News & Events


Professor Pellegrino Receives ASME Best Paper Award


The paper entitled "Manufacture of Arbitrary Cross-Section Composite Honeycomb Cores Based on Origami Techniques" by Sergio Pellegrino, Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Civil Engineering as well as Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist, and co-authors Taketoshi Nojima and Kazuya Saito has been selected as the winner of the ASME Design Engineering Division Mechanisms and Robotics Committee Best Paper Award. Professor Pellegrino and colleagues were presented the award at the 37th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference. [Learn more about Prof. Pellegrino's research]

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Professor Rosakis Elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering as well as the Otis Booth Leadership Chair of the EAS Division, has been elected into the European Academy of Sciences and Arts under the class of Technical and Environmental Sciences. The Academy focuses on interdisciplinary discussion across specialist areas, ideologies and scientific cultures as well as promoting transnational dialog and visionary developments of new scientific knowledge and academic thinking.

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Professor Dabiri Named Innovator Under 35


John O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, has been selected by the editors of MIT Technology Review as one of this year's Innovators Under 35. He joins a group of exceptionally talented young innovators whose work is believed to have the greatest potential to transform the world. Professor Dabiri was chosen for his bioinspired engineering work on wind farms. [MIT Technology Review Article]

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Talking to Turbulence


Beverley McKeon, Professor of Aeronautics and Associate Director of GALCIT, and her colleagues have developed a new and improved way of looking at the composition of turbulence near walls, the type of flow that dominates our everyday life. "This kind of turbulence is responsible for a large amount of the fuel that is burned to move humans, freight, and fluids such as water, oil, and natural gas, around the world," Professor Mckeon describes. They have devised a new method of looking at wall turbulence by reformulating the equations that govern the motion of fluids—called the Navier-Stokes equations—into an infinite set of smaller, simpler subequations, or "blocks," with the characteristic that they can be simply added together to introduce more complexity and eventually get back to the full equations. [Caltech Release]

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India Establishes Caltech Aerospace Fellowship


The Indian Department of Space / Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has established a fellowship at Caltech in the name of Caltech alumnus Satish Dhawan (Eng '49, PhD '51) who is a pioneer of India's space program. "The ISRO is honoring Dhawan and Caltech with this fellowship, and it is also recognizing the historical connections between engineers and scientists in the United States and India," says Chair Ares Rosakis. "India has a very strong domestically grown space program," explains GALCIT Director G. Ravichandran. "The ISRO is hoping to maintain its momentum by training students in much the same way that Dhawan was trained when he went through GALCIT decades ago." [Learn More] [Caltech Release]

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Professor Ravichandran to Receive 2013 Eringen Medal


Guruswami Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace and Professor of Mechanical Engineering as well as Director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, will be receiving the A. C. Eringen Medal at the 50th Annual Technical Meeting of the Society of Engineering Science.  At the meeting there will also be a symposium to honor Professor Ravichandran; covering the topics of shock and high-rate phenomena, active/shape-memory alloys, biological materials, composite materials, and digital image correlation. The A. C. Eringen Medal is awarded in recognition of sustained outstanding achievements in Engineering Science.  

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Ian Jacobi Receives 2013 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award


Ian Jacobi, a graduate student working with Professor Beverley McKeon, is the recipient of the 2013 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award. Dr. Jacobi has studied the effect of roughness-based forcing on the turbulent boundary layer and investigated means by which macroscopic perturbation of the boundary layer can be used to control the small-scale flow physics important for the reduction of viscous drag. He is continuing his studies in fluid mechanics as a post-doctoral scholar at Princeton University, where he is exploring drag reduction from the perspective of low-Reynolds number micro-fluidic devices. The Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award is given to an EAS graduate student in hydrodynamics who has distinguished himself or herself in research.

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Caltech's Unique Wind Projects Move Forward


John O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, has big plans for a high school in San Pedro, military bases in California, and a small village on Bristol Bay, Alaska. "We have been able to demonstrate that using wind turbines that are 30 feet tall, as opposed to 300 feet tall, could generate sufficient power for wind-farm applications," Dabiri says. "One of the areas where these smaller turbines can have an immediate impact is in the military." The Office of Naval Research is funding a three-year project by Dabiri's group to test the smaller vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) and to further develop software tools to determine their optimal placement. "We believe that these smaller turbines provide the opportunity to generate renewable power while being complementary to the ongoing activities at the base," Dabiri explains. [Learn More]

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Professor Coles Passes Away


Donald E. Coles, Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus, passed away on May 2, 2013 at the age of 89. Professor Coles made pioneering contributions towards our understanding of boundary layers, turbulent shear flows, bluff-body aerodynamics, and novel experimental methods in fluid dynamics. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Physical Society. In 2011 he was honored with the Donald Coles Lecture in Aerospace. He remained active till his passing, working on a book on Turbulent Shear Flow that is very near completion. [Caltech Obituary]

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