Alumni

Jack Yao ’95: From Robotics Gameshow Contestant to CEO

In 1994, Jack Yao ’95 was part of a team of 10 UC Davis students that competed in a “techno-soccer challenge” in Osaka, Japan. The competition, which was nationally televised in Japan, challenged teams to build robots to autonomously navigate an obstacle course while dribbling, and eventually shooting, a soccer ball towards a goal. 

Alumni Robert and Carolyn Caligiuri Establish Professor Amiya Mukherjee Memorial Fellowship in Materials Science

Alumni Robert ’73 and Carolyn Caligiuri ’74 have given a $1.27 million endowment to the MSE department at UC Davis to establish the Amiya Mukherjee Memorial Fellowship in honor of Robert Caligiuri’s first mentor. The gift, the largest ever to MSE, will support competitive doctoral students and boost the department's stature.

Alumni Spotlight: Mingwei Zhang, Ph.D. ’21

Mingwei Zhang, Ph.D. ’21 used his time at UC Davis to grow his research career and plans to pay forward the generosity and mentorship he received from the materials science and engineering department. 

Alumni Spotlight: Valerie Gibson ’86, ‘00

Valerie Gibson ’86, ‘00 has forged a successful career in the aerospace industry through her passion and experience with materials science and engineering she acquired at UC Davis.

Gibson is a principal propulsion engineer in the engine group at Blue Origin, a private aerospace manufacturing company founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The company is a leader in the private spaceflight industry and made headlines in summer 2021 with its first crewed suborbital flight.

Alumni Rewind: 1990 UC Davis Egg Drop Contest

Materials science and engineering alumnus Tim Dyer '90, '93, now the president of Elcon Precision, remembers the UC Davis Egg Drop contest, hosted by The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) during National Engineer's Week 1990.

Alumni Spotlight: Emily Beeman ‘17

Materials science and engineering alumna Emily Beeman ’17 draws on her UC Davis experience every day as she helps keep UC Berkeley’s Marvell Nanofabrication Lab running.

Alumni Spotlight: Brian Peters '88

Engineering alumnus and Inneos CEO Brian Peters ‘88 is a successful leader, businessman and entrepreneur in the optics industry, but he wouldn’t lead with that. In his 25 years in business, Peters takes the most pride in leading companies with an inspired community of colleagues who have helped him carve out his place in Silicon Valley.