ME Alumni Shares His Experience as R&D Test Engineer at Northrop Grumman

Mechanical engineering alumni Bryan Calungcagin, now a research and development test engineer with Northrop Grumman, returned to campus Wednesday with some advice. All that theory in courses like power plant design, control systems, and finite element analysis? Students are actually going to need it once they start working in the engineering field.

“Everything you learn in school, you’ll use,” said Calungcagin, who graduated from CSULB in 2012 and is now working on his master’s degree in systems engineering at Loyola Marymount University.

Some other things also won’t change. Calungcagin said he’s transitioned from studying until “three or four in the morning” to troubleshooting projects late at night.

Calungcagin works in Northrop Grumman’s Area 67, and describes himself as a MacGyver. “We take a bunch of stuff, we whip it around, and we test it,” he said. “The freedom I have to engineer is incredible.”

His trajectory isn’t typical. Calungcagin said he spent several years working as an auto mechanic on race cars—satisfying his innate urge to take things apart—before he realized he wanted to be designing not swapping out broken parts.

He came to CSULB as a transfer student from Fullerton College. Unfortunately, he and other members of his graduating class faced dismal job prospects in engineering due to the recession. Calungcagin said he sent out about 1,000 resumes, then began attending job fairs asking employers what qualities they were seeking.

Today’s graduating students have many opportunities. “It’s a great time to be an engineer,” Calungcagin said. “Right now, the industry is exploding.”

In his sector alone, Calungcagin said Northrop Grumman is hiring 700 interns, who will have a chance at being hired for an entry-level job. The company looks for a GPA of at least 3.25 and experience with projects.

He encouraged students to think big. For example, a 3D printer with a robotic arm that can work in a vacuum could be used for manufacturing in clean rooms, printing parts to help astronauts with repairs, or colonizing Mars.

Engineering also requires some quick thinking. When he was presenting his senior design project, which involved building a fire protection system, they burned out the motor during the demonstration for the Fire Department. To get the demo back on track, a team member had to run to Home Depot and buy a new motor.

Calungcagin’s presentation was part of the COE Office of Professional Development & Internships’ Speaker Series, which provides students with advice on resume and networking, as well as perspectives of engineers working for various companies.

 

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”

MAE Students Showcase their Fall Senior Design Engineering Projects

MAE design expo groups

CSULB Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering students showcased their Senior Design Engineering Projects at Thursday’s Exhibition in the Niggli Conference Center. The multidisciplinary projects were designed, developed, fabricated, and funded by CSULB and some local industries under the supervision of Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Mahdi  Yoozbashizadeh. Continue reading “MAE Students Showcase their Fall Senior Design Engineering Projects”

New Flyer Posting Policy as College of Engineering Moves from Paper to Digital

Beginning in Spring 2019, the College of Engineering will be providing designated areas for the posting of flyers. The first area will be in the glass cabinets north of the ECS entrance. Other areas may be added depending upon demand.

If you would like to have a flyer posted to publicize an event, program, or announcement, please fill out this flyer post request and drop off copies of your flyer (a maximum of 12) in ECS-602 and your flyer will be posted within two business days. You can also submit electronic versions to margo.mccall@csulb.edu for distribution on social media and BeachBoard and possible inclusion in the lobby display rotation. Continue reading “New Flyer Posting Policy as College of Engineering Moves from Paper to Digital”

From NAHB Student Chapter President to Speaker at an International Tradeshow

Participating in student competitions can land you a first-place prize. But for Construction Engineering Management senior Chantal Contreras, it landed her in China.

Contreras took over as president of the CSULB chapter of National Association of Home Builders in the spring of 2017, and set to work trying to boost membership and raise funds for events and travel to competitions. “It was really hard to get things started up,” she said.

The chapter managed to send Contreras and five other students to Orlando to attend the International Builders Show, the largest light construction building industry tradeshow in the United States. Continue reading “From NAHB Student Chapter President to Speaker at an International Tradeshow”

Engineering Distinguished Lecture Panel on the New Face of Engineering in 2030

Will artificial intelligence put people out of jobs? Is the idea of working for one company your entire career obsolete? Will the engineering field include previously underrepresented groups? And how important are so-called soft skills?

These are some of the questions tackled by the industry panel at Thursday’s Engineering Distinguished Lecture, which was timed to coincide with CSULB’s Imagine BEACH 2030 crowdsourcing campaign to examine the future. Continue reading “Engineering Distinguished Lecture Panel on the New Face of Engineering in 2030”

SCE VP Jill Anderson Urges Girls to Study Engineering, Help Solve World Problems

Jill Anderson, vice president of Customer Programs and Services at Southern California Edison (SCE), remembers the moment she decided to pursue engineering. She’d enrolled in a summer math and science camp in high school with the thought of raising her SAT scores. “At 16 years old, I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do,” she recalled.

They were given a box of rubber bands, some pencils, wheels, and a mousetrap, and asked to build a racecar. After understanding that the spring in the mousetrap could be used to power the car, it was all over for Anderson.  “I was hooked,” she told the 170 high school girls at Friday’s Women Engineers at the Beach event. “I decided I’m going to be an engineer.” Continue reading “SCE VP Jill Anderson Urges Girls to Study Engineering, Help Solve World Problems”