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The ‘Hangar’ is Where Learn by Doing Takes Flight Since 1953, the metal building on the hill has been Cal Poly’s busiest shop


he lighting needs improvement, heating shop in 1985. Since then, the Hangar has housed club is inadequate and it’s not easily accesprojects and student team projects. Indisible. At certain times, students must wait viduals also use the facility to design and an hour or more to get in because the build senior projects and class projects, or 50-person capacity is maxed out. they come in just to learn how to use tools Despite its shortcomings, the Hangar from the well-trained holds a special spot in cadre of student the hearts of generatechnicians. In fact, tions of engineering students from 31 students. For many, majors across camin fact, the Hangar pus use the Hangar, is where they and students in four became empowered majors — aerospace as engineers through engineering, materials hands-on problemengineering, biomedisolving. It’s where cal engineering and they learned to say, mechanical engineer“We’re from Cal Poly ing — are required and we know how to to earn their Red Tag make stuff.” safety certification. Since 1953, the On their first visit metal building on the to the shop, students rise above the north The Hangar on the hill is where engineering students are given a tour and side of campus has like Mitchell O’Meara, grinding a part on Cal Poly’s a safety orientation. been a hub of student Baja car at left, can turn concepts into reality. In order to use basic activity and innovafabrication tools at the Red Tag level, they tion. Located at one end of a 3,000-footmust attend another hour-long tool safety long flight strip, the facility was initially used tour and earn 90 percent or better on a as an aircraft construction lab and hangar. safety test. After logging 10 hours in the The airstrip is long gone, and the facility shop, students can take a second Yellow Tag morphed into a multidisciplinary project Please see THE HANGAR, Page 4


College News

• The Hangar is Cal Poly’s most popular machine shop • Alumnus supports student innovation with 3D printer • Northrop Grumman supports pathway for future engineers

• Cal Poly finishes strong third at 2015 Solar Decathlon • College of Engineering No.1 among state-funded schools • Cal Poly, Munich University expand student exchange

Department News • Donation of “rolling road” leads to wind tunnel renovation • Cal Poly sends large group to Grace Hopper Conference • New department chairs named

Student News

Faculty News

Alumni News

• Cal Poly team travels to Malta to help search for shipwrecks • Human Powered Vehicle team wins award for design • Cal Poly transportation engineers named top chapter

• Kristen Cardinal named Outstanding Faculty Advisor • New faculty expand curriculum in cybersecurity, databases • Fire Protection Engineering director receives award

• Kim Vorrath named CENG’s Honored Alumna for 2015-16 • Karen Bartleson elected new President of the IEEE • NASA astronaut Victor Glover wows EPIC campers

Invest in the Best

ENGINEERING Advantage n ISSUE Fall 2015 • Vol. 13, Issue 1 n FREQUENCY Published biannually n PUBLISHER Cal Poly College of Engineering n ADDRESS 1 Grand Avenue San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 n TELEPHONE 805-756-2131 n WEB n ALUMNI IN THE NEWS n CALENDAR OF EVENTS n GIVING TO THE COLLEGE n FACEBOOK n TWITTER n INSTAGRAM @polyengineering n FLICKR n YOUTUBE The lights are on at the Innovation Sandbox in the Bonderson Projects Center, part of the Cal Poly Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Phillips 66 Supports Cal Poly Engineering Students, Departments and Programs


hillips 66 visited Cal Poly on Oct. 13 to meet with students and present a $50,000 check to support College of Engineering departments, programs and student clubs. The company has served as a strong partner of the college for a decade, recruiting employees and student interns, and supporting engineering clubs, including the Society of Black Engineers & Scientists, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and the Engineering Student Council. Phillips 66 also funds an Earn by Doing student shop tech. Earn by Doing is a program that provides student employment opportunities while boosting

the number of trained tech assistants who help ensure that the college shops operate safely, and who interact directly with students working on projects. “Phillips 66 and Cal Poly share a common language regarding the hands-on application of engineering and safety, which is a core value of the company,” said Tom Carroll, superintendent of rotating equipment reliability in Rodeo, Calif. Carroll, a 1981 mechanical engineering alumnus, has served as the company’s lead Cal Poly recruiter for 12 years. “One of the unique things about Cal Poly is the close touch between professors and students — that mentorship is evident in the high quality of students

