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]
Huaising (Cindy) Ko Receives Thomas J. Watson Fellowship
Mechanical Engineering student Huaising (Cindy) Ko was named one of only 50 college seniors in the nation to receive a $25,000 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for a year of "purposeful exploration." Originally Ko chose to major in the biological sciences due to her interest in the field of medicine. However, at Caltech she discovered that the field of mechanical engineering fascinated her and allowed her to do interdisciplinary work related to her interests in medicine. As a Watson Fellow, Ko will be able to embark on another aspect of medicine that interests her: the tension between modern and traditional medicine. [Caltech Press Release]
ME 72 Contest Winners Announced
The famed ME 72 Contest was held on Tuesday, March 11. Teams of undergraduates competed to launch 50-gram payloads over a rope and then as far as possible across Caltech's North Athletic Field... and the winning team is: Team Savage Rabbit, composed of Jimmy Paulos and Matthew Feldman. Coming in second were Tim Curran and Kevin Watts. Congrats to all the participants!
PSAAP Established Under the Direction of Michael Ortiz
A National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Center of Excellence will be established at Caltech, under the direction of Michael Ortiz, Dotty and Dick Hayman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering. This center, PSAAP, one of five new centers to be established, will develop not only the science and engineering models and software for large-scale simulations, but also methods associated with the emerging disciplines of verification and validation and uncertainty quantification. The goal of these emerging disciplines is to enable scientists to make precise statements about the degree of confidence they have in their simulation-based predictions. The center will be funded for $17 million over a five-year period.