News & Events


One Step at a Time: A Conversation with Professor Ames


Aaron Ames, Bren Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, handbuilds bipedal robots and designs the algorithms that govern how they walk. These algorithms couple efficiency equations with boundary constraints to teach robots to generate their own walking gait. [Interview with Professor Ames]

Tags: research highlights MCE CMS Aaron Ames

Professor Wennberg Elected to the National Academy of Sciences


Paul O. Wennberg, R. Stanton Avery Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Science and Engineering, as been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. His work applies traditional physical chemistry techniques to study the mechanisms of chemical transformation in the earth's atmosphere and in the carbon cycle. This research has helped create the Total Carbon Column Observing Network, which measures the distribution of greenhouse gases across the globe. [Caltech release]

Tags: honors research highlights ESE Paul Wennberg NAS

Earthquakes Can Make Thrust Faults Open Violently and Snap Shut


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, and colleagues at Caltech and École normale supérieure in Paris have discovered that fast ruptures propagating up toward the earth's surface along a thrust fault can cause one side of a fault to twist away from the other, opening up a gap of up to a few meters that then snaps shut. [Caltech story]

Tags: GALCIT MCE Ares Rosakis Hiroo Kanamori Harsha Bhat Vahe Gabuchian

The Future is Autonomous


On April 19, 2017 Electrical Engineering alumnus Evangelos Simoudis (BS '83) moderated a panel titled "The Road Ahead: A Panel on the Future of Driverless Vehicles," hosted by the Caltech Associates. The panel members were Professors Mory Gharib, Richard Murray, and Pietro Perona, along with Reuters automotive industry reporter, Paul Lienert. They discuss a variety of opportunities and challenges associated with autonomous technologies and systems. Beyond the legal and ethical challenges, several technological obstacles must be overcome before driverless cars become common on the road. One key challenge is teaching driverless cars how to read the behavior of other cars and react accordingly. Professor Perona described the problem of a car attempting to merge onto a crowded freeway. A driverless car would see an impenetrable wall of vehicles, but a human driver could edge forward and wave at other drivers to work his or her way into the line of traffic. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE GALCIT CMS Morteza Gharib Pietro Perona alumni Richard Murray Evangelos Simoudis Paul Lienert

Professor Beck Receives Housner Medal


James L. Beck, George W. Housner Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, has been selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Engineering Mechanics Institute to receive the 2017 George W. Housner Structural Control and Monitoring Medal “For his exceptional and influential scholarship in structural monitoring and control research, and for his leadership in tackling uncertainty and model complexity through probabilistic approaches with emphasis on Bayesian methods.”

Tags: honors MCE James Beck CMS

Black Silicon Prevents Eye Implant from Gumming Up


Hyuck Choo, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute, and colleagues have developed an eye implant for glaucoma patients that could one day lead to more timely and effective treatment. Professor Choo has developed a passive system that eschews electronics and so needs no batteries and has no antennae. At just 600–800 micrometers in diameter, the sensor is the width of a few strands of hair. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights MedE Hyuck Choo

The Human Side of Engineering


The course Design for Freedom from Disability (E/ME/MedE 105a) taught by Professor Ken Pickar and Andy Lin, a rehab engineer at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehab Center, has given undergraduate students Stephanie Moon and Lawrence Lee a new view of the power engineers have to benefit others. [Learn more]

Tags: MCE Ken Pickar Andy Lin Stephanie Moon Lawrence Lee

The Adventure Continues


Our day-to-day world is shaped by technologies that can be traced back to Professor Carver Mead and his protégés at Caltech. Such as the device you’re using to read this story. [Learn more]

Tags: EE CMS Carver Mead

Observations Reshape Basic Plasma Wave Physics


Paul M. Bellan, Professor of Applied Physics , and colleagues have discovered a new way to determine the wavelength of energy flowing through plasma in space—a method that was recently applied during a NASA mission that yielded the first solid evidence of how energy sloshes back and forth in a magnetic wave that moves through the plasma surrounding the earth. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Paul Bellan

2017 Caltech Space Challenge


Last week 32 students from around the world met up at Caltech for the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge. This year’s competition involved designing a launch-and-supply station—dubbed Lunarport—for future space missions. Lunar in-situ resource utilization could allow larger payloads to be launched from Earth, bringing deep-space a little closer for human exploration. The Caltech student organizers were Ilana Gat and Thibaud Talon. The Caltech and JPL faculty advisers were Professor Paul Dimotakis, Dr. Jakob van Zyl, and Dr. Anthony Freeman. It was an extremely close competition but Team Explorer was finally called the winner because their business plan and cost estimates were more realistic than those of Team Voyager. [Pasadena Weekly] [Radio interview with Ilana Gat] [Caltech story]

Tags: GALCIT Paul Dimotakis Space Challenge Jakob van Zyl Ilana Gat Thibaud Talon Anthony Freeman

Division of Engineering and Applied Science