News & Events


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]

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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]

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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]

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Undergraduate Wins Thomas B. Watson Fellowship


Undergraduate mechanical engineering student Aaron Krupp has been awarded a Thomas B. Watson Fellowship to conduct a one-year purposeful, independent study outside the United States. Aaron’s project is entitled “the foundation of well-being: technology design to secure safety and necessity.” It will take him to India, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma/Myanmar. He plans to investigate how technologies designed for function and accessibility can help break the cycle of poverty. [Learn more about the Fellows]

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Women Making History


In celebration of Women’s History Month, influential women leaders from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Caltech gathered at the JPL von Karman auditorium. Present at the event, entitled Women Making History, were the 2015 honorees for Women@JPL as well as Caltech faculty and staff. It was an opportunity for women at different stages of their career to meet and network. EAS faculty were represented by Professors Bordoni, Greer, and Hunt.  The JPL Advisory Council for Women was the lead organizer of the event.

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Engineering and Art


Students in Professor Hillary Mushkin’s media arts seminar (E/H/Art 89 New Media Arts in the 20th and 21st Centuries) have once again put on a unique exhibition highlighting art and engineering. The course provides a platform for an expanded understanding of engineering and an active, project-based engagement with art history.

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Contest Unleashes Aquamania in Millikan Pond


Amphibious robots took to Caltech’s Millikan Pond on Tuesday, March 10, each one hoping to come away with the title "Aquamania champion." At the event, teams of students tested their robotic athletes in the 30th annual Mechanical Engineering 72 (ME72) competition. Eight teams competed for this year's title, and team KATS—named for teammates and Caltech juniors Kristin Eliason, Auggie Nanz, Tammer Eweis-Labolle, and Sheila Lo—walked away with the trophy. [Caltech story]

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SURF Honors Professor Murray


Richard M. Murray, Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering, has been honored by Caltech's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program for making an outstanding contribution to the program, students, and the Institute. Since 1992, Professor Murray has mentored 158 SURF and Minority Undergraduate Research Fellowships (MURF) students. He is known for being a hands-on mentor, as well as a strong advocate for undergraduate research. Each year the “SURF year” is dedicated to someone who has made an outstanding contribution and SURF 2015 was dedicated to Professor Murray.

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Tiny Lattices with Enormous Potential


Professor Julia Greer’s work on nanolattices is part of the 2015 MIT Technology Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies List. The list identifies the ten milestones from the past year that solve difficult problems or create powerful new ways of using technology. Professor Greer was selected for her work on nanomaterials and specifically “materials whose structures can be precisely tailored so they are strong yet flexible and extremely light.” [Learn more]

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Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering