News & Events


Caltech Receives $10 Million in Gifts to Help Launch New Terrestrial Hazard Center


The Terrestrial Hazard Observation and Reporting Center (THOR) has been launched in an effort to find ways to minimize the damage caused by natural hazards. THOR will span two academic divisions at Caltech, Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) and Geological and Planetary Sciences. "The interdisciplinary and interactive nature of engineering at Caltech allows us to translate scientific knowledge and discovery into applications with direct societal impact," says Ares Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering; EAS Chair. "One of the areas of pioneering research and innovation made possible by THOR is seismo-engineering. The boundaries of seismo-engineering are fuzzy ones and lie exactly in the interface between seismology and earthquake engineering. We are delighted to have the opportunity to explore these boundaries." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights MCE ESE

Jose Andrade Receives DOE Award


Congratulations to José E. Andrade, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and colleagues whoes paper "Multi-scale calculation inside compaction bands: from the field to the lab" has been recognized by the DOE Basic Energy Sciences Office, with an award for outstanding contributions in geosciences research.

Tags: honors research highlights MCE Jose Andrade

Scientists Create New Process to "Program" Cancer Cell Death


Niles A. Pierce, Associate Professor of Applied & Computational Mathematics and Bioengineering, and colleagues have engineered a fundamentally new approach to killing cancer cells. The process uses small RNA molecules that can be programmed to attack only specific cancer cells; then, by changing shape, those molecules cause the cancer cells to self-destruct. [Caltech Press Release]

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Peter Siegel Has Been Selected by the IEEE to Spearhead a New Journal


Peter H. Siegel, Faculty Associate in Electrical Engineering and a Member of the Professional Staff in Biology, has been selected by the IEEE to spearhead a new journal: IEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology. The journal will highlight activities in the emerging field of far-infrared technology (wavelength range between 1mm and 10 microns) with applications in high frequency communications, space, Earth and planetary science, ultrafast chemistry and physics, defense and security and even art history and preservation. The inaugural issue is slated for the fall of 2011.

Tags: EE research highlights Peter Siegel

Fruit Flies Use Horizontal Landmarks for Altitude Control


Michael H. Dickinson, Esther M. and Abe M. Zarem Professor of Bioengineering, and his team find that fruit flies follow horizontal edges to regulate altitude. This finding contradicts a previous model, which posited that insects adjust their height by visually measuring the motion beneath them as they fly. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights Michael Dickinson

Congratulations to Professor Simona Bordoni


Congratulations to Simona Bordoni, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, for being selected to join The New York Academy of Sciences 2010 Science and Technology in Society (SPS) forum in Kyoto, Japan entitled "The Lights and Shadows of Science and Technology."

Tags: honors ESE Simona Bordoni

Professor Wennberg is the Principal Investigator on the MATMOS Instrument


Paul O. Wennberg, R. Stanton Avery Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Engineering; and Director of the Linde Center for Global Environmental Science is the principle investigator on the Mars Atmospheric Trace Molecule Occultation Spectrometer (MATMOS) instrument to be flown aboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. This instrument is being built through a partnership between Caltech and the Canadian Space Agency. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights ESE Paul Wennberg

Professor Gharib Named Vice Provost


Morteza Gharib, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Bio-Inspired Engineering, is the new Vice Provost with a special focus on research. Professor Gharib has made contributions to a wide array of research topics ranging from the fundamental analysis of biological flows, to the development of bio-inspired medical devices, to advanced flow visualization techniques. One of his more unusual studies was his work with a SURF student several years ago where they raised a 30000-pound obelisk into place using a single kite and speculated that the ancient Egyptians may have moved the massive stones from which the pyramids were built and raised obelisks by flying them into place! His breadth, technical strength, and enthusiasm will serve him and Caltech well as he takes on the role of Vice Provost. [Caltech Today Article]

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Keenan Crane has Received a 2010 Google PhD Fellowship


Keenan M. Crane, a graduate student in Computing and Mathematical Sciences, has received a 2010 Google PhD Fellowship for his research in computer graphics. He is one of only 15 winners in the United States and Canada. The Google Fellowship program supports innovative university research in computer science.

Tags: research highlights CMS Keenan Crane

2010 World Cup Jubalani Soccer Ball Tested in Wind Tunnel


Beverley McKeon, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics, and her team test the 2010 World Cup Jubalani soccer ball in the Lucas Adaptive Wall Wind Tunnel. Their results may explain the seemingly unpredictable nature of the ball. [Caltech Press Release and Video]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT Beverley McKeon