Tag Archives: City of Riverside

New Paper-like Material Could Boost Electric Vehicle Batteries

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Sean Nealon and published in UCR Today on February 17, 2015.)

Mihri and Cengiz Ozkan, both professors in the Bourns College of Engineering. Photo Credit: UCR Today
Mihri and Cengiz Ozkan, both professors in the Bourns College of Engineering. Photo Credit: UCR Today

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. It has the potential to boost by several times the specific energy, or amount of energy that can be delivered per unit weight of the battery.

This paper-like material is composed of sponge-like silicon nanofibers more than 100 times thinner than human hair. It could be used in batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics.

The findings were just published in a paper, “Towards Scalable Binderless Electrodes: Carbon Coated Silicon Nanofiber Paper via Mg Reduction of Electrospun SiO2 Nanofibers,” in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. The authors were Mihri Ozkan, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, Cengiz S. Ozkan, a professor of mechanical engineering, and six of their graduate students: Zach Favors, Hamed Hosseini Bay, Zafer Mutlu, Kazi Ahmed, Robert Ionescu and Rachel Ye.

Scanning electron microscope images of (a) SiO2 nanofibers after drying, (b) SiO2 nanofibers under high magnification (c) silicon nanofibers after etching, and (d) silicon nanofibers under high magnification. Photo Credit: UCR Today
Scanning electron microscope images of (a) SiO2 nanofibers after drying, (b) SiO2 nanofibers under high magnification (c) silicon nanofibers after etching, and (d) silicon nanofibers under high magnification. Photo Credit: UCR Today

The nanofibers were produced using a technique known aselectrospinning, whereby 20,000 to 40,000 volts are applied between a rotating drum and a nozzle, which emits a solution composed mainly of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS), a chemical compound frequently used in the semiconductor industry. The nanofibers are then exposed to magnesium vapor to produce the sponge-like silicon fiber structure.

Conventionally produced lithium-ion battery anodes are made using copper foil coated with a mixture of graphite, a conductive additive, and a polymer binder. But, because the performance of graphite has been nearly tapped out, researchers are experimenting with other materials, such as silicon, which has a specific capacity, or electrical charge per unit weight of the battery, nearly 10 times higher than graphite.

The problem with silicon is that is suffers from significant volume expansion, which can quickly degrade the battery. The silicon nanofiber structure created in the Ozkan’s labs circumvents this issue and allows the battery to be cycled hundreds of times without significant degradation.

“Eliminating the need for metal current collectors and inactive polymer binders while switching to an energy dense material such as silicon will significantly boost the range capabilities of electric vehicles,” Favors said.

(a) Schematic representation of the electrospinning process and subsequent reduction process. Digital photographs of (b) as-spun SiO2 nanofibers paper, (c) etched silicon nanofiber paper, and (d) carbon-coated silicon nanofiber paper as used in the lithium-ion half-cell configuration. Photo Credit: UCR Today
(a) Schematic representation of the electrospinning process and subsequent reduction process. Digital photographs of (b) as-spun SiO2 nanofibers paper, (c) etched silicon nanofiber paper, and (d) carbon-coated silicon nanofiber paper as used in the lithium-ion half-cell configuration. Photo Credit: UCR Today

This technology also solves a problem that has plagued free-standing, or binderless, electrodes for years: scalability. Free-standing materials grown using chemical vapor deposition, such as carbon nanotubes or silicon nanowires, can only be produced in very small quantities (micrograms). However, Favors was able to produce several grams of silicon nanofibers at a time even at the lab scale.

The researchers’ future work involves implementing the silicon nanofibers into a pouch cell format lithium-ion battery, which is a larger scale battery format that can be used in EVs and portable electronics.

The research is supported by Temiz Energy Technologies. The UC Riverside Office of Technology Commercialization has filed patents for inventions reported in the research paper.

This advancement in battery technology is an outstanding model of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar.  The students and staff at UC Riverside cultivate and support ideas, research, and products that accelerate the common good for all.  Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do in Riveside, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

For the complete article, click here.

