News & Events


The Role of Leadership in the Journey to Gender Equity


In celebration of Women’s History Month, a panel discussion was organized to explore the steps taken to date by JPL and Caltech leadership to recruit, retain, and promote a diverse talent pool. The panel was moderated by Cinzia Zuffada, the JPL Associate Chief Scientist.  The panelists were Caltech Professor Melany Hunt, JPL Director for the Office of Safety and Mission Success Jan Chodas, and JPL Deputy Director Larry James. The panelists shared some accomplishments in gender equality over the last decade, and highlighted the next steps. Professor Hunt broadened the topic beyond Caltech to share successful approaches used by MIT, Harvey Mudd, and Boeing. She emphasized the importance of changing the culture and environment to be more accepting and encouraging to women and minorities. For example, training supervisors on ways to effectively mentor under-represented groups and identify their own biases as they sit on evaluation and promotion committees. [Event details]

Tags: MCE KISS Melany Hunt JPL Cinzia Zuffada Larry James Jan Chodas

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

Women Making History


In celebration of Women’s History Month, influential women leaders from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Caltech gathered at the JPL von Karman auditorium. Present at the event, entitled Women Making History, were the 2015 honorees for Women@JPL as well as Caltech faculty and staff. It was an opportunity for women at different stages of their career to meet and network. EAS faculty were represented by Professors Bordoni, Greer, and Hunt.  The JPL Advisory Council for Women was the lead organizer of the event.

Tags: APhMS honors MedE MCE ESE Julia Greer Simona Bordoni Melany Hunt JPL

Dr. Josette Bellan Receives JPL Magellan Award for Excellence


Josette Bellan, Caltech Visiting Associate in Mechanical and Civil Engineering as well as Senior Research Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), has received the Magellan Award for Excellence for the development of new Large Eddy Simulation methodologies for particle laden and supercritical mixing layers. The Magellan Award is the highest JPL award presented to an individual for her scientific or technical accomplishments.

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Tags: honors research highlights MCE JPL Josette Bellan

Caltech and JPL Collaborate with Indian Space Program


The Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Charles Elachi, and the Chair of Caltech’s EAS Division, Ares Rosakis, recently hosted the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Dr. Koppillil Radhakrishnan.  The visit focused on plans regarding a joined Earth-orbiting  mission that will be the first radar mission to systematically and globally study the solid Earth, the ice masses, and ecosystems, all of which are sparsely sampled at present.  While at Caltech Dr. Koppillil Radhakrishnan visited research facilities and delivered the Klein Lecture in Aerospace.  In his presentation he highlighted the long history of connections between engineers and scientist at Caltech and in India.  Dr. Radhakrishnan prides himself to be the last student of Caltech alumnus Satish Dhawan (Eng '49, PhD '51) who participated in the creation of India's space program.  “Caltech has been instrumental in the training of many international space leaders,” explains Chair Rosakis “these include Satish Dhawan who was pivotal in the creation of the Indian space program and Qian Xuesen (also known as Tsien Hsue-Shen) who was the father of Chinese rocketry.” Last year the Indian Department of Space and ISRO established a fellowship at Caltech in the name of Satish Dhawan to further encourage the training of Indian students at Caltech and specifically at GALCIT.

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Tags: GALCIT ESE Ares Rosakis Qian Xuesen Tsien Hsue-Shen Charles Elachi JPL Satish Dhawan Koppillil Radhakrishnan

Dr. Hofmann Receives Presidential Early Career Award


Douglas Hofmann, Visiting Associate in Applied Physics and Materials Science and the Johnson research group, and Principle Investigator of the Metallurgy Facility at the Jet Propulsion 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. [White House Release]

Tags: APhMS honors PECASE William Johnson Douglas Hofmann JPL

Seeing Data


In a recent symposium hosted at Caltech in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, computer scientists, artists, and designers gathered to discuss what they called the "emerging science of big-data visualization." The speakers laid out their vision for the potential of data visualization and demonstrated its utility, power, and beauty with myriad examples. Data visualization represents a natural intersection of art and science, says Hillary Mushkin, Visiting Professor of Art and Design in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and one of the co-organizers of the symposium. [Learn More]

Tags: MCE JPL Hillary Mushkin