STEM Day Speaker: ‘No Limit to What You Can Accomplish’

CSULBCOE5 Nearly 200 middle and high school students on Friday got to make slime monsters, Styrofoam gliders, spaghetti marshmallow bridges and balloon rocket cars—as well as hear advice from successful engineers. Dean Forouzan Golshani welcomed students to the College of Engineering’s third annual Engineering@theBeach STEM Day, saying becoming an engineer will let them “contribute in many ways to improving the quality of life.”

Speaking at STEM Day, Robin Thorne, a chemical engineer and CEO of Long Beach-based CTI Environmental Inc., told students that things can seem difficult, but bad situations can be overcome. “I want to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way,” said Thorne, adding that “My path to engineering wasn’t always a bed of roses.” Among the tips Thorne shared: Always encourage someone else and celebrate your success. Continue reading “STEM Day Speaker: ‘No Limit to What You Can Accomplish’”

CSULB Engineering Team Competing in Rover Contest Again

rover-over2A multidisciplinary team from CSULB’s College of Engineering will be back competing in RASC-AL Robo Ops again this year. The CSULB team was among eight finalists selected to design and build a rover and travel to NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston to test its performance on Mars-like terrain.

Sponsored by NASA and managed by the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), RASC-AL—short for Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage—challenges multidisciplinary graduate and undergraduate teams to design and build a planetary rover and demonstrate its ability to perform tasks in the Rock Yard, an environment that simulates the rough terrain of the moon and Mars. Continue reading “CSULB Engineering Team Competing in Rover Contest Again”

Software Development Can Be Sustainable Too

For Sustainability Month, CSULB has been hosting events on ridesharing, responsible energy use, aquaculture, and more. In the College of Engineering, Birgit Penzenstadler, a member of the university Sustainability Committee, has been helping spread the word about sustainable software development this month.

Penzenstadler, an assistant professor in Computer Engineering and Computer Science, presented a lightning talk on designing future software for sustainability at the Grace Hopper Celebration Oct. 14-16 in Houston. She was co-author of an article on sustainable software development in ACM’s flagship magazine, Communications of the ACM. Penzenstadler also gave a presentation on software engineering sustainability at an Oct. 22 CSULB open house for Los Angeles Innovation Week. Continue reading “Software Development Can Be Sustainable Too”

Is Southern California Ready for El Nino?

DLS-jackson.Speakers at the CSULB College of Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series Thursday agreed that a strong El Nino is brewing, and Southern California should be braced for higher-than-average rainfall this winter and spring. Although engineers and planners have learned much from past El Nino events, large-scale infrastructure improvements are still needed to prevent severe damage from future storms.

El Nino events are classified as weak, moderate, or strong, and usually peak in February. This year’s is strong, said Mark Jackson, meteorologist in charge of the Oxnard National Weather Service office, although it remains to be seen how many inches of rain it will deliver. “I’m not going to give my exact forecast for how many inches of rain we’re going to get. There are too many microphones and cameras here,” he said. Continue reading “Is Southern California Ready for El Nino?”

College of Engineering Celebrates Creation of Beavers Endowed Chair

Creation of Beavers Endowed ChairThe CSULB College of Engineering on Tuesday dedicated the new Beavers Endowed Chair in Heavy Civil Construction, thanking the Beavers Charitable Trust and lead fundraiser Ralph Larison, a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee.

“We are very pleased to be chosen to have this endowed chair be placed in the College of Engineering at Cal State Long Beach,” Dean Forouzan Golshani told invited guests and dignitaries. “We’re very committed to producing the kind of graduates that would be desirable for the companies involved in the Beavers Trust.” Continue reading “College of Engineering Celebrates Creation of Beavers Endowed Chair”

Step 1 to Startup Success: Build a Winning Team

icmeetupThe Innovation Challenge is intended to give students real-world experience in starting a business. And just like in the real world, assembling a diverse team can be a barrier to entry.

Contest rules recommend teams with 3-7 members, since business ideas have a stronger chance of success if teams include people with finance, marketing, design, and technical skills.

“You can’t run a business by yourself,” said Barbara Barcon, an Innovation Challenge organizer and retired vice president and CFO with Pacific Gas and Electric. “You may like your idea, but will others like it? You’ll also need some market research.” Continue reading “Step 1 to Startup Success: Build a Winning Team”

When It Comes to Cybersecurity: Be Worried

Cyber security logoIt’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and there’s plenty to worry about. Hackers are busy finding ways to exploit mobile, Big Data, the Internet of Things, and the cloud. And as vulnerabilities are patched, cybercriminals are shifting from quick attacks to stealthier long-term information gathering. Some 110 million people–half of American adults—have had their data exposed in the past year, according to Mcafee’s annual threats report. And an increasing number of cybercriminals are affiliated with governments and organized crime.

“Everyone should be worried—the general populace, innovators and engineers, CIOs and CTOs, the governments,” said CSULB computer science professor Mehrdad Aliasgari, an expert on computer security. “The number of attacks and threats that have been exploited have increased in a substantial manner. There’s more and more news of compromises on a daily basis than there used to be.” Continue reading “When It Comes to Cybersecurity: Be Worried”

Hands-on Engineering Experience for High School Girls at SWE Event

Nearly 200 girls from a half-dozen local high schools launched rockets, made batteries from lemons, concocted goo from cornstarch, and learned how to create DC motors from paperclips during the 10th annual Women Engineers @ the Beach Friday.

Sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the event was intended to spark girls’ interest in engineering with presentations and eight workshops offering a little theory and a lot of opportunities for creativity and problem-solving. Nationally, only 14 percent of engineers are women. Continue reading “Hands-on Engineering Experience for High School Girls at SWE Event”