La Sierra Lands Edison Grant To Advance STEM Studies

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Darla Martin Tucker and published in La Sierra University News/Events on February 17, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Natan Vigna
Photo Credit: Natan Vigna

On Jan. 8, Raymond Hicks, a regional manager with Southern California Edison, stopped by the office of Melanie Jobe, director of La Sierra’s Center for Student Academic Success (C-SAS), with a check for $10,000 from parent company Edison International. It was the fruition of a grant application process that began last summer for money to provide tutoring services and scholarships for students studying in the STEM subject areas.

The grant funds are divided evenly with $5,000 for “Edison Scholars” and $5,000 to fund tutor stipends in the student academic center’s Collaborative Learning Center for students needing assistance in the STEM areas.

The Edison Scholars will receive their scholarships this spring. Scholarship criteria include academic achievement and financial need. Students majoring in computer science, information systems, mathematics, chemistry, physics, or environmental science are eligible to apply.

The learning center’s goals include having the STEM professors vet the learning assistants to ensure that the learning assistants understand course objectives and content in order to maintain a high quality program for students.

“We want students engaged in the material, and we want to help them learn how to study and what to study,” said Melanie Jobe, C-SAS director.  “Having competent and trained learning assistants is vital to the success of this program.”

Photo Credit: Natan Vigna
Photo Credit: Natan Vigna

The Collaborative Learning Center provides academic support through peer tutoring in a non-traditional, innovative learning environment toward the development of academic knowledge and transferable skills. Currently 17 learning assistants, typically upper classmen with experience and knowledge of the STEM subjects, provide evening tutoring Monday – Thursday to students who are divided into groups of two or three.

“We call it Supplemental Learning Sessions. We have mixed the best of tutoring practices and supplemental instruction into one,” said Rakel Engles, learning center program coordinator. During the sessions, the learning assistants divide students into subject areas, take questions, then circulate throughout the room to answer further questions and encourage group study.

Engles encourages La Sierra students to take advantage of the opportunity to better their understanding of their subject areas and ultimately their academic performance. “Come to the supplemental learning sessions,” she says. “Come prepared with questions, homework, and whatever you need to get the work done.”

Grants like this increase the great work done at UC Riverside to equip our STEM students with the knowledge they need to succeed.  UC Riverside is known for catalyzing innovation in many fields of study and thus promotes the aspirations of Seizing Our Destiny.

For the complete article, click here.

Health Foundation Announces Clinic Expansion

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in The Press Enterprise on February 11, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Riverside Community Health Foundation

The Riverside Community Health Foundation announced this week that it is planning a $3.5 million expansion of its Eastside Health Center that will nearly double the number of patients that can be seen, a news release said.

The clinic on University Avenue in Riverside sees about 6,500 patients per year and is at maximum capacity. The expansion will increase annual patient visits to over 12,000.

With a convenient location, dedicated medical and dental staff, and partnership with the community, Eastside Health Center has and continues to have a huge impact on the City of Riverside residents.

The Eastside Health Center  stands as a core anchor of quality and low cost medical and dental care for the underserved and uninsured throughout Riverside’s eastside neighborhoods. These eastside neighborhoods have in the past been plagued by high crime and poverty rates; however, they have been the focal point of the city’s recent efforts of improvement and renovation. The renovation is an example of Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar.

The nonprofit foundation has purchased land directly across from the health clinic and plans to break ground on an expansion in late 2015, the news release said.

The foundation also provided more than $3 million in programs and grants in 2014 to organizations providing services to residents living in Riverside and Jurupa Valley.

Organizations that received funding included Loma Linda Children’s Hospital Foundation, Parkview Community Hospital, Riverside Community College District and the Jurupa Area Recreation and Park District.

The $3.5 million expansion of the Eastside Health Center is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. Riverside embraces economic growth and directs it so it maintains and improves our already outstanding quality of life. This includes growing the economy, raising the standard of living and managing a growing population.

For the complete article, click here.

UCR Launches Initiative To Deal With Inland Poverty

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Fielding Buck and published in The Press Enterprise on February 10, 2015.)

Photo Credit: Carrie Rosema
Photo Credit: Carrie Rosema

A strategy to study, teach about and deal with Inland poverty was announced Tuesday at UC Riverside.

The UCR School of Public Policy will launch the Blum Initiative on Global and Regional Poverty this fall.

The announcement was made during an appearance by former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who was on campus to talk to public policy students and attend the screening of a documentary about him.

