News & Events


Professor Goddard Named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences


William A. Goddard III, Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics, has been elected to 2010 American Academy of Arts and Sciences class of fellows. Professor Goddard joins an assembly that was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholars to provide practical solutions to pressing issues. [Caltech Today Article]

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Harry Atwater Awarded Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience


Harry A. Atwater, Jr., Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, has been awarded the Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience by the Materials Research Society. His lecture was entitled "Bending Light to Our Will: Nanophotonic Structures for Terawatt-Scale Solar Energy Conversion." [MRS Article]

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Chiara Daraio Wins ONR Young Investigator Award


Chiara Daraio, Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Physics, has won the 2010 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award. The objectives of the Young Investigator Program are to attract to naval research outstanding new faculty members, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. Professor Daraio's award is for her experimental study of nonlinear acoustic lenses with dynamically controllable focus. ONR announced 17 new awards in 2010. [View full list of Recipients]

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Julia Greer Selected to Participate in the DARPA Young Faculty Award Program


Congratulation to Julia R. Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, for been selected to participate in the DARPA Young Faculty Award program. She is among 33 "rising stars" from 24 U.S. universities who each will receive grants of approximately $300,000. Greer's project is aimed at understanding and subsequently mimicking the superior mechanical robustness and strength of naturally occurring protective layers—such as nacre, or mother of pearl, a composite produced by some mollusks to line their inner shell—to create strong, ductile, damage-tolerant materials that maintain a relatively low density. [Caltech Press Release]

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Brent Fultz Receives 2010 TMS-EMPMD Distinguished Scientist Award


Brent Fultz, Professor of Materials Science and Applied Physics, is the recipient of the 2010 TMS-EMPMD Distinguished Scientist Award of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS). The award includes a TMS conference symposium in honor of Professor Fultz that will emphasize the vibrational entropy of materials, and studies of vibrational entropy by inelastic neutron scattering and modern computational methods of materials science. This work was the basis for the award.

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Professor Michael Elowitz Receives PECASE


Michael Elowitz, Assistant Professor of Biology and Applied Physics and Bren Scholar, has received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. The PECASE awards recognize outstanding scientists and engineers who, early in their careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge.

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Kerry Vahala Wins Alexander Von Humboldt Research Award


Kerry Vahala, Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Professor of Applied Physics, has won an Alexander Von Humboldt Research Award. The Humboldt award recognizes academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements. Vahala has also been awarded and the IEEE David Sarnoff Award for exceptional contributions to electronics, and in particular, "for seminal contributions to improved dynamics of quantum well semiconductor lasers."

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NSF Awards Sossina Haile ACI Fellowship


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded an American Competitiveness and Innovation (ACI) Fellowship to Sossina M. Haile, Professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, "for her timely and transformative research in the energy field and her dedication to inclusive mentoring, education and outreach across many levels." This recognition program honors current NSF grantees who have demonstrated a combination of transformative research accomplishments and outstanding contributions toward education, mentoring, and broadening participation of women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities.

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Julia Greer Recognized by Technology Review Magazine as one of the World's Top Innovators


Julia Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science, has been recognized by Technology Review magazine as one of the world's top innovators underthe age of 35 for her work with materials on a nanoscale level. Selected from more than 300 nominees by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review, the TR35 is an elite group of accomplished young innovators who exemplify the spirit of innovation. [Caltech Press Release]

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Michael Elowitz Named HHMI Investigator


Michael Elowitz, Assistant Professor of Biology and Applied Physics and a Bren Scholar, has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator. Elowitz is fundamentally interested in how cells' own genetic circuits dictate what type of cells they become. In work that overturned the steadfastnotion that genes and networks of genes operate in a predictable and fixed fashion, he and his colleagues showed that key properties of the cell, like how actively it turns out different proteins, are intrinsically random. To show that randomness is used to more accurately control the shapes and patterns that make organisms work, Elowitz is turning to larger and more complex animal cells. "I'm grateful to HHMI for the amazing opportunity this appointment presents to focus as much as possible on research. The funds will enable us to explore new directions, especially allowing us to expand approaches we've previously developed primarily in bacteria to mammalian cells." [Caltech Press Release]

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Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science