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123rd Commencement Ceremony

06-19-17

Caltech’s 123rd commencement ceremony was held on Friday June 16, 2017. The commencement speaker was Mae Jemison, an engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut. Looking up, she said, allows us to remember that there is more that connects us than divides us. "Connection to the greater universe is something I hope for you throughout your lives. Never forget to look up and keep the bigger picture in mind. Look up at the sky, the moon, the stars when you need to recharge. Let the gravity of Earth give you a warm hug when you're feeling low. Look up to remember what inspires you. Keep the sparkle in your eyes, keep it long past graduation." [Caltech story]

Tags: Commencement Mae Jemison

Professor McKeon Receives GSC Mentoring Award

06-14-17

The Caltech Graduate Student Council (GSC) has selected Professor Beverley McKeon as the recipient of the 2016-2017, GSC Mentoring Award. The GSC Teaching and Mentoring Awards recognize individuals “who have an extraordinary impact on Caltech graduate students through their roles as teachers and mentors.” Nominations submitted by graduate students, both within and outside of GALCIT, described her commitment as a mentor.  The nominations highlighted her attentiveness, inclusivity, and great support for students. 

Tags: honors GALCIT Beverley McKeon

Chris Roh Receives 2017 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award

06-13-17

Chris Roh a graduate student working with Professor Morteza Gharib, is a recipient of the 2017 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award. His doctorate research combined his childhood love for insect and his newly found passion in fluid mechanics, investigating hydrodynamics of dragonfly larvae’s jetting and honeybees’ surfing.. The Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award is given to an EAS graduate student in hydrodynamics who has distinguished himself or herself in research.

Tags: honors GALCIT Morteza Gharib Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award Chris Roh

Professor Dickinson Joins GALCIT Faculty

06-02-17

Professor Michael Dickinson joins the GALCIT faculty as the Esther M. and Abe M. Zarem Professor of Bioengineering and Aeronautics. Professor Dickinson has spent the last 25 years creatively pairing physics with biology to probe and understand at a detailed level how animals move, behave and make decisions – work that has advanced a number of divergent fields, ranging from aerodynamics to neuroscience. GALCIT Director Mory Gharib welcomes the potential that Michael brings to GALCIT for collaborating on activities such as development of advanced experimental techniques for unsteady aerodynamic visualizations and measurements; unsteady flight dynamics and characterization of engineering principles underlying biological systems.  GALCIT is also looking forward to Professor Dickinson’s involvement in research projects under development in the Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) which is currently under construction in GALCIT.

Tags: Michael Dickinson

Earthquakes Can Make Thrust Faults Open Violently and Snap Shut

05-01-17

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

05-01-17

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

2017 Caltech Space Challenge

04-03-17

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

Professor McKeon Named Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow

03-29-17

Beverley J. McKeon, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics; Associate Director, Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, has been named by the Department of Defense (DoD) as a 2017 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow. “The fellowship program provides research awards to top-tier researchers from U.S. universities to conduct revolutionary “high risk, high pay-off” research of strategic importance to the Department of Defense,” said Mary J. Miller, acting assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering. Professor McKeon has been named a fellow in the area of fluid dynamics. Her research is employs new approaches to modeling and controlling turbulent flow. [DoD release]

Tags: honors GALCIT Beverley McKeon

President of French Space Agency Delivers Klein Lecture

03-09-17

Dr. Jean-Yves Le Gall, President the French space agency (CNES), delivered the Klein Lecture in Aerospace on March 8, 2017. Prior to his lecture Dr. Le Gall along with other officials from CNES, the French Consulate in Los Angeles, and the Klein Family met with JPL and Caltech senior executives. EAS Chair Ravichandran hosted the lecture and Professor Rosakis provided the introduction for Dr. Jean-Yves Le Gall’s lecture entitled, “The French Space Agency CNES: Inventing the Future of Space.”

Tags: Guruswami Ravichandran Ares Rosakis Jean-Yves Le Gall Klein Lecture

New President of the French Academy of Sciences

02-02-17

Alumnus Sébastien Candel (PhD '72) has been elected as president of the French Academy of Sciences (Académie des sciences, Institut de France). The Academy, which was created in 1666, is committed to the advancement of science and advises government authorities on scientific issues.  Candel obtained his PhD in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics from Caltech and is a receipient of the Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award for his contributions to aerospace. [Caltech story] [Candel's Marble Lecture]

Tags: GALCIT MCE CMS alumni Sébastien Candel