BCOE Engineers Respond to COVID-19
The core of engineering and a key part of BCOE's mission is to conduct cutting-edge research that addresses important societal needs. That’s why our BCOE community is responsive to the current needs during COVID-19. Here’s what our faculty, students, and alumni are doing to meet this moment and discover solutions to combat this pandemic.
Using supercomputers to combat COVID-19
Led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and IBM, in March a new COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) Consortium was launched. As part of this effort and in partnership with Microsoft, Bryan Wong is using quantum chemistry to identify COVID-19 inhibitors. His use of predictive, GPU-enabled simulations are aiming to narrow in on promising solutions in a more feasible and cost-effective way.
In addition, bioengineering researchers led by Giulia Palermo are studying the interactions of the virus's genetic material with the proteins of a gene-editing system. Her team hopes to use their findings to develop a rapid CRISPR-based test for COVID-19.
Combatting lung damage due to ventilator use
While ventilators are being used to treat COVID-19 patients, medical professionals have concerns about lung injury, often caused by excessive ventilator force on lung tissue. At our bMech lab, Mona Eskandari, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is conducting research to combat lung damage due to overventilation.
Computer engineering freshman builds computers for high school students in need
Student Ervin Young is ensuring students in his hometown in Pleasanton have access to the technology they need to succeed. A local school district had supplied low-income students with Chromebooks, but these have limited capabilities for students in computer science and video editing. And so, Young built a prototype desktop computer fully equipped with display and keyboard - and plans to build at least five more. The school district will distribute them to the students, who can keep permanently.
Social distancing in Southern California has unexpected impact on air quality
Immune system suppression in influenza could transfer directly to COVID-19
Sometimes when an immune system ramps up to fight a viral infection, this can cause cytokine storms and damage lung tissue enough to kill many COVID-19 patients. Bioengineering researcher Jiayu Liao is working to suppress this type of cytokine response and learn more about its implication for the novel coronavirus.
Removing the novel coronavirus from the water cycle
Scientists know that coronavirus, including the SARS-CoV-19 responsible for the current pandemic, can remain infectious for days in sewage and drinking water. Chemical and environmental engineering researcher Haizhou Liu is teaming up with Vincenzo Naddeo University of Salerno in Italy, to call for international collaborations to determine whether water treatment methods are effective in killing coronaviruses.
Getting a closer look at the structure of COVID-19
As part of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, chemical and environmental engineering researcher Bryan Wong and his students are working with Microsoft to determine the fine structure of COVID-19 using precise quantum-mechanical models. His group recently used the same approach to predict drug binding to HIV.
A method for sterilizing masks
Unearthing knowledge to fight COVID-19
Computer science professor Vagelis Papalexakis is working to understand the mass amount of COVID-19 publications, as part of an initiative through the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. Papalexakis is also detecting and tracking misinformation as it relates to COVID-19.
Learn more Contact Prof. Papalexakis
Stopping the virus on surfaces
Materials science and engineering professor Suveen Mathaudhu has been looking at how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, dies on copper. Investigating what this can mean for medical applications, Mathaudhu is working on better ways to make materials that could be used for antimicrobial and antiviral surfaces.
Contact Prof. Mathaudhu
Surface coating against COVID-19
Materials science and engineering professor Cengiz Ozkan is working on a potential anti-bacterial surface coating for packaging, floors and walls to help mitigate COVID-19.
Contact Prof. Ozkan
Collaborating with UCR Library
BCOE engineers coordinated with the UCR Library Creat'R Lab to use 3D printers to create parts for face shields for local medical facilities.
Engineering professor was ready for online instruction long before pandemic
Computer Science professor Frank Vahid has been using web-based teaching tools and online instruction in his courses since 2012. He thinks some online and hybrid classes can improve the college experience, for both students and faculty, with advantages like immediate feedback, interactive animations and more guest speakers from around the world.