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Research a Priority for College of Engineering

An Interview with College of Engineering Dean, Forouzan Golshani - March 2016

Dr. Forouzan Golshani, Dean for the College of Engineering, was asked to give some insight into the role research plays within the College. Here are some of his thoughts:

On research for the undergraduate student...

Engineering is all about problem solving, and a successful engineer is one who can effectively investigate competing alternatives and synthesize the most promising opportunities. Exposing students, whether graduate or undergraduate, to research methodologies in engineering is an essential component of a well-rounded program and a major priority for the College of Engineering (COE).

We have an Engineering Honors program, in which students have to conduct research and write a thesis before graduation. As a partner in the NIH-funded BUILD program, a significant number of engineering students conduct health related research projects with our faculty. Establishing research labs where both undergraduate and graduate students work side by side on different projects, under the supervision of faculty from interdisciplinary fields, is a high priority for us. In fact, recently several shared research facilities have been established, leading to large interdisciplinary groups working on different aspects of a major problem. These collaborations have led to many scholarly publications with students as co-authors.

On collaborations with industry...

Over the years the foci of collaborations have changed and, by using new technology and trends, we have been able to adapt to changes accordingly. One of our major collaborative projects is in the area of advanced manufacturing and assembly which includes autonomous robots, new generation of materials, dynamic structural health monitoring, composites, and advanced sensors among others.

Another major collaboration is in the area of energy and environment, which has provided a large group of students with meaningful industry-sponsored projects in this area. Our biomedical research includes bioinformatics, smart prosthetics, tissue mechanics, bio-fluids and microfluidics, and rehabs. We are also active in autonomous robots for underwater, on the ground and in the air, for both commercial and military applications. Another area is geo-technology and we have a very dynamic and new generation of highly qualified faculty engaging with their both undergraduate and graduate students in these research projects.

On multidisciplinary research...

COE in collaboration with a team of professors from ASU were successful in acquiring a major grant from NSF under their Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship the program that promotes interdisciplinary investigations leading to the award of doctoral degrees. The ASU-CSULB project is in the multidisciplinary area of Person-Centered Design and Technologies in support of Persons with Disabilities, involving engineering, health sciences, computing, policy, and education to name a few.

Another example is the newly created Biomedical Engineering program which was designed with multidisciplinary collaborations in mind. Our Engineering faculty work with colleagues with CHHS, CLA, and CNSM.

Other examples include our industrial design group which collaborates with faculty from College of Art, and our materials engineering faculty who are working with faculty from across the campus, including Chemistry and Physics.

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