The last stop on my US tour was the inspirational California Institute of Technology. Based in Pasadena, Caltech has been reported as the top university in the world for the last three years in the Times Higher Education University Global Rankings. Although these rankings usually focus on a particular area I would agree that there is something pretty special about Caltech. The Caltech outlook was epitomized for me by Professor Frances Arnold who said they are not just training students to become scientists or engineers, they are training them to become Nobel Prize winners.
With that ambition laid on the table it was refreshing to hear such a senior academic speak so enthusiastically about her research and the development of her research over time from her mechanical & aerospace engineering roots through chemical engineering to her current research on protein engineering.