News & Events


ME 72 Contest Winners Announced


Congratulations to Robbie Paolini, Long Nguyen, and Paul Suffoletta of Team Up who won this year's ME 72 Contest which was held on Tuesday, March 9, 2010. Teams of three to four competed to deploy their airships and robots and navigate them through a course that involved releasing, gathering, and shooting ping-pong balls and passing through a hoop 15 feet above the ground. Team Up won by outlasting their peers through eight rollicking rounds. [Watch Fox 11 News story (27 seconds, QuickTime plugin required)] [View slide show] [Pasadena Star News article] [Caltech Press Release]

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ME19 Ends With a Big Splash!


Christopher E. Brennen, Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering, ends his ME19 class with a big splash! He has been a Caltech faculty member for more than 40 years and has published numerous papers and books in a wide variety of topics involving fluid mechanics. Professor Brennen will be retiring on April 1st, 2010.

Tags: MCE Christopher Brennen

Lemelson-MIT Caltech Student Prize Winners Announced


Congratulations to Heather Agnew, a graduate student in Chemistry, who received the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Caltech Student Prize. Finalist Yvonne Chen, a graduate student in Chemical Engineering, received a $10,000 prize generously donated by Caltech Alumni Dr. Michael W. Hunkapiller. The winners were announced at a nationwide simulcast involving Caltech, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. [Scientific American Article]

Tags: honors Heather Agnew Yvonne Chen Lemelson Michael Hunkapiller

Professor Colonius Receives Funds from National Science Foundation


Timothy E. Colonius, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is among a group of Caltech researchers who have received more than $33 Million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Professor Colonius received $987,032 in ARRA funds from the National Science Foundation for research into better understanding how noise is created by turbulence in the exhaust of turbofan aircraft engines and what might be done to mitigate it. Jet noise is an environmental problem subject to increasingly severe regulation throughout the world. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: MCE Tim Colonius

Harry Atwater and Colleagues Create Highly Absorbing, Flexible Solar Cells with Silicon Wire Arrays


Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, and his colleagues have created highly absorbing, flexible solar cells with silicon wire arrays. "These solar cells have, for the first time, surpassed the conventional light-trapping limit for absorbing materials," says Professor Atwater. Furthermore this new type of flexible solar cell uses only a fraction of the expensive semiconductor materials required by conventional solar cells. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS energy Harry Atwater

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.

Tags: honors CMS Joel Tropp Sloan Research Fellowship

Professor Krause Receives NSF CAREER Award


Andreas Krause, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, has been awarded the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his proposal "Coping with the Data Deluge -- Algorithms, Human Aspects and Applications" which investigates principled, scalable methods for extracting the most useful information from massive data sets. The CAREER program is NSF's most prestigious awards for junior faculty members. The level and 5-year duration of the awards are designed to enable awardees to develop careers as outstanding teacher-scholars.

Tags: honors CMS Andreas Krause NSF CAREER

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

First Brain Recordings from Behaving Fruit Flies


Michael Dickinson, the Esther M. and Abe M. Zarem Professor of Bioengineering, with postdoctoral scholars Gaby Maimon and Andrew Straw have obtained the first recordings of brain-cell activity in an actively flying fruit fly. The work suggests that at least part of the brain of the fruit fly "is in a different and more sensitive state during flight than when the fly is quiescent," Dickinson says. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights Michael Dickinson postdocs

Nanoscale Structures with Superior Mechanical Properties


Julia Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, and Dongchan Jang, Postdoctoral Scholar, have developed a way to make some notoriously brittle materials ductile—yet stronger than ever—simply by reducing their size. Professor Greer describes, "We are entering a new era in materials science, where structural materials can be created not only by utilizing monolith structures, like ceramics and metals, but also by introducing 'architectural' features into them." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MCE Julia Greer Dongchan Jang postdocs