News

  • Jan 17
    2018
    A pool of red dye is suspended in a coaster-sized maze filled with milk. Then liquid soap is dropped in, causing the dye to move, not just along the passages, but to actually “solve” the maze. It takes the appropriate directions, even making right-angle turns, until it exits the labyrinth. How? It’s the Marangoni effect, or, what happens when you put fluids of varying... read more »
  • Jan 11
    2018
    Mechanical Engineering Professor Tyler Susko has been named, with Professor Diba Mirza from the Department of Computer Science, co-recipient of the Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award. Given to junior faculty, the annual recognition goes to educators in the STEM fields who have shown excellence in their techniques, in their interactions with students, colleagues... read more »
  • Jan 4
    2018
    Professor Francesco Bullo has been elected to serve as 2018 President of the IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS). In this service role, he will oversee the manifold activities of this professional society of approximately 9K members, including IEEE CSS publications and conferences. This role is part of a three-year leadership role (2017 as President-Elect and 2019 as... read more »
  • Nov 14
    2017
    Professor Megan Valentine is featured in the website of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) with the article "Microhammer Aids Understanding of Brain Trauma". The article published in August 2017 relates to her collaboration with ME Professor Kimberly Foster and Dr. Adele Doyle of the Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI) at UC Santa Barbara to develop a... read more »
  • Nov 13
    2017
    Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Megan Valentine is featured in the November issue of the Biophysical Society Newsletter with an exciting article about her professional trajectory and the braod set of interdisciplinary projects in which she is involved. To read the original feature please visit the Biophysical Society Newsletter.  
  • Oct 27
    2017
    Photo: Emmanouela Filippidi with one of the iron-enriched samples A marine bivalve inspires researchers to find a new way to make stronger, more stretchy polymers A wide range of polymer-based materials, from tire rubber and wetsuit neoprene to Lycra clothing and silicone, are elastomers valued for their ability to flex and stretch without... read more »
  • Oct 24
    2017
    UCSB scholars develop a mathematical model to clarify how truth wins or loses in social groups  see it in politics time and time again: A powerful individual convinces a group of people to disregard a statement of fact — no matter how strong the supporting scientific evidence — and instead take up a false position. Now, two UC Santa Barbara scholars have analyzed the... read more »
  • Oct 16
    2017
    The Department of Mechanical Engineering held its annual Convocation Ceremony on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017. At this special event, our community had the great pleasure of honoring the winner of our Distinguished Alumnus Award, Dr Modjtaba “Moji” Ghodoussi class of ’91 in recognition for outstanding contributions to telemedicine and medical robotic systems and welcoming... read more »
  • Sep 18
    2017
    Our bodies, with all their different features and variations, are the result of well-orchestrated processes that dictate what and how cells develop into the organs and tissues that comprise our anatomy. Much of the information is genetic — the result of DNA — and biochemical signals also play a role. Yet another, and still somewhat mysterious, mechanism for... read more »
  • Sep 1
    2017
    A transit pod prototype designed and built by a team of student engineers from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) demonstrated the potential for active magnetic levitation during the second round Hyperloop competition last weekend. The California Chamber of Commerce is among the supporters of the UCSB Hyperloop II team, which was among 25 chosen from 150... read more »
  • Aug 17
    2017
    Roy Lunn, member of the Automotive Hall of Fame and friend to UCSB students, passed away on August 5th, 2017. In the spring of 2017, Roy was a mentor to a team of mechanical engineering students in the design of his electric “Peoples Car” intended to meet the needs of sustainability. Roy was a warm person and accomplished professional, and his ME197 Independent Studies... read more »
  • Aug 17
    2017
    For most of us, fluid dynamics and mechanics aren’t particularly significant — that is, until we’re white-knuckling it on a bumpy plane ride or trying to stay buoyant in unusually bubbly water. The way we navigate through air and water may one day be improved thanks to UC Santa Barbara researchers studying the complex properties and interactions of fluids. Fueled by... read more »
  • Aug 10
    2017
    This spring, UCSB graduate student Menaka Wilhelm was awarded a AAAS Mass Media Fellowship to ​​work for WIRED magazine in San Francisco as a science journalist. She's now finishing up her summer at WIRED, where she has reported on a wide range of scientific topics, including the atmospheric chemistry of wildfires and the epidemiology of the MERS virus. The full list of... read more »
  • Aug 7
    2017
    UC Santa Barbara mechanical engineer Paolo Luzzatto-Fegiz was frustrated. Once again, the delicate tip of the instrument he was using to measure water density — a conductivity probe — had broken, rendering the setup useless and his work in temporary limbo. Consisting of four small platinum electrodes housed in glass, the probe tip was thin and highly sensitive, capable... read more »
  • Aug 3
    2017
    With smart homes, self-driving cars and other technology making the world an ever more automated place, state-of-the-art automation and control has become essential. And UC Santa Barbara is among those leading the way. In its Academic Ranking of World Universities’ (ARWU) 2017 global ranking by academic subjects, the ShanghaiRanking places UCSB at No. 3 in the world in... read more »
  • Jul 21
    2017
    Imagine rescuers searching for people in the rubble of a collapsed building. Instead of digging through the debris by hand or having dogs sniff for signs of life, they bring out a small, air-tight cylinder. They place the device at the entrance of the debris and flip a switch. From one end of the cylinder, a tendril extends into the mass of stones and dirt, like a fast-... read more »
  • Jul 13
    2017
    Here’s a challenge for you. Build a pump that can deliver a drug to you automatically when you’re sick. Now make it smaller than a penny. Make it accurate enough that you can guarantee it’s not going to pump 1 ul more than desired (otherwise it might kill someone). Now make it cheap enough to mass-produce for millions of people and make sure it runs on a tiny battery. How... read more »
  • Jun 27
    2017
    UCSB engineer shows how minimizing fluid friction can make oceangoing vessels more fuel-efficient and reduce harmful emissions. Imagine walking from one side of a swimming pool to the other. Each step takes great effort — that’s what makes water aerobics such effective physical exercise. The resistance you feel is caused by fluid friction — or drag — and it is the same... read more »
  • Jun 12
    2017
    The College of Engineering extends congratulations to Igor Mezić, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, for receiving a major research award and a fellowship from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in recognition of his long-term contributions to applied mathematics.   Mezić and colleagues at Cal Tech, MIT, the University of... read more »
  • Jun 1
    2017
    Graduate student Aimal Khankhel in the Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program at UCSB has won the prestigious and competitive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for his research on developing new fundamental understanding of the role of mechanical signals in tissue development and maintenance. NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute... read more »
  • May 19
    2017
    On first glance, Botryllus schlosseri may appear to lack star power. The small, transparent marine organism, abundant along California’s coast, spends its life colonizing submerged surfaces — boats, docks, and even other animals. But Botryllus is more than just a humble hanger-on; as an invertebrate closely related to humans, it has... read more »