Upcoming Education/Outreach & Community Events

Title: Diagnosing Disease with Light using Nanomaterials
Speaker: Professor Lisa Poulikakos, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UC San Diego

Date/Time: Monday, June 6, 10:30am - 11:30am
Location: Heikoff Giant Dome Theatre at the Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101

Today, tests for serious disease can be slow, expensive or imprecise. In many ways, current medical diagnostic technologies lag behind what engineering can provide. Too often, imprecise or slow diagnostic tools mean that patients don’t always get the most targeted treatments. In this talk, Dr. Poulikakos shares her effort to develop new diagnostic tools that use nanostructured surfaces, allowing them produce results more quickly, more accurately and at lower cost.

Lisa Poulikakos is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego. She is affiliated with the UC San Diego Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) Seed grant program. Prof. Poulikakos' research studies how nanomaterials can interact with light to address societal challenges, including those in global health. She earned her PhD at ETH Zurich, Switzerland and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, before joining the UC San Diego faculty in 2020.

Please see flyer here.

Title: TBD
Speaker: Professor Zheng Chen, Assistant Professor, Department of Nanoengineering, UC San Diego

Date/Time: Monday, August 1, 10:30am - 11:30am
Location: Heikoff Giant Dome Theatre at the Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101

Past Education/Outreach & Community Events

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Title: Can we Give a Prosthetic Hand the Gift of Feeling?
Speaker: Professor Darren Lipomi, Nanoengineering, UC San Diego

Date/Time: Monday, May 2, 10:30am - 11:30am
Location: Heikoff Giant Dome Theatre at the Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101

Life is full of materials that trigger thoughts and emotions; think of the bubbles of champagne on your tongue, the sound of a violin in your ears, the soft feeling of your favorite blanket. We can feel, hear and see these materials because of dynamic processes happening on the nano scale and how our brain processes the sensations. In this talk Dr. Darren Lipomi will share his team’s work on the intersection between the science of soft materials and the science of touch. Through this work, scientists are beginning to understand how the sensations of touching a material manifests in our consciousness and how this could help develop realistic sensations in prostheses and virtual reality.

Darren Lipomi earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Boston University in 2005 and his Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University in June, 2010. At Harvard, he worked materials chemistry and nanofabrication, From 2010 to 2012, he was at Stanford University where his work focused on organic materials for mechanically compliant photovoltaic cells and electronic skin. He was appointed in 2012 as member of the faculty in the Department of NanoEngineering, at the University of California, San Diego, where he also serves as the departmental Diversity Officer. He is an author of over 100 publications and four licensed patents. His research has been covered by around one hundred news organizations and sci-tech websites, including CNN, Nature, Popular Science, Wired, Physics World, CNET, PCWorld, and Gizmodo.

Please see flyer here.

The UCSD Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCSD Materials Science and Engineering Program, Nano3/SDNI, and Division of Physical Sciences Center for Student Success are sponsoring an industry interaction day, with support of UC San Diego MRSEC. The goal is to foster interactions between MS students, PhD students, postdoctoral associates, and research active BS students with representatives from industry seeking to recruit students to positions in their companies. The event will feature talks about careers in industry, speed interviews, and panel discussions on how to get and succeed in a job interview.

Date: April 8, 2022
Time: 12pm - 5:30pm
Location: The Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club

For more information, please see the flyer.

nanoComposix Internship & Career Info Session

Internship/Career INFO SESSION - nanoComposix
Monday, April 4, 2 PM - 3 PM PST

nanoComposix is a world leading manufacturer of precisely engineered and highly characterized nanoparticles. The company's mission is to help customers bring nanotechnology-enabled products to market

  • Dr. Jian Yang, Senior Scientist/UC San Diego MRSEC Industrial Affiliate
  • Marissa Puppo, Scientific Recruiter

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 


Title: How Nano Solar Cells Could Change our Global Energy Future

Speaker: Professor David Fenning, Nanoengineering, UC San Diego

Date/Time: Monday, April 4, 10:30am - 11:30am

Location: Heikoff Giant Dome Theatre at the Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101

The advancement of solar power to replace fossil fuel power has been slower than some have hoped. The main reasons for that are the development and installation costs for solar cells, as well as their dependance on silicon technology. But all that might change in the near future, thanks to a new nano-engineered material called perovskite. With this material, solar cells are easier and less cost-intensive to produce, while being nearly as efficient as commercial solar cells. In this talk Dr. David Fenning will share how solar cell technology has evolved and how nanoscale solar cells may enable solar to dominate our global energy future.

Dr. David P. Fenning is an Associate Professor of NanoEngineering at UC San Diego, where he directs the Solar Energy Innovation Laboratory. His research focuses on improving the performance and reliability of commercial silicon and pre-commercial perovskite solar cells and on CO2 recycling. He has authored over 70 publications in these areas. He completed his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford in 2008 and earned his Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering in 2013.

