MAE Department Celebrates Graduates’ Accomplishments

Hope Daley and professors Daniel Whisler and Jalal Torabzadeh

CSULB Mechanical and Aerospace students on Monday gathered with faculty and advisers for a celebration before their graduation. “This is a milestone,” said MAE Chair Jalal Torabzadeh. “It was not easy for some of you. The road was rough, but you have shown you can overcome challenges.”

Said Hilal, CEO of Applied Medical, who received the Distinguished Alumni Award, advised graduates to search for a sense of belonging and purpose. “You’re about to go onto the next chapter. But corporations may be thinking of you as the workforce, not the think force or the innovate force.” Continue reading “MAE Department Celebrates Graduates’ Accomplishments”

COE Receives Boeing’s “Supplier of the Year” Award



The College of Engineering was recently presented with Boeing’s “Supplier of the Year” award for providing exceptional performance and contributions to Boeing’s overall success. The COE, along with 16 companies, received the award during a ceremony held at the San Diego Convention Center.

The selection of the COE was on the basis of a longstanding relationship that included a consistently superior pipeline of talent, many successful collaborative projects, and partnership on research and development efforts. “These partners have gone above and beyond the call to help Boeing provide the best, most affordable products and services possible,” said Jack House, leader of Boeing Supplier Management.

Supplier of the Year

The COE was honored in the category of “Academia” for its outstanding performance as a strategic university. “This award is a wonderful validation of our efforts to support regional socioeconomic development and to partner with Southern California business and industry,” says Forouzan Golshani, dean of the College of Engineering. “Our long and multifaceted relationship with Boeing has included numerous research and development projects, educational initiatives, student scholarships and support, and the Boeing Endowed Chair in Manufacturing—not to mention the fact that more than a few of their engineers have come from our program.”

At the Boeing Supplier of the Year Award ceremony were (l-r) Jack House, Boeing enterprise leader, Supplier Management; John Tracy, Boeing senior vice president and chief technology officer; Paul Pasquier, Boeing Engineering, Operations and Technology vice president, Supplier Management; CSULB Dean for the College of Engineering Forouzan Golshani; CSULB Associate Dean for the College of Engineering Hamid Rahai; Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president, Supply Chain Management; Joan Robinson-Berry, Boeing Shared Services Group vice president, Supplier Management; and Kent Fisher, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president, Supplier Management.

Juan Chaves, Recipient of Costa Rica’s Highest Technology Honors

Chaves with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla

By Todd Howard

Juan Chaves (MS in Electrical Engineering, 2009) is the recipient of Costa Rica’s two highest technology honors—the Jorge Manuel Dengo Award from the organization Strategy XXI Century, and the Clodomiro Picado Twight Technology Award from the Ministry of Science and Technology. He was presented with both awards by Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla.

Chaves serves as the director of the Nanotechnology Laboratory at the Instituto Technologico de Costa Rica, which is the nation’s leading university of engineering and science. His laboratory is the most advanced and well-funded nanotechnology laboratory in Latin America, and he is regarded as a leading authority in this immense multidisciplinary field.

Nanotechnology, with its dizzying range of potential applications, is poised to change the world significantly in the coming decades. From steel that is hundreds of times stronger and lighter than that of today, to microscopic-sized circuit boards with processing speeds beyond our wildest imaginings, to cures for scores of illnesses—the race is on to bring the near limitless possibilities of nanotechnology to fruition in the twenty-first century.

Chaves received his country’s top technology honors for the groundbreaking graduate research that he conducted at CSULB in the use of carbon “nanotubes” as an alternative to pharmaceutical antibiotics for stopping bacterial infections. This graduate research project, which was supervised by Chaves’ graduate advisor, Dr. Tulin Mangir, began as an exploration into electrical engineering applications of nanomaterials, but Chaves was inspired to move into the arena of biomedical applications after witnessing an unexpected phenomenon in the laboratory.

