Arts Outreach Program Funded for 2014-2015

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Bettye Miller and published in UCR Today on July 14, 2014.)

The Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts, UC Riverside’s premier arts outreach program, has been awarded $555,000 by the Max H. Gluck Foundation to fund a 19th year of arts programs in Inland Empire schools, senior centers and other community venues.

Kate Alexander, center, leads a taiko drumming performance at the final show of the Gluck Summer Camp in June. Photos by Christine Leapman

Kate Alexander, center, leads a taiko drumming performance at the final show of the Gluck Summer Camp in June. Photos by Christine Leapman

“We are grateful to the Gluck Foundation for their continued support of this program,” said Christine Leapman, program coordinator at UCR. The Gluck Foundation is very interested in creating opportunities for women and disadvantaged minorities in the areas of health, education, creativity and culture. We’re very proud that we reflect those values in our workshops, and with our fellows and the constituencies they serve.”

The renewal of this grant will fund program costs for the 2014–15 year, including fellowships for more than 115 graduate and undergraduate students who conduct workshops in art, creative writing, dance, history of art, music, and theater.  This is exactly the kind of program that makes Riverside a Location of Choice.

In 2013–14, Gluck fellows conducted 711 workshops that were attended by more than 36,500 people in venues ranging from public schools and senior centers to the Riverside Art Museum and UCR, which hosts school visits and a popular summer arts camp. The Gluck Fellows Program began in 1996.

arts program 2

Fellows who travel to schools are writing workshop curricula that fulfill Common Core requirements, Leapman said, which educators find helpful as they look to the arts to engage students while also satisfying state curriculum mandates.

New in 2014–15 will be the launch of GluckTV, a series of 12 short films from Gluck events at UCR that will be available on YouTube. Proposed by Gluck director and media and cultural studies professor Erika Suderburg, the student-produced films will provide information about workshops that are available to schools and other groups.

The Los Angeles-based Max H. Gluck Foundation was developed to support education and the arts. It funds programs that address the educational, health, cultural, and creative needs of the underserved.

For the full article, click here.

Device Eliminates 93 Percent of Lawnmower Pollutant

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Sean Nealon, published in UCRToday on July 7, 2014.)

Students create device that cuts harmful emissions from lawnmowers, which emit 11 times the air pollution of a new car for each hour of operation

A team of University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering students have won an EPA student design contest for a device they created that curbs harmful pollutant emitted from lawnmowers by 93 percent.

From left, Wartini Ng, Timothy Chow, Kawai Tam, Jonathan Matson and Brian Cruz. Photo Credit: UCR Today

From left, Wartini Ng, Timothy Chow, Kawai Tam, Jonathan Matson and Brian Cruz. Photo Credit: UCR Today

The students developed the device – an “L” shaped piece of stainless steel that attaches to the lawnmower where its muffler was – because small engine devices produce significant harmful emissions. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a gasoline powered lawn mower emits 11 times the air pollution of a new car for each hour of operation.

The students’ device also fits in with UC President Janet Napolitano’s recent announcement to make the University of California system carbon neutral by 2025. With that in mind, employees responsible for maintaining the lawns at UC Riverside have agreed to pilot the students’ device. That will likely start in the coming months.

The device can be thought of as a three stage system. First, a filter captures the harmful pollutants. Then an ultra-fine spray of urea solution is dispersed into the exhaust stream. The urea spray primes the dirty air for the final stage, when a catalyst converts the harmful nitrogen oxide and ammonia into harmless nitrogen gas and water and releases them into the air.

The device created by the student team being attached to a lawnmower. Photo credit: UCR Today

The device created by the student team being attached to a lawnmower. Photo credit: UCR Today

The University of California, Riverside is clearly dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment, and exemplifies Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar. The students and professors collaborate to address issues, which lead to more inventive and multi-disciplinary approaches. The people and educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support useful and beneficial ideas and research. Riverside is setting the bar as a Catalyst for Innovation in many ways.

The incoming team will work to further improve the device. Possible areas for refinement including scaling it up so that it could be used with rider lawnmowers and develop a way to insulate it.

To read the full article, click here.

Shaping The World’s Food Future In Riverside

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Kris Lovekin, published in UCR Today, on July 1, 2014.)

Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California system, announces a new kind of Food CORPS focused on healthier ways to grow and distribute food

More than a century of agricultural research at UC Riverside has helped feed the human population.  When a pest invades California and starts killing important crops, it is Riverside scientists who find the natural enemy, raise it and release it, in concert with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

When far flung countries are fighting drought and flood, crops developed in Riverside can withstand the weather.  Catalyst for Innovation isn’t just a saying when speaking of  UC Riverside – it’s a lifestyle.

A campus community garden keeps UCR students connected to the land, and provides locally grown fruits and vegetables for students and others. And every piece of citrus in a California supermarket has a connection back to the campus, because Riverside hosts the budwood and genetic material for citrus growers around the world.

Buddha’s Hand is one of the more than 900 citrus varieties in UCR’s Citrus Variety Collection.

Buddha’s Hand is one of the more than 900 citrus varieties in UCR’s Citrus Variety Collection.

“Keep in mind, the issue of food is not just about what we eat,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “It’s about delivery systems. Climate issues. Population growth. Policy. All of these and more come into play when you begin to think about the colliding forces that shape the world’s food future.”

On July 1, Napolitano promised a laser focus from the 10-campus University of California on a new UC Global Food Initiative, an issue with global implications.

The campuses in Riverside, Berkeley and Davis serve as a hub for Agricultural and Natural Resources, the University of California applied science that has advised and informed California’s growers for a century. But each of the 10 campuses, as well as the national laboratories, have a piece of the food puzzle.

“This initiative will help us address food security issues on our own campus, in our community and across the world,” said Peggy Mauk, a cooperative extension specialist who is director of UC Riverside’s Agricultural Operations, which covers 440 acres on campus, and another 500 acres in the Coachella Valley. She has heard growers ask for new certificate programs and an agribusiness degree. She is working to provide UCR grown crops to campus restaurants as well as schools in the Riverside Unified School Districts and local food banks.

“Our research has been going on for generations, but what this initiative does is ask us to knit it all up with the local community, local restaurants, even our local students. It’s totally doable in my opinion, given some time and some resources and some good partnerships,” Mauk said.

One of the tensions of the UC Global Food Initiative is that food means a lot of things to a lot of people, from growing organic greens in the backyard to large industrial production of soy and corn and beef shipped to the world.

For the entire article, click here.

 

UCR Is Nurturing Undergraduates By Leading Them To Research

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Lilledeshan Bose, published in UCR Today on June 17, 2014.)

In the summer of 2010, My Hua, then a 19-year-old sophomore at UC Riverside, plunged into the sweltering heat and unrelenting humidity of Chennai, India.  She was there with Unite for Sight, a nonprofit that delivers eye care to impoverished villages around the world. Her experience led to a thirst to do more to address issues of human health.  

The Spring 2014 issue of UCR Magazine, photo credit: ucrtoday.ucr.edu

The Spring 2014 issue of UCR Magazine, photo credit: ucrtoday.ucr.edu

The answer? “It was research, unexpectedly,” she said.  Four years later she has published her work on the potential harm from e-cigarettes in peer-reviewed journals. Hua is one of the Chancellor’s Research Fellows profiled in the cover story of this Spring 2014 UCR magazine about undergraduate research.  Aided by campus-sponsored programs and valuable faculty mentorship, about 20 percent of all Highlanders are able to participate in research before they even receive a bachelor’s degree.

The research and writings generated by the Highlander students along the journey to their bachelor’s degrees exemplify seizing our destiny’s intelligent growth pillar.  UCR is nurturing undergraduates by leading them to research, via campus-sponsored programs and valuable faculty mentorship.  Riverside is always developing new paths and opportunities to promote an outstanding quality of life for all through intelligent growth.  

To read more, click here

 

UC Riverside To Lead New Energy Frontier Research Center Project

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Kris Lovekin, published in UCR Today on June 18, 2014)

The project “SHINES” will receive $12 million from the Department of Energy to pursue fundamental advances in energy production, storage, and use.

