The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department celebrated its Class of 2016 at an awards ceremony and reception Monday.

“Congratulations, you made it,” Chair Jalal Torabzadeh told the nearly 100 students in attendance. “You have come a long way. This is a milestone. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate and be proud of your accomplishments.”

Dean Forouzan Golshani said what graduates must do next is figure out their passion. “Find what makes your life meaningful. I hope you find whatever it takes to fulfill your aspirations.”

Patrick Goggin, VP of 747/767/777 Engineering at Boeing and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, received the Outstanding Alumni Award for his contributions to the MAE Department.

”It’s pretty humbling to be talking to you because I’m sure 15 or 30 years from now you are going to be up here giving the same talk,” he told graduates.

Goggin graduated from CSULB with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1987 and a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering in 1991. Without the university, he said he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what he has. Spotting a Boeing solicitation for interns on a CSULB bulletin board led to him getting an internship at Boeing, and eventually a full-time job.

His advice to graduates? Make sure you’re learning in all the jobs you take. Volunteer for work and do what you say you’re going to do.

The department graduations were a chance for graduates to say goodbye to faculty and friends one last time, as well as recognize student achievements. Awards were handed out to:

  • Xiangming Xeu, MAE Outstanding Graduate Dean’s List (MSME)
  • Eric Neer, MAE Outstanding Graduate Dean’s List (MSAE)
  • William Lee, MAE Outstanding Baccalaureate Graduate (BSME)
  • John R. Abella, MAE Outstanding Baccalaureate Graduate (BSAE)
  • Wilmer Rustrian, MAE Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award (MSME)
  • Eric Neer, MAE Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award (MSAE), and
    Alexis Ortega, MAE Outstanding Leadership and Outreach Award

Interim Associate Dean Tracy Maples said she still keeps in touch with college colleagues and faculty, even though it’s been decades since she graduated. She invited students to stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and the CSULB LinkedIn group. “Tell us all about the good things you’re doing,” she said.