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Student-Led Lunar Architecture Team Named Finalist in NASA Competition for Second Consecutive Year

04-12-22

Caused by collisions from asteroids, comets, and other astronomical objects, lunar craters give our moon its characteristic pockmarked façade. These craters hold the materials necessary for building sustained human settlements on the moon. Accessing the materials inside lunar craters is no easy task. NASA seeks new ways of getting around the moon that do not rely on wheels. The agency's Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge asks university teams to go beyond wheeled rovers and create new solutions to the problem of traversing lunar craters. A team of more than 30 Caltech undergraduates in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science is among seven 2022 BIG Idea finalists. [Caltech story]

Tags: GALCIT MCE Harry Atwater CMS Soon-Jo Chung Brit Wylie Luis Pabon Rithvik Musuku Kaila Coimbra Polina Verkhovodova Tyler Colenbrander Lucas Pabarcius Calle Junker Sravani Boggaram Matticus Brown Sean Chang Bobby Daigle Nico Jimenez-Lozano Alec Laprevotte Joshua Lee Moya Ly Amrita Mayavaram Robert Menezes Nathan Ng Dilichi Nwankwo Jedi Alindogan Diego Attra Sulekha Kishore Aramis Mendoza Winter Pearson Jules Penot Kemal Pulungan Purvi Sehgal Parul Singh Aiden Swann Malcolm Tisdale Tomas Wexler Brooklyn Williams Benjamin Zeng Isabella Zuniga

Professor Beck Named Distinguished Member of ASCE

03-28-22

James L. (Jim) Beck, George W. Housner Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, has been chosen as a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Distinguished Membership is the highest honor ASCE can bestow. It is reserved for civil engineers who are either ASCE Members or Fellows. One class of recipients is formally inducted annually. [Distinguished Members]

Tags: honors MCE CMS James Beck ASCE

ME72: Live and In-Person Once More

03-23-22

Robots from five teams battled one another on the Ramo Auditorium stage on March 10, 2022. The all-day competition was the final exam for the ME72 Engineering Design Laboratory course, which is taught by Michael Mello, Teaching Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering. Each year, students in the two-term class are asked to design and build robots that meet particular criteria with the goal of having the machines square off in a design competition at the end of the second term. This was the 37th annual edition of the competition, which—in the years before the pandemic—always drew large crowds of student spectators as well as attention from media outlets. Overall, Mello says he is proud of all of the robots his students built. "I think we could enter some of these bots in an international competition and do pretty well," he says. [Caltech story]

Tags: MCE alumni ME 72 Michael Mello Allison Cheng Sofia Kwok Vy Le Martin Peticco Sydney Richardson Saskia van Nieuwstadt

Professor Andrade Elected Fellow of ASME

02-07-22

José E. Andrade, George W. Housner Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, has been elected a Fellow of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The Fellow grade of membership recognizes exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession and to ASME. [List of all ASME Fellows]

Tags: honors MCE Jose Andrade

Nano-architected Material Refracts Light Backward—An Important Step Toward One Day Creating Photonic Circuits

02-01-22

A newly created nano-architected material exhibits a property that previously was just theoretically possible: it can refract light backward, regardless of the angle at which the light strikes the material. "Negative refraction is crucial to the future of nanophotonics, which seeks to understand and manipulate the behavior of light when it interacts with materials or solid structures at the smallest possible scales," says Julia R. Greer, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering; Fletcher Jones Foundation Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MedE MCE Harry Atwater Julia Greer Victoria Chernow Siying Peng Ryan Ng

Maximilian Adang Awarded Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship

01-27-22

Undergraduate Maximilian Adang has been awarded the 2022 Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship. The highly selective program awards exceptional college juniors, seniors, and graduate students pursuing aerospace careers with paid internships at cutting-edge commercial space companies. [Class of 2022]

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE CMS Maximilian Adang

AIAA International Student Conference Winners

01-25-22

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) announced the undergraduate, team, and graduate winners of the 2022 International Student Conference. Luis Pabon Madrid, Polina Verkhovodova, Malcom Tisdale, Isabella Dula, Kaila Coimbra, Tanmay Gupta, Leah Soldner, Rithvik Musuku, and Soon-Jo Chung, Bren Professor of Aerospace and Control and Dynamical Systems; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist, received 1st place in the Team Category for "Design of a Modular and Orientable Electrodynamic Shield for Lunar Dust Mitigation." The International Student Conference is an invitation-only student conference where first-place winners from each of the previous year’s AIAA Regional Student Conferences present their winning papers. [AIAA story]

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE CMS Soon-Jo Chung Luis Pabon Madrid Rithvik Musuku Leah Soldner Tanmay Gupta Kaila Coimbra Isabella Dula Malcom Tisdale Polina Verkhovodova

Alex Mori Carroll and John Lathrop Selected as KISS Affiliates

01-24-22

Alex Mori Carroll and John Lathrop have been selected as 2022 Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) Affiliates. Nominated by the Caltech faculty, KISS Affiliates are an ongoing cohort of Campus graduate students and postdocs who are seen as the next generation of space exploration leaders. KISS provides them unique experiences with industry CEOs, astronauts, space mission leaders, NASA leadership and world-renowned space exploration researchers.

Tags: honors MCE CMS Alex Mori Carroll John Lathrop

Gunnarson and Dabiri Teach AI to Navigate Ocean with Minimal Energy

12-09-21

Engineers at Caltech, ETH Zurich, and Harvard are developing an artificial intelligence (AI) that will allow autonomous drones to use ocean currents to aid their navigation, rather than fighting their way through them. "When we want robots to explore the deep ocean, especially in swarms, it's almost impossible to control them with a joystick from 20,000 feet away at the surface. We also can't feed them data about the local ocean currents they need to navigate because we can't detect them from the surface. Instead, at a certain point we need ocean-borne drones to be able to make decisions about how to move for themselves," says John Dabiri, Centennial Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MCE John Dabiri Peter Gunnarson

Yu-Chong Tai Receives 2021 SoCalBio Innovation Award

12-06-21

Yu-Chong Tai, Anna L. Rosen Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair; Executive Officer for Medical Engineering, has been awarded the 2021 Innovation Award for Outstanding Researcher by The Southern California Biomedical Council (SoCalBio). The Award is meant to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Greater Los Angeles Region's bioscience entrepreneurs, researchers, and educators.

Tags: EE MedE MCE KNI