News & Events


Winners of the 2019 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced


The student winners of the 2019 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at the end of this academic year. Anupama Lakshmanan, advised by Professor Mikhail Shapiro has received the prize in Biotechnology. Her research is in engineering of acoustic protein nanostructures for non-invasive molecular imaging using ultrasound. Seyedeh Mahsa Kamali, advised by Professor Andrei Faraon has received the prize in Nanotechnology. She focuses on changing paradigms in optical design through engineering materials at the nanoscale. Linqi (Daniel) Guo, advised by Professor Steven Low has received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Source. His research quantifies the impact of transmission network topology in electrical power system robustness against disturbances and failures. Chris Rollins, advised by Professor Jean-Phillippe Avouac has received the prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection. Chris studies the way that the Earth deforms gradually over periods of years and decades and uses this to shed light on how earthquakes work, where and how often they might occur in the future, and the hazard they may pose. Nicholas Flytzanis, advised by Professor Viviana Gradinaru has receive the prize in Entrepreneurship. His research is in engineering viruses to serve as next-generation gene therapy delivery vehicles for the treatment of human disease.

Tags: APhMS EE honors MCE CMS Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes

Zhong Qian Huang Receives 2019 Henry Ford II Scholar Award


Mechanical engineering student Zhong Qian Huang, advised by Professor Guillaume Blanquart, is a recipient of the 2019 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Zhong has had a hands-on role in many exciting projects, including automated microscopes, spacecraft simulators, amphibious robots, autonomous drones and electric race cars. This summer he will be working for a startup that builds kitchen robots. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: honors MCE Henry Ford II Scholar Award Guillaume Blanquart Zhong Qian Huang

Alexandra Bodrova Receives 2019 Henry Ford II Scholar Award


Mechanical engineering student Alexandra Bodrova, advised by Professor Joel Burdick, is a recipient of the 2019 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. She is passionate about robotics autonomy and its applications to extreme condition situation handling where human lives might be in danger. This summer she will be doing research on an automated charging battery. It would aid drones in conducting rescue missions in collapsed buildings or tunnels. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: honors MCE Henry Ford II Scholar Award Joel Burdick Alexandra Bodrova

Bob McEliece Passes Away


Robert J. McEliece (BS '64, PhD '67), Caltech alumnus and Allen E. Puckett Professor and Professor of Electrical Engineering, Emeritus, passed away on May 8, 2019 at the age of 76. "Bob McEliece was renowned for his contributions to a wide range of problems in information transmission and storage," said EAS Chair Ravichandran. "His contributions are drivers for numerous applications in modern communications. He was an outstanding researcher and a beloved and inspiring teacher, mentor, and colleague." [Caltech story]

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Professor Beck Receives Masanobu Shinozuka Medal


James L. (Jim) Beck, George W. Housner Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, has received the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Masanobu Shinozuka Medal, "for his original contributions to subset simulation in reliability analysis of stochastic systems, a powerful technique that allows probabilistic estimation of rare events; for his pioneering work in developing technologies for machine learning in earthquake engineering applications." The medal is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of stochastic mechanics, reliability and risk and simulation. [List of medal recipients]

Tags: honors MCE CMS James Beck

Robots Make a Big Splash in Annual Engineering Competition


On Tuesday Milikan Pond was transformed into an aquatic arena where amphibious robots duked it out in Caltech's annual ME72 design competition. The competition serves as the final exam for the ME72 Engineering Design Laboratory course, which is taught by Michael Mello (PhD '12). The event challenged four student teams to build three robots each. The robots had to be capable of traversing both land and water and collecting floating balls. [Caltech story & videos]

Tags: MCE alumni ME 72 Michael Mello

Professor Hunt Named 2019 SURF Dedicatee


Melany Hunt, Dotty and Dick Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been honored as the 2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program dedicatee. The SURF Administrative Committee selects the dedicatee based on their record of extraordinary impact to the program, Caltech students, and the Institute. In the words of Professor Katherine Faber, SURF Board Member who introduced this year’s dedicatee, “Professor Melany Hunt fits the bill in all three of these categories. She has mentored over 50 SURF students since 1991. In the classroom, she has twice received the Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology (ASCIT) award for excellence in teaching. She has inspired students in courses on Thermal Science, Thermodynamics, Heat and Mass Transport and Multidisciplinary Systems Engineering.” In regard to Professor Hunt’s extraordinary impact on Caltech Professor Faber mentioned the Giving Voice program which uses recorded vignettes to “guide discussions on unconscious bias and provides concrete suggestions on how to start workplace climate conversations.” [Giving Voice] [SURF Program]

Tags: honors MCE SURF Melany Hunt Katherine Faber

Undergraduate Student Wins Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship


Junior undergraduate student Lewis Jones, studying mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering, has been awarded a Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship. The fellowship recognizes exceptional college juniors, seniors, and graduate students pursuing aerospace careers and includes a paid internship at a commercial space company based in the United States. Lewis will be interning at Millennium Space Systems. At Caltech Lewis founded and is the current president of the rocketry club (Parsec) which is developing a methane-oxygen rocket. [2019 class of fellows]

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE Lewis Jones

Graduate Student Wins First Place At Ferro2019


Mechanical engineering graduate student, and Resnick fellow Ying Shi Teh, advised by Professor Kaushik Bhattacharya, has won first place for her poster presentation at the Fundamental Physics of Ferroelectrics and related materials workshop (Ferro2019). Her poster featured her work on modeling the photovoltaic effect in multi-domain ferroelectric perovskite oxides. The Ferro2019 is the 30th in the series of workshops that has gathered the world’s leading theorists and experimentalists working in the field of ferroelectrics and related materials every year since 1990. [List of award recipients]

Tags: honors MCE Kaushik Bhattacharya Ying Shi Teh

New Materials Exhibit Split Personality


Julia Greer, Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering, and colleagues have determined that the failure of architected materials—the point at which they break when compressed or stretched—can be described using classical continuum mechanics, which models the behavior of a material as a continuous mass rather than as individual (or "discrete") particles. This finding implies a duality to the nature of these materials—in that they can be thought of both as individual particles and also as a single collective. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MCE Julia Greer