CSULB College of Engineering Adds Seven New Faculty Members to Its Ranks

New faculty joining the CSULB College of Engineering this fall include researchers with expertise in accessible STEM education, bioimplantable medical devices, water resources, materials that respond to their surroundings, computer security and architecture, and social media data.

Siavash Ahrar

Dr. Siavash Ahrar joins the CSULB Biomedical Engineering Department as an assistant professor, after earning a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from University of California Irvine, working as a postdoctoral researcher in the UCI Department of Physics, and serving as a Science and Engineering Education Fellow (SEEF) with the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University.

His work focuses on studying and developing an active and accessible STEM education for all learners. His research focuses on developing automation tools and their application to bioengineering, including mili and microfluidics and simple autonomous machines. During his graduate studies, Dr. Ahrar developed autonomous microfluidics (i.e., pneumatic computers) that could lead to the independent operation of laboratory tools and point-of-care diagnostics. Continue reading “CSULB College of Engineering Adds Seven New Faculty Members to Its Ranks”

The CSULB Space Sharks Prepare for Year 2 of NASA Mining Robot Competition

Student teams entering a NASA competition to build a mining robot can expect technical challenges. But in addition to engineering glitches, last year’s CSULB Lunabotics team had to contend with a government shutdown, sudden venue change, and last-minute scramble for funding.

Dehwei Hsu, the mechanical engineering senior who led last year’s FortyMiners team, said the robot’s design and development was already behind schedule when the government shutdown forced NASA to cancel the scheduled competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Teams still submitted reports and a slide presentation, but instead of the onsite competition in Florida, University of Alabama hosted a Robotic Mining Challenge at its Tuscaloosa campus. Continue reading “The CSULB Space Sharks Prepare for Year 2 of NASA Mining Robot Competition”

IEEE Green Energy and Smart Systems Conference Marks Its 10th Year at CSULB

CSULB President Jane Conoley and IGESC Chair Henry Yeh
CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and IGESSC Chair Henry Yeh

The IEEE Green Energy and Smart Systems Conference—an academic conference launched to advance a systems approach to integrating emerging technologies—marked its 10th year Monday at the Walter Pyramid at California State University Long Beach.

Featuring two tracks, nearly a dozen speakers, and 32 presentations, the conference two years ago was expanded to include a daylong workshop. That contrasted with one track and 10 presentations for the inaugural conference in 2010. Continue reading “IEEE Green Energy and Smart Systems Conference Marks Its 10th Year at CSULB”

Federal Funding Secured to Establish CSULB’s First Optics and Laser Laboratory

laser lab

Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor Aftab Ahmed has been awarded funding to create California State University Long Beach’s first optics and laser laboratory. Established with a $449,320 Department of Defense grant, the lab will foster learning opportunities for students and multidisciplinary research for CSULB faculty.

The lab will feature three laser systems, including a tunable titanium-sapphire continuous wave laser, an ultrafast pulsed laser, and a telecom optical wavelength band laser. Together, they will deliver the ability to test in any wavelength, from 350 to 1,565 nanometers. Continue reading “Federal Funding Secured to Establish CSULB’s First Optics and Laser Laboratory”

CSULB’s Chem-E Car Team Takes First Place in the AIChE Regional Competition

On its first run, the Tank refused to operate. But on its second run, after some tinkering and troubleshooting, California State University Long Beach’s entry in the Chem-E Car competition sped off, stopping within 2.24 meters of its 17.2-meter goal and landing CSULB a first-place win.

“We knew we were close,” said team co-captain Anthony Reyes, adding that the team erupted in shrieks of enthusiasm when it was announced they beat out competitors at the AIChE Western Regional Conference at the University of Southern California earlier this month. Continue reading “CSULB’s Chem-E Car Team Takes First Place in the AIChE Regional Competition”

College of Engineering 2019 Outstanding Graduate Got Start in BESST and BUILD

Jairo ContrerasMechanical engineering senior Jairo Maldonado-Contreras has been named the CSULB College of Engineering’s 2019 Outstanding Graduate. A member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, he has held internships at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Northwestern University.

After graduation from CSULB, he will pursue a PhD in robotics at GeorgiaTech, studying human-intent recognition algorithms used to control prostheses and exoskeletons under advisor Dr. Aaron Young.

Continue reading “College of Engineering 2019 Outstanding Graduate Got Start in BESST and BUILD”

ExploreCSR Introduces Female Students to the World of Computer Science Research

In most university computer science classes, women are a minority. But at last weekend’s exploreCSR workshop at California State University Long Beach, the opposite was true.

The three-day workshop, supported by a $35,000 grant from Google, drew about 50 students from universities throughout Southern California, including Fullerton, Long Beach, Pomona, and San Diego in the California State University system, and Irvine and San Diego in the University of California system. All but three were women. Continue reading “ExploreCSR Introduces Female Students to the World of Computer Science Research”

SBIR/STTR Workshop Forges Connections between Businesses and Academia

Small Business Innovation Research attendees

Small businesses, faculty members, and researchers turned out Thursday at the College of Engineering’s SBIR/STTR Workshop to learn more about securing federal funding to build businesses.

The event, sponsored by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, the city of Long Beach, and the Southern California Biomedical Council, drew about 100 people to the Pointe Conference Center at the Walter Pyramid.

College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golashani pointed out that the more than 28 million small businesses in the United States form the backbone of the economy.  “Looking at the increase in federal government funding compelled us to see how we can bring people together to compete for these opportunities,” he said. Continue reading “SBIR/STTR Workshop Forges Connections between Businesses and Academia”

Associate Dean Dr. Rahai Named Senior Member of National Academy of Inventors

Hamid Rahai, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs in the CSULB College of Engineering, has been named a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). He is among 66 inventors named to the inaugural class of Senior Members, representing 37 NAI Member Institutions collectively holding more than 1,100 issued U.S. patents.

Dr. Rahai is founding director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Research and Services (CEERS), and a professor in CSULB’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Biomedical Engineering departments. Continue reading “Associate Dean Dr. Rahai Named Senior Member of National Academy of Inventors”

BESST Graduate Prepares for Doctorate

Jairo Maldonado-Contreras

Attending high school on California’s Central Coast, Jairo Maldonado-Contreras got good grades, but didn’t plan to attend college. He sent out a few applications because his friends did, and was surprised when he was accepted at Long Beach State University.

Contreras chose to study engineering because he liked math. He also hoped to provide a better life for his mother, Rosa, who supports the family by picking strawberries. “When I got my acceptance, she was happy for me but also brokenhearted that I was moving three hours away,” he said. “We were always accustomed to looking after each other.”

Luckily for Contreras, he arrived at Long Beach State as the College of Engineering was establishing the Beach Engineering Student Success Team (BESST), a support program for incoming freshmen, particularly those from diverse backgrounds and with greatest need. Students attend a summer camp before the semester starts, go to classes and social activities as a group, and receive individual and group tutoring and mentoring. Continue reading “BESST Graduate Prepares for Doctorate”