News & Events


Best Paper Award


Postdoctoral Scholar Carlos M. Portela, working with Professor Julia Greer and Dennis Kochmann, has won the Gold Paper Award. The title of the paper is "Supersonic Impact on Carbon Nano-architected Materials". The award was granted to the best student contribution across all topic areas at the Society of Engineering Science (SES) 56th Technical Meeting.

Tags: APhMS honors Julia Greer Dennis Kochmann Carlos M. Portela

The Utility of Instability


Professors Dennis M. Kochmann and Chiara Daraio along with colleagues from Harvard have designed and created mechanical chains made of soft matter that can transmit signals across long distances. Because they are flexible, the circuits could be used in machines such as soft robots or lightweight aircraft constructed from pliable, nonmetallic materials. "Engineers tend to shy away from instability. "Though there are many applications, the fundamental principles that we explore are most exciting to me," Kochmann says. "These nonlinear systems show very similar behavior to materials at the atomic scale but these are difficult to access experimentally or computationally. Now we have built a simple macroscale analogue that mimics how they behave." [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights Chiara Daraio GALCIT MCE Dennis Kochmann

Professor Kochmann Receives Excellence in Teaching Award


Dennis Kochmann, Assistant Professor of Aerospace, has once again received the Graduate Student Council (GSC) Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is given by the GSC each year to one professor for excellence in classroom teaching.

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Everyone Starts Small: How Metals Learn to Behave


In his upcoming Watson Lecture Assistant Professor of Aerospace Dennis Kochmann will explain how controlling a material's complex structural details from the atomic scale up can affect its behavior in everyday life. [Interview with Professor Kochmann] [ENGenious article]

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Professor Kochmann Receives the Richard von Mises Prize


Dennis Kochmann, Assistant Professor of Aerospace, is one of two recipients of the 2013 Richard von Mises Prize of the International Association of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (GAMM). The prize recognizes excellent scientific achievements in the area of applied mathematics and mechanics and Professor Kochmann received it in appreciation of his contributions to the understanding and use of mechanical instabilities in composite materials.

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Professor Kochmann Receives NSF CAREER Award


Dennis Kochmann, Assistant Professor of Aerospace, has been awarded the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his 5-year project,  “Performance through Instability -- An Integrated Theoretical and Experimental Study of the Mechanics of Multiscale Material Systems.” 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. Awardees are chosen because they exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

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Professor Kochmann Receives International Prize in Solid Mechanics


Dennis Kochmann, Assistant Professor of Aerospace, has received the 2012 International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM) Bureau Prize in Solid Mechanics. The prize is awarded every four years by the union to outstanding young scientists based on their papers and presentations at the international congress. Professor Kochmann's presentation was entitled "Making positive use of instability - ultra-high stiffness and damping composites and structures due to constrained instabilities". The presentation described how engineers can make positive use of mechanical instabilities. While engineering design commonly aims to prevent instabilities of any kind (leading to failure or collapse), controlled and careful use of mechanical instabilities can result in new material and structural systems that possess superior properties such as very high stiffness (meaning minimal deformation under loads) and high damping (meaning any external vibrations are effectively attenuated). [Past Winners of Prize]

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Professor Kochmann Receives Excellence in Teaching Award


Dennis Kochmann, Assistant Professor of Aerospace, has received the 2012 Graduate Student Council (GSC) Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is given by the GSC each year, with participating from the entire Caltech community, to one professor for excellence in classroom teaching.

Tags: honors GALCIT Dennis Kochmann

Better, Stronger, Lighter Armor


Kaushik Bhattacharya, Howell N. Tyson, Sr., Professor of Mechanics and Professor of Materials Science, is the Caltech lead on a $90 million U.S. Army Research Laboratory funded program to improve protective gear and vehicles for soldiers. "…studying materials in very extreme conditions is an area where Caltech engineering really stand out," says Bhattacharya. "The tools we bring, on both the theoretical and experimental sides uniquely bridge deep fundamental principles with unprecedented application.” [Caltech Feature]

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Tags: APhMS GALCIT MCE Guruswami Ravichandran Julia Greer William Goddard Michael Ortiz Dennis Kochmann Kaushik Bhattacharya

New Faculty Members in EAS Zoom in on the Nanoscale


Hyuck Choo, Dennis Kochmann, and Austin Minnich focus on quite different challenges, but they all home in on the nanoscale. "Caltech and EAS take pride in lowering the barriers between disciplines to create collaborative environments for researchers such as Hyuck, Dennis, and Austin to work on a variety of topics including understanding and predicting behavior of materials at the nanoscale, which already is an area of strength within EAS," says Ares Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science. [Caltech Feature]

Tags: EE GALCIT MCE Hyuck Choo Dennis Kochmann Austin Minnich