List of California Institute of Technology people

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The California Institute of Technology has had numerous notable alumni and faculty.

Notable alumni[edit]

Physics and astronomy[edit]

Chemistry and chemical engineering[edit]

  • Fred C. Anson - (former faculty) Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus at Caltech; Member of National Academy of Sciences. Known for pioneering work on the electrochemistry of polymers, on the catalysis of electrode reactions, and on electrochemical reactions that involve ultrathin coating of molecules on electrode surfaces.
  • Peter B. Armentrout
  • Jesse L. Beauchamp, BS 1964, faculty - pioneering physical chemist in field of mass spectrometry and ion cyclotron resonance spectroscopy
  • Arnold Beckman, PhD 1928 – Inventor of the pH meter, founder of Beckman Instruments and financier of the first "silicon" company in Silicon Valley, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory
  • Richard D. Braatz
  • Leo Brewer
  • Richard G. Brewer (scientist) - pioneer in quantum optics and nonlinear laser spectroscopy, particularly advanced techniques in the study of laser induced steady state and transient phenomena; researcher at IBM Almaden research laboratories; IBM fellow, elected member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Emily A. Carter - Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering & Applied and Computational Mathematics - Princeton University; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Christopher Chang
  • Robert E. Cohen - Raymond A. (1921) and Helen E. St. Laurent Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT; member of National Academy of Engineering. Leader in field of polymer science and engineering
  • William H. Corcoran - (former faculty) BS, MS, PhD 1948; Institute Professor of Chemical Engineering at Caltech. Known for research in biomedical engineering (particularly fluid flow and design of artificial heart valves), chemical engineering kinetics, engineering design, pharmaceutical process engineering and development design, rocketry, and transport processes. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Charles D. Coryell
  • Paul Hugh Emmett
  • David A. Evans
  • Gary Felsenfeld (scientist) - PhD 1955, Distinguished Investigator and Chief of the section on physical chemistry in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Widely recognized for research on the physical chemistry of nucleic acids and proteins and their interactions with each other and with small molecules; structure of DNA and synthetic polynucleotides; structure and function of chromatin, particularly as it relates to eukaryotic gene expression; and regulation of globin gene expression during development. Member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Gerald Fuller
  • Jacqueline G. Gish (scientist) - PhD 1976 - Northrop Grumman Technology Fellow; recognized for significant contributions to the development of high-energy lasers, development of diagnostics for plasma and laser programs. and leadership of efforts on chemical lasers and solid state lasers. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • William A. Goddard, III, PhD 1965, faculty - Theoretical and computational chemist who has made many contributions to the simulation and computational modelling of high temperature superconductors, chemical reactions, biological processes, catalytic reaction mechanisms, electronic surface states of solids, and electronic wavefunctions and properties of molecules and solids.
  • James L. Hoard
  • Brian M. Hoffman (chemist) - Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University; known for major contributions to electron paramagnetic resonance and electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) of metalloenzymes; long-range electron transfer within protein complexes; and new porphyrazine metallomacrocycles. Member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • James A. Ibers - Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor (Emeritus) of Chemistry at Northwestern University. Member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Harold 'Hal' Johnston - PhD 1948, pioneering atmospheric chemist and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at UC Berkeley; National Medal of Science recipient; winner of Tyler World Prize for Environmental Achievement; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Eric W. Kaler
  • Martin Karplus, PhD 1953 - Nobel laureate in chemistry (2013)
  • Chaitan Khosla
  • Nathan Lewis – BS, MS 1967; faculty - George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis; leader in field of semiconductor photoelectrochemistry, particularly as applied to photovoltaic cells
  • William Lipscomb, PhD 1946 – Nobel laureate in chemistry (1976)
