News & Events


Caltech's Approach to Graduate Education Validated


All of the 24 ranked graduate programs at Caltech have placed exceptionally high in the National Research Council (NRC) study of more than 5000 graduate research programs, validating the Caltech approach to graduate education. With respect to the EAS Division: Aeronautics, Bioengineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Science and Engineering, and Materials Science were ranked in the top five nationally irrespective of size. [Caltech NAS Rankings]


Caltech Receives $10 Million in Gifts to Help Launch New Terrestrial Hazard Center


The Terrestrial Hazard Observation and Reporting Center (THOR) has been launched in an effort to find ways to minimize the damage caused by natural hazards. THOR will span two academic divisions at Caltech, Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) and Geological and Planetary Sciences. "The interdisciplinary and interactive nature of engineering at Caltech allows us to translate scientific knowledge and discovery into applications with direct societal impact," says Ares Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering; EAS Chair. "One of the areas of pioneering research and innovation made possible by THOR is seismo-engineering. The boundaries of seismo-engineering are fuzzy ones and lie exactly in the interface between seismology and earthquake engineering. We are delighted to have the opportunity to explore these boundaries." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights MCE ESE

Congratulations to Professor Simona Bordoni


Congratulations to Simona Bordoni, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, for being selected to join The New York Academy of Sciences 2010 Science and Technology in Society (SPS) forum in Kyoto, Japan entitled "The Lights and Shadows of Science and Technology."

Tags: honors ESE Simona Bordoni

Professor Wennberg is the Principal Investigator on the MATMOS Instrument


Paul O. Wennberg, R. Stanton Avery Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Engineering; and Director of the Linde Center for Global Environmental Science is the principle investigator on the Mars Atmospheric Trace Molecule Occultation Spectrometer (MATMOS) instrument to be flown aboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. This instrument is being built through a partnership between Caltech and the Canadian Space Agency. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights ESE Paul Wennberg

Anthony Leonard and Richard Flagan Elected Members of the 2010 Class of the NAE


Anthony Leonard, Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus, and Richard C. Flagan, Irma and Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Environmental Science & Engineering; Executive Officer of Chemical Engineering, have been elected members of the 2010 class of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). NAE membership honors those who have made important contributions to engineering theory and practice, and those who have demonstrated unusual accomplishments in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology. Election to the NAE is one the highest professional distinctions an engineer can receive. Professor Flagan was elected to the NAE "for leadership in invention, measurement, production, and technology of aerosols" and Professor Leonard was elected "for contributions to simulation of turbulence, new vortex methods of flow simulation, and understanding of flow-induced vibration." [Caltech Today Article]

Tags: honors GALCIT ESE Anthony Leonard Richard Flagan National Academy of Engineering

Tapio Schneider and Colleagues Discover Storms in the Tropics of Titan


Tapio Schneider, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, and his colleagues have discover storms on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, which is generally "a very bland place, weatherwise," says Mike Brown, Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor and Professor of Planetary Astronomy. "The first cloud was seen near the tropics and was caused by a still-mysterious process, but it behaved almost like an explosion in the atmosphere, setting off waves that traveled around the planet, triggering their own clouds. Within days a huge cloud system had covered the south pole, and sporadic clouds were seen all the way up to the equator." Schneider, an expert on atmospheric circulations, was instrumental in helping to sort out the complicated chain of events that followed the initial outburst of cloud activity. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights ESE Tapio Schneider

Paul Wennberg and John Seinfeld Show How Organic Carbon Compounds Emitted by Trees Affect Air Quality


Paul Wennberg, the R. Stanton Avery Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Science and Engineering and director of the Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science, and John Seinfeld, the Louis E. Nohl Professor and professor of chemical engineering, have shown that biogenic emissions—organic carbon compounds given off by plants and trees— affect air quality. Wennberg states that, "if you mix emissions from the city with emissions from plants, they interact to alter the chemistry of the atmosphere." Seinfeld adds, "particles in the atmosphere have been shown to impact human health, as they are small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs of people. Also, aerosols impact Earth's climate through the scattering and absorption of solar radiation and through serving as the nuclei on which clouds form. So it is important to know where particles come from." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights health ESE Paul Wennberg John Seinfeld

EAS Faculty Cited in Discover Magazine's 50 Best Brains in Science Issue


Discover magazine recently published its annual 50 Best Brains in Science issue, and the "20 Under 40" list which highlights "a new generation of innovators changing the way we think about everything from theoretical mathematics to cancer therapy." Four researchers from Caltech (three from EAS) were cited: Michael Elowitz (Assistant Professor of Biology and Applied Physics; Bren Scholar; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute), Sarkis Mazmanian (Assistant Professor of Biology), Tapio Schneider (Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering), and Changhuei Yang (Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering).

Tags: EE Changhuei Yang ESE Michael Elowitz Tapio Schneider

Man-made Reef Named in Memory Wheeler North


A man-made reef designed to grow into a self-sustaining 175-acre kelp forest - the biggest environmental project of its kind in the United States - has been named in memory Wheeler North (1922–2002), professor of environmental science at Caltech who pioneered the study of kelp and what makes for a healthy reef. The Wheeler North Kelp Reef is located off the coast near San Clemente. [OC Register Article]

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Simona Bordoni and Tapio Schneider Offer New Explanation for Monsoon Development


Tapio Schneider, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, has come up with a new explanation for the formation of monsoons. Schneider and colleague Simona Bordoni, who will start as an assistant professor at Caltech in 2009, propose an overhaul of a theory about the cause of the seasonal pattern of heavy winds and rainfall that essentially had held firm for more than 300 years. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights ESE Simona Bordoni Tapio Schneider