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Engineers Taught a Drone to Herd Birds Away From Airports

08-08-18

Soon-Jo Chung, Associate Professor of Aerospace and Bren Scholar; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist, and colleagues have developed a new control algorithm that enables a single drone to herd an entire flock of birds away from the airspace of an airport. The effectiveness of the algorithm is only limited by the number and size of the incoming birds, Professor Chung says, adding that the team plans to explore ways to scale the project up for multiple drones dealing with multiple flocks.[Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT Soon-Jo Chung

Graduate Student Places 4th in National Soaring Competition

07-31-18

GALCIT Graduate student Michael Marshall, who is a member of Professor Sergio Pellegrino’s Space Structures Laboratory, has received the Rudolph W. Mozer Trophy from the Soaring Society of America (SSA) for being the highest ranking contestant under 26 years of age at any U.S. National Soaring contest. He also placed 4th in the U.S. National Soaring contest. Soaring involves flying without flapping wings or using engine power, or as described by the SSA “to fly as the hawk and eagle has been mankind's dream for centuries. Modern sailplanes make soaring flight possible, and with them humans can fly higher, faster, and farther than the greatest of birds, using only an invisible force of nature to stay aloft.” [SSA news]

Tags: honors GALCIT Sergio Pellegrino Michael Marshall

Dragonfly Larvae Inspire New Designs for Prosthetic Heart Valves

07-17-18

Professor Mory Gharib and postdoctoral researcher Chris Roh (MS '13, PhD '17) have studied the design and control of the jets that dragonfly larvae use to propel themselves to re-design health values. "The current heart valve design is a one-size-fits-all, where no patient-specific design is considered, and this causes many post-transplant complications," Dr. Roh says. "We believe that an intentionally off-centered opening of the heart valve to more closely match the patient's original blood flow will be an important design parameter that can be adjusted based on each patient's heart morphology." [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MedE Morteza Gharib Chris Roh postdocs

Richard B. Chapman Memorial Awards

07-03-18

Morgane Anne Marie Grivel advised by Professor Morteza Gharib, Kazuki Maeda advised by Professor Tim Colonius, and Jason Schlup advised by Professor Guillaume Blanquart are recipients of the 2018 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award. Morgane's research focuses on using hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions to modify hydrodynamic flows. Jason's research utilized computational fluid dynamics to investigate the highly unstable combustion of hydrogen-air mixtures with a focus on accurate, cost-effective modeling techniques. Kazuki does research in multi-phase flow, computational fluid dynamics, and biomedical engineering. The Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award is given to an EAS graduate student in hydrodynamics who has distinguished himself or herself in research.

Tags: GALCIT MCE Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award

A Gift of Autonomy

06-21-18

Trustees Lynn Booth and Kent Kresa have decided to endow the Booth-Kresa Leadership Chair for Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST). Professor Mory Gharib explains, “in science and technology, freedom is the most powerful gift you can offer. The Booth-Kresa Leadership Chair will help ensure that CAST can move nimbly into our emerging more autonomous future, unleashing the creativity of our faculty, students, and scholars. I am personally grateful to Lynn and Kent for their generosity, enthusiasm, and trust in our vision.” [Breakthrough story]

Tags: GALCIT Morteza Gharib Kent Kresa Lynn Booth Caltech Trustees

Ares Rosakis Awarded the Timoshenko Medal

06-12-18

Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, will receive the 2018 Timoshenko Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for his pioneering work on unveiling the mechanics behind earthquakes. "Many of my mentors and scientific Idols have received this award, so I really feel especially honored and humbled to be recognized with them," Professor Rosakis says. [Caltech story] [List of award recipients]

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE Ares Rosakis

Professor McKeon Receives Northrop Grumman Prize for Excellence in Teaching

06-12-18

Beverley J. McKeon, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics, is the recipient of the 2018 Northrop Grumman Prize for Excellence in Teaching. The Prize is awarded to an EAS professor who demonstrates, in the broadest sense, unusual ability, creativity, and innovation in undergraduate and graduate classroom or laboratory teaching. A nomination for Professor Mckeon read, “she is a firm believer in the importance of having all students, regardless of their ultimate specialty, participate in laboratory coursework. Her courses serve as a solid foundation for graduate level research across disciplines, both technically and with regards to skills relevant to doctoral and industrial research. She takes tough subjects and uses her colorful approach to make the concept easy to comprehend.” [Caltech story]

Tags: honors GALCIT Beverley McKeon teaching

2018 Caltech Distinguished Alumni

05-24-18

Caltech has recognized three Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor regularly bestowed by the Institute. Gary Demos (BS '71, Engineering and Applied Science), Gary A. Flandro (MS '60, PhD '67, Aeronautics), and Ronald H. Willens (BS '53 Physics, MS '54 Mechanical Engineering, PhD '61 Engineering Science). Demos was recognized “for his pioneering achievement in the development of computer-generated images (CGI) for use in motion pictures, and in digital film scanning and recording.” Flandro was recognized for “his seminal contributions to the design and engineering of multi-outer-planet missions, including the Grand Tour, the course set for the epic explorations of the Voyager spacecraft.” Willens was honored for “his innovative and revolutionary contributions to advanced internet connectivity and telecommunications. He pioneered the Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service (RADIUS) as an access server authentication and accounting protocol, which was adapted by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards.” [Caltech story] [Techer article]

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE alumni Gary Demos Gary Flandro Ronald Willens

Professor Ravichandran To Give 2018 Robert Henry Thurston Lecture

05-15-18

Guruswami (Ravi) Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering; Otis Booth Leadership Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science, has been selected to give the 2018 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Robert Henry Thurston Lecture at ASME Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition in November. He has been awarded this lectureship "for pioneering contributions to mechanics of materials, particularly dynamic deformation, damage and failure, micro/nano mechanics, wave propagation, composites, active materials, cell mechanics and experimental methods.” The lecture was established by the first ASME president to provide an opportunity for leaders in engineering to give a thought provoking lecture on a subject of broad interest to engineers.

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE Guruswami Ravichandran

Number One Ranking

03-20-18

The Caltech graduate programs in aerospace / aeronautical / astronautical have been ranked first in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Each school's score reflects its average rating on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding), based on a survey of academics at peer institutions. [All 2018 Caltech graduate engineering rankings]

Tags: GALCIT Graduate school rankings