02/02/11 — In the south India city of Hubli, turning on the tap is no easy task. Residents frequently skip work, postpone errands or keep children home from school in anticipation of the precious-but notoriously unreliable-arrival of water along urban pipelines. Missing a delivery can translate into days without household water. “Literally, people wait around their house until the water comes on,” says Anu Sridharan (B.S'09, M.S'10 CEE). Sridharan is part of a Berkeley-based student team pursuing a novel-but surprisingly simple-fix to what is a common occurrence in the developing world. Their project, called NextDrop, deploys ubiquitous mobile phones to alert residents when water is flowing in a neighborhood.
12/14/10 — More than 9 million South African children walk to school every day. Three million walk for more than an hour, and in the rural countryside, some walk more than four hours. “It's madness,” says Louis de Waal (M.S'72 CEE), who grew up in rural South Africa and spent his professional life designing and building thousands of kilometers of roads there, many of which opened up inaccessible places deep in the country's interior. Now retired, De Waal is on a mission to improve mobility for all South Africans, especially in rural areas. The goal, says the 73-year-old Cape Town resident, is to keep children in school and help adults reach work more easily, ultimately easing poverty and slowing the flood of people forced to move to urban areas for work.
10/20/10 Nan Yang Technological University — The National Research Foundation announced today the addition of two new research centers to the CREATE (Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise) program. UC Berkeley's program will conduct research on "Building Efficiency and Sustainability in the Tropics." Professor S. Shankar Sastry, dean of engineering at UC Berkeley, said, "The M3 (Measuring, Modelling and Mitigation) agenda for energy consumption of new and existing buildings represents an exciting fusion of some of the most novel emerging technologies."
06/17/10 BusinessWire — Yissum Research Development Company Ltd., the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, introduces solid organic electric battery based upon treated potatoes. This simple, sustainable, robust device can potentially provide an immediate inexpensive solution to electricity needs in parts of the world lacking electrical infrastructure. A group of scientists, including Prof. Boris Rubinsky at UC Berkeley, study the electrolytic process in living matter for use in various applications, including the generation of electric energy for self-powered implanted medical electronic devices
03/03/10 — Be it the economy, climate change or health care reform, what are we not worried about these days? There are so many weighty priorities on our minds and, in fact, the College of Engineering is working to address many of these. But I hope this issue of Innovations helps you step back to see an even bigger picture.
03/03/10 — Inventor, researcher and educator Boris Rubinsky has taken his show on the road. During three prolific decades in Berkeley's labs and classrooms, the professor of bioengineering and mechanical engineering stacked up nearly 40 patents and cofounded half a dozen startups in surgical techniques, bionic technology and imaging. Now Rubinsky is finding inspiration in his new role as health care advocate for the economically disadvantaged, building endorsement for his conviction that inexpensive but scientifically advanced technologies can improve health care for underserved populations.
03/03/10 — The boys from the Amazonian orphanage decided to name themselves Los Científicos. The Scientists. It was a small but monumental achievement for Rick Henrikson and Richard Novak, two Berkeley bioengineering graduate students. The pair cofounded Future Scientist, a tiny but highly motivated aid organization whose mission is to teach science and practical technical skills to young people in rural, developing regions. Last August, Novak, Henrikson and nine other Future Scientists traveled to Peru for their first pilot project: teaching a two-week crash course on pathogenic microorganisms, disease transmission, optics and solar-powered electricity to schoolchildren living along the Amazon River. This slideshow tells their story.
03/03/10 — After 70 years in environmental engineering, Harvey Ludwig (B.S.'38, M.S.'42 CE) has learned a thing or two about the field. Ludwig ran his own environmental engineering consulting firm in the United States for 26 years before moving to Thailand to start a company that consulted on water and sanitation projects there and in other developing countries around Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It was an eye-opening experience, and ever since, Ludwig has freely shared his insights on how to translate Western technologies into best practices for emerging markets.
