In celebration of Women’s History Month, influential women leaders from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Caltech gathered at the JPL von Karman auditorium. Present at the event, entitled Women Making History, were the 2015 honorees for Women@JPL as well as Caltech faculty and staff. It was an opportunity for women at different stages of their career to meet and network. EAS faculty were represented by Professors Bordoni, Greer, and Hunt. The JPL Advisory Council for Women was the lead organizer of the event.
Simona Bordoni, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, has received a Young Investigator Award in Environmental Sciences from the Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation (ISSNAF). The award is given to early stage investigators working in North America whose commitment to their discipline of study is innovative, impactful, and honors their country of origin. Professor Bordoni received the award for her research in fundamental monsoon dynamics, specifically aquaplanet monsoons and their response to climate changes. She has also received a medal from the President of the Italian Republic, "Medaglia di Rappresentanza del Presidente della Repubblica Italiana." [Research abstract]
Andrew Thompson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, who uses autonomous underwater instruments and numerical models to study ocean currents and eddies. As well as their impact on Earth's ecology and climate, has been awarded a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering. Packard Fellowships are awarded to the nation's "most innovative early-career scientists and engineers" to provide them with "flexible funding and the freedom to take risks and explore new frontiers in their fields," according to the foundation. [Caltech Release]
The Thomson Reuters compilation of the most highly cited researchers— those in the top 1%—from the period 2002–2012 include EAS professors Harry Atwater, Richard Murray, Joel Tropp, John Seinfeld, Kerry Vahala, and Paul Wennberg. Other Caltech professors were also among the top 1%—including Colin Camerer, Mark Davis, Richard Ellis, William Goddard, Robert Grubbs, Hiroo Kanamori, Jeff Kimble, John O’Doherty, and Charles Steidel. This compilation aims to identify researchers with exceptional impact on their respective fields. [Detailed information on the methodology]
The Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Charles Elachi, and the Chair of Caltech’s EAS Division, Ares Rosakis, recently hosted the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Dr. Koppillil Radhakrishnan. The visit focused on plans regarding a joined Earth-orbiting mission that will be the first radar mission to systematically and globally study the solid Earth, the ice masses, and ecosystems, all of which are sparsely sampled at present. While at Caltech Dr. Koppillil Radhakrishnan visited research facilities and delivered the Klein Lecture in Aerospace. In his presentation he highlighted the long history of connections between engineers and scientist at Caltech and in India. Dr. Radhakrishnan prides himself to be the last student of Caltech alumnus Satish Dhawan (Eng '49, PhD '51) who participated in the creation of India's space program. “Caltech has been instrumental in the training of many international space leaders,” explains Chair Rosakis “these include Satish Dhawan who was pivotal in the creation of the Indian space program and Tsien Hsue-Shen who was the father of Chinese rocketry.” Last year the Indian Department of Space and ISRO established a fellowship at Caltech in the name of Satish Dhawan to further encourage the training of Indian students at Caltech and specifically at GALCIT.
Thomas F. Rosenbaum has been named the ninth president of Caltech. Dr. Rosenbaum, is currently the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago, where he has served as the university's provost for the past seven years. Also joining Caltech and the EAS Division will be Dr. Rosenbaum's spouse, Katherine T. Faber, the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. Professor Faber's research focuses on understanding stress fractures in ceramics, as well as on the fabrication of ceramic materials with controlled porosity, which are important as thermal and environmental barrier coatings for engine components. She is also the codirector of the Northwestern University-Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS), which employs advanced materials science techniques for art history and restoration. [Caltech Release]
With a $10 million gift, the Los Angeles–based Otis Booth Foundation has created and endowed the Otis Booth Leadership Chair for the Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) at Caltech. "The first funds from the endowment will support time-sensitive research that is too high risk for most traditional grants," says Chair Ares Rosakis, the inaugural holder of the Booth Leadership Chair. "I am excited to see what inventions and ideas become realities as Dr. Rosakis and his successors at the helm of EAS use this endowment now and far into the future," says Lynn Booth, president of the Otis Booth Foundation, a Caltech trustee, and a prominent Los Angeles philanthropist. [Caltech Release]
Caltech's 119th Commencement Ceremony was held on Friday, June 14th, 2013 celebrated the accomplishments of 588 graduates, awarding 256 bachelor's degrees, 96 master's degrees, 2 engineer degrees, and 236 doctoral degrees. The graduates were addressed by the University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman. She used the life and career of Caltech alumnus Frank Robert Capra, one of America's most powerful directors during the 1930s and the directory of It's a Wonderful Life (1946), to inspire the graduating students. She emphasized the main message of the movie "that each of us touches more than we can appreciate". [Facts about the class of 2013]