of interest. Goodin is a Senior Member of IEEE, and has served as an alumni counselor for the UCLA student branch since 2003. He is currently associate director of alumni relations at UCLA Engineering. Robert Grossman ’74 is now celebrating 33 years as principal of Grossman & Speer Associates, Inc, a structural engineering firm based in Glendale, Calif., that specializes in building design. Grossman has been the structural engineer of record for many public school and municipal projects throughout Southern California. Bill Schumann ’72 retired from FMC Technologies after 30 years of service with the company. He began his distinguished career with FMC in 1981 as the director of pension investments. Schumann served in various management positions throughout that decade then moved into the role of senior vice president and chief financial officer of FMC Corporation in 1999. He continued in this role and has been the only CFO for FMC Technologies since its spin-off from FMC Corporation in 2001. In 2010, Schumann’s performance was recognized externally when he was voted one of the top performing CFOs in the oilfield service and equipment industry. His leadership and financial guidance has been instrumental in supporting the overall growth and success of FMC Technologies. Although he stepped down as CFO, he continues to work in his role as executive vice president, leading a number of strategic activities that support FMC Technologies’ global plans for growth. Robert Skelton PhD ’76, professor emeritus of UC San Diego, recently received a research award from Germany’s Alexander von Homboldt Foundation. For three months, they sponsored Skelton’s lectures on his new book (Skelton and de Oliveira, Tensegrity Systems, Spring 2009). Skelton received another award from the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland to lecture there for two months. During Skelton’s 12 years with Lockheed and Sperry Rand he designed control systems for SKYLAB, the nation’s first space station, and the Hubble, the nation’s
most successful space telescope. He created the systems and control program at the School of Aeronautics at Purdue (where he taught for 22 years). He created the systems and control program at UC San Diego (where he taught for 15 years). He was awarded the Nichols Medal from the ASCE. Skelton is a fellow of AIAA and IEEE, and has published six books. He served on the National Research Council’s Aeronautical and Space Engineering Board, and received a research award from The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Skelton held the Daniel Alspach Endowed Chair at UC San Diego until his retirement.
1980s Jim Barrie ’83, MS ’85, PhD ’88, Chung-Tse Chu PhD ’89, and Pete Fuqua ’88, MS ’91, PhD ’93 jointly received The Aerospace Corporation’s 2011 President’s Achievement Award for identifying a critical design flaw in a spacecraft mirror coating, that, had it gone unnoticed, would likely have resulted in a costly delay to a high priority government satellite. By identifying the problem early in the manufacturing process, and offering a solution that could be implemented in a timely fashion, the rework costs were minimized and the program was able to launch on schedule. William D. Newman ’86 has been named an influencer in the areas of enterprise performance management; governance risk and compliance; and sustainability by the Americas SAP User Group (ASUG) at a recent conference. In this role, Newman will work with customers of software company SAP to provide guidance and direction in areas of strategy, risk management, and sustainability. Newman serves as managing principal of Newport Consulting Group, an independent consulting firm with services in the areas of market growth and entry, sustainability management, strategy and program design and oversight. He also serves on the adjunct faculty at Northwood University in the area of international management studies. Dean Tullsen ’84, MS ’86, a professor of computer science as UC San Diego, was named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. Tullsen was recognized for “contributions to the architecture of high-performance processors.”
Jerry Yen ’88 was recently promoted to director of Global Commercial Insights and Strategy for Hewlett-Packard. He is based in San Diego, and balances his global business trips with exercise to keep up with his aquatics instructor wife, water polo son, and gymnast daughter.
1990s Gaurav Bhasin MS ’98, MBA ’06 was promoted to director, Technology Investment Banking at Duff and Phelps Securities (formerly Pagemill Partners). Since joining the firm in May 2008, Bhasin has closed over 15 transactions and represented both public and private sellers, buyers and strategic partners in a broad range of technology industries and sectors, including Internet, semiconductors, telecommunications/networking and software and services. Additionally, Bhasin has successfully completed complex cross-border transactions in geographical regions worldwide. He is interested in connecting with alumni (email@example.com). Jason K. Hui ’97, MS ’98, PhD ’02 has been elected as the chair of IEEE New Hampshire Section. Andrei Iancu ’89, MS ’90, JD ’96 has been named managing partner of Irell & Manella. He has long been involved with firm management, having previously served on the firm’s executive committee and currently chairs the hiring committee. Iancu will continue to practice full-time as a member of the firm’s litigation and intellectual property practice groups. He has represented some of the country’s most well-known companies in a variety of high-profile matters. His clients span the technology spectrum, including those associated with medical devices, multimedia, cell phones and telephony, the Internet, computer software and hardware, and video game systems.
2000s Maria Siqueira Araujo ’04, MS ’08 and her husband, Jeyson, are expecting their first child, due in May 2012. Youngjae Chun MS ’07, PhD ’09 was recently hired at the University of Pittsburgh’s industrial engineering department as a tenure-track assistant professor. The appointment started in September 2011. Benjamin Davis PhD ’09, is currently an assistant professor of chemical engineering at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He and his wife
Jessie Davis (JD ’06) are expecting their first child in June 2012. They are in their third year now living in New York City and very much enjoying academic life.
Jae lee ’04 and his wife Kathy Song ’04 (Sociology) welcomed Keira Skylar Lee into their family on December 16, 2011.
chris Guillory ’06 has moved to the East Village in Manhattan to pursue software engineering opportunities in finance.
Matt Pollard ’02 and his wife Danya welcomed the birth of their first child, Jackson Mason Pollard, in January 2012.
