Calit2 at UCSD Welcomes Transplants from Calit2 at UCI to Engineering Faculty in San Diego

By Denine Hagen, 858-534-2920,

San Diego, CA, October 3, 2006 -- One of Calit2's most active academic participants at UC Irvine is staying within the Calit2 fold but moving to a faculty position at UC San Diego. Falko Kuester is one of 11 new faculty hires in the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering for the 2006-'07 academic year, bringing the school's total faculty to 175.  The new faculty will help advance the school’s focus on nanotechnology and nanomaterials, and  complement existing strengths in earthquake engineering, broadband communications, computer architecture, information theory, machine learning, computer graphics, visualization and virtual reality. 

Falko Kuester
   Falko Kuester at the HIPerWall at UC Irvine
Associate Professor Kuester and three other new hires have primary appointments in the school's Structural Engineering department. Kuester will be Calit2 Professor for Visualization and Virtual Reality and will also has a joint appointment as an adjunct associate professor of computer science and engineering.  He is an expert in scientific visualization and virtual reality, with specific emphasis on collaborative workspaces, multi-modal interfaces, and distributed and remote visualization. Kuester's focus is on developing new methods for acquisition, compression, streaming, synchronization and visualization techniques for large datasets.  He is applying these techniques to research challenges posed by distributed virtual environments and their application to earthquake engineering, earth system science, biomedical engineering and medicine. At UC Irvine, Kuester directs the Calit2 Center of GRAVITY, a research center for graphics, visualization and imaging technology, and he will continue to be actively engaged in forging collaborations among Calit2, structural engineering, and computer science and engineering at UCSD.    Kuester begins his service at UCSD in January 2007 and will be joined by his research team in Atkinson Hall.

Tara Hutchinson
  Tara Hutchinson
Kuester will join Tara Hutchinson, who moved to UCSD July 1st from UC Irvine, also as an Associate Professor in Structural Engineering. Hutchinson’s area of expertise is structural and geotechnical engineering, and her research is focused on information technology applied to the evaluation of structural damage.  Her IT research, combined with her expertise in earthquake engineering, strengthen the Structural Engineering Department’s efforts in sensing and monitoring of structural response, large-scale dynamic-model experimentation, preparedness and pre- and post-event characterization of structural integrity.  Hutchinson works as both an experimentalist and theoretician, and has tackled issues in soil-foundation-structure analysis, seismic performance of structural and non-structural building components, and visual sensing for dynamic testing.

Other new structural engineering faculty include Associate Professor Hyonny Kim,  from Purdue University, where his research interests include composite materials and durability research, and composite materials for aerospace structures applications; and Associate Professor Yu Qiao, from the University of Akron, whose research focuses on high-performance infrastructure materials, failure analysis, and mechanics of materials.  .   

Eric Fullerton
     Eric Fullerton

The most senior new faculty appointment at the Jacobs School is Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Eric Fullerton (UCSD alumnus, 1991), who will play a key role in the development of the Jacobs School’s programs in nanotechnology and nano-scale materials science.  Fullerton is an internationally recognized scientist in thin-film magnetic materials and superlattice growth, magnetic recording and nanostructures, and x-ray and neutron scattering.  He will hold an endowed chair in the UCSD Center for Magnetic Recording Research.  Fullerton joins UCSD January 2007 from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies where he currently serves as a senior manager and research scientist with the Fundamentals of Nano-structured Materials Group.  

Also in computer science, Associate Professor Lawrence Saul joins the department’s artificial intelligence group.

Young-Han Kim
  Young-Han Kim

The Electrical and Computer Engineering department has two new hires, both as Assistant Professors. Young-Han Kim joins the department's communications theory and systems group and works in the area of information theory and statistical signal processing. He will participate in Calit2's Information Theory and Applications (ITA) Center. Within the context of today's high-speed, high-volume information processing systems, Kim primarily addresses challenges of describing information efficiently and transmitting it reliably in the presence of noise and interference. "He is especially known for his work on communication with feedback," said ITA director Alon Orlitsky, i.e., in channels were the communication is two-way. Kim's other research interests include statistical inference, learning theory, and quantum information processing.   Kim worked at Ton Yang Systems Corp. in Korea from 1996 to 1999 before moving to Stanford University where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering statistics and electrical engineering in 2006. 

Adding to the ECE department’s strength in electronic circuits and systems, James Buckwalter’s focus is broadband circuit design for high-speed electrical and optical communication systems, including the design of transmitter, receiver, equalizer, and clock and data recovery circuits. Other new faculty include: Steven Swanson, an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering, who investigates unconventional microprocessor designs focused on integrating hardware, programming languages and software; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Assistant Professor Jan Kleissl, who adds to the department's strength in environmental engineering; and Melissa Marcou, an alum of UCSD's Bioengineering department (Ph.D. 2001), who returns to the department to teach its senior-design course and other undergraduate curricula.

Related Links
Falko Kuester Research Profile
Jacobs School of Engineering

Related Projects
Center for GRAVITY