Creativity and Innovation on Display with MAE Senior Design Projects

Ever wish your skateboard had brakes or your bike could charge your phone? Several CSULB engineering students had those wishes too. But instead of just wishing, they turned those ideas into a reality.

On Monday, 22 groups of mechanical engineering students demonstrated their Senior Design Projects at the Engineering Innovation Expo in the University Student Union. Heavy on green and renewable energy, the projects were the results of two semesters of work—including plenty of late nights and weekends. Continue reading “Creativity and Innovation on Display with MAE Senior Design Projects”

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”

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San Diego-based G2 Software Systems is often enlisted to fix broken systems or refresh ones that are out of date.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”

Professional Development Speaker Series: Working as a Google Engineer

If you want to know the questions that Google interviewers ask, don’t believe the dozens of books and blog posts written on the subject. Because the minute an interview question is found to be published, it’s added to the list of banned questions, says Google software engineer Chris Clark, who was at CSULB Tuesday to talk about what it’s like to be an engineer at Google.

Clark was the top computer science student in his class at UCLA, where he double majored in applied mathematics. He won a Hewlett-Packard scholarship that guaranteed him three internships at the company.

But after completing his first summer internship there, he declined a second one in favor of internships at Xerox and then Microsoft. After his 2008 graduation, Microsoft hired him full-time. Seven years ago, he was recruited by Google.

The search engine giant, said Clark, “is very good at empowering every engineer.” The company’s open environment and support of its employees is legendary, as are its kitchens.

Clark said the micro-kitchens serve a purpose in addition to keeping employees in snacks, refreshments, and meals. “They foster communication with other people. You might go to pick up a water and overhear someone trying to solve a technical problem and end up in a conversation,” he said. Continue reading “Professional Development Speaker Series: Working as a Google Engineer”

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”

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 “Caltrans Testers Test Out New Construction Materials Program”

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”

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

Dean Receives NAACP Higher Ed Award

Long Beach State College of Engineering Dean Forouzan Golshani will receive the NAACP’s Higher Education Award at the Founder’s Celebration Dinner on Nov. 2. Long Beach State University President Jane Close Conoley was the recipient of the Higher Education Award in 2015.

“I am very honored to be recognized with this distinction,” said Golshani, who has served as the college’s dean since 2007. “I am both personally and professionally dedicated to equality. At Long Beach State, we work hard to ensure that each of our students, who come from diverse backgrounds, has an equitable opportunity to excel in their engineering education.”

Carmen Taylor, Long Beach State Vice President of Student Affairs, is also being recognized, with the Zelma Lipscomb Award. Besides honoring area individuals, the Founder’s Celebration Dinner generates funds for programs supported by the NAACP’s Long Beach branch, including the MESA Schools Program. Continue reading “Dean Receives NAACP Higher Ed Award”