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Caltech Undergraduates Receive Visionary Concept Award

11-21-22

Caltech Undergraduates have received the Visionary Concept Award at the NASA BIG Idea Challenge for their Lunar Architecture for Tree Traversal In-Service-Of Cabled Exploration (LATTICE) concept. [NASA story]

Tags: Paul Dimotakis Charles Elachi Soon-Jo Chung Michael Mello Jason Kastner Issa Nesnas Steve Wall

ME72: Live and In-Person Once More

03-23-22

Robots from five teams battled one another on the Ramo Auditorium stage on March 10, 2022. The all-day competition was the final exam for the ME72 Engineering Design Laboratory course, which is taught by Michael Mello, Teaching Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering. Each year, students in the two-term class are asked to design and build robots that meet particular criteria with the goal of having the machines square off in a design competition at the end of the second term. This was the 37th annual edition of the competition, which—in the years before the pandemic—always drew large crowds of student spectators as well as attention from media outlets. Overall, Mello says he is proud of all of the robots his students built. "I think we could enter some of these bots in an international competition and do pretty well," he says. [Caltech story]

Tags: MCE alumni ME 72 Michael Mello Allison Cheng Sofia Kwok Vy Le Martin Peticco Sydney Richardson Saskia van Nieuwstadt

Undergraduates Recognized for Inventing Product that Would Mitigate Dust in Lunar Habitats

11-29-21

A team of Caltech undergraduates participating in NASA's 2021 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-Changing (BIG) Idea Challenge has earned the award for Best Developed Product. The Habitat Orientable & Modular Electrodynamic Shield (HOMES) team earned the Best Developed Product award, because—as noted by NASA—"it's not a concept; it's reality."  [Caltech story]

Tags: GALCIT Charles Elachi Manan Arya Soon-Jo Chung Michael Mello Jason Kastner Richard Abbott

Professor Mello Receives M.M. Frocht Award

01-11-21

Michael Mello, Teaching Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, has received the 2021 M.M. Frocht Award. The award recognizes "outstanding achievement as an educator in the field of experimental mechanics." [Past Recipients]

Tags: honors MCE Michael Mello

ASCIT Teaching Award

06-11-20

Michael Mello, Teaching Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, has been chosen by the Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology (ASCIT) to receive a 2019-2020 ASCIT Teaching Award. These awards recognize individuals who inspire and motivate students, are approachable, and present course material effectively and efficiently.

Tags: honors MCE teaching Michael Mello

Michael Mello Receives Northrop Grumman Prize for Excellence in Teaching

06-01-20

Michael Mello, Teaching Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, is the recipient of the 2020 Northrop Grumman Prize for Excellence in Teaching. The Prize is awarded to an EAS professor or lecturer who demonstrates, in the broadest sense, unusual ability, creativity, and innovation in undergraduate and graduate classroom or laboratory teaching. A nomination for Professor Mello read, “Dr. Mello is one of the most outstanding and gifted instructors I have seen at Caltech in the last 30 years”.

Tags: honors MCE teaching Michael Mello

Amphibious Robots Storm Millikan Pond for ME 72

03-18-20

Caltech's annual engineering design competition returned for its 35th installment. Five teams of Caltech undergraduates spent months building three amphibious remote-controlled robots per team that could drive into Millikan Pond and speed across the water to drop, shoot, or push balls into targets and outscore the opposing team. It was a high-stakes afternoon of capsizing, cheering, and triumph. [Caltech story]

Tags: MCE ME 72 Michael Mello

Robots Make a Big Splash in Annual Engineering Competition

03-15-19

On Tuesday Milikan Pond was transformed into an aquatic arena where amphibious robots duked it out in Caltech's annual ME72 design competition. The competition serves as the final exam for the ME72 Engineering Design Laboratory course, which is taught by Michael Mello (PhD '12). The event challenged four student teams to build three robots each. The robots had to be capable of traversing both land and water and collecting floating balls. [Caltech story & videos]

Tags: MCE alumni ME 72 Michael Mello

Winners of the 2012 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced

06-14-12

The student winners of the 2012 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at a special luncheon with the Demetriades - Tsafka – Kokkalis family. Philip Romero received the prize in Biotechnology for his work on developing statistical models of proteins with Frances Arnold. Michael Mello was the recipient of the prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection for his work with Ares Rosakis on developing a novel methodology for identifying the unique ground motion signatures of supershear earthquakes. Leslie O’Leary received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources for her pathbreaking work on the properties of semiconductor interfaces with Nate Lewis and Bob Grubbs. This year there were two winners for the prize in Nanotechnology. One winner was Andrew Jennings for his experimental and modeling work in nanomechanics with Julia Greer. The other winner of the Nanotechnology prize was Jordan Raney who has worked with Chiara Daraio to develop new chemical synthesis methods to control the properties of carbon nanotubes.

Tags: APhMS honors research highlights Chiara Daraio GALCIT MCE Nate Lewis Julia Greer Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Ares Rosakis Frances Arnold Philip Romero Leslie O’Leary Bob Grubbs Andrew Jennings Jordan Raney Michael Mello