First Elusive Lightning-Quick Waveforms Captured

In March of 2005, researchers have for the first time been able to capture and digitize electrical signals at the rate of one trillion times per second, a discovery that may help scientists develop defenses against high-powered microwave weapons attacks and allow physicists to peer into the fundamental building blocks of nature. Research led by: Professor Bahram Jalali and Graduate Researcher Yan Han.

New Method for Generating Human Bone

In April of 2005, researchers discovered and isolated a natural molecule that can be used to heal fractures and generate new bone growth in patients who lack it, the most significant advancement in bone regeneration since the 1960’s. The research was led by professor Ben Wu.

Institute for Cell Mimetic Space Exploration

In June of 2005, UCLA Engineering is awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an automated, chip-based metabolic analysis tool to aid in more easily extracting and measuring metabolites in cells.

Water Technology Research Center

In June of 2005, UCLA Engineering forms a new Water Technology Research Center that will develop technologies to turn seawater into fresh water and to study methods that will minimize environmental impacts associated with desalination — the removal of salt and other pollutants from water — and will seek to lower the cost of desalination by integrating it with innovative energy generation.

Affordable Alternative Energy Resource

In October of 2005, researchers led by professor Yang Yang hope to meet the growing demand with a new and more affordable way to harness the sun’s rays: using solar cell panels made out of everyday plastics. An innovative new plastic solar cell they hope eventually can be produced at a mere 10 to 20 percent of the current cost of traditional cells, making the technology more widely available.


Terrorism vs. Privacy

In January of 2006, landmark software developed by researchers led by Professor Rafail Ostrovsky and graduate researcher William Skeith may ease some privacy concerns by making the tracking of terrorist communications over the Internet more efficient, and more targeted, than ever before.

New Heart Valve for Children Developed

In February of 2006, Children with congenital heart defects may soon have an alternative to invasive open heart surgery that will mean less time in the hospital, a quicker recovery and no need to break open the breastbone. Using a super-elastic, shape-memory metal alloy called “thin film nitinol,” engineers are developing a collapsible heart valve for children that can be loaded into a catheter, inserted into a vein in the groin area, guided into place and then deployed in a precise location within the heart. As the valve is released from the catheter, it springs back to its original shape and begins to function. The research is led by professor Gregory Carman and researcher Lenka Stepan.

Western Institute of Nanoelectronics

In March of 2006, UCLA, along with the UCB, UCSB and Stanford have teamed up to launch what will be one of the world’s largest joint research programs focusing on the pioneering technology of “spintronics” with its primary headquarters located at UCLA Engineering. The institute’s purpose is to explore and develop advanced research devices (circuits and nanosystems with performance beyond conventional devices, which are based on the current industry standard) complementary metal oxide semiconductors  with the help of the best interdisciplinary talents in the field of nanoelectronics in the world.

Three Highly Interconnected Nanoscale Architectures Using Spin-Wave Technology

In May of 2006, UCLA Engineering researchers announce a critical new breakthrough in semiconductor spin-wave research by creating three novel nanoscale computational architectures using a technology they pioneered called “spin-wave buses” as the mechanism for interconnection. The three nanoscale architectures are not only power efficient, but also possess a high degree of interconnectivity. The research is led by professors Mary Mehrnoosh and Kang Wang and researcher Alexander Khitun.

Unhealthy Bacteria Found in L.A. Area Beaches

In May of 2006, a new study by UCLA Engineering researchers led by professor Jennifer Jay and graduate researcher Christine Lee shows that bacteria known as Escerichia coli and enterococci are prevalent in the top layer of sand at some of the area’s most popular beaches, even when the surrounding ocean water tests may test clean.

Silicon Photonics Devices

In June of 2006, professor Bahram Jalali and researchers Sasan Fathpour and Kevin Tsia develop a novel approach to silicon devices that combines light amplification with a photovoltaic — or solar panel — effect, which can be achieved with zero power consumption, while power is generated in the process.

