BEST Seminars 2010

Seminars: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 2013 2012 2011 | 2010

Sohyeong Kim, BEST Lab, University of California at Berkeley
“Open Innovation as a Form of Learning: Case Study of Chez Panisse Ecosystem

1PM, Thurs. Dec. 9, 2010: BEST Lab, 6102 Etcheverry Hall


Hugh Dubberly, Dubberly Design Office, San Francisco
“Design in the Age of Biology: Shifting from mechanical to organic, from object to system

6PM, Tues. Nov. 16, 2010: Cal Design Lab, 501 SE Wurster

From Newton through the Industrial revolution up to
today, mechanical metaphors have dominated our thinking. Mechanics as a
system for describing the clockwork motion of the heavens. The rise of
engines, engineers, and engineering. Yet now, we are in the early stages
of a new revolution, this time in biology. How will it reframe our view
of the world? Will the revolution in biology give rise to new
metaphors? How will this affect design practice and design education?

Catherine Newman, University of California – Berkeley
Ph.D. Seminar – “Information Scaffolding: Applications to Technical Animation

9AM, Tues. Oct. 26, 2010: Etcheverry – 6101 (Tien)

Information Scaffolding is a user-centered approach
to information design; a method devised to aid “everyday” authors in
information composition. Information Scaffolding places a premium on
audience-centered documents by emphasizing the information needs and
motivations of a multimedia document’s intended audience. The aim of
this method is to structure information in such a way that an intended
audience can gain a fuller understanding of the information presented
and is able to incorporate knowledge for future use. Information
Scaffolding looks to strengthen the quality of a document’s impact both
on the individual and on the broader, ongoing disciplinary discussion,
by better couching a document’s contents in a manner relevant to the
user. Thus far, instructional research design has presented varying
suggested guidelines for the design of multimedia instructional
materials (technical animations, dynamic computer simulations, etc.),
primarily do’s and don’ts. The unique difference here is that
Information Scaffolding is suggesting an initial methodology designed to
address the information and educational needs of a document’s intended
audience. Information Scaffolding is an adaptation of well-established
user-centered design approaches applied to information design in an
attempt to provide “everyday” authors with a flexible and yet structured
procedure for how to construct “everyday” documents capable of
improving knowledge transfer.

The Information Scaffolding method
is characterized by 3-pillars. The first is a learning primer designed
to inform “everyday” authors about a few key concepts related to
learning, including the number of cells in the brain and the roles of
prior knowledge and attention in learning. The second is a set of
methods which help “everyday” authors begin to construct
audience-centered documents, tailored to a unique audience. The two key
methods for audience assessment are the concept inventory and the
audience demography. The third is a set of 7 design heuristics which are
suggested design principles aid the author with information design.
These 7 principles are: Information Metaphor, Conceptual
Chunking/Information Density, Wayfinding & Navigation,
Prioritization of Key Information, Temporal & Spatial Relationships,
Global & Local Perspectives and finally the use of Complementary

Dr. Jeremy J. Michalek, Carnegie Mellon University
Life cycle cost, greenhouse gas emissions, petroleum
consumption, and air pollution implications of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
1PM, Fri. Oct. 22, 2010: East side of CITRIS Building (Sutardja Dai Hall) 4th Floor

Plug in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have the
potential to help reduce operating cost, petroleum consumption,
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and air pollution in the United States.
But life cycle implications depend critically on vehicle design, battery
technology, driving and charging behavior, gasoline prices and grid
characteristics. This seminar will compare life cycle implications of
plug-in vehicles to alternatives under a range of scenarios. Using
vehicle physics simulation models, battery degradation data, U.S.
driving data, and optimal design and allocation models, the seminar will
discuss (1) best sizing for PHEV battery capacity; (2) battery
degradation and underutilized battery capacity; (3) carbon allowance
prices and cost competitiveness of PHEVs; and (4) valuation of damages
from life cycle emissions and petroleum consumption of conventional and
electrified vehicles compared to differences in costs.

This talk is based on research published in the Journal of Mechanical Design (paper) as well as in Energy Policy (paper). For additional information, you can visit Dr. Michalek’s research page.

