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The research at the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories of the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT) has evolved to include biosystems engineering, however, the tradition of integrating basic experiments, theory, and simulations over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales continues to characterize our approach.

Our faculty are highly visible in their fields, and continue to garner numerous awards. GALCIT contains unparalleled experimental facilities in solids, fluids, biomechanics, propulsion, combustion, and materials, as well as unique large-scale computational capabilities.

Our educational emphasis is on the fundamentals and advanced diagnostics, with a view toward the future: bio-inspired engineering, micro- and nano-mechanics, space science, and space technology are all current research thrusts at GALCIT. We take an interdisciplinary view of mechanics—fluids, solids, and materials—and our graduate training reflects this.


The mission of the Aerospace department (GALCIT) at Caltech is to address fundamental problems that could lead to transformative science and technology in Aerospace and related fields by educating and training future leaders for academia, government and industry.

To this end, we focus on:

  • providing state-of-the-art education focusing on fundamentals in mechanics (fluids, propulsion, materials, structures, space).
  • excelling in research training of students and postdoctoral scholars.
  • creating an environment that fosters independent, innovative and interdisciplinary thinking.
  • developing and maintaining infrastructure including advanced laboratory facilities to support research that will lead to cutting-edge technologies in aerospace and other related fields.
  • being the focal point at Caltech for promoting collaboration with aerospace industry and government laboratories.