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News 2006

12.31.2006 December College News

CSUN hosted the VEX- Robotics Challenge featuring over 30 high school teams and approximately 300 students from the area on December 16. This outstanding event was led by Prof. Tarek Shraibati of MSEM.

Grants received by faculty and staff in the College during December 2006 include:

  • Sharlene Katz and Debbie Van Alphen- Edwards AFB Design Clinic - $ 15,000
  • Ashley Geng- Faculty Professional Development Grant - 3 units of release time
  • Behzad Bavarian, CSUN Graduate Studies, Chinese Antiquities Research Program$21,280.00
  • Larry Caretto, California Air Resources Board, ICAT Proposal Review, $21,000.00
  • Karla Johnson-Majedi, Regents of University of California, CSUN MESA/CSEMS Scholars$3,125.00
  • Nhut Ho, CSU Long Beach Foundation, Metrics for Operator Situation Awareness, Workload and Performance in Automated Separation Assurance System, $52,500.00

11.30.2006 November College News

The College hosted Dr. Wayne Patterson, Program Manager, NSF Office of International Science and Engineering, on November 13 for a tour and presentation on emerging grant opportunities. Also on November 13, the College hosted its inaugural Professor for a Day - Dr. Asad Madni, who made an outstanding presentation on "Full Circle Commercialization of a Dual-Use Micromachined Quartz Rate Sensor Technology". This was followed by a talk by Gary Lee of Anheuser-Busch on November 28 on "The Business and Science of Engineering Anheuser Busch Brew".

10.31.2006 October College News

Over 100 students from the College received Medallions and certificates at the annual Medallion Ceremony in recognition of their successful completion of at least 25 units during the preceding academic year. A special honorarium is included for completing those units with a minimum CSUN GPA of 3.90
Grants received by faculty and staff in the College during October 2006 include:

  • NSF-ATE Create - Sharlene Katz (via College of the Canyons) - $ 36,676
  • Piezoelectric Sensor Characterization Testing- Sharlene Katz (Dytran Instruments) - $10,000
  • Parachute Geometry Investigation - Hamid Johari (Worcester Polytechical Institute ) $63,732
  • CSU Louis Stokes-Alliance for Minority Participation, Phase III- Karla Johnson-Majedi (Sacramento State) - $89,656
  • Reforming CSUN Mechanical Engineering Education- Nhut Ho, Larry Caretto (U. S. Army) - $180,485
  • Simulation, Design and Testing of Microstrip Antennas - Sembiam Rengarajan (Naval Warfare Center) - $32,500

Also on October 24, a patent was awarded to Mike Kabo as a co-inventor for "Modeling Viscoelastic Torsional Properties of Osteons" - US Patent No. 7,127,383 - Awarded to Ascenszi, Maria-Grazia and Kabo, John Michael

The College received $ 431, 300 in response to a one time RFP for special instructional funds. The funds will be used for several projects including, Computer Literacy Lab Upgrade- $129,900, Tech Services- $52,400, Design Studio- $70,000, Distance Learning-Refurbish JD 2203- $67,000, Manufacturing and Automation Lab-Part I- $58,000, Manufacturing and Automation Lab-Part II- $54,000

09.30.2006 September College News

In the recently released 2007 College rankings for Engineering Colleges (offering Baccalaureate and Masters degrees) by US News and World Report, CSUN was ranked 4th among all California public colleges, 12th among all US public colleges, and 36th overall out of 167 US Colleges.

08.31.2006 August College News

The IEEE CSUN Student Branch was recognized with the Region 6 Outstanding Branch Award for 2006. Region 6 covers the 12 Western States of the US and has 36 student branches.
The ASCE Student Chapter will host the National Steel Bridge Competition at CSUN in Spring 2007.

