skip to main content
Note from the Chair

Thank you to all the alums who sent comments on the first issue of engenious and suggestions for future features, articles, and even design (!). We asked for your feedback and we got it. A full range of opinion arrived in our e-mail boxes expressing what we did right and what we can do better. We've begun incorporating many of your suggestions. Please continue with the feedback, as we hope issue-by-issue to evolve and improve.

Looking at the larger picture, the Division of Engineering and Applied Science itself is ever evolving—a collection of exceptional people doing exceptional things, and we count our alumni as integral partners in the process. The outstanding efforts of E&AS alumni in academic research, government, and private industry are a large part of the reason we have a level of visibility and impact far exceeding our size. And so beginning with this issue, we'd like to share stories of people out in the field, so to speak, doing wonderful things with their Caltech educations. The profile of alumnus Allen Puckett (PhD '49) starts a new feature we will be continuing in each issue.

This issue spotlights the Division's newest academic option, Bioengineering. We continue with meeting new faculty, getting up-to-date with emeritus faculty and recent events on campus, looking into research by faculty, and re-discovering one of the Division's thirteen options. This issue introduces the Division's newest center, CIMMS (Center for Integrative Multiscale Modeling and Simulation). And we visit a couple of campus resources, the Office of Technology Transfer, and the Sherman Fairchild Library of Engineering and Applied Science.

Finally, before you read on, I would like to take this opportunity to thank, on behalf of the Division, Gordon Moore (PhD '54) and his wife, Betty, for their truly extraordinary donation to Caltech this past fall. It's simply an enormous gesture of confidence in the Institute's past, present, and future. Their gift and that of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, totaling $600 million, will help us do what we do even better.

I hope you enjoy this issue and, as always, let us know how we're doing...


Richard M. Murray
Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science

Cover image: Carbon Nanotube Carpets

bacteria nests

Bacteria Nests: Microscale pattern formation of desiccated carbon nanotube carpets, after immersion in solutions containing bacterial spores (Bacillus Pumilus). In this project, carbon nanotubes are used to mimic cilia, which are Nature's ubiquitous micron-sized hair as found in the lung epithelium, for instance. Biomimetics helps us understand how cilia can be used for trapping particulates (spores, bacteria, toxins), for filtering biomolecules (DNA), for transporting fluids (as the mucus in the trachea or uterine cervix), and for sensing fluid flows (as the endolymphatic liquid in the ear cochlea). The master project is a collaborative Caltech/JPL effort on bionanofluidics (nanoscale fluid dynamics in biological processes). The principal investigators on this project are JPL's Flavio Noca, PhD '97 Aeronautics, and Mory Gharib, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, and graduate students Jijie Zhou and Elijah Sansom.

Additional Credits: Microscopy: R. Mielke / JPL ESEM. Spore tests: F. Chen / JPL Planetary Protection Group. Nanotube carpets: JPL Nanotube Group.


Note from the Chair

Enter the second issue of ENGenious
by Richard M. Murray

Snap Shots

'Round About the Institute: Radio Free Caltech; Minority Student Outreach; Ken Burns; A Women's Art Exhibit; and ME72

Idea Flow

Ravichandran in Paris: Guruswami Ravichandran Joins the French Forces at École Polytechnique

New Faculty

Thanos Siapas: Assistant Professor of Computation and Neural Systems

New Centers

CIMMS: The Center for Integrative Multiscale Modeling and Simulation
by Jerrold E. Marsden

Progress Reports

Modeling in Engineering--The Challenge of Multiple Scales
by Rob Phillips

Option Profile

Mechanical Engineering: Future Forward
by Erik K. Antonsson


Assembly and Creativity: An Interview with Three Founders of Caltech's Newest Option

Anna Iwaniec: An Interview with Three Founders of Caltech's Newest Option

The Office of Technology Transfer

Campus Resource

The Caltech Office of Technology Transfer:
Making Friends and Start-Ups
by Fred Farina

Sherman Fairchild Library:
Technical Reports in the New World
by Kimberly Douglas


Paul C. Jennings, PhD '63:
Profile of an Everywhere Man
by George W. Housner

Alumni Profile

Allen E. Puckett: PhD '49, Aeronautics
by Jill Andrews

Research Note

Mitigating the Effects of the Ultimate Fracture Mechanics Problem: John Hall Looks at Earthquakes