CECEM’s Vahid Balali Named One of Industry’s ‘Top Young Professionals’

Dr. Vahid Balali focuses on visual data sensing and analytics, virtual design and construction, and sustainable infrastructure decision-making.

The Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Management Department’s Vahid Balali has been named one of the California construction industry’s top young professionals. Balali, who joined CSULB as an assistant professor last fall, was among 20 engineers, architects, entrepreneurs, academics, contractors, and specialty contractors recognized in ENR California’s annual contest.

ENR California’s Top Young Professionals, previously called the Top 20 under 40, “highlights and profiles individuals who represent the best-of-the-best in their fields by giving back to the construction industry and to their communities.” Those recognized lead large-scale projects, supervise diverse teams, improve their communities, and foster teamwork inside and outside their organizations. Continue reading “CECEM’s Vahid Balali Named One of Industry’s ‘Top Young Professionals’”

Engineering Night at the Pyramid Stars Student-built Catapult

The College of Engineering this Saturday will be holding its 2nd annual Engineering Night at the Pyramid. Students, faculty, alumni, staff, and guests are invited to come cheer on the CSULB Men’s Basketball team as they take on University of California Irvine.

The game begins at 8 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. A pre-game reception for alumni will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Pyramid dance studio. For game tickets, visit www.longbeachstate.com/coe17. Alumni and faculty can RSVP to the game and reception at coe-dev@csulb.edu.

The College will also be marking its 60th anniversary with interactive displays. The anniversary will be celebrated throughout the year with historic photos posted on the College’s Facebook page


Another highlight of Engineering Night will be a Man vs. Machine half-time game featuring a catapult built by Chemical Engineering seniors Nathanael Dunham, Jonathon Garcia, and Josue Alonso, under the direction of Chemical Engineering Professor Ted Yu.

Dating back to the Middle Ages, catapults were used to storm castle walls—and hurl rocks, fireballs, and hot tar. This wooden catapult uses bunjee cords for tension. It will be throwing a basketball and taking on a former 49ers shooter in testing its hoop skills.

Dunham said when Dr. Yu suggested the project, “it sounded like fun.” However, as in the case of most engineering projects, turning the idea into reality was much more difficult.

The trio admit that being ChemE students put them at a disadvantage. “Building it was the tricky part because we don’t focus on physics in our major,” said Alonso, adding that they found plans for building a catapult on the Internet.

They worked on the catapult mostly over winter break, testing it in Dunham’s backyard. Another challenge was that none of the students had previously measured or cut wood. “It sounded easy but ended up being hard,” said Dunham.

CEM Holds Speed Networking Dinner

Construction companies are always searching for top-notch graduates. And construction engineering management students are always on the lookout for internships and job opportunities to launch their careers. So what better way to connect the two groups than over dinner?

The CSULB Construction Engineering Management program’s inaugural Speed Networking event brought together 63 students and seven construction companies Wednesday evening. Students had the chance to eat salad with one company, dinner with another, and dessert with a third—with even more networking time after dinner. Continue reading “CEM Holds Speed Networking Dinner”

Engineering Food Drive Underway

food for ASI pantry pictureThroughout October, faculty, students, and staff can donate nonperishable food items to the recently opened ASI Beach Pantry at bins set up in College of Engineering department offices and in the Dean’s Suite.

The ASI Beach Pantry opened in August to provide food to students in need. To receive food from the pantry, students must be enrolled and present their student ID card. They can visit the pantry once a week. Continue reading “Engineering Food Drive Underway”

MAE Students Submit Proposal for Reuse of Shuttered C-17 Plant

Reuse of Shuttered C-17 PlantStudents often attend lectures or solve problems for extra credit, but Dr. Juan Cepeda-Rizo’s MAE 330 Thermodynamics class had an opportunity to do something with more impact—create a proposal for reuse of the shuttered Boeing C-17 production facility.

Cepeda-Rizo, who lives near the former aircraft plant, offered the opportunity at the beginning of the semester at the suggestion of neighbor Patricia Chen. With an interest in sustainable energy, students Mohamad Alkam, Hope Daley, Elyssa Lawrence, and Eric Velazquez immediately stepped forward. Facing a tight deadline of Sept. 12, the students came up with an idea for a solar park for the 160-acre site on Cherry Avenue near the Long Beach Airport. Continue reading “MAE Students Submit Proposal for Reuse of Shuttered C-17 Plant”

Biomedical Engineering Department Adds First Full-time Faculty Member

Headshot of Perla Ayala

Dr. Perla Ayala is a new CSULB assistant professor in a new department. The Biomedical Engineering department’s first full-time faculty member, Ayala is also part of a relatively new field.

Highly interdisciplinary, BME is a blend of chemistry, physics, and computer, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Embracing everything from diagnostic systems and artificial organs to prostheses and medical devices, it’s viewed as the bridge between medicine and engineering. Within BME are a number of specialties, including Bioinformatics, Biosensors, Biomechanics, and Biofluids. Continue reading “Biomedical Engineering Department Adds First Full-time Faculty Member”