News & Events


Aseismic Slip as a Barrier to Earthquake Propagation


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


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


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

Best Paper Selected by the AIAA


Simon R. Sanderson, General Electric, Joseph E. Shepherd, C. L. "Kelly" Johnson Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Hans G. Hornung, C. L. "Kelly" Johnson Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus, and colleagues' paper "Reactant Jetting in Unstable Detonation" has been selected as best paper by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee. [Read the Paper]

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE Joseph Shepherd Hans Hornung fluid dynamics

ME 72 Contest Winners Announced


Congratulations to Robbie Paolini, Long Nguyen, and Paul Suffoletta of Team Up who won this year's ME 72 Contest which was held on Tuesday, March 9, 2010. Teams of three to four competed to deploy their airships and robots and navigate them through a course that involved releasing, gathering, and shooting ping-pong balls and passing through a hoop 15 feet above the ground. Team Up won by outlasting their peers through eight rollicking rounds. [Watch Fox 11 News story (27 seconds, QuickTime plugin required)] [View slide show] [Pasadena Star News article] [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: MCE

ME19 Ends With a Big Splash!


Christopher E. Brennen, Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering, ends his ME19 class with a big splash! He has been a Caltech faculty member for more than 40 years and has published numerous papers and books in a wide variety of topics involving fluid mechanics. Professor Brennen will be retiring on April 1st, 2010.

Tags: MCE Christopher Brennen

Professor Colonius Receives Funds from National Science Foundation


Timothy E. Colonius, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is among a group of Caltech researchers who have received more than $33 Million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Professor Colonius received $987,032 in ARRA funds from the National Science Foundation for research into better understanding how noise is created by turbulence in the exhaust of turbofan aircraft engines and what might be done to mitigate it. Jet noise is an environmental problem subject to increasingly severe regulation throughout the world. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: MCE Timothy Colonius

Nanoscale Structures with Superior Mechanical Properties


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 postdocs

Dual Degree Program Wins the Institute of International Education Andrew Heiskell Awards


The dual master's degree program between Caltech and École Polytechnique in Aerospace Engineering or Aeronautics and Fluid Mechanics has won the Institute of International Education Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education, in the category of International Exchange Partnerships. The dual degree program spans two academic years; students spend a year at each institution and completed a six month internship in academic or industrial laboratories. Along with the two partnering institutions the program is also supported by the Partner University Fund. [Program Overview]

Tags: GALCIT MCE Guruswami Ravichandran École Polytechnique