“I benefited from National Science Foundation funding to develop interconnections for computer devices using carbon nanotubes, and Dr. Mangir and I were using bacteria to clean these nanotubes,” says Chaves. “I saw the bacteria reacting to the nanotubes in some very intriguing ways, and it became evident to me that nanomaterials could serve as highly effective antibiotics that function through mechanical rather than chemical means.”

Such nanotechnology innovations were first theorized in the late 1950s by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. He described a process in which scientists would one day be able to manipulate the individual atoms and molecules of virtually any material, and that by so doing they could imbue these materials with exponentially enhanced strength, electrical conductivity, etc. It wasn’t until the 1980s that specialized microscopes would be developed that would enable researchers to begin to view materials at the “nanoscale” (a sheet of newspaper is about 100,000 nanometers thick), and it has taken another quarter century for innovations such as Chaves’ to begin to emerge.

It is now evident that nanotechnology’s potential for impacting a nation’s economy will soon be on par with that of the Industrial Revolution or the Information Age. In 2003, the National Science Foundation predicted that nanotechnology would become a trillion-dollar industry within the next two decades. In response, Congress has enacted legislation that seeks to ensure U.S. leadership in this industry by requiring all federal agencies to strategically coordinate their nanotechnology research. Other highly industrialized nations are taking similar measures in an effort to stake out their shares of the global marketplace.

Technology Honors
Chaves’ laboratory is also developing nanotechnologies for a broad range of non-agricultural applications including accurate diagnosis of the various bacterial infections commonly suffered by hospital patients, as well as concrete that possesses the strength and longevity of steel mesh.

However, nanotechnology is also providing enormous opportunities to developing nations, as evidenced by the fact that Chaves’ work at the Instituto Technologico is positioning Costa Rica as a major exporter of this technology. “We’re seizing this opportunity to shape the future rather than waiting for others to create it and export it to Costa Rica,” says Chaves. “We’re developing nanotechnologies in niches that other countries aren’t actively exploring yet—particularly in agriculture. Costa Rica is an agricultural country, and we are well-positioned for developing technology that adds value to our own agricultural products on the international market and for licensing this technology to other countries as well.”

Award-Winning Ph.D. Student Jeremy Bonifacio’s Healthy Ambition

Jeremy Bonifacio receiving METRANS Transportation Center’s “Student of the Year” Award from Greg Winfree, Acting Administrator of the US Research and Innovative Technology Administration

By Todd Howard

Engineering Ph.D. student Jeremy Bonifacio is distinguishing himself on the national stage as an innovator of high-tech solutions to longstanding environmental and public-health issues. Last year, he traveled to the Transportation Research Board’s annual conference in Washington D.C. to receive the METRANS Transportation Center’s “Student of the Year” award as well as a certificate of commendation from the U.S. Department of Transportation for his academic excellence and research in the reduction of airborne pollution.

A student in the “Engineering and Industrial Applied Math” doctoral program that is a joint endeavor between the College of Engineering and Claremont Graduate University, Bonifacio’s research in Fluid Dynamics is creating technologies that disperse indoor and outdoor pollutants before they can reach dangerously high levels of concentrations, as well as biomedical instruments for treating pollution-related illnesses. “The number of people who are getting sick from airborne pollutants is on the rise in developed and developing nations alike,” says Bonifacio. “There is urgent need for a comprehensive range of solutions.” Bonifacio recently served as the student team leader on a $1.8 million joint research endeavor between CSULB and the Port of Los Angeles that developed “seawater scrubber” technology for reducing the high concentrations of diesel particulate matter that are emitted from oceangoing vessels. The project’s principle investigator was Dr. Hamid Rahai, Bonifacio’s PhD advisor.

In addition to his research in Fluid Dynamics, Bonifacio is developing biomedical technology that holds the promise of providing more accurate diagnoses and targeted treatment of pollution-related illnesses such as respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer. He presently teaches Aerodynamics Laboratory classes in CSULB’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and is preparing for a career as a consultant in the field of environmental pollutants and as an entrepreneur in the field of biomedical technologies.

