Baskin School of Engineering highlights research advances on October 21

Faculty and invited speakers will discuss exciting advances in biotechnology, energy, and human-centered design

Innovative approaches to solving problems in the critical areas of biotechnology, energy, and human-centered design will be presented by faculty in the Baskin School of Engineering at the school's annual Research Review Day on Thursday, October 21, at UC Santa Cruz. In addition to faculty research presentations, the event will include plenary talks by experts in the three focus areas and a graduate student poster session. The event is free, but advance registration at is required.

"This event gives our colleagues and industry partners in Silicon Valley an opportunity to learn about groundbreaking research by our faculty and students, who are addressing a wide variety of problems in areas that are critical for business, the environment, and humanity," said Art Ramirez, dean of the Baskin School of Engineering.

Jonathan Trent, a bioengineer at NASA Ames Research Center and adjunct professor of biomolecular engineering at UCSC, will give a plenary talk on energy, focusing on promising developments in sustainable energy technologies, including his work on the OMEGA Project at NASA. OMEGA (Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae) is a system for growing algae to produce biofuel and other products. In his talk, "Beyond Petroleum: The OMEGA revolution," Trent will discuss the need to cultivate sustainable, carbon-neutral energy crops.

David Yager, dean of the Division of Arts at UCSC, will give a plenary talk on human-centered design. Yager's work, which focuses on the relationships between art and science, includes a collaboration with researchers in the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes for the advancement of new knowledge, products, and processes in health care. His talk, "User Centric or Me Centric Design/Crowdsourcing," will emphasize the idea that "good design is better than good-looking design."

A plenary talk on biotechnology features William Young, a partner at Clarus Ventures who has extensive experience in the biotechnology industry. In his talk, "Genentech Biotech Manufacturing: Lessons from the early years," Young will discuss how Genentech became the premier company in the world in biotech process development and manufacturing, and how that made life-saving drugs available to patients.

A broad range of faculty presentations will take place throughout the day. Speakers include Phil Berman, professor of biomolecular engineering, who will discuss his work on AIDS vaccines; Ed Green, assistant professor of biomolecular engineering, who will talk about the Neanderthal genome and what it can tell us about recent human evolution; Joel Kubby, associate professor of electrical engineering, who will review the development of a renewable-energy microgrid at NASA Ames; Sri Kurniawan, assistant professor of computer engineering, who will discuss human-centered assistive technology; and David Draper, professor of applied mathematics and statistics, who will describe how electronic medical-records systems can enable early detection of adverse medical events.

All presentations will be held in the Engineering 2 building on the UCSC campus. Additional information about Research Review Day, including a detailed program with a complete list of presenters and topics, is available online at