The renovation of the Franklin Thomas Laboratory of Engineering began with a wall breaking ceremony on April 4, 2014. The donors who made this renovation possible are: the Gate Frontiers Fund and Diane Gates Wallach who made the gift in honor of her father, Charles C. Gates Jr. a former life-trustee of Caltech; alumnus Jim Hall (BS ’57) and his wife Sandy; and the Fred L. Hartley Family Foundation.
Ares Rosakis, the Otis Booth Leadership Chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, presided over the ceremony and shared his excitement regarding the “transformation of the building from state-of-the-art circa 1950 to state-of-the-art 21st century”. The renovation marks a milestone for engineering at Caltech, it will allow us to do experimental and computational work undreamed of when the building was built – including work in areas as diverse: as waste heat and energy recovery, hazards and natural resources, mechanical and autonomous systems, space robotics, fluid mechanics and combustion, granular and geological materials, advanced lightweight alloys, flow control, spinal implants, mechanics of active materials as well as earthquake seismology and seismic engineering. Remarks were also made by the Executive Officer for Mechanical and Civil Engineering Department, Kaushik Bhattacharya, who spearheaded and oversees the renovation on behalf of the EAS Division, as well as the Interim Caltech President Edward M. Stolper. [Renderings of new building] [Video of wall breaking]