News & Events


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]

Tags: APhMS research highlights GALCIT MCE Sandra Troian

Professor Iwan Elected to the Grade of Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers


Congratulations to Professor Iwan who was elected to the grade of Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. This is in recognition of his research on seismic performance of structures, for leadership in earthquake hazard mitigation and improvement of public safety, and for service to the structural engineering and engineering mechanics professions.

Tags: honors MCE Wilfred Iwan

Wilfred Iwan Receives Bruce Bolt Medal


Wilfred Iwan, Professor of Applied Mechanics, Emeritus, has received the Bruce Bolt Medal. The medal is awarded jointly by the Consortium of Organizations for Strong Motion Observation Systems, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and Seismological Society of America to recognize individuals worldwide whose accomplishments involve the promotion and use of strong-motion earthquake data and whose leadership in the transfer of scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy has led to improved seismic safety. Iwan is honored for his many accomplishments in advancing earthquake strong-motion monitoring networks and instrumentation in the US and internationally, his research accomplishments in earthquake engineering and engineering seismology, and his effective leadership roles in professional organizations to further the acquisition and application of strong-motion data.

Tags: honors MCE Wilfred Iwan

Julia Greer Recognized as a Rising Star by Advanced Functional Materials


Julia R. Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, has been recognized as a rising star by Advanced Functional Materials. Her latest publication is entitled Emergence of New Mechanical Functionality in Materials via Size Reduction. [Read Julia Greer's interview]

Tags: APhMS MCE Julia Greer

Shang-Li and Betty Huang Create Endowment to Support Caltech Graduate Students


Shang-Li Huang (PhD '76 Mechanical Engineering) and his wife Betty have pledged $1 million to endow the Shang-Li and Betty Huang Endowed Graduate Fellowship Fund in Mechanical Engineering. "S.L. was my graduate student and did an outstanding PhD thesis back in the 1970s—a thesis whose results are still widely used in the rocket-engine design business," said Chris Brennen, the Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Caltech. "He and Betty are deeply interested in education—in particular, graduate education. They have been instrumental in rallying support for mechanical engineering at Caltech. We are most grateful for their generous help and advice." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: MCE

Regina Dugan Named Director of DARPA


Regina Dugan (PhD '93 Mechanical Engineering) has been named director of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense. Dugan, the founder and CEO of RedXDefense, LLC, a Maryland-based firm that develops technologies to detect and counter explosives, becomes the 19th director and first woman to head DARPA, the DoD's principal research and development agency.

Tags: honors MCE alumni Regina Dugan

G. Ravichandran Elected Fellow of the Society of Experimental Mechanics


Professor G. Ravichandran, the John E. Goode, Jr. Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, and Director of GALCIT has been elected Fellow of the Society of Experimental Mechanics. Designation as an SEM Fellow is reserved to a select group of individuals that have made notable contributions to the Society and to the field of Experimental Mechanics.

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE Guruswami Ravichandran

EAS Remembers George W. Housner


A memorial service for George W. Housner (1910 - 2008), who was the Braun Professor of Engineering and considered the father of earthquake engineering, was held on Saturday, April 18, 2009. For more on the life and legacy of Housner, see the Caltech Archives presentation of the life of George W. Housner.

Tags: MCE EAS history George Housner

25th Annual ME 72 Contest


Kevin Noertker and Marc Sellsof Team Newt N' Salamander won the 25th Annual ME 72 Contest which was held on Tuesday, March 10, 2009. Teams of two students each competed to design and build an amphibious craft that would crawl into and swim across Millikan pond, clean up floating debris, and crawl out at the opposite end, depositing its cargo at the top of the bridge. Marshall Grinstead and Edmond Wong of Team Ramen and Cheesesteaks won second place this year. Congratulations to all the participants! [NBC video coverage] [CBS video coverage]

Tags: MCE

Christopher Brennen Elected as a Fellow of the School of Engineering at The University of Tokyo


Christopher Brennen, Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been elected as a Fellow of the School of Engineering at The University of Tokyo in recognition of his contribution to the research and education of the school, as well as his outstanding accomplishments in research and education in the field of engineering.

Tags: honors MCE Christopher Brennen