06.14.2006 CEAM Students Honored

Pioneering inventor and entrepreneur Ernie Schaeffer has had a long relationship with Cal State Northridge. Over the years, he has mentored students, collaborated with faculty and hired countless alumni to work at his former company, Schaeffer Magnetics, which has played a role in nearly every U.S. space mission since the 1960s.
The Calabasas resident has decided to take the relationship one step further by pledging $2 million to endow the Ernie Schaeffer Center on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. The center will promote the development of innovation and entrepreneurship-related knowledge and skills among CSUN students, faculty, alumni and the community at large.

05.22.2006 Schaeffer Pledges $2 Million for Entrepreneur Center

Pioneering inventor and entrepreneur Ernie Schaeffer has had a long relationship with Cal State Northridge. Over the years, he has mentored students, collaborated with faculty and hired countless alumni to work at his former company, Schaeffer Magnetics, which has played a role in nearly every U.S. space mission since the 1960s.
The Calabasas resident has decided to take the relationship one step further by pledging $2 million to endow the Ernie Schaeffer Center on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. The center will promote the development of innovation and entrepreneurship-related knowledge and skills among CSUN students, faculty, alumni and the community at large.

The center also will engage students directly with real-world inventors and entrepreneurs, support projects on new ideas, strengthen faculty professional development, hold seminars, lectures and panel discussions and conduct other activities consistent with its mission and subject to the resources available to it.

Schaeffer, 81, has been leading a group of volunteers at the university, members of an informal entrepreneurs' roundtable, who have been discussing how to weave entrepreneurial themes into academic programs. He said it seemed natural, given his history with the university, to establish the endowment for the center.

"I'm impressed with the school and its diversity of students. If we are going to succeed as a region and a country, we need people like CSUN's students, with their wealth of diversity and ideas, to become educators and contributors to society," he said. "I don't see that happening at some place like an Ivy League. I see that happening at CSUN."

Schaeffer was raised in New York and moved to Southern California in the 1950s. He worked a series of jobs for defense contractors, eventually designing gyroscope motors for defense contractor Whittaker Corp. In 1960, he convinced his bosses to let him take on a subcontract designing a specialized motor for a classified space project. His specialized motors were soon bringing in $750,000 a year.

In 1966, Whittaker went through some restructuring and Schaeffer saw it as an opportunity. He talked Whittaker into letting him take his motor designs and he started his own company, Schaeffer Magnetics, in his garage. The company took off, eventually moving into a 40,000-square-foot plant in Chatsworth and employing up to 180 people.

In 1990, Forbes magazine hailed Schaeffer's achievement as "solid evidence that an inventor with a good idea and a lot of patience can prosper in a business dominated by giants." The magazine pointed out that his small, privately held company included among its clients Hughes, Lockheed, General Electric and TRW. The magazine noted that his equipment--motors and electric actuators--has been aboard "a list of missions that reads like the history of space exploration: Apollo, Viking, Explorer, Voyager 2, Mariner" and other projects such as the Hubble Space Telescope.

Schaeffer sold the company eight years ago, but stayed on as a consultant for another five years.

He hoped that his gift to CSUN, and the center it will create, will encourage other "creative thinkers" to follow their dreams.

"You get into a stream and are pushed along, and then you come to a fork in the river. If you make the right decision and choose the right direction, your world can change," Schaeffer said. "I am hoping that the center will give those who come to it the information and tools they need to become successful entrepreneurs or 'corporatepreneurs' if they work for a company."

Schaeffer recalled feeling "goose bumps" when he would drive across the country with his family and look up at the night sky and know that somewhere up there was a satellite containing equipment he designed for a classified defense project.

"That feeling is intoxicating--better than any high you can imagine--to know that something you did could touch the lives of so many people," he said. "I want the students who come through the center to know that feeling. It doesn't have to be something they engineered, it could just be an idea. But to know that you thought of something and followed through on it and it made a difference in the lives of people or the company you work for, that feeling is indescribable, and I want the students at CSUN to have an opportunity to experience it."

05.17.2006 Lucy Parker Receives Polished Apple Award

The University Ambassador's Executive Board has selected Professor Lucy Parker to be one of the recipients of the 11th Annual Polished Apple Award. The award honors those who have made a difference in the University Ambassadors' lives. Lucy is a long time lecturer in Computer Science. Congratulations to Lucy.