You can download a copy of the presentation slides here.

Mary Kathryn Thompson, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST)
“Research and Education in the KAIST Freshman Design Program”
3PM, Weds. Oct. 20th, 2010: 3110 Etcheverry Hall

Design has long been considered an important part of higher
education, particularly for students in fields related to science,
technology and math. However, design and design thinking are receiving
even greater emphasis these days, with many engineering programs
introducing design in the freshman year and introducing design-centric
curricula with design elements in all four years of undergraduate
education. At KAIST, design is included in the undergraduate core
curriculum and is required for all incoming students regardless of
major. This presentation will briefly describe the KAIST Freshman Design
Course (ED100: Introduction to Design and Communication) including its
history, motivation, philosophy, logistics, successes, and challenges.
Ongoing work at KAIST to increase the rigor of design education,
particularly in the evaluation process, and to improve the logistics of
large scale, project-based design education will be discussed. Finally,
design research that has been inspired by the development of the KAIST
Freshman Design Course will be presented.

Alex Green, University of California, Berkeley
“Predictive Model for Lunar Percussive Excavation”
1PM, Fri. Sept. 24, 2010: BEST Lab, 6102 Etcheverry Hall

As part of the original plans of the Constellation program set up to
send astronauts back to the moon, NASA has been working on technologies
for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). One of the key challenges of
ISRU is the ability to excavate a sufficient amount of lunar soil,
regolith. Due to challenges of lower gravitational acceleration and cost
of mass transportation to the moon, percussive excavation is being
examined as a plausible solution of over-coming high soil reaction
forces while maintaining a relatively low level of body forces.  This
work outlines the approach that is being undertaken to construct a
numeric predictive model which will be used to test different
hypothetical excavation scenarios on the moon while utilizing percussive
excavation technology.

Guillermo Garcia, University of California, Berkeley
“Electrochromic Windows: A Nano Approach”
12PM, Fri. Aug. 27, 2010: BEST Lab, 602 Etcheverry Hall

A recent focus on the enhancement of building efficiency has
generated new interest on the development of fast switching/durable
electrochromic windows.  Investigation of antimony doped tin
dioxide nanocrystalline films1 and sol gel processed niobium oxide2 has demonstrated electrochromic properties in the near infrared and visible spectra
respectively.1 In order to explore the ability to enhance the
absorbance of both the visible and near infrared spectra, we prepare
nanocomposites of indium tin oxide (ITO) nanoparticles in a niobium
oxide cluster matrix. Using a combination of X-ray diffraction, cyclic
spectroelectrochemical measurements, and impedance spectroscopy, we
report the electrochromic properties of our nanocomposite films.
Preliminary results of niobium oxide thin films show
coloration at ~1.85V and bleaching at ~1.9V vs.  lithium. A change in
50% transmission between colored and
bleached states is seen for films of ~400nm thick. Cyclic voltammagrams
of ITO particle films display a capacitive nature, confirming its
capability to
modulate near infrared light. These preliminary experiments serve as a
prelude to an anticipated rich behavior in electrochromic properties of
oxide nanocomposite films.

[1] Felde, U.Z., et
, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2000, 104 (40), 9388-9395.
[2] Ozer, N., et. al., Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 40 (1996) 285-2

Katherine Strausser
“Development of a Human Machine Interface for Exoskeletons for Spinal Cord Injury Patients”
3-4PM, Thu. Aug. 19, 2010: BEST Lab, 602 Etcheverry Hall

Multiple exoskeletons are in development for use by spinal cord
injury patients, but the means by which the user communicates their
desired action is cumbersome and unrefined. This project focuses on
developing a human machine interface (HMI) offers a method by which
these exoskeletons can be easily and safely controlled by the user. It
examines both the hardware and the software components of the HMI. I
will present my work in developing the sensor suite used in the HMI, the
development of the finite state machine, and the extensions to improve
safety and usability.

