The Wouk Lecture

Past Lectures

SpaceX's Road to Mars May 19, 2019

The Next Wave of Wireless Communications - Enabling Revolutions in Health Care, Transportation, Energy, and the Environment, Lawrence Larson May 29, 2013

Scientific Research and Education: Challenges and Opportunities, Subra Suresh March 23, 2012

Life in a Changing Climate, Jörg Imberger October 21, 2008

Henry Petroski, the Aleksandar S.Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History at Duke University, will give the second annual Wouk Lecture, "Success through Failure: The Paradox of Design," at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 30 in Beckman Institute Auditorium. Petroski will explore the interplay between success and failure in the design of long-span suspension bridges. The historical record shows that success was achieved through the careful study of past failures, and that failure ultimately resulted when models were created with an increasing disregard for fundamental caveats. March 30, 2006 [Caltech News]

Professor Erik Antonsson gave the inaugural Victor Wouk Lecture at 4 p.m. May 19 in the Lees-Kubota Lecture Hall. Antonsson discussed "Advanced Technology for Space Exploration" and provided an overview of the JPL Strategic Technology Plan, along with highlights of recent successes and future missions. May 19, 2004 [Caltech News]

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The Wouk Lecture is presented by the Division of Engineering & Applied Science.

The Victor Wouk Lectureship, established by the Wouk family in December 2004 to bring to campus experts on the latest advances in science and technology, is named in honor of Caltech alumnus Victor Wouk, who received his master's and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from Caltech in 1940 and 1942, respectively. He devoted himself largely to developing hybrid motor vehicles and using semiconductors in electric vehicles. More than three decades ago, he designed and built a high-performance electric vehicle and a high-performance, low-emission, improved-fuel-use hybrid. Throughout his career, he promoted the continuing development of hybrid automobiles powered by both electricity and gasoline, such as the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, and Ford Escape Hybrid. The range of Wouk's activities was wide, and he consulted for several institutions and the government on the problems of energy. A space-travel buff since childhood, he also worked with the team that developed fuel gauges for the "dune buggies" that roamed the surface of the moon during the Apollo program.

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