Alexander J. and Valentina Severinsky 125th Anniversary Colloquium: Dr. Guruswami Ravichandran
Imagining and Inventing the Future of Mechanical Engineering
Guruswami (Ravi) Ravichandran
Division of Engineering and Applied Science
California Institute of Technology
Caltech engineer, scientist, inventor and entrepreneur, Theodore von Kármán once famously said, “Engineers create the world that never was.” Indeed, mechanical engineers are continually transforming and reshaping the world around us in ingenious ways for the benefit of society. Their contributions to technologies have resulted in applications ranging from autonomous vehicles to medical devices to aerospace. Many of the recent innovations have been enabled by an interdisciplinary approach and the convergence of mechanical systems, sensing, information, and artificial intelligence. The talk will describe how a focused and engineering science-based approach can lead to breakthroughs. Illustrative examples of such advances and what they foretell about the future are presented. Thoughts and observations regarding directions for research and education that can lead to new knowledge and future innovations in mechanical engineering are discussed.