EE Honors Its 2016 Grads

The CSULB Electrical Engineering Department on Monday celebrated its 2016 graduates with an awards ceremony and celebration.

EE Chair Anastasios Chassiakos awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award to BSEE graduate Jose Cartagena, manager of project engineering at Disneyland. “Jose is very accomplished,” said Chassiakos. “He started as an intern at Disneyland and stayed and rose through the ranks.

A member of the CSULB Electrical Engineering Advisory and Development Committee for 15 years, Cartagena was the recipient of Great Minds in STEM’s 2015 Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corp.’s Luminary Award. He was recognized for his commitment to community service, including volunteering to support the Salvadoran community in Los Angeles, where he encourages youth to get their education in STEM. Continue reading “EE Honors Its 2016 Grads”

The Age of Drones

2015 April 23 Distinguished Lecture Series

by Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series @ the College of Engineering (COE)

While drones have been widely used since the 1960’s during the Vietnam War, they really revolutionized warfare during the recent Middle East conflicts. We saw drones take on roles in both surveillance and strike. In addition, we saw everything from back packable small RC like models, the predator family of strike systems, and ship based vertical systems such as Fire Scout, to the large high flying long endurance Global Hawk. Not only has our military found practical and cost effective use of these autonomous aircrafts, but commercial entities such as Google and Amazon are looking at how they can help their businesses as well. Add to that a whole host of civil applications such as police forces, security systems (including pipeline surveillance), Homeland Security and Border Patrol. Last but not least, is the neighbor next door who just bought a quad copter and is flying it over your backyard swimming pool.

Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series

COE Launches Engineering Tutor Program

Engineering Tutor Program

by Engineering Students Success Center @ College of Engineering (COE)

The College of Engineering provides free peer tutoring services for Electrical Engineering, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering/Science, and Chemical Engineering courses. Tutors are available Monday – Friday in the Fall and Spring terms. All tutoring sessions take place in Engineering Student Success Center (ESSC) in room EN2-300 between the hours of 9:00am – 6:00pm

read more… Engineering Tutor Program

COE Receives Boeing’s Supplier of the Year Award



The College of Engineering was recently presented with Boeing’s “Supplier of the Year” award for providing exceptional performance and contributions to Boeing’s overall success. The COE, along with 16 companies, received the award during a ceremony held at the San Diego Convention Center.

The selection of the COE was on the basis of a longstanding relationship that included a consistently superior pipeline of talent, many successful collaborative projects, and partnership on research and development efforts. “These partners have gone above and beyond the call to help Boeing provide the best, most affordable products and services possible,” said Jack House, leader of Boeing Supplier Management.

Supplier of the Year

The COE was honored in the category of “Academia” for its outstanding performance as a strategic university. “This award is a wonderful validation of our efforts to support regional socioeconomic development and to partner with Southern California business and industry,” says Forouzan Golshani, dean of the College of Engineering. “Our long and multifaceted relationship with Boeing has included numerous research and development projects, educational initiatives, student scholarships and support, and the Boeing Endowed Chair in Manufacturing—not to mention the fact that more than a few of their engineers have come from our program.”

At the Boeing Supplier of the Year Award ceremony were (l-r) Jack House, Boeing enterprise leader, Supplier Management; John Tracy, Boeing senior vice president and chief technology officer; Paul Pasquier, Boeing Engineering, Operations and Technology vice president, Supplier Management; CSULB Dean for the College of Engineering Forouzan Golshani; CSULB Associate Dean for the College of Engineering Hamid Rahai; Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president, Supply Chain Management; Joan Robinson-Berry, Boeing Shared Services Group vice president, Supplier Management; and Kent Fisher, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president, Supplier Management.

Juan Chaves, Recipient of Costa Rica’s Highest Technology Honors

Chaves with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla

By Todd Howard

Juan Chaves (MS in Electrical Engineering, 2009) is the recipient of Costa Rica’s two highest technology honors—the Jorge Manuel Dengo Award from the organization Strategy XXI Century, and the Clodomiro Picado Twight Technology Award from the Ministry of Science and Technology. He was presented with both awards by Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla.

Chaves serves as the director of the Nanotechnology Laboratory at the Instituto Technologico de Costa Rica, which is the nation’s leading university of engineering and science. His laboratory is the most advanced and well-funded nanotechnology laboratory in Latin America, and he is regarded as a leading authority in this immense multidisciplinary field.

Nanotechnology, with its dizzying range of potential applications, is poised to change the world significantly in the coming decades. From steel that is hundreds of times stronger and lighter than that of today, to microscopic-sized circuit boards with processing speeds beyond our wildest imaginings, to cures for scores of illnesses—the race is on to bring the near limitless possibilities of nanotechnology to fruition in the twenty-first century.