Included at the Phillips 66 check presentation were (front) David Galvez, Keele Peck, Matt Myers, Dejah Hilliard, Alex Sireci and Rachel Jakob; and (back) Jamie Forslin, Dean Debra Larson, Kristen Kopp (Phillips 66), Tom Carroll (Phillips 66), Berkeley Davis, Chris Boyer and Jaime Guerrero.

and graduates,” noted Thad Satterfield, director of university relations and recruiting at Phillips 66. “We’re excited about

our ongoing partnership with Cal Poly; in fact, we’d like to work with as many Cal Poly interns as possible.”n

Invest in the Best

Modeling his support of Cal Poly Engineering

Northrop Grumman Helps Create Pathway for Future Engineers

Donation of 3D printer is part of ME alum’s support of innovation and entrepreneurship


ark Jackson wants Cal Poly students to dream big — and he has provided mentoring, a 3D printer to the campus Innovation Sandbox and support for the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) to foster their creativity and entrepreneurial efforts. “It’s incredibly important that we continue to innovate in the U.S. and bring new products into the marketplace,” said Jackson, a 1985 mechanical engineering alumnus. “When I was a student, there was very little talk about entrepreneurship; but now, with CIE and other efforts, there’s dynamic energy around innovation and business development. “When I went to my first Tech Pitch a couple years ago, I was incredibly impressed. It got me hooked to re-engage with the university.” Tech Pitch is one of the programs sponsored by CIE to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit. Record numbers of students now engage in CIE programs, including Tech Pitch, hackathons, startup career fairs and the Innovative Sandbox, a workspace in the Bonderson Projects Center where students play with ideas. Jackson, owner of Blue Dolphin Design & Engineering in Madera, Calif., is a Founder’s Circle-level donor to CIE. He also plans for his company to occupy space at CIE’s HotHouse in downtown San Luis Obispo. The program supports more than 20 startups with seed money, handson mentorship and office space during the summer. “I want Blue Dolphin to have a presence in this hotbed,” said Jackson, who has already mentored a HotHouse company, Mantis Composites, which is focused on developing new directions in rapid prototyping. The Mantis Composites founders first met at the Innovation Sandbox. On a visit to campus recently, Jackson surveyed the bustle in the Innovation Sandbox with pleasure. “It’s something else to see students discover that they can solve problems,” he said. One of the students at work in the Sandbox, Priya Sumeran, underscored that excitement with the comment, “I walked in here one day and

Bob Wulf Makes a Generous Offer to Fellow AERO Alumni


ow does two-for-one sound?” asks Bob Wulf. The 1963 aerospace engineering (AERO) alumnus has offered to match any gift made to the Aerospace Engineering Lab Endowment up to $10,000. The Bob Wulf Alumni Challenge builds on a lab endowment effort that Wulf and his classmates

Six Da Vinci students celebrated their admission to Cal Poly at their high school graduation. They include (left to right) Jena Van Gerwen (Environmental Earth Science), Tia Troxel (Environmental Management and Protection), Brandon Perez (Construction Management), Samuel Caldwell (Biochemistry), Becky Lu (Mechanical Engineering) and Johnnie Joseph (Aerospace Engineering).


Mechanical engineering alum Mark Jackson donated a new 3D printer for student use in the lab as part of his support of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. At left: After a quick body scan, the printer produced a model of Jackson.

just never left.” For his part, Jackson believes that any engineering problem can be solved. “I learned that lesson when I worked on the very first Human Powered Vehicle team at Cal Poly. I feel that whatever help I can give to these students will benefit me and all our futures.”n

ith a curriculum based on handson, interdisciplinary projects that address real-world problems, the Da Vinci Schools already seem dialed in to Cal Poly. The charter schools located in Hawthorne, Calif. — Da Vinci Design, Da Vinci Science and Da Vinci Communications — are also Cal Poly Partner Schools, which serve a low-income population and have low percentages of students advancing to college. With the establishment of a multifaceted scholarship and support program this year, Northrop Grumman has boosted the connections between Da Vinci Schools and Cal Poly to create an integrated pathway for the development of future engineering leaders. Components of the pathways program includes designation of Northrop Grumman Scholars, the Northrop Grumman Please see DA VINCI, Page 5

started in 2013 at their 50th reunion. “Having the chance to reconnect was wonderful,” said Wulf, “and in taking stock of our journeys, we realized that we have all been highly blessed and Please see AERO, Page 5

The pinnacle of Wulf’s career at Northrop Grumman was as chief engineer and vice president of engineering during the development and the flight testing of the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Here, he and his wife, Kathleen, pose with the aircraft.