Jing Shi, a professor of physics and astronomy, to lead the SHINES initiative.  Photo Credit: UC Riverside

Jing Shi, a professor of physics and astronomy, to lead the SHINES initiative. Photo Credit: UC Riverside

University of California, Riverside is always leading the way in research and technology.  The SHINES project is a great representation of Seizing Our Destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar.  Collaborating with the Department of Energy for the SHINES project is an outstanding opportunity for the research team at UCR to showcase it’s talents and innovative spirit.  Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

A UC Riverside-led research project is among the 32 named today by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz as an Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs), designed to accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to build a new 21st-century energy economy in the United States.

SHINES is one of 10 new projects announced today, along with 22 other projects receiving new funding based on achievements to date. The Department of Energy announced a total of $100 million in funding to support fundamental advances in energy production, storage, and use.

SHINES will investigate several aspects of basic research: new ultrathin films, nanostructured composites, high resolution imaging, the transport of electrical signals, heat and light. “All of it will be studied, modeled and simulated in order to help the nation’s ability to advance in the way we use energy,” said Shi, the lead researcher.

To read the full article, click here.

 

UCR Launches Largest Renewable Energy Project In California

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Aaron Grech, published in the Highlander News on June 3, 2014)

One of the most visible partners of the Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) is the Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), which has begun a project to create a renewable energy research center that will study the integration of renewable energy sources such as an electrical smart grid that can help with charging electric cars and storing energy. The project, called the Sustainable Integrated Grid Initiative, will be the largest of its kind in California.  The UCR Bourns College of Engineering is at the forefront of renewable energy research.  The students and faculty are committed to developing state of the art technology to harness renewable energy on a much larger scale.  Riverside is working everyday to embrace intelligent growth within all facets of the community.

Photo credit:  UCR Today

Photo credit: UCR Today

Most energy supplied through current grids operates on a one-way interaction that distributes electricity from the grid to other structures such as buildings and houses. This makes it difficult to keep up with changing energy demands, and does not run on as many renewable energy sources.

Smart grids, on the other hand, can integrate technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels to provide cleaner energy sources, and also create energy storage because of their unique feedback system. As a result, grids can easily adapt to changing demands and cut electricity costs through storing surplus energy. In addition, the grids can also be used to supply energy to electric vehicles through charging stations that are connected to them.

“The project has implications for the nation and the world,” stated BCOE Dean Dr. Reza Abbaschian. If successful, this research aims to develop cleaner and more efficient ways to produce electricity and may eventually lead to other similar projects in the U.S.  According to Dr. Matthew Barth, the lead investigator of the initiative and director of CE-CERT, “The project puts UC Riverside at the forefront of smart grid and electric vehicle research, providing a unique platform for engineers and utilities to identify and solve potential problems.”

Brandon Prell, a second-year cellular and molecular biology major, believes that research on renewable energy is needed, in order for “the planet to continue developing.” He said that a smart grid will bring a change to that by modernizing outdated methods that may cause even further harm to the environment.

To read the full article, click here.

New West Campus Solar Farm To Provide Power To UC Riverside

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Ross French published in UCR Today on January 6, 2014)

When it comes online this summer, the 11-acre site will produce three megawatts of electricity

The sun has always been a major part of the identity of the University of California, Riverside, so much so that it is even incorporated into the school’s logo. But starting in the summer of 2014, the sun will be providing more than beautifully sunny days – it will also be providing electrical power to the campus and saving the university, and taxpayers, millions of dollars in the process.

UCR is partnering with SunPower Corporation to install a 10.92-acre solar farm on a West Campus open space surrounded by Parking Lot 30 and the UCR Community Garden to the south, the 60/215 freeway to the east and the International Village Apartments to the west. Upon completion, scheduled for July 2014, the facility will generate about three megawatts of electricity.

Despite covering nearly 11 acres on the West Campus, the new UCR solar farm will be largely hidden from the view of the general public. photo credit: UCR Physical Plant

Despite covering nearly 11 acres on the West Campus, the new UCR solar farm will be largely hidden from the view of the general public. photo credit: UCR Physical Plant

“Three megawatts is about 30% of our base load on a daily basis. Our peak load is 17 or 18 megawatts,” Ken Mueller, director of Physical Plant Operations said. “This is a good start and the campus will use 100% of the power that we generate.”

UCR is committed to becoming a green machine.  The new solar farm that will be going online this summer certainly exemplifies seizing our destiny’s catalyst for innovation pillar.  The people and educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support useful and beneficial ideas.  Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do in Riverside, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.

