Caltech Student Recognized as a "New Face" of Engineering

For Javad Lavaei, a PhD candidate in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech, seeking a career in engineering came naturally. Now, he has the chance to influence other young students to pursue engineering careers as part of the New Faces of Engineering program.

 

Daraio Awarded Sloan Fellowship

Caltech's Chiara Daraio is among this year's crop of Sloan Research Fellows. Daraio is one of 118 faculty from across the country to receive the two-year, $50,000 fellowship, given to early-career scientists and scholars in recognition of achievement and the potential to contribute substantially to their fields.

Caltech-Led Team Pinpoints Aggression Neurons in the Brain

Where does violence live in the brain? And where, precisely, does it lay down its biological roots? With the help of a new genetic tool that uses light to turn nerve cells on and off, a team led by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has tracked down the specific location of the neurons that elicit attack behaviors in mice, and defined the relationship of those cells to the brain circuits that play a key role in mating behaviors.

Two Caltech Professors Named to National Academy of Engineering

Two Caltech faculty members have been elected members of the 2011 class of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). The new inductees are Michael R. Hoffmann, the James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science, and Ares J. Rosakis, the Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics, professor of mechanical engineering, and chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science.

Plasmonic Metamaterials: From Microscopes to Invisibility Cloaks

A new class of artificial materials called metamaterials may one day be used to create ultrapowerful microscopes, advanced sensors, improved solar cells, computers that use light instead of electronic signals to process information, and even an invisibility cloak. In a Perspectives piece in this week's issue of the journal Science, Caltech's Harry Atwater and Purdue University colleague Alexandra Boltasseva describe advances in a particular subtype of these materials—plasmonic metamaterials. 

New Reactor Paves the Way for Efficiently Producing Fuel from Sunlight

Using a common metal most famously found in self-cleaning ovens, Sossina Haile hopes to change our energy future. The metal is cerium oxide—or ceria—and it is the centerpiece of a promising new technology developed by Haile and her colleagues that concentrates solar energy and uses it to efficiently convert carbon dioxide and water into fuels.

Caltech-Led Team Creates Damage-Tolerant Metallic Glass

A Caltech-led team has created a palladium-based metallic glass that has a combination of strength and toughness at a level not previously been seen in any other material. The study demonstrates for the first time that the metallic glasses have the capacity to become the toughest and strongest materials ever known, the researchers say. 

John Dabiri Named to EBONY "Power List"

Congratulations to Caltech's John Dabiri, who has been named to EBONY magazine's annual Power 100 List. Among his companions there: President Barack Obama, Wyclef Jean, Michael Jordan, and Will Smith.

Engineering for the Other Half

Ken Pickar's class, "Product Design for the Developing World," challenges Caltech students to solve some basic problems of the world's poor. The catch: in ten weeks, they must turn rough concepts into workable designs, including financial and market assessments. On December 7, this year's students presented their results. Their visual aids included a typically Caltech-like hodgepodge of pipes, motors, and fans—but as Pickar reminded the audience, "Prototypes aren't supposed to be elegant. They're supposed to be crude and quick."

Caltech Applied Physicist Amnon Yariv Awarded National Medal of Science

Amnon Yariv, the Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and professor of electrical engineering—a pioneer in the field of optoelectronics—has been named one of 10 recipients of the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists.

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