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2013 Caltech Distinguished Alumni

03-19-13

Caltech has recognized four Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor regularly bestowed by the Institute. They are Y. C. L. Susan Wu (PhD '63 Aeronautics), Sébastien M. Candel (MS '69 and PhD '72 in Mechanical Engineering), Uma R. Chowdhry (MS '70 Engineering Science), and James R. Fruchterman (BS '80 Engineering and Applied Science, MS '80 Applied Physics). [Caltech Release]

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Distinguished Caltech Alumnus Receives Civilian Honor from the President of India

01-25-13

Caltech Distinguished Alumnus Roddam Narasimha (PhD '61, AE) has received the honor of Padma Vibhushan which is the second highest civilian honor of the Government of India. [The Hindu News]

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Paul MacCready Papers to be Digitized

05-06-12

The MacCready family have made a generous gift for the processing and digitizing of the papers of Caltech alumnus, inventor and entrepreneur Paul B. MacCready (1925-2007).  Paul B. MacCready pioneered alternative energy solutions through his company,  AeroVironment. In the mid-1970s he began work on the celebrated human-powered Gossamer aircraft series, beginning with the Gossamer Condor. He continued to work on the problems of solar-powered flight and unmanned aircraft, but his interest in environmentally friendly technology also led him to innovative electric and hybrid automotive vehicles, micro-air vehicles and the high altitude, long endurance Helios solar aircraft for telecommunications, imaging and scientific research.

The MacCready digitization project will be the first on the part of the Caltech Archives to make an entire paper, artifact, image and analog media collection available on the internet to the widest possible public.  [Archives News]

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David Thompson Receives International von Kármán Wings Award

10-05-11

Alumnus David W. Thompson (M.S. '78) who is also the co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orbital Sciences Corporation is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious International von Kármán Wings Award. He was honored for his leadership of Orbital over the past three decades, which has pioneered new classes of rockets and satellites that have helped to make space applications more affordable and accessible to people and enterprises around the world. The von Kármán Wings Award acknowledges outstanding contributions by international innovators, leaders, and pioneers in aerospace and is presented by the Aerospace Historical Society, which is part of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories at Caltech (GALCIT). [Orbital Press Release]

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EAS Remembers David Barish

01-04-10

Aeronautics alumni David Barish, who among other accomplishments was the developer the paraglider, passed away on December 15, 2009. [New York Times Article]

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Economist Article Draws on the Work of EAS Alumni and Faculty

12-02-09

A recent Economist article entitled "Lagrangian Coherent Structures: The skeleton of water" draws on the work of alumni George Haller (PhD '94 in Applied Mechanics) and Francois Lekien (PhD '03 in Control and Dynamical Systems), as well as John Dabiri, Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering and Jerrold Marsden, Carl F Braun Professor of Engineering, Control and Dynamical Systems, and Applied and Computational Mathematics. [Economist Article]

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EAS Remembers Tsien Hsue-Shen

11-02-09

Qian Xuesen (also known as Tsien Hsue-Shen) (Aeronautics PhD '39), passed away on October 31, 2009. He was a student of Professor Theodore von Kármán and one of the founders of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Dr. Tsien Hsue-Shen was one of the great scientist-engineers of the past century. He played an important role in the history of Caltech and the development of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. We are also very proud of his many accomplishments in China." said President Chameau. [Caltech Archives]

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President Obama Presents Three EAS Faculty with the PECASE

07-10-09

In a special White House ceremony, President Obama will be presenting three EAS faculty: John Dabiri, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, Beverley McKeon, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics, and Joel Tropp, Assistant Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics, with the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). "These extraordinarily gifted young scientists and engineers represent the best in our country," President Obama said. Dabiri,describes the idea behind his PECASE-winning research as "giving underwater vehicles the enhanced performance of fish (e.g. efficiency, stealth, and maneuverablity) without mimicking the shape and swimming motions of fish. Instead, we replicate the vortex dynamics in the wakes of swimming fish." His "bio-inspired systems" were used by Lydia Ruiz (PhD '09 Mechanical Engineering), to demonstrateincreases in vehicle propulsive efficiency of over 50 percent.

McKeon is receiving the PECASE for her research on fundamental questions in complex turbulent boundary layers. McKeon states that "the ultimate goal is to incorporate recent advances in the understanding of flow physics in order to develop low order models of flow over surfaces for Air Force applications". Tropp's PECASE-winning research "focuses on developing new algorithms for solving inverse problems, a basic challenge that arises throughout the mathematical sciences. Inverse problems also appear in medical imaging, in communication systems, in statistical data analysis, and a host of other areas." He uses tools from modern applied mathematics, such as optimization techniques and randomized algorithms to collect partial information about an object of interest, and incorporate additional background knowledge to develop a complete picture of the object.

Other researchers receiving the PECASE award this year are Joshua K. Willis from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the following Caltech Alumni Elizabeth Boon, (PhD '03 CCE), Markus J. Buehler, (Post doc in CCE) Michael J. Hochberg, (Ph.D. '06 EAS - Applied Physics), Justin K. Romberg, (Post doc in EAS - Applied and Computational Mathematics), Cecilia R. Aragon, (B.S. '82 PMA), Jason Graetz, (Ph.D. '03 EAS - Materials Science), and Ioannis Chasiotis, (Ph.D. '02 EAS - Aerospace). 

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