05.16.2006 Chris Norman Receives the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award

Each year the University honors only four graduating seniors with the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. Four exceptional students are selected for this award based on academic excellence, campus and community service, and exceptional achievements or personal life circumstances that have been overcome.

Mr. Chris Norman will receive his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering this Spring, has been selected as one of the four students. He will receive this honor as well as $1000 awards during the Honors Convocation ceremony at the University Club Lawn on Tuesday, May 30, 2006, at 6:00 p.m. Congratulations to Chris and the CEAM faculty for this special honor to Chris and to our programs.

05.15.2006 CARB Awarded $400K Grant to Prof. Tim Fox

The California Air Resources Board just officially awarded a $400,000 project entitled "CO2 Emission Quantification from Vehicle Air Conditioning Operation in California-Specific Conditions" to Professor Tim Fox. The research duration is from March 1, 2006 through August 30, 2008.

05.02.06 Dr. Ali Amini received the Distinguished Teaching Award

Dr. Ali Amini has been selected to receive the 2006 Faculty Award for Distinguished Teaching, Counseling or Librarianship of CSUN. He will receive the Distinguished Teaching Award on May 19 at the Grand Salon in a ceremony starting 1 p.m. He will join a distinguished list of past recipients from this College for this award, posted downstairs opposite to the student excellence board.

03.14.2006 New CMT Endowment by David Honda

Entrepreneur and longtime Cal State Northridge supporter David S. Honda has pledged to contribute $25,000 for the creation of an endowment to support CSUN's new Construction Management Technology (CMT) program.
The David S. Honda Construction Management Technology Endowment would help fund scholarship, faculty development and/or other activities beneficial to the program housed in the Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

"David Honda has been a true friend to this college and, in particular, to this program," said S.T. Mau, dean of the college. "His ideas served as an inspiration for its creation and this endowment serves as a legacy of his commitment to our students and faculty that it will continue to grow and play a vital role in the community, just as David himself has done."

Cal State Northridge launched the Construction Management Technology program last year to serve as a bridge between the art of engineering and the practice of construction. Students enrolled in the program gain an expertise in construction and engineering that allows them to interact with architects, engineers and contractors. They also develop the communication skills to tackle construction issues and prevent project crises, and management skills to monitor and control the performance of projects for efficient and timely completion.

"We've created a model of civic entrepreneurship for the CMT program and I hope that someday the recipients of this program understand that someone gave them a chance just as I was once given a chance," Honda said. "Leadership is demonstrated by action, and leadership is also a gift."

Honda is president of D.S. Honda Construction, Inc., which specializes in building high-rise business and medical offices. His designs are seen in buildings around Los Angeles, including the Directors Guild of America offices and the Special Olympics Archery Range complexes in Rancho Park and Woodley Park. He has held leadership positions in the Valley Economic Development Center, United Chambers of Commerce, Valley Economic Alliance, Rotary Club, Rebuild LA, and Mid Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as in several other organizations.

Honda has had a long relationship with Cal State Northridge, having sat on its Foundation Board of Directors for eight years and served as chair from 2000-2002. He has also served as an advisor to the deans of the College of Business, the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Health and Human Development. He currently serves on the industrial advisory board of the CMT program.

Stephen Gadomski, chair of the civil engineering and applied mechanics department, called Honda "a key supporter" of the CMT program.

"He is always there, be it for an industrial advisory board meeting, a committee meeting, a meeting with potential CMT students at a community college or a meeting with CMT students," he said. "He is as responsible as anyone else for the creation and growth of the CMT program."

03.06.2006 Sandra and Donal Bostrom give CECS/CSUN $100,000 in endowments

LA Daily News: Cal State Northridge music and computer science faculty member Sandra Bostrom and her husband, Donald, a CSUN alum, have created three endowments to support music, electrical engineering and computer science education at the university. The Bostroms established a bequest specifying that upon their deaths, $150,000 from their estate will be divided equally between the Sandra Bostrom-Aguado Music Therapy Endowment in the Department of Music in CSUN's College of Arts, Media and Communication; the Sandra Bostrom-Aguado Computer Science Scholarship Endowment in the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Computer Science; and the Donald E. Bostrom Electrical and Computer Engineering Scholarship Endowment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, also in the engineering college.
Donald Bostrom graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from CSUN in 1964, when it was known as San Fernando Valley State College. He went on to a career in electromagnetic engineering.
A professional writer and composer, Sandra Bostrom began teaching piano in CSUN's Department of Music more than 25 years ago. Her teaching duties expanded to the Department of Computer Science about a decade ago amid technological changes in the publishing industry.

02.27.2006 Three faculty members Honors by SFVEC

Three faculty members were honored Sat., Feb. 25, at the San Fernando Valley Engineers' Council 51st Anniversary Honors & Awards Banquet.
Ben Mallard, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was honored with the "Distinguished Engineering Educator" award, while Mechanical Engineering professor C.T. Lin, and Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Xiaojun "Ashley" Geng, were both awarded with "Outstanding Engineering Achievement Merit" awards.

"They're examples of the faculty we have here at CSUN, and the kind of people Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke says we need to drive our economy into the future," said S.T. Mau, dean of CSUN's College of Engineering and Computer Science. "CSUN remains at the cutting edge of providing the engine for tomorrow's economy…this is a long-term vision for the country that we all need to stand behind."

The professors were honored at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City.

02.02.2006 Civil Engineering Senior Honored

On February 1, 2006, Chris Norman, a senior in civil engineering, was the recipient of one of six scholarships presented by the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC). Chris took home the second largest scholarship of $1,000 presented at the Award's Banquet held at the Luminaries Restaurant in Monterey Park, CA. Other universities present were: UCLA, USC, CPP, CPSLO, UCI, CSUF, CSULA, CSLB, LMU, and Cal Tech.

01.19.2006 Alum Robert Behl Establishes Endowment for Entrepreneurship

Engineering alumnus Robert S. Behl, a biomedical innovator and entrepreneur, has created a $25,000 faculty endowment for entrepreneurship in Cal State Northridge's College of Engineering and Computer Science--seed money for entrepreneurial efforts in the college.
The Robert S. Behl Faculty Award of Entrepreneurship Education Endowment will help faculty members in the college obtain knowledge and skills required to further their understanding of entrepreneurship. It will advance entrepreneurship education and training in the college, university officials said.

"Mr. Behl is a serial inventor and entrepreneur," said S.T. Mau, dean of the college. "He is always looking towards the future. He is the first to promote entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and to establish a mechanism with funding to advance it. His gift helps to continue the college's progress in to the future."

Behl, who earned his bachelor's degree in engineering from CSUN in 1969, said he hopes his gift will serve as a stimulus to help the faculty leverage additional donations and grants to create a "definitive entrepreneurial program" within the college.

"I had been making some noise for a while that the college needed some more entrepreneurial focus, and I guess it was time I put a little bit of money where my mouth was," Behl said.

Behl, who also has a master's in biomedical engineering from USC and an MBA in finance and economics from William Simon Graduate School of Management, holds 22 U.S. patents for medical devices. He is the founder of several medical device companies that have developed products for use in surgical, oncologic and vascular applications.

Behl currently serves as chief executive office and chairman of the board of Percutaneous Systems, Inc., a company focused on treatment of kidney stones and other urologic problems. He is a member of Life Science Angels, an investment group that focuses solely on biotechnology and medical device companies, and serves as a founding board member of Guided Delivery Systems, a pioneering cardiology company.

Last year, Behl served as the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences' commencement speaker. At that time, he advised the graduates to find jobs they really love, make a major effort to find out what their customer's problems and needs really are and to "think outside of the box." He added that he expected the graduates to "make some very positive changes to this world."