News & Events



Digital Holographic Microscopy


Professor Morteza Gharib, and Dr. Jay Nadeau from GALCIT, as well as Dr. Christian Lindensmith from JPL are three of the four principle investigators on the holographic microscope project, dubbed SHAMU (Submersible Holographic Astrobiology Microscope with Ultraresolution). Their ultimate goal is to send the microscope on a spacecraft to search for biosignatures—signs of life—on other worlds such as Mars or Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. Holography is a method for recording holistic information about the light bouncing off a sample so that a 3-D image can be reconstructed at some later time. Compared to microscopy, holography offers the advantages of focusing over a relatively large volume and of capturing high-resolution images, without the trouble of moving parts that could break in extreme environments or during a launch or landing. [Caltech feature] [Videos of microbial mobility]

Tags: Morteza Gharib Jay Nadeau Christian Lindesmith GALCIT JPL research highlight


Dr. van Zyl Receives Honorary Doctorate


Dr. Jakob J. van Zyl (PhD ’86 EE), Caltech Senior Faculty Associate in Electrical Engineering and Aerospace, as well as the Associate Director of Project Formulation and Strategy at JPL, will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering (DIng) degree from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Dr. van Zyl was born in Outjo, Namibia and received his first degree in electrical engineering from the University of Stellenbosch . He then came to Caltech where he obtained his Masters and PhD in electrical engineering.

Tags: Jakob van Zyl EE GALCIT JPL alumni honors


New EAS Division Chair Announced


Guruswami Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering; Director, Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, has been selected as the new chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) effective September 1, 2015. "I believe, based on the evaluation of the search committee and on my own interactions with him, that Ravi not only has the judgment, energy, and vision to lead the division creatively and effectively, but that he will also be an outstanding advocate for the division," said Edward Stolper, Carl and Shirley Larson Provostial Chair and William E. Leonhard Professor of Geology, in an announcement to the EAS faculty. Professor Ravichandran commented, "During my tenure, I would like to see that we attract the best faculty and students to EAS and the Institute who will enable interdisciplinary activities across Caltech and contribute to frontiers of engineering science and technology. I would like to see a more diverse body of students and faculty, who will enrich EAS and the Institute, and I would like to see EAS be at the forefront of technological revolution based on our unique ability to drive advances through basic research.” [Caltech Release]

Tags: Guruswami Ravichandran Edward Stolper GALCIT MCE honors


Professor Gharib Receives APS Fluid Dynamics Prize


Morteza Gharib, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Bioinspired Engineering, has been selected to receive the 2015 Fluid Dynamics Prize of the American Physical Society (APS). This prize is the highest award given by the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics for outstanding contributions to fundamental fluid dynamics research. It recognizes Professor Gharib's seminal contributions to measurement techniques in experimental fluid mechanics, elucidation of governing physical principles in flow-structure interactions and vortex dynamics, and creative application of these concepts to a variety of important problems in biological fluid dynamics and beyond.

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Professors Rosakis and Daraio Honored by Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM)


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, is the 2015 recipient of the Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal “for innovative singular theoretical and experimental contributions in dynamic fracture and optical techniques, and their application to rupture faults.” The Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal is awarded by the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM) and recognizes an individual for distinguished, innovative, and outstanding work that has realized the impact of experimental mechanics on other scientific and engineering fields through an integrated multidisciplinary research. Professor Rosakis received the award at the 2015 SEM annual conference. At the same event Professor Chiara Daraio and colleagues received the 2015 M. Hetényi Award for best research paper published in Experimental Mechanics. Furthermore, EAS alumnus Hugh Bruck became a 2015 fellow and EAS alumnus John Lambros received the M.M. Frocht Award.

Tags: Ares Rosakis Chiara Daraio Hugh Bruck John Lambros GALCIT APhMS honors


Dr. Rittel Recognized by Academy of Sciences of Turin


Dr. Daniel Rittel, long term GALCIT Visiting Associate working with Professors Ravichandran and Rosakis, has been awarded the 2015 “Angiola Gili e Cataldo Agostinelli” international prize for Applied or Theoretical Mechanics by the Academy of Sciences of Turin, Italy. Dr. Rittel has performed pioneering research in the mechanics of materials, with particular focus on the coupling thermomechanical solids. His work has demonstrated that the energy stored in the material is not only due to thermodynamic effects, but also due to changes in the microstructure identified as dynamic recrystallization. His research has also led to a paradigm shift in the modeling of the localization phenomena of sliding dynamics, combining the science of materials with the mechanics using numerical simulations. [List of past recipients]

Tags: Daniel Rittel Guruswami Ravichandran Ares Rosakis GALCIT research highlights honors


121st Commencement Ceremony


Caltech’s 121st commencement ceremony was held on Friday June 12, 2015. The commencement speaker was cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell, an expert on the intersection of culture and technology. She reminded the graduates that it is the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law which she referred to as a bold statement of engineering and a promise about the state of the future. She asked the graduates to not only bring their technical skills to the table, but also their humanity and obligation to make the work a better place. [View Dr. Bell’s commencement address]

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Professor Meiron Receives Excellence in Teaching Award


Dan Meiron, Fletcher Jones Professor of Aeronautics and Applied and Computational Mathematics, has received a 2014-2015 Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology (ASCIT) Teaching Award. [List of past recipients]

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Professor Ravichandran Receives Werner Köster Prize


Guruswami Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace and Professor of Mechanical Engineering as well as Director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, and his former postdoctoral scholar Dr. Laurence Bodelot have been selected to receive the 2014 Werner Köster Prize for their paper entitled “Experimental determination of a representative texture and insight into the range of significant neighbouring grain interactions via orientation and misorientation statistics.

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Tags: Guruswami Ravichandran Laurence Bodelot GALCIT MCE honors


Moore Distinguished Scholar Receives Space Technology Award


Robert Braun, Caltech Moore Distinguished Scholar and Georgia Institute of Technology Professor of Space Technology, has received the American Astronautical Society (AAS) Space Technology Award "for extraordinary contributions in technology to enable the landing of vehicles on other planets, and for creating NASA technology development programs designed to build our nation’s future space capabilities and solve grand societal challenges on Earth.” When asked about the award, Dr. Braun remarked, “receiving this inaugural honor while a Moore Distinguished Scholar at Caltech will always be special to me.”

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Department of Aerospace (GALCIT)