News & Events


Preparing for Earthquakes with ShakeAlert


United States Geological Survey (USGS) has announced an approximately $4 million in awards to Caltech, University of California Berkeley, the University of Washington and the University of Oregon, for the expansion and improvement of the ShakeAlert, an earthquake early-warning system. "Caltech's role in ShakeAlert will focus on research and development of the system so that future versions will be faster and more reliable," said Professor Thomas Heaton. "We currently collect data from approximately 400 seismic stations throughout California. The USGS grant will allow Caltech to upgrade or install new stations in strategic locations that will significantly improve the performance of ShakeAlert." [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights MCE Thomas Heaton

Professor Asimaki Receives Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering Award


Domniki Asimaki, Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering has received the 2014 Young Researcher Award from the Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering and Associated Problems Technical Committee of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). The award recognizes early-career scientists and engineers who have exceptional promise of excellence in research and significant contributions in the field of Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering.

Tags: honors MCE Domniki Asimaki

Vedran Coralic Receives 2015 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award


Vedran Coralic, a graduate student working with Professor Tim Colonius, is the recipient of the 2015 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award. Dr. Coralic performed numerical simulations of shocked-bubble dynamics in the microvasculature in order to characterize the mechanisms of tissue injury resulting from the collapse of preexisting bubbles in shockwave lithotripsy. The Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award is given to an EAS graduate student in hydrodynamics who has distinguished himself or herself in research.

Tags: honors MCE Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award Tim Colonius Vedran Coralic

Srivatsan Hulikal Wins Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection Prize


Graduate student, Srivatsan Hulikal, was the recipient of the the 2015 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection. In his thesis, Dr. Hulikal successfully took on the multifaceted and challenging problem of linking macroscopic frictional properties of interfaces to their micromechanics. His advisor Professor Lapusta explains, “Understanding this connection is key to addressing fundamental problems in seismo-mechanics and seismo-engineering, such as creating predictive physical models of earthquakes.”

Tags: honors research highlights MCE Nadia Lapusta Srivatsan Hulikal

Professor Ravichandran Receives Werner Köster Prize


Guruswami Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace and Professor of Mechanical Engineering as well as Director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, and his former postdoctoral scholar Dr. Laurence Bodelot have been selected to receive the 2014 Werner Köster Prize for their paper entitled “Experimental determination of a representative texture and insight into the range of significant neighbouring grain interactions via orientation and misorientation statistics.

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Tags: honors GALCIT MCE Guruswami Ravichandran Laurence Bodelot

Charles C. Gates Jr.–Franklin Thomas Laboratory


The Charles C. Gates Jr.–Franklin Thomas Laboratory, the newly renovated home of the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering and the administrative offices for the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, was officially dedicated with an opening ceremony on Monday, June 1. The renovation includes the building's original iron railings as well as artistic etchings and imagery that reference prior research in earthquake engineering and hydrodynamics. Looking to the future, the energy-efficient, renovated building features state-of-the-art laboratories and experimental and computational facilities, along with open spaces where faculty, scholars, and students can share ideas across disciplines. [Caltech story]

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Tags: MCE Caltech infrastructure Diane Wallach Jim Hall Li-San Hwang

Professor Minnich Receives Young Investigator Award


Austin Minnich, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, has won a 2015 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award. The objectives of the Young Investigator Program are to attract to naval research outstanding new faculty members, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. Professor Minnich’s award is for his proposal entitled, “Investigation of the Atomistic Mechanisms Governing Heat Conduction in Polymers.” [List of Recipients]

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An Earthquake Warning System in Our Pockets?


Thomas H. Heaton, Professor of Engineering Seismology, and colleagues’ recent study suggests that all of our phones and other personal electronic devices could function as a distributed network, detecting any ground movements caused by a large earthquake, and, ultimately, giving people crucial seconds to prepare for a temblor. "Thirty years ago it took months to assemble a crude picture of the deformations from an earthquake. This new technology promises to provide a near-instantaneous picture with much greater resolution," says Professor Heaton. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights MCE Thomas Heaton

Louisa Avellar Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship


Louisa Avellar, graduauate student in Mechanical and Civil Engeineering, has received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. The awards support three years of graduate study within a five-year fellowship period in research-based master's or doctoral programs in science or engineering. [Caltech story]

Tags: honors MCE Louisa Avellar

Undergraduate Wins Prestigious Student-Athlete Honor


Rob Anderson, a junior on the Caltech men's basketball team, has been named to the 2015 Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches Good Works Team. Anderson, who is studying mechanical engineering and business economics and management, was selected for his extensive work researching and designing sustainable energy projects. "After the Solar Decathlon ended in autumn of 2013, I began looking for another engineering sustainability project," Anderson says. "I noticed there were a few empty gas-engine go-karts in Fleming and I realized I could re-engineer them to use electric power… That's basically how the Sustainable Vehicle Club was born.” [Caltech story]

Tags: honors energy MCE Solar Decathlon Rob Anderson