Victor Jovancevic MS ’05 recently moved to London to join a private equity and real estate investment company called Landmark Partners as a real estate associate. Oren Kaplan ’01 made a transition from software engineering to film directing. His debut feature project, The Hammer, tells the true story of the first deaf wrestler-turned-UFC Fighter to win an NCAA championship. The story unfolds in both English and American Sign Language and employs creative use of sound design and subtitles to provide the viewer with the experience of being deaf. The Hammer premiered at the AFI Film Festival where it won the Audience Award. It went on to be released in theaters in over 100 cities and is now available on DVD and VOD. You can check out the trailer at http://thehammerfilm.com.
2010s David Ng ’10 worked at the UCLA start-up company NanoH2O for 2 years. In 2011 he became a chemical process engineer at Chemical Engineering Partners, under Evergreen Oil. Jeffrey Su ’10 completed his master’s degree in information technology - very large information systems, from Carnegie Mellon University in December 2011. He is beginning work as a software development engineer with Microsoft’s Bing multimedia search team.
Infrastructure resIlIency continued from page 5 understand how the ground motion scales with the source parameters, magnitude, the distance from the source, the site, and various other factors. Then try to get the best models we can to describe that.” In Los Angeles, Stewart is working on the issues involving non-ductile concrete buildings — older buildings whose structures are made up of unreinforced concrete that predate standards set following the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. “The idea here is to, at a very broad scale, come up with methodologies to identify the buildings presenting the most pronounced collapse risk, the killer buildings.” Stewart’s long-term research interest is understanding the complex behavior associated with the interface between the foundation of a structure and the supporting soil. Stewart recently led a large, multi-disciplinary team in developing a national standard for modeling such effects, based on the best engineering Scott Brandenberg and the NEES@UCLA team on their science coupled with carefully executed experiresearch site in the Delta. ments performed at field-scale.
the sacramento/san joaquin delta is a large estuary that lies between the Central Valley and Suisun Bay at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. A system of levees, dating back to the mid 1800’s protects the Delta “islands” that lie mostly below sea level due to subsidence caused by oxidation and erosion of the unusual peaty organic soils. The Delta serves as the hub of California’s water delivery system that serves over 23 million residents, and provides the sole source of water for many communities. It also is near the eastern margin of the San Andreas fault system, and there are concerns that an earthquake could cause simultaneous flooding of many Delta islands, inundating farmland and wildlife habitat. This “big gulp” scenario would draw in saline water from the West, contaminating fresh water in the Delta to the point that water delivery could be halted. This would be a truly disastrous scenario that some have deemed “California’s Katrina.” However, very little is currently known about the seismic response of peaty organic soil. continued on page 32
photo courtesy s. brandenberg
Infrastructure resIlIency continued from page 31
To assess how levees would respond in an earthquake, associate professor scott brandenberg and Stewart are leading a project on the deformation potential of the levees. The research team conducted a field test last summer with one the NEES@UCLA eccentric mass shakers. “We are going to look at how the energy from the relatively stiff embankment was transmitted into the peat to help us understand how seismic energy coming up from the peat would be transmitted into a levee during an earthquake,” Brandenberg said. The research team is processing the data from that onsite test as well as conducting more research in the laboratory. They have also proposed a second field test with the water level closer to the surface, as well constructing a model levee to shake on a geotechnical centrifuge. “The improved knowledge of levee seismic vulnerability will be broadly applicable wherever these earth structures are founded on organic soils,” Brandenberg said. Brandenberg and Stewart are also involved in a study of levee performance during past earthquakes to help advise decision-making on important levees in California, and a laboratory testing program to study the behavior of peaty organic soils. associate professor ertugrul taciroglu is the principal investigator on a NEES@UCLA field project in Istanbul, Turkey. Collaborating with colleagues from Bogazici University and the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute (KOERI) the research team examined the behavior and performance of an older reinforced concrete building. Field testing began in 2010, on a standard four-story building with a concrete frame and masonry infill. The building was then stripped to its frame and retrofitted with improved seismic design. A structural monitoring system was set up in the building to monitor its ambient vibration. Then in December of that year, it was subjected to forced vibration testing. Ertugrul Taciroglu (left) and collaborators at the Istanbul building test site.
One of the things we sought to find out from test data was the contribution of masonry infill to the dynamic characteristics of this non-ductile reinforced concrete building,” Taciroglu said. “This in turn influences how the forces induced by an earthquake are distributed throughout the structural frame.” Much of Turkey lies between the Anatolian Plate and faults along it have produced earthquakes greater than magnitude 7.0, including a 7.2 quake in Eastern Turkey in 2011. “We found that the said contribution from infill walls to structure’s apparent natural vibration frequencies and damping are significant enough that they can not be ignored in forward numerical simulations,” he said. “This is very much in line with findings from other similar studies, and at least for buildings in Turkey, more field tests are warranted to bracket and model the infill behavior.” The Istanbul test building is not only typical of many residential, government and commercial buildings in Turkey, it’s also similar to pre-1973 buildings in California. Following the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, California state buildings codes were improved. However, many of these earlier buildings still remain throughout the state. these are just a few examples of research being conducted by UCLA engineers. Much of the engineering research related to earthquakes is very collaborative with UCLA faculty and students working with colleagues in California and around the world; in academia, government and industry. “We’re doing some good fundamental work,” Stewart said. “The world will hopefully be a better place because of these types of projects. And UCLA is right in the middle of it all.” Wallace added, “It’s exciting work that has an unusually high impact on engineering practice, and it enriches our classroom teaching.” To find out more about earthquake-engineering related research at UCLA, visit the Web site of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department: www.cee.ucla.edu and the NEES@UCLA Web site: www.nees.ucla.edu
photo courtesy e. taciroglu
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Published on Apr 26, 2012
Published bi-annually, UCLA Engineer magazine highlights the best of UCLA Engineering faculty, alumni and students with features on innovati...