  • Stephen L. Mayo - (faculty) Bren Professor of Biology and Chemistry at Caltech; Former HHMI Investigator; leading researcher in field of protein folding structural analysis and protein design; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Harden M. McConnell
  • Edwin Mattison McMillan, BS 1928, MS 1929 – Nobel laureate in chemistry (1951)
  • Joseph Edward Mayer
  • Matthew Meselson
  • Kurt Mislow - Professor Emeritus of chemistry at Princeton University; known for major contributions to physical organic chemistry. Member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Daniel G. Nocera
  • José Onuchic
  • Dinshaw J. Patel - MS 1963; Member and Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Chair in Experimental Therapeutics, Structural Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center + Professor, Graduate Program in Biochemistry & Structural Biology, Weill School of Medical Sciences, Cornell University; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Linus Pauling, PhD 1925, faculty – Nobel laureate in chemistry (1954) and peace (1962)
  • Cornelius J. Pings - (former faculty in chemical engineering and chemical physics) Former provost and professor of chemical engineering at University of Southern California; former president of Association of American Universities (AAU); Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Kenneth Pitzer, BS 1935 – winner of the National Medal of Science, third president of Rice University, sixth president of Stanford University, Director of Research for U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (1949–1951)
  • Dana Powers - BS, PhD 1975; senior scientist, nuclear energy and fuel cycle programs, Sandia National Laboratories. Member of National Academy of Engineering, and known for contributions to commercial nuclear power plant safety worldwide and to radioactive source-term processes.
  • Danny D. Reible - PhD 1982, Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair at Texas Tech University. Formerly Bettie Margaret Smith Chair of Environmental Health Engineering and Director, Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas, Austin. Member of National Academy of Engineering, and known for contributions to development of widely used approaches for the management of contaminated sediments.
  • Michael Rosbash
  • Melanie Sanford
  • George C. Schatz
  • Richard Scheller
  • Peter G. Schultz
  • Howard A. Stone
  • Scott Strobel
  • Kenneth S. Suslick
  • Timothy M. Swager - PhD 1988, John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Known for pioneering research into electronic polymers, liquid crystals, carbon nanomaterials, chemical sensors (particularly for explosives), etc. Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Holden Thorp - Professor of chemistry and provost of Washington University in St. Louis; former professor and Chancellor of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • Margaret Tolbert (scientist) - PhD 1986; Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at University of Colorado, Boulder; member of National Academy of Sciences; prominent researcher in field of atmospheric chemistry
  • Donald Truhlar
  • Michael Tsapatsis - PhD 1994, Amundson Chair Professor in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota. Member of National Academy of Engineering, and known for contributions to design and synthesis of zeolite-based materials for selective separation and reaction.
  • Nicholas Turro
  • John S. Waugh
  • George M. Whitesides
  • Ellen D. Williams (materials scientist) - Chief scientist at BP; formerly Distinguished University Professor of Physics at University of Maryland; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Edgar Bright Wilson
  • Saul Winstein
  • K. Dane Wittrup - Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT; member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Peter T. Wolczanski
  • Oliver R. Wulf - (former faculty) former Professor of Chemistry at Caltech, researching physical and chemical relationships between light, atmospheric gases, and weather on Earth; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Ajit Yoganathan - PhD 1978, Regents’ Professor, Wallace H. Coulter Distinguished Faculty Chair in Biomedical Engineering, and director, Center for Innovative Cardiovascular Technologies, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Member of National Academy of Engineering, and known for improvements in the biomechanics of prosthetic heart valves and the development of heart repair devices.
  • Yannis C. Yortsos
  • Don Merlin Lee Yost - (faculty) professor of chemistry at Caltech; pioneering physical chemist who worked on nuclear magnetic resonance, electron spin resonance, and the microwave spectroscopy of gases, among other things; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • William Gould Young
  • Robert Zwanzig

