News & Events


Tridroid Cup - Robots Play Soccer


The students in this year's Mechanical Engineering 72 (ME72) class, a two-term engineering design lab for mechanical engineering majors, designed, built, and operated, under manual and/or autonomous control, robotic vehicles that could compete and withstand the physical rigors of a robot soccer matches played within a 24-ft x 48-ft arena in the Brown Gym. The 2016 winning team was “Blitzkrieg Bots.” [KPCC coverage]

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Undergraduate Team Wins International Thales Arduino Competition


The Caltech team, Trigger Cats, has won the 2015/2016 International Thales Arduino Competition. They designed and developed a modular stabilization system which uses a gyroscope and an accelerometer to keep a load steady after sudden perturbations. Potential applications range from preventing military vehicles from flipping due to blasts to anti-seasickness chairs on cruise ships. The team comprised of undergraduate students: Aritra Biswas, Frederick Berl, Carlos Gonzalez, Cormac R. ONeill, and Yongkyun (Daniel) Lee. Teams from universities across the United Kingdom and the United States competed on the Project Arduino challenge which used an Arduino kit. The teams were asked to build and film the progress of a project that tied into the Thales business areas – Aerospace, Space, Transportation, Defense and Security. [Tigger Cats Video]

Tags: Aritra Biswas Frederick Berl Carlos Gonzalez Cormac ONeill Yongkyun Lee MCE honors

2016 Caltech Distinguished Alumni


Caltech has recognized two Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor regularly bestowed by the Institute. They are Carl V. Larson (BS '52, ME) and Thomas J. "Tim" Litle IV (BS '62, EAS). Larson is being recognized for his accomplished career in the electronics industry. Over the course of three decades, Larson has held numerous and diverse leadership roles in fields ranging from engineering to marketing. He is also being celebrated for his sustained commitment to the research, students, and alumni of Caltech. Litle is being recognized for his revolutionary contributions to commerce. Through innovations such as the presorted mail program he developed for the U.S. Postal Service and the three-digit security codes on credit cards, Litle has made global business more efficient and secure. [Caltech story]

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ENGenious Wins Gold!


The 2015 issue of ENGenious has won a gold award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII in the Awards of Excellence category of Annual Magazines. The award is given by the CASE District VII Board of Directors and the Awards of Excellence Committee to "superior magazines published once a year." First published in 2001, ENGenious is a publication for alumni and friends of the Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS). The goal of the publication is to highlight the contributions of the EAS faculty, students, and alumni in research, education, and industry. [ENGenious]

Tags: alumni honors CASE Trity Pourbahrami

Electrical Vehicle Design and Racing


The students in the CS/EE/ME 75 class, Introduction to Multidisciplinary Systems Engineering, invited industry experts to their midterm design review on the evening of February 11, 2016. The students are currently in the manufacturing phase and plan to finish the vehicle frame this week and attach the mounting brackets shortly thereafter. They aim to have a running prototype electrical vehicle by mid-March to get early testing data before refining their design for the upcoming Formula SAE competition. The course is co-taught by Professors Guillaume Blanquart, Azita Emami, and Richard Murray as well as the Executive Director for the Resnick Institute, Neil Fromer. Several students in the course are also members of the Caltech Sustainable Vehicle Club led by undergraduate student Robert Anderson. [Huffpost Education Blog]

Tags: Rob Anderson Guillaume Blanquart Azita Emami Richard Murray Neil Fromer MCE CMS EE energy

Tiny Diatoms Boast Enormous Strength


Researchers in the lab of Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, have recently found that diatom shells have the highest specific strength—the strength at which a structure breaks with respect to its density—of any known biological material, including bone, antlers, and teeth. [Caltech story]

Tags: Julia Greer APhMS MCE MedE research highlights

Moriah Bischann Wins SURF Speaking Competition


Material science undergraduate student Moriah Bischann, mentored by aerospace postdoctoral scholar, Dr. Owen Kingstedt, is the winner of the Doris S. Perpall Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) Speaking Competition. She was recognized as the best speakers-out of the 200 students who presented their SURF research. Her summer research focused on exploring the next generation of structural materials. During her ten week SURF project she studied the effects of alloying and processing on the dynamic behavior of magnesium (Mg). This work was done to address the larger question of whether Mg is a useful material for the automotive, aerospace, energy, and defense industries where a material is needed that has low density, but also the strength to withstand high impact forces.

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Tags: Moriah Bischann Owen Kingstedt APhMS GALCIT research highlight honors

Professor Rosakis Inducted Into the Academy of Athens


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, has been inducted into the Academy of Athens in the class of Natural Sciences for his “exceptional contributions to science, in particular in experimental science, in the mechanics of solids, and in aerospace.” He was indicated as a Corresponding Member of this selective academy - there are only 76 members in his section and class. [Video of event] [Caltech story]

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Cancer Treatment in a Painless Patch


Mechanical engineering undergraduate student, Teo Wilkening, spent this past summer working with Professor Gharib to test the preliminary design for an alternative—and possibly much less painful—method of chemotherapy drug delivery through a patch. To avoid the pain caused by the large needle traditionally used for such an intravenous injection, the team envisioned a patch containing hundreds of micrometer-scale needles, too small in diameter to be sensed by the nerves in the skin. [Caltech story]

Tags: Teo Wilkening Morteza Gharib MCE MedE GALCIT research highlight

Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering