Graduate student Janna C. Nawroth, working with Professor John Dabiri and colleagues at Harvard, has turned solid element—silicon—and muscle cells into a freely swimming jellyfish.
"It is fascinating to witness the evolution of the Dabiri group's research from their initial ground-breaking work in understanding the fluid dynamics of jellyfish propulsion to the building of these complex engineered systems using biological materials," says Chair Ares Rosakis. [Caltech Press Release]
For the past few years, students in Professor Sergio Pellegrino's Aerospace Engineering course (Ae105), have helped design, prototype, and test various pieces of AAReST, a space-telescope demonstration mission currently under development. "It's really different from all of our other classes," says Aerospace graduate student Manan Arya. "You're actually doing work that's going to go into space. It's really exciting." [Caltech Feature]
Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is the recipient of the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM) 2013 P.S. Theocaris Award. This award recognizes a senior professional who is a Fellow of SEM and who has conducted outstanding research throughout his career in the field of experimental mechanics. [Caltech Spotlight] [Caltech Feature]
Philipp Boettcher, a graduate student working with Joe Shepherd, is the recipient of the 2012 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award. Dr. Boettcher has observed and characterized a new puffing flame instability in premixed initially stagnant flammable mixtures. The award is given to an EAS graduate student in hydrodynamics who has distinguished himself or herself in research.
Dennis Kochmann, Assistant Professor of Aerospace, has recieved the 2012 Graduate Student Council (GSC) Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is given by the GSC each year, with participating from the entire Caltech community, to one professor for excellence in classroom teaching.
The student winners of the 2012 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at a special luncheon with the Demetriades - Tsafka – Kokkalis family. Philip Romero received the prize in Biotechnology for his work on developing statistical models of proteins with Frances Arnold. Michael Mello was the recipient of the prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection for his work with Ares Rosakis on developing a novel methodology for identifying the unique ground motion signatures of supershear earthquakes. Leslie O’Leary received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources for her pathbreaking work on the properties of semiconductor interfaces with Nate Lewis and Bob Grubbs. This year there were two winners for the prize in Nanotechnology. One winner was Andrew Jennings for his experimental and modeling work in nanomechanics with Julia Greer. The other winner of the Nanotechnology prize was Jordan Raney who has worked with Chiara Daraio to develop new chemical synthesis methods to control the properties of carbon nanotubes.
Kaushik Bhattacharya, Howell N. Tyson, Sr., Professor of Mechanics and Professor of Materials Science, is the Caltech lead on a $90 million U.S. Army Research Laboratory funded program to improve protective gear and vehicles for soldiers. "…studying materials in very extreme conditions is an area where Caltech engineering really stand out," says Bhattacharya. "The tools we bring, on both the theoretical and experimental sides uniquely bridge deep fundamental principles with unprecedented application.” [Caltech Feature]
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]