Biology and Medicine[edit]

  • David Agard
  • Bruce Ames
  • Thomas F. Anderson
  • Utpal Banerjee
  • Howard Berg
  • Andrew Benson
  • Steven Block
  • James F. Bonner (former faculty)
  • Frank Brink - former professor and President of Rockefeller University; made major contributions to the understanding of neuronal activity through his targeted research on the cycle of excitation, response, and recovery in nerve fibers; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Edward M. Callaway - Audrey Geisel Chair in Biomedical Science and Professor in Systems Neurobiology Laboratories at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Pioneered novel molecular, genetic, and viral tools for revealing the detailed structure and function of neural circuits including a method that allows the tracing of a single neuron's connections to its neighbors, particularly in the visual cortex as it relates to perception and behavior. Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • Horace W. Davenport - William Beaumont Professor Emeritus of Physiology at the University of Michigan. Pioneered the study of gastroenterology and laid a foundation for more effective ulcer treatments by revealing how gastric acid works in digestion without consuming the stomach itself. Member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Mark M. Davis - Professor at Stanford University; member of National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine; Director, Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Ronald W. Davis
  • Michael D. Ehlers - Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer of the Neuroscience Research Unit, Pfizer
  • Sarah Elgin
  • Gerald D. Fasman - Rosenfield Professor of Biochemistry, Brandeis University; major contributor to fundamental studies of protein structure-function relationships; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Edwin Furshpan - PhD 1955, Robert Henry Pfeiffer Professor of Neurobiology (Emeritus) at Harvard Medical School. Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Michael Gazzaniga
  • Leland H. Hartwell, BS 1961 – Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine (2001)
  • Stephen F. Heinemann (scientist) - BS 1962, Professor of Neuroscience at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and former President of the Society for Neuroscience. Well known for major contributions to study of molecular neurotransmission between synapses. Member of National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine.
  • Sterling B. Hendricks
  • Ira Herskowitz
  • Leonard Herzenberg
  • Steven A. Hillyard - Professor (Emeritus) of Neuroscience at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Widely recognized for investigations in the area of human cognitive processes and is a leading figure in the electrophysiological study of human attention using the event-related potential (ERP) technique. Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • David Ho, BS 1974 – AIDS researcher
  • David Hogness
  • Leroy Hood
  • Norman Horowitz, PhD 1939, faculty – biochemist and advocate of unmanned space exploration
  • Clyde A. Hutchison III
  • Harvey Itano
  • Lily Y. Jan - professor at University of California, San Francisco; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Yuh Nung Jan - professor at University of California, San Francisco; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Tan Jiazhen
  • A. Dale Kaiser - Jack, Lulu and Sam Willson Professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus at Stanford University; Member of National Academy of Sciences; Recipient of Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, 1980
  • Lawrence C. Katz
  • Alfred G. Knudson
  • Monty Krieger - Whitehead Professor of Molecular Genetics at MIT; member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Quynh-Thu Le - BS 1989, Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine. Medical doctor known for her research on the management of head and neck cancers. Elected member of Institute of Medicine of National Academies.
  • Edward B. Lewis, PhD 1942, faculty – Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine (1995)
  • Leonard Lerman
  • Dan L. Lindsley - PhD 1952, Research Professor (Emeritus) of Biology at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). World leading geneticist, particularly the study of chromosome structure and function in Drosophila. Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Sharon R. Long
  • Robert Metzenberg
  • William Newsome
  • Baldomero Olivera
  • Maynard Olson
  • Arthur Pardee
  • John Quackenbush
  • Charles M. Rice - Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor in Virology, Rockefeller University; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Arthur Riggs (geneticist)
  • Gordon H. Sato
  • Michael Sheetz
  • Donald C. Shreffler - PhD 1962, former Professor and Chairman of Department of Genetics at Washington University, St. Louis Medical School. Widely known for contributions to immunogenetics, paving the way for detailed studies of MHC genes. Member of Institute of Medicine (IOM) of National Academies and member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Folke K. Skoog
  • Howard M. Temin, PhD 1960 – Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine (1975)
  • C. C. Tan, PhD 1936 – father of Chinese (modern) genetics
  • Sam Wang (neuroscientist)

Mathematics and Computer Science[edit]

Engineering[edit]

