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SUMMER NEWS IDEA Engineering Student Center SUMMER ENGINEERING INSTITUTE Another incredible summer and with record breaking attendees!

WELCOME NEW BOARD AND FACULTY IDEA Industry Board gains new insights and the student center expands academic supports



FEATURED Bethany McCormick

We’re excited to welcome Bethany McCormick to the IDEA Engineering Student Center Industry Board of Advisors. She currently works at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and has already become a valuable asset to the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Summer Engineering Institute

Summer Engineering Institute 2017 was an exceptional program and is quickly becoming one of the most impactful models for student engagement and a valuable tool for improving retention among our underrepresented student communities.

Students in Aerospace

SEDS, Rocket Propulsion Laboratories, and Yonder Dynamics all made their way to UC Irvine for the 2017 Aerospace Symposium and Mars Society Conference. Base 10, NCRF, and Virgin Galactic hosted with a keen interest in diversifying the pipeline to professional industry.

Transfer PrEP 2017

As the Jacobs School of Engineering accepts more Transfer Students, the IDEA Center is expanding services and programs to meet their needs.

Triton Engineering Student Council

HACKXX had a successful launch in the lead up to SD Hacks 2017. TESC also made facilities improvements and expanded programs in the year ahead. Welcome the new TESC President and connect on social media to stay engaged!

New Associate Faculty Director

Congratulations and welcome to Dr. Hutchinson as the new associate faculty director for the IDEA Engineering Student Center. She will be leading efforts focused on Jacobs School’s undergraduate research program.

We might be the #1 Engineering Student Center in the world. HACK XX Spring 2017 hosted by TESC


Ring Ceremony, June 2017

Summer Egnineering Institute 2017

Transfer PrEP at J Craig Venter Insitute, 2017




SEDS & RPL are launching into the race to Mars.



Bethany (Beth) M. McCormick attended Michigan State University where she received a B.S. in chemical engineering. She started her career as a refinery engineer at Chevron followed by a position as the manager of Environmental Health and Safety at Raychem Corporation in Menlo Park. She is currently the recruiting and diversity manager for Engineering at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Since joining LLNL in 2006, Beth has created, developed and executed innovative programs in diversity and inclusion, mentoring, leadership and team-building for engineers and scientists. Beth describes herself as a “super collaborator” as her strategic and creative thinking has been the source of many new programs inside and outside the lab. In 2014, Beth saw an opportunity to develop a veteran program with a local community college. This small program

has now expanded across the Bay Area and the country. Known as the Vet’s to Tech program, it has been recognized as a best practice by the White House, the 2015 US News STEM Conference and in 2017 received the Bay Area Innovation award for best practice in education. Beth is the primary point of contact between UCSD and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. She is excited to be the newest member of IDEA. Although she oversees all university and diversity recruitment programs for LLNL Engineering, her heart is with the development of the many student interns hosted by LLNL each summer and expanding the opportunities, in general, for students at UCSD. Beth serves as a board member for Career Services at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and is an executive board member of the Alameda County Workforce Development Board.

Students from Rocket Propulsion Laboratories (RPL) and Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) represented UC San Diego and the Jacobs School of Engineering at the Far Mars Society & Base10 Space Symposium late this summer. The teams traveled to UC Irvine and spent time sharing about their upcoming projects developing Liquid Oxygen - Methane Rocket engines. You can view the test for SEDS Rocket from 2016 on their Youtube Channel. The four-day international conference brought together leading scientists, engineers, policymakers, government officials, aerospace industry representatives, policymakers and journalists to talk about the latest scientific discoveries, technological advances and political-economic developments that could help pave the way for the human exploration and settlement of the planet Mars. Base 10 worked with partners such as the National College Resources Foundation to address the greatest challenges, and showcase innovative solutions, to solving the aerospace talent pipeline crisis. The objective of the symposium and expo is to bring industry, academia, philanthropy and students together around the common goal of developing the talent pipeline (workforce and entrepreneurs) required to build and run the technology and launch systems needed to get to space. The teams enjoyed their time and made many worthwhile connections. Keep up with their progress online at

