News & Events


Disease Diagnosis at the Touch of a Button


Axel Scherer, Bernard Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics and Physics, and colleagues have built a new version of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) device, which generates many copies of a pathogenic nucleic acid, allowing the infection to be detected. The device is the result of nearly 10 years of research at Caltech. In 2004, Scherer, a leader in the field of microfluidics, and George Maltezos were investigating how to manipulate biological fluids on a chip. While this was an interesting engineering problem, Maltezos began to wonder how he could apply the microfluidic techniques that he was perfecting to real-world problems. Then the H5N1 bird flu pandemic erupted in Asia, and the team had their real-world problem. [Caltech Release]

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Professors Murray and Ortiz Elected to the National Academy of Engineering


Richard M. Murray, Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering, and Michael Ortiz, Dotty and Dick Hayman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Professor Murray was elected for contributions in control theory and networked control systems with applications to aerospace engineering, robotics, and autonomy. Professor Ortiz was elected for contributions to computational mechanics to advance the underpinnings of solid mechanics. [Caltech Release]

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EAS Division Welcomes New Deputy Chair


Peter Schröder, Professor of Computer Science and Applied and Computational Mathematics, is the new Deputy Chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science. "I look forward to working with Peter over the next several years as we continue with our quest to remain a unique collaborative community of isolated singularities that sets a compelling model as a research and teaching institution," says Chair Ares Rosakis.

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Creating New Quantum Building Blocks


Andrei Faraon, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and colleagues have laid the groundwork for an on-chip optical quantum network by showing that defects in diamond can be used as quantum building blocks that interact with one another via photons. "Right now we only have one nitrogen-vacancy center that's emitting photons, but in the future we envision creating multiple nitrogen-vacancy centers that emit photons on the same chip," Faraon says. [Caltech Release]

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Professor Minnich Receives NSF CAREER Award


Austin Minnich, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his project, "Investigation of thermal phonon scattering processes in solids.” The CAREER program is NSF's most prestigious awards for junior faculty members. The level and 5-year duration of the awards are designed to enable awardees to develop careers as outstanding teacher-scholars. Awardees are chosen because they exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

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The Engineering of How Flies Fly


Michael H. Dickinson, Esther M. and Abe M. Zarem Professor of Bioengineering, describes the engineering behind how flies fly at TEDxCaltech:The Brain. [Watch the Video]

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Jorgensen Laboratory Receives LEED Platinum Certification


Earle M. Jorgensen Laboratory has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest honor of the U.S. Green Building Council. The building earned the honor for its conservation features, which include a "green" roof, natural ventilation systems, use of on-campus solar photovoltaic power, and low-flow water fixtures, among other environmentally conscious details. [Caltech Feature] [Learn More]

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Distinguished Caltech Alumnus Receives Civilian Honor from the President of India


Caltech Distinguished Alumnus Roddam Narasimha (PhD '61, AE) has received the honor of Padma Vibhushan which is the second highest civilian honor of the Government of India. [The Hindu News]

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TEDxCaltech: Advancing Humanoid Robots


Graduate student Matanya B. Horowitz, who works with Professors Joel Burdick and John Doyle, is one of the speakers at TEDxCaltech. He is active in several Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) challenges that seek to develop better control mechanisms for robotic arms, as well as develop humanoid robots that can do human-like tasks in dangerous situations, such as disable bombs or enter nuclear power plants during an emergency. [Caltech News]

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Faulty Behavior


Nadia Lapusta, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Geophysics, and colleagues have created new earthquake fault models showing that “stable” zones may contribute to the generation of massive earthquakes. "Lapusta and Noda's realistic earthquake fault models are critical to our understanding of earthquakes—knowledge that is essential to reducing the potential catastrophic consequences of seismic hazards," says Chair Ares Rosakis. "This work beautifully illustrates the way that fundamental, interdisciplinary research in the mechanics of seismology at Caltech is having a positive impact on society." [Caltech Release]

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Division of Engineering and Applied Science