Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Materials Science

News & Events


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]


EAS Remembers Thad Vreeland Jr.


Thad Vreeland Jr., Professor of Materials Science, Emeritus, passed away on August 9th, 2010. "Thad was a great scientist and he interacted well with various researchers and engineers across campus," says Ares Rosakis, the Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics, professor of mechanical engineering, and chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, "particularly with the solid mechanics group associated both with aeronautics and mechanical engineering." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS Thad Vreeland Jr. EAS history

Julia Greer's Paper is Highest Cited in Acta Materialia in the Past Five Years


Congratulations to Julia R. Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, whose paper entitled Size dependence of mechanical properties of gold at the micron scale in the absence of strain gradients is the highest cited original research paper, in the past five years, in Acta Materialia.
[Find and read the paper by clicking the "Top 10 Cited" link]

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Professor Yariv Receives IEEE Photonics Award


Amnon Yariv, Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and Professor of Electrical Engineering, is the recipient of the 2011 IEEE Photonics Award "for fundamental contributions to photonics science, engineering and education that have broadly impacted quantum electronics and lightwave communications."

Tags: Amnon Yariv APhMS EE honors

Winners of the 2010 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced


The student winners of the 2010 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at a special luncheon with the Demetriades - Tsafka – Kokkalis family. Xiquan Cui received the prize in Biotechnology for his work on biophotonics with Professor Changhuei Yang; Matt Eichenfield received the prize in Nanotechnology for his work in nanomechanics with Professor Oskar Painter; Morgan Putnam received the prize in Entrepreneurship for work on silicon solar cells with Professor Harry Atwater; and Andrew May received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources for his work on thermoelectric materials with Professor Sossina Haile and Dr. Jeff Snyder.

Tags: APhMS EE honors Changhuei Yang Harry Atwater Xiquan Cui Matt Eichenfield Oskar Painter Morgan Putnam Andrew May Sossina Haile Jeff Snyder Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes

Nanoscale Structures with Superior Mechanical Properties


Julia Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, and Dongchan Jang, Postdoctoral Scholar, have developed a way to make some notoriously brittle materials ductile—yet stronger than ever—simply by reducing their size. Professor Greer describes, "We are entering a new era in materials science, where structural materials can be created not only by utilizing monolith structures, like ceramics and metals, but also by introducing 'architectural' features into them." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MCE Julia Greer Dongchan Jang postdocs

DNA Origami Nanoscale Breadboards for Carbon Nanotube Circuits


Hareem T. Maune, a graduate student studying carbon nanotube physics, and Si-ping Han, a graduate student investigating the interactions between carbon nanotubes and DNA have developed DNA origami nanoscale breadboards for carbon nanotube circuits. "This collaborative research project is evidence of how we at Caltech select the top students in science and engineering and place them in an environment where their creativity and imagination can thrive," says Ares Rosakis, chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech and Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. The work of these students was supervised by: Erik Winfree, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Computation and Neural Systems, and Bioengineering; William A. Goddard III, Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics; Paul W.K. Rothemund, Senior Research Associate, and Marc Bockrath, Associate Professor of Physics at University of California Riverside. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS research highlights CMS Erik Winfree William Goddard Paul Rothemund Si-ping Han

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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Julia Greer Recognized as a Rising Star by Advanced Functional Materials


Julia R. Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering, has been recognized as a rising star by Advanced Functional Materials. Her latest publication is entitled Emergence of New Mechanical Functionality in Materials via Size Reduction. [Read Julia Greer's interview]

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Julia Greer and Christopher Kovalchick Musical Performance


Pianist Julia Greer, Assistant Professor of Materials Science, and violinist Christopher Kovalchick, graduate students in Aeronautics, performed a program of works by Brahms, Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev on Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 3:30 p.m. in Ramo Auditorium.

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