News & Events


Moriah Bischann Wins SURF Speaking Competition


Material science undergraduate student Moriah Bischann, mentored by aerospace postdoctoral scholar, Dr. Owen Kingstedt, is the winner of the Doris S. Perpall Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) Speaking Competition. She was recognized as the best speakers-out of the 200 students who presented their SURF research. Her summer research focused on exploring the next generation of structural materials. During her ten week SURF project she studied the effects of alloying and processing on the dynamic behavior of magnesium (Mg). This work was done to address the larger question of whether Mg is a useful material for the automotive, aerospace, energy, and defense industries where a material is needed that has low density, but also the strength to withstand high impact forces.

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Tags: APhMS honors GALCIT research highlight Moriah Bischann Owen Kingstedt

Philip G. Saffman Graduate Fellowship Established


Mrs. Ruth Saffman, in memory of her late husband, Theodore von Kármán Professor Emeritus, Philip G. Saffman (1931-2008), has established the Philip G. Saffman Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Engineering and Applied Science in the area of mechanics. "Philip Saffman was one of the leading figures in fluid mechanics and a giant in the field of vortex dynamics and its applications... His work continues to motivate and influence contemporary research in fluid dynamics, which attests to the power of his pioneering ideas." Said EAS Division Chair G. Ravichandran.  The first recipient of the Saffman Fellowship is GALCIT graduate student Nicholas White.

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Tags: GALCIT EAS history Philip Saffman Nicholas White

Innovation in Aerospace


At the "Innovation in Aerospace" forum held at Caltech —part of the Idea 2 Innovation series cosponsored by Innovate Pasadena and Caltech—three of the aerospace industry's biggest companies discussed some of their most exciting new ventures. Northrop Grumman's Starshade project could help find life on other planets. Boeing's new unmanned Echo Seeker submarine is capable of diving 20,000 feet below sea level. Lockheed Martin's new imaging technology could radically shrink the size of space telescopes, making it far more efficient to send them deep into space. [Video of event] [Caltech story]

Tags: GALCIT Guruswami Ravichandran Morteza Gharib Erik Antonsson John Tracy Scott Fouse Vandad Espahbodi Andrea Belz

Professor Rosakis Inducted Into the Academy of Athens


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, has been inducted into the Academy of Athens in the class of Natural Sciences for his “exceptional contributions to science, in particular in experimental science, in the mechanics of solids, and in aerospace.” He was indicated as a Corresponding Member of this selective academy - there are only 76 members in his section and class. [Video of event] [Caltech story]

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Tags: honors GALCIT MCE Ares Rosakis

Cancer Treatment in a Painless Patch


Mechanical engineering undergraduate student, Teo Wilkening, spent this past summer working with Professor Gharib to test the preliminary design for an alternative—and possibly much less painful—method of chemotherapy drug delivery through a patch. To avoid the pain caused by the large needle traditionally used for such an intravenous injection, the team envisioned a patch containing hundreds of micrometer-scale needles, too small in diameter to be sensed by the nerves in the skin. [Caltech story]

Tags: GALCIT MedE MCE Morteza Gharib research highlight Teo Wilkening

Professor Gharib Awarded the G.I. Taylor Medal


The Society of Engineering Science (SES) has selected Professor Morteza Gharib to receive the G.I. Taylor Medal. The award is made in recognition of Professor Gharib's sustained and outstanding research contributions to the area of fluid mechanics. Sir Geoffrey Ingram Taylor (G.I. Taylor) was a British physicist and mathematician, and a major figure in fluid dynamics and wave theory.  Past recipients of the medal include Sir James Lighthill, Sydney Goldstein, A.Acrivos, and George K. Batchelor. [List of past recipients]

In October 2016 a symposium will be organized to honor Professor Morteza Gharib. It will highlight innovative fluid mechanics research in areas where he has made significant contributions. Invited speakers will cover his contributions to quantitative imaging, cardiovascular flow, surface wettability, Micro/Nano fluidics, bioinspired design, and other areas. [Symposium program]

Tags: honors GALCIT MedE Morteza Gharib

Norman Augustine Receives the 2015 International von Kármán Wings Award


Mr. Norman R. Augustine, Chief Executive Officer (Retired), Lockheed Martin Corporation is the 2015 recipients of the International von Kármán Wings Award. Mr. Augustine was recognized for his visionary leadership contributions to the aerospace industry and distinguished service to the nation's defense, security and space programs. Mr. Augustine has chaired both the 1990 Advisory Committee on the Future of the United States Space Program, and the 2009 Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee. He has also served as the Under Secretary of the Army from 1975 to 1977 and in 1984 he published a series of aphorisms relating to engineering and business known as Augustine's laws. The von Kármán Wings Award acknowledges outstanding contributions by international innovators, leaders, and pioneers in aerospace and is presented by the Aerospace Historical Society, which is part of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories at Caltech (GALCIT).

Tags: honors GALCIT Norman Augustine

Digital Holographic Microscopy


Professor Morteza Gharib, and Dr. Jay Nadeau from GALCIT, as well as Dr. Christian Lindensmith from JPL are three of the four principle investigators on the holographic microscope project, dubbed SHAMU (Submersible Holographic Astrobiology Microscope with Ultraresolution). Their ultimate goal is to send the microscope on a spacecraft to search for biosignatures—signs of life—on other worlds such as Mars or Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. Holography is a method for recording holistic information about the light bouncing off a sample so that a 3-D image can be reconstructed at some later time. Compared to microscopy, holography offers the advantages of focusing over a relatively large volume and of capturing high-resolution images, without the trouble of moving parts that could break in extreme environments or during a launch or landing. [Caltech feature] [Videos of microbial mobility]

Tags: GALCIT Morteza Gharib JPL research highlight Jay Nadeau Christian Lindesmith

Dr. van Zyl Receives Honorary Doctorate


Dr. Jakob J. van Zyl (PhD ’86 EE), Caltech Senior Faculty Associate in Electrical Engineering and Aerospace, as well as the Associate Director of Project Formulation and Strategy at JPL, will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering (DIng) degree from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Dr. van Zyl was born in Outjo, Namibia and received his first degree in electrical engineering from the University of Stellenbosch . He then came to Caltech where he obtained his Masters and PhD in electrical engineering.

Tags: EE honors GALCIT alumni JPL Jakob van Zyl

Sergio Pellegrino Elected President of the IASS


Professor Sergio Pellegrino, Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Civil Engineering; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist, has been elected President of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS). The IASS, founded in 1959, aims to further progress through an interchange of ideas among all those interested in lightweight structural systems such as lattice, tension, membrane, and shell structures. [New Officers of IASS]

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE Sergio Pellegrino