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Warm Water Causes Extra-cold Winters

03-30-11

Tapio Schneider, Frank J. Gilloon Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, and Dr. Yohai Kaspi have found a mechanism that helps explain why average winter temperatures in northern Europe are at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than similar latitudes on the northeastern coast of the United States. Using computer simulations of the atmosphere, they have found that the warm water off an eastern coast will heat the air above it and lead to the formation of atmospheric waves, drawing cold air from the northern polar region. The cold air forms a plume just to the west of the warm water. In the case of the Atlantic Ocean, this means the frigid air ends up right over the northeastern United States. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights ESE Tapio Schneider

How an Idea Becomes a Business

03-29-11

Students in Ken Pickar's course Entrepreneurial Development (E 102) have the opportunity to identify a technology currently under study at Caltech and develop a business plan for it. The ideas used by the students this year included a solid-state memory technology developed by Jehoshua (Shuki) Bruck, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Computation and Neural Systems and Electrical Engineering. In this business plan the students proposed targeting Netflix and other high-volume streaming content providers. Another team pinpointed a new market for the vertical wind turbines of John O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering. A third team pitched a noninvasive method for breaking up arterial plaques using the concentrated-acoustic-pulse technology developed by Chiara Daraio, Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Physics. [Caltech Feature]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights Chiara Daraio GALCIT Jehoshua Bruck John Dabiri Ken Pickar

2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards are Announced

03-28-11

Caltech has recognized five of its graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor regularly bestowed by the Institute. Among them is alumnus Albert Y. C. Yu (BS '63 Engineering) who is chairman of OneAngstrom LLC. He is also chairman of the Kelvin Foundation and a founding member and an affiliate of Caltech's Information Science and Technology Advisory Board. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: honors CMS alumni

Caltech Engineering Ranks High on U.S. News Best Grad Schools List

03-15-11

Caltech continues to rate among America's top graduate engineering programs, according to the 2012 U.S. News & World Report list of the best grad schools. U.S. News surveyed administrators at more than 1,200 programs and 13,000 academics and professionals to determine the rankings, which place Caltech among the top five schools in the country in several engineering programs, including first in Aeronautical Engineering, fourth in Mechanical Engineering, and fifth in Electrical Engineering. Overall, the engineering graduate program was rated seventh in the nation. The program, which is among the nation's smallest, was singled out as being the most selective, admitting only 9 percent of prospective students. "Given our minute size, these rankings are great," said Chair Ares Rosakis. 

Tags: EE GALCIT MCE Graduate school rankings

Professor Hornung Receives the 2011 AIAA Fluid Dynamics Award

03-14-11

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has awarded Hans G. Hornung, C. L. Kelly Johnson Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus, the 2011 AIAA Fluid Dynamics Award. This is the highest and most prestigious award given by the AIAA Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee. This award recognizes Professor Hornung's outstanding career accomplishments, specifically his theoretical and experimental contributions to the transition between normal and Mach reflections, and the nonequlibrium boundary layer transition. [Past Recipients]

Tags: honors GALCIT Hans Hornung fluid dynamics

Guoan Zheng Wins $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Caltech Student Prize

03-11-11

Guoan Zheng, a graduate student in Electrical Engineering working with Professor Changhuei Yang, is the winner of this year's $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Caltech Student Prize.  He was awarded the prize for his innovative development of an on-chip, inexpensive microscopy imaging technology with many potential applications, including improved diagnostics for malaria and other blood-borne diseases in the developing world. [Press Coverage]

Tags: EE honors Changhuei Yang health Lemelson Guoan Zheng

Wendian "Leo" Shi Wins $10,000 Caltech Finalist Prize in Innovation

03-11-11

Wendian "Leo" Shi , a graduate student in Electrical Engineering working with Professor Yu-Chong Tai, is the winner of the $10,000 Caltech finalist prize in innovation generously donated by alumnus Michael W. Hunkapiller.  Shi received the prize for the invention of the "µCyto," a portable lab-on-a-chip system for determining white blood cell counts for point-of-care diagnostics. [Press Coverage]

Tags: EE honors Yu-Chong Tai Michael Hunkapiller Wendian Leo Shi Babak Hassibi

Engineering Design Competition: "Extreme Recycling"

03-10-11

Congratulations to Chris Hallacy, Brad Saund, and Janet Chen for winning the 27th Annual ME72 Engineering Design Competition! "Extreme Recycling" was the theme of this year's competition. Teams designed, built, and deployed vehicles that traversed difficult terrain in order to gather a variety of recyclables, correctly sort recyclables into bins, and return vehicles to the start zone by the end of each heat. [Caltech Feature]

Tags: honors MCE Chris Hallacy Brad Saund Janet Chen ME 72

Student Javad Lavaei Recognized as a "New Face" of Engineering

03-04-11

Graduate Student, Javad Lavaei, has been recognized by the National Engineers Week Foundation's New Faces of Engineering program for his "interesting and unique work" in Electrical Engineering and Computing and Mathematical Sciences. This program recognizes young engineers who have shown outstanding ability in projects that significantly impact public welfare or further professional development and growth. [Caltech Feature]

Tags: EE CMS

Professor Atwater Elected Fellow of the Materials Research Society

02-28-11

Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; and Director of Resnick Institute, has been elected a 2011 Materials Research Society (MRS) Fellow.  The title of MRS Fellow honors those MRS members who are notable for their distinguished research accomplishments and their outstanding contributions to the advancement of materials research, world-wide. The maximum number of new Fellow appointments each year is limited to 0.2% of the current MRS membership. The distinction is thus highly selective.

Tags: APhMS honors Harry Atwater MRS Fellow