  • Rohan Abeyaratne
  • Allan J. Acosta (engineer) - (former faculty) BS, MS, PhD; Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus at Caltech; well known for contributions to the understanding of turbomachinery, particularly cavitation and rotor dynamics. Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Mihran S. Agbabian - Professor Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) and President Emeritus of the American University of Armenia; member of National Academy of Engineering
  • George E. Apostolakis (engineer) - PhD 1973, Korea Electric Power Corporation Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, and Professor of Engineering Systems Emeritus, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; former Commissioner of Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Known for innovations in the theory and practice of probabilistic risk assessment and risk management, particularly with regards to nuclear safety. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • William F. Ballhaus, Sr.
  • Michael I. Baskes - Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Robert L. Behnken, MS 1993, PhD 1997 – NASA Astronaut, flew on STS-123
  • Jacobo Bielak (engineer) - PhD 1971, Hamerschlag University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University; Distinguished Member of American Society of Civil Engineers and member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Maurice Anthony Biot
  • Frank Borman, MS 1957 – NASA Astronaut, commanded Gemini 7 and Apollo 8 space missions
  • Robert W. Bower
  • Norman H. Brooks - (former faculty) James Irvine Professor of Environmental and Civil Engineering, Emeritus at Caltech; Member of National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering; expert in hydraulic engineering, environmental fluid mechanics, and water resources and technology.
  • Arthur E. Bryson
  • Sébastien Candel - PhD 1972, Professor at Ecole Centrale Paris. Renowned for significant contributions to solving multidisciplinary problems in the fields of combustion, fluid mechanics, aeroacoustics, and propulsion. Corresponding Member of the French Academy of Sciences, founding Member of the Academy of Technology, and elected as a foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering of the United States.
  • Brian J. Cantwell - Edward C. Wells Professor of Engineering (Aeronautics and Astronautics) at Stanford University; Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Gregory Chamitoff, MS 1985 – NASA Astronaut, flew on STS-124 and staying on Expedition 17 on the International Space Station
  • Francis H. Clauser (engineer) - (former faculty) Clark Blanchard Millikan Professor of Engineering, Emeritus at Caltech; pioneer in the study of boundary layer theory, turbulent flows, guided missiles, spacecraft, magnetohydrodynamics, and partial differential equations. Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Ray W. Clough
  • Julian Cole
  • Donald E. Coles (engineer) - (former faculty) PhD 1953, Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus at Caltech; contributed to study of supersonic and turbulent boundary layer flows, Couette flows, and fluid flow instrumentation design. Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Robert Conn (engineer) - PhD 1968, President of The Kavli Foundation and Zable Professor and Dean, Emeritus, of the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Leading researcher in plasma physics, fusion energy, energy policy and materials science. Member of National Academy of Engineering and recipient of E.O. Lawrence award from Department of Energy.
  • Stanley Corrsin
  • John Dabiri
  • James Wallace Daily - PhD 1945, Professor of Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic Engineering Emeritus, at University of Michigan; former professor at MIT. Known for contributions to fluid mechanics and hydraulic engineering, especially in the areas of cavitation, hydraulic machinery, the flow of suspensions, and the design of fluid-mechanics laboratories. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Satish Dhawan
  • James Duderstadt
  • Regina E. Dugan, PhD 1993 - 19th Director of DARPA, first female director. Currently a senior executive at Google
  • Charles Elachi
  • Nader Engheta
  • Richard G. Folsom, BS 1928, MS 1929, PhD 1933, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1958–1971)
  • C. Gordon Fullerton, BS 1957, MS 1958 – Space Shuttle astronaut and test pilot
  • Yuan-Cheng Fung, PhD 1948 – Founder of field of biomechanics, National Medal of Science recipient and elected member of all three U.S. National Academies
  • Morteza (Mory) Gharib - PhD 1983, Vice Provost for Research and Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Bioinspired Engineering at Caltech. Fellow of National Academy of Inventors, member of National Academy of Engineering, and known for contributions to fluid flow diagnostics and imagery, and engineering of bioinspired devices and phenomena.
  • Edward Gibson, MS 1960, PhD 1964 – NASA astronaut, flew on Skylab 4
