Expanding science and engineering knowledge is foundational to our mission. Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion adds new perspectives and illuminates new paths for exploration.
MedE Symposium Celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of the Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering, Special Guest Speaker Professor Steven Chu
- AMA Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Penn University
From West Africa to the West Coast, Ottman Tertuliano's (MS '15, PhD '19) journey in materials science has brought him to the intersection of nanoscience, biomechanics, and biology. Now the AMA Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at Penn University, Tertuliano's research group explores how mechanics can combine with biology, leading to enhanced outcomes for musculoskeletal diseases and tissue engineering.
- Co-Head of AI, Virtualitics
Aakash Indurkhya (BS '16) is a trailblazer in the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence (AI), which continues to spark conversations (and heated debate) in the scientific and political realms. As the co-head of AI at Virtualitics, a Pasadena-based advanced analytics company, Indurkhya is focused on ways to make AI for analytics more effective, ethical, and relevant for real-world use cases.
- Associate Professor of Materials Science and Radiology, Stanford
Jennifer (Jen) Dionne (PhD '09) channels the principles of nanophotonics to engineer new solutions for global health and sustainability. Growing up in Rhode Island, her inspiration to pursue science came from watching the X-Files, where she saw how interdisciplinary teamwork could tackle unsolved mysteries. Currently an Associate Professor of Materials Science and Radiology at Stanford, Dionne's research is focused on creating impactful and innovative solutions for growing existential threats, like antimicrobial resistance. Outside of her research group, Dionne also served as the Senior Associate Vice Provost for research platforms/shared facilities at Stanford, a role informed by her involvement with Caltech's Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI), and is currently co-founder of Pumpkinseed and Deputy Director of a DOE National Quantum Science Center, Q-NEXT.
- General Manager of Robotics and Autonomy, Microsoft
Tim Chung's (MS '02, PhD '07) growth as a robotics enthusiast and innovator, from his early days working with soccer-playing robots to his revitalization of robotics at Microsoft, is a testament to the power of interdisciplinary learning and curiosity. Fueled by a Caltech background without departmental boundaries, Chung's foray into the field of robotics has furthered the frontier both above and below, from controlling robot swarms in intricate urban situations to improving search and rescue operations in underground locations.
- Edwin H. & Florence G. Skinner Professor of Electrical & Systems Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
From fearlessly entering new fields of science to her passion for science fiction, Lan Yang (MS '00, PhD '05) loves exploring the unknown. Growing up in China, Yang was inspired by the life of Marie Curie, who's groundbreaking work altered medicine and our understanding of radioactivity. Along with her role at Washington University in St. Louis, Yang is also the chief technology officer (CTO) for a company she helped to found and the editor-in-chief of a science journal. Through these positions, Yang continues to pursue the unknown and grow the science community.
- Head Of the School of Physics and Astronomy, Monash University
Stefan Maier (PhD '03) has established a strong track record in community building, from Imperial College London to his current role as the Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. His mentorship has had a global academic impact, with over 21 members of his various research groups now holding academic positions. As a researcher, Maier has also made significant contributions to the field of nanophotonics, most notably the use of light together with nanostructures to control and enhance light matter interactions in biosensing and optoelectronics.
- Technology Portfolio Manager, The Aerospace Corporation
Peter Hung's (BS '08, PhD '16) journey in science has taken him from the Science Olympiad competition to The Aerospace Corporation, where he currently serves as a technology portfolio manager. Hung's impact extends beyond his work at The Aerospace Corporation, as evidenced by his 2013-2014 ASCIT (Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology) teaching award and his ongoing commitment to STEM outreach initiatives for students in southern California.
- Chief Scientist, Heliogen
Steve Schell (BS '01) serves as the chief scientist for solar energy company Heliogen, but his interests are not exclusive to our solar system (or our universe). In addition to his professional contributions as a scientist, engineer, and CEO, Schell is a self-professed "lover of sci-fi" and even runs a successful science fiction book club.
