Caltech Startup Aims to Make Solar Panels More Efficient
Translational technology developed in Professor Harry A. Atwater’s laboratory seeks to improve the efficiency of solar panels by tweaking the architecture of the metal-grid layout of individual cells. The new startup company—ETC Solar, LLC—which is marketing the technology, took first place at the DOE's 2018 Cleantech University Prize national collegiate business plan competition in Houston. "To have been selected as a winner is a huge point of validation for the concept, both the innovation and also the impact," says Professor Atwater, who is also a co-founder of ETC Solar along with Thomas Russell, and Rebecca Saive. "It has helped us to make contacts with potential industrial partners and private equity investors," [Caltech story]
Professors Barr and Schröder Elected to ACM SIGGRAPH Academy
Alan Barr, Professor of Computer Science, and Peter Schröder, Shaler Arthur Hanisch Professor of Computer Science and Applied and Computational Mathematics, have been elected to the first class of the ACM SIGGRAPH Academy. Professor Barr was selected for his contributions to graphics, primarily for extending computer graphics shape modeling to include physically based and teleological modeling. Professor Schröder was recognized for his pioneering work in geometry processing and multiresolution modeling. The ACM SIGGRAPH Academy is an honorary group of individuals who have made substantial contributions to the field of computer graphics and interactive techniques. These are principal leaders of the field, whose efforts have shaped the disciplines and/or industry, and led the research and/or innovation in computer graphics and interactive techniques. [Full list of academy members]
Professor Lapusta Receives GSC Mentoring Award
The Caltech Graduate Student Council (GSC) has selected Professor Nadia Lapusta as the recipient of the 2017-2018, GSC Mentoring Award. The GSC Teaching and Mentoring Awards recognize individuals “who have an extraordinary impact on Caltech graduate students through their roles as teachers and mentors.” Nominators described Professor Lapusta as being an excellent cheerleader who fosters her students' ties with the community. Despite leading a large group, she makes significant amounts of time for her students. One student said, "the path ahead always seems more optimistic after our meetings."
Graduate Student Places 4th in National Soaring Competition
GALCIT Graduate student Michael Marshall, who is a member of Professor Sergio Pellegrino’s Space Structures Laboratory, has received the Rudolph W. Mozer Trophy from the Soaring Society of America (SSA) for being the highest ranking contestant under 26 years of age at any U.S. National Soaring contest. He also placed 4th in the U.S. National Soaring contest. Soaring involves flying without flapping wings or using engine power, or as described by the SSA “to fly as the hawk and eagle has been mankind's dream for centuries. Modern sailplanes make soaring flight possible, and with them humans can fly higher, faster, and farther than the greatest of birds, using only an invisible force of nature to stay aloft.” [SSA news]
Winners of the 2018 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced
The student winners of the 2018 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at the end of this academic year. Claire Bedbrook, advised by Professors Frances H. Arnold and Viviana Gradinaru received the prize in Biotechnology. Her research is in engineering proteins capable of controlling and reading out neural activity to advance neuroscience research. Nicholas Dou, advised by Professor Austin Minnich received the prize in Nanotechnology. Nicholas focuses on developing and characterizing novel nano-architected materials that are exceptionally lightweight, mechanically resilient, and thermally insulating. Xiaoqi Ren, advised by Professor Adam Wierman received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources. Xiaoqi’s research is focused on optimization of today's large-scale data centers, including online scheduling, energy usage and sustainability, and new market mechanisms for electricity markets and data clouds. Daniel C. Bowden, advised by Professors Joann M. Stock and Victor Tsai has received the prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection. Daniel has worked on a range of projects relating to the propagation of seismic waves in the Earth's crust. Colin Cook, advised by Professor Yu-Chong Tai has receive the prize in Entrepreneurship. Colin is working on a phototherapeutic contact lens to treat diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness.
Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes