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Research Centers and Institutes

Center for Embedded Sensing Networks (CENS)

CENS is a multi-disciplinary center that is pursuing fundamental science and engineering research needed to create scal­able, robust, adaptive, sensor/actuator networks including both Embedded Networked Sensing (ENS) technology research and ENS applications research. ENS-facilitated education and outreach activities are intertwined with the technology and application development.Research is focused on four experimental application drivers: habitat monitoring for bio-complexity studies, spatially-dense seismic sensing and structure response, monitoring and modeling contaminant flows, and detection and identifica­tion of marine microorganisms. To support this scope, CENS continues to combine the expertise of faculty from diverse engineering disciplines with the expertise of biological, environmental and earth scientists. During the lifetime of the Center, we will pursue additional opportunities for applying the technology to other natural and engineered systems. CENS is a $40M NSF center directed by Prof. Deborah Estrin of the UCLA Computer Science Department.

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Electrical Engineering Professors J. Judy, W. Kaiser, G. Pottie, M. Sriv­astava, J. Villasenor, and K. Yao contribute the resources of their respective laboratories and research groups to these exciting goals. Professor Greg Pottie serves as Deputy Director of the Center. CENS involves hundreds of faculty, engineers, graduate student researchers, and undergraduate students from multiple disciplines at the partner institutions of University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Southern California (USC), University of California Riverside (UCR), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of California at Merced (UCM), and California State University at Los Angeles (CSULA).

California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI)

CNSI is a research center that is run jointly by UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. CNSI was established in 2000 with $100 million from the State of California and an additional $250 million in federal research grants and industry funding. Its mission is to encourage university collaboration with industry and enable the rapid commercialization of discoveries in nanosystems. In particular, CNSI is working to:

  • Establish a world-renowned center for nanosystems research and development.
  • Develop commercial applications of CNSI's technology.
  • Educate the next generation of scholars in nanosystems R&D.
  • Promote regional development through commercial use of nanotechnology.
  • Generate public appreciation and understanding of nanotechnology.
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CNSI members, who are on the faculty at UCLA and UCSB, represent a multi-disciplinary team of some of the world's preeminent scientists in the fields of materials science, molecular electronics, quantum computing, optical networking and molecular medicine, to cite but a few examples. Professors K. Wang and J. Judy of the Electrical Engineering Department are members of CNSI.



Center for Systems, Dynamics, and Control (SyDyC)

The UCLA Center for Systems, Dynamics and Control is an interdepartmental laboratory dedicated to research and education in the theory and applications of dynamics and control systems. SyDyC serves to foster the increasingly multidisciplinary nature of dynamics and controls research.

dynamic vision.JPGIts membership consists of students, researchers, and faculty from several departments across The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (HSSEAS). Research activities at SyDyC span a wide range of engineering technologies, from micro-gyros to large-scale multi-vehicle networks. Research sponsorship comes from several government and industry sources, including NSF, DARPA, AFOSR, ONR, NASA, EPRI, Boeing, and Hughes.


Functional Engineered Nano-Architectonics Focus Center (FENA)

FENA is a multi-disciplinary center that aims to create and investigate new nano-engineered functional materials and devices, and novel structural and computational architectures for new information processing systems beyond the limits of conventional CMOS technology. FENA is part of the Focus Center Research Program initiated by the Semiconductor Research Corporation in an effort to expand pre-competi­tive, cooperative, long-range applied microelec-tron­ics research at US universities. The center, which was established in 2003, will receive $13.5 million over the first three years, and as much as $70 million over 10 years. FENA seeks to create and explore the next generation of nanoscale semiconductor technology to the borders of ultimate CMOS and beyond: inventing heterogeneous interfaces of new nanosystems, enabling a combination of biological and mo­lecular functions, and revolutionizing paradigms of information processing and sensing. These new nanostructured materials will provide the basis for the creation of new applications of monolithically integrated (CMOS, molecular and biomolecular) nanosystems. FENA has 28 distinguished principal inves­tigators from broad areas such as Materials Science, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Bio En­gineering, Mathematics, Applied Physics, and Com­puter Engineering, from 11 of America's most elite research universities.

The center is led by Professor Kang Wang of the Electrical Engineering Department. FENA embraces the current opportunity to create and explore the next generation of nanoscale semiconductor technology to the borders of ultimate CMOS and beyond: inventing the heterogeneous interfaces of new nanosystems, enabling a combination of biological and molecular functions, and revolutionizing the paradigms of information processing and sensing. These new nanostructured materials will provide the basis for the continued expansion of the semiconductor industry and the creation of new applications of monolithically integrated (CMOS, molecular and biomolecular) nanosystems. FENA involves faculty from several institutions including UCLA, UCSB, UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, USC, Caltech, Stanford, MIT, New York University, University of Minnesota, North Carolina State University, and SUNY.

Institute for Digital Research and Education (IDRE)

The IDRE institute is a convergence point for expertise, perspectives and methodologies in mathematics, engineering, computer science, statistics and domain sciences in a unified approach to computation and visualization.

