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Aseismic Slip as a Barrier to Earthquake Propagation

05-06-10

Tectonics Observatory researchers including Nadia Lapusta, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Geophysics, have explored the effects of aseismic slip in the aftermath of the 2007 Peru earthquake. "This large area of aseismic slip is good news," says Jean-Philippe Avouac, Director of the Tectonics Observatory and Professor of Geology. "It lowers the seismic hazard in that region, and allows us to be a little bit predictive. We cannot tell you when there will be an earthquake, but we can tell you where there is stress buildup, and where there is no stress buildup. Where there is no stress buildup, there will be no seismic rupture. That is where the earthquakes are going to stop." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights MCE Nadia Lapusta Jean-Philippe Avouac

Ares Rosakis Receives 2010 Robert Henry Thurston Lecture Award

05-06-10

Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been selected to receive the 2010 Robert Henry Thurston Lecture Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers "for pioneering contributions to the field of fracture and failure mechanics of microelectronic, engineering and geological materials and structures, spanning a wide range of length scales; and for visionary leadership in promoting interdisciplinary research and education in mechanical engineering."

Tags: honors research highlights GALCIT MCE Ares Rosakis

Professor Knauss Receives the 2010 Timoshenko Medal

05-04-10

Wolfgang G. Knauss, Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics, Emeritus, has been selected to receive the 2010 Timoshenko Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers "for fundamental contributions to the mechanics of fracture, covering mixed-mode fracture, dynamic fracture, and interface and adhesive fracture; and the characterization of material response and failure at the microscale, with an emphasis on experimental mechanics." The Timoshenko Medal was established in 1957 and is conferred in recognition of distinguished contributions to the field of applied mechanics.

Tags: honors research highlights GALCIT Wolfgang Knauss

Nanoscale Structures with Superior Mechanical Properties

02-09-10

Julia Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, and Dongchan Jang, Postdoctoral Scholar, have developed a way to make some notoriously brittle materials ductile—yet stronger than ever—simply by reducing their size. Professor Greer describes, "We are entering a new era in materials science, where structural materials can be created not only by utilizing monolith structures, like ceramics and metals, but also by introducing 'architectural' features into them." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MCE Julia Greer Dongchan Jang

Sergio Pellegrino Receives NASA Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Award

11-04-09

Sergio Pellegrino, Professor of Aeronautics and Civil Engineering and Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist, has received the NASA Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Award as a member of the superpressure balloon team. The award is for sound engineering and operational development, outstanding teamwork, and perseverance in building a new scientific balloon capability for NASA.

Tags: honors research highlights GALCIT MCE Sergio Pellegrino

Sandra Troian and Mathias Dietzel Solve Decade-Long Mystery of Nanopillar Formations

10-23-09

Sandra Troian, Professor of Applied Physics, Aeronautics, and Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Mathias Dietzel have uncovered the physical mechanism by which arrays of nanoscale pillars can be grown on polymer films with very high precision, in potentially limitless patterns. "This is an example of how basic understanding of the principles of physics and mechanics can lead to unexpected discoveries which may have far-reaching, practical implications," said Ares Rosakis, Division Chair and Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering at Caltech. "This is the real strength of the EAS division." [Caltech Press Release] [video] [Download real player]

Tags: APhMS research highlights GALCIT MCE Sandra Troian

 
Roseanna Zia and Anthony Roy are Winners in the Graduate Student Poster Session

02-17-09

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!

Tags: honors research highlights MCE

Professor Ares Rosakis Featured in a Documentary

02-07-09

Ares Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Hiroo Kanamori, John E. and Hazel S. Smits Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus, with their students and colleagues will be featured in the documentary How the Earth Was Made airing on the History Channel on February 10, 6pm (PST) or 9:00pm (EST). The segment concerns the San Andreas fault and features a part which was filmed in the Solid Dynamics Lab at GALCIT. It also features an interview on supershear earthquake ruptures with Rosakis and Kanamori.

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MCE Ares Rosakis

 
A New Take on Microbrewing

04-09-08

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]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MCE David Boyd