News & Events


Professor Wennberg is the Principal Investigator on the MATMOS Instrument


Paul O. Wennberg, R. Stanton Avery Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Engineering; and Director of the Linde Center for Global Environmental Science is the principle investigator on the Mars Atmospheric Trace Molecule Occultation Spectrometer (MATMOS) instrument to be flown aboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. This instrument is being built through a partnership between Caltech and the Canadian Space Agency. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights ESE Paul Wennberg

Professor Gharib Named Vice Provost


Morteza Gharib, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Bio-Inspired Engineering, is the new Vice Provost with a special focus on research. Professor Gharib has made contributions to a wide array of research topics ranging from the fundamental analysis of biological flows, to the development of bio-inspired medical devices, to advanced flow visualization techniques. One of his more unusual studies was his work with a SURF student several years ago where they raised a 30000-pound obelisk into place using a single kite and speculated that the ancient Egyptians may have moved the massive stones from which the pyramids were built and raised obelisks by flying them into place! His breadth, technical strength, and enthusiasm will serve him and Caltech well as he takes on the role of Vice Provost. [Caltech Today Article]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MedE Morteza Gharib

Keenan Crane has Received a 2010 Google PhD Fellowship


Keenan M. Crane, a graduate student in Computing and Mathematical Sciences, has received a 2010 Google PhD Fellowship for his research in computer graphics. He is one of only 15 winners in the United States and Canada. The Google Fellowship program supports innovative university research in computer science.

Tags: research highlights CMS Keenan Crane

2010 World Cup Jubalani Soccer Ball Tested in Wind Tunnel


Beverley McKeon, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics, and her team test the 2010 World Cup Jubalani soccer ball in the Lucas Adaptive Wall Wind Tunnel. Their results may explain the seemingly unpredictable nature of the ball. [Caltech Press Release and Video]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT Beverley McKeon

Researchers Help Improve Air Quality


John H. Seinfeld, Louis E. Nohl Professor and Professor of Chemical Engineering, is leading a group of researchers who, for the past month, have been zigzagging across the Los Angeles basin. Using an orange and white DeHavilland Twin Otter aircraft packed with instruments, the researchers have been sampling the air, measuring particles and pollutants to help policymakers improve air quality and dampen the impacts of climate change. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights John Seinfeld

Avatar Director James Cameron Met With Caltech Faculty and Students


Avatar Director James Cameron met with Caltech faculty and students on May 4, 2010 to discuss a variety of topics including space structure systems, interdisciplinary materials and device research, and cognitive neuroscience. All present were impressed by Mr. Cameron's level of interest and engagement. Ares Rosakis, Division Chair and Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, said "if Mr. Cameron was not such an accomplished director I bet he would have made a wonderful engineer."

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MCE Ares Rosakis James Cameron

Establishing the Caltech Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy (FLOWE)


John O. Dabiri, Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, has purchased two acres of land north of Los Angeles, where he is establishing the Caltech Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy (FLOWE). The goal is "to extract significantly more wind energy from a given parcel of land than is currently possible... [by taking] advantage of constructive aerodynamic interference between closely spaced vertical-axis wind turbines." says Dabiri whose inspiration for this project came from observation of schooling fish. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT John Dabiri

Molecules that Behave Like Robots


Erik Winfree, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Computation and Neural Systems, and Bioengineering, and colleagues from Columbia University, Arizona State University, and the University of Michigan have programmed an autonomous molecular "robot" made out of DNA to start, move, turn, and stop while following a DNA track. The development could ultimately lead to molecular systems that might one day be used for medical therapeutic devices and molecular-scale reconfigurable robots—robots made of many simple units that can reposition or even rebuild themselves to accomplish different tasks. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights CMS Erik Winfree

Effects of Soot on Global Warming


John H. Seinfeld, Louis E. Nohl Professor and Professor of Chemical Engineering, and colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University, and the Georgia Institute of Technology are studying the effects of soot on global warming. The research suggests that controls on black carbon soot might not slow global warming as much as previously thought. [CMU Article]

Tags: research highlights John Seinfeld

Aseismic Slip as a Barrier to Earthquake Propagation


Tectonics Observatory researchers including Nadia Lapusta, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Geophysics, have explored the effects of aseismic slip in the aftermath of the 2007 Peru earthquake. "This large area of aseismic slip is good news," says Jean-Philippe Avouac, Director of the Tectonics Observatory and Professor of Geology. "It lowers the seismic hazard in that region, and allows us to be a little bit predictive. We cannot tell you when there will be an earthquake, but we can tell you where there is stress buildup, and where there is no stress buildup. Where there is no stress buildup, there will be no seismic rupture. That is where the earthquakes are going to stop." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights MCE Nadia Lapusta Jean-Philippe Avouac