Chaves received his country’s top technology honors for the groundbreaking graduate research that he conducted at CSULB in the use of carbon “nanotubes” as an alternative to pharmaceutical antibiotics for stopping bacterial infections. This graduate research project, which was supervised by Chaves’ graduate advisor, Dr. Tulin Mangir, began as an exploration into electrical engineering applications of nanomaterials, but Chaves was inspired to move into the arena of biomedical applications after witnessing an unexpected phenomenon in the laboratory.

“I benefited from National Science Foundation funding to develop interconnections for computer devices using carbon nanotubes, and Dr. Mangir and I were using bacteria to clean these nanotubes,” says Chaves. “I saw the bacteria reacting to the nanotubes in some very intriguing ways, and it became evident to me that nanomaterials could serve as highly effective antibiotics that function through mechanical rather than chemical means.”

Such nanotechnology innovations were first theorized in the late 1950s by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. He described a process in which scientists would one day be able to manipulate the individual atoms and molecules of virtually any material, and that by so doing they could imbue these materials with exponentially enhanced strength, electrical conductivity, etc. It wasn’t until the 1980s that specialized microscopes would be developed that would enable researchers to begin to view materials at the “nanoscale” (a sheet of newspaper is about 100,000 nanometers thick), and it has taken another quarter century for innovations such as Chaves’ to begin to emerge.

It is now evident that nanotechnology’s potential for impacting a nation’s economy will soon be on par with that of the Industrial Revolution or the Information Age. In 2003, the National Science Foundation predicted that nanotechnology would become a trillion-dollar industry within the next two decades. In response, Congress has enacted legislation that seeks to ensure U.S. leadership in this industry by requiring all federal agencies to strategically coordinate their nanotechnology research. Other highly industrialized nations are taking similar measures in an effort to stake out their shares of the global marketplace.

Technology Honors
Chaves’ laboratory is also developing nanotechnologies for a broad range of non-agricultural applications including accurate diagnosis of the various bacterial infections commonly suffered by hospital patients, as well as concrete that possesses the strength and longevity of steel mesh.

However, nanotechnology is also providing enormous opportunities to developing nations, as evidenced by the fact that Chaves’ work at the Instituto Technologico is positioning Costa Rica as a major exporter of this technology. “We’re seizing this opportunity to shape the future rather than waiting for others to create it and export it to Costa Rica,” says Chaves. “We’re developing nanotechnologies in niches that other countries aren’t actively exploring yet—particularly in agriculture. Costa Rica is an agricultural country, and we are well-positioned for developing technology that adds value to our own agricultural products on the international market and for licensing this technology to other countries as well.”

Engineering for the Body: Reproducing Body Functions

Engineering for the Body

Human biologists, computer scientists and engineers are teaming to advance neuroscience toward achieving yet another one of NAE’s Grand Challenges, namely, understanding the complex network we call brain. Modern noninvasive methods can simultaneously measure the activity of many brain cells. Comprehension of how the brain works will enable engineers to simulate its activities, leading to deeper insights about how and why the brain works and fails.

Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series

COE Welcomes New Faculty and Administrators

New Faculty and Administrators

The College of Engineering welcomed seven new faculty and administrators during the Fall 2013/Spring 2014 academic year.

Burkhard Englert headshot
Burkhard Englert

Burkhard Englert
CECS Chair

Dr. Englert has been at CSULB since August 2003, and served as the COE’s graduate program coordinator from 2011-2013. He received his PhD from the University of Connecticut in 2000, and his areas of interest include distributed computing, computer security and transportation system simulation and modeling.

Anastassios G. Chassiakos headshot
Anastassios G. Chassiakos

Anastassios G. Chassiakos
EE Chair

Dr. Chassiakos holds a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, and been with the College of Engineering since 1992. He served as the director of the California Pre-Doctoral Program for the Office of the CSU Chancellor from 2009-2012, and has extensive experience as a consultant for aerospace manufacturers including Rockwell International and Northrop Corporation.

Nicole Forrest Boggs headshot
Nicole Forrest Boggs

Nicole Forrest Boggs
Director of Development

Ms. Boggs comes to CSULB with over a decade of development experience. Most recently she served as Director of Development at Cal Poly Pomona where she was responsible for frontline fundraising in the College of Education and Integrative Studies, Student Affairs, University Library and Presidential Priorities. Prior to her work at Cal Poly Pomona, she was Director of Annual Giving at the University of La Verne. Nicole holds an MBA with a marketing emphasis and Bachelors in Economics.

Ted Yu headshot
Ted Yu

Ted Yu
Assistant Professor
Chemical Engineering

Dr. Yu holds a PhD in Materials Science from Caltech and has had many years of experience conducting experimental research at Lawrence Berkeley Labs. His area of interest include alternative energy applications of fuel cells, batteries, solar cells, and artificial photosynthesis.

