News & Events


Naturally Inspired


Morteza Gharib, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Bioinspired Engineering, and colleagues are studying the properties of the zebrafish embryonic heart to address problems as diverse as ringing in the ears and overheated electronics. They have also developed the first pump built entirely from biological building blocks. “We can actually be more clever than nature,” Gharib says. “We can get inspired by nature and use engineering to come up with better functions. Just look at 747s—they fly from LAX to La Guardia much more efficiently than any bird could.” 

Tags: energy research highlights GALCIT MedE health Morteza Gharib Bioinspired

Professor Vaidyanathan Receives Education Award


P. P. Vaidyanathan, Professor of Electrical Engineering, has been selected to receive the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Signal Processing Society Education Award. This award honors educators who have made pioneering and significant contributions to signal processing education. Nominees are judged by a career of meritorious achievement in signal processing education as exemplified by writing of scholarly books and texts, course materials, and papers on education; inspirational and innovative teaching; creativity in the development of new curricula and methodology. [Learn more about Professor Vaidyanathan]

Tags: EE honors P. P. Vaidyanathan Digital Signal Processing

Explaining Superconductivity at High Temperatures


William A. Goddard III, Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics, and colleagues have developed a hypothesis to explain the strange behavior of high-temperature superconductors—copper oxides, or cuprates, that conduct electricity without any resistance at temperatures much higher than other superconducting metals. Their hypothesis also points the way to a method for making even higher-temperature superconductors. [Caltech press release]

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Four EAS Faculty Receive Named Chairs


Professors James (Jim) L. Beck, Sossina M. Haile, Melany L. Hunt, and Rob Phillips have received named chairs.  Jim Beck has been named the George W. Housner Professor of Engineering and Applied Science.  Sossina Haile has been named the Carl F Braun Professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering. Melany Hunt has been named the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Rob Phillips has been named the Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biophysics and Biology.

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Tags: APhMS honors research highlights MCE Sossina Haile James Beck Rob Phillips Melany Hunt

Accelerating Nanoscience out of the Laboratory and into the Marketplace


The Alliance for Nanosystems VLSI (very-large-scale-integration)—a collaboration between the Kavli Nanoscience Institute and Leti-Minatec in France—has launched its first start-up company. The Alliance, which began informally in 2005, was officially created in 2007 to transform academic, nanotechnology-based prototypes into robust, complex sensing systems and thus accelerate nanoscience out of the laboratory and into the marketplace. The start-up company, Analytical Pixels, will focus on the design, manufacture, and commercialization of multi-gas sensing systems created over the past five years in the field of nanoelectromechanical devices, read-out electronics, and system integration, and built on two decades of prior research carried out at Caltech. [Caltech Feature]

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Tags: APhMS research highlights Michael Roukes Oskar Painter KNI

Dr. Holzmann Becomes An ACM Fellow


Gerard J. Holzmann, Faculty Associate and Lecturer in Computing and Mathematical Sciences and Lead Scientist of the Laboratory for Reliable Software at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has been selected into the 2011 class of fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The ACM Fellows Program recognizes and honors outstanding ACM members for their achievements in computer science and information technology. ACM Fellows also serve as distinguished colleagues to whom the ACM and its members look for guidance and leadership as the world of information technology evolves. [Learn more]

Tags: honors CMS Gerard Holzmann

NASA Software of the Year Award


Michele Judd, Managing Director of the Keck Institute for Space Studies, and the rest of the Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) research team have won the 2011 NASA Software of the Year Award. This prestigious award is designed to give recognition to developers of exceptional software created for NASA. [NASA Press Release]

Tags: honors KISS Michele Judd

DNA Robotics Research Earns Undergrads a Gold Prize


Undergraduate students Zibo Chen, Shayan Doroudi, Yae Lim Lee, Gregory Izatt, and Sarah Wittman have won a gold award at the 2011 International Bio-Molecular Design Competition (BIOMOD). BIOMOD is a competition for undergraduate teams who design research to address the control of biomolecules on the nanometer scale. The Caltech team's challenge was to make a synthetic DNA robot that has the ability to take a random walk —instead of walking on set path or track—on a two-dimensional origami surface that was also made out of DNA. The team is mentored by Professor Erik Winfree and sponsored by the Molecular Programming Project. [Caltech Feature] [Video of Project]

Tags: EE research highlights health CMS Erik Winfree Zibo Chen Shayan Doroudi Yae Lim Lee Gregory Izatt Sarah Wittman

Light as a Feather, Stiffer Than a Board


Julia R. Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, and colleagues have developed the world’s lightest solid material, with a density of 0.9 milligrams per cubic centimeter. The new material, called a micro-lattice, relies, on a lattice architecture: tiny hollow tubes made of nickel-phosphorous are angled to connect at nodes, forming repeating, asterisklike unit cells in three dimensions. "We're entering a new era of materials science where material properties are determined not only by the microscopic makeup of the material but also by the architecture of the constituents," Greer says. [Caltech Feature]

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