- Independent Consultant, Environmental Science and Technical Advocacy
In giving herself permission to take the path less trodden (advice she also offers to others), Gypsy Achong (BS '95) has leveraged her early passion for mathematics into a consulting career focused on environmental science and technical advocacy, with stops along the way.
- Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University
Lei Li (PhD '19), an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice University, spent the years 2017-2022 as a graduate student and then a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering; Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair; Executive Officer for Medical Engineering.
- Assistant Professor of Aerospace
Professor Bae's research focuses on the physical understanding and modeling of structures associated with near-wall turbulence. Her main research goal is to develop high-fidelity models that reduce the computational cost to simulate high-Reynolds-number turbulent flows. These models will allow simulations to be utilized in the design cycle of wind farms and aircrafts and in predictions of atmospheric flows, reducing the overall time and effort associated with these processes.
- Georgia will join Caltech in January 2023.
Georgia's research focuses on machine vision, namely teaching machines to see. Her work explores methods for learning from visual corpora to tackle challenging visual tasks with scalable, efficient and generalizable solutions. Georgia's research is centered around object recognition from images and videos as well as object tracking and 3D understanding.
- Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences and Economics
Eric Mazumdar's research lies at the intersection of machine learning and economics. He is broadly interested in developing the tools and understanding necessary to confidently deploy machine learning algorithms into societal-scale systems.
- Assistant Professor of Materials Science; William H. Hurt Scholar
Joseph Falson's research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of quantum materials that display emergent functionalities. The group specializes in the thin-film growth of high quality crystals and their physical evaluation in extreme environments, including at low temperature and high magnetic field.
- Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Ruby Fu studies subsurface fluid mechanics and how they shape our natural and engineered environments. Her work is applied to a wide range of geoscience problems in energy, resources and geohazards. Her current interests include clathrate and ice formation in porous media, hydrology, geologic carbon sequestration, and volcanic/geothermal systems.
- Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences; Nickerson Scholar
Mahadev's broad theme of research is in cryptographic possibilities of quantum information, a topic of considerable interest in the field. She has built new quantum cryptographic primitives by adapting and extending techniques from modern classical cryptography and has pioneered two widely acclaimed fundamental breakthroughs: 1) Quantum homomorphic encryption (i.e., computing on encrypted data) and 2) Verifiable delegation of quantum computation. Mahadev plans to focus her future research efforts on exploring problems in the intersection of theoretical computer science and quantum computing.
- Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics
Mohammad Mirhosseini is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, and previously was a KNI postdoctoral scholar at Caltech. In the past he has worked on entangling distant transmon qubits via microwave waveguides and developed integrated devices for microwave-to-optical quantum transduction. Mohammad did his PhD in the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. His thesis work was on high-capacity quantum communication with structured photons.
- Research Professor of Aerospace and Applied Physics
John Sader joins EAS as a Research Professor of Aerospace and Applied Physics from the University of Melbourne, where he was Professor of Applied Mathematics. John’s research spans many fields, including fluid mechanics, colloid science, plasmonics, mass spectrometry and atomic force microscopy, and he collaborates broadly with experimentalists across the world. John is perhaps best known for developing experimental methods in atomic force microscopy. He has been a regular visitor to Caltech since 2009 and has collaborated with many groups across EAS on nanoelectromechanical systems for mass spectrometry, rarefied gas dynamics, fluid-structure interactions of flags, shape morphing mechanical structures, dynamic stability of thin elastic films for space deployment, and the vortex dynamics of start-up flows. John is an elected fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society, and the Australian Mathematical Society. His office is in the Firestone Laboratory.
- Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering
Dr. Karthikeyan's research interests lie at the interface of microbial ecology, computational biology and engineering. She builds predictive models that integrate physicochemical and transport data with multi-omic (DNA, RNA and metabolome-level) data to make accurate predictions of microbial community responses to environmental perturbations. (Karthikeyan joins Caltech in Jan 2023)
- Franca will join Caltech in Fall 2022
Franca Hoffmann's research is focused on the interface between applied mathematics and data analysis, driven by the need to provide rigorous mathematical foundations for modeling tools used in applications.
- Graduate Student, Mechanical and Civil Engineering
I am a fourth-year graduate student in Mechanical Engineering, collaborating with Professor Domniki Asimaki and Zachary E. Ross. My research focuses on understanding the statistics of earthquakes, a task that involves combining domain knowledge, applied mathematics, and machine learning. I am dedicated to developing practical tools for processing earthquake signals, characterizing ground shaking during earthquakes, and unraveling the spatio-temporal distribution of earthquake events. My fascination with earthquakes goes beyond academic interest; I am deeply intrigued by their significant impact on our world. This fascination fuels my commitment to contributing to a safer and more resilient society through my research. Outside the office, my hobbies include hiking and swimming. As I continue my journey at Caltech, I am eager to share my experiences and insights with the community. I look forward to engaging in collaborations, learning from others, and contributing to the rich tapestry of knowledge and innovation at this esteemed institution.
- Undergraduate Student, Environmental Science and Engineering
I am a 4th-year undergraduate studying economics, BEM (business, economics, and management), and environmental science and engineering. I am passionate about the intersection of finance and sustainability, and using finance as a tool to drive sustainable development and transition across the globe. In pursuit of this, after Caltech, I will be in New York City working as an investment banking analyst at Guggenheim Securities as part of the Sustainability and Energy Transition Team. At Caltech, I am captain of the women’s water polo team and I am also Fleming House Secretary. In my free time, I love exploring the diverse and beautiful nature California offers from hikes in the San Gabriel mountains to swimming at the beach to exploring national parks like Joshua Tree.
- Graduate Student, Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Jose Rodolfo Chreim
I have been a PhD Student in the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering since September 2020. My research focuses on Computational Fluid Dynamics (development of methods for compressible flows and phase change). I have a background in Aerospace Engineering and Physics, and I have previously worked in consulting for the petroleum and hydro-power industries, developing numerical methods for marine propulsion. My interests are in the overlap of multi-physics, such as fluid-structure interaction, compressible flows, and thermodynamics.
- Undergraduate Student, Computer Science
I am a fourth-year undergraduate majoring in computer science and minoring in English. I’m interested in creative applications of computer science. Here are some things I’ve worked on over the past few years: creating Python interfaces for an open-source galaxy modeling framework (Carnegie Observatories), mapping groundwater loss in the Central Valley (ArtCenter), and developing a web-based visualization of satellite landing sites (Lunar Trailblazer). I like writing fiction, drawing, painting, and playing Romantic era pieces on the piano. I also cross-enrolled at Occidental College to study critical and queer theory. For a while, I’ve been unsure whether to pursue a career in STEM or in the arts and humanities. This spring, I’ll be exploring my interest in the arts through Caltech Y’s Studenski Award and I am excited to see where things go. In my free time, I like to skateboard, go on drives, and get sweet treats.
- Postdoctoral Scholar, Computing and Mathematical Sciences
I am a postdoctoral scholar working with Professor Anima Anandkumar. I received my PhD from the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University, advised by Professor Jia Deng. My research focuses on Neurosymbolic AI, which aims to make machine learning capable of symbolic reasoning. I have approached the goal from two angles: (1) applying machine learning to symbolic reasoning tasks, such as mathematical reasoning and theorem proving in formal logic or natural language; (2) introducing symbolic components into machine learning models to make them more interpretable, verifiable, and data efficient. Currently, I'm working on AI that can understand and reason about mathematics. Mathematical reasoning is a critical milestone toward human-level intelligence, and it can potentially transform many important problems in science and engineering, such as solving PDEs and formal verification. My research is recognized with a Siebel Scholar award.
