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  • Top, from left to right: Andrea M. Ghez, Mark H. Kryder, Simon Ramo. Bottom, from left to right: Charles E. Wheatley III, Clyde A. Hutchison III.
03/19/2012 07:00:00

Caltech Names Five Distinguished Alumni

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has recognized five of its graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Since its inception in 1966, the award has been granted to outstanding alumni in the sciences, engineering, business, and the arts for a particular achievement or series of achievements. 

The 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are:

Andrea M. Ghez (MS '89, PhD '93), for her role in demonstrating the existence of a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy and providing an opportunity to study the fundamental laws of physics in the extreme environment near a black hole.

Clyde A. Hutchison III (PhD '69), for his work in determining the first complete sequence of a DNA molecule and in developing site-directed mutagenesis, and for his work on synthetic genomics.

Mark H. Kryder (MS '66, PhD '70), for his work on perpendicular recording technology, which is used in every hard disk drive, and on full disk encryption, which today is used to prevent the theft of stored data.

Simon Ramo (PhD '36), for a lifetime of contributions, including pioneering work with microwaves, the development of the GE electron microscope, the advancement of missile and rocket technology, and the creation of vital and influential companies.

Charles E. Wheatley III (BS '56), for his work with spread spectrum systems and his contributions to the design and development of CDMA cellular systems supporting high-speed data transfer and GPS systems.

The awards will be presented at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Beckman Auditorium on the Caltech campus.

Read full profiles of this year's recipients on the Caltech Alumni Association site.

Written by Katie Neith