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Jared Sisler
  • Graduate Student, Applied Physics and Materials Science

Jared Sisler

I am a 4th year graduate student in Applied Physics, working in Professor Harry Atwater's group. My research focuses on developing active metasurfaces: tunable optical elements capable of controlling the properties of light with nanostructured materials. Using these devices, we are specifically interested in steering laser light quickly and efficiently for applications such as LiDAR and optical communication. I enjoy the variety of work that is involved in my research which is split between simulation and design, nanofabrication, and optical measurements. Outside of the lab, I spend most of my time riding my bike.

Pio Ong
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Mechanical and Civil Engineering

Pio Ong

I have been at Caltech for two years under the supervision of Professor Aaron Ames. My research focus is on the intelligent resource-aware control for nonlinear systems, with the goal of reducing resource usage in autonomous systems. Currently, I study resource-constrained control systems and formulate control policies to reduce the frequency of resource-consuming control actions. For example, I use nonlinear control theory to analyze and formulate event-triggered designs for satellites to reduce the number of thruster firings. In addition to this exciting research, Caltech also provided me with the opportunity to instruct an undergraduate course as a lecturer. I really enjoyed the teaching experience and the freedom to craft my own syllabus in the way I believed would best benefit students. Outside of my career, I enjoy listening to K-Pop music, watching math videos, and playing chess/Go.

Divesh Soni
  • Graduate Student, GALCIT

Divesh Soni

Hello everyone! I am Divesh, currently a 3rd year graduate student in Professor Sergio Pellegrino’s lab. I am doing my PhD in Space Engineering. Before joining Caltech, I worked as a scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). In ISRO, I worked on structural design and analysis of solar arrays, reflectors, and other spacecraft appendages. I was always surprised about how things would almost never behave as they should in experiments. This made learning pleasurable and as exciting as solving a puzzle. Here at Caltech, I am working on understanding slew maneuvers of spacecrafts with large lightweight flexible structures relevant to the Space Solar Power Project. When not working on my research, I tend to drift away to the mountains, hiking and enjoying the burst of fresh air. I am grateful for the opportunities here at Caltech and the way I am challenged every day makes me feel alive!

Dave Kaufman
  • President of the Space & Mission Systems sector at BAE Systems, Inc.

Dave Kaufman

Dave Kaufman (MS '90, PhD '95, mechanical engineering) is a testament to the power of saying "yes" to unexpected opportunities. Kaufman began his career as a thermal engineer, but his willingness to go "off script" has led him to his current role as President of the Space & Mission Systems sector at BAE Systems, Inc. Along with his three-decade industry career, Kaufman has been awarded two patents for his research and development work and is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Lori McDowell
  • Chief Commercial Officer, Refinery Calculator, Inc.

Lori McDowell

Lori McDowell (MS '88, environmental engineering) has navigated through diverse roles in her career, from research and development to business development, but she has recently embarked on a new path. Currently, McDowell serves as the Chief Commercial Officer for Refinery Calculator, Inc. an energy data company, while also leading Reimagine U Strategies, the coaching and speaking company she founded aimed at helping individuals lead more joyful and fulfilling lives. McDowell's focus lies in helping people recognize and overcome obstacles that hinder their progress, promoting what she terms a "Reinvention Mindset," which is also the title of her forthcoming book.

Steven Schkolne
  • Founder and CEO, MightyMeld

Steven Schkolne

Steven Schkolne (MS '99, PhD '04, Computer Science) has been fascinated by computers long before they became mainstream. His early experiences with programming and video games have fueled a career that successfully integrates art, design, and mathematics. As the founder and CEO of MightyMeld, a visualization and creation platform for web applications, Schkolne's pioneering work has solidified his reputation as a leading figure at the intersection of technology and creativity. Additionally, Schkolne's PhD research led to the first fully functional drawing programs for virtual reality, establishing him as one of the foremost experts in 3D interface design worldwide.