Expanding science and engineering knowledge is foundational to our mission. Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion adds new perspectives and illuminates new paths for exploration.
- Founder and CEO of Actuate, Former DARPA Director
The most important thing Arati Prabhakar (MS ‘80, PhD ‘85) learned at Caltech was that she didn't want to do what was expected of her. After becoming the first woman to earn a PhD in Applied Physics from Caltech, Dr. Prabhakar did anything but follow the traditional route for graduate students at the time.
- Executive Vice President and General Manager of 3D Sensing, Finisar
Julie Sheridan Eng currently serves as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of 3D Sensing, a business segment of the global technology and engineering leader Finisar. Eng holds a BA in physics from Bryn Mawr College and a BS in electrical engineering from Caltech, and she earned her MS and PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford. She has published over a dozen papers and holds seven patents.
- Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Deborah Chung (BS '73, MS '73)
Dr. Deborah Chung (BS '73, MS '73) graduated as one of the first four female undergraduates at Caltech, and is the first female to graduate from Caltech with a major in Engineering and Applied Science. After Caltech, Chung received her PhD degree in Materials Science from MIT. Chung is a pioneer in the field of multifunctional structured materials and is best known for her invention of smart concrete, a material in which short carbon fibers are added to concrete so that stress and deformation can be easily detected even before cracks appear.
- Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President of Research at NVIDIA
Bill Dally (PhD '86)
Dr. William Dally (PhD '86) became hooked on computers the first time he got to play with one in the 1970s. After studying engineering at Virginia Tech and Stanford, Dally came to Caltech and worked with Professor Charles Seitz on multiprocessors. After earning his PhD at Caltech, Dally joined the faculty of MIT, where he and his team built experimental parallel computer systems and built the foundation for the theory of interconnection networks.
- Professor and department head of aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University
Ivett Leyva (BS '94, MS '95, PhD '99) October 04, 2022
Dr. Ivett Leyva (BS '94, MS '95, PhD '99) likes to go fast. Really fast. This need for speed inspired her research interest of hypersonic aerodynamics and has led her to become a professor and department head of aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University.
- 9x builder of early-stage startups
Dave Zito (BS '97)
Dave Zito (BS '97) is a 9x builder of early-stage startups, raising over $30 million in venture capital funding and running consumer software teams with exits exceeding $250 million. Zito's career in startups began at Idealab, where he worked under the guidance of Caltech engineering alumnus and trustee, Bill Gross (BS '81). Since his early days at Idealab, Zito has worked with PayMyBills, Overture/Yahoo, Cramster/Chegg, Miso Robotics, and more.
- Howard Reiss Development Chair, UCLA
Prineha Narang (MS '15, PhD '15)
Prineha Narang (MS '15, PhD '15) graduated from Caltech with degrees in Applied Physics and joined UCLA's faculty in the College of Physical Sciences as the Howard Reiss Chair. Previously, Prineha has worked as a research scholar in the Department of Physics at MIT, and an Environmental Fellow and assistant professor at Harvard, where she led an interdisciplinary group working on topics at the vibrant intersection of computational science, dynamics in molecules and materials, and quantum information science. In addition to her numerous research awards and recognitions, including being named on Forbes Magazine's "30 under 30" list in 2017, Prineha is also an accomplished triathlete and marathon runner.
- CEO, HC SemiTek Corporation
Jianhui Zhou (MS '92, PhD '95)
Jianhui Zhou (MS '92, PhD '95) recently served as the CEO for the HC SemiTek Corporation, which designs, fabricates, and sells LED chips and wafers for use in lighting, LCD and RGB displays, and backlighting. Jianhui was born and raised in China but has recently returned to California (the Bay Area).
- Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
Samantha (Sam) Daly (MS '02, PhD '07)
Professor Daly's research lab at UCSB focuses on the integration of machine learning with experimental mechanics and materials to characterize, design, and develop advanced materials. Along with numerous journal publications and other scientific recognitions, Daly recently received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Materials Division Centennial Mid-Career Award in 2022, and was awarded a Fellow of the ASME in 2021.
