News & Events


India Establishes Caltech Aerospace Fellowship


The Indian Department of Space / Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has established a fellowship at Caltech in the name of Caltech alumnus Satish Dhawan (Eng '49, PhD '51) who is a pioneer of India's space program. "The ISRO is honoring Dhawan and Caltech with this fellowship, and it is also recognizing the historical connections between engineers and scientists in the United States and India," says Chair Ares Rosakis. "India has a very strong domestically grown space program," explains GALCIT Director G. Ravichandran. "The ISRO is hoping to maintain its momentum by training students in much the same way that Dhawan was trained when he went through GALCIT decades ago." [Learn More] [Caltech Release]

Tags: GALCIT Guruswami Ravichandran Ares Rosakis Satish Dhawan

Professor Ravichandran to Receive 2013 Eringen Medal


Guruswami Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace and Professor of Mechanical Engineering as well as Director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, will be receiving the A. C. Eringen Medal at the 50th Annual Technical Meeting of the Society of Engineering Science.  At the meeting there will also be a symposium to honor Professor Ravichandran; covering the topics of shock and high-rate phenomena, active/shape-memory alloys, biological materials, composite materials, and digital image correlation. The A. C. Eringen Medal is awarded in recognition of sustained outstanding achievements in Engineering Science.  

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE Guruswami Ravichandran A. C. Eringen Medal

Ian Jacobi Receives 2013 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award


Ian Jacobi, a graduate student working with Professor Beverley McKeon, is the recipient of the 2013 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award. Dr. Jacobi has studied the effect of roughness-based forcing on the turbulent boundary layer and investigated means by which macroscopic perturbation of the boundary layer can be used to control the small-scale flow physics important for the reduction of viscous drag. He is continuing his studies in fluid mechanics as a post-doctoral scholar at Princeton University, where he is exploring drag reduction from the perspective of low-Reynolds number micro-fluidic devices. The Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award is given to an EAS graduate student in hydrodynamics who has distinguished himself or herself in research.

Tags: honors GALCIT Beverley McKeon Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award Ian Jacobi

Caltech's Unique Wind Projects Move Forward


John O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, has big plans for a high school in San Pedro, military bases in California, and a small village on Bristol Bay, Alaska. "We have been able to demonstrate that using wind turbines that are 30 feet tall, as opposed to 300 feet tall, could generate sufficient power for wind-farm applications," Dabiri says. "One of the areas where these smaller turbines can have an immediate impact is in the military." The Office of Naval Research is funding a three-year project by Dabiri's group to test the smaller vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) and to further develop software tools to determine their optimal placement. "We believe that these smaller turbines provide the opportunity to generate renewable power while being complementary to the ongoing activities at the base," Dabiri explains. [Learn More]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT John Dabiri

Professor Coles Passes Away


Donald E. Coles, Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus, passed away on May 2, 2013 at the age of 89. Professor Coles made pioneering contributions towards our understanding of boundary layers, turbulent shear flows, bluff-body aerodynamics, and novel experimental methods in fluid dynamics. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Physical Society. In 2011 he was honored with the Donald Coles Lecture in Aerospace. He remained active till his passing, working on a book on Turbulent Shear Flow that is very near completion. [Caltech Obituary]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT EAS history Donald Coles

Alumnus Launches Antares Rocket


Aerospace alumnus (MS ‘78) and Caltech Board of Trustee member David W. Thompson and his team at Orbital Sciences Corporation successfully launched the first Antares Rocket on Sunday April 21, 2013. With this rocket Orbital is introducing USA's newest medium-class space launch vehicle. When asked about the experience Thompson commented, "next to GALCIT exams, launching big rockets for the first time is about as hard as things get!" [ENGenious Profile] [Caltech Feature] [Orbital Release]

Tags: GALCIT EAS history alumni David Thompson

École Polytechnique and Caltech sign a Master's Education Exchange Program Agreement


At a recent ceremony held in the Theodore von Kármán Conference room of the Guggenheim Building, École Polytechnique president Yves Demay, Caltech president Jean-Lou Chameau, EAS Chair Ares Rosakis and Professor Patrick Le Tallec of École Polytechnique signed an agreement for a Master's Education Exchange Program in Aeronautics/Space Engineering and Mechanics. The objective of the master’s degree program is to foster the development of a long-term cooperation on basic research topics of interest to the Aerospace and Aeronautical Sciences community between Caltech and École Polytechnique. [Press Release]

Tags: GALCIT Guruswami Ravichandran Ares Rosakis École Polytechnique

2013 Caltech Space Challenge


This year's Caltech Space Challenge was led by Aerospace graduate students Nick Parziale and Jason Rabinovitch. The competition divided 32 students from 21 different universities into two teams: Voyager and Explorer. The teams had to devise a detailed plan to send astronauts to one of Mars' two moons, Phobos or Deimos. Team Voyager was announced as the winner at a reception at the Athenaeum after each team presented their plan to a jury of space experts. [ article] [Pasadena Star-News article] [Pasadena Sun article]

Tags: GALCIT Space Challenge Nick Parziale Jason Rabinovitch

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.

Tags: honors GALCIT Dennis Kochmann