  • Roy Gould - (former faculty) professor of applied physics at Caltech; made several important contributions to field of plasma physics; member of National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering
  • Wallace D. Hayes - Professor Emeritus of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University; member of National Academy of Engineering
  • George W Housner – (former faculty) Caltech professor emeritus who was called the father of earthquake engineering; Member of National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering; National Medal of Science recipient
  • Tsien Hsue-shen, PhD 1939 – Father of China's rocket program
  • Donald Hudson (engineer) - (former faculty) BS, MS, PhD, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Emeritus at Caltech; leader in dynamic measurements in the field of vibrations and experimental stress analysis, general analysis in structural dynamics and vibrations, and analytical and experimental methods in earthquake engineering and engineering seismology. Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Arthur T. Ippen
  • Wilfred D. Iwan (engineer) - (former faculty) BS, MS, PhD, Professor of Applied Mechanics, Emeritus at Caltech; major contributor to theory of vibrations, modeling of structural systems, nonlinear system identification, machinery dynamics and vibration, earthquake response of structures, earthquake response of nonstructural components, engineering seismology, offshore drilling, and public policy for earthquake risk mitigation. Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Ali Jadbabaie
  • William L Johnson - PhD 1975, faculty in materials science and applied physics at Caltech; Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Engineering and Applied Science; made major contributions to study of bulk metallic glasses. Member of National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering.
  • Leon Keer (engineer) - Walter P. Murphy Professor of Civil Engineering at Northwestern University. Known for research on application of elasticity to design problems involving contact and fracture. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Jack Kerrebrock (engineer) - PhD, Richard Cockburn Maclaurin Professor Emeritus and former head of the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department and former Dean of School of Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Known for work on nuclear rockets, space propulsion and power, magneto hydrodynamic generators, and fluid mechanics of turbomachinery for aircraft engines. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Wolfgang G. Knauss (engineer) - (former faculty) BS, MS, PhD; Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics, Emeritus at Caltech; world leading researcher in fracture mechanics and engineering work on time-dependent fracture of polymers, at interfaces and under dynamic loading. Member of National Academy of Engineering (USA) and Russian Academy of Engineering.
  • Thomas L. Koch (scientist/engineer) - PhD 1982, Dean of the College of Optical Sciences and Professor of Optical Sciences and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona. Former senior researcher at Bell Labs. Known for contributions to optoelectronic technologies and their implementation in optical communications systems, exploring the fundamental performance limits of lasers used for telecommunications, and for the design and demonstration of semiconductor photonic integrated circuits. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Mark Kryder
  • Thomas F. Kuech - Milton J. and A. Maude Shoemaker and Beckwith-Bascom Professor and Chair, Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Stelios Kyriakides - PhD 1980, Cockrell Family Chair Professor in Engineering, University of Texas - Austin. Known for contributions to micro- and macro- mechanical behavior of solids, particularly understanding of propagating instability phenomena in structures and materials and its use for technological applications. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Paul C. Jennings (engineer) - (former faculty) PhD 1963, Professor of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Emeritus at Caltech; authority on earthquake engineering and dynamics of structures, including high-rise buildings, offshore drilling towers, and nuclear power plants; member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Anthony E. Leonard (engineer) - (former faculty) BS, PhD; Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus at Caltech; well known for contributions to simulation of turbulence, new vortex methods of flow simulation, and understanding of flow-induced vibration. Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • York Liao, BS 1967 – inventor of liquid crystal displays. Co-founder and Executive Director, Varitronix.
  • Chia-Chiao Lin
  • Fred Lindvall (engineer) - PhD 1928, (former faculty) Professor of Electrical Engineering at Caltech and Chair of Division of Engineering & Applied Science; President of Sigma Xi; President of American Society for Engineering Education; Member of National Academy of Sciences and member of National Academy of Engineering. Known for research and development of equipment for transportation and underwater ordnance.