- Co-founder and managing director, Sumeru Equity Partners
George Kadifa (MS '82)
George Kadifa (MS '82) is currently a co-founder and managing director with Sumeru Equity Partners, focusing on the firm's software investments. Since studying electrical engineering at Caltech, Kadifa has led startups from inception to acquisition, and has experience as an executive with multiple billion-dollar technology companies, including Oracle, HP and IBM. ENGenuity spoke with Kadifa to learn more about his career after Caltech and advice he has for other Caltech students and alumni.
- 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.
- Research Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Monica Kohler is a Research Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering. Her research is focused on characterizing deformation and failure such as fractures due to earthquakes in civil structures through numerical and observational experiments. She has developed and applied methods to detect and locate shaking-induced damage in buildings that take advantage of dense 3D vibration sensor arrays. Monica has also led the analysis of tsunami and global earthquake data from ocean bottom seismometers. She is on the science leadership team of the Community Seismic Network project developed at Caltech, which is on track to become the largest permanent seismic network in the world. She has been associated with Caltech for many years — first as a graduate student in the GPS division where she received her Ph.D. in geophysics, then as a Visiting Associate and Lecturer in EAS, and now in her current position. Monica grew up in Los Angeles and received her B.A. from Harvard University. In her spare time, she plays cello, occasionally performing in recitals with other musicians from Caltech and the San Gabriel Valley.
- Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate, Computing and Mathematical Sciences
I am a postdoc in the CMS Department at Caltech. I arrived in January 2020 just before the pandemic hit! My research focuses on developing new computational tools for imaging the dynamic accreting material around a black hole. My research, designed for future Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) observations, will hopefully shed some light (pun intended) on the dynamic processes within this extreme gravitational environment. Before Caltech, I received my Ph.D. from the Technion in Israel, where in collaboration with JPL, I worked on three-dimensional imaging of clouds with the goal of improving climate models by observations. My favorite activity is spending time outdoors with my wife, two elderly dogs, and baby boy.
- Graduate Student, Environmental Science and Engineering
I am a 2nd year Ph.D. student in Environmental Science and Engineering focusing on the sources of air pollution in the Los Angeles basin. I am from Greece and hold a Dipl. Ing in Chemical Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece. My research concentrates on demystifying the mysteries behind the elevated particulate levels in Los Angeles despite regulations. To do so, I am currently looking at the effect of volatile chemical products on the formation of secondary organic aerosol while simultaneously looking at deciphering the sulfate sources using sulfur isotopes as a tracer. In my free time, I enjoy dancing, cooking Greek dishes, and discovering what it means to be living the American dream.
- Administrative Assistant, Electrical Engineering
Gabrielle Weise joins Caltech as a new administrative assistant in the EAS-EE department. Prior to coming to campus, Gabrielle worked in luxury real estate marketing as well as guest relations at the Natural History Museum. She has also worked as a freelance copywriter and social media manager for small businesses and brands. On the weekends you can find Gabrielle roller skating, solving crosswords, painting, reading, watching anime and walking her dog. She loves to travel and counts Mexico, Morocco, and The Philippines as her favorite destinations so far. Gabrielle graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
- Postdoctoral Scholar, Applied Physics and Materials Science
Hi everyone! My name is Sophie Hermans and I joined the group of Professor Andrei Faraon on the 1st of June. In my time here as a Postdoc, I will work on single Ytterbium atoms doped in a YVO4 host crystal for quantum information and communication purposes. That should allow for some cool experiments! Before I joined Caltech, I completed my PhD at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. During my PhD, my colleagues and I realized the first quantum network by using nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond, and we also teleported quantum information across the network. Outside of research, I enjoy doing outreach. Apart from it being fun, I think it is good to explain our research to all sorts of audiences. I hope I can continue this effort here at Caltech! In my spare time, I like to play basketball and I am a big fan of board games. (Photo credit: Inge Hoogland voor Faces of Science/NEMO Kennislink)
- Graduate Student, Computing and Mathematical Sciences
I am a G2 in CMS studying machine learning. My main research focus is multimodal representation learning, which involves designing neural networks that can process many types of data at once. As part of my Ph.D., I am also trying to build a community of machine learning researchers who care about environmental sustainability applications, such as using reinforcement learning to reduce carbon emissions in the electricity grid. Although I was born and raised in Southern California, I still find so much to explore around Pasadena and the broader Los Angeles area. I enjoy hiking, camping, biking, skiing, volleyball, ultimate frisbee (go Aftermath!), as well as playing cello in the Caltech Orchestra. If you see me around, ask me about my trip to a remote Alaskan island or my weeklong homestay on a rural Chinese tea farm. Also, I am co-chair of the GSC Sustainability Committee, so if you have any ideas on how to make Caltech a more sustainable environment, let me know!
