News & Events


Aseismic Slip as a Barrier to Earthquake Propagation


Tectonics Observatory researchers including Nadia Lapusta, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Geophysics, have explored the effects of aseismic slip in the aftermath of the 2007 Peru earthquake. "This large area of aseismic slip is good news," says Jean-Philippe Avouac, Director of the Tectonics Observatory and Professor of Geology. "It lowers the seismic hazard in that region, and allows us to be a little bit predictive. We cannot tell you when there will be an earthquake, but we can tell you where there is stress buildup, and where there is no stress buildup. Where there is no stress buildup, there will be no seismic rupture. That is where the earthquakes are going to stop." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights MCE Nadia Lapusta Jean-Philippe Avouac

Ares Rosakis Receives 2010 Robert Henry Thurston Lecture Award


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been selected to receive the 2010 Robert Henry Thurston Lecture Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers "for pioneering contributions to the field of fracture and failure mechanics of microelectronic, engineering and geological materials and structures, spanning a wide range of length scales; and for visionary leadership in promoting interdisciplinary research and education in mechanical engineering."

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Professor Knauss Receives the 2010 Timoshenko Medal


Wolfgang G. Knauss, Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics, Emeritus, has been selected to receive the 2010 Timoshenko Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers "for fundamental contributions to the mechanics of fracture, covering mixed-mode fracture, dynamic fracture, and interface and adhesive fracture; and the characterization of material response and failure at the microscale, with an emphasis on experimental mechanics." The Timoshenko Medal was established in 1957 and is conferred in recognition of distinguished contributions to the field of applied mechanics.

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Novel Negative-Index Metamaterial that Responds to Visible Light


Stanley Burgos, researcher at the Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion Energy Frontier Research Center, Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and colleagues have engineered a novel negative-index metamaterial that responds to visible light. This material bends light in the "wrong" direction from what normally would be expected, irrespective of the angle of the approaching light. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Harry Atwater Stanley Burgos

Caltech Researchers Create "Sound Bullets"


Alessandro Spadoni, Postdoctoral Scholar, and Chiara Daraio, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Physics, have built a nonlinear acoustic lens that produces highly focused, high-amplitude acoustic signals dubbed "sound bullets." The combination of the acoustic lens and sound bullets have "the potential to revolutionize applications from medical imaging and therapy to the nondestructive evaluation of materials and engineering systems," says Professor Daraio. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Chiara Daraio GALCIT health Alessandro Spadoni postdocs

Professor Effros and Colleagues Appear in Scientific American


Michelle Effros, Professor of Electrical Engineering, and colleagues have written an interesting piece in Scientific American on how wireless networks that do not depend on a fixed infrastructure will allow for ubiquitous connectivity. [Scientific American Article]

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Christof Koch and Pietro Perona Found that Human Decisions are Influenced by Both Value and Saliency


Christof Koch, Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology and Professor of Computation and Neural Systems, Pietro Perona, Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, and colleagues' research on decision making and visual saliency has found that human decisions are influenced by both value and saliency in a way that is consistent with the ideal Bayesian observer. [Abstract]

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Beverely McKeon Shares Her Perspectives on Controlling Turbulence in Science Magazine


Beverley McKeon, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics, shares her perspectives on controlling turbulence in the March 2010 issue of Science. Professor McKeon states, "more than 100 years after Osborne Reynolds's seminal experiments on the transition of flow through a pipe from a laminar to a turbulent state, the exact physical mechanism that drives this phenomenon still vexes the fluid mechanics community." [Science Magazine Article]

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Joel Tropp is a Recipient of the 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship


Congratulations to Joel Tropp, Assistant Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics, for being a recipient of the 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship. The Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded yearly to 118 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

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Anthony Leonard and Richard Flagan Elected Members of the 2010 Class of the NAE


Anthony Leonard, Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus, and Richard C. Flagan, Irma and Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Environmental Science & Engineering; Executive Officer of Chemical Engineering, have been elected members of the 2010 class of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). NAE membership honors those who have made important contributions to engineering theory and practice, and those who have demonstrated unusual accomplishments in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology. Election to the NAE is one the highest professional distinctions an engineer can receive. Professor Flagan was elected to the NAE "for leadership in invention, measurement, production, and technology of aerosols" and Professor Leonard was elected "for contributions to simulation of turbulence, new vortex methods of flow simulation, and understanding of flow-induced vibration." [Caltech Today Article]

Tags: honors GALCIT ESE Anthony Leonard Richard Flagan National Academy of Engineering