Hundreds of Engineering Students Practice their Interview Skills

Countless online articles can tell you how to create the best impression during a job interview. But as with engineering itself, there’s no substitute for trying out those theories in the real world.

On Friday, the CSULB College of Engineering Office of Professional Development & Internships hosted its annual mock interviews, giving 530 students the opportunity to practice their interview skills with representatives from 48 employers.

Sponsored by Southern California Edison, the event drew many of the region’s top employers, including the Aerospace Corp., Boeing, Disney, Griffith Construction, NAVAIR, Northrop Grumman, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Ron Roberts, a recruiter with Griffith, said he was impressed with the CSULB engineering students’ enthusiasm. “I love the idea that the college is doing this,” said Roberts, a Cal State Los Angeles graduate. “These students have a hunger to learn.”

For students, the interviews also presented an opportunity to learn more about potential employers. Chemical engineering major Jasper Kelly said he hadn’t realized the diverse opportunities offered by the U.S. Coast Guard. When asked whether he wanted to work for the agency, Kelly said, “Maybe now I will.”

Some students who participated are graduating this semester and ready to hit the job market.

Others have a little time to prepare. Julie Liner prepared for her practice interview with Southern California Edison, where she’d like to work. “Most of the questions were expected. They were behavioral questions,” she said.

Honors student Daniel Lee said he doesn’t worry about the behavioral questions, which attempt to gauge soft skills. As a computer science major, however, he must master the technical interview, which includes algorithms.

 

Environmental Engineering Team Takes Top Spot at ASCE Competition

The Cal State Long Beach team clinched a first-place win in last weekend’s Environmental Competition at the annual ASCE Pacific Southwest Conference for building a water treatment system for less than $500. The three-day competition, which drew 1,300 students from 18 universities to Arizona State University, lets students put their civil or environmental engineering skills to the test.

College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golshani congratulated the students on their excellence. “As we move forward toward a more robust and standalone program in environmental engineering, student interest already places us above other universities,” he said.

“I wasn’t sure how we would do at first,” said Anesia Canty, Environmental Team Captain and president of the CSULB chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World. “Last year, UCI, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and CSU Fullerton got the top spots, so I knew we had to be at their level to place.” Continue reading

Sticking with STEM Means Limitless Possibilities for Future Careers

Panelists at the Science Extravaganza all had the same message for middle-school students: stick with STEM for a career with limitless opportunities.

Hosted by the CSULB chapter of MAES, the second annual event drew nearly 300 students from Perry Lindsey, Stephens, and Franklin Classical middle schools, as well as volunteers from The Aerospace Corp., Boeing, and other companies and student organizations.

“We need to help schools that serve underrepresented groups, and have limited funding and limited STEM,” said Anthony Ramirez, MAES CSULB Chapter Co-President and a CSULB aerospace engineering major. Continue reading

Artemus Labs’ ‘Sexy’ Prosthetic Liner Wins 2018 Innovation Challenge

Four finalist teams faced off Thursday at the CSULB Innovation Challenge, delivering their pitches to judges and answering questions about their target customers, revenue projections, and competition. The winning team was Artemus Labs, which will receive $10,000 in cash and $40,000 in services to help market its Python prosthetic liner.

“One of the things that President Conoley and I value is innovation—especially student innovation,” said CSULB Provost Brian Jersky. “We’re the old generation and you’re the new—we’re in your good hands.”

The Artemus Labs team collected feedback from amputees and evaluated existing prosthetic liners before designing their Python liner, which is breathable and comes in bright colors and two designs. Their goal was to make amputees “feel sexy.” Continue reading

MAE’s Yan Li Wins Best Paper Award

CSULB Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Assistant Professor Yan Li has won a Best Paper Award for her research on materials properties.

The paper, “Probabilistic Fracture Toughness Prediction of Composite Materials,” was presented at the 8th International Conference on Computational Methods (ICCM2017) in Guilin, China, in July 2017.

It explores the challenge of predicting the variation of material properties such as strength and fracture toughness in material-sensitive design, and the development of an integrated computational and analytical model to predict fracture toughness in a statistical sense. Continue reading

Meet the Four Finalist Teams for the 2018 Innovation Challenge

Startups that have developed a versatile exercise ball, launched an augmented reality app, started a household battery recycling program, and are working on a prosthetic prototype for amputees have been named finalists in the 2018 CSULB Innovation Challenge.

