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]
Roseanna Zia and Anthony Roy are Winners in the Graduate Student Poster Session
Mechanical Engineering graduate student Roseanna Zia has won the overall best poster prize in the first campus-wide Graduate Student Poster Session sponsored by the Graduate Student Council (GSC). Her poster was titled "Single particle motion in colloids: force-induced diffusion." The other winner, Anthony Roy, also a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering, won in the interdisciplinary category with his poster titled "Genetic programming of an artificial neural network for robust control of a 2-D path following robot." Congratulations!
Sergio Pellegrino's Paper Wins the IASS Tsuboi Award
The paper "Mapping Two-Way Grids on to Free-Form Surfaces" by Sergio Pellegrino, Professor of Aeronautics and Civil Engineering, and co-authors Pete Winslow and Shrikant Sharma has been selected as the winner of the IASS Tsuboi Award in the category of the most outstanding paper in the Proceedings of the 2007 IASS Symposium. Pellegrino has also received a best paper recognition for "Computation of Partially Inflated Shapes of Stratospheric Balloon Structures" with co-author Xiaowei Deng. This work has has been selected as the best paper by the ASME Aerospace Structures and Materials Technical Committee. The award will be presented at the 50th AIAA SDSM conference.
Gates Frontiers Fund pledges $10 million
The Gates Frontiers Fund has pledged $10 million to support the establishment of the Charles C. Gates Center for Mechanical Engineering within the soon-to-be-renovated Thomas Laboratory. This gift marks the launch of a $20 million fund-raising effort for an endowment in Mechanical Engineering. With this endowment, mechanical engineering at Caltech will step up its efforts in energy innovation, helping the Institute address global energy and climate problems and the country develop energy-market leadership. [Caltech Press Release]
Popular Mechanics Honors Caltech Alumni at Award Ceremony
Popular Mechanics honored a group of Caltech alumni at its annual Breakthrough Awards ceremony on October 15. Rudy Roy ('07), Ben Sexson ('07), and Daniel Oliver ('07), along with Art Center alum Charles Pyott, received the magazine's Next Generation Award for establishing the nonprofit organization Intelligent Mobility International (IMI). IMI's mission is to empower people with disabilities in developing countries by designing and producing safe, affordable wheelchairs made for the rugged terrain of rural communities. The project originated in 2006, in a Caltech class called Product Design for the Developing World, which is taught each fall by Visiting Professor of Mechanical Engineering Ken Pickar.
A New Take on Microbrewing
David Boyd, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, graduate student James Adleman, Demitri Psaltis, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering, and David Goodwin, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, have crafted the world's tiniest still to concentrate scant amounts of micromolecules for easier detection. This device may help to overcome difficulties in tracking extremely low-abundance molecular biomarkers, which can indicate disease. [Caltech Press Release]