Sept. 29, 1998

Contact: Gary Groth,
818/677-5824 or
Carmen Ramos Chandler,

CSUN Dedicates New Engineering Laboratory

Cal State Northridge will show off two new pieces of engineering equipment Tuesday, Oct. 6, when it dedicates a new laboratory in honor of Oxnard businessman and CSUN alum Gene Haas.

The dedication will take place at 3:30 p.m. at the College of Engineering and Computer Science near the center of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge.

The Gene Haas Engineering Laboratory, named in honor of the president of Haas Automation, Inc., will give undergraduate students the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art machinery that allows them to manufacture engine components with precision and accuracy.

"Haas Automation has agreed to allow CSUN students to use its equipment for nearly two years." said Larry Caretto, dean of the college. "They will provide all equipment upgrades and maintenance. It is quite unlikely we would have ever been able to afford to purchase these machines."

The equipment, valued at more than $180,000, are completely computer-automated machines that can do a number of different machining operations such as milling, drilling, tapping and boring. They will be used in the university's mechanical engineering program.

Mechanical engineering professor Stewart Prince said the machines create the cornerstone of his academic program.

"Manufacturability is an increasing concern in engineering design," Prince said. "The college will be able to improve its instruction in design. Students will be able to see how modern manufacturing with computer controls is used to improve the production of their designs."

Haas, who was a business major at Northridge, worked his way through school at a machine shop. When he graduated with a degree in accounting, the opportunities in his field were sparse so he continued working in a machine shop. Eventually, he started his own machine shop and then Haas Automation, Inc., in 1983 to manufacture his own line of machine tools.

Haas Automation, Inc., is now the largest machine tool builder in the United States with annual revenues of more than $300 million. It is one of the largest employers in Ventura County and manufactures a full line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, lathes, rotary tables and indexers.

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Carmen Ramos Chandler, Director of News and Information