Cover Story The Hangar

Built in 1953, the Hangar is the busiest machine shop at Cal Poly. At left, student tech Toby Shirts (Mechanical Engineering), left, talks with Xander Luciano (Manufacturing Engineering) and Megan Johnson (Business) as they prepare to take their required certification exams to use the Hangar shop. Below, mechanical engineering student Gus Holz welds on the Baja Car in the Hangar.

From Page 1

tour and test to qualify to use mills, lathes and welders. “This academic year alone, we’ve monitored almost 26,000 student shop hours!” said George Leone, shop (B.S./M.S., Materials Engineering, 2014), supervisor for 15 years. “With so many students using the facility, we’ve Gabriel Mountjoy (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 2012) and Myles Bradwell become more structured to ensure (B.S., Industrial Technology, 2011) spent safety. I’m incredibly proud of the fact hours together in the Hangar as part of that in all the years of operation as a the Cal Poly Supermileage Vehicle Team. shop, we’ve had no major injuries. That’s Their work sparked the idea that carbon testament to our culture of safety.” fiber could be fashioned with a laser into Back in the day, when aviation design pioneer Burt Rutan was here as a student a hinge. They tested their innovation on the Supermileage Vehicle and won the in the mid-1960s, the shop environment Technical Innovation Award at the 2013 may have been a bit more laissez-faire, Shell Eco-Marathon. Common Fibers the shop culture more traditionally malecompany was born. oriented, but the lessons learned in the The lead role of Livingston-Peters Hangar then are still true for the diverse says something else about the Hangar legions of students using the facility today: it’s a diverse, welcoming environtoday. ment where all students can discover Rutan has said that his hands-on their potential. Key to creating that envieducation in the shop taught him “the ronment is the corps of student techniimportance of a designer being capable cians, who assist students working on of building the things he designs.” projects, provide the tours and tool and Leone recounts a story that illustrates the tie that alumni have with their Hangar safety training, and largely maintain and manage both the Hangar and the Musexperience. “I was taking Burt Rutan tang ’60 Project Shop in the Bonderson through the Hangar a few years ago, and Projects Center. Of the 40 or so technihe went over to the Beverly Shear sheet cians on staff, metal shear, and “At the Hangar, students 12 are women. said, ‘I built my “It’s a big first airplane are exposed to all the processes honor to be a with this tool.’ of manufacturing. Sandia liked that student tech, You could see I have a practical knowledge of hands-on and the group the emotion,” problem-solving, that I know just functions like a said Leone. huge, extended Over the how long machining takes.” family,” noted years, many Corinne Warnock, Eric Pulse, Hangar-built Hangar shop tech on landing a job manager of the student innoat Sandia National Laboratories Mustang ’60 vations stand Shop. Senior Corinne Warnock, who has out. Who can forget the prosthetic leg worked her way through the shop tech designed and built in 2005 by mechaniranks to become head of communicacal engineering student Rory Moore tions for Mustang ’60, credits her shop for his 70-pound Labrador, Cooter? Or experience with landing her an upcomthe senior project in which a student ing job at Sandia National Laboratories. designed a machine that rubbed pieces “At the Hangar, students are exposed of wood together to heat and liquefy the to all the processes of manufacturing,” resins and weld the wood, a project that said Warnock. “Sandia liked that I have itself melded together knowledge from a practical knowledge of hands-on mechanical, electronic and biological problem-solving, that I know just how systems. long machining takes.” The Hangar has also incubated That knowledge is Cal Poly. It’s what companies. Ann Livingston-Peters


Hanging On


distinguishes Cal Poly graduates, many of whom built their engineering foundation during all-day, pizza-fueled work at the Hangar.

The Future of the Hangar Looking at its rustsplotched exterior, you have to wonder how many more years the Hangar has. The facility encapsulates Learn by Doing, but it’s clearly antiquated. In its current Master Plan, meanwhile, the university has targeted the Hangar site for student housing. The expected demise of the Hangar offers an opportunity for Cal Poly to recommit to Learn by Doing