Professor Michael Elowitz Receives PECASE
Michael Elowitz, Assistant Professor of Biology and Applied Physics and Bren Scholar, has received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. The PECASE awards recognize outstanding scientists and engineers who, early in their careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge.
Morteza Gharib and Abbas Nasiraei Moghaddam Show Function of Helical Band in Heart
Using an MRI technique, Morteza Gharib, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Bioengineering, and his colleague Abbas Nasiraei Moghaddam, a Caltech graduate and visitor in Bioengineering, were able to create some of the first dynamic images of normal heart muscle in action at the tissue level. They showed that a muscular band--which wraps around the inner chambers of the heart in a helix--is actually a sort of twisting highway along which each contraction of the heart travels. "We tagged and traced small tissue elements in the heart, and looked at them in space, so we could see how they moved when the heart contracts," Gharib explains. "In this way, we were able to see where the maximum physical contraction occurs in the heart and when--and to show that it follows this intriguing helical loop." [Caltech Press Release]
Man-made Reef Named in Memory Wheeler North
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]
Gates Frontiers Fund pledges $10 million
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]
MCE. Caltech infrastructure
Lemelson-Caltech Student Prize
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
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.