News & Events



Professor Ravichandran Receives SEM Murray Lecture and Medal


Guruswami (Ravi) Ravichandran, John E. Goode, Jr. Professor of Aerospace and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director of GALCIT, has been awarded the Society of Experimental Mechanics (SEM) William M. Murray Lecture and Medal. He delivered the 2014 Murray Lecture entitled, Three-Dimensional Quantitative Visualization: Application to Studying Cell-Matrix Interactions, on June 3, 2014 during the SEM Annual Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics. The award was made in recognition of his pioneering contributions in experimental mechanics of deformation, damage and failure of materials under multiaxial dynamic loading. The Murray Lecture is the highest distinction awarded by SEM and is the prestige lecture of its annual conference.  The Murray Lecture was established in 1952 in honor of the first President of SEM, William MacGregor Murray who was a Professor and Executive Officer of Mechanical Engineering at MIT.

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Caltech and JPL Collaborate with Indian Space Program


The Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Charles Elachi, and the Chair of Caltech’s EAS Division, Ares Rosakis, recently hosted the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Dr. Koppillil Radhakrishnan.  The visit focused on plans regarding a joined Earth-orbiting  mission that will be the first radar mission to systematically and globally study the solid Earth, the ice masses, and ecosystems, all of which are sparsely sampled at present.  While at Caltech Dr. Koppillil Radhakrishnan visited research facilities and delivered the Klein Lecture in Aerospace.  In his presentation he highlighted the long history of connections between engineers and scientist at Caltech and in India.  Dr. Radhakrishnan prides himself to be the last student of Caltech alumnus Satish Dhawan (Eng '49, PhD '51) who participated in the creation of India's space program.  “Caltech has been instrumental in the training of many international space leaders,” explains Chair Rosakis “these include Satish Dhawan who was pivotal in the creation of the Indian space program and Qian Xuesen (also known as Tsien Hsue-Shen) who was the father of Chinese rocketry.” Last year the Indian Department of Space and ISRO established a fellowship at Caltech in the name of Satish Dhawan to further encourage the training of Indian students at Caltech and specifically at GALCIT.

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Tags: Koppillil Radhakrishnan Ares Rosakis Charles Elachi Satish Dhawan Qian Xuesen Tsien Hsue-Shen JPL GALCIT ESE


GALCIT Alumnus Allen E. Puckett Passes Away


Allen E. Puckett (PhD ’49 Aeronautics), pioneering aerospace engineer and chairman emeritus of Hughes Aircraft Co., passed away on March 31, 2014. He was one of the engineers who made Hughes Aircraft into the United States’ leading defense electronics firm which dominated in the markets for air defense, radar systems, tactical missiles and satellites. He began his PhD in 1941 at Caltech at the invitation of Theodore von Kármán. While at GALCIT he helped design a new supersonic wind tunnel, the first of its kind in the country. Later, he produced the calculations that led to the development of delta wing theory, which predicts the aerodynamics of supersonic aircraft and continues to be applied in the production of modern aircraft. [LA Times Obituary]

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New Dean of Undergraduate Students


John O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, will become Dean of Undergraduate Students, effective July 1, 2014. Professor Dabiri was suggested for this position by several Institute constituencies and enjoys the confidence and respect of students and faculty alike. He is particularly committed to enhancing faculty-student interactions.

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Everyone Starts Small: How Metals Learn to Behave


In his upcoming Watson Lecture Assistant Professor of Aerospace Dennis Kochmann will explain how controlling a material's complex structural details from the atomic scale up can affect its behavior in everyday life. [Interview with Professor Kochmann] [ENGenious article]

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Professor Dimotakis Receives AIAA Fluid Dynamics Award


Paul E. Dimotakis, John K. Northrop Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Applied Physics, has been selected to receive the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Fluid Dynamics Award for 2014. The award is for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the behavior of liquids and gases in motion as related to needs in aeronautics and astronautics. Professor Dimotakis is being recognized for "Fundamental contributions to turbulent mixing and combustion through careful and thorough experiments using novel techniques."

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Professor Dabiri Delivers Roddam Narasimha Distinguished Lecture


John O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, recently delivered the Roddam Narasimha Distinguished Lecture at the Indian Institute of Technology in Gandhinaga. His lecture was entitled Bio-inspired Wind Energy: From Fish Schools and Seagrass to Better Wind Farms. The Roddam Narasimha Seminar Series honors one of India’s eminent scientists and engineers. It provides a forum for young professionals to present their work in a topical area of Indian national importance.

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Professor Dimotakis Receives NASA Group Achievement Award


Paul E. Dimotakis, John K. Northrop Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Applied Physics, and his team have received a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Group Achievement Award for exceptional achievement in the successful negotiation of the new NASA Prime Contract.

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Using Space Wisely


The Winter 2013 issue of Engineering & Science features Professor Sergio Pellegrino's Space Structures Laboratory in the Guggenheim building. “The goal for much of my work,” says Pellegrino, “is to make simpler and cheaper spacecraft. I want to use clever structural engineering to make access to space more affordable.” The article also describes him and his team's work on the AAReST project (Autonomous Assembly of a Reconfigurable Space Telescope) as well as applications of his work to solar concentrators. [E&S Article]

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AIAA Gossamer Systems Forum Best Paper Award


Professor Sergio Pellegrino and colleagues, including GALCIT graduate student Gina Olson, have received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) 14th Gossamer Systems Forum Best Paper Award for their paper entitled "Deployable Helical Antennas for CubeSats". The Gossamer Systems Forum addresses recent research findings and newly proposed concepts concerning the emerging class of large-scale, lightweight structures that is enabling a paradigm shift in design, launch, and operation of spaceflight systems. [Read the paper]

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Department of Aerospace (GALCIT)