“Oddly enough, I actually think the odds [of a Mars colony] are pretty good. At this point I am certain there is a way. I’m certain success is one of the possible outcomes for establishing a self sustaining Mars colony, in fact a growing Mars colony. I’m certain that it’s possible. Whereas until maybe a few years ago I was unsure whether success was even one of the possible outcomes.” - Elon Musk, 2016

About Rocket Propulsion Laboratories (RPL) The Rocket Propulsion Laboratory is a student organization at the University of California, San Diego founded in the Spring of 2017. We are a team of dedicated and talented engineering students with a passion for aerospace design. The RPL team is always looking to bring on the top talent at UCSD. We welcome all undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at UCSD. About Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) SEDS UCSD draws its members from a multi-disciplinary group, motivated to advance the new space movement. We are united by the thought that the next logical step in human civilization is not only to explore, but to evolve into a space-faring civilization. SEDS UCSD was founded in 2012 by Deepak Atyam, Joshua Benedictos, Kenneth Benedictos, and Benjamin Liu. Together, they created Tri-D, the first 3D printed rocket engine by a student organization.

Rocket Propulsion Laboratories (RPL) Team

SEDS Vulcan-1 Rocket


Dr. Hutchinson Professor Hutchinson is an earthquake engineering theoretician and experimentalist who has published significant papers in leading structural, civil, and earthquake engineering journals. In addition, she has creatively applied information technology to the evaluation of earthquake damage to structures, and her findings have been reported in publications that focus on computing, computer applications, instrumentation and measurement. Results from her soil-foundation structural analysis and seismic performance of non-structural building components have also helped in the design of these critical components. Tara Hutchinson received a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from UC Davis in 2001 and was immediately named assistant professor at UC Irvine. Her research has focused on performance evaluation of structural and foundation components and systems. She also applies information technology to evaluate structural damage to civil infrastructure by earthquakes and other extreme environmental loads. An energetic educator, she received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research, a Faribors Maseeh Teaching Award, and an Excellence in Undergraduate Education Award at UC Irvine. “Undergraduate research is something near and dear to us all - and I am looking forward to helping implement new ideas to widen its reach to students.” Her efforts will support undergraduate students as they collaborate on projects and research with faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students. These research experiences allows students to get a hands-on learning, make connections with faculty, explore a specific area of interest and develop academic and career goals.

CHEI serves as a catalyst, bringing together an interdisciplinary team of students, postdoctoral researchers, research scientists, staff and faculty in collaboration with the public and private sector, to transform how world cultural heritage is assessed, monitored, preserved and restored. Imagine the overall impact on cultural identity if artifacts that embody the history of a country are damaged or destroyed. Now expand this to a global scale. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines heritage as “…our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.” Whether in the public domain or in private hands, cultural heritage sits at the nexus of science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics (STEAM), as well as commerce, diplomacy, religion and more. Recent events again demonstrated the fragile state of our world cultural heritage and built infrastructure in the face of natural and man-made disasters. These disasters, in addition to the ravages of time, pollution, theft, fatigue, overexposure, mismanagement, and the unintended consequences of existing efforts to preserve our cultural patrimony, have all taken a major toll on monuments, structures, sculptures, paintings, archaeological and other artifacts that constitute cultural heritage. Now, engineering offers the best hope for improving stewardship of these cultural assets and reversing decades or even centuries of damage.


for your generous support.