Since 1967, the North American Silicon Symposium (originally the Organosilicon Symposium) has brought together individuals in from industry and academia to celebrate innovation in silicon chemistry and the recipient of the Frederic Stanley Kipping award. The 2020 awardee is Dr. Barry Arkles, founder, president, and chief technology officer of Gelest Corp. The 2022 awardee is Dr. Kim Baines, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Western Ontario. The Institute for Materials Discovery & Design at the University of California, San Diego is pleased to host the 51st Annual Silicon Symposium at the new venue, Park & Market in Downtown San Diego.

The registration deadline is Friday, February 18, 2022. Register by the end of Tuesday, January 18, 2022 to take advantage of Early Bird pricing! Register at https://sisymposium.com/registration.html

Spring Break RIMSE 2022

Chemistry & Biochemistry: Introduction to Research Immersion in Materials Science & Engineering (RIMSE)

Dates: Monday through Thursday, March 21-24, 2022 from 9 a.m. - noon and 1 -4 p.m. PST
Location: Silicon Nanomaterials Research Laboratory - Pacific Hall; also remote via Zoom
Contact: PI - Michael Sailor, Distinguished Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry, msailor@ucsd.edu

Program: Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology 

The four-day program will consist of:

  1. Safety training/lab tours, including the general safety training required by the university (chemical hazards, etc.) as well as laboratory-specific safety training;
  2. Research opportunities overview (via Zoom);
  3. Shadowing on Discovery projects with current graduate/undergraduate student mentors.

Please email Professor Sailor to register.

Title: The Year Nanotechnology Saved the World (From Covid19) or Hey who put their nano in my medicine?
Speaker: Distinguished Professor Michael Sailor, Chemistry & Biochemistry, UC San Diego

Date/Time: Monday, March 7, 10:30am - 11:30am
Location: Heikoff Giant Dome Theatre at the Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101

Join the UC San Diego MRSEC Director, Distinguished Professor Michael Sailor, as he shares facts about how nanoparticles are used in current medicines (like the Coronavirus vaccines), and why researchers are so excited about the future applications of nanotechnology in medicine.

U.S. Army Research Laboratory Internship & Career Info Session

Internship/Career INFO SESSION - DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory
Wednesday, February 23, 12:00 - 1:00pm PST

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Army Research Laboratory is the Army’s research laboratory strategically placed under the Army Futures Command. ARL is the Army’s sole fundamental research laboratory focused on cutting-edge scientific discovery, technological innovation, and transition of knowledge products that offer incredible potential to improve the Army’s chances of surviving and winning any future conflicts.

  • Dr. Wayne Churaman, Team Lead - Protective Technologies, UC San Diego MRSEC Government Affiliate
  • Joseph Gamson, Plans & Programs / Outreach Team
  • Danell Diggs, Program Staff Advisor

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 


January 26, 2022 | 11:00 AM PT

Join the Director of Cell Engineering + MRSEC Advisory Committee Member, a Senior Cell Materials Engineer and recruiters from Tesla to learn about internship opportunities and "A Day in the Life" of a Cell Engineer at Tesla.

Register in advance on Handshake or https://forms.office.com/r/EZNpNpBwMX

"Self-Care is Not the Enemy of Performance"

UC San Diego MRSEC Changemaker Week 2022 will host Professor Jennifer Heemstra to give a virtual talk on the topic of self care and performance as a part of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Climate Seminar Series. Please join us on Thursday, January 20th at 11 AM PT. Jennifer M. Heemstra (she/her/hers) is a Professor of Chemistry and Director of Faculty Recruiting and Development at Emory University.

Please see the event flyer for more information.

Zoom Registration: https://bit.ly/3F3i97I 

Institute of Materials Discovery and Design (IMDD) Seminar December 13 | Two Takeaways from COP26: Decarbonization and Electrification of Mobility

The Institute for Materials Discovery and Design (IMDD) welcomes you to our last seminar in the 2021 Seminar Series.
Prof. Mihri Ozkan isa Professor of Physics at UC Riverside. In her talk, Prof. Ozkan will discuss how the pledges made by COP26 will be actualized in the efforts made to electrify mobility options and the process of direct air capture of carbon dioxide to combat carbon emissions in transportation.
Title: Two Takeaways from COP26: Decarbonization and Electrification of Mobility
Speaker: Prof. Mihri Ozkan, Department of Electric and Computer Engineering, UC Riverside
Time: Monday, December 13th, 2021 11:00AM-12:00PM (PST)
This will be a Hybrid Seminar, please register for either in-person or virtual attenance.
In person attendance is limited to 40 attendees. 
In Person Registration: https://forms.gle/2N68Myaz71QbjSMV9
Oct. 11, 2021 |  Source: Fleet Science Center

October 11, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m
Topic: Nanotechnology in our World

What do the waterproof fabric Gore-tex and the latest coronavirus vaccines have in common? They are both made using nanotechnology. An increasing number of the products we encounter in our daily lives contain nanometer-scale objects that enable their function, and even many “conventional” products are now made using nanotechnology. What is it about a nanomaterial that makes it different?  Providing examples from the fields of medicine, consumer products, and environmental safety, Prof. Sailor will discuss the promises, the challenges, and the dangers of the emerging field of nanotechnology.

