Electrical Engineering Distinguished Lectures

H. Tom Soh

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 (All day)


Cell Sorting and Directed Evolution in Microfluidic Systems


Current techniques in high performance molecular and cellular separations are limited by the inherent coupling among three competing parameters: throughput, purity, and recovery of rare species. Our group utilizes unique advantages of microfluidics technology to decouple these competing parameters by precise and reproducible generation of separation forces that are not accessible in conventional, macroscopic systems. In this seminar, we will first discuss novel high performance electrokinetic, magnetophoretic and acoustophoretic separation systems to purify rare target cells from complex mixtures. Next, we will discuss our recent work in applying the microfluidic separation systems for Rapid Directed Evolution of molecules (RDE). We will provide theoretical and experimental evidence for extremely fast generation of affinity reagents –molecular recognition elements that bind to target molecules with high affinity and specificity. Finally, we will present innovative methods of evolving molecular machines that are capable of performing complex functions, including binding induced conformation change and switching.


Dr. Soh received his B.S. with a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science with Distinction from Cornell University, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Prior to joining UCSB in 2003, Dr. Soh served as the technical manager of MEMS Device Research...  read more »

Michal Lipson

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 4:15pm

Clark Auditorium

Silicon Photonics: The Optical Spice Rack


Silicon is evolving as a versatile photonic platform with multiple functionalities that can be seamlessly integrated. The tool box is rich starting from the ability to guide and amplify multiple wavelength sources at GHz bandwidths, to optomechanical MEMS and opto-fluidics devices. As an example of novel device capabilities, I will discuss the generation of strong optical forces in these ultra small light confining structures. We have recently shown that optical forces can enable controllable, static manipulation of photonic structures, an important step towards enabling recently proposed functionalities for optomechanical devices, such as self-aligning and optical corralling behaviour. These advances should enable future micro-optomechanical systems (MOMS) with novel and distinct functionalities.


Prof Michal Lipson received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in physics in the Technion— Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, in 1998. In December 1998, she joined the Department of Material Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a Postdoctoral...  read more »

Arati Prabhakar

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 4:15pm

Allen Building, Room 101X

Next: Breakthrough Technologies for National Security


DARPA, established in the wake of Sputnik to prevent technological surprise, has instigated many major defense capabilities that our military has used to reshape U.S. warfighting. Today, current and potential adversaries ranging from nation states to individuals, all with ready access to powerful commercial technologies, create a national security landscape that poses new, diverse, and fast-changing threats. Severe fiscal pressures mean "more of the same" is not an option for this future. Working with Science and Technology (S&T) across the Services and with universities, companies, and labs across the country, DARPA is pursuing efforts to catalyze the next generation of air dominance, extract deep insights from enormous masses of data, and even understand and harness that most complex and essential component of the Warfighter, the human brain. Pursuing these and other emerging opportunities and integrating their full impacts into our armamentarium will challenge current approaches to how we buy, deploy, support, and employ our national security and warfighting systems. But that disruption will be modest compared to the disadvantages it will wreak on our adversaries, and a worthy investment to achieve our ongoing goal of protecting against and fostering technological surprise.


Arati Prabhakar is the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Dr. Prabhakar's first service to national security started in 1986 when she joined DARPA as a program manager. She initiated and managed programs in advanced semiconductor technology and flexible...  read more »