  • David Luenberger
  • Paul MacCready, MS 1948, PhD 1952 – Father of Human Powered Flight, invented the Gossamer Condor and the Gossamer Albatross
  • Frank Malina
  • Frank E. Marble - (former faculty member) Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Jet Propulsion, Emeritus; made major fundamental, theoretical, and experimental contributions to the fields of internal aerodynamics, combustion, and propulsion; Member of National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences
  • Max Mathews
  • Frank A. McClintock
  • Robert McEliece - Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, Emeritus at Caltech; Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Carver Mead, BS 1956, MS 1957, PhD 1959, faculty – pioneer in microelectronics and computer science
  • Chiang C. Mei
  • John W. Miles
  • Richard Miller, PhD 1976 - President of Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
  • Clark Blanchard Millikan
  • Richard S. Muller
  • Richard M. Murray (engineer) - Thomas and Doris Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering at Caltech; known for contributions in control theory and networked control systems with applications to aerospace engineering, robotics, autonomy, and biological circuits; member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Roddam Narasimha
  • Bernard M. Oliver
  • James F. Pankow - PhD 1979; leading researcher in atmospheric chemistry and pollution; member of National Academy of Engineering
  • John W. Parsons
  • William Hayward Pickering
  • John R. Pierce
  • Andrea Prosperetti
  • Allen E. Puckett - PhD 1949, former chairman and CEO of Hughes Aircraft. Former president of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and elected member of both the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering. Served on boards of numerous corporations and received National Medal of Technology in 1995. Known for contributions to many areas of aeronautics and astronautics, particularly geostationary communications satellites and guided missiles.
  • Simon Ramo, PhD 1936 – co-founder of TRW and developed ICBMs
  • W. Duncan Rannie - (former faculty) PhD 1951, Robert H. Goddard Professor of Jet Propulsion, Emeritus at Caltech; known for contributions to three-dimensional flow, stall and distortion in turbomachinery and to turbulent heat transfer. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Garrett Reisman, MS 1992, PhD 1997, NASA Astronaut, Flew on STS-123 and was part of expedition 16 on the International Space Station. Returned to Earth on STS-124.
  • Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe
  • Harold Rosen, MS 1948, PhD 1951 – developer of Syncom family of communication satellites; winner National Medal of Technology 1985
  • Anatol Roshko - faculty
  • Richard A. Searfoss, MS 1979 – NASA Astronaut, flew on STS-58 and STS-76, commander of STS-90
  • William R. Sears
  • Ernest Edwin Sechler
  • Edward E. Simmons, BS 1934, MS 1936 – inventor of the strain gauge
  • Pol Spanos (engineer) - PhD 1976, Lewis B. Ryon Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering at Rice University. Known for pioneering research into the development of methods of predicting the dynamic behavior and reliability of structural systems in diverse loading environments; research has studied statics, dynamics, and vibrations of systems for aerospace, biomedical, forensic, marine, petroleum, seismic, and structural engineering applications. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • David W. Thompson - MS 1978, President and CEO of Orbital ATK Inc. Co-founder of Orbital Sciences Corporation, recipient of National Medal of Technology in 1991. Elected member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Milton Van Dyke
  • Vito Vanoni (engineer) - (former faculty) BS, MS, PhD, Professor of Hydraulics, Emeritus at Caltech. World leader in study of sediment transport in streams and rivers. Elected to National Academy of Engineering for leadership in developing the science of hydraulic sedimentation mechanics and applying it to construction and maintenance of engineering structures.
  • Ian Waitz, PhD 1991 - Dean of Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Forman A. Williams (engineer) - PhD 1958, Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department, UCSD; former Robert H. Goddard Chair professor at Princeton University; member of National Academy of Engineering. Known for research contributions to the advancement of combustion and flame theory.
  • Max L. Williams - (former faculty) PhD 1948, Professor of Aeronautics at Caltech; leader in fields of fracture mechanics, adhesion, solid propellant rockets; founder of International Journal of Fracture; Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Victor Wouk
  • Theodore Y. Wu
  • Vigor Yang - PhD 1984, William R.T. Oakes Professor and Chair of the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Member of National Academy of Engineering, and known for contributions to combustion physics in propulsion systems and to aerospace engineering education.

