News & Events


Professor Minnich Receives NSF CAREER Award


Austin Minnich, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his project, "Investigation of thermal phonon scattering processes in solids.” The CAREER program is NSF's most prestigious awards for junior faculty members. The level and 5-year duration of the awards are designed to enable awardees to develop careers as outstanding teacher-scholars. Awardees are chosen because they exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

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TEDxCaltech: Advancing Humanoid Robots


Graduate student Matanya B. Horowitz, who works with Professors Joel Burdick and John Doyle, is one of the speakers at TEDxCaltech. He is active in several Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) challenges that seek to develop better control mechanisms for robotic arms, as well as develop humanoid robots that can do human-like tasks in dangerous situations, such as disable bombs or enter nuclear power plants during an emergency. [Caltech News]

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Faulty Behavior


Nadia Lapusta, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Geophysics, and colleagues have created new earthquake fault models showing that “stable” zones may contribute to the generation of massive earthquakes. "Lapusta and Noda's realistic earthquake fault models are critical to our understanding of earthquakes—knowledge that is essential to reducing the potential catastrophic consequences of seismic hazards," says Chair Ares Rosakis. "This work beautifully illustrates the way that fundamental, interdisciplinary research in the mechanics of seismology at Caltech is having a positive impact on society." [Caltech Release]

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First Person to Dig on the Moon


Among the souvenirs collected by astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean on their trip to the moon aboard Apollo 12 Lunar Excursion Module was the metal scoop that Ronald Scott, Caltech Professor of Civil Engineering, had used to verify that a moon landing could be made in the first place. [Caltech Release]

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EAS Remembers David G. Goodwin


Caltech mourns the passing of David G. Goodwin, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, Emeritus, on Sunday, November 11, 2012. [Caltech Release]

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Modeling Jet Engine Noise


Tim Colonius, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and his group have been building models to understand how jet engines generate noise and the Office of Naval Research recently awarded him funding to develop a better way to control the din. “Now we are getting a much more detailed picture of the actual mechanism by which the turbulence makes the sound,” Colonius says. [E&S Article in pdf]

Tags: research highlights MCE Tim Colonius

Professor Greer Receives NASA Research Grant and Early Career Awards


Julia R. Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, is among a select group of 10 recipients of NASA's inaugural Space Technology Research Opportunities Early Career Faculty grants. She has also received the 2013 Early Career Faculty Fellow award from the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) and the Young Investigator's Medal from the Society of Engineering Science (SES). Congratulations Professor Greer! [Caltech Release]

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Progress for Paraplegics


Joel W. Burdick, Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, and Yu-Chong Tai, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, are developing new technologies to expand their research which has enabled a paraplegic man to stand and move his legs voluntarily. The team has until now used intelligent guesswork to determine which stimuli might work best. But soon, using a new algorithm developed by Professor Burdick, they will be able to rely on a computer to determine the optimum stimulation levels, based on the patient's response to previous stimuli. This would allow patients to go home after the extensive rehab process with a system that could be continually adjusted by computer. [Caltech Release] [ENGenious Progress Report]

Tags: EE research highlights MedE health Yu-Chong Tai MCE Joel Burdick

Engineering with Impact


Guruswami (Ravi) Ravichandran is an expert on breakups—of ceramics and metals, not relationships. The John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace and professor of mechanical engineering and the director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories at Caltech, Ravichandran will give a Watson Lecture about his work at the leading edge of impact mechanics on Wednesday, October 24. [Learn more about Prof. Ravichandran] [Notes from the Back Row]

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Winners of 2012 SES Graduate Student Paper Competition


Graduate students Andrew W. Richards and Zachary H. Aitken have won first and second place in the graduate student paper competition of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Society of Engineering Science.  This is an international conference that draws over 500 people from around the world, and the student competition is highly competitive.

Tags: honors MCE Andrew Richards Zachary Aitken