Elaine Hsiao (PhD ’13) Selected as National Geographic Emerging Explorer

Elaine Hsiao (PhD ’13) has been honored as an Emerging Explorer by the National Geographic Society. Each of this year's 14 awardees, described by the society as "uniquely gifted and inspiring scientists, conservationists and innovators who are at the forefront of discovery, adventure and global problem-solving while still early in their careers," will receive a $10,000 award to aid further research and exploration.

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Patricia Thiel (PhD ’81) Wins 2014 Welch Award

Transient

Patricia Thiel (PhD ’81) has been named the 2014 winner of the AVS Medard W. Welch Award, which recognizes outstanding research in the fields of materials, interfaces and processing. Thiel, who is a faculty scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and a Distinguished Professor of chemistry at Iowa State University, is recognized for her "seminal contributions to the understanding of quasicrystalline surfaces and thin-film nucleation and growth."

"We congratulate Pat on the Welch Award and for her outstanding contributions to the field of surface chemistry. Pat's work in understanding the surface structures of complex materials has advanced the understanding of quasicrystals and nanoparticles on metal and semiconductor surfaces," said Adam Schwartz, director of the Ames Laboratory.

The Welch Award was established in 1969. Thiel is the first woman to win the Welch Award in its 44-year history.

"This award is defined by the people who won it before me. They have been the giants in the field of surface science. I am humbled and honored to be joining their ranks. The award really recognizes much more than me. It recognizes my many talented coworkers and the agencies that have enabled our work, especially the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation," said Thiel.

Nominations Open for 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards

To:    All Members of the Caltech Alumni Community 

From:     Edward M. Stolper, Interim President and Provost

Re:    2015 Distinguished Alumni Award Nominations

 

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards. 

The Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor the Institute bestows upon a graduate, and is in recognition of "a particular achievement of noteworthy value, a series of such achievements, or a career of noteworthy accomplishment." Since the award's inception in 1966, Caltech has recognized 244 alumni in science, engineering, business, and the arts. 

A living alumnus or alumna who has attained any degree (B.S., M.S., Engineer's Degree, or Ph.D.) at Caltech may be considered for this award. Selections are made by the president of Caltech based on recommendations from a committee comprising faculty, staff, and alumni; the president’s recommendations are confirmed by the Board of Trustees. 

Graduates who currently are on the faculty or staff of Caltech are not eligible, with the exception of those who have achieved the rank of Professor Emeritus. Awarding the DAA to a retired Caltech faculty or staff member has been and is expected to continue to be a rare occurrence. Sitting members of Caltech’s Board of Trustees are not eligible until they have achieved the rank of Life Trustee.

Self-nominations are not accepted.

To nominate an alumnus or alumna for consideration, please complete the online application by September 7th. The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented at Seminar Day, in May 2015.

Go to Nomination Form »

Geophysicist Jay Melosh (MS ’71, PhD ’73) Wins Honor at Purdue University

Jay Melosh, a distinguished professor of geophysics at Purdue University internationally known for his work on impact cratering, planetary tectonics, and the physics of earthquakes and landslides, received the 2014 Herbert Newby McCoy Award, the school's most prestigious research honor in the natural sciences.

Melosh is part of NASA's Deep Impact mission that created a 50-m diameter impact crater on Comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005, the NExT mission that returned to Tempel 1 in 2011, the DIXI mission to comet Hartley-2, and the GRAIL mission to obtain high-precision data on our moon's gravity field. Asteroid #8216 was named "Melosh" in his honor.

"I'm certainly honored and humbled to join the fraternity of past McCoy Award winners at Purdue University who share a love of research and celebrate those days in the laboratory with our students when we realize we might be onto something that will provide a deeper understanding of our universe," Melosh said.

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Jonathan Tsai (BS ’10) Awarded Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans

Caltech alumnus Jonathan Tsai (BS '10) has been awarded a 2014 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. At Caltech, Tsai worked in the laboratory of David Baltimore, Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology, where he developed and patented a technology to isolate T-cell receptor genes from single tumor infiltrating cells, creating new proteins able to kill melanomas.
 
The Soros grant, given annually to the most accomplished and promising immigrants and children of immigrants in American graduate education, provides each recipient with tuition and stipend assistance of up to $90,000. This year's group of 30 winners was selected from more than 1,200 applicants.

More information on recent awards

Andrea Prosperetti (MS ’72, PhD ’74) Wins EuroMech Prize

Johns Hopkins University Professor Andrea Prosperetti, an authority in the area of fluid dynamics and underwater acoustics, has been awarded the 2014 EUROMECH Fluid Mechanics Prize by the Council of the European Mechanics Society.

Prosperetti, the Charles A. Miller Jr. Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the university's Whiting School of Engineering, received the award "in recognition of his profound, seminal contributions to fluid dynamics and acoustics in general and to bubble dynamics and rain noise in particular," according to a statement by the society. The group also cited his development of novel numerical techniques and his world leadership in those fields along with his brilliance in their applications to engineering.

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Steven C. Frautschi Wins Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Steven C. Frautschi, professor of theoretical physics, emeritus, at Caltech, has been awarded the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching—Caltech's most prestigious teaching honor.

Named after Caltech physicist Richard P. Feynman, the prize is awarded annually to a Caltech professor "who demonstrates, in the broadest sense, unusual ability, creativity, and innovation in undergraduate and graduate classroom or laboratory teaching."

This is the first time the Feynman Prize has been awarded to an emeritus faculty member and also the first time it has been awarded to a teaching assistant.

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