News & Events


Sorina Lupu Chosen for the Future Space Leaders Foundation (FSLF) Grant Program


Sorina Lupu, a PhD student in Aerospace, working with Soon-Jo Chung, Bren Professor of Aerospace and Control and Dynamical Systems; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist, was one of the eight young professionals chosen for the 2022-2023 Future Space Leaders Foundation (FSLF) Grant Program. Intended for U.S. graduate students and young professionals who are pursuing space-related careers, the program provides grants for participation in the 72nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC). 

Tags: honors GALCIT Soon-Jo Chung Sorina Lupu

Tweaking Turbine Angles Squeezes More Power Out of Wind Farms


A new control algorithm for wind farms that alters how individual turbines are oriented into the wind promises to boost farms' overall efficiency and energy output by optimizing how they deal with their turbulent wake. "Individual turbines generate choppy air, or a wake, which hurts the performance of every turbine downwind of them," says John O. Dabiri, Centennial Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering. "To cope with that, wind farm turbines are traditionally spaced as far apart as possible, which unfortunately takes up a lot of real estate." [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MCE John Dabiri alumni Michael Howland

Improving Aircraft Design with Machine Learning and a More Efficient Model of Turbulent Airflows


Turbulent airflows are chaotic and unpredictable: consider the bumps and jolts one might experience during an airplane flight encountering turbulent air. With increased knowledge of turbulent airflows, airplane designs could become safer, more resilient, and ultimately more fuel efficient.  H. Jane Bae, Assistant Professor of Aerospace, has developed a way to use machine learning to further improve the design process. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT H. Jane Bae

Conor Martin Wins ISHPMIE Best Paper Award


Graduate Student Conor Martin has received the best paper award at the 14th International Symposium on Hazards, Prevention, and Mitigation of Industrial Explosions (ISHPMIE). The paper is titled "Thermal Ignition: Effects of Fuel, Ambient Pressure and Nitrogen Dilution."

Tags: honors GALCIT Joseph Shepherd Connor Martin

Palmer and Tawney Win Distinguished Student Paper and Best Diversity Paper Awards


Emily Palmer and Jacqueline Tawney, graduate students in GALCIT, received the Distinguished Student Paper and Best Diversity Paper awards at the 2022 ASEE conference. The paper, co-authored with Jennifer Weaver, is titled "A Model for Student-led Development and Implementation of a Required Graduate-level Course on History, Ethics, and Identity in Aerospace Engineering."

Tags: honors GALCIT Emily Palmer Jacqueline Tawney Jennifer Weaver

Vatsa Gandhi Wins International Student Paper Competition


Vatsa Gandhi, a graduate student in GALCIT has been awarded First Place in the Michael Sutton International Student Paper Competition. The title of the paper is "Full-Field Velocity Measurements in Shock Compression Experiments." [Past Recipients]

Tags: honors GALCIT Vatsa Gandhi

Michael Gonzalez Receives 2022 Henry Ford II Scholar Award


Michael Gonzalez, advised by Joel Burdick, Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist, is one of four recipients of the 2022 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Michael is interested in the crossover between Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, focusing specifically on the widespread applications of robotics. This summer, Michael will be working as a SURF fellow under Professor Soon-Jo Chung with a focus on revamping the ARCG’s autonomous flying ambulance. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: honors MCE CMS Henry Ford II Scholar Award Soon-Jo Chung Michael Gonzalez

Benedikt Barthel Receives 2022 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award


Benedikt Barthel, a graduate student working with Professor Beverley McKeon, is a recipient of the 2022 Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award. At Caltech he worked on the resolvent based analysis of turbulent flows. His work focuses on using variational, and optimization-based methods to extend the resolvent framework to the modeling of nonlinear dynamics. He is particularly interested in analytical and asymptotic methods, and how these can be combined with numerical, and data driven methods to derive simple yet useful models of complex physical phenomena. 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 Beverley McKeon Richard B. Chapman Memorial Award Benedikt Barthel

Lab Earthquakes Show How Grains at Fault Boundaries Lead to Major Quakes


By simulating earthquakes in a lab, Caltech engineers have provided strong experimental support for a form of earthquake propagation now thought responsible for the magnitude-9.0 earthquake that devastated the coast of Japan in 2011. "Our novel experimental approach has enabled us to look into the earthquake process up close, and to uncover key features of rupture propagation and friction evolution in rock gouge," says Vito Rubino, research scientist and lead author of the Nature paper. The Nature paper is titled "Intermittent lab earthquakes in dynamically weakening fault gouge." Rubino and his co-authors Nadia Lapusta, Lawrence A. Hanson, Jr., Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Geophysics, and Ares Rosakis, Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, show that so-called "stable" or "creeping" faults are not actually immune to major ruptures after all, as previously suspected. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MCE Ares Rosakis Nadia Lapusta Vito Rubino