PASADENA--The California Institute of Technology is pleased to announce that Caltech undergraduate Garun Gupta has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA).
Gupta's project, which involves a new method for automating auto body repair, grew from an idea he has been developing since attending high school at the California Academy of Math and Science in Carson, California. The summer after his freshman year at Caltech, Gupta met with Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Slobodan Cuk to discuss the idea, and last year, Gupta approached Visiting Professor in Engineering Kenneth Pickar for additional guidance. Both professors are acting as technical advisors on the project. Other technical advisors include Barry Megdal, lecturer in electrical engineering, and Erik Antonsson executive officer for and professor of mechanical engineering. Antonsson is also well known for having created the ME 72 design contest.
"The idea evolved from seeing a dent in my car," said Gupta. Since then, his idea has grown to the point where Gupta has been actively negotiating with other companies to invest in his developing company. "We are hoping to enter production by the end of 2000," Gupta added.
Gupta is a senior majoring in engineering and applied science. He is an active participant in campus life and is president of the Caltech Entrepreneur Club. In addition, Gupta is involved in athletics at Caltech, including tennis, golf, and occasionally surfing.
The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance is an initiative of the Lemelson National Program at Hampshire College. The NCIIA supports faculty and students who believe that the teaching of invention and innovation is critical to American higher education. NCIIA's mission is to nurture a new generation of innovators by promoting curricula designed to teach creativity, invention, and entrepreneurship.
Founded in 1891, Caltech has an enrollment of some 2,000 students, and a faculty of about 280 professorial members and 130 research members. The Institute has more than 19,000 alumni. Caltech employs a staff of more than 1,700 on campus and 5,300 at JPL.
Over the years, 27 Nobel Prizes and four Crafoord Prizes have been awarded to faculty members and alumni. Forty-three Caltech faculty members and alumni have received the National Medal of Science; and eight alumni (two of whom are also trustees), two additional trustees, and one faculty member have won the National Medal of Technology. Since 1958, 13 faculty members have received the annual California Scientist of the Year award.
On the Caltech faculty there are 75 fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and on the faculty and Board of Trustees, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 46 members of the National Academy of Engineering.