Gravity Ball, the Battery Effect, StickUp, and Artemus Labs will present their business plans to judges at the April 12 Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony. The top team will receive up to $50,000 in cash and business services. To attend the free event, visit http://www.csulb.edu/innovation-challenge to reserve your seat. Continue reading

G2 Software Systems Interviews for Open Computer Science Positions

San Diego-based G2 Software Systems is often enlisted to fix broken systems or refresh ones that are out of date. The company’s sweet spot is with the defense industry’s large, complex, and sometimes antiquated, systems. G2 was hired to create software that sends alerts throughout all branches of the military, notifies the continent’s defense and aviation organizations to suspicious aircraft, and lets military personnel be trained simultaneously around the globe.

On Wednesday, a group from G2 visited the CSULB College of Engineering to interview graduating computer science seniors for possible jobs or internships. G2’s founder, Georgia Griffiths, is a CSULB alumni and member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.

G2 General Manager Pete Keyes. COE Development Director Nicole Forrest-Boggs, and mathematician Christopher Priebe.

G2 General Manager Pete Keyes. COE Development Director Nicole Forrest-Boggs, and mathematician Christopher Priebe.

“She’s a great supporter of scholarships for the College of Engineering,” said COE Development Director Nicole Forrest-Boggs, whose office organized the event. “We’re very happy to have them here.”

The G2 contingent included general manager Pete Keyes, mathematician Christopher Priebe, and office manager Jessica Rose, a CUSLB alumni.

Priebe, who manages a technology team at G2, said job prospects are bright for computer science majors. “This is a booming industry. It’s a seller’s market. There’s a lot of competition for engineers,” he said. Continue reading

Submit your Papers to 2018 IEEE Green Energy & Smart Systems Conference

Papers are being accepted for the IEEE Green Energy and Smart Systems Conference, scheduled for Nov. 5-6 at the Pyramid at CSULB. The conference brings together researchers and practitioners in the smart systems and sustainable and green energy fields. This year’s focus is on “Smart Systems, Engineering a Resilient, Sustainable, Secure, Optimized Power Grid with Battery, and Intelligent Transportation Systems.” Continue reading

Professional Development Speaker Series: Working as a Google Engineer

If you want to know the questions that Google interviewers ask, don’t believe the dozens of books and blog posts written on the subject. Because the minute an interview question is found to be published, it’s added to the list of banned questions, says Google software engineer Chris Clark, who was at CSULB Tuesday to talk about what it’s like to be an engineer at Google.

Clark was the top computer science student in his class at UCLA, where he double majored in applied mathematics. He won a Hewlett-Packard scholarship that guaranteed him three internships at the company.

But after completing his first summer internship there, he declined a second one in favor of internships at Xerox and then Microsoft. After his 2008 graduation, Microsoft hired him full-time. Seven years ago, he was recruited by Google.

The search engine giant, said Clark, “is very good at empowering every engineer.” The company’s open environment and support of its employees is legendary, as are its kitchens.

Clark said the micro-kitchens serve a purpose in addition to keeping employees in snacks, refreshments, and meals. “They foster communication with other people. You might go to pick up a water and overhear someone trying to solve a technical problem and end up in a conversation,” he said. Continue reading

Technical Seminar: Understanding the Flight of the Boomerang

Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Programs Hamid Rahai left, welcomes John Vassberg to CSULB.

Have you ever wondered how boomerangs fly? John Vassberg has. One of Boeing’s top aerodynamicists, Vassberg was at CSULB Friday to deliver one his most popular lectures—one that delves into the aerodynamic capabilities of a hunting tool developed by Aboriginal Australians thousands of years ago.

“It’s turned out to be a cult classic,” said Vassberg, who has given the talk in Paris and Brussels and at Caltech and University of Southern California. “Maybe I’ll teach you something so you’ll have something to do over the weekend,” he told faculty and students at the Spring Technical Seminar.

Now Technical Lead and Chief Aerodynamicist of Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ Advanced Concepts Design Center in Southern California, Vassberg did the research back in 2012 when he was asked to present at an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conference. Continue reading