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”

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. Continue reading “College of Engineering Receives Transportation Research Award”

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. Continue reading “Data Privacy Technique Discussed at IEEE Distinguished Lecture Series”

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

MAE faculty, staff, and student team

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

Electrical Engineering Grad Student Wins a Best Paper Award at NAPS

While an undergraduate at UCLA, Edward Sanchez gravitated toward research. His skill recently shone through at the IEEE 2017 North American Power Symposium (NAPS), where he won a Best Paper Award.

The paper, “Model Predictive Energy Scheduling for a Building Microgrid,” details how to design a control system to coordinate the micropower sources and utility grid demand of a proposed building microgrid. The research is part of a $2.5 million California Energy Commission project to turn the Engineering & Computer Science Building into a Smart Building. Continue reading “Electrical Engineering Grad Student Wins a Best Paper Award at NAPS”