News & Events


Professor Rosakis Elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). This honor is given to individual AGU members who have made exceptional scientific contributions and gained prominence in their respective fields of Earth and space sciences. [AGU release]

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Professor Rosakis Named ICF Honorary Fellow and Vice President


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, has been named an honorary fellow of the International Congress on Fracture (ICF) which is the premier international body for promotion of worldwide cooperation among scientists and engineers concerned with the mechanics and mechanisms of fracture, fatigue, and strength of solids. He has also been elected as one of the group's three vice presidents.

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Holographic Imaging Could Be Used to Detect Signs of Life in Space


Jay Nadeau, Research Professor of Medical Engineering and Aerospace, and colleagues are exploring ways to sample and identify living microbes in the outer solar system. Her proposal is to use new microscopes on spacecraft that could visit the icy moons of Enceladus (Saturn) and Europa (Jupiter) and to collect and search water samples for life. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT Jay Nadeau

123rd Commencement Ceremony


Caltech’s 123rd commencement ceremony was held on Friday June 16, 2017. The commencement speaker was Mae Jemison, an engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut. Looking up, she said, allows us to remember that there is more that connects us than divides us. "Connection to the greater universe is something I hope for you throughout your lives. Never forget to look up and keep the bigger picture in mind. Look up at the sky, the moon, the stars when you need to recharge. Let the gravity of Earth give you a warm hug when you're feeling low. Look up to remember what inspires you. Keep the sparkle in your eyes, keep it long past graduation." [Caltech story]

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Professor McKeon Receives GSC Mentoring Award


The Caltech Graduate Student Council (GSC) has selected Professor Beverley McKeon as the recipient of the 2016-2017, GSC Mentoring Award. The GSC Teaching and Mentoring Awards recognize individuals “who have an extraordinary impact on Caltech graduate students through their roles as teachers and mentors.” Nominations submitted by graduate students, both within and outside of GALCIT, described her commitment as a mentor.  The nominations highlighted her attentiveness, inclusivity, and great support for students. 

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Chris Roh Receives 2017 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award


Chris Roh a graduate student working with Professor Morteza Gharib, is a recipient of the 2017 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award. His doctorate research combined his childhood love for insect and his newly found passion in fluid mechanics, investigating hydrodynamics of dragonfly larvae’s jetting and honeybees’ surfing.. The Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award is given to an EAS graduate student in hydrodynamics who has distinguished himself or herself in research.

Tags: honors GALCIT Morteza Gharib Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award Chris Roh

Professor Dickinson Joins GALCIT Faculty


Professor Michael Dickinson joins the GALCIT faculty as the Esther M. and Abe M. Zarem Professor of Bioengineering and Aeronautics. Professor Dickinson has spent the last 25 years creatively pairing physics with biology to probe and understand at a detailed level how animals move, behave and make decisions – work that has advanced a number of divergent fields, ranging from aerodynamics to neuroscience. GALCIT Director Mory Gharib welcomes the potential that Michael brings to GALCIT for collaborating on activities such as development of advanced experimental techniques for unsteady aerodynamic visualizations and measurements; unsteady flight dynamics and characterization of engineering principles underlying biological systems.  GALCIT is also looking forward to Professor Dickinson’s involvement in research projects under development in the Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) which is currently under construction in GALCIT.

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Earthquakes Can Make Thrust Faults Open Violently and Snap Shut


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, and colleagues at Caltech and École normale supérieure in Paris have discovered that fast ruptures propagating up toward the earth's surface along a thrust fault can cause one side of a fault to twist away from the other, opening up a gap of up to a few meters that then snaps shut. [Caltech story]

Tags: GALCIT MCE Ares Rosakis Hiroo Kanamori Harsha Bhat Vahe Gabuchian

The Future is Autonomous


On April 19, 2017 Electrical Engineering alumnus Evangelos Simoudis (BS '83) moderated a panel titled "The Road Ahead: A Panel on the Future of Driverless Vehicles," hosted by the Caltech Associates. The panel members were Professors Mory Gharib, Richard Murray, and Pietro Perona, along with Reuters automotive industry reporter, Paul Lienert. They discuss a variety of opportunities and challenges associated with autonomous technologies and systems. Beyond the legal and ethical challenges, several technological obstacles must be overcome before driverless cars become common on the road. One key challenge is teaching driverless cars how to read the behavior of other cars and react accordingly. Professor Perona described the problem of a car attempting to merge onto a crowded freeway. A driverless car would see an impenetrable wall of vehicles, but a human driver could edge forward and wave at other drivers to work his or her way into the line of traffic. [Caltech story]

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2017 Caltech Space Challenge


Last week 32 students from around the world met up at Caltech for the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge. This year’s competition involved designing a launch-and-supply station—dubbed Lunarport—for future space missions. Lunar in-situ resource utilization could allow larger payloads to be launched from Earth, bringing deep-space a little closer for human exploration. The Caltech student organizers were Ilana Gat and Thibaud Talon. The Caltech and JPL faculty advisers were Professor Paul Dimotakis, Dr. Jakob van Zyl, and Dr. Anthony Freeman. It was an extremely close competition but Team Explorer was finally called the winner because their business plan and cost estimates were more realistic than those of Team Voyager. [Pasadena Weekly] [Radio interview with Ilana Gat] [Caltech story]

Tags: GALCIT Paul Dimotakis Space Challenge Jakob van Zyl Ilana Gat Thibaud Talon Anthony Freeman