03/01/10 The Washington Post — The earthquake, centered 200 miles southwest of the capital, was one of at least a dozen in Chile since 1973 that were larger than magnitude 7. The quakes release stresses between two tectonic plates that are moving past each other at a rate roughly one-third faster than the plates that define the San Andreas fault in California, according to Jonathan Bray, a professor of geotechnical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley.
02/27/10 Gwinnett Daily Online — Chile's preparedness and the extent of Saturday's earthquake explain why the loss of life and property was far less than the death and destruction Haiti's less powerful quake caused last month, experts say. "The Haiti earthquake was shallower, the high population area was closer to the fault that ruptured and, very importantly, the buildings and infrastructure in Chile are designed considering earthquake effects - whereas Haiti had no building codes,'' said Jonathan Bray, an earthquake engineering professor with the University of California, Berkeley.
02/09/10 ABC News — Navy Commander Scott Shackleton, fifth cousin of the great explorer and assistant dean for capital projects and facilities in the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, found his opportunity to follow in Sir Ernest Shackleton's footsteps. For the last three weeks, Cmdr. Shackleton served as an operations officer at McMurdo Station, near the Antarctic coast, as part of this year's Operation Deep Freeze, the annual resupply mission for the research personnel who live on Antarctica year-round.
01/26/10 Oakland Tribune — Haiti's construction industry is to blame for hundreds of thousands of deaths in a tragedy that will repeat itself unless there are changes to building practices there, a Berkeley engineer said Tuesday. In one of the first technical reports on this month's earthquake, Eduardo Fierro, president of BFP Engineers, presented his preliminary findings at UC Berkeley following a week of reconnaissance in Haiti that started just two days after the magnitude 7.0 quake struck Jan. 12.
01/15/10 CBS News — A UC Berkeley engineer who founded a non-profit that builds earthquake-resistant homes in developing nations says many of the deaths in the devastating temblor in Haiti could have been avoided. Her organization, Build Change, has helped to design and build more than 5,300 earthquake-resistant homes in China and Indonesia. Hausler plans to go to Haiti in late February or March so her group will not be in the way of search and rescue efforts.
11/02/08 — According to the UN, lack of access to electricity and fuel in rural areas contributes to 1.6 million deaths per year and perpetuates poverty. For engineers and energy suppliers working in this environment, bringing power to these populations requires a multi-pronged effort, not just to build the grids themselves, but also to plug into the human factors of operating within a particular culture and under what is usually a cash-strapped government. Christian Casillas, a Ph.D. student advised by Professor Daniel Kammen in the Energy and Resources Group, is balancing these two sides of the problem, working out the details of a roadmap to bring reliable electricity to the fishing villages along Nicaragua's eastern coast.
04/02/08 — Yes, it is a bold foreign partnership that has generated considerable controversy. But it is also an unprecedented opportunity for UC Berkeley to get involved at ground level in building a new research university, performing stellar multinational research, and facilitating constructive relationships in the Middle East.
01/02/08 — In remote villages along Nicaragua's Caribbean coast, the seemingly simple act of switching on a light is anything but simple. It's usually impossible. Mathias Craig (B.S'01 CEE) wants to change that. Craig, 29, is cofounder of blueEnergy, a nonprofit organization that is harnessing the power of the wind to illuminate homes, schools and rural clinics in an impoverished region where nearly 80 percent of the population have no electricity. Since 2004, blueEnergy has brought wind turbines to six Nicaraguan communities, providing electricity to some 1,500 people.
01/02/08 — As someone who came to Berkeley 30 years ago as an international student, I was pleased to see that international enrollments are up significantly for the first time since the post-September 11 backlash cast a chill over immigrant-friendly policies at U.S. colleges and universities.
12/02/07 — Using a device that's roughly the size and price of an upscale cell phone, Berkeley Engineers hope to halt the spread of diseases afflicting millions in the developing world. Dubbed SeroScreen, the handheld instrument will test blood and other bodily fluids for the presence of infection and deliver an on-site diagnosis within minutes for influenza, skin infections, mosquito-borne viruses and other ailments.