- Postdoctoral Scholar, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering
I am a third-year postdoc in the Gao Lab within the Department of Medical Engineering at Caltech. My research focuses on additive manufacturing, also known as three-dimensional (3D) printing, with a specific emphasis on healthcare applications. With a background in 3D printing of various polymers, ceramics, and metals, my primary interest lies in advancing technologies that benefit human health. I am currently working on developing minimally invasive 3D printing technologies, enabling the creation of functional biostructures without direct access to the target location. These cutting-edge techniques hold tremendous potential for various therapeutics. I am enthusiastic about exploring novel modifications to existing 3D printing technologies to unlock further practical applications in the healthcare domain. Beyond my research pursuits, I find joy in practicing the violin, hiking, and painting.
- Graduate Student, Applied Physics and Materials Science
Qingxin (Andrew) Ji
I am a 3rd-year PhD candidate in Applied Physics, working with Professor Kerry Vahala. Before joining Caltech, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Peking University and was a SURF student at Caltech in 2019. Throughout my academic journey, I have been captivated by the intricate principles behind integrated photonic systems and their ever-expanding possibilities. My research focuses on pushing table-top high-precision optical systems onto a miniaturized chip, in collaboration with UCSB, JPL and NIST. To make contributions in this interdisciplinary field, I believe that it is important to learn from people on both the theory and application sides. When I'm not immersed in the world of photons, you will likely find me on the basketball court or tennis court.
- Postdoctoral Scholar, Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Hello! As a researcher, I am intrigued by the destructive power of the Earth, such that I work on understanding the physical mechanisms that drive earthquakes and related natural hazards. Specifically, I work in the junction of computational mechanics, fracture and soil mechanics, and theoretical and observational seismology. My background is civil engineering, which additionally motivates me to valorize physics-based knowledge to predict the consequences of future events and build resilient cities. Caltech is kind of the cradle of earthquake science and engineering. Working here, amongst the pioneers of many concepts in the field, has been inspiring for my research, and I continue to enjoy the rewarding feeling of pushing my expertise. Plus, when you are an earthquake scientist, living in Southern California becomes an awkward pleasure. Even though they sound scary, earthquakes are the architects shaping unique landscapes.
- Postdoctoral Scholar, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Dept. of Medical Engineering
Juliane R. Sempionatto
I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Medical Engineering Department at Caltech, working with wearable biosensors for health monitoring. Before that, I did my PhD in Nanoengineering at UCSD. My research interests involve the development of non-invasive biosensors for the continuous and real-time self-monitoring of health. My job is to develop biosensors that can be worn as a skin patch to read the molecular information in your sweat. These wearable biosensors can replace finger pricking and implantable needles used by diabetes patients. In April 2024, I will be joining Rice University in Houston, TX as an assistant professor to continue pursuing the goal of developing affordable medical devices. After working with sweat, I really got interested in any activity that makes you sweat. I like hiking, running, lifting, volleyball, etc. During my PhD, I lost 22lb (10 kg)! Sweat sensors are making me healthier already ;) But don’t worry, I can also induce sweating using the sensors, so you don’t need to exercise at all!
- Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Mechanical and Civil Engineering
I finished my PhD in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory of the University of Cambridge, UK, and joined Caltech as a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow this year. During my PhD, I developed new additively manufactured smart cellular material structures to be used as reusable energy absorbers for vehicle landing impacts and to offer self-healing protection against space debris impact – this research was awarded a grant from the European Space Agency. My PhD thesis led me to be the winner of the UK Doctoral Researcher Awards 2022 in Engineering. My research aims at developing a new generation of material-structures that can provide hitherto mechanical behavior by expanding the frontiers of manufacturing engineering for space applications and beyond. To achieve this, I combine computational modeling, a large range of material characterization techniques and mechanical testing, as well as additive manufacturing technologies. Outside of research, I go jogging and I do race walking training.