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Beaming Clean Energy From Space

10-26-22

Once considered science fiction, technology capable of collecting solar power in space and beaming it to Earth to provide a global supply of clean and affordable energy is moving closer to reality. Through the Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP), a team of Caltech researchers is working to deploy a constellation of modular spacecraft that collect sunlight, transform it into electricity, then wirelessly transmit that electricity wherever it is needed—including to places that currently have no access to reliable power. "This is an extraordinary and unprecedented project," says Harry Atwater, Otis Booth Leadership Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science; Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Liquid Sunlight Alliance. "It exemplifies the boldness and ambition needed to address one of the most significant challenges of our time, providing clean and affordable energy to the world." [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS EE research highlights MedE MCE Harry Atwater Ali Hajimiri Sergio Pellegrino

High-speed Camera Captures Signals Traveling Through Nerve Cells

10-07-22

Scientists have developed a new ultrafast camera that can record footage of impulses as they travel through nerve cells. The camera technology, known as differentially enhanced compressed ultrafast photography (Diff-CUP), was developed in the lab of Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering; Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair; Executive Officer for Medical Engineering. "Seeing nerve signals is fundamental to our scientific understanding but has not yet been achieved owing to the lack of speed and sensitivity provided by existing imaging methods," Wang says. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights MedE Lihong Wang Yide Zhang Binglin Shen Tong Wu Jerry Zhao Joseph Jing Peng Wang Kanomi Sasaki-Capela William Dunphy David Garrett Konstantin Maslov Weiwei Wang

Laser Light Offers New Tool for Treating Bone Cancer

09-20-22

Of the many ways to treat cancer, the oldest, and maybe most tried and true, is surgery. The goal is to remove all of the cancerous tissue while preserving as much of the surrounding healthy material as possible. "It's very hard to grow bone, so if you cut out bone, you basically lose it," says Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering; Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair; Executive Officer for Medical Engineering. A new diagnostic imaging technology developed by researchers at Caltech is offering surgeons the ability to make cuts 10 times more precisely, allowing them to preserve as much as 1,000 times more healthy tissue and to give patients easier recoveries. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights MedE Lihong Wang Rui Cao Samuel Davis Yilin Luo Yide Zhang

New Wearable Sensor Detects Even More Compounds in Human Sweat

08-15-22

A team of researchers from Caltech has unveiled a new wearable sensor that can detect in human sweat even minute levels of many common nutrients and biological compounds that can serve as indicators of human health. The sensor technology was developed in the lab of Wei Gao, Assistant Professor of Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute; Ronald and JoAnne Willens Scholar. [Caltech story]

Tags: Wei Gao Medical Engineering Daniel Mukasa Jihong Min Changhao Xu Minqiang Wang Yiran Yang Cui Ye Nicole Heflin

New Research "UNCOVERS" Hidden Objects in High Resolution

08-11-22

Imagine driving home after a long day at work. Suddenly, a car careens out of an obscured side street and turns right in front of you. Luckily, your autonomous car saw this vehicle long before it came within your line of sight and slowed to avoid a crash. This might seem like magic, but a novel technique developed in the laboratory of Changhuei Yang, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute, could bring it closer to a reality. "We can see all the traffic on the crossroads with this method. This might help the cars to foresee the potential danger that one is not able to see directly." explains electrical engineering graduate student Ruizhi Cao. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights Changhuei Yang MedE Ruizhi Cao

Nano-Architected Materials Offer New Frontier in Technology

07-27-22

For the past two decades, Julia R. Greer, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering; Fletcher Jones Foundation Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, has been at the forefront of creating new materials whose structures are designed and controlled at the smallest level, giving them unusual and useful properties. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS MedE MCE Julia Greer alumni Carlos M. Portela

Azita Emami Appointed to DARPA’s MEC Group

07-13-22

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has named Azita Emami to the Microsystems Exploratory Council (MEC) for a three-year term beginning this summer. Emami is Andrew and Peggy Cherng Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Executive Officer for Electrical Engineering; and Director, Center for Sensing to Intelligence. MEC brings over 30 of the brightest scientists and engineers together to identify new areas of development in microsystems science and technology and to recommend future possible research directions. The MEC Group was established by DARPA in 2017 to support its technology offices and provide continuing and independent assessment of the state of advanced microsystem technology as it relates to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Tags: EE honors MedE Azita Emami

Professor Hajimiri Receives ASCIT Teaching Award

06-09-22

Ali Hajimiri, Bren Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Co-Director, Space-Based Solar Power Project, has been chosen by the Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology (ASCIT) to receive a 2021-2022 ASCIT Teaching Award. These awards recognize individuals who inspire and motivate students, are approachable, and present course material effectively and efficiently. [Past Winners]

Tags: EE honors Ali Hajimiri

Nanofabrication Courses Let Caltech Undergraduates Get Hands-on at the Smallest Scales

05-27-22

The course combines topical lectures that give the students a preview of what they will be doing in the cleanroom along with hands-on practical training. Both components are conducted as a team effort between Scherer and the KNI technical staff. The first two lectures of the term were presented by KNI’s microscopist, Dr. Annalena Wolff, who lectured on scanning electron and focused ion beam microscopy. Additional lectures were presented by KNI’s Associate Director of Technical Operations, Dr. Guy DeRose, on electron beam lithography.

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Tags: APhMS EE research highlights MedE Axel Scherer KNI Changsoon Choi Paromita Mitchell Annalena Wolff Guy DeRose Bert Mendoza Alex Wertheim Kelly McKenzie

A Science Journey with Fernando Villafuerte

04-26-22

As part of the Science Journeys lecture series—designed to inspire scientific curiosity, especially among students in eighth grade and higher—graduate student Fernando Villafuerte discussed his path to Caltech and his research on batteries, including their role in sustainability solutions. Villafuerte works in the lab of Julia R. Greer, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering; and Fletcher Jones Foundation Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute. His research focuses on a novel material known as a solid polymer electrolyte, which could potentially be used to create batteries that can store more energy than currently possible. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MedE MCE Julia Greer Fernando Villafuerte