Education: Ph.D. in Civil (Structural & Geotechnical) Engineering, UC Davis (2001) M.S. in Civil (Structural) Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1995) B.S. in Civil Engineering, San Jose State University (1994)




SEI 2017

This year, we hosted our biggest Transfer PrEP to date, with 71 incoming transfer students participating in this program. Students indicated that our PrEP Leaders were excellent resources for information and helpful in facilitating a valuable experience. Among the favorite parts of the program were Lunch with Industry & Alumni and the Student & Cultural Center tours. Some of the most useful information came from our partners in Financial Aid. Transfer PrEP participants also enjoyed the opportunity to visit the J Craig Venter Research Institute. Institute scientists published the first diploid human genome and the ongoing Global Ocean Sampling Expedition which has thus far uncovered more than 60 million genes and thousands of novel protein families from organisms found in sea water. We continue to support our transfer engineering student population during the academic year through TEAM (Transfer Engineering Academic Mentorship). We strongly encourage transfer students to participate!

Summer Engineering Institute completed a hugely successful second year with a 50% increase in cohort size and outstanding early feedback in evaluations. The IDEA Engineering Student Center is excited for year three.

Participants at Transfer PrEP{ 2017.

Participants at Transfer PrEP 2017.


Transition into the IDEA Scholars Program for 2017-2018

Summer engineering programs are critical elements of many comprehensive programs designed to increase the recruitment and retention of underrepresented undergraduate engineering students. Research findings indicate several junctures on the route to an engineering career where talented and college-admitted underrepresented groups are displaced. One such juncture includes the transition period between graduating from high school and entering into college. An assessment report is being prepared that will examine the student learning outcomes from the 5-week Summer Engineering Institute, as well as the students’ curricular and co-curricular experience throughout the duration of the 2017 program. The purpose of the report is to quantitatively and qualita-


Inaugural cohort of the Academic Community for Engineering Success

tively understand how the program impacted the students’ academic and social integration to the engineering field, the students’ academic skill development, their personal and professional growth, and the students’ sense of belonging to UC San Diego and the culture of engineering.” Ninety-four incoming engineering students participated in the 2017 Summer Engineering Institute (SEI) - a 50% increase from last year. SEI students earned six-credits towards their engineering degrees and participated in technical, professional, and skill building workshops. SEI students also had a full social calendar with nightly activities including a talent show, food olympics, and beach bonfire. All SEI students enrolled in ENG 10,


Fundamentals of Engineering Applications, where they worked in teams, applying mathematical skills to solve practical engineering problems and create a design project. Students showed off their design projects at the SEI closing ceremony and design competition. The winning team’s design featured sunglasses with built in proximity sensor for aiding visually impaired individuals. Fifty-six SEI students will become part of the IDEA Engineering Student Center’s IDEA Scholars program, and 22 SEI students will make up the inaugural cohort of the Academic Community for Engineering Success (ACES) Scholars Program.

TESC 17-18

Yacoub Oulad-Daoud is already leading the student organization into an exciting year. The Triton Engineering Student Council was hard at work all summer long as they planned for SD Hacks. Students from UC San Diego work together with students from UCLA, USC, and Cal to develop innovative projects for the year ahead. Qualcomm, SPAWAR, and Amazon are only a few of the partners who make this event come to life. TESC revamped their mission, clarified their vision, and reassessed their values before launching into the year. They made significant facilities improvements that will make work for student organizations both easier and safer. Follow their progress at and connect with them on Linkedin of Facebook to learn about opportunities to get engaged. Next up for the team is a successful entry to Fall Quarter and shifting gears after SD Hacks to focus on the Disciplines in Engineering Career Fair (DECaF).

Participants at HACK XX hoted by TESC


“we can take risks and not have to suffer all of the consequences. It won’t always be that way though. Nobody thinks they are old…until they are.”


