Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Taking flight

More than 100 students in Mark Anderson's MAE 2 class, most of them freshmen, were out on Warren Field Monday December 8 to take part in a airplane launch competition. The students got together in teams of three and armed with glue guns and some ingenuity, built small motorized model airplanes out of balsa wood and foam board. The plane that would fly the longest would win. The catch was that the planes' motor only worked for 20 seconds.
"They learn about the dominant forces," Anderson said.
"Many said they realized how important weight is," he added.
After the winner was announced, all students got to launch their crafts at the same time, in a flurry of wings--and a few crashes.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Awesome pictures taken from more than 80,000 feet above the earth

We are in awe of these beautiful pictures taken by the Triton Rocket Club's space balloon at more than 80,000 feet above the earth.
The balloon is the club's testing platform for the electronics they plan to mount on a rocket hey will be launching in spring 2015. Their goal? To make UC San Diego the first university to launch a rocket in space.
In case you're wondering, you can see the Salton Sea in some of the pictures, as well as the Pacific Ocean.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

J.S. Chen elected as the President of Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI) of ASCE

J. S. Chen, William Prager Professor of Structural Engineering Department and Director of Center for Extreme Events Research at the UC San Diego Jacob School of Engineering, has been elected as the President of Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) effective October 1, 2015. 

The missions of EMI are to serve the engineering community through the development and application of engineering mechanics by anticipating and adapting to new challenges that will face tomorrow's engineers; to create an environment that facilitates professional growth to ensure that these future challenges will be met; to establish a presence at the forefront of new thrusts of mechanics by promoting the most innovative developments in the field, regardless of the discipline of the ultimate user; to provide a home not only for those involved in the traditional disciplines, but also for those involved with emerging areas of mechanics; and to promote the interdependence of engineering mechanics and other disciplines by providing an interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practicing engineers, industry representatives, citizen groups, public officials and others. Click here for more information about EMI.

JS Chen Research Interests

JS Chen's research interests are in computational solid mechanics and multiscale materials modeling. More specifically, he investigates
  • Finite Element and Meshfree Methods for nonlinear mechanics
  • Stabilized Galerkin and collocation meshfree methods
  • Multiscale modeling of materials defect
  • Computational methods development for simulation of fragment-impact processes and shock dynamics in homeland security applications
  • Simulation-based disaster prediction and mitigation
  • Computational geomechanics and earth moving simulation
  • Multiscale and reduced order modeling of molecular systems with applications to DNA modeling
  • Image based multiscale computational mechanics for skeletal muscles
  • Accelerated Reproducing Kernel Particle Method for continuum, plates, shells, composites, large deformation, and contact problems
  • Mathematical analysis of Galerkin and collocation meshfree methods
  • Computational methods development for modeling of material manufacturing processes such as metal forming, stamping, and extrusion
  • Wavelet Galerkin method in multiscale homogenization of heterogeneous materials
  • Mesoscopic modeling of grain growth and grain boundary migration
  • Adaptive multiscale meshfree method for solving Schrödinger equation in quantum mechanics
  • Modeling of microstructural evolution and local instability (such as wrinkling formation) in polycrystalline materials
  • Computational damage mechanics and strain localization
  • Computational methods for rubber-like incompressible materials
  • Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian method for large deformation and contact problems
  • Mixed finite element method based on multiple-field variational principle
  • Probabilistic finite element method for acoustic-structure interaction

 Center for Extreme Events Research

The Center for Extreme Events Research at UC San Diego has been established to offer solutions to a wide range of challenges associated with extreme events based on the most advanced computational and experimental technologies. Challenges we address are:


Our advanced research programs support predictive as well as retrofit strategies to make critical infrastructures blast resistant and capable of withstanding man-made and natural disasters. Expertise includes simulation-based assessment of residual strength and structural failure estimation after disastrous events.


We provide rapid assessment of damage after disastrous events using simplified and reduced-order computational and experimental techniques with the aid of available sensor data and visualization information. We also provide solutions for mitigation and retrofitting damaged infrastructure.


We work to prevent or mitigate brain and body injury due to bomb blasts, car crashes and collisions on the football field. This is of great importance to the military as well as civilian sectors. The state of the art computational capabilities at the Center for Extreme Events Research allow a thorough understanding of the mechanisms behind injury and provide guidance for design optimization for injury prevention.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ghenkis Khan's tomb in Mongolia,bats in Guatemala: Professor, alum discuss engineering in exploration

Ryan Kastner, a professor of computer science here at the Jacobs School, and Albert Lin, a Jacobs School alum and Qualcomm Institute research scientist, have some interesting items on their resumes, including exploring Mayan ruins in Guatemala while dodging bats, and horseback riding in the Mongolian plains to find the tomb of Ghenkis Khan. The two engineers were there to bring the latest technologies to archeological exploration sites.
In this episode of Computing Primetime, they recall some of their adventures, and the technologies behind them.
"We're at the beginning of an era of data driven exploration," Lin says.