Earthquake Safety Research

In August of 2006, civil and environmental engineering professors Jonathan Stewart and John Wallace and their team of researchers plan to laterally load a full-scale $1 million bridge foundation near Los Angeles International Airport to the point of failure in a quest to improve engineers’ knowledge about how bridges react in earthquakes.

New Online Master’s Degree Program

In September of 2006, a new self-supporting master’s degree program at the UCLA School of Engineering is established to allow top-notch engineers to earn an advanced degree while pursuing their careers. The Master of Science in Engineering Online (MSOL) professional-degree program will enable engineers and computer scientists the needed flexibility to enhance their skills — and they won’t have to quit their jobs to do it.

Revolutionary Nanotech Water Desalination Membrane

In November of 2006, researchers led by assistant professor Eric Hoek announced they have developed a new reverse osmosis (RO) membrane that promises to reduce the amount of energy used and the cost of seawater desalination and wastewater reclamation by using a uniquely cross-linked matrix of polymers and engineered nanoparticles designed to draw in water ions but repel nearly all contaminants compared to the current class of commercial RO membranes that simply filter water through a dense polymer film and clog up over time.


Master’s of Science in Engineering Online Program

In fall of 2007, the inaugural class of 57 students starts instruction in the new Master’s of Science in Engineering Online Program (MSOL).

Cyber Round-the-Clock Care

In February of 2007, a new CustoMed medical monitoring device, developed by a UCLA engineering professor in conjunction with UCLA neuroscientist, promises patients experiencing neuromotor impairment as a result of traumatic injury or chronic disease the ease and affordability of substantially shortened therapy and recovery times and the ability to complete their therapy at home while still under the watchful supervision of their doctor avoiding unnecessary and costly trips to the doctor or therapist. The research is led by professor Majid Sarrafzadeh.

Quantum Electronic Systems

In February of 2007, UCLA Engineering teams up with the leading researchers of five other universities on a $6 million award from the U.S. Defense Department to exploit precise biological assembly for the study of quantum mechanics in nanoparticle arrays. By utilizing biology to precisely control size, spacing, composition and coupling in the arrays, the researchers will be able to examine the effects of electronic, magnetic and optical interactions at much smaller dimensions that will open a wide range of potential novel fabrication techniques, physical structures and architectures for electronics than the past. The research is led by professor Kang Wang.

High-Frequency Submillimeter Waves

In April of 2007,  professor M.C. Frank Chang achieves a new world record in high-frequency submillimeter waves at a 324-gigahertz frequency that was accomplished by using a voltage-controlled oscillator in a 90-nanometer complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuit. The signal generator, which produces frequencies nearly 70 percent faster than other CMOS oscillators, paves the way for a new generation of submillimeter devices that could someday be used in high-resolution sensors on spacecraft, and here on Earth in a new class of highly integrated and lightweight imagers that could literally cut through fog and see through clothing fabrics.

Next Generation of LED Panels

In May of 2007, professor Yang Yang and graduate researcher Jinsong Huang have achieved the highest lumens per watt ever recorded for a red phosphorescent LED using a new combination of plastic, or polymer, infused liquid – and at half the current cost. This means that visually, an LED soon will be lighter, thinner, and have a higher quality display.

Alternative-Fuel Vehicles

In October of 2007, associate professor Vidvuds Ozolins and postdoctoral researcher Alireza Akbarzade develop a model that could help engineers and scientists speed up the development of hydrogen-fueled vehicles by identifying promising hydrogen-storage materials and predicting favored thermodynamic chemical reactions through which hydrogen can be reversibly stored and extracted.

Rogue Waves

In December of 2007, professor Bahram Jalali and grad student Daniel Solli succeeds in creating and capturing oceanic rogue waves traveling in the open ocean by discovering similar optical rogue waves propagating through optical fiber. Both waves obey similar mathematics allowing researchers to study maritime waves in a laboratory environment by using this newly developed novel detection method.


More Efficient Biofuels

In January of 2008, professor James C. Liao and postdoctoral researcher Shota Atsumi develop a new method for producing next-generation biofuels by genetically modifying Escherichia coli bacteria to be an efficient biofuel synthesizer. The method could lead to mass production of these biofuels.

