Guruswami Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering; Director, Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, has been selected as the new chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) effective September 1, 2015. "I believe, based on the evaluation of the search committee and on my own interactions with him, that Ravi not only has the judgment, energy, and vision to lead the division creatively and effectively, but that he will also be an outstanding advocate for the division," said Edward Stolper, Carl and Shirley Larson Provostial Chair and William E. Leonhard Professor of Geology, in an announcement to the EAS faculty. Professor Ravichandran commented, "During my tenure, I would like to see that we attract the best faculty and students to EAS and the Institute who will enable interdisciplinary activities across Caltech and contribute to frontiers of engineering science and technology. I would like to see a more diverse body of students and faculty, who will enrich EAS and the Institute, and I would like to see EAS be at the forefront of technological revolution based on our unique ability to drive advances through basic research.” [Caltech Release]
Morteza Gharib, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Bioinspired Engineering, has been selected to receive the 2015 Fluid Dynamics Prize of the American Physical Society (APS). This prize is the highest award given by the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics for outstanding contributions to fundamental fluid dynamics research. It recognizes Professor Gharib's seminal contributions to measurement techniques in experimental fluid mechanics, elucidation of governing physical principles in flow-structure interactions and vortex dynamics, and creative application of these concepts to a variety of important problems in biological fluid dynamics and beyond.
Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, is the 2015 recipient of the Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal “for innovative singular theoretical and experimental contributions in dynamic fracture and optical techniques, and their application to rupture faults.” The Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal is awarded by the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM) and recognizes an individual for distinguished, innovative, and outstanding work that has realized the impact of experimental mechanics on other scientific and engineering fields through an integrated multidisciplinary research. Professor Rosakis received the award at the 2015 SEM annual conference. At the same event Professor Chiara Daraio and colleagues received the 2015 M. Hetényi Award for best research paper published in Experimental Mechanics. Furthermore, EAS alumnus Hugh Bruck became a 2015 fellow and EAS alumnus John Lambros received the M.M. Frocht Award.
Dr. Daniel Rittel, long term GALCIT Visiting Associate working with Professors Ravichandran and Rosakis, has been awarded the 2015 “Angiola Gili e Cataldo Agostinelli” international prize for Applied or Theoretical Mechanics by the Academy of Sciences of Turin, Italy. Dr. Rittel has performed pioneering research in the mechanics of materials, with particular focus on the coupling thermomechanical solids. His work has demonstrated that the energy stored in the material is not only due to thermodynamic effects, but also due to changes in the microstructure identified as dynamic recrystallization. His research has also led to a paradigm shift in the modeling of the localization phenomena of sliding dynamics, combining the science of materials with the mechanics using numerical simulations. [List of past recipients]
Caltech’s 121st commencement ceremony was held on Friday June 12, 2015. The commencement speaker was cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell, an expert on the intersection of culture and technology. She reminded the graduates that it is the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law which she referred to as a bold statement of engineering and a promise about the state of the future. She asked the graduates to not only bring their technical skills to the table, but also their humanity and obligation to make the work a better place. [View Dr. Bell’s commencement address]
Dan Meiron, Fletcher Jones Professor of Aeronautics and Applied and Computational Mathematics, has received a 2014-2015 Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology (ASCIT) Teaching Award. [List of past recipients]
Robert Braun, Caltech Moore Distinguished Scholar and Georgia Institute of Technology Professor of Space Technology, has received the American Astronautical Society (AAS) Space Technology Award "for extraordinary contributions in technology to enable the landing of vehicles on other planets, and for creating NASA technology development programs designed to build our nation’s future space capabilities and solve grand societal challenges on Earth.” When asked about the award, Dr. Braun remarked, “receiving this inaugural honor while a Moore Distinguished Scholar at Caltech will always be special to me.”
Hans G. Hornung, C. L. Kelly Johnson Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus, has been selected to receive the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Award for 2015. The award recognizes sustained, outstanding contributions and achievements in the advancement of atmospheric, hypersonic flight and related technologies. Professor Hornung is receiving it “for lifelong contributions advancing the understanding of high-enthalpy hypervelocity flows and high-enthalpy ground-test experimental techniques.” [Past recipients]
Caltech was the only education and research institution to receive a Supplier of the Year award from Boeing in a recent gala awards ceremony near the nation's capital. The awards recognized "exceptional performance and contributions to Boeing's overall success during 2014." Caltech Vice Provost for research Morteza Gharib stated, “dating back to the 1930s, through the founding of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the growth of the aerospace industry in Southern California, Caltech's collaboration with Boeing has led to some key advancements in aerospace design and technology." [Caltech story] [ENGenious article]