Geology and Planetary Science[edit]

Business[edit]

Economics, Finance, and Social Science[edit]

Government[edit]

Other fields[edit]

Notable faculty (current and former)[edit]

Members of the faculty are listed under the name of the academic division to which they belong. Most faculty who are also Caltech alumni are listed above in the Notable Alumni section.

Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy[edit]

The Feynman section at the Caltech bookstore, a tribute to his enduring impact.

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering[edit]

Biology and Biological Engineering[edit]

  • John Abelson
  • Richard A. Andersen - Neuroscientist who has done major research on visual physiology with an emphasis on translational research to humans in the field of neuroprosthetics, brain-machine interfaces, and cortical repair.
  • David J. Anderson – Neurobiologist who did major work in neural stem cells; current research focuses on genetic and neural circuits of innate behavior
  • Giuseppe Attardi - (former faculty) Molecular biologist who made fundamental contributions to the study of human mitochondrial structure, function, and role in disease
  • David Baltimore – Virologist who is one of the foremost living molecular biologists in the world; Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine (1975) for discovery of reverse transcriptase, President of Caltech (1997–2006).
  • George Wells Beadle – (former faculty) Geneticist who did fundamental work in gene mutations and role of genes in metabolic pathways, Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine (1958), President of the University of Chicago (1961–1968)
  • Seymour Benzer – (former faculty) World-leading molecular geneticist and one of the fathers of modern behavioral genetics, Crafoord laureate in biosciences (1993), National Medal of Science and Wolf Prize recipient
  • Pamela J. Bjorkman – Structural and cell biologist and expert in X-ray crystallography; pioneering structural studies of MHC molecules and other immune proteins, with applications to HIV
  • Marianne Bronner - Albert Billings Ruddock Professor of Biology at Caltech. Elected member of National Academy of Sciences.
  • Eric H. Davidson - pioneering developmental biologist in fields of gene regulation (and regulatory networks) in evolution and embryonic development; led efforts to sequence whole genome of purple sea urchin as a model organism
  • Norman Davidson (biologist) - (former faculty) pioneering molecular biologist who used physical tools to probe the chemical and structural properties of nucleic acids; also made many fundamental contributions to molecular genetics and molecular neuroscience; National Medal of Science recipient
  • Max Delbrück – (former faculty) Biophysicist and pioneering molecular biologist who led studies of phage viruses and molecular genetics, Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine (1969)
  • Michael Dickinson (biologist)
  • Theodosius Dobzhansky - (former faculty) Pioneering evolutionary geneticist; National Medal of Science recipient
  • William J. Dreyer - (former faculty)
  • Renato Dulbecco – (former faculty) Virologist, Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine (1975)
  • Michael Elowitz - Pioneer in fields of synthetic and systems biology; MacArthur Fellow
  • Sterling H. Emerson (former faculty) - Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Scott D. Emr (former faculty)
  • Scott E. Fraser (former faculty)
  • Arthur Galston (former faculty)
  • Arie Jan Haagen-Smit (former faculty)
  • John Hopfield (former faculty)
  • Christof Koch – (former faculty) Neuroscientist and pioneer in study of consciousness
  • Masakazu Konishi
  • Tom Maniatis - (former faculty)
  • Elliot Meyerowitz - World-renowned plant developmental geneticist
  • Thomas Hunt Morgan – (former faculty) Pioneering geneticist considered one of the fathers of modern experimental genetics, particularly Drosophila (fruit fly) research; Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine (1933); established Division of Biology at Caltech
  • Wheeler J. North – (former faculty) Marine scientist
  • James Olds – (former faculty) Neuroscientist
  • Ray D. Owen - (former faculty) pioneering immunogeneticist, particularly in immunological tolerance; Member of National Academy of Sciences and American Philosophical Society
  • Mel I. Simon - (former faculty) Anne P. and Benjamin F. Biaggini Professor of Biological Sciences; pioneering geneticist; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Robert L. Sinsheimer (former faculty); distinguished biophysicist and genetic researcher involved in human genome sequencing effort, phage virus genetics, etc.; Member of National Academy of Sciences, NAS Institute of Medicine; recipient of California Scientist of the Year Award
  • Roger W. Sperry – (former faculty) Neuroscientist, Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine (1981)
  • Paul Sternberg - Leading C. elegans geneticist; HHMI Investigator; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Alfred Sturtevant - (former faculty) Pioneer in genetic mapping on chromosomes and influential in early Drosophila research; National Medal of Science recipient
  • Kenneth V. Thimann (former faculty)
  • Albert Tyler (biologist) (former faculty)
  • Jerome Vinograd - (former faculty)
  • Alexander Varshavsky - Leading cell biologist who discovered N-end rule of ubiquitination and has proposed many promising routes to targeted killing of cancer cells; Wolf Prize recipient
  • Frits Warmolt Went (former faculty)
  • William Barry Wood - (former faculty) Distinguished Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Emeritus, at University of Colorado, Boulder; member of National Academy of Sciences

Engineering and Applied Science[edit]