An example of how the solar farm might look. Photo credit: UCR Physical Plant

An example of how the solar farm might look. Photo credit: UCR Physical Plant

The project supports the system-wide University Policy on Sustainable Practices, which calls on each campus to contribute to the production of up to 10 megawatts of on-site renewable power by 2014, as well as campus-specific sustainability strategies detailed in UCR’s 2005 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). The UCR photovoltaic system will be the largest at any UC campus and, combined with other UCR-based projects, will increase photovoltaic generation within the city of Riverside by 40%.

“We have had very favorable electrical rates with Riverside Public Utilities, but recently the price of solar has come down to where it is competitive with that electrical rate,” Mueller said. “We will be getting the most cost-effective solar array on the market.”

To read more, click here.

 

Retention Of Students In STEM Fields Receives Major Financial Boost

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Iqbal Pittalwala, published in UCR Today on May 29, 2014.)

UC Riverside receives $2.4 million Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant for STEM education; underrepresented minority students to especially benefit.

UCR Distinguished Professor of Genetics Susan Wessler works with students in the Neil A. Campbell Science Learning Laboratory. Photo credit: Lonnie Duka

UCR Distinguished Professor of Genetics Susan Wessler works with students in the Neil A. Campbell Science Learning Laboratory.
Photo credit: Lonnie Duka

Sixty percent of students in the United States who begin college intending to major in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fail to earn a STEM degree. Even more concerning is that only 20 percent of students from underrepresented ethnic groups persist in STEM studies.

To help address this higher education crisis, the University of California, Riverside has received a five-year grant totaling $2.4 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to fund a project aimed at addressing the challenges to STEM success faced by some students — particularly, students from underrepresented minority groups at UC Riverside.

Freshmen perform experiments in the Neil A. Campbell Science Learning Laboratory.  Photo credit: James Burnette lll

Freshmen perform experiments in the Neil A. Campbell Science Learning Laboratory. Photo credit: James Burnette III

Specifically, the grant will allow the project, titled “Sustaining Academic Leadership for STEM Achievement” (HHMI-SALSA), to provide lower division science students with early research immersion as well as career exploration and mentoring, using an already successful first-year “learning community” program at UCR as the feeder pipeline. Those students successfully retained through the lower division will be handed off into upper division research, internship and career opportunities.

The HHMI-SALSA grant is an outstanding opportunity for UCR to focus on STEM education, and develop potential career paths.  Certainly a model of seizing our destiny’s intelligent growth pillar, UCR is working everyday to embrace intelligent growth within all facets of higher education.

Susan Wessler (left) is seen here with Rochelle Campbell, whose generous gifts helped finance the expansion of the Neil A. Campbell Science Learning Laboratory. Photo credit: Carrie Rosema

Susan Wessler (left) is seen here with Rochelle Campbell, whose generous gifts helped finance the expansion of the Neil A. Campbell Science Learning Laboratory. Photo credit: Carrie Rosema

According to Wessler, the holder of a University of California President’s Chair, the timing of the grant is ideal because a National Science Foundation STEP grant UCR received last year has increased the capacity of the learning communities, which help generate the Dynamic Genome course students.  In combination with this NSF grant, the HHMI-SALSA grant will give UCR greater capacity for critical programmatic enhancements to help retain undergraduate students in STEM majors.

To read the full article, click here.

Solar Power Goes To Work At UCR

(This article contains excerpts from an article by David Danelski, published in the Press-Enterprise on May 21, 2014.)

Even on a cloudy morning, a solar power system proved itself for its big unveiling Wednesday, May 21 in Riverside.  The system demonstrates that solar power can be harnessed, stored and consumed in a typical parking lot, powering electric vehicles and buildings and even contributing power to the grid. The project is in place at UC Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology on Columbia Avenue, where dignitaries gathered for a ceremony Wednesday.

UCR student Daniel Situ, right shows guests how the ac power for the building is cycled from unit to unit using lights during a Sustainable Integrated Grid Initiative Opening Celebration under the solar panels at UCR Bourns College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology Wednesday in Riverside, CA. May 21, 2014. Photo credit: Terry Pierson

UCR student Daniel Situ, right shows guests how the ac power for the building is cycled from unit to unit using lights during a Sustainable Integrated Grid Initiative Opening Celebration under the solar panels at UCR Bourns College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology Wednesday in Riverside, CA. May 21, 2014. Photo credit: Terry Pierson

The $10 million carbon-free energy system is a technical first for the nation, Ula said.  Photovoltaic panels are mounted on seven steel structures above about 200 parking spaces; the structures also provide shade for the cars. The power goes to three UCR buildings, including the research center’s administrative headquarters, as well as five charging stations for electric vehicles in the parking lot.

