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Stefan Maier
  • Head Of the School of Physics and Astronomy, Monash University

Stefan Maier

Stefan Maier (PhD '03) has established a strong track record in community building, from Imperial College London to his current role as the Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. His mentorship has had a global academic impact, with over 21 members of his various research groups now holding academic positions. As a researcher, Maier has also made significant contributions to the field of nanophotonics, most notably the use of light together with nanostructures to control and enhance light matter interactions in biosensing and optoelectronics.

Peter Hung
  • Technology Portfolio Manager, The Aerospace Corporation

Peter Hung

Peter Hung's (BS '08, PhD '16) journey in science has taken him from the Science Olympiad competition to The Aerospace Corporation, where he currently serves as a technology portfolio manager. Hung's impact extends beyond his work at The Aerospace Corporation, as evidenced by his 2013-2014 ASCIT (Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology) teaching award and his ongoing commitment to STEM outreach initiatives for students in southern California.

Steve Schell
  • Chief Scientist, Heliogen

Steve Schell

Steve Schell (BS '01) serves as the chief scientist for solar energy company Heliogen, but his interests are not exclusive to our solar system (or our universe). In addition to his professional contributions as a scientist, engineer, and CEO, Schell is a self-professed "lover of sci-fi" and even runs a successful science fiction book club.

Aramis Mendoza
  • Undergraduate Student, Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

Aramis Mendoza

I’m a second-year undergraduate majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in aerospace engineering. I am very interested in the development of novel aerospace technology. This past summer, I completed a SURF with the NASA Big Idea Challenge Team 2022, advised by Dr. Soon-Jo Chung, developing LATTICE, a lunar railroad built to explore craters, and I have been working on the project since. This summer, I will be working on a project at Boeing utilizing a combination of mechanical engineering and computer science. In addition to my aerospace interests, I am deeply committed to writing as a form of expression and outlet for creativity. I enjoy analyzing Black films alongside their historical contexts and connecting them to current trends today. When I’m not working, I’m spending time with friends and family, watching my favorite movies, and playing tennis.

Ming-Liang Wei
  • Graduate Student, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering

Ming-Liang Wei

Hi there! I'm a first-year PhD student from Taiwan. I received my master's degree from the National Taiwan University in Taiwan before joining Caltech. Now I am currently working in the Caltech Optical Imaging Laboratory (COIL), headed by Professor Lihong Wang. Our research focuses on Photoacoustic microscopy (PAM), an imaging method that detects optical contrast via the photoacoustic effect. With PAM, I try to acquire some ex vivo images from sliced or unsliced biological tissue, which could help the collaborating doctors to diagnose fatal diseases in the future. Our lab also studies Photoacoustic Computed Tomography (PACT), a computed tomography via the photoacoustic effect for various clinical applications. Outside of academic research, I enjoy spending my time cooking, singing, and reading - especially some Chinese classic literature and thought.

Joudi Hajar
  • Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering

Joudi Hajar

I’m a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering, and I joined Caltech as an EAS Chair Scholar. I’m humbled to be the inaugural recipient of the Elachi Fellowship, established in 2023 by the 8th Director of NASA JPL (2001-2016), Charles Elachi, and his wife Valerie. Before coming to the U.S., I completed an MSc in robotics and control at ETH Zurich, and a BE in ECE at the American University of Beirut. I enjoy researching optimal control theory and looking for cool applications in autonomous driving. As my advisor, Professor Hassibi, says: "control is like life; given your past, you take actions in the present and make decisions that influence the future, but... the future is unknown. What to do?" If you’re like me, you’d follow the regret-optimal control strategy, and you would design yourself as a partially memoryless system - your output matrix should be sparse!