Plastic Solar Cell Fabrication

In February of 2008, professor Yang Yang and researchers Jinsong Huang and Gang Li announce  the invention of a new method for the fabrication of organic polymer solar cells by using an electronic-glue-based lamination process, combined with interface modification, to create a one-step method for semi-transparent polymer solar cell fabrication. The method eliminates the need for the expensive and time-consuming high-vacuum process used in fabrication, and the resulting device has the advantage of being low-cost and achieving high transparency for various applications.

New Method for Protecting Private Data

In April of 2008, associate computer science professor Amit Sahai and his colleagues have devised a new data-protection method they hope will put Internet criminals out of business by using a mathematical system, known as functional encryption, that will not only help to simplify the encryption of data in servers but will also allow access to the data in an intuitive way, making it much harder for hackers to gain access to sensitive information but much easier for programmers to secure it.

World’s Fastest Barcode Reader

In September of 2008, engineers led by professor Bahram Jalali and postdoctoral researcher Keisuke Goda design a barcode reader that is nearly a thousand times faster than any device currently in use. The new imaging technique enables the detection of ultrafast, non-repetitive transient phenomena in real time and can produce one-dimensional bar codes with a frame rate on the order of 25 million frames per second.

Polymer Solar Cells with Higher Efficiency Levels

In November of 2008, professor Yang Yang describes the design and synthesis of a new polymer for use in solar cells that has significantly greater sunlight absorption and conversion capabilities than previous polymers.

Higher-Density Biofuels

In December of 2008, professor James Liao successfully modifies Escherichia coli, a bacterium often associated with food poisoning, to produce unusually long-chain alcohols essential in the creation of biofuels that pack more energy into a smaller space and are easier to separate from water, making them less volatile and corrosive than the commercially available biofuel ethanol.

Cell Phones Improving Health Monitoring

In December of 2008, a prototype cell phone has been constructed that is capable of monitoring the condition of HIV and malaria patients, as well as testing water quality in undeveloped areas or disaster sites. The research is led by professor Aydogan Ozcan.

Antibiotic and Anticancer Drugs

In December of 2008, associate professor Yi Tang and graduate students Wenjun Zhang and Yanran Li successfully use the bacterium Escherichia coli to synthesize a class of natural products known as bacterial aromatic polyketides, which include important antibiotic and anticancer drugs. Research led by: Associate Professor Yi Tang and graduate students Wenjun Zhang and Yanran Li.


World’s Fastest Camera

camera banner-smallIn April of 2009, professor Bahram Jalali and researchers Keisuke Goda and Kevin Tsia develop a novel, continuously running camera that captures images roughly a thousand times faster than any existing conventional camera at 6 million frames per second that may, for instance, allow one to detect the presence of very rare cells that, although few in number, signify the early stages of a disease.

Energy Frontier Research Center

In May of 2009, the School of Engineering will be home to a multi-million dollar Energy Frontier Research Center that will focus on the creation and production of nanoscale materials for use in converting solar energy into electricity, electrical energy storage, and capturing and separating greenhouse gases, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Funding for Carbon Nanotube Research

In May of 2009, the School of Engineering receives a gift of $2 million from alumni, James L. Easton, CEO of sports equipment company Easton Inc., to fund research on advanced carbon materials for sports equipment and aerospace applications.

Major Breakthrough with Water Desalination System

In July of 2009, professor Yoram Cohen, postdoctoral researcher Andi Rahardianto and graduate student Alex Bartman are working hard to help alleviate the state’s water deficit with their new mini-mobile-modular, M3, “smart” water desalination and filtration system that cuts both cost and time in creating and testing pilot facilities.

40th Anniversary of the Internet

Internet40imageOctober 29, 2009 is the 40th anniversary of the birth of the internet at UCLA. On Oct. 29, 1969, a UCLA Engineering team led by distinguished professor of computer science Leonard Kleinrock sent the very first message over the ARPANET, the computer network that later became known as the Internet. That event, recognized today as the moment the Internet was born, ushered in a technological revolution that has transformed communications, education, culture, business and entertainment across the globe, leading to dramatic changes in our social, political and economic lives.

