CSULB’s Chem-E Car Team Takes First Place in the AIChE Regional Competition

On its first run, the Tank refused to operate. But on its second run, after some tinkering and troubleshooting, California State University Long Beach’s entry in the Chem-E Car competition sped off, stopping within 2.24 meters of its 17.2-meter goal and landing CSULB a first-place win.

“We knew we were close,” said team co-captain Anthony Reyes, adding that the team erupted in shrieks of enthusiasm when it was announced they beat out competitors at the AIChE Western Regional Conference at the University of Southern California earlier this month. Continue reading “CSULB’s Chem-E Car Team Takes First Place in the AIChE Regional Competition”

College of Engineering 2019 Outstanding Graduate Got Start in BESST and BUILD

Jairo ContrerasMechanical engineering senior Jairo Maldonado-Contreras has been named the CSULB College of Engineering’s 2019 Outstanding Graduate. A member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, he has held internships at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Northwestern University.

After graduation from CSULB, he will pursue a PhD in robotics at GeorgiaTech, studying human-intent recognition algorithms used to control prostheses and exoskeletons under advisor Dr. Aaron Young.

Continue reading “College of Engineering 2019 Outstanding Graduate Got Start in BESST and BUILD”

ExploreCSR Introduces Female Students to the World of Computer Science Research

In most university computer science classes, women are a minority. But at last weekend’s exploreCSR workshop at California State University Long Beach, the opposite was true.

The three-day workshop, supported by a $35,000 grant from Google, drew about 50 students from universities throughout Southern California, including Fullerton, Long Beach, Pomona, and San Diego in the California State University system, and Irvine and San Diego in the University of California system. All but three were women. Continue reading “ExploreCSR Introduces Female Students to the World of Computer Science Research”

SBIR/STTR Workshop Forges Connections between Businesses and Academia

Small Business Innovation Research attendees

Small businesses, faculty members, and researchers turned out Thursday at the College of Engineering’s SBIR/STTR Workshop to learn more about securing federal funding to build businesses.

The event, sponsored by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, the city of Long Beach, and the Southern California Biomedical Council, drew about 100 people to the Pointe Conference Center at the Walter Pyramid.

College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golashani pointed out that the more than 28 million small businesses in the United States form the backbone of the economy.  “Looking at the increase in federal government funding compelled us to see how we can bring people together to compete for these opportunities,” he said. Continue reading “SBIR/STTR Workshop Forges Connections between Businesses and Academia”

Associate Dean Dr. Rahai Named Senior Member of National Academy of Inventors

Hamid Rahai, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs in the CSULB College of Engineering, has been named a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). He is among 66 inventors named to the inaugural class of Senior Members, representing 37 NAI Member Institutions collectively holding more than 1,100 issued U.S. patents.

Dr. Rahai is founding director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Research and Services (CEERS), and a professor in CSULB’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Biomedical Engineering departments. Continue reading “Associate Dean Dr. Rahai Named Senior Member of National Academy of Inventors”

BESST Graduate Prepares for Doctorate

Jairo Maldonado-Contreras

Attending high school on California’s Central Coast, Jairo Maldonado-Contreras got good grades, but didn’t plan to attend college. He sent out a few applications because his friends did, and was surprised when he was accepted at Long Beach State University.

Contreras chose to study engineering because he liked math. He also hoped to provide a better life for his mother, Rosa, who supports the family by picking strawberries. “When I got my acceptance, she was happy for me but also brokenhearted that I was moving three hours away,” he said. “We were always accustomed to looking after each other.”

Luckily for Contreras, he arrived at Long Beach State as the College of Engineering was establishing the Beach Engineering Student Success Team (BESST), a support program for incoming freshmen, particularly those from diverse backgrounds and with greatest need. Students attend a summer camp before the semester starts, go to classes and social activities as a group, and receive individual and group tutoring and mentoring. Continue reading “BESST Graduate Prepares for Doctorate”

Multi-disciplinary SoCalGas Teams Conduct Real-world Research

Southern California Gas Co. teams

Some engineers work for years before one of their designs makes it out into the world. But thanks to a collaborative program between the CSULB College of Engineering and Southern California Gas Co., some students have that opportunity as an undergraduate.

Each year, SoCalGas assigns technical problems to teams of mechanical engineering and chemical engineering students who work to resolve them as part of their Senior Design Projects. The problems are challenging and thought-provoking. Rather than draw on results from other researchers, the students must come up with solutions of their own. Continue reading “Multi-disciplinary SoCalGas Teams Conduct Real-world Research”

MAE’s Yan Li Wins Best Paper Award

CSULB Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Assistant Professor Yan Li has won a Best Paper Award for her research on materials properties.

The paper, “Probabilistic Fracture Toughness Prediction of Composite Materials,” was presented at the 8th International Conference on Computational Methods (ICCM2017) in Guilin, China, in July 2017.

It explores the challenge of predicting the variation of material properties such as strength and fracture toughness in material-sensitive design, and the development of an integrated computational and analytical model to predict fracture toughness in a statistical sense. Continue reading “MAE’s Yan Li Wins Best Paper Award”

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”