- Ryan Hill, TESC President

Ring Ceremony San Diego, Calif., June 17, 2017 – more than 400 engineering seniors from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering gathered on Warren Mall after a long day of commencement ceremonies. The students gathered to participate in the Jacobs School’s annual Ring Ceremony — a rite of passage in which engineering students recite an oath promising to uphold the integrity of their field and use their craft to do good, and then receive a ring to symbolize the promise. The Keynote speaker was Jacobs School alumnus Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha (Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, ‘96). Dr. Modha is an IBM Fellow and IBM Chief Scientist for Brain-inspired Computing at IBM Research. He advanced a theme of changing the world by imagining the impossible and share insights, “First, you must identify gradients.” A gradient is an engineering term that refers to an imbalance, or the difference between two things. “Gradients”, he said, “are the sources of opportunity. Take, for example, a water wheel, which converts the energy gradient of water flowing from high to low into useful work. Similarly, your task is to leverage the gradients that exist in society today – social, economic, political, etc. – and turn them into opportunities.” In


Modha’s case, the gradient that led to the notion of brain-inspired computers, the innovation for which he is most widely known, was the observation that there was a billion-fold disparity between the function, size, energy and speed of the brain and today’s computers. “The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says that all gradients efface over time, leaving increased entropy in their wake,” he said. “It is not possible to defy this law over space and time. However, within the span of your lifetime, it is indeed possible to engineer means by which gradients produce useful work.” Modha concluded with: “So let us look the 2nd Law in the eye and say not today, my friend, you are dealing with a graduate of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering!” (Read the entire keynote on Darmendra Modha’s Brain-inspired Computing blog.) Darmendra Modha’s Brain-inspired Computing blog.. You can find more details and information about Ring Ceremony 2018 at the website: http://jacobsschool.ucsd. edu/idea/programs/ringceremony.shtml.

SD Hacks

h t t p s : / / w w w. s d h a c k s . i o /

School-Wide Award Winners • Faculty of the Year - Dr. Christine Alvarado • Student of the Year - Ryan Hill • Student of the Year - Alan Puah • Student of the Year - Yajur Maker • IDEA Community Leadership - Jose Ramirez Department Wide Awards • MAE - Nathaniel Goldberg • ECE - Michael Unanian • BENG - Vivek Jani • CSE - Kyle Buzsaki • CSE - Kyle Huynh • CENG - Mohmmad Ayman Alkhadra • CENG - Isaac Rozen • NANO - Stephanie Smith Special Department Awards • ECE - Andrew Saad • ECE - Christopher Ellis

“We provide all hackers with expertise, hardware and software so they can build their dreams. We’re all here as fellow mentors, 4am-ers, and friends. We strive to make each SD Hacks a memorable learning experience for all.” A hackathon is an event, typically lasting multiple days, in which a large number of people meet to collaboratively build out their ideas using technology. Any college or high school students over 18 years of age from anywhere in the world are eligible. This includes graduate students, but be sure to understand any agreements you’ve made with your university with regards to research and IP. If you are enrolled at a UC campus but not yet 18, you are also eligible to participate. When: October 20th-22nd Where: RIMAC, UC San Diego

PEI 2017

Connect with us! e v e n t s / 2 0 1 7/ p e i /

This year, the UC San Diego chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), will be joined by Women in Computing (WIC), and Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) in organizing their annual Professional Evening with Industry (PEI). Showcase your company and meet talented Jacobs School of Engineering students, including student leaders and members from NSBE, SWE, SHPE, WIC, and oSTEM. Last year’s PEI was attended by 24 sponsoring companies and with close to 500 registered students.

We value your time and attention so to show that we care, we’ve revised our social media strategy. We’re focusing efforts on developing an online community for engineering on Instagram and Facebook. That means we’re dropping other platforms like Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest. Connect with us and highlight the IDEA Center as a connection you want to hear from. Facebook will be the place to find info and opportunities for engagement at events. Instagram (@ucsdidea) will provide a view into the world of engineering at UC San Diego, a place unlike any other!

When: October 30th Where: Price Center, UC San Diego





Idea Center Summer Newsletter 2017  

This is a special extended summer release from the IDEA Engineering Student Center. Read in-depth to learn more about exciting initiatives a...