David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

Nazarian College to Participate in NASA Autonomy Research Center STEAHM

November 12, 2019

Nazarian College to Participate in NASA Autonomy Research Center for STEAHM (adapted from the original Media Release by Carmen Chandler at CSUN Today)

NASA has awarded California State University, Northridge a three-year, $3 million grant to establish a multidisciplinary research center at the university to study all aspects of Increasingly Autonomous (IA) systems, from such automated systems as autopilots to advanced systems with artificial intelligence able to adapt and evolve.

The grant will fund the creation of the NASA Autonomy Research Center for STEAHM (Science, Technology and engineering, Entrepreneurship, Arts, Humanities and Mathematics) at CSUN. The center will serve as a research base for faculty from six of the university’s colleges studying various aspects of IA systems — from their creation and the extent of their capabilities to such legal and societal concerns such as individual rights and privacy.

Director of the NASA Autonomy Research Center for STEAHM (ARCS) and mechanical engineering professor, Dr. Nhut Ho said CSUN will use its grant money to create a multidisciplinary center that will examine all aspects involved in IA.

“ARCS’ vision is to be an international leader in education, research and commercialization regarding increasingly autonomous (IA) systems,” Ho said. “In the next three years, ARCS will use a Convergence Research (i.e., bringing together of multiple disciplines) model to: a) execute a portfolio of 10+ research projects per year in collaboration with JPL and NASA Armstrong to address challenges in drone package delivery and doing construction in space; b) annually involve 150+ students in NASA-related research and fund 30+ students to do 10-week internship at NASA; c) provide professional development workshops to help ARCS 12+ professors become Convergence Research leaders; and d) collaborate with the CSUN Innovation Incubator to disseminate and commercial innovations.” 

The center will involve faculty from multiple colleges across campus, including the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics, where its faculty and students will explore the business aspects of customer discovery and paths to societal impact.

“This is a great example of collaborative research within CSUN,” said, Chandra Subramaniam, Dean of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics. “The partnership will provide business students with a valuable learning experience in cutting edge technologies that will allow them to succeed in the new and evolving marketplace.“

Leading the partnership on behalf of the Nazarian College is Tim Tiemann, director of the CSUN Innovation Incubator.

“Multi-disciplinary teams are the heart of this opportunity,” said Tiemann. “Business students, along with Designers, Engineers, Scientists, Sociologists, Psychologists, and Anthropologists will assemble to evaluate problems faced by NASA scientists and develop credible solutions with applications both in space and here on earth. This is the intersection between innovation and entrepreneurship.”

For more information on the grant, please read the original release here.