Mehrdad Aliasgari headshot
Mehrdad Aliasgari

Mehrdad Aliasgari
Assistant Professor
Computer Science

Dr. Aliasgari holds a PhD in computer science and engineering from the University of Notre Dame, where he completed a dissertation in “Secure Computation and Outsourcing of Biometric Data.” He also received his masters degree in Computer Science and Engineering Notre Dame, and holds a bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology. His research interests include computer security and applied cryptography.

Bob Minaie headshot
Bob Minaie

Bob Minaie
Boeing Endowed Professor of Manufacturing
MAE Department

Dr. Minaie holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota. His research areas include manufacturing, materials, and mechanics including the use of advanced composites, thin films, and multifunctional nanostructured materials for aerospace, energy, green manufacturing, structural health monitoring, fuel cell, and transportation applications. His research has been supported at a significant level by NASA, ONR, AFOSR, DOE, NSF, and industry. Close collaboration with industry and providing leadership for university-industry-government teams in conducting interdisciplinary and multi-investigator research have been integral parts of his activities. Prior to joining CSULB, he served on the faculty of Wichita State University.

Mahdi Yoozbashizadeh headshot
Mahdi Yoozbashizadeh

Mahdi Yoozbashizadeh
Assistant Professor
MAE Department

Dr. Mahdi Yoozbashizadeh holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering with a focus in Manufacturing Engineering from USC and has had six years of experience both as a postdoctoral fellow and research assistant conducting experimental research in the Additive Fabrication and Manufacturing Labs at USC. His research interests include powder metallurgy, 3D printing, metallic part fabrication, rapid prototyping, CAD/CAM and design of experiments.

College Dedicates Michael and Barbara Niggli Conference Room

Michael and Barbara Niggli Conference Room

CSULB’s College of Engineering recognized one of its longtime champions on Dec. 3, 2013, when it renamed ECS 312 as the Michael and Barbara Niggli Conference Room. Niggli, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from CSULB in 1971, recently retired as president and chief operating officer of San Diego Gas and Electric and Electric and Southern California Gas Co., Sempra Energy’s California regulated utilities.

“This conference room is a central hub for much of the business that we conduct in the College of Engineering,” says Forouzan Golshani, dean of the College of Engineering. “Renaming it in this way seemed like a fitting way to acknowledge the enormous and enduring impact that Mr. Niggli has had on the College, and to salute his unparalleled achievements as an industry leader.” Niggli has made personal donations in excess of $200,000 to the College and has advocated for similar levels of financial support from various corporations. Additionally, as a past chair and current member of the dean’s advisory council, he has helped the College to establish such vital programs as the Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings experts to campus to discuss issues of global importance, and the CSULB Innovation Challenge, which offers students the chance to receive up to $50,000 in funding and services to make their business ideas become a reality. He also played a key role in the development of the College’s current strategic plan.

Michael Niggli headshot
Michael Niggli

“I wanted to help allow those to enroll who, like me, did not have significant monetary resources to participate in college,” says Niggli. “I was the first in my entire family to graduate from college. I’m proud of that. I saw there were many others out there in similar situations who wanted access to a great, reasonably priced education. That was what CSULB was all about.”

From 2000 to 2006, Niggli was president of Sempra Generation, where he was responsible for the development, construction, operation and maintenance of merchant power plants and energy infrastructure throughout North America. During his tenure, Sempra Generation operated power plant assets in Nevada, California, Arizona, Texas and Mexico.

“I’ve always seen engineering as a discipline that helps society,” says Niggli. “When I think of engineers, I think of problem solvers. They innovate. That is why I saw it as a great opportunity to get more people into the engineering pipeline through CSULB’s College of Engineering.”

NCWIT and Symantec Give Grants

Student Seed Fund

January 15, 2014

NCWIT’s Student Seed Fund Supports Student-led Recruitment Programs

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) announced today the seventh round of winners of the NCWIT Student Seed Fund, sponsored by Symantec Corporation. Each winner will receive $1,000 for projects that recruit, retain, and encourage girls and women to participate in technology and computing career fields.

The NCWIT Student Seed Fund has provided $53,250 in seed funding for 80 student-run projects at universities and colleges nationwide since 2010. NCWIT Student Seed Fund projects include programming workshops, after-school programs, student mentoring, peer support, professional training, and other opportunities serving thousands of elementary, middle-school, high-school, undergraduate, and graduate students. With Symantec’s support, NCWIT was able to increase the grant awarded to recipients of the seventh round of the NCWIT Student Seed Fund awards.

… read more National Center for Women & Information Technology