Bacteria to Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuel

In December of 2009, Chancellor’s Professor James C. Liao and postdoctoral scholar Wendy Higashide have genetically modified a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and produce the liquid fuel isobutanol, which holds great potential as a gasoline alternative.



In February of 2010, engineering assistant professor Yu Huang and her research team reveals the creation of a new graphene nanostructure called graphene nanomesh, or GNM. The new structure is able to open up a band gap in a large sheet of graphene to create a highly uniform, continuous semiconducting thin film that may be processed using standard planar semiconductor processing methods.

Detecting Bacterial Contamination

In March of 2010, associate Professor Jenny Jay and postdoctoral researcher Christine Lee have sped up the process of analyzing bacterial concentrations to under one hour, compared to a day, through the development of a new in-field, rapid-detection method that uses magnetic beads conjugated to specific antibodies that identify and bind fecal bacteria that are used as standards for determining the safety of recreational waters, such as E. coli and Enterococcus.

Next Generation of Microelectronics

In March of 2010, professor Kang L. Wang and researcher Faxian Xiu describe the creation of a new material incorporating spintronics that could help usher in the next generation of smaller, more affordable and more power-efficient devices.

New Desalination Membrane

In April of 2010, professor Yoram Cohen and researcher Nancy H. Lin unveil a new class of reverse-osmosis membranes for desalination that resist the clogging which typically occurs when seawater, brackish water and waste water are purified due to the membrane’s novel surface topography and chemistry.

World’s Smallest Telemedicine Microscope

In April of 2010, assistant professor Aydogan Ozcan creates a miniature microscope, the world’s smallest and lightest for telemedicine applications that instead of using a lens to magnify objects, generates holographic images of microparticles or cells by employing a light-emitting diode to illuminate the objects and a digital sensor array to capture their images.

Location-Based Security

In July of 2010, a research group led by professor Rafail Ostrovsky at UCLA Engineering proves that cryptography, the practice and study of hiding information, that is based solely on physical location is possible by using quantum mechanics.

High Speed Electronics Lab

In August of 2010, engineering professor M.C. Frank Chang’s advanced research on high-speed electronics has received a $1 million gift from alumni Hyley Huang to support his research on electronic displays and wireless integrated circuit designs at high data rates and high frequencies.

Firefighter Health

In September of 2010, UCLA Engineering is selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate to establish guidelines for the health and safety of firefighters in the field by using wireless health technologies to remotely monitor firefighters in action to measure and track their fitness and health status and to help develop key interventions to improve their health. The research is led by professor William J. Kaiser.

Internet for the 21st Century

In September of 2010, the National Science Foundation awards a team led by UCLA Engineering researchers $7.5 million to develop a more efficient and robust Internet that can meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Western Institute of Nanotechnology on Green Engineering and Metrology

In October of 2010, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology awards UCLA Engineering $6 million to support the construction of the new state-of-the-art Western Institute of Nanotechnology on Green Engineering and Metrology. The new building will provide core research facilities that will advance energy conservation technologies for microelectronics and nanotechnology by supporting research on low-power, nonvolatile nanoelectronics; green manufacturing of novel nanomaterial-based energy technologies; and new materials for energy generation, storage and management.

Bacteria That Can Walk

bacteriaIn October of 2010, professor Gerard Wong finds that during the initial stages of biofilm formation, bacteria can actually stand upright and “walk” as part of their adaptation to a surface. This was observed in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a biofilm-forming pathogen partly responsible for the lethal infections in cystic fibrosis. By developing a series of search engines and computer programs that use particle-tracking algorithms to quantitatively analyze time-lapse microscopy movies of bacterial motion on surfaces they may advance better methods to treat such bacterial infections.

Male Fertility Testing

In October of 2010, the lens-free telemedicine microscope developed by a UCLA engineer is adapted by researchers to instantly count the number of sperm in a sample by comparing 20 holographic images taken over 10 seconds, allowing it to identify which are moving and which are immotile compared to the old method of manually counting sperm and tracking those that are moving by viewing semen samples with an optical microscope that could only be done in a lab setting. The research is led by assistant professor Aydogan Ozcan and graduate researchers Ting-Wei Su, Anthony Erlinger and Derek Tseng.


