Undergraduate Engineering Seminar Series at UCSD

The California Space Grant Consortium has started a new seminar series on the UC San Diego campus aimed at introducing undergraduate Engineering students to funded research opportunities. This series was designed to inspire students to look beyond their classroom experiences into hands-on student mentor research through projects in in industry, on campus, at NASA, and with the California Space Grant Consortium. The seminars are described below.

For questions about this series please contact Becky Howard at (858) 822-1597.

OUR SEMINAR SERIES WILL RESUME IN OCTOBER, 2014

PAST SEMINARS

PHUONG TRUONG

Topic: Engineering, Exploration and Humanity (5/21/14)

To view the Powerpoint presentation click here.

Phuong discussed her journey as an undergraduate at UCSD and touched on the obstacles she had to overcome along the way. She relayed her experiences in research and the workplace including projects involving fresh water worms, DNA, near-space ballooning and Arduino workshops. Phuong provided a wealth of information designed to convey to students that picking the “right” major does not have to be the focus of the college experience. She addressed many of the misconceptions and pitfalls that undergraduates encounter and how to deal with them. Informational handouts were given to the audience outlining numerous involvement opportunities which can enhance the pursuit of a college degree.

CELINE LIONG:

Topic: The Impacts of Nanotechnology (4/23/14)

To view a video of the seminar click here.

Celine discussed the benefits of being involved in undergraduate research and the engineering community.   She examined how her participation in research has helped her to build a network of supportive mentors consisting of both peers and faculty, as well as prepare her for her future doctoral studies. She also covered how research and her involvement in the Society for Women Engineers (SWE) provided her with opportunities to travel, attend conferences and communicate the significance of her research projects to both academia and industry. Celine shared some very helpful tips about the steps to take on the way to grad school and some interesting pointers about the application process.

GRACE JANG

Topic: The Art of Networking in Engineering (2/19/14)

To view the presentation click here.

To View a video of the seminar click here.

Grace discussed the importance of diversity in an engineering environment and how each individual brings a unique perspective and background to a team. She related her experiences in various internships, outreach programs and engineering groups and the value of networking.

SAM AVERY

Igniting a Passion for Engineering (1/22/14)

Click here to view video of seminar

Click here to view presentation

Sam described his journey through undergraduate engineering studies at UCSD and how he has developed a passion for engineering. This included his work with the UCSD Engineers for Exploration on projects from damping helicopter frame vibrations to designing a quadcopter capable of landing on water. Sam  also shared  his experiences as lead of the UCSD Microgravity Team which performed biofuel droplet combustion research last summer on a reduced gravity flight at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Sam discussed his diverse experiences helping organize the first TEDxUCSD event and some practical tips and suggestions to help current undergraduate engineers have a more successful journey at UCSD.

TERRANCE YEE

Engineering Problem Solving (11/19/13)

Terrance Yee discussed dramatic and interesting troubleshooting and problem solving experiences he has had during his 24 year career as a spacecraft engineer and, more recently, as head of a new solar energy company. He described the harrowing tale of the post launch emergency on a U.S. Air Force experimental satellite and the heroic efforts made to recover the spacecraft. Mr. Yee examined how modern engineering forensics techniques are applied to find the root causes of failures in spacecraft hardware. He  also introduced some of his current projects at his own company, Black Sun, including a novel method for addressing orbital debris that has opportunities for collaboration with UCSD.

Click below for links to:

Presentation

Notes for presentation (includes links for more information for Slides 21-29).

Debris collision video (from Slide 22 in presentation).

Visualization of Chinese ASAT Test Debris Impact on Low Earth Orbit (from Slide 23 in presentation).

JEFFREY FRIESEN

Tensegrity Robotics (10/30/13)

Click here to view video of seminar

Click here to view presentation

Jeffrey Friesen  discussed his research experiences at UCSD as well as the design and control of robotic systems with a focus on a tensegrity robot named DuCTT which was designed during an internship at NASA Ames in summer 2013. The robot is designed to climb through duct systems with two linked tetrahedral frames, each containing a linear actuator, connected by a system of eight actuated cables.  Because the control of tensegrity robots is extremely challenging due to the highly coupled dynamics of tensegrity systems, Jeff also touched on many of the current approaches to controlling such robots and the main problems that must be overcome to make such robots functional.

TIM WHEELER

Out Of This World (5/29/13)

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Tim Wheeler  covered rockets, drones & near-space balloons bringing to light opportunities available to engineering students at UCSD. He touched upon research with faculty, student competition teams & industry internships, specifically research under Dr. John Kosmatka, UCSD Near Space Balloon Team, UCSD Autonomous Airplane Team, and an internship at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). “Out of this World” was meant to encourage and empower students to apply themselves and take advantage of the opportunities which surround them.

DEEPAK ATYAM

NASA is Awesome–So Are Wind Tunnels (5/8/13)

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Deepak Atyam discussed funded research opportunities, his experiences at NASA Centers working on projects such as Curiosity and the Mars 2018 three-stage mission.  He also discussed research he has conducted at Langley Research Center in summer 2012 that concluded in a technical paper presented and awarded at the AIAA Region VI Student Conference.