News & Events


Nanoscale Structures with Superior Mechanical Properties


Julia Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, and Dongchan Jang, Postdoctoral Scholar, have developed a way to make some notoriously brittle materials ductile—yet stronger than ever—simply by reducing their size. Professor Greer describes, "We are entering a new era in materials science, where structural materials can be created not only by utilizing monolith structures, like ceramics and metals, but also by introducing 'architectural' features into them." [Caltech Press Release]

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Sergio Pellegrino Receives NASA Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Award


Sergio Pellegrino, Professor of Aeronautics and Civil Engineering and Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist, has received the NASA Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Award as a member of the superpressure balloon team. The award is for sound engineering and operational development, outstanding teamwork, and perseverance in building a new scientific balloon capability for NASA.

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Sandra Troian and Mathias Dietzel Solve Decade-Long Mystery of Nanopillar Formations


Sandra Troian, Professor of Applied Physics, Aeronautics, and Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Mathias Dietzel have uncovered the physical mechanism by which arrays of nanoscale pillars can be grown on polymer films with very high precision, in potentially limitless patterns. "This is an example of how basic understanding of the principles of physics and mechanics can lead to unexpected discoveries which may have far-reaching, practical implications," said Ares Rosakis, Division Chair and Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering at Caltech. "This is the real strength of the EAS division." [Caltech Press Release] [video] [Download real player]

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Roseanna Zia and Anthony Roy are Winners in the Graduate Student Poster Session


Mechanical Engineering graduate student Roseanna Zia has won the overall best poster prize in the first campus-wide Graduate Student Poster Session sponsored by the Graduate Student Council (GSC). Her poster was titled "Single particle motion in colloids: force-induced diffusion." The other winner, Anthony Roy, also a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering, won in the interdisciplinary category with his poster titled "Genetic programming of an artificial neural network for robust control of a 2-D path following robot." Congratulations!

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Professor Ares Rosakis Featured in a Documentary


Ares Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Hiroo Kanamori, John E. and Hazel S. Smits Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus, with their students and colleagues will be featured in the documentary How the Earth Was Made airing on the History Channel on February 10, 6pm (PST) or 9:00pm (EST). The segment concerns the San Andreas fault and features a part which was filmed in the Solid Dynamics Lab at GALCIT. It also features an interview on supershear earthquake ruptures with Rosakis and Kanamori.

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A New Take on Microbrewing


David Boyd, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, graduate student James Adleman, Demitri Psaltis, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering, and David Goodwin, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, have crafted the world's tiniest still to concentrate scant amounts of micromolecules for easier detection. This device may help to overcome difficulties in tracking extremely low-abundance molecular biomarkers, which can indicate disease. [Caltech Press Release]

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Alumni Lift Off on the Endeavor Space Shuttle


On March 11, two Caltech mechanical-engineering alumni, Garrett Reisman (MS '92, PhD '97) and Robert Behnken (MS '93, PhD '97) lifted off on the Endeavor Space Shuttle as part of a seven-man team enroute to the International Space Station. The mission was directed from Houston by a third alumnus, Philip Engelauf (BS '78).

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