Space Shuttle Delivers First UCLA-led Experiment to International Space Station

space-station-dhir-2011In March of 2011, the International Space Station received its first UCLA-led research project when the Space Shuttle Discovery delivered a new scientific payload to the orbiting station. The project, led by Vijay K. Dhir, dean of the school and a distinguished professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, looked at the process of boiling under microgravity conditions.

Proteins as Raw Material for Biofuels, Biorefining

In March of 2011, UCLA engineers led by Professor James C. Liao, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Chair in Chemical Engineering, have demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of using proteins — one of the most abundant biomolecules on earth — as a significant raw material for biorefining and biofuel production. The research utilized proteins produced by microorganisms as a carbon source for energy production.

Polymer Light-Emitting Devices That Can Be Stretched Like Rubber

nullIn August of 2011, UCLA engineers led by Qibing Pei, professor of materials science and engineering, demonstrate for the first time an intrinsically stretchable polymer light-emitting device. This has potential to be utilized in wearable electronics and in biomedical devices that can move with the body.

Researchers Help Develop Complete Map of Mouse Genetic Variation

In October of 2011, an international team of investigators, including UCLA Engineering computer science professor Eleazar Eskin, reports that it has sequenced the complete genomes of 17 strains of mice, including the most frequently used laboratory strains. The massive genetic catalog will provide scientists with unparalleled data for studying both how genetic variation affects phenotype and how mice evolved.


Café by the SEAS Expanded

In January of 2012, Café by the SEAS (later known as the SEAS Café) , which has served engineering students since 1949, relocated to a larger and brighter space on Boelter Hall’s fifth floor breezeway, just across from its previous location.

Judea Pearl Receives Turing Award

In April of 2012, Judea Pearl, professor of computer science, won the 2011 Association for Computing Machinery A.M. Turing Award. This accolade highlights advances in artificial intelligence and partnerships between humans and machines.

Pinpointing Geographic Origin By Genetic Variation

2012 GeneticIn June of 2012, research conducted by UCLA’s Computer Science and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology departments and Israel’s Tel Aviv University have developed a dynamic approach to the study of genetic diversity: SPA. Spatial ancestry analysis allows for the modeling of genetic variation in two- or three-dimensional space, and can help pinpoint individuals’ geographic origin.


Transparent Solar Cells Developed

nullIn August of 2012, UCLA researchers led by Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas Jr. Chair in Engineering professor Yang Yang develops a new polymer solar cell that is 70% transparent to the human eye. The cell produces energy by absorbing infrared light, and may someday allow windows in homes or buildings the ability to generate electricity, while still allowing people to see outside.


NSF-Funded Nanoscale Systems Research Center Opens

In September of 2012, the Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems Center opens in Boelter Hall, thanks to a major 10-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center (ERC) program. This center will serve as a base for creating some of the world’s tiniest electromagnetic devices.

Magnetic Nanoparticles for Developmental Biology, Cancer Research

In November of 2012, using clusters of tiny magnetic particles about 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, UCLA professors led by professors Dino Di Carlo and Jack Judy manipulate how thousands of cells divide, morph, and develop finger-like extensions. This tool can be used in developmental biology to understand how tissues develop, or in cancer research to uncover how cancer cells move and invade surrounding tissues.


New Semiconductor Research Center Established

In January of 2013, a new multidisciplinary research center aims to revolutionize future semiconductor technologies by developing new nanoscale materials and structures that take advantage of properties unavailable at larger scales. The Center for Function Accelerated nanoMaterial Engineering (FAME) is supported by $35 million in funding over the next five years by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to address the national needs of advanced semiconductor research.

Tiny Capsule Effectively Kills Cancer Cells

nullIn February of 2013, devising a method for more precise and less invasive treatment of cancer tumors, UCLA and USC scientists develop a degradable nanoscale shell to carry proteins to cancer cells and stunt the growth of tumors without damaging healthy cells.