Ryan Shelby, Berkeley Energy and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Design Laboratory, Mech. Eng. Dept.
“Culturally-Inspired, Sustainable Housing, Energy and Water Systems with the Pinoleville-Pomo Nation”
10-11AM, Wed. Aug. 4, 2010: East
Side of CITRIS Building (Sutardja Dai Hall)

The notion of developing sustainable
communities is generally accepted as a way to reduce the negative
environmental impacts associated with human activities, increase the
health of citizens, and increase the economic vitality of communities
within a
country.In order to further the development of sustainable communities,
federal and local governments have placed significant attention upon
designing sustainability and renewable energy technologies, such as
photovoltaic (solar) and grey water recycling system to
reduce (1) fossil fuel based energy consumption, (2) water consumption,
and (3) climate changing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated
activities. The Pinoleville Pomo Nation (PPN) of Ukiah, CA, is an
example of a Native American government and community that has embarked
upon an infrastructure development program to design
and build culturally appropriate, sustainable housing and implement
renewable energy systems for its members.

This presentation
describes the methodology and lessons learned from a partnership with
the Pinoleville Pomo Nation and UC Berkeley’s Community Assessment of
Energy and Sustainability (CARES) team to co-design sustainable housing
and renewable energy systems that utilizes sustainability best practices
as well as reflect the long-standing culture and traditions of the
PPN.We present the Pomo-inspired housing
design created by this partnership and will provide an overview of the
work done in the Summer of 2010 on water conservation, renewable energy
power systems, and electric vehicle transportation systems.

Ken Goldberg, BCNM, IEOR, EECS, School of Information
“Opinion Space: Using Dimensionality Reduction to Visualize Public Opinion and Crowdsource Inights”
10-11AM, Wed. July 28, 2010: East
Side of CITRIS Building (Sutardja Dai Hall)

“Opinion is the medium between ignorance and knowledge.”  — Plato

is notoriously ill-defined and subject to biases and uncertainty
principles. On March 15 2010, the U.S. State Department launched Opinion
Space, a visualization tool for world opinion developed by students and
colleagues at the UC Berkeley Center for New Media.  We use
dimensionality reduction techniques to display the emerging diversity of
viewpoints and collaborative scoring metrics to help the community
highlight comments that are most insightful.  The display is not based
on geography or predetermined categories, but on similarity of opinion.
I’ll present the concepts behind the experiment, our experiences working
with the State Dept, results so far, and next steps including
integrating text analysis using Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA).
You can give it a try at:

Jocelise Jacques, Berkeley Energy and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Design Lab
“Sustainable Product Development Initiatives in the Footwear Industry based on the Cradle-to-Cradle Concept”
10-11AM, Wed. July 21, 2010: East
Side of CITRIS Building (Sutardja Dai Hall)

According to the cradle-to-cradle concept, products must be designed
in such a way that, in the end of their service life, they can be reused
without loss of quality (as technical nutrients) or returned to the
environment as biological nutrients and safely decomposed. The main
questions, however, are how to move away from the traditional linear
system of production (cradle to grave) into a cyclic cradle to cradle
concept, and which parameters should be considered during the design
process in order to achieve real sustainable characteristics through
sustainable design and development. This research has focused on the
footwear industry, whose products satisfy a basic human need and are
ubiquitous worldwide. After going through a dramatic change in its
business model over the last few decades with the advent of outsourcing,
today this industry has large economic and environmental impact, highly
centralized manufacturing and a complex supply chain, in addition to
early but notable efforts on green product development – characteristics
that make it a compelling industry to study.

Click here to see the presentation.

Mark Mizrahl, EnLink
“Using the Power of the Earth to Heat and Cool”
2-3PM, Wed. July 14, 2010: CITRIS 458

EnLink continues to be an innovative leader in the geothermal heat pump
(GHP) industry by virtue of its continuous improvement in the
installation of underground loop systems, called Earth Heat Exchangers

Laura Schewel, Energy & Resources
Group, UC Berkeley
“Smart Transporation: Mobile Information Systems
for Transportation Sustainability”
10-11AM, Wed. July 14, 2010: East Side of CITRIS Building

