Ares J. Rosakis Ares J. Rosakis
Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and
Mechanical Engineering

Leadership Accomplishments

As EAS Division Chair, May 2009 – September 2015

  • Ares Rosakis interview with Times Higher Education World University Rankings Ares Rosakis presenting Demetriades AwardAres Rosakis and DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar at Carver Mead 80th Birthday Celebration

    Ares Rosakis presenting Demetriades AwardAres Rosakis and Caltech Trustee Milton Chang co-hosts of Carver Mead 80th Birthday Celebration
    Rosakis’ interview with “Times Higher Education World University Rankings”, on Caltech’s secrets of success.
    Professor Choon Fong Shih, Founding President KAUST (left) and Professor Ares Rosakis (right) at the Franklin Institute Awards Ceremony honoring Professor Subra Suresh, President, Carnegie Mellon University, April 25, 2013

    NSF Director and 2012 Distinguished Wouk Lecturer, Subra Suresh with Ares Rosakis

  • 3 years in a row Engineering and Technology at Caltech was ranked #1 by the Times Higher Education World University Ranking (Thomson Reuters) for 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013.
    Rosakis delivering ARCS keynote presentation.Ares Rosakis addressing École Polytechnique students during a ceremony to sign an agreement for a Master's Education Exchange Program in Aeronautics/Space Engineering and Mechanics.
    Neal Blue and Ares Rosakis at AHS Wings Award Banquet CeremonyNeal Blue, Chairman of General Atomics and Ares Rosakis at AHS Wings Award Banquet Ceremony

    Rosakis with former Prime Minister of Greece, Lucas Papademos, President of the Academy of Athens

    Rosakis with Bruce Darling, Executive Officer of the NAS
  • Presided over the structural re-organization of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) at Caltech.
  • Replaced the amorphous "degree option" structure with seven EAS departments and presided over their administrative restructuring.
  • Introduced a system of multiple fundraising advisory councils, composed of Caltech alumni and Institute trustees, corresponding to each new department.
  • Established the Center for Technology and Management Education (CTME) which provides executive training, courses and certificate programs to international companies and government agencies.
  • Involved in the establishment and oversight of the Resnick Energy Sustainability Institute which aims to foster transformational advances in energy science and technology through research, education, and communication.
  • Member of the oversight board for the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) with the mission to keep the United States at the forefront of solar-fuel research.
  • Oversaw the fundraising and renovation of the Jorgensen Laboratory to serve as the new home for two of Caltech’s key energy and sustainability research efforts: the Resnick Institute and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis.
  • Presided over, along with the Chair of the Division of Geology and Planetary Sciences, the establishment of the interdisciplinary Terrestrial Hazard Observation and Reporting (THOR) Center
  • Established a graduate student exchange program between the Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science and Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace, located in Toulouse (France)
  • Appointed by the President of Ecuador as the Chair, and a founding member of the Board of Trustees of Yachay Tech University (Yachay Universidad de Investigación de Tecnologia Experimental). The first international, research-centric, university in Latin America.
  • Created a partnership program with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and established the "Satish Dhawan" endowed Fellowship sponsored by ISRO and the Government of India. Also created the "Abdul Kalam" prize in Aerospace.
  • Established the Charles M. Vest Engineering Grand Challenges Scholarship at Caltech for International collaboration (endorsed by NAE and RAE).
  • Founded the new Department of Medical Engineering (MedE) within the Engineering and Applied Science Division
  • Facilitated the establishment of the Caltech – Northrop Grumman Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI)
  • Spearheaded the establishment of the Foster and Coco Stanback Center for Autonomous Systems and Technology (CAST).