Torabzadeh Given Hardeman Academic Leadership Award

Dr. Jalal Torabzadeh (center), recipient of the Nicholas Perkins Hardemann Academic Leadership Award, with Academic Senate Chair Dan O'Connor and Provost Don Para.
Jalal Torabzadeh headshot
Jalal Torabzadeh

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering professor and interim chair Jalal Torabzadeh was awarded the prestigious Nicholas Perkins Hardeman Academic Leadership Award at the 2013 CSULB University Achievement Award Ceremony. Last awarded in 2008, the Hardeman award acknowledges significant contributions by faculty members to the principle and practice of shared governance at CSULB.

“Since joining the Mechanical and Aerospace Department in 1986, Dr. Torabzadeh has worked tirelessly on behalf of the university,” says interim university president Don Para. “His professionalism, integrity, ethical values, kindness, willingness to hear the viewpoints of others, and exceptional analytical skills have earned him the respect of his colleagues university-wide.”

Torabzadeh has served on numerous university committees, councils and taskforces during his 27-year career, and has had an impact on a wide variety of issues from enrollment management to grade appeals and advising. He is also active in such professional organizations as the American Society for Engineering Education, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Los Angeles Council of Engineers and Scientists and the Orange County Engineering Council, and is the recipient of many academic and professional honors including Distinguished Engineering Educator, TRW Excellence in Teaching, SPEI Fellow, SPEI Distinguished Member, SPEI Outstanding Service, PTS Outstanding Service, and CSULB CFA Outstanding Service awards.

Modeling and Analysis of Dynamic Systems

MAE professors Ramin Esfandiari and Bei Lu have published a text book entitled Modeling and Analysis of Dynamic Systems (ISBN: 9781439808450) . The textbook published by CRC Press (Taylor & Francis Group) on March 16, 2010 is intended for a junior-level course in System Dynamics. Using MATLAB and Simulink to perform symbolic, graphical, numerical, and simulation tasks, the book provides a thorough understanding of the mathematical modeling and analysis of dynamic systems. It covers techniques for modeling dynamic systems, methods of response analysis, and vibration and control systems.

MAE Students Win First and Second Place Awards at the CSULB 2009 Student Research Competition!

Christopher Bostwick and Andrea Smith

MAE Students received the First and the Second Place Awards at the CSULB 2009 Student Research Competition – Engineering & Computer Science category. The competition was held at CSULB on Friday, February 27, 2009, and had 48 contestants in eight different categories. In the Engineering & Computer Science category there were five contestants (2 teams of 2 students and one individual entry), all of them from MAE department!

The award recipients are:

1. Christopher Bostwick and Andrea Smith (pictured at the right), First Place for their project: “Ceramic Matrix Composite Lined Rocket Engine”. They presented their design of a LOX/ethanol rocket engine used to demonstrate a ceramic-matrix-composite-lined ablative concept for increased engine performance. They designed and built the engine which was tested in Nov. 2008 and successfully demonstrated the concept. This work was funded by a Phase I NASA STTR with Hypertherm High Temperature Composites, Inc. of Huntington Beach, CA.

2. David Stout, Second Place for his project: “HawkSat-1 Innovative Component and integration Techniques for CubeSat-Class Satellites”. David Stout presented on the finished Cube Sat-Class Satellite, named Hawksat-1. His research found a way around the high failure-rate of past CubeSat-Class satellites that were launched by showing that Different Commercial-Off-The-Shelf products and can be fully integrated together to create a fully functional CubeSat-Class satellite–an idea that had not been tried before.

Additionally, Adam Vore and David Algarin also received “Honorable Mention” for their project: “Use of High Lift Devices on Tail-less Airplane Designs” (There is no Third Place winner). Normally, the First Place winner in each category will be sent to the CSU statewide(23 campuses) competition to be at CSULA. In the case of the Engineering winners, due to the high quality of their research work and their excellent presentations, the jurors recommended that both first and second place winners would be sent to the statewide competition.

View all the winners at: 2009 CSULB STUDENT RESEARCH COMPETITION

Chris Bostwick, Andrea Smith, and David Stout will represent CSULB at The California State University (CSU) Student Research Competition on May 1-2, 2009, hosted by CSU Los Angeles.

