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Man-made Reef Named in Memory Wheeler North

11-14-08

A man-made reef designed to grow into a self-sustaining 175-acre kelp forest - the biggest environmental project of its kind in the United States - has been named in memory Wheeler North (1922–2002), professor of environmental science at Caltech who pioneered the study of kelp and what makes for a healthy reef. The Wheeler North Kelp Reef is located off the coast near San Clemente. [OC Register Article]

Tags: ESE Wheeler North

 
Gates Frontiers Fund pledges $10 million

11-14-08

The Gates Frontiers Fund has pledged $10 million to support the establishment of the Charles C. Gates Center for Mechanical Engineering within the soon-to-be-renovated Thomas Laboratory. This gift marks the launch of a $20 million fund-raising effort for an endowment in Mechanical Engineering. With this endowment, mechanical engineering at Caltech will step up its efforts in energy innovation, helping the Institute address global energy and climate problems and the country develop energy-market leadership. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: MCE. Caltech infrastructure

Caltech Faculty Honored Among 100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era

11-08-08

Four members of the 11-member chemical engineering faculty at Caltech were honored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in their list of 100 Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era: Frances Arnold, Mark Davis, Julia Kornfield, and John Seinfeld. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: honors John Seinfeld Frances Arnold Mark Davis Julia Kornfield

William Johnson Awarded the APS 2009 James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials

11-08-08

William Johnson, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, and Dr. Akihisa Inoue of the Institute for Materials Research have been awarded the American Physical Society 2009 James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials "for the development of slow cooling methods for the fabrication of bulk metallic glasses with remarkable mechanical properties and the characterization and application of these materials" The prize will be awarded at the March 2009 APS meeting in Pittsburgh.

Tags: honors research highlights William Johnson

 
Lemelson-Caltech Student Prize

10-31-08

The Lemelson-Caltech Student Prize recognizing an undergraduate or graduate student who has created or improved a product or process, applied a technology in a new way, redesigned a system, or in other ways demonstrated remarkable inventiveness has been established. The winner will receive an unrestricted cash gift of $30,000. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2008.

Popular Mechanics Honors Caltech Alumni at Award Ceremony

10-28-08

Popular Mechanics honored a group of Caltech alumni at its annual Breakthrough Awards ceremony on October 15. Rudy Roy ('07), Ben Sexson ('07), and Daniel Oliver ('07), along with Art Center alum Charles Pyott, received the magazine's Next Generation Award for establishing the nonprofit organization Intelligent Mobility International (IMI). IMI's mission is to empower people with disabilities in developing countries by designing and producing safe, affordable wheelchairs made for the rugged terrain of rural communities. The project originated in 2006, in a Caltech class called Product Design for the Developing World, which is taught each fall by Visiting Professor of Mechanical Engineering Ken Pickar. [Read more on green design in Caltech News...]

Tags: MedE health MCE Popular Mechanics alumni Ken Pickar

 
Wouk Lecture Given by Jorg Imberger

10-20-08

The Wouk Lecture, Life in a Changing Climate, was given by Jorg Imberger at 8 pm on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 in Beckman Auditorium. Synthsizing anthropological, cultural, and religious history with biological observations and the data on climate change, Imberger ruminates on the coming "50-year global experiment where we are both the observers and the subjects and for which we have neither a hypothesis nor an objective." Jorg Imberger is the Director at the Centre for Water Research and Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Western Australia. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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Michael Elowitz, Long Cai, and Chiraj Dalal Find Cells Coordinate Gene Activity with FM Bursts

10-17-08

How a cell achieves the coordinated control of a number of genes at the same time, a process that's necessary for it to regulate its own behavior and development, has long puzzled scientists. Michael Elowitz, assistant professor of biology and applied physics, along with postdoctoral research scholar Long Cai, and graduate student Chiraj Dalal, have discovered a surprising answer. Just as human engineers control devices ranging from dimmer switches to retrorockets using pulsed--or frequency modulated (FM)--signals, cells tune the expression of groups of genes using discrete bursts of activation. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS research highlights health Michael Elowitz postdocs

John Dabiri Named One of "Brilliant Ten" by Popular Science Magazine

10-15-08

John Dabiri, assistant professor of aeronautics and bioengineering, has been named one of "Brilliant Ten" by Popular Science Magazine. Dabiri is the youngest scientist on the list at just 28 years of age. Dubbed "the jellyfish engineer" by the magazine, he garnered the award for his studies of the intricacies of jellyfish locomotion. Using a custom-built, high-definition video camera and a water-particle-illuminating laser, Dabiri and his colleagues are able to examine the fluid dynamics that determine how jellyfish propel themselves through their watery environment. Their hope is that those insights will be used to improve the designs of nonbiological systems as diverse as military submarines and onshore windmills. [Popular Science Article]

Tags: honors research highlights GALCIT John Dabiri fluid dynamics

Kerry Vahala Wins Alexander Von Humboldt Research Award

09-29-08

Kerry Vahala, Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Professor of Applied Physics, has won an Alexander Von Humboldt Research Award. The Humboldt award recognizes academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements. Vahala has also been awarded and the IEEE David Sarnoff Award for exceptional contributions to electronics, and in particular, "for seminal contributions to improved dynamics of quantum well semiconductor lasers."

Tags: APhMS honors Kerry Vahala