Author Archives: Margo McCall

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.

Dr. Vassberg is Technical Lead and Chief Aerodynamicist of BCA Advanced Concepts Design Center in Southern California. He is a Boeing Technical Fellow, an AIAA Fellow, and recipient of the AIAA Aerodynamics Award in 2012 and the International Cooperation Award in 2017.

Prior to his current position, he was Chief Aerodynamicist of Boeing’s Research & Technology organization, and Principal Investigator of the Advanced Joint Air Combat System (AJACS), Speed-Agile Configuration Development (SACD) and Over-Wing Nacelle (OWN) programs. The SACD Program received the 2013 Aviation Week Laureate Award in Aero and Propulsion.

Dr. Vassberg received his PhD from the University of Southern California in 1992, and his MS and BS from Texas A&M University in 1981 and 1980, respectively, all in Aerospace Engineering.

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.

“The College of Engineering has a long history of conducting transportation research, including its environmental impacts, and transportation workforce training,” said Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs Hamid Rahai, the project’s principal investigator. “We are strongly committed to contributing our resources and efforts to helping California solve its transportation problems.”

The College of Engineering supports two transportation research centers. Its National Center for Transportation, Green Technologies and Education (TransGET), established in 2009, operates the Caltrans Joint Training and Certification Program, and conducts interdisciplinary research on infrastructure, freight movements, and mobility. The College’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research and Services (CEERS), established in 2003, focuses on the environmental impacts of transportation, and research on energy and environmental systems, environmental health, water resources, air pollution, and groundwater contamination.

The Long Beach and San Jose campuses are located in dense urban areas where congestion and efficient movement are of prime concern. The Chico and Fresno campuses, meanwhile, are located in the Central Valley, where deteriorating infrastructure and a lack of public transportation are paramount concerns.

Under SB 1, the California Legislature budgets up to $2 million annually to the CSU system to conduct transportation research, training, and workforce development. MTI is tasked with unifying the efforts of the four campuses to support the state’s geographical, cultural, racial, and socioeconomic diversity. MTI will administer funds and direct a process to identify specific research projects aligned with SB 1 priorities.

SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, is a landmark transportation investment to rebuild California by fixing neighborhood streets, freeways and bridges in communities across California and targeting funds toward transit and congested trade and commute corridor improvements.

 

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.

In Friday’s demo, the company used audio files of Chinese opera to envelop the actual message. “Like in the marketplace, there’s a lot of noise,” said Spatial Digital Senior Engineer Joe Lee. “You would not suspect there’s a message hiding inside.”

The technique could be useful for ensuring better privacy protection for data in the cloud. As the company describes it, digital enveloping relates to “transforming” an information data stream with a digital envelope stream concurrently into a multi-dimensional data structure via Wavefront multiplexing (WF muxing, K-muxing).

Top priorities are the appearance of the enveloped data and the reliability of the enclosed information data. The transformation is mathematically identical to the function of a beamforming network (BFN) for a multibeam phased array.

Spatial Digital Systems was formed in 2002 to develop smart antenna technologies for wireless communications. Chang is an expert on communications satellites, advanced satellite antennas, space-based microwave remote sensing instruments, especially in passive synthetic aperture radiometry. He has authored more than 40 technical papers, holds more than 100 U.S. patents, and has more than 50 U.S. patents pending on smart antennas, low cost spacecraft design, and satellite constellations for multimedia applications.

Chang was the recipient of Hughes’ Hyland Award in 2000 for key contributions in digital beam-forming technology. He holds a PhD and MSEE from Stanford University.

MAE faculty, staff, and student team

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

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

Caltrans Testers Test Out New Construction Materials Program

They usually test construction materials. But this week, two dozen Caltrans and industry technicians from throughout the state were at Cal State Long Beach to test out a new program to increase quality and reduce delays on construction projects.

Supported by a $1.3 million interagency agreement with Caltrans, and implemented by CSULB, the Joint Training & Certification Program (JTCP) will deliver training and certification for materials testing technicians in the specialties of Hot-Mix Asphalt, Soils and Aggregates, and Portland Cement Concrete.

Asphalt for testingThis week’s two-day pilot class, a combination of seminar and lab, was intended to iron out any wrinkles before the first classes begin early next year. “I hope you have a great experience,” principal investigator Shadi Saadeh, a CSULB civil engineering associate professor, told the testers. “I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to offer your feedback.” Continue reading

CSULB Freshman Wins Video Pitch Contest at MESA Conference

CSULB engineering freshman Zoe Smith went to last month’s MESA Conference hoping to learn about leadership and connect with future employers. She didn’t realize she’d end up winning the video-pitch challenge, which came with a $1,000 prize.

Smith was among 14 CSULB students who attended the MESA Student Leadership Conference Oct. 27-28 in downtown Los Angeles. The event connects hand-picked engineering and computer science students with industry professionals to develop the next generation of STEM leaders. Continue reading

attendees at engineering lecture

How Automation Is Changing the World, and the Workforce

At transportation terminals, automation is boosting productivity and creating safer work environments. In the medical device industry, it’s advancing product development and letting employees learn new technologies. And in aerospace, it’s leading to new manufacturing processes and a future age of autonomous aircraft.

At Thursday’s Fall Engineering Distinguished Lecture, representatives from all three industries shared how automation is changing the world—and the workforce.

“This is one of those topics that is very pertinent—automation, robotics, artificial intelligence—all the things we live with today,” said moderator Rolando Saldana, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm. “Going forward, we’re also seeing that industry is moving forward with automation. And these (speakers) are the folks who are putting together the systems.” Continue reading

Female Faculty Share their Stories

They each had a story of how they got here. An early interest in science. The influence of family members or mentors. Even a random selection in an academic catalogue.

But the CSULB female engineering faculty who shared their backgrounds with Society of Women Engineers members all had one thing in common: a passion for research.

Civil engineering Assistant Professor Pitiporn Asvapathanagul’s path included a stint working in her family’s Thai restaurant. She’d earned her undergraduate degree in environmental engineering in Thailand when her family beckoned her to move to the U.S.

Eventually, her desire to return to engineering led her to earn a master’s degree and doctorate from University of California Irvine. At CSULB since 2012, Asvapathanagul is an expert in biological water reclamation. Continue reading

Electrical Engineering Graduate Describes SCE Job as ‘So Much Fun’

When Chandni Mehta left India for New York three years ago, she didn’t speak a word of English. Not only did she have to quickly learn a foreign language but also find a place to live and a way to get to New York University—all on a budget.

She’d been told that NYU fees would be $4,500 per semester, but once she arrived found they’d be more than twice that. Mehta found housing, but the $30 cab ride to NYU was beyond her means.

“In India for that, you could travel to two or three cities and have a nice lunch,” she said. “But I couldn’t go back because my parents sent me here to live my dreams.” Continue reading

Google Offers CECS Students Advice for Surviving a Technical Interview

It’s the subject of numerous books, blog posts, and tutorials: How to get hired at Google. On Thursday, CSULB Computer Engineering & Computer Science students had a chance to get the inside track on how to join a company that’s long been seen as a top workplace for tech talent.

Sponsored by the CSULB Career Center and the CECS Department, the workshop drew about 200 computer science and engineering students who heard from a trio of Googlers about “20 percent time,” social groups and “the Google 15.”

“Google would be an amazing place to work,” said Aimee Threlkeld, a computer engineering senior who is interning with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena and has already applied at Google. With an interest in embedded systems, Threlkeld was hoping that the workshop would help her clear her technical interview in the event she got a callback. Continue reading