 The institute takes advantage of the existing body of knowledge and expertise at UCLA and supports, advances and guides a campus wide program to make UCLA a world leader in high performance computing and visualization research and education. Specifically, IDRE:

  • Acts as a catalyst for faculty across departments to form teams focused on solving scientific problems of national significance.
  • Establishes innovative new models that will provide the unique technical foundation required for computational science and engineering research by building bridges across research disciplines.
  • Provides a strong intellectual environment for faculty, researchers, and students though international workshops, seminar series, and conferences.
  • Provides a facility for code sharing, development, and maintenance.
  • Builds up computational resources through networked local clusters and central computing facilities as well as better access to national high-end computational platforms.
  • Develops and coordinate curriculum across UCLA in the areas of computation, simulation.

The institute is led by Electrical Engineering Professor Warren Mori.

Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM)

The overall mission of the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) is to make connections between a broad spectrum of mathematicians and scientists, to launch new collaborations, to better inform mathematicians and scientists about interdisciplinary problems, and to broaden the range of applications in which mathematics is used.

Every year IPAM offers two long, semester length, scientific programs. These programs bring together senior and junior mathematicians and scientists and engineers from the scientific disciplines related to the program. In addition, IPAM supports graduate students, post-doctoral scholars and young academics to encourage their participation in IPAM's programs and workshops.

The programs consist of three phases: Tutorials from both streams are offered at the beginning. These are to be followed by 3-4 workshops focusing on particular topics related to the overall theme of the program. The programs culminate with a 1 week Oberwolfach-like workshop at the UCLA conference center at Lake Arrowhead.

In addition to the semester programs, IPAM also sponsors weeklong workshops throughout the year with a broad range of scientific themes. During the summer IPAM holds a research program for undergraduates ("RIPS") focusing on industrial problems and also a summer school for graduate students. The graduate student summer school is dedicated to an important scientific theme involving problems of mathematical interest.

The ultimate goal of IPAM is to bring the full range of mathematical techniques to bear on the great scientific challenges of our time, and to stimulate exciting new mathematics via new problems motivated by other sciences, and to train the people who will do this. IPAM is a unique site. Mathematics and Electrical Engineering Professor Stan Osher is the Director of Special Projects at IPAM.

Institute for Technology Advancement (ITA)

The Institute for Technology Advancement (ITA) is an off-campus technology development center established by the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science to accelerate the transition of high-impact innovative research from UCLA to technology development and commercialization.

ITA's mission is to identify and influence early stage, high-value research at UCLA and facilitate further development and transition to industry for economic impact.

ITA serves several functions:

  • Lead the effort to identify and formulate early state, highly valued research ideas at UCLA – then develop and transition these ideas to industry for economic impact.
  • Nurture and incubate breakthrough ideas to create new technologies that address current and emerging markets.
  • Further strengthen and expand relationships with industry in providing technical assistance for near-term applied research projects.
  • Provide a learning platform for faculty and students to engage in transitional technology research.

Start-up funding for the institute was donated by the Henry and Susan Samueli Foundation. ITA's off-campus headquarters space is provided by Abraxis BioScience, Inc. and its CEO, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.

Water Technology Research Center (WaTer)

The mission of the WaTeR Center is to advance technologies of water production in order to develop new and economical alternative sources of potable, irrigation, and consumptive water uses. Science-based innovation, technology evaluation, advanced education, and rapid information dissemination. A comprehensive approach focused upon:

  • Sustainable water production technology in harmony with the environment.
  • Multidisciplinary research & development teams.
  • Advanced zero-discharge water production processes through integration with energy generation, membrane and thermal desalination and concentrate utilization.
  • Rapid information dissemination and public access to new scientific, technical, economic, and environmental knowledge.
  • Training the next generation of water technology experts for the State of California.
  • Water pretreatment processes for foulant removal and mineral salt scale inhibition.
  • Advanced fouling and scaling resistant membranes for water desalination.
  • Toward zero liquid discharge water production via high recovery membrane processes.
  • Enhancing and integrating advanced disinfection technologies.
  • Recycling technologies integrated into new water production facilities.

Western Institute of Nanoelectronics (WIN)

WIN is a multi-disciplinary center that is among the world's largest spintronics efforts. It is headquartered at UCLA and led by Electrical Engineering Professor Kang Wang. The institute involves collaborations among teams from UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley, and Stanford. The program is co-managed by the four participating campuses and semiconductor industry sponsors, with nearly 10 researchers from semiconductor companies working with the students and faculty on all of the university campuses.  

The institute's mission 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. The Western Institute of Nanoelectronics is being established with starting grants of $18.2 million: an industrial support total of $14.38 million and a matching $3.84 million UC Discovery Grant. The $18.2 million includes $2.38 million from a Nanoelectronics Research Initiative grant funded by six major semiconductor companies — Intel, IBM, Texas Instruments, AMD, Freescale and MICRON. The amount also includes an additional Intel grant of $2 million. The institute also will receive a separate $10 million equipment grant from Intel.

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