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2012-demetriades2
Winners of the 2012 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced

06-14-12

The student winners of the 2012 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at a special luncheon with the Demetriades - Tsafka – Kokkalis family. Philip Romero received the prize in Biotechnology for his work on developing statistical models of proteins with Frances Arnold. Michael Mello was the recipient of the prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection for his work with Ares Rosakis on developing a novel methodology for identifying the unique ground motion signatures of supershear earthquakes. Leslie O’Leary received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources for her pathbreaking work on the properties of semiconductor interfaces with Nate Lewis and Bob Grubbs. This year there were two winners for the prize in Nanotechnology. One winner was Andrew Jennings for his experimental and modeling work in nanomechanics with Julia Greer. The other winner of the Nanotechnology prize was Jordan Raney who has worked with Chiara Daraio to develop new chemical synthesis methods to control the properties of carbon nanotubes.

Tags: Philip Romero Frances Arnold. Michael Mello Ares Rosakis Leslie O’Leary Nate Lewis Bob Grubbs Andrew Jennings Julia Greer Jordan Raney Chiara Daraio APhMS GALCIT MCE research highlights honors

Kortschak
Walter G. Kortschak Elected to Board of Trustees

06-08-12

Civil Engineering alumnus, venture capitalist, and philanthropist Walter G. Kortschak (MS '82) has been elected to the Board of Trustees of Caltech. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: Walter Kortschak alumni MCE

Robert
Finalist for Library Senior Thesis Prize

06-06-12

Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student Robert Karol, who is also minoring in Aerospace and Control and Dynamical Systems, was the finalist for the 2012 Friends of Caltech Libraries Senior Thesis Prize. His thesis is entitled “Peak Seeking Controller for Real Time Mobile Satellite Tracking” and was written under the direction of Professor Richard Murray and Mechanical Engineering alumnus Gunnar Ristroph (BS '06) of IJK Controls.

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Tags: Robert Karol Richard Murray CMS MCE energy research highlights

Kaushik-bhattacharya
Better, Stronger, Lighter Armor

05-22-12

Kaushik Bhattacharya, Howell N. Tyson, Sr., Professor of Mechanics and Professor of Materials Science, is the Caltech lead on a $90 million U.S. Army Research Laboratory funded program to improve protective gear and vehicles for soldiers. "…studying materials in very extreme conditions is an area where Caltech engineering really stand out," says Bhattacharya. "The tools we bring, on both the theoretical and experimental sides uniquely bridge deep fundamental principles with unprecedented application.” [Caltech Feature]

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Tags: Kaushik Bhattacharya William Goddard Dennis Kochmann Michael Ortiz Guruswami Ravichandran Julia Greer APhMS GALCIT MCE

Nadia-lapusta
Greater Insight into Earthquake Cycles

05-10-12

Nadia Lapusta, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Geophysics, and colleagues have developed the first computer model of an earthquake-producing fault segment that reproduces, in a single physical framework, the available observations of both the fault's seismic (fast) and aseismic (slow) behavior. "Earthquake science is on the verge of building models that are based on the actual response of the rock materials as measured in the lab—models that can be tailored to reproduce a broad range of available observations for a given region," says Lapusta. "This implies we are getting closer to understanding the physical laws that govern how earthquakes nucleate, propagate, and arrest." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: Nadia Lapusta MCE research highlights

Eric-chang
Building Infrastructure to Handle Growing Populations

04-25-12

Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student, Eric Chang, has been named a Watson Fellow. The fellowship enables graduating seniors to spend a year traveling around the world, exploring and learning about topics of their choice. Chang will spend about three months each in Taiwan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Hyderabad, India. In Asia, more and more people are moving from rural areas to the cities, and these cities must be able to build the infrastructure to handle the new population. "I wanted to see how these problems are being approached in these countries," he says. "These issues are going to have a large impact on the world." [Caltech Feature]

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John-hall
Professor Hall Inducted into Civil Engineering Academy

04-25-12

John F. Hall, Professor of Civil Engineering, has been inducted into the Civil Engineering Academy of West Virginia University (WVU). This academy recognizes WVU alumni who have had distinguished professional careers. 

Tags: John Hall MCE

Me72-2012
Robots Take Over Millikan Pond

03-09-12

Robots designed and built by undergraduate students battled in head-to-head competition, in this year's ME 72 Engineering Design Contest which was dubbed "The Conquest of Millikan Islands."  Teams had to design and build robots to retrieve 11 ping-pong balls from dispensers on the footbridge and then use a second aquatic robot to put those balls into small "islands" distributed around the pond. Finally, after an afternoon of many fierce rounds, team Robotics Anonymous emerged victorious. [Caltech Feature] [ABC7 News Video]

Tags: ME 72 MCE

Swaminathan-krishnan
Professor Krishnan Selected As An Outstanding Reviewer

02-29-12

Swaminathan Krishnan, Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering and Geophysics, has been selected as a 2011 Outstanding Reviewer for the Journal of Structural Engineering.  Congratulations!

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Melissa-tanner
Student Leads New Keck Institute for Space Studies Program

02-10-12

Melissa M. Tanner, a Mechanical Engineering graduate student, is the student lead for a new Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) mini-program called, Tools and Algorithms for Sampling in Extreme Terrain. This program will give a handful of undergraduate students the opportunity to help develop instruments for an extreme-terrain rover called Axel, which could one day be used to explore the moon, Mars, or an asteroid. The Caltech faculty mentor to the mini-program is Joel W. Burdick, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, who is part of the Caltech and JPL team developing Axel. [Caltech Feature]

Tags: Melissa Tanner Joel Burdick MCE research highlights

Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering