News & Events


Professor Seinfeld Wins 2012 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement


John H. Seinfeld, Louis E. Nohl Professor and Professor of Chemical Engineering, and past Engineering and Applied Science Division Chair has recieved the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, an honor regarded as the top prize of environmental science, environmental health, and energy. He has won the prize for "his groundbreaking work leading to the understanding of the origin, chemistry, and evolution of particles in the atmosphere." [Caltech Feature

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New Computer Model Explains Lakes and Storms on Titan


A new computer model of the atmosphere and methane cycle of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, explains baffling observations of its lakes and storms. "We have a unified explanation for many of the observed features," says Tapio Schneider, the Frank J. Gilloon Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering. "It doesn't require cryovolcanoes or anything esoteric." [Caltech Press Release]

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Number One Engineering and Technology University


For the second year the Times Higher Education world university rankings has ranked Caltech as number one in the subject of  engineering and technology. [View Rankings] [Caltech Feature]

Andrew Thompson Joins ESE Faculty


Andrew Thompson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, joined the Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences in August 2011. His research focuses on eddies in the ocean which are important for mixing the ocean and transporting heat, chemicals, and biological elements. [Caltech Press Release]

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Solar-Powered Sanitation System


Michael R Hoffmann, James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science, has received a $400,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to build a solar-powered portable toilet that could help solve a major health problem in developing countries. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights health ESE Michael Hoffmann

Linde Center's New Home Makes Headlines for Extraordinary Renovations


The Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science's new home, the Linde + Robinson Laboratory, will be the nation's first LEED Platinum laboratory and is profiled in Solutions Journal, a magazine of the Rocky Mountain Institute. The center is directed by Tapio Schneider, Frank J. Gilloon Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, and brings together faculty from different Caltech Divisions who study climate change.  [Caltech Feature] [Magazine Article]

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Warm Water Causes Extra-cold Winters


Tapio Schneider, Frank J. Gilloon Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, and Dr. Yohai Kaspi have found a mechanism that helps explain why average winter temperatures in northern Europe are at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than similar latitudes on the northeastern coast of the United States. Using computer simulations of the atmosphere, they have found that the warm water off an eastern coast will heat the air above it and lead to the formation of atmospheric waves, drawing cold air from the northern polar region. The cold air forms a plume just to the west of the warm water. In the case of the Atlantic Ocean, this means the frigid air ends up right over the northeastern United States. [Caltech Press Release]

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Professors Rosakis and Hoffmann Elected to the National Academy of Engineering


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Michael R. Hoffmann, James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Professor Rosakis was elected for discovery of intersonic rupture, contributions to understanding dynamic failure, and methods to determine stresses in thin-film structures. Professor Hoffmann was elected for oxidative treatment technologies for the removal of organic and inorganic contaminants from water.

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Tags: honors GALCIT MCE ESE Ares Rosakis National Academy of Engineering Michael Hoffmann

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