New NSF-Funded “Collaboratories” Open

In April of 2013, with the support of the National Science Foundation, UCLA Engineering completed four new “collaboratories” — collaborative laboratories for research in sustainable fuels, pollution solutions and nanomaterials for harnessing energy and improving healthcare, as well as a virtual lab in which sensors track energy and water usage in the new facilities. They are located in Boelter Hall.

UCLA Engineers Craft Material for High-Performance ‘Supercapacitor’

In May of 2013, taking a significant step toward improving the power delivery of systems ranging from urban electrical grids to regenerative braking in hybrid vehicles, researchers from Cornell, UCLA, and France synthesize a material that shows high capability for both the rapid storage and release of energy.

Hidden Coded Message Discovered in Campus Floor Tiles


In July of 2013, a hidden message left by a UCLA architect in 2011 was recently uncovered in Boelter Hall. The tiles spell “Lo and Behold!” in binary code, as a tribute to computer science professor Leonard Kleinrock, who in 1969 succeeded in transmitting the first two letters of the word “login” to Stanford Research Institute in the first-ever internet message .

Computer Scientists Develop ‘Mathematical Jigsaw Puzzles’ to Encrypt Software

In August of 2013, a team of researchers led by UCLA professor Amit Sahai collaborate with IBM and University of Texas at Austin colleagues to design a system to encrypt software so that it only allows a program to be used as intended while preventing any deciphering of the code behind it. This is known in computer science as “software obfuscation,” and this is the first time it has been accomplished.

UCLA Engineers Develop a Stretchable, Foldable Transparent Electronic Display

2013 ElectronicImagine an electronic display nearly as clear as a window, or a curtain that illuminates a room, or a smartphone screen that doubles in size, stretching like rubber. Now imagine all of these being made from the same material. In 2013, researchers from UCLA Engineering develop a transparent, elastic organic light-emitting device, or OLED, that could one day make all these possible.


UCLA Researchers’ Smartphone ‘Microscope’ can Detect a Single Virus, Nanoparticles

Your smartphone now can see what the naked eye cannot: A single virus and bits of material less than one-thousandth of the width of a human hair. In September of 2013, Aydogan Ozcan, UCLA professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering, and his team create a portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform sophisticated field testing to detect viruses and bacteria. The device weighs less than half a pound.


UCLA Engineering Leads NSF Project on Timekeeping for ‘Internet of Things’

In July of 2014, the National Science Foundation announces a $4 million “Frontier” award to a UCLA-based team led by professor Mani Srivastava and associate professor Sudhakar Pamarti that will tackle the challenge of timekeeping in cyber-physical systems (CPS) — often called the “Internet of Things” — in which objects and devices are equipped with embedded software and are able to communicate with and be controlled by wireless digital networks.

UCLA Engineering Plays Key Role in DARPA ‘Neuroprosthesis’ Research

In August of 2014, the school is tapped by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to play a key role in an innovative project aimed at developing a wireless, implantable brain device that could help restore lost memory function in individuals who have suffered debilitating brain injuries and other disorders.

Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences Established at UCLA Engineering

In November of 2014, UCLA Engineering alumnus B. John Garrick and his wife, Amelia Garrick, have committed $9 million to launch the B. John Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences at UCLA Engineering. The institute will provide new knowledge and technology to assess and manage risks in order to save lives, protect the environment and protect property from large-scale threats.

Researchers Hit Milestone in Accelerating Particles with Plasma

In November of 2014, professors Chandrashekhar Joshi and Warren Mori from UCLA and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory show that a promising technique for accelerating electrons on waves of plasma is efficient enough to power a new generation of shorter, more economical accelerators.

UCLA Engineers Create ‘Superomniphobic’ Texture

In November of 2014, professor Chang-Jin “CJ” Kim and Tingyi “Leo” Liu from UCLA Engineering create the first surface texture that can repel all liquids, no matter what comprises the material. Because its design relies only on the physical attributes of the texture, the texture could have industrial or biomedical applications.