News & Events


Michael Ortiz Awarded Hans Fischer Senior Fellowship


Congratulations to Michael Ortiz, Dotty and Dick Hayman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, who has been awarded a Hans Fischer Senior Fellowship by the Institute for Advanced Study, Technical University of Munich (TUM). This Fellowship is named after TUM Professor Hans Fischer (1881-1945) who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1930 for his pioneering work on hemoglobin.

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Julia Greer Selected to Participate in the DARPA Young Faculty Award Program


Congratulation to Julia R. Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, for been selected to participate in the DARPA Young Faculty Award program. She is among 33 "rising stars" from 24 U.S. universities who each will receive grants of approximately $300,000. Greer's project is aimed at understanding and subsequently mimicking the superior mechanical robustness and strength of naturally occurring protective layers—such as nacre, or mother of pearl, a composite produced by some mollusks to line their inner shell—to create strong, ductile, damage-tolerant materials that maintain a relatively low density. [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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EAS Remembers James K. Knowles


James K. Knowles, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Applied Mechanics, Emeritus, passed away on Sunday November 1, 2009. He was a remarkable teacher and mentor; he inspired and influenced generations of students and scholars. He made fundamental research contributions to the Theory of Nonlinear Elasticity, to Wave Propagation and Phase Transformations. His seminal contributions were recognized by the Eringen Medal of the Society of Engineering Science and the Koiter Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

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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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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.

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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.

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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]

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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]

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