As Director of UC San Diego's Mechanical Engineering Design Center, Nate Delson believes in project-based learning and teaches students how to construct myriad contraptions—from robots and clocks to medical devices. An alumnus of UC San Diego, Delson received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and then went on to get a doctorate in mechanical engineering from MIT. Since he returned to UC San Diego in 1999, his introductory design course has been in demand, with student enrollment more than doubled in the last decade. One of Delson's group projects will be featured at UC San Diego's 50th anniversary Innovation Day Expo on Feb. 25. In this interview, he talks about the innovation that will be showcased and what lured him back to UC San Diego.
As UC San Diego's fourth alumnus, John Pierce received his doctorate in physics in 1964. He was one of the fortunate few students who worked alongside our world-renowned founding faculty and administrators in the early days, including the university's first chancellor, Herb York, and oceanographer Walter Munk. They had a tremendous influence on his career path, leading him to spend most of his career in government service. In this interview, John talks about what it was like to be one of the first students at UC San Diego, how the university and its founders shaped the direction of his life, and why he flew across the country from his home in Virginia to attend the campus' 50th anniversary Founders' Day celebration on Nov. 18.
As UC San Diego celebrates 50 years of achieving the extraordinary, Alonso Noble is marking his 25th year at the university. He started as a groundskeeper and worked his way up to assistant superintendent and waste diversion manager, and he also serves as the chair of the Staff Association. He has spent his career giving back to his colleagues, the university and the community, which is one of the many reasons he received the Exemplary Staff Employee of the Year Award in 2006. In this interview, he talks about his volunteer work, his involvement on campus and how it felt to be chosen as the staff speaker at the Founders' Day celebration in November.
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