News & Events



Boeing Honors Caltech for Exceptional Performance


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]

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Space Solar Power Initiative


Caltech and Northrop Grumman Corporation have signed a $17.5 million sponsored research agreement for the development of the Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI). The initiative will develop technologies in three areas: high-efficiency ultralight photovoltaics; ultralight deployable space structures; and phased array and power transmission. "The Space Solar Power Initiative brings together electrical engineers, applied physicists, and aerospace engineers in the type of profound interdisciplinary collaboration that is seamlessly enhanced at a small place like Caltech... We are working on extremely difficult problems that could eventually provide the world with new, and very cost-competitive technology for sustainable energy,” said EAS Chair Ares Rosakis. [Caltech story] [Northrop Grumman Release]

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Professors Elowitz and Gharib Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences


EAS Professors Michael Elowitz, and Morteza Gharib, have been elected to the 2015 American Academy of Arts and Sciences class of fellows. This year’s class of fellows also includes Caltech Board of Trustee members Maria D. Hummer-Tuttle, and James F. Rothenberg. They have joined an assembly that was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholars to provide practical solutions to pressing issues. [Caltech story]

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2015 Caltech Space Challenge


For one week at the end of March, 32 students from 20 universities and 14 countries came to Caltech for an intensive training experience in space mission design: the Caltech Space Challenge. The teams—Team Explorer and Team Voyager—were tasked with designing a manned mission to an asteroid placed in orbit around the moon. Aside from determining details such as the best type of vehicle to use, the optimal launch date, and how to keep the astronauts safe, each team was asked to explain how its mission would explore and make use of the asteroid to enable future missions to more distant locales, such as Mars. In the end, Team Voyager came out slightly ahead of Team Explorer. According to the jury, the deciding factor was Team Voyager's presentation and success in turning their technically detailed report into a compelling story for the audience. [Caltech Story] [Voyager's presentation] [Explorer's presentation]

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Professor Dabiri Named Fellow of the American Physical Society


John O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering as well as the Caltech Dean of Undergraduate Students, has been named fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) for his exceptional contributions to physics. The APS Division of Fluid Dynamics nominated Professor Dabiri for his contributions to "vortex dynamics and biological propulsion, and for pioneering new concepts in wind energy." [Caltech story]

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How To Study High-Speed Flows


Joanna Austin, Professor of Aerospace, researches fundamental problems in reactive, compressible flows with applications in hypervelocity flight and planetary entry, supersonic combustion and detonation, bubble dynamics, and explosive geological events. She remarks, “gas dynamics, and particularly looking at gas dynamics in reacting flows… [is] the thing I really love. It's a very challenging, coupled, problem. As the fluid is going through the model that you're studying, you also have to account for the fact that the state of the fluid is changing—the gas is chemically reacting, so it's changing from reactants to products, or it's redistributing its energy states, or both. Understanding how best to model these processes, that's what excites me.” [Interview with Professor Austin]

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Four Caltech Professors Elected to the National Academy of Engineering


Professors Harry AtwaterMorteza GharibGuruswami Ravichandran, and Robert Grubbs have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Professor Atwater was elected for contributions to plasmonics. Professor Gharib was elected for contributions to fluid flow diagnostics and imagery, and engineering of bioinspired devices and phenomena. Professor Ravichandran was elected for contributions to mechanics of dynamic deformation, damage, and failure of engineering materials. Professor Grubbs was elected for developments in catalysts that have enabled commercial products. [Caltech story]

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Tags: Harry Atwater Morteza Gharib Guruswami Ravichandran Robert Grubbs Dan Goebel Graeme Stephens Vigor Yang APhMS GALCIT MedE MCE National Academy of Engineering honors


Professor Ortiz Receives the Timoshenko Medal


Michael Ortiz, Frank and Ora Lee Marble Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, has been selected to receive the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Timoshenko Medal “for seminal, groundbreaking and creative contributions, particularly in the creation of the quasi continuum method, the formulation of an incremental variational principle to predict dislocation structures, the development of modeling fragmentation with cohesive models, and the formulation of integrators for elastoplastic materials and variational time integrators."

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The Sky Is the Limit: $7.8 Million Gift to Support Aerospace Innovation


Through three gifts to the EAS Division, investor and philanthropist Foster Stanback and his wife, Coco, aim to help Caltech advance innovation in space exploration, with the attendant benefits of an educated workforce, skilled jobs, and spinoff technologies. "The Stanback gifts contribute vitally to the EAS strategy of attracting the best faculty and students, then giving them the resources, acknowledgement, and support to shine. For space engineering, these gifts will allow us to perpetually fund bold seed projects—many of which will lead to spectacular inventions and technologies,” explains EAS Chair Ares Rosakis. [Caltech story]

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Professor Ravichandran Receives the Warner T. Koiter Medal


Guruswami (Ravi) Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr. Professor of Aerospace and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, as well as Director of GALCIT, has been awarded the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Warner T. Koiter Medal. He received the medal, “for outstanding scientific, engineering, and mentoring contributions in the areas of ultra-high strain rate mechanics of ceramics and metals, and pioneering and innovative experiments to advance our understanding of coupled phenomena in the fields of smart materials and cellular mechanics.”

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Department of Aerospace (GALCIT)