Caltech Students to Clash--Robotically

ME 72 machine design competition.

Wu elected to Chinese Academy of Science

PASADENA, Calif. — The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has announced that Theodore Yaotsu Wu, professor, emeritus, of engineering science at the California Institute of Technology, was elected as a Foreign Member of the Academy.

Wu, 78, who earned degrees from Shanghai Jiaotong University in China, Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in aeronautics from Caltech in 1952, is being recognized for his work in fluid mechanics and for his international academic interaction and collaboration, especially with CAS.

White House names Caltech's Erik Winfree as Presidential Early Career Award winner

Erik Winfree, a computer expert who hopes someday to use DNA molecules to perform computations, has been named a 2002 winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The honor, announced June 27 by the White House, is made each year to young American scientists and engineers whose innovative work is expected to lead to future breakthroughs.

Winfree, 32, is an assistant professor of computer science and computation and neural systems at the California Institute of Technology. A Caltech graduate, he has been a member of the faculty since 1999.

Alquist Medal for earthquake safetyawarded to Caltech engineer

Wilfred Iwan, a professor of applied mechanics at the California Institute of Technology, has been named the 2002 recipient of the Alquist Medal by the California Earthquake Safety Foundation.

Iwan, who is also director of Caltech's Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory, was chosen for the award in honor of "his lifetime of service to the profession of structural engineering and its application to the safety of the people of California and the world," the foundation announced.

Caltech's annual machine competitionto be held December 6

Caltech mechanical engineering students are putting in quality tool time these days to prepare for the annual ME 72 engineering design contest, a celebrated campus event in which teams of robot rovers are pitted against each other in a test of engineering design acumen, strategy, teamwork, and sheer driving skill.

This year's contest, the 17th in the annual series, will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, December 6, in Beckman Auditorium on the Caltech campus.

Machinist provides undergrads withquality time in the Caltech shop

Machinist John Van Deusen looks on approvingly as two Caltech undergraduates prepare to see how well their new robot climbs a curved wall.

The robot performs its task admirably—not necessarily a foregone conclusion in the Caltech machine shop, where dysfunctional robots have been known to come into creation. Van Deusen, ever the diplomat, passes by without commenting one way or the other.

"In ME 72 we bite our tongues a lot," Van Deusen says later. The robot the two undergrads have built is pretty much a set of felt-lined caterpillar treads linked by a single aluminum bar.

Environmental Study of Local Area Conducted by Caltech Team

California Institute of Technology researchers have received a $100,000 grant from the Alice C. Tyler Perpetual Trust to study the human impact on land and water in the San Gabriel Valley and San Gabriel River watershed. Ecosystems bordering major metropolitan areas are subject to intense pressures from pollutants produced by transportation, industrial activities, power generation, and recreational activities. This project will measure and document these environmental changes in order to predict future impacts.

Scientists achieve breakthrough in fuel-cell technology

Gasoline averaging $3 per gallon? Oil drilling in an Alaskan wildlife reserve? A need to relax air quality standards? It seems the long-term future of fossil fuels is bleak. One promising solution scientists have been studying is fuel cells, but they've had limitations too. Now, in the April 19 issue of the science journal Nature, the California Institute of Technology's Sossina M. Haile reports on a new type of fuel cell that may resolve these problems.

Impact of Caltech's Computer Science OptionCelebrated with 25th Anniversary Symposium

Computer technology pioneers and today's leading innovators in the field will gather at Caltech on April 9 and 10 for a symposium in honor of the 25th anniversary of the California Institute of Technology computer science option. The event is free and open to the public. Presentations by Caltech alumni, former and current faculty, and distinguished colleagues will take place in Beckman Institute auditorium and in the Jorgensen Laboratory of Information Science.

Caltech's annual machine competition to be held Nov. 30

PASADENA—Caltech engineering students will put their freshly built robotic rovers through their paces when they compete for top honors at the 16th annual ME72 Engineering Design Contest at 2 p.m. Thursday, November 30, in Beckman Auditorium.

The celebrated contest lets undergraduate students match wits and design acumen to see whose machine is best at performing a contrived task. The media are invited to attend and cover the event, which should last about 90 minutes.


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