Reich praised Riverside as a “roll-up-your-sleeves” kind of community and UCR as a school that provides opportunities for students with financial needs. Exemplifying Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar, Riverside and UCR both demonstrate that we’re a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

“There’s probably no place that I know of that better exemplifies what higher education ought to be doing,” Reich said.

Reich is a senior fellow of the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley, which is working with UCR on the intiative.

Richard Blum, Photo Credit: UCR Today
Richard Blum, Photo Credit: UCR Today

It was launched by a gift of $250,000 from the center’s founder, UC regent Richard C. Blum, who is married to Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

UCR chancellor Kim A. Wilcox and UC President Janet Napolitano both matched the gift out of their budgets, according to a UCR press release.

The initiative will be interdisciplinary and results oriented, according to Anil Deolalikar, founding dean of the school. It will include partnerships with local non-governmental organizations.

“Poverty is not unique, right?” he said in an interview before the announcement. “Every place in the work has poverty and there are many places in the world that have tackled the problem of poverty with good results. We will be trying to glean lessons from around the world so that we can use some of those lessons to solve poverty problems here in the Inland Empire.”

Plans include to establish an undergraduate minor in poverty and a focus area in public policy master degree program.

For the complete article, click here.

RCC Students Dominate SkillsUSA Competition

(This article contains excerpts from the article posted in RCCD News on February 5, 2015.)

Photo Credit: RCCD
Photo Credit: RCCD

Seventeen Riverside City College students won medals – in 15 different categories – at the SkillsUSA regional event on January 31. Students who won gold medals qualify for the state competition in April.

SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations and further education. SkillsUSA was formerly known as VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America). More than 300,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into over 17,000 sections and 52 state and territorial associations.

RCC students swept three categories – graphic communication, advertising design and photography – and claimed gold medals in six categories. Below is the students’ placement in their respective events:

Automotive Service: Gold Medal – Skyler Murdock, Silver Medal – Justin McMorris
Graphic Communications: Gold Medal – Tiffany Vang, Silver Medal – Daniel Lamiell, Bronze Medal – Megan Moore
3D Animation: Gold Medal: Tyler Tom-Hoon and Mason Rosenquist
Digital Cinema Production: Gold Medal: Javier Ochoa and Scott Turner
Advertising Design: Gold Medal: Hasan Khodr, Silver Medal: Matt Torres, Bronze Medal: Kristina LoVerso
Photography: Gold Medal: Don Welton, Silver Medal: Ned Magdaleno, Bronze Medal: Brianda Avila
Welding: Gold Medal: Mike Herrera
Screenprinting: Bronze Medal: Harrison Scullin

The regional event took place at three Inland Empire locations – RCC, Fontana High School and Universal Technical Institute’s Rancho Cucamonga campus.

RCC’s outstanding scholastic achievements makes Riverside a location of choice for students seeking a great education at an affordable price.

Photo Credit: RCCD
Photo Credit: RCCD

Kids With Special Needs Get Super Bowl Of Their Own

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in the RUSD News on January 29, 2015)

Photo Credit: RUSD
Photo Credit: RUSD

More than 200 special needs students from across the Riverside Unified School District celebrated Super Bowl Sunday at few days early on Wednesday, Jan. 28 as Poly High School hosted its second annual Super Bowl for Kids event.

This event gave students in kindergarten through sixth grades the opportunity experience the excitement of being part of a high school football team. As students arrived, they ran through a welcoming row of cheerleaders and through the Poly Bear tunnel. The Poly band played the fight song as each student got out on the field, grabbed a football and made a touchdown with help from members of the Poly football team.

And, just like a real game, colorful posters lined the fence near the stands, which were, of course, filled with crowds of cheering fans. Television news crews were on hand to capture all of the action.

Lisa Miller, Special Education Student Advisor at Poly, said the event benefits special needs students by letting them be part of an exciting school activity they might not otherwise be able to participate in. It also helps the high school students learn respect and acceptance of others.

“It puts a smile on my face. It’s just really heartwarming,” noted sophomore quarter back Alec Quintero. “Seeing these kids smile, it’s just a good feeling.”

“This speaks to the spirit of the Poly community and the RUSD community,” added Poly Principal, Dr. Michael Roe.