  • Harry Atwater
  • John F. Brady (engineer) - Chevron Professor of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering; pioneer in rheology of complex fluids and transport phenomena; Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • William B. Bridges
  • Emmanuel Candès (former faculty)
  • Jean-Lou Chameau (former faculty and President Emeritus)
  • K. Mani Chandy
  • John Doyle (engineer)
  • Pol Duwez (former faculty)
  • Thomas Eugene Everhart (former faculty)
  • Ali Hajimiri
  • Babak Hassibi
  • Janet Hering - (former faculty) Director of Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag); Professor at ETH Zurich and EPFL; Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Michael R. Hoffmann (engineer) - Leading environmental scientist whose research has spanned atmospheric chemistry, chemical kinetics, catalytic oxidation and reduction, photochemistry, photocatalysis, nanotechnology, sonochemistry, photo-electrochemistry, pulsed-power plasma chemistry, environmental water chemistry, and microbiology. Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Hans G. Hornung
  • Jim Kajiya (former faculty)
  • Herbert Keller (former faculty)
  • Lester Lees - (former faculty) Professor of Aeronautics, known for pioneering contributions in hypersonic aerodynamics and environmental quality science, notably in boundary layers and heat transfer, flow-over blunt bodies, and the development of reentry vehicles. Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Mary Lidstrom - (former faculty) Jungers Professor of Microbiology and Chemical Engineering, University of Washington; Howard Hughes Medical Investigator; Member of National Academy of Sciences
  • Hans W. Liepmann - pioneer in fundamental fluid mechanics; recipient of National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology (former faculty)
  • Jerrold E. Marsden (former faculty)
  • James W. Mayer (engineer) - (former faculty) Carried out research on implantation that identified the damage and the epitaxial regrowth phenomena crucial to the semiconductor industry, and pioneered the use of ion beam techniques for materials analysis (citation for Von Hippel Award). Member of National Academy of Engineering.
  • Jack McKee (engineer) - (former faculty) Professor of Environmental Engineering; leading researcher in fields of water quality and waste treatment: including water quality criteria, sewage disinfection, membrane filtration and analysis, and wastewater disposal and reclamation; member of National Academy of Engineering
  • James J. Morgan (engineer) - (former faculty) Marvin Goldberger Professor of Environmental Engineering Science; world leader in chemistry of natural water systems; acid rain; wastewater and drinking water treatment; coagulation processes in aqueous systems; rates of oxidation processes in water; adsorption and surface chemistry; chemistry of water purification; transport of metals and other substances in water; and water quality modeling. Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Michael Ortiz (engineer) - Frank and Ora Lee Marble Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering; pioneer in computational mechanics; Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Milton S. Plesset (former faculty)
  • Demetri Psaltis (former faculty)
  • Stephen Quake (former faculty)
  • Fredric Raichlen (former faculty) - Professor Emeritus of Mechanical and Civil Engineering; made major contributions to hydraulics and coastal engineering, particularly in the areas of tsunamis, ship dynamics, and breaking waves. Member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Guruswami (Ravi) Ravichandran - John E. Goode, Jr., Professor of Aerospace, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories (GALCIT); member of National Academy of Engineering. Known for contributions to the mechanics of dynamic deformation, damage, and failure of engineering materials.
  • Ares J. Rosakis
  • Michael Roukes
  • Philip Saffman (former faculty)
  • Axel Scherer (professor)
  • Keith Schwab
  • Ronald Scott (engineer) - (former faculty) Dotty and Dick Hayman Professor of Civil Engineering, Emeritus; made major contributions to mechanics of deformation and yielding in soils, soil behavior in earthquakes, the physical chemistry and mechanics of ocean-bottom-soil, and freezing and thawing processes in soils; consultant to several NASA missions; member of National Academy of Engineering
  • Eli Sternberg - (former faculty) world leading mechanical engineer in mathematical theory of elasticity; Member of National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering
  • Theodore von Kármán – expert in aeronautics and rocket-scientist (former faculty)
  • Gerald B. Whitham (former faculty)
  • Amnon Yariv

Geological and Planetary Sciences[edit]

Humanities and Social Sciences[edit]

References[edit]