As Director of GALCIT, 2004- 2009

Ares Rosakis at Guggenheim DedicationAres Rosakis with GALCIT faculty and graduate students (2006)
  • Led the initiative to revitalize the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories (GALCIT). Caltech was ranked #1 or #2 in Aerospace Engineering for the last six years by the US News and World Report.
  • Five new faculty members hired between 2005 and 2007, increased the size of GALCIT faculty by 40%.
  • Ares Rosakis at Guggenheim DedicationAres Rosakis and Jean-Lou Chameau at Guggenheim Dedication
    Established Masters Program in Space Engineering, in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); initiated follow-on PhD program in Space Engineering; guaranteed the long-term viability of these programs through new fundraising for lectureships and fellowships.
  • Established a two year dual masters' program between GALCIT and École Polytechnique in France. The program received the 2010 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education from the Institute of International Education in New York.
  • Established a Master’s of PhD exchange program with the Government of Andalucía and the University of Seville.
  • Ares Rosakis with Wings Award winner Abdul KalamAres Rosakis with Wings Award winner Yannick d'EscathaTop: Ares Rosakis with Wings Award winner Abdul Kalam (11th President of India). Bottom: Ares Rosakis with Wings Award winner Yannick d'Escatha (Chairman of CNES).
  • Oversaw extensive fundraising and renovation of the historic Guggenheim Laboratory following removal of 10-foot wind tunnel. Four labs built, the Laboratory for Large Space Structures, the Allen Puckett Laboratory of Computational Fluid Mechanics, the Gordon Cann Laboratory of Experimental Innovation, and the Joseph Charyk Center for Bio-Inspired Design; Kármán Conference room renovated and GALCIT Archives created (made possible by Robert Herzog); and extensive new classroom, conference, office, and social spaces created.
  • Established the GALCIT Director’s Advisory Board to extend the fundraising reach of GALCIT.
  • Contributed to the establishment of the Keck Institute for Space Studies at Caltech and JPL.
  • Led systematic effort to formally involve GALCIT and EAS faculty in joint research projects with JPL, the newly established Keck Institute for Space Studies, and the aerospace industry.
  • Co-organized (with JPL and Northrop Grumman) an international conference to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Space Exploration. (800 attendees).
  • Incorporated the Aerospace Historical Society (AHS) into GALCIT and became its president. Among other outreach activities the Society is annually responsible for awarding the International von Kármán Wings Award.

Caltech Leadership and Service

Ares Rosakis and James CameronAres Rosakis with Northrop Grumman visitorsAres Rosakis with Kent KresaTop: Ares Rosakis and filmaker James Cameron. Middle: Ares Rosakis with Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush. Bottom: Ares Rosakis with Kent Kresa (past Chair of Caltech Board of Trustees)
  • Institute Cabinet for the Caltech Strategic Identity Project (The Caltech branding project)
  • Member, Institute Academic Council (IACC)
  • Member, Institute Administrative Council (IAC)
  • Member, Steering Committee, Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)
  • Chair, Lee-Ramo Symposia Committee, EAS Division
  • Member, Committee for the Constitution of Caltech's "Institute for Space Science"
  • Member, JPL Advisory Council
  • Member, JPL Chief Technologist Selection Committee
  • Member, Institute’s Faculty Board (Caltech’s governing body)
  • Faculty Nominating Committee, Faculty Board
  • Chair, GALCIT/JPL Committee for Space Engineering Education
  • Member, EAS Division Steering Committee (DSC)
  • Member, Planning Committee for the Future of the Engineering & Applied Sciences Division
  • Participated and chaired over thirty departmental committees for faculty hiring, promotions, graduate student awards, laboratory staffing and renovation.

Building Renovations

Jorgensen Dedication

Rosakis is currently responsible for 13 large buildings on campus and has also fundraised for and overseen the renovation of three major building projects. These include the renovation of the historic Guggenheim Building (one of the seven original buildings established in the twenties by the Guggenheim foundation to various US universities to promote aeronautics) and the Jorgensen Building. Jorgensen houses the Institute's and the division’s energy initiatives, Resnick Institute and JCAP Center. He is currently overseeing the renovation of the Franklin Thomas Building which is the home of Mechanical and Civil Engineering. The renovations efforts associated with the Jorgensen and Guggenheim Buildings have been recognized by the following architectural awards.


  • 2013 Sustainable Innovation Award at US Green Building Council (USGBC)
  • 2013 American Architecture Award by the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design, and Urban Studies.
  • 2013 Westside Urban Forum Award, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2013 Los Angeles Business Council, Los Angeles Architectural Awards, Award of Excellence
  • 2012 American Institute of Architects Pasadena & Foothill, Honor Award


  • 2011 American Institute of Architects California Council, Merit Award
  • 2011 Westside Urban Forum, Design Citation Award
  • 2010 Southern California Development Forum (SCDF), Design Award
  • 2010 Los Angeles Business Council, Los Angeles Architectural Awards, Award of Excellence
  • 2009 Architect Annual Design Review, Citation Award
  • 2009 Architectural Record, Record Interiors Award
  • 2009 Real Estate & Construction Review, Building of America Award
  • 2009 American Institute of Architects Pasadena & Foothill, Merit Award
  • 2008 3form People’s Choice Best Installation Award, Best Ceiling
  • 2007 American Institute of Architects Los Angeles, Next LA Merit Award


  • 2011 Project of the Year, Sustainable Innovation Awards
    U.S. Green Building Council, Los Angeles Chapter
  • 2011 Honor Award – Indoor Air Quality, Sustainable Innovation Awards
    U.S. Green Building Council, Los Angeles Chapter
  • 2011 Design Merit Award
    Westside Urban Forum
  • 2009 Honor Award
    Southern California Development Forum
  • 2009 Design Honor Award
    American Institute of Architects, Pasadena-Foothill Chapter

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Caltech last update: 11/22/2022