- KNI Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate
I received a BS in Applied Physics from the Physical Technical Faculty of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine. Then, I obtained an MS degree in Nanosciences from École Polytechnique and Univérsité Paris-Saclay in France. With a double-diploma program, I also received a MS in Medical Physics from V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine. I obtained a PhD degree in Condensed Matter Physics from Univérsité Paris-Saclay, France in 2019. Starting in December 2019, I joined Caltech as a Postdoctoral Scholar in Professor Marco Bernardi's group. My current research focus is the electron transport and ultrafast dynamics in the presence of external fields in complex materials within the Boltzmann transport equation formalism and time-dependent density functional theory. In my free time, I play the clarinet in the Caltech Symphonic Orchestra and piano in a Caltech Chamber Music ensemble.
- Postdoctoral Scholar, Aerospace (GALCIT)
I am a second-year postdoc in the Dabiri Lab within the Department of Aerospace (GALCIT) at Caltech. I am broadly interested in experimental fluid dynamics, the development of measurement techniques, and leveraging machine learning for imperfect empirical data. My current research project focuses on the development of non-intrusive data-driven and physics-based methods that estimate incident wind speeds from visual observations of natural vegetation. These methods provide physical insights on the flow-structure interactions. Possible applications for these methods include aviation safety monitoring and wildland firefighting. Outside of research, I like to run on mountain trails and watch the sunset on the beach. Finally, after serving as the Caltech Postdoc Association (CPA) EAS representative and CPA treasurer for the last year, I am excited to announce that I am the incoming CPA chair and am looking forward to continuing to serve the Caltech community.
- Postdoctoral Scholar, Environmental Science and Engineering
Sean T. McBeath
I am a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. My research interests include the development of water and wastewater treatment technologies for decentralized system applications, primarily involving electrochemical systems and novel materials. I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Applied Sciences in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia and my PhD at Imperial College London. I also worked as a research associate at RESEAU Centre for Mobilizing Innovation, developing water treatment technologies for rural Indigenous communities in Canada. My journey at Caltech begun in April 2021, helping the team in the Hoffmann lab to develop a point-of-sampling process to detect and quantify SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater, for epidemiological surveillance in developing communities. Away from research, I am an avid runner and cyclist. I was formerly a high-performance athlete, competing for Team Canada in the Olympic sport of sprint kayaking.
- Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering
I have been working for two years as a PhD student in Electrical Engineering alongside Professor Azita Emami. I completed my BS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. My interests include bio-optics, biomedical engineering, and mixed-mode integrated circuit design. Currently, my projects include implementing low power neural decoding hardware for brain-computer interfaces, and wearable electronics that monitor vitals and estimate fatigue. I really enjoy working as a circuit designer focused on medical applications because it requires a broad understanding of fields such as biophysics, neurology, and biochemistry, which gives me a reason to study interesting fields that I might not otherwise explore. Another benefit of studying an interdisciplinary field is the gambit of people I get to meet and work with, as this field requires significant collaboration with groups all over Caltech and otherwise. I have also enjoyed picking up new hobbies in my graduate career including soccer, tango, and salsa dancing. I received the NSF GRFP fellowship in 2021.