News & Events


Your Future is Calling


Professor Morteza Gharib was one of the speakers at a recent symposium celebrating the Caltech–City of Hope Biomedical Research Initiative which provides seed grants to accelerate the development of basic scientific research and its translation into biomedical applications. Professor Gharib’s presentation was focused on measuring the ejection fraction, the fraction of blood that is ejected from the heart with each heartbeat. The group has designed a small piece of hardware that can connect to an iPhone and calculate a patient's ejection fraction—for less than $8. The device, called Vivio, gives comparable results to a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, the gold standard in the medical industry for measuring heart health. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MedE Morteza Gharib

Modular Space Telescope Could Be Assembled By Robot


Professor Sergio Pellegrino and colleagues including Professor Joel Burdick, are proposing a space observatory with a 100 meters diameter primary mirror. Their design calls for the use of more than 300 deployable truss modules that could be unfolded to form a scaffolding upon which a commensurate number of small mirror plates could be placed to create a large segmented mirror. In this concept, a spider-like, six-armed "hexbot" would assemble the trusswork and then crawl across the structure to build the mirror atop it. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MCE Sergio Pellegrino Joel Burdick

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

Tyler Okamoto Receives 2016 Henry Ford II Scholar Award


Mechanical Engineering student Tyler Okamoto, mentored by Professor Sergio Pellegrino, is a recipient of the 2016 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. He is working with Professor Pellegrino’s team to build an autonomous reconfigurable space telescope using multiple nanosatellites that align in space to create a camera and mirror assembly. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE Henry Ford II Scholar Award Sergio Pellegrino Tyler Okamoto

Professor McKeon Receives Diversity Award


Beverley J. McKeon, Professor of Aeronautics and the Associate Director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, is the 2016 recipient of the Fred Shair Program Diversity Award. Each year the Caltech Center for Diversity asks students, staff, and faculty, to nominate Caltech community members who have contributed to initiatives and efforts that advance diversity. One of the nominations for Professor McKeon read, “she is a tireless advocate for diversity in all of its forms. She is very conscientious in her role as the GALCIT Option Representative – and really works to shine a light on unconscious bias in the selection process and stick to processes that highlight the best candidates according to a pre-specified set of criteria.  Professor McKeon effectively works both behind the scenes and in front of the camera carrying her message that diverse teams enable excellent results.”

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Professor Rosakis Elected to the National Academy of Sciences


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). His research interests span a wide spectrum of length and time scales and range from the mechanics of earthquake seismology, to the physical processes involved in the catastrophic failure of aerospace materials, to the reliability of micro-electronic and opto-electronic structures and devices. The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare.[Caltech story] [List of NAS members]

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Living—and Giving—the Caltech Dream


In appreciation for the opportunities Caltech afforded him, Professor Mory Gharib along with his wife Shoreh and daughters, Maral and Alma (PhD ’15), have created an endowed fellowship fund to support new generations of Caltech graduate students. “Mory’s story is an inspiration to us all,” says Caltech president Thomas F. Rosenbaum. “Setting the highest scientific standards, searching for technological interventions to better people’s lives, creating community, and serving that community through personal dedication and philanthropy are qualities rarely found in one individual. We are proud to have Mory as a colleague and his family as members of the Caltech family.” [Caltech story]

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Professor Rosakis Receives the Von Kármán Medal


Ares Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, will receive the Theodore von Kármán Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The medal recognizes distinguished achievement in engineering mechanics. Professor Rosakis is being honored for "discovering several fundamental physical phenomena in dynamic fracture of heterogeneous materials and interfaces at various length and time scales.” [Caltech story]

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Alumna Tammy Ma Receives Presidential Early Career Award


Aerospace alumna Tammy Y. Ma (BS ’05, AE) who is a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The other Caltech alumni who received the award were Alon A. Gorodetsky (PhD ’09, Chemistry), Jonathan Simon (BS ’04, Physics), and Viviana Gradinaru (BS ’05, Biology). [White House Release]

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Professor Dimotakis Elected to the National Academy of Engineering


Paul E. Dimotakis, John K. Northrop Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Applied Physics, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Professor Dimotakis was elected for his contributions to the fluid mechanics of jet propulsion and other processes involving turbulence, mixing, and transport. [Caltech story]

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Tags: APhMS honors GALCIT Paul Dimotakis National Academy of Engineering Adam Steltzner