News & Events


Winners of the 2023 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced


The Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes are awarded annually to PhD candidates selected for the best thesis, publication, or discovery in select fields. Saransh Sharma, advised by Professor Azita Emami, has received the prize in Biotechnology or Related Fields for his research in developing ultra-low power and highly miniaturized medical electronics for in-vivo localization and tracking. Nathaniel Wei, advised by Professor John Dabiri, has received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources or Related Fields for his research that explores the ways in which unsteady flows in the atmosphere can be leveraged in wind-energy systems for enhanced performance, robustness, and operational longevity. Rebecca Gallivan, advised by Professor Julia Greer, has received the prize in Nanotechnology or Related Fields. Coupled with the development of novel materials processing, Gallivan's research focuses on uncovering fundamental insight into the relationship between length-scale and microstructural features on nanomechanical phenomena in order to lay the foundation for advanced engineering and complex design of materials in nanotechnologies.

Tags: APhMS EE honors GALCIT MedE MCE John Dabiri Julia Greer Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Azita Emami Rebecca Gallivan Saransh Sharma Nathan Wei

In a First, Caltech's Space Solar Power Demonstrator Wirelessly Transmits Power in Space


A space solar power prototype that was launched into orbit in January is operational and has demonstrated its ability to wirelessly transmit power in space and to beam detectable power to Earth for the first time. Wireless power transfer was demonstrated by MAPLE, one of three key technologies being tested by the Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD-1), the first space-borne prototype from Caltech's Space Solar Power Project (SSPP). SSPP aims to harvest solar power in space and transmit it to the Earth's surface. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE GALCIT MCE Harry Atwater Ali Hajimiri Sergio Pellegrino

Watson Lecture on May 10: Chiara Daraio on Developing Wearables That Can Help Us Monitor Our Health


On Wednesday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. PDT in Beckman Auditorium on the Caltech campus, Chiara Daraio, the G. Bradford Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics and Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, will continue the 100th anniversary season of the Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series with "Making Wearable Materials Smarter."

Advances in materials science, manufacturing, and computer science have enabled transformative innovations in wearable materials, with designs that can monitor metabolic activity, change stiffness on command, and even interpret our mood. These new materials will allow garments and fashion to bring together the physical and digital worlds. In this lecture, Daraio will show examples of how these materials will help us stay healthy, how they will revolutionize the way we communicate, and how they will adaptively support our everyday needs. [Caltech story]

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Caltech to Launch Space Solar Power Technology Demo into Orbit in January


In January 2023, the Caltech Space Solar Power Project (SSPP) is poised to launch into orbit a prototype, dubbed the Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD), which will test several key components of an ambitious plan to harvest solar power in space and beam the energy back to Earth. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE GALCIT Harry Atwater Ali Hajimiri Sergio Pellegrino SSPP

New Process Allows 3-D Printing of Microscale Metallic Parts


Engineers at Caltech have developed a method for 3-D printing pure and multicomponent metals, at a resolution that is, in some cases, an order of magnitude smaller than previously possible. "We had to develop a new way of doing it, and we couldn't rely on heat to build our structures," says Max Saccone. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MedE MCE MCE Julia Greer Max Saccone Rebecca Gallivan Daryl Yee Kai Narita

Beaming Clean Energy From Space


Once considered science fiction, technology capable of collecting solar power in space and beaming it to Earth to provide a global supply of clean and affordable energy is moving closer to reality. Through the Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP), a team of Caltech researchers is working to deploy a constellation of modular spacecraft that collect sunlight, transform it into electricity, then wirelessly transmit that electricity wherever it is needed—including to places that currently have no access to reliable power. "This is an extraordinary and unprecedented project," says Harry Atwater, Otis Booth Leadership Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science; Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Liquid Sunlight Alliance. "It exemplifies the boldness and ambition needed to address one of the most significant challenges of our time, providing clean and affordable energy to the world." [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights MedE MCE Harry Atwater Ali Hajimiri Sergio Pellegrino

Mimicking Termites to Generate New Materials


Inspired by the way termites build their nests, researchers at Caltech have developed a framework to design new materials that mimic the fundamental rules hidden in nature's growth patterns. "We thought that by understanding how a termite contributes to the nest's fabrication, we could define simple rules for designing architected materials with unique mechanical properties," says Chiara Daraio, G. Bradford Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Chiara Daraio MCE

Nano-Architected Materials Offer New Frontier in Technology


For the past two decades, Julia R. Greer, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering; Fletcher Jones Foundation Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, has been at the forefront of creating new materials whose structures are designed and controlled at the smallest level, giving them unusual and useful properties. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS MedE MCE Julia Greer alumni Carlos M. Portela

Winners of the 2022 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced


The student winners of the 2022 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at the end of this academic year. Ida Qin, advised by Professor Joel Burdick has received the prize in Biotechnology. Her research is in comprehensive temporal understanding and state estimation during robot-assisted surgery. Alan Gu, advised by Professor Michael R. Hoffmann has received the prize in Entrepreneurship. His research is in capturing CO2 at point emission sources to accelerate reaching a goal of carbon neutrality. Joeson Wong, advised by Professor Harry A. Atwater has received the prize in Nanotechnology. His research is focused on the optoelectronic physics and engineering of atomically thin photovoltaics. Fengyu Zhou, advised by Professor Steven Low has received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources. His research involves the global optimality and relaxation exactness of the Optimal Power Flow problem in single-phase and multi-phase networks. Stacy Larochelle, advised by Professor Jean-Philippe Avouac and Professor Nadia Lapusta has received the prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection. Her research uses geodesy, data analysis and modeling to further the understanding of mechanical interactions between water and the solid Earth, from fluid-induced earthquakes to groundwater extraction.

Tags: APhMS honors MCE Harry Atwater CMS Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Nadia Lapusta Jean-Philippe Avouac Steven Low Joel Burdick Ida Qin Stacy Larochelle Fengyu Zhou