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Raichlen-fred
Professor Fredric Raichlen Passes Away

12-16-14

Fredric Raichlen, Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus, passed away on December 13, 2014 at age 82. He was an expert on the mechanics of tsunamis, the waves created by underwater earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other geologic events. He was also one of the founding faculty members of Caltech's doctoral program in environmental engineering science. [Caltech Obituary] [ENGenious profile of Prof. Raichlen’s student]

Tags: Fredric Raichlen MCE ESE EAS history

Thomas-vidick
Quantum Code-Cracking

12-15-14

Thomas Vidick, Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, researches quantum computing and specifically the computer science of quantum physics. He is trying to figure out how some of the principles of quantum computing can be applied right now, using today's technology. [Interview with Professor Vidick] [ENGenious article]

Tags: Thomas Vidick CMS research highlights

Julia-greer
Professor Greer Receives Robert W. Cahn Best Paper Prize

12-11-14

Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, and graduate student Lucas R. Meza’s paper entitled “Mechanical characterization of hollow ceramic nanolattices” is the winner of the 2014 Journal of Materials Science Robert W. Cahn Best Paper Prize. The prize recognizes a truly exceptional original research paper published in the journal in a particular calendar year. The winning paper is selected from the twelve finalists by a panel of distinguished materials scientists

Tags: Julia Greer Lucas Meza APhMS MCE MedE honors

M-kemei
Postdoctoral Scholar Receives Dissertation Award From American Physical Society

12-10-14

Moureen C. Kemei, Resnick Sustainability Institute Prize Postdoctoral Scholar in Applied Physics & Materials Science, has recieved the American Physical Society's Richard L. Green Dissertation Award in Experimental Condensed Matter or Condensed Matter Physics. The award recognizes her outstanding thesis on "Magnetostructural and Magnetodielectric Coupling in Spinel Oxides" citing her achievement in employing advanced characterization tools to gain new insights into the structure and electronic properties of magnetic materials and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathode materials. The exploration of SOFC cathode materials is the focus of Moureen’s research at the Resnick Sustianability Institute, which she works on in the lab of Professor Sossina Haile. [Dr. Kemei’s Dissertation]

Tags: Moureen Kemei Sossina Haile APhMS honors energy

Harry-atwater
New Technique Could Harvest More of the Sun's Energy

11-26-14

Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science as well as Director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute, and colleagues have created a new technique to harness the lost energy from solar panels. “Silicon absorbs only a certain fraction of the spectrum, and it's transparent to the rest. If I put a photovoltaic module on my roof, the silicon absorbs that portion of the spectrum, and some of that light gets converted into power. But the rest of it ends up just heating up my roof," explains Professor Atwater. Now they have found a way to absorb and make use of these infrared waves with a structure composed not of silicon, but entirely of metal. [Caltech story]

Tags: Harry Atwater APhMS energy research highlights

Djorgovski
New Center for Data-Driven Discovery (CD3)

11-21-14

The new Center for Data-Driven Discovery (CD3) aims to hasten data-driven discoveries by making expertise and advanced computational tools available to Caltech researchers in various disciplines. The center also complements the resources available at JPL's Center for Data Science and Technology. [Caltech story]

Tags: CMS

Guruswami-ravichandran
Professor Ravichandran Receives the Warner T. Koiter Medal

11-20-14

Guruswami (Ravi) Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr. Professor of Aerospace and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, as well as Director of GALCIT, has been awarded the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Warner T. Koiter Medal. He received the medal, “for outstanding scientific, engineering, and mentoring contributions in the areas of ultra-high strain rate mechanics of ceramics and metals, and pioneering and innovative experiments to advance our understanding of coupled phenomena in the fields of smart materials and cellular mechanics.”

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Tags: Guruswami Ravichandran GALCIT MCE honors

Simona-bordoni
Professor Bordoni Receives Young Investigator Award in Environmental Sciences

11-19-14

Simona Bordoni, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, has received a Young Investigator Award in Environmental Sciences from the Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation (ISSNAF). The award is given to early stage investigators working in North America whose commitment to their discipline of study is innovative, impactful, and honors their country of origin. Professor Bordoni received the award for her research in fundamental monsoon dynamics, specifically aquaplanet monsoons and their response to climate changes. She has also received a medal from the President of the Italian Republic, "Medaglia di Rappresentanza del Presidente della Repubblica Italiana." [Research abstract]

Tags: Simona Bordoni ESE honors research highlights

Yisong-yue
Converting Data Into Knowledge

11-17-14

Yisong Yue, Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, has focused his research in machine learning. He explains, “machine learning is the study of how computers can take raw data or annotated data and convert that into knowledge and actionable items, ideally in a fully automated way—because it's one thing to just have a lot of data, but it's another thing to have knowledge that you can derive from that data.” [Interview with Professor Yue] [ENGenious article]

Tags: Yisong Yue CMS research highlights

Austin-minnich
Heat Transfer Sets the Noise Floor for Ultrasensitive Electronics

11-10-14

Austin Minnich, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, and colleagues have identified a source of electronic noise that could affect the functioning of instruments operating at very low temperatures, such as devices used in radio telescopes and advanced physics experiments. The team's findings also suggest that it may be possible to develop engineering strategies to make phonon heat transfer more efficient at low temperatures. For example, one possibility might be to change the design of transistors so that phonon generation takes place over a broader volume. "If you can make the phonon generation more spread out, then in principle you could reduce the temperature rise that occurs," Professor Minnich says. "We don't know what the precise strategy will be yet, but now we know the direction we should be going. That's an improvement." [Caltech release]

Tags: Austin Minnich MCE APhMS research highlights

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