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.

 

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”

Biomed Alumni to Speak About Medical Technology Entrepreneurship

leo petrossianCSULB electrical engineering alumni Leo Petrossian will speak to biomedical engineering students on Monday, Sept. 24 about Entrepreneurship in Medical Technology. Petrossian is co-founder and CEO of Neural Analytics Inc., a medical robotics company developing and commercializing technologies to measure and track brain health.

Petrossian ’04 has raised over $42 million in venture financing and led development of two medical devices in five years, both of which have obtained CE mark and FDA clearance. Continue reading “Biomed Alumni to Speak About Medical Technology Entrepreneurship”

Professional Engineers Share College and Career Experiences with BESST Students

As an engineering undergrad in the 1960s, Jeff Clements was told by one professor that he wasn’t “college material.” But that didn’t stop Clements from earning his bachelor’s degree in 1962—then his master’s and doctorate—and go on to help produce space hardware for top aerospace companies such as Hughes, TRW, and Raytheon.

Clements, the first African-American CSULB student to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, was one of two speakers to share experiences Monday with incoming students of the Beach Engineering Student Success Team (BESST), which features intensive tutoring and cohort-based classes. Continue reading “Professional Engineers Share College and Career Experiences with BESST Students”

Sticking with STEM Means Limitless Possibilities for Future Careers

Panelists at the Science Extravaganza all had the same message for middle-school students: stick with STEM for a career with limitless opportunities.

Hosted by the CSULB chapter of MAES, the second annual event drew nearly 300 students from Perry Lindsey, Stephens, and Franklin Classical middle schools, as well as volunteers from The Aerospace Corp., Boeing, and other companies and student organizations.

“We need to help schools that serve underrepresented groups, and have limited funding and limited STEM,” said Anthony Ramirez, MAES CSULB Chapter Co-President and a CSULB aerospace engineering major. Continue reading “Sticking with STEM Means Limitless Possibilities for Future Careers”

G2 Software Systems Interviews for Open Computer Science Positions

San Diego-based G2 Software Systems is often enlisted to fix broken systems or refresh ones that are out of date. The company’s sweet spot is with the defense industry’s large, complex, and sometimes antiquated, systems. G2 was hired to create software that sends alerts throughout all branches of the military, notifies the continent’s defense and aviation organizations to suspicious aircraft, and lets military personnel be trained simultaneously around the globe.

On Wednesday, a group from G2 visited the CSULB College of Engineering to interview graduating computer science seniors for possible jobs or internships. G2’s founder, Georgia Griffiths, is a CSULB alumni and member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.

G2 General Manager Pete Keyes. COE Development Director Nicole Forrest-Boggs, and mathematician Christopher Priebe.
G2 General Manager Pete Keyes. COE Development Director Nicole Forrest-Boggs, and mathematician Christopher Priebe.

“She’s a great supporter of scholarships for the College of Engineering,” said COE Development Director Nicole Forrest-Boggs, whose office organized the event. “We’re very happy to have them here.”

The G2 contingent included general manager Pete Keyes, mathematician Christopher Priebe, and office manager Jessica Rose, a CUSLB alumni.

Priebe, who manages a technology team at G2, said job prospects are bright for computer science majors. “This is a booming industry. It’s a seller’s market. There’s a lot of competition for engineers,” he said. Continue reading “G2 Software Systems Interviews for Open Computer Science Positions”

How Automation Is Changing the World, and the Workforce

attendees at engineering lecture

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 “How Automation Is Changing the World, and the Workforce”

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”

EE Remembers Lecturer Boi Tran

At its Department Graduation Monday, the CSULB Electrical Engineering Department commemorated lecturer Boi Tran’s supportive mentoring with an award in his name. Chris Hirunthanakorn (BSEE) received the Boi Tran Award, in memory of the late electrical engineering lecturer, who passed away suddenly late last year.

“It’s my honor that I’ve met and worked with Boi Tran, whose untimely passing has left a hole in our collective soul,” said Professor Anastasios Chassiakos, who described Tran as not only a very talented engineer but a trusted friend and mentor. Tran’s wife, Mindy, was present to accept the award.

Another of the department’s awards is named for the late Gerald Doski, an ever-helpful technician. The Doski Award this year went to Scott Salazar. Continue reading “EE Remembers Lecturer Boi Tran”