News & Events


French Republic Knights Professor Ravichandran


G. Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr. Professor of Aerospace and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories (GALCIT) has been selected to receive the Chevalier de l'ordre des Palmes Académiques, which is the Knight grade of the French Republic's Order of Academic Palms. Founded by Napoleon in 1808 to honor educators and scholars,  this distinction recognizes eminent personalities who have made significant contributions to the development of French culture, science, and education.  

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Stimulating Electrode Array Assists Paraplegic Man to Stand and Move Legs Voluntarily


Joel W. Burdick, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, and colleagues including Yu-Chong Tai, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, have used a stimulating electrode array to assist a paralyzed man to stand, step on a treadmill with assistance, and, over time, to regain voluntary movements of his limbs. Using a combination of experimentation, computational models of the array and spinal cord, and machine-learning algorithms, Professor Burdick and his colleagues are now trying to optimize the stimulation pattern to achieve the best effects, and to improve the design of the electrode array. Further advances in the technology should lead to better control of the stepping and standing processes. [Caltech Press Release]

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Experiments Settle Long-Standing Debate about Mysterious Array Formations in Nanofilms


Sandra M. Troian, Professor of Applied Physics, Aeronautics, and Mechanical Engineering, and colleagues' experiments have confirmed which of three possible mechanisms is responsible for the spontaneous formation of three-dimensional (3-D) pillar arrays in nanofilms (polymer films that are billionths of a meter thick). "My ultimate goal is to develop a suite of 3-D lithographic techniques based on remote, digital modulation of thermal, electrical, and magnetic surface forces," Troian says. Confirmation of the correct mechanism has allowed her to deduce the maximum resolution or minimum feature size ultimately possible with these patterning techniques. [Caltech Press Release]

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Professor Greer Receives DOE Early Career Research Award


Julia R. Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, has received a five-year award from the Department of Energy Office of Science's Early Career Research Program for her proposal entitled “Investigation of radiation damage tolerance in interface‐containing metallic nano structures”. These research awards provide incentives for exceptional researchers, during the crucial early career years, to focus on research areas that are a high priority for the Department of Energy and the Nation. [Caltech Feature]

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Professor Blanquart Receives DOE Early Career Research Award


Guillaume Blanquart, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has received a five-year award from the Department of Energy Office of Science's Early Career Research Program. Professor Blanquart received the award for his proposal entitled “Towards Predictive Simulations of Soot Formation: From Surrogate to Turbulence”. The Career awards are designed to bolster USA's scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work. [Caltech Feature]  

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Caltech Engineering Ranks High on U.S. News Best Grad Schools List


Caltech continues to rate among America's top graduate engineering programs, according to the 2012 U.S. News & World Report list of the best grad schools. U.S. News surveyed administrators at more than 1,200 programs and 13,000 academics and professionals to determine the rankings, which place Caltech among the top five schools in the country in several engineering programs, including first in Aeronautical Engineering, fourth in Mechanical Engineering, and fifth in Electrical Engineering. Overall, the engineering graduate program was rated seventh in the nation. The program, which is among the nation's smallest, was singled out as being the most selective, admitting only 9 percent of prospective students. "Given our minute size, these rankings are great," said Chair Ares Rosakis. 

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Engineering Design Competition: "Extreme Recycling"


Congratulations to Chris Hallacy, Brad Saund, and Janet Chen for winning the 27th Annual ME72 Engineering Design Competition! "Extreme Recycling" was the theme of this year's competition. Teams designed, built, and deployed vehicles that traversed difficult terrain in order to gather a variety of recyclables, correctly sort recyclables into bins, and return vehicles to the start zone by the end of each heat. [Caltech Feature]

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Professor Blanquart Receives NSF CAREER Award


Guillaume Blanquart, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his proposal entitled "Towards understanding and modeling turbulent buoyant flows". The aim of the project is to understand the complex interactions between turbulent fluid mechanics and Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. These phenomena commonly occur in nature such as in supernova explosions, under water hot-vents, and fires. They are also encountered in many engineering applications such as in Inertial Confinement Fusion.

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Professor Andrade Receives the ASCE Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award


José E. Andrade, Associate Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, has been selected by the Geo-Institute Board of Governors of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) to receive the 2011 Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award.  Professor Andrade is receiving the award "for his contributions toward the understanding of instabilities in multi-phase porous media under static and dynamic loading by the development of predictive multiscale computational procedures".

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Professor Pellegrino and Xiaowei Deng Receive Best Paper Award


Graduate student Xiaowei Deng and Sergio Pellegrino, Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Civil Engineering, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist, have received the Best Paper award from the 11th AIAA Gossamer Systems Forum for their technical paper "Wrinkling of Orthotropic Viscoelastic Membranes." [Read the Paper]

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