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 “Technical Seminar: Understanding the Flight of the Boomerang”

Boeing Technical Fellow to Discuss Boomerang Aerodynamics

Boeing Technical Fellow John Vassberg will discuss the aerodynamic characteristics and flight dynamics of boomerangs at the Spring Technical Seminar at noon on Friday, Feb. 23 in the Niggli Conference Center (ECS-312). Students and faculty are invited to attend.

Dr. Vassberg will explain how blade theory can be used to expand upon a basic aerodynamic model developed in the 1960s. The new aerodynamic model is coupled with a gyroscope model for rudimentary analyses. The approach has generated significant findings regarding the radius of a boomerang’s circular flight path, the required inclination angle of its axis-of-rotation, its trim state, as well as its dynamic stability. These discoveries provide a basic understanding of how the interplay between aerodynamic forces and moments, and gyroscopic precession combine to return the boomerang to its rightful owner by way of a circular flight path. Continue reading “Boeing Technical Fellow to Discuss Boomerang Aerodynamics”

College of Engineering Receives Transportation Research Award

The Long Beach State University College of Engineering has been selected as part of a $2 million statewide consortium to conduct transportation research and workforce development under Senate Bill 1 (SB 1).

The California State University Transportation Consortium (CSUTC) will be led by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University. Other participants include CSU Chico and CSU Fresno. The College of Engineering will be assisted by the LBSU Center for International Trade & Transportation. Continue reading “College of Engineering Receives Transportation Research Award”

Data Privacy Technique Discussed at IEEE Distinguished Lecture Series

If you’d like to send a private Valentine to that special someone this month, Spatial Digital Systems can help.

The Agoura Hills-based company has come up with a technique to embed your message within a separate, innocuous message to shield it from prying eyes. Donald Chang, Spatial Digital Systems’ CEO and President, demonstrated the technique before faculty and students at the IEEE Systems’ Council’s IEEE Distinguished Lecture Friday.

Called “digital enveloping,” the technique can be used to wrap a Microsoft Word document in an audio file or a real-time voice recording in an audio file. Sender and receiver would both know the technique was being used. Continue reading “Data Privacy Technique Discussed at IEEE Distinguished Lecture Series”

MAE Team Preps Remote-Controlled ‘Nutcracker Box’ for Its Stage Debut

MAE faculty, staff, and student team

Each year, Long Beach Ballet Artistic Director David Wilcox tries to add some new crowd pleaser to his production of “The Nutcracker”—be it a flying sleigh, a white stallion, on-stage pyrotechnics, or a tree growing before your eyes.

This year, for the company’s 35th annual production of the popular Christmas classic, the extra pizzazz will be supplied by a box created by a team of students led by Long Beach State Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Chris Beyer.

But it’s not just any old box. This 7-foot cube is remote-controlled, produces clouds of steam, and is mechanized to let the Nutcracker prince pop from the top at just the right moment. Continue reading “MAE Team Preps Remote-Controlled ‘Nutcracker Box’ for Its Stage Debut”

Electrical Engineering Grad Student Wins a Best Paper Award at NAPS

While an undergraduate at UCLA, Edward Sanchez gravitated toward research. His skill recently shone through at the IEEE 2017 North American Power Symposium (NAPS), where he won a Best Paper Award.

The paper, “Model Predictive Energy Scheduling for a Building Microgrid,” details how to design a control system to coordinate the micropower sources and utility grid demand of a proposed building microgrid. The research is part of a $2.5 million California Energy Commission project to turn the Engineering & Computer Science Building into a Smart Building. Continue reading “Electrical Engineering Grad Student Wins a Best Paper Award at NAPS”

CECS Introducing Colloquium Series

The Long Beach State Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science this semester will be launching a Colloquium Series to provide a forum for industry best practices and to make research more tangible for students.

Each semester, there will be 4-5 talks by invited speakers from academia and industry, said CECS Assistant Professor Birgit Penzenstadler.

The first talk will be on Thursday, Sept 28 from 12:30-2 p.m. in VEC-110. It will feature Ph.D. candidate Jayden Khakurel, who will discuss Human-centered Design and Wearables. Continue reading “CECS Introducing Colloquium Series”

Programming Sustainable Growth

Computer science isn’t just about sitting around staring at code. In Birgit Penzenstadler’s Sustainability Lab, a group of computer science seniors are using technology to help grow vegetables.

All summer long, Ruben Marin, Marinela Sanchez, Jason Plojo, and Lam Tran have been tending their tomato, basil, lettuce, and carrot plants in a lab in VEC, using an Arduino and moisture sensors to develop water-saving techniques. Continue reading “Programming Sustainable Growth”

Southern California Gas Company Teams Show Off Senior Projects

Reducing emissions from gas grills and pasta cookers. Finding a cost-effective method to detect methane leaks in residential walls. Developing a tool that can return compressed pipes to their original shape.

These were some of the technical problems that students tackled as part of the CSULB College of Engineering’s partnership program with the Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas).

“This is a win-win opportunity,” said Hal Snyder, SoCalGas Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity, and Inclusion “Students obtain practical experience, and you’re actually working on things that can help our company.”

The four-year-old CSULB program is led by Rodger R. Schwecke, SoCalGas Senior Vice President of Gas Transmission and Storage. Schwecke, a 1983 B.S. in chemical engineering graduate, said, “It’s great to see these bright engineering students take an idea from concept to physical demonstration, with supporting test data to show results.  Ideas such as addressing the ovality of plastic pipe prior to connections, that can turn into commercially viable applications to help our business.” Continue reading “Southern California Gas Company Teams Show Off Senior Projects”

Students Show off Design Projects

Some teams had their Senior Design Projects ready to demonstrate hours in advance. But for others, Friday morning was crunch time.

CSULB students enrolled in the two-semester Senior Design Project class (MAE 471/472) have an opportunity to learn about design, manufacturing, collaboration and more.

This year, 128 students worked on 26 projects. The capstone course, taught by Associate Professor Christiane Beyer, emphasizes the theory and practice of modern design and manufacturing.

Focusing on concept design and embodiment design in the first semester, the course culminates in project implementation during the second semester.

The rigorous course teaches systematic design methods and tools combined with the application of CAD/CAE/CAM software and modern manufacturing tools.

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