News & Events


2013 Caltech Distinguished Alumni


Caltech has recognized four Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor regularly bestowed by the Institute. They are Y. C. L. Susan Wu (PhD '63 Aeronautics), Sébastien M. Candel (MS '69 and PhD '72 in Mechanical Engineering), Uma R. Chowdhry (MS '70 Engineering Science), and James R. Fruchterman (BS '80 Engineering and Applied Science, MS '80 Applied Physics). [Caltech Release]

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International Scholarship Focused on Engineering Global Challenges Announced


The Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have established a new scholarship program, named after outgoing National Academy of Engineering (NAE) president Charles M. Vest at their institutions, along with six other universities around the country. "The Vest Scholarship is a superb opportunity for high-powered international graduate students to work with faculty and researchers who are international leaders in their engineering disciplines," says Chair Ares Rosakis. "At Caltech, due to its small size and strong interdisciplinary philosophy, the students will have the opportunity to work closely with not only these international leaders in engineering research, but also with their collaborators in all areas of science and technology." [Caltech Release] [Application Information]


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


Caltech’s graduate program in engineering has been ranked fourth in the country by U.S. News & World Report, up from fifth last year and seventh the previous year. Engineering specialties at Caltech also ranked very well with first in aerospace / aeronautical / astronautical, third in mechanical, fifth in electrical / electronic / communications, seventh in materials, and ninth in environmental / environmental health. [Caltech Release]

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Sponge Wars: Attack of the Drones!


Robots designed and built by undergraduate students battled in head-to-head competition, in this year's ME 72 Engineering Design Contest entitled "Sponge Wars: Attack of the Drones!." Each team was tasked with designing, building, and operating a pair of vehicles that would:retrieve dry kitchen sponges from a four-foot high platform, place these sponges in goals their team controlled, navigate autonomously to place sponges in their autonomous goal, and maintain their own score while reducing the opposing team’s score. The blue team named "Blacker Air and Machinery Force" received the most points and was honored with the ME-72 trophy. [More information]

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Professors Murray and Ortiz Elected to the National Academy of Engineering


Richard M. Murray, Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering, and Michael Ortiz, Dotty and Dick Hayman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Professor Murray was elected for contributions in control theory and networked control systems with applications to aerospace engineering, robotics, and autonomy. Professor Ortiz was elected for contributions to computational mechanics to advance the underpinnings of solid mechanics. [Caltech Release]

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EAS Division Welcomes New Deputy Chair


Peter Schröder, Professor of Computer Science and Applied and Computational Mathematics, is the new Deputy Chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science. "I look forward to working with Peter over the next several years as we continue with our quest to remain a unique collaborative community of isolated singularities that sets a compelling model as a research and teaching institution," says Chair Ares Rosakis.

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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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