Electricity that is not consumed immediately is stored in two refrigerator-size batteries that provide power to the building after the sun goes down. Then, any leftover power goes to into the Riverside Public Utilities grid to be used elsewhere.

The project was made possible with a $2 million grant from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. UC Riverside invested $1 million and expects to recoup that cost in energy savings.  The solar panels were donated by SolarMax Technology, which moved its headquarters to Riverside in 2012. The two big batteries were donated by China-based Winston Battery.

UC Riverside’s  CE-CERT team is an outstanding representation of seizing our destiny’s catalyst for innovation.  Through commitment and dedication to technological research and expansion, UCR is becoming a leader in top green universities in the nation.  Riverside catalyzes profound discoveries and creativity in the arts, technology, and research.

To read more, click here.

 

A New Miles Per Gallon Rating System

(This article contains excerpts from an article by Sean Nealon, published in UCR Today, on May, 7, 2014.)

UC Riverside graduate student works with Motor Trend magazine to create fuel economy ratings for vehicles based on real-world driving, not lab tests.

Sam Cao, a UC Riverside graduate student, who tested cars in conjunction with Motor Trend.  Photo Credit: UCR Today

Sam Cao, a UC Riverside graduate student, who tested cars in conjunction with Motor Trend. Photo Credit: UCR Today

Do you ever wonder about the accuracy of those miles per gallon ratings pasted on windows of new cars?

So did Emissions Analytics, a United Kingdom-based vehicle emissions testing company. With the help of Sam Cao, a graduate student at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, they set out to test the accuracy, but with one significant difference.

Those numbers are based on a standardized test procedure performed in a laboratory by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Emissions Analytics placed portable emissions measurement equipment on vehicles to test fuel economy while the cars were being driven on the road.

They found differences – up to 20 percent. Some cars fared better than EPA estimates, some worse and some about the same. For example:

  • A 2013 Honda Accord LX four-door sedan had an EPA rating of 27 miles per gallon on city streets and 36 miles per gallon on highways. The Real MPG, as Emissions Analytics calls their figure, was 19.8 city and 33.6 highway.
  • A 2014 Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T SE four-door sedan had EPA ratings of 25 city and 36 highway. The Real MPG numbers were 27.9 city and 39.2 highway.
  • A 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 two-door convertible had EPA ratings of 12 city and 18 highway. The Real MPG numbers were 12 city and 18.9 highway.

Cao, who works under Kent Johnson, an assistant research engineer at the Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology, worked with Emissions Analytics during the summer of 2013 as they tested vehicles at Motor Trend’s office in El Segundo.  Cao, a 2006 graduate of Temecula Valley High School who expects to earn his Ph.D. in June, has worked extensively with portable emissions measurement equipment at UC Riverside.\

A vehicle with portable emissions testing equipment is readied for on the road testing. Photo Credit: UCR Today

A vehicle with portable emissions testing equipment is readied for on the road testing. Photo Credit: UCR Today

While working with Emissions Analytics, Cao’s duties included installing the measurement equipment, trouble-shooting data acquisition problems and calibrating the instruments.  Cao’s work on the project is one of the latest examples of a more than 20-year history of emissions testing at the Center for Environmental Research and Technology. Initially, research focused on testing cars and trucks in a stationary setting. Now much of the testing is done on the road with portable emission measurement systems (PEMS).

Cao and Riversides’s Bourns College of Engineering exemplify seizing our destiny’s  intelligent growth and catalyst for innovation pillars. Comparing accurate MPG estimates are important, and has become a crucial factor to many people when choosing a new vehicle.  The people and educational institutions of Riverside cultivate and support beneficial ideas and research. Creativity and innovation permeate all that we do, which makes our community a trendsetter for the region, California, and the world to follow.  Riverside promotes an outstanding quality of life for all through intelligent growth.

To read the full article, click here.