Leaders in the government and business have successfully rallied around the concept of the Smart Grid.  According
to the Department of Energy, the Smart Grid will apply “information-age
technologies, such as microprocessors, communications, advanced
computing, and information technologies,”  to improve our existing
grid. We find that in the transportation sector, which puts a higher
monthly fuel cost burden on American families than their monthly
electrical bill, the same story can be told about information
technology (IT). Applying IT to the transportation can replace opacity
with real time feedback in topics ranging from traffic to fuel
expenditures, and thus increase citizens’, businesses’ and policy
makers’ ability to make more economically and environmentally
responsible choices. The tools for such a “Smart Transportation” system
are, literally, already at our fingertips and in our purses.  An
example, which will be presented, is the Virtual Electrified Vehicle
Test Drive, which uses smart phones to educate citizens about the match
between their driving habits and the potential advantages of
electrified vehicle (EV) technology options.

Laura Stachel, WE CARE Solar
“Women’s Emergency Communication and Reliable Electricity: WE CARE Solar”
10:45-11:15AM, Wed. July 7, 2010: East
Side of CITRIS Building

Laura Stachel presents on her work in Nigeria providing affordable, dependable electricity for medical applications. Read more about the project at its website.


Laura Schewel, Energy & Resources Group, UC Berkeley
“Smart Transporation: Mobile Information Systems for Transportation Sustainability”
10-10:45AM, Wed. July 7, 2010: CITRIS Room 458

Laura Schewel presents on the basic of electric vehicles and electric vehicle infrastructures.

Smart Transportation: Mobile Information Systems for Transportation Sustainability

Kenneth Armijo and Sara Beaini
CalSolAgua: Advanced Affordable Solar Water Heater Team
10-10:45AM, Wed. July 7, 2010: CITRIS Room 458

developed a solar water heater for use in Guatemalan households that
can retail at $150, while current technologies markets at least at $400.
By reducing the need for traditional energy sources, solar water
heating can reduce energy costs for Guatemalan households and reduce
global environmental impacts from unsustainable biomass and fossil fuel
consumption. Partnering with a development infrastructure
non-governmental organization (NGO) in Guatemala, the team has been
conducting field testing since Summer 2007 in Xela. Additionally, in
collaboration with CARES, the team just
completed a new installation
at Pinoleville Pomo Nation in Ukiah. The team is an interdisciplinary
group of six current and former graduate students at UC-Berkeley,
supported by several professors and engineers with backgrounds in
technology development and business ventures in developing countries.

Presentation: CalSolAgua Advanced Affordable Solar Water Heater Team

Jessica Vechakul, Berkeley Energy and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Design Laboratory
Title: Chlorine Production for Water Treatment in Resource-Constrained Communities
Wed. June 23, 2010: CITRIS Room 458

to a 2006 UNDP report, “overcoming the crisis in water and sanitation
is one of the greatest human development challenges of the early 21st
century.” One-sixth of the world’s population does not have access to
safe drinking water. Chlorine is one of the most effective methods for
treating biologically-contaminated water because it continues to
disinfect after the initial treatment. The residual effectiveness of
chlorine is critical since 40% of water collected from improved sources
is re-contaminated after collection during transport, storage, or use.
In many resource-constrained areas, chlorine is not available.

LoChlorine project addresses these problems with a chlorine producer – a
portable device using small-scale renewable energy sources in off-grid
areas to produce chlorine through electrolysis of table salt and water.
This talk will give a general overview of the project and a short
demonstration of the chlorine producer prototype.  We are recruiting
more students to improve the design of the prototype, redesign for mass
manufacturing, and to conduct experiments to test the quality and
effectiveness of the chlorine produced.  Pilot tests will be conducted
in villages near Kolkata, India in Fall 2010.

Chris Jones, Renewable and Appopriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL)
Title: Carbon Management Tools for U.S. Households and small businesses
10AM, Mon.
June 21, 2010: CITRIS Room 458

Chris Jones will present on his work on the Cool Climate Calculator,
an interactive tool for enabling American households and businesses to
assess and reduce their individual carbon dioxide emissions.

His presentation can be downloaded from this link.