LocationThorn Street Brewery North Park, 3176 Thorn St, San Diego, CA 92104
We thank Thorn for opening their doors for us again! Thorn Beer will be available for purchase and food will be available from a local food truck!

September 25, 2021 (Saturday) 8:45 am - 11:50 am PDT
September 26, 2021 (Sunday) 9:00 am - 11 am PDT
"How to Optimize our Knowledge Management Strategies to Ensure Streamlining and Sustainability of K-12 Nanotechnology Education"

Location: Virtual Event via Zoom Meeting


Sept. 13, 2021 |  Source: Fleet Science Center

September 13, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Please note different time!
Topic: Human and Machine Intelligence in Nanoengineering 

Recent advances in computing power and computer vision have facilitated a new way of thinking about designing nanomaterials for energy, human health and climate resilience applications. What does the future hold? And, what are the prospects for these new approaches in addressing some of our biggest challenges? Tod Pascal will take us through a brief journey on using computer simulations to advance material science, highlighting successes, challenges and a lot of surprises at the UC San Diego Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, specifically in the Predictive assembly thrust.

LocationWaterfront Grill at Pier 32 Marina, 3201 Marina Way, National City, CA 91950
We thank the Waterfront Grill for welcoming us for the first time to National City! Waterfront Grill offers delicious food as well as full bar. We encourage you to come early to order food and drinks before the event starts. PLEASE NOTE: This is an outdoor venue. Please plan accordingly. Heaters will be available.

August 9, 2021 |  Source: Fleet Science Center

August 9, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Topic: The Race for Better Batteries

Conversion of raw materials into usable energy and storage of the energy produced are common aspects of everyday life. The development of better batteries is a key technological challenge of the 21st century. Advances will allow smaller more powerful batteries and will provide a greater ability to harness more sustainable energy sources and improve our quality of life. Prof. Shirley Meng leads the Laboratory for Energy Storage and Conversion (LESC), at the University of California San Diego to design and develop new functional nano-materials and nano-structures for energy storage and conversion. Learn more how her lab’s research has made batteries safer, more powerful and last longer.

Location: Wavelength Brewing, 236 Main Street, Vista, CA 92084
We thank Wavelength Brewing for welcoming us back into their space after a year of virtual Suds & Science events. Wavelength beers will be available for purchase and we encourage you to bring your own dinner!

July 12, 2021  |  Source: Fleet Science Center

Monday, July 12, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Making Medicine More Equitable through Materials Science

The global pandemic has highlighted the vast disparities in access to life-saving drugs and vaccines between rich and poor communities and nations. Dr. Pokorski is trying to use lessons learned in the manufacturing of Legos to make access to medicine more equitable throughout the world. By using tools from plastics manufacturing, his research provides the opportunity to administer treatments at home that are painless, eliminate the need for multiple doses of a vaccine, and allows for pharmaceutical products to be shipped throughout the world without need for refrigeration. Learn more about how Dr. Pokorski is using common manufacturing tools to make new vaccines for HPV, cholesterol, and even COVID-19.

Presenter: Jonathan Pokorski, Associate Professor, Nanoengineering, UC San Diego

Location: We are back to in-person events! And we thank Thorn Brewing for hosting our first in-person event in over a year!
Thorn Brewing, 3176 Thorn Street, San Diego, CA 92104
Thorn Beers available for purchase. Bring your own dinner to enjoy!

May 17, 2021  |  Source: Fleet Science Center

Monday, June 14, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Topic: What are Nano Materials and why Should we Care?
Presenter: Andrea Tao, Associate Professor, Nanoengineering, UC San Diego

Location: via Zoom
Additional information coming soon

March 4, 2021  |  Source: Fleet Science Center

March 8, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Topic: From Black-Eyed Peas to Cancer Nanotechnology

We are living in a global pandemic and all of us are thinking about viruses. Pandemic or not, Dr. Steinmetz has viruses on her mind all the time… specifically plant viruses. To her, plant viruses are not pathogens or infectious agents – rather, Dr. Steinmetz sees plant viruses as ‘nanoscale’ tools that can be repurposed for applications targeting human health. While plant viruses can interact with cells in the human body, they cannot infect humans and the research in Dr. Steinmetz Lab sets out to engineer plant viruses to fight cancer, cardiovascular disease, and lately also COVID-19. Learn more about how her lab’s research has successfully treated cancer in dogs, and what that might mean for humans.

Location: Virtual through Zoom

To register, visit the Fleet Science Center website.