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Broadcom Foundation contributes to UCI’s graduate engineering school

The firm’s $400,000 contribution will establish graduate fellowships

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: December 19, 2012 03:15 PM

Irvine-based chip manufacturer Broadcom has donated $400,000 to UC Irvine’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering to fund graduate fellowships for students at the school.  The aim of the Broadcom Foundation’s gift is to offset several years of tuition increases and cuts to state funding at the school, and encourage students in the applied sciences.

"The Henry Samueli School of Engineering has distinguished itself as a leading research institute where innovations in electrical engineering and computer science are rapidly taking place," said Paula Golden, executive director of the Broadcom Foundation. “These new fellowships enable Professor Li and his team to recruit the best and the brightest to continue this impressive trend."

UCI Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science G.P. Li will oversee the fellowship program, which will support graduate students’ work and any interdisciplinary research projects for improving mobile devices’ communication technology. Students’ research projects will integrate computer science and electrical engineering to create a broader technological understanding and approach to meeting challenges in the future of the industry. The gift will support four electrical engineering graduate students each year for the next two years.

“Student fellowships have become increasingly important as schools around the country vie for the brightest young minds,” said Gregory Washington, dean of the Samueli School. “Students are a source of great energy and innovation, and this support from Broadcom Foundation will enable us to recruit the best engineering students who have promise in electrical engineering.”

The fellowships will center around two areas of research and development. The first deals with the development of multifunctional sensors for a range of applications. The sensors can be designed for embedding in a mobile device to create a more interactive experience, or placed on a person’s skin to act as health sensors to track biological information, such as low blood sugar. The second will address advanced methods and applications for multi-function packaging for the tech industry. In an industry utilizing more complex components and systems, packaging materials for casing and protecting must become more versatile as a means of facilitating performance while the platform for those systems becomes smaller and more intricate.

“Because we have played a leading role in micro- and nano-enabling technology, UC Irvine is well positioned to offer graduate research training and engineering development in the area of universal communication to extend and enhance the sole electronic communication function of mobile devices to the physical and biological world,” said Li, who has shared appointments in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering and materials science. “The Broadcom Fellowship will help us not only recruit the top talented students in the communications field, but it will also allow us to focus on innovations for the future.”

The Samueli school will begin accepting applications for the fellowships beginning Feb. 15, 2013, and the first fellows will begin in the spring quarter of 2013.

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