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New Process Allows 3-D Printing of Microscale Metallic Parts

12-01-22

Engineers at Caltech have developed a method for 3-D printing pure and multicomponent metals, at a resolution that is, in some cases, an order of magnitude smaller than previously possible. "We had to develop a new way of doing it, and we couldn't rely on heat to build our structures," says Max Saccone. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MedE MCE MCE Julia Greer Max Saccone Rebecca Gallivan Daryl Yee Kai Narita

Watch Now: Caltech Undergraduates Present Final Concept for NASA BIG Idea Challenge

11-15-22

Caltech’s BIG Idea Challenge Team is presenting its final concept at the NASA Big Idea Challenge Forum at 11:25 PDT on November 15, 2022. [Tune in!]

Tags: GALCIT MCE CMS Soon-Jo Chung

Beaming Clean Energy From Space

10-26-22

Once considered science fiction, technology capable of collecting solar power in space and beaming it to Earth to provide a global supply of clean and affordable energy is moving closer to reality. Through the Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP), a team of Caltech researchers is working to deploy a constellation of modular spacecraft that collect sunlight, transform it into electricity, then wirelessly transmit that electricity wherever it is needed—including to places that currently have no access to reliable power. "This is an extraordinary and unprecedented project," says Harry Atwater, Otis Booth Leadership Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science; Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Liquid Sunlight Alliance. "It exemplifies the boldness and ambition needed to address one of the most significant challenges of our time, providing clean and affordable energy to the world." [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights MedE MCE Harry Atwater Ali Hajimiri Sergio Pellegrino

Mimicking Termites to Generate New Materials

08-26-22

Inspired by the way termites build their nests, researchers at Caltech have developed a framework to design new materials that mimic the fundamental rules hidden in nature's growth patterns. "We thought that by understanding how a termite contributes to the nest's fabrication, we could define simple rules for designing architected materials with unique mechanical properties," says Chiara Daraio, G. Bradford Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Chiara Daraio MCE

Tweaking Turbine Angles Squeezes More Power Out of Wind Farms

08-17-22

A new control algorithm for wind farms that alters how individual turbines are oriented into the wind promises to boost farms' overall efficiency and energy output by optimizing how they deal with their turbulent wake. "Individual turbines generate choppy air, or a wake, which hurts the performance of every turbine downwind of them," says John O. Dabiri, Centennial Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering. "To cope with that, wind farm turbines are traditionally spaced as far apart as possible, which unfortunately takes up a lot of real estate." [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MCE John Dabiri alumni Michael Howland

Nano-Architected Materials Offer New Frontier in Technology

07-27-22

For the past two decades, Julia R. Greer, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering; Fletcher Jones Foundation Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, has been at the forefront of creating new materials whose structures are designed and controlled at the smallest level, giving them unusual and useful properties. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS MedE MCE Julia Greer alumni Carlos M. Portela

Michael Gonzalez Receives 2022 Henry Ford II Scholar Award

06-23-22

Michael Gonzalez, advised by Joel Burdick, Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist, is one of four recipients of the 2022 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Michael is interested in the crossover between Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, focusing specifically on the widespread applications of robotics. This summer, Michael will be working as a SURF fellow under Professor Soon-Jo Chung with a focus on revamping the ARCG’s autonomous flying ambulance. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: honors MCE CMS Henry Ford II Scholar Award Soon-Jo Chung Michael Gonzalez

Lorenzo Shaikewitz Receives 2022 Henry Ford II Scholar Award

06-23-22

Lorenzo Shaikewitz, advised by Professor Aaron Ames, Bren Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Control and Dynamical Systems, is a recipient of the 2022 Henry Ford II award. Lorenzo is interested in all things robotics, focusing specifically on bringing robots into daily life through human-robot interaction. This summer, Lorenzo will work with Professor Dorsa Sadigh at Stanford University on robotic assistive feeding. He plans to pursue higher education and a PhD in robotics after graduation. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: MCE Henry Ford II Scholar Award Aaron Ames Lorenzo Shaikewitz

Prithvi Akella Receives MCE Outstanding Service Award

06-10-22

Prithvi Akella is a winner of this year's Mechanical and Civil Engineering Outstanding Service Award. He is recognized for significant contributions to improving the quality of climate, culture, and scholarship in service of the department.

Tags: honors MCE Prithvi Akella