News & Events


Atomic Fractals in Metallic Glasses


Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, and colleagues including graduate student David Chen have shown that metallic glasses has an atomic-level structure although it differs from the periodic lattices that characterize crystalline metals. "Our group has solved this paradox by showing that atoms are only arranged fractally up to a certain scale," Greer says. "Larger than that scale, clusters of atoms are packed randomly and tightly, making a fully dense material, just like a regular metal. So we can have something that is both fractal and fully dense." [Caltech story]

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Professor Minnich Receives Young Investigator Award


Austin Minnich, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, has won a 2015 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award. The objectives of the Young Investigator Program are to attract to naval research outstanding new faculty members, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. Professor Minnich’s award is for his proposal entitled, “Investigation of the Atomistic Mechanisms Governing Heat Conduction in Polymers.” [List of Recipients]

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Women Making History


In celebration of Women’s History Month, influential women leaders from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Caltech gathered at the JPL von Karman auditorium. Present at the event, entitled Women Making History, were the 2015 honorees for Women@JPL as well as Caltech faculty and staff. It was an opportunity for women at different stages of their career to meet and network. EAS faculty were represented by Professors Bordoni, Greer, and Hunt.  The JPL Advisory Council for Women was the lead organizer of the event.

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Tiny Lattices with Enormous Potential


Professor Julia Greer’s work on nanolattices is part of the 2015 MIT Technology Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies List. The list identifies the ten milestones from the past year that solve difficult problems or create powerful new ways of using technology. Professor Greer was selected for her work on nanomaterials and specifically “materials whose structures can be precisely tailored so they are strong yet flexible and extremely light.” [Learn more]

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Four Caltech Professors Elected to the National Academy of Engineering


Professors Harry AtwaterMorteza GharibGuruswami Ravichandran, and Robert Grubbs have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Professor Atwater was elected for contributions to plasmonics. Professor Gharib was elected for contributions to fluid flow diagnostics and imagery, and engineering of bioinspired devices and phenomena. Professor Ravichandran was elected for contributions to mechanics of dynamic deformation, damage, and failure of engineering materials. Professor Grubbs was elected for developments in catalysts that have enabled commercial products. [Caltech story]

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Professor Bhattacharya Receives the Warner T. Koiter Medal


Kaushik Bhattacharya, Howell N. Tyson, Sr., Professor of Mechanics and Professor of Materials Science as well as Executive Officer for Mechanical and Civil Engineering, has been selected to receive the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Warner T. Koiter Medal. He is receiving the medal, “for the development of novel, rigorous, and predictive methods for the multiscale behavior of modern engineering materials at scales ranging from the sub-atomic to the polycrystal, with special focus on multi-functional materials”. [Caltech story]

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Professor Greer Receives Robert W. Cahn Best Paper Prize


Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, and graduate student Lucas R. Meza’s paper entitled “Mechanical characterization of hollow ceramic nanolattices” is the winner of the 2014 Journal of Materials Science Robert W. Cahn Best Paper Prize. The prize recognizes a truly exceptional original research paper published in the journal in a particular calendar year. The winning paper is selected from the twelve finalists by a panel of distinguished materials scientists

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Heat Transfer Sets the Noise Floor for Ultrasensitive Electronics


Austin Minnich, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, and colleagues have identified a source of electronic noise that could affect the functioning of instruments operating at very low temperatures, such as devices used in radio telescopes and advanced physics experiments. The team's findings also suggest that it may be possible to develop engineering strategies to make phonon heat transfer more efficient at low temperatures. For example, one possibility might be to change the design of transistors so that phonon generation takes place over a broader volume. "If you can make the phonon generation more spread out, then in principle you could reduce the temperature rise that occurs," Professor Minnich says. "We don't know what the precise strategy will be yet, but now we know the direction we should be going. That's an improvement." [Caltech release]

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Professor Greer Awarded the Kavli Early Career Lecture in Nanoscience


Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, has been awarded the Kavli Early Career Lecture in Nanoscience. This honor recognizes significant novel contributions to materials science by a young researcher in the early stages of her career. Professor Greer’s nomination emphasized her creative, ingenious, and elegant work in nanoscience.

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Ceramics Don't Have To Be Brittle


Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, and her colleagues are on the path to developing materials that possess unheard-of combinations of properties. "Ceramics have always been thought to be heavy and brittle," says Professor Greer. "We're showing that in fact, they don't have to be either. This very clearly demonstrates that if you use the concept of the nanoscale to create structures and then use those nanostructures like LEGO to construct larger materials, you can obtain nearly any set of properties you want. You can create materials by design." [Caltech Release]

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