ENGenious is a publication for alumni and friends of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science.

Table of Contents - Issue No.12, Fall 2015

Letter From The Editor

Trity Pourbahrami

Snap Shots

  • Medical Engineering Research to Aid Diabetes Patients
  • Cancer Detection Using Affordable Implantable Technology
  • Sustainable Vehicle Club
  • A Clear Path for Diversity
  • From Exotic Quantum Materials to Photonic Probes of the Brain
  • Engaging Students in Science and Engineering Policy


Who's New

New Faculty
Moore Scholar

Idea Flow

The Space Solar Power Initiative

CMS Feature

From Data to Information to Action
Computing + Mathematical Sciences Faculty


Cover Image: This illustration depicts the power of the human mind to elucidate information from data that can be used to take action—for example, the optimization of electrical output in existing and proposed smart grids to better meet our energy needs.


Charles C. Gates Jr.–Franklin Thomas Laboratory
The renovation of the former Franklin Thomas Laboratory of Engineering has thoroughly modernized the facility while honoring the building’s storied past and the people who helped advance mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and applied mechanics at Caltech. The original structure was completed at the close of World War II, when human space flight was still years in the future and the idea of nanotechnology had not yet been conceived. The updated Gates–Thomas Laboratory of Engineering provides new, bright open spaces where scholars and students can better collaborate and engage in experimental and computational work undreamed of when the building first opened its doors. The laboratory is named after two devoted stewards of the Institute: Charles C. Gates Jr. (1921–2005), businessman, philanthropist, and longtime Caltech trustee, and Franklin Thomas (1885–1952), civil engineering professor, division chair, and dean of students.

Progress Report

Extending Caltech’s Investment in Space Research

Alumni Profile

Athanassios S. Fokas

Progress Report

Exploring the Unstable World of Geomaterials: From Fundamental Science to Engineering Solutions

Campus Resource

Bringing the Right People Together
Keck Institute for Space Studies

The Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science consists of seven departments and supports close to 90 faculty who are working at the leading edges of fundamental science to invent the technologies of the future.


Trity Pourbahrami


Vicki Chiu


Leona Kershaw

Copy Editor

Sara Arnold

Contributing Writers

Eric Mankin
Jeff Mortimer



Image Credits

Cover: Vicki Chiu
pp. 2, 6 (Bernardi), 8, 9, 14 (Desbrun), 15 (Hou), 17 (artwork by Takashi Murakami), 18, 19, 22–26, 28–30, 33, 34, 36, 40, 43: Vicki Chiu
p. 4: Medical engineering: Daejong Yang; cancer detection: courtesy of Anna Winnicki
p. 4 (sustainable vehicle), 9, 20, 38: Briana Ticehurst
p. 5: Diversity: courtesy of Annette Maestas-Ramos; “alligator”: Su-Peng Yu; SEPAC: courtesy of Thomas Catanach
p. 6: Bernardi: research image courtesy of Marco Bernardi; Nadj-Perge: courtesy of Stevan Nadj-Perge; research image courtesy of Ali Yazdani
p. 7: Courtesy of James Rice; cracked earth: Shutterstock
p. 11: Courtesy of Sergio Pellegrino
pp. 12–13, 14–15: Courtesy of Mathieu Desbrun
p. 16: Top: Yizhao Thomas Hou and Guo Luo; bottom: Yizhao Thomas Hou, Hongyu Ran, and Danping Yang
p. 17: Courtesy of Peter Schröder
pp. 20–21, 30, 32: Shutterstock
p. 27: Niranjan Srinivas, Winfree group
p. 35: Courtesy of Joanna Austin
p. 36: Courtesy of Athanassios Fokas/George Kastis
p. 41: David K. Lynch, www.SanAndreasFault.org
Inside back cover: Randall Howard