Besnard Receives 2009 Faculty Adviser Award from AIAA

Eric Besnard

Eric Besnard, a professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at CSULB, has been named the recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) 2009 Faculty Adviser Award.

The award is presented to the AIAA faculty adviser of a chartered student branch who, in the opinion of student branch members and the AIAA Student Activities Committee, has made outstanding contributions to his/her students in local, regional and national activities. Besnard was also selected to receive the honor due to his passion for aerospace and his ongoing efforts in encouraging students in the field through hands-on projects.

“The rewarding part about being chapter adviser for the AIAA is working with the students to help them transform ideas into an engineering system they can test,” said Besnard. “The quality engineering department at Cal State Long Beach also helps make this possible. It is very well recognized in Southern California, with graduates in demand for local aerospace companies and are very capable of competing nationally.”

Besnard, who has taught upper-division aerospace design and space systems engineering at CSULB since 1995, was presented the honor during the 47th annual AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Award Banquet in Orlando. Teaching undergraduate and graduate students, Besnard’s schedule also includes senior design classes, spacecraft systems engineering, and rocket and spacecraft propulsion.

Much of the “hands-on” work Besnard has been recognized for by the AIAA is for the California Launch Vehicle Education Initiative (CALVEIN), the rocket program on campus that includes several projects involving AIAA. As head of CALVEIN, he helps students design, build and launch large rockets, each with its own unique characteristics.

“I am proud to be recognized by this premier aerospace professional organization (AIAA) for the job we do at CSULB in preparing the next generation of aerospace engineers by having them involved in hands-on projects, an approach that requires departmental commitment and resources,” said Besnard. “The IMU (inertial measurement unit) we now use on some of our test flights was purchased as part of a student project that was funded by the Los Angeles professional section of AIAA. Another project deals with the development of a wind-sensing package to be used for rocket launch operations.”

The students involved in the wind-sensing project took second place last year when they presented the work at the AIAA 2008 Region VI Student Conference at Arizona State University. Students Faisal M. Buharie and Samir Mohamed won the award in the undergraduate category for their new wind sensor, which may be used during launches to measure the prevalent wind at altitude. Oscar Mejia, another undergraduate student in aerospace engineering, presented his project titled “Trajectory Simulation for CSULB Sounding Rockets.”

Two MAE Student Groups Win Prestigious Awards

Tail-less Tail

SAE West Aero Design & Flight Competition – First Place Win

A team of MAE students led by graduate student Dan Dougherty and faculty advisor Eric Kendal, competed in the SAE West Aero Design & Flight Competition on Sunday. CSULB’s flying wing design, the “Tail-less Tail”, entered the open class and became the outright first place winner ($1,000 prize) with a superb payload-carrying flight at Apollo Field in Van Nuys, California.

About thirty US university teams as well as nine entries from as far away as Montreal, Canada, and Canberra, Australia were entered in this International competition. The large twin-engined model in its CSULB colors of bright yellow and black (Please see attached pictures) drew much attention on its arrival at the field and won considerable praise after its flawless flight during the closing minutes of the competition. This great performance emphasizes the excellent Aerodynamics and Airplane Design education at the CSULB Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department and brings worldwide recognition to our University.

This project was partially funded by a donation from DENSO North America. Thank-you, DENSO!

Aero Design & Flight Competition

WESTEC 2007 Manufacturing Challenge – Innovative variable flex shaft for an existing golf club

The SME student chapter S053 of CSULB led by Manufacturing Engineering Technology (MET) student Mike Romance and faculty advisor, MAE Professor Parviz Yavari entered into the WESTEC 2007 Manufacturing Challenge. The team represented the school with an innovative idea applied to the ever popular sport of Golf. The students created a variable flex shaft for an existing golf club . Currently, golf clubs are available in about 5 different (fixed) shaft stiffnesses. The variable flex golf club allows golfers and teachers to change the flex “on-the-fly” for a changing game play and or instructional use. CSULB won 2nd place, among twelve entries, for this novel idea.

golf club