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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

Conor Martin Wins ISHPMIE Best Paper Award

07-26-22

Graduate Student Conor Martin has received the best paper award at the 14th International Symposium on Hazards, Prevention, and Mitigation of Industrial Explosions (ISHPMIE). The paper is titled "Thermal Ignition: Effects of Fuel, Ambient Pressure and Nitrogen Dilution."

Tags: honors GALCIT Joseph Shepherd Connor Martin

Methods from Weather Forecasting Can Be Adapted to Assess Risk of COVID-19 Exposure

06-27-22

Techniques used in weather forecasting can be repurposed to provide individuals with a personalized assessment of their risk of exposure to COVID-19 or other viruses, according to new research published by Caltech scientists. The technique has the potential to be more effective and less intrusive than blanket lockdowns for combatting the spread of disease, says Tapio Schneider, Theodore Y. Wu Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights Chiara Daraio ESE Tapio Schneider Oliver Dunbar Lucas Böttcher Dmitry Burov Alfredo Garbuno-Inigo Gregory Wagner Sen Pei Raffaele Ferrari Jeffrey Shaman Jinlong Wu

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

Tim Colonius and Lihong Wang Receive Named Chairs

06-17-22

Professors Tim Colonius and Lihong Wang have received named chairs. Tim Colonius has been named Cecil and Sally Drinkward Leadership Chair, Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering. Lihong Wang has been named Andrew and Peggy Cherng Leadership Chair, Department of Medical Engineering. 

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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