Welcome to EAS
Expanding science and engineering knowledge is foundational to our mission. Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion adds new perspectives and illuminates new paths for exploration.
- 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.
- 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, 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!
- 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)
- 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.
- Postdoctoral Scholar, Medical Engineering
Yide Zhang joined the Caltech Optical Imaging Laboratory as a postdoctoral scholar in September 2019. He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 2019. With his interdisciplinary background, engineering skills, and expertise in imaging, Yide aims to develop next-generation photoacoustic and ultrafast imaging techniques that can observe biological and physical phenomena that are too fast to be imaged with existing methods. The observation of these ultrafast phenomena could provide a better understanding of the fundamentals of life and physical sciences. He is also developing a new quantum imaging approach able to investigate biological organisms with an imaging performance that cannot be achieved with classical optical imaging techniques. He is a recipient of the JenLab Young Investigator Award, granted by the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, hiking, cycling, and traveling.
- Graduate Student, Environmental Science and Engineering
Sara is a fifth-year graduate student in Environmental Science and Engineering performing research in experimental atmospheric chemistry. Using gas chromatography chemical ionization mass spectrometry (GC-CIMS) and a small atmospheric chamber, she studies the formation rates of atmospherically significant organic peroxides. Broadly, she is interested in studying the rates and mechanisms of gas-phase organic reactions in the atmosphere to better understand and model tropospheric chemistry and air quality. In addition to her research, Sara enjoys teaching and mentoring undergraduates, and is active in pushing for changes to make Caltech and academia more inclusive. In her spare time, she enjoys playing and teaching bluegrass fiddle, playing violin in the Caltech orchestra, and exploring the local hiking trails.