Miller said Poly is excited to keep the tradition of Super Bowl for Kids going and added that they likely will invite middle and high school students to participate next year.

Events like this truly demonstrates what makes Riverside such a unified city. We are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.

For the complete article, click here.

Riverside Ranks 103 For Economic Performance In The World

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in FoxBusiness on January 21, 2015.)

mall at night
Photo Credit: City of Riverside

The Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase ranked 300 major cities worldwide for economic performance last year. The City of Riverside placed 103 overall, 17 in the US, and 3rd in California.

Riverside embraces economic growth and directs it so it maintains and improves our already outstanding quality of life. This ranking is yet another example of Riverside continuing to fuel the intelligent growth of the city and region.

Rank Economic Performance 2013-2014 Country Metro/City Real GDP per Capita Growth 2013-2014 Employment Growth 2013-2014 Rank Economic Performance 2009-2014
103 USA Riverside 0.20% 2.80% 182

For the full list of rankings, click here.

Riverside Ranks 39th Healthiest City In America

(This article contains excerpts from the article written by Divya Raghavan and published in BetterDoctor on January 11, 2015.)

20140802_183925
Photo Credit: City of Riverside

 

Health is the #1 topic on everyone’s mind as they make New Year’s resolutions. Losing weight, quitting smoking and exercising regularly are the top three New Year’s resolutions, together accounting for 3/4 of all the goals Americans set on January 1.

At BetterDoctor, they encourage you to use this year to take control of your health. But this may be easier in some locations than in others. Doctor access, doctor quality, recreational opportunities and health insurance options all vary widely from city to city. BetterDoctor crunched the numbers to determine which of the biggest fifty cities are the healthiest—and which have the worse habits and access to care. Riverside’s unmatched landscape, year-around outdoor activities, and attention to healthy living helped make #39 on the list, making it a location of choice for people seeking a healthy life style.

They used a data-driven approach to determine the healthiest cities in the United States, creating a 100-point composite index that uses the following three questions to assess health of a city:

1. Are residents fit and healthy? They used the American Fitness Index to assess fitness and general health of the residents. This composite index is comprised of many variables, including exercise rates, eating habits, chronic health problems and disease rates, access to parks and recreational activities and more.

2. Is medical care accessible and high-quality? They included the percentage of doctors in the city that are highly rated according to BetterDoctor’s comprehensive, seven-variable algorithm as well as the number of primary physicians per 100,000 residents.

3. Do residents have health insurance? They included the percentage of residents with health coverage to assess how feasible it is for residents to get medical care.

Rank Metro area AFI score Percentage of the population with health insurance Doctors per 1,000 residents Percentage of doctors who are highly rated on BetterDoctor Overall health score
39 Riverside, CA 47.8 80.00% 1.37 13.22% 35.08

For the complete list of rankings, click here.

RCC Student Selected For California Community Colleges Board of Governors

(This article contains excerpts from the article published in RCC Campus News on January 1, 2015.)

Photo Credit: RCC
Photo Credit: RCC

Riverside City College student Ravneet Kaur, 20, has been appointed to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.

A 2012 graduate of Hemet High School, Kaur is well known for her volunteering. Currently she is a Region IX Governance and Internal Policy senator for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges and a member of the Associated Students of Riverside City College (RCC).

 The mission of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and the Chancellor’s Office is to empower the community colleges through leadership, advocacy and support. As a member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, Kaur says she plans to bring the experience she has collected from being a student advocate and liaison, as well as what she has learned through shared governance.

“Going to community college has probably been one of the best decisions I’ve made; it’s pushed me to excel more in everything that I took part in,” said Kaur, who takes honors classes at RCC and volunteers extensively. “Getting involved with the Associated Students of Moreno Valley College and Riverside City College has really helped develop who I am. I’ve grown so much as a person, from my critical thinking to communication skills; I couldn’t imagine a different college experience.”

“Being involved at the local level has given me a sense of what students and faculty want, and being able to engage in committees on the state level has given me a balanced head in what changes can be made,” she said. “Throughout the years I have been a student, chair, and liaison. I know what being a student representative entails, and I have a close understanding what our local colleges and students want.”

Exemplifying Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar, the educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support useful and beneficial ideas that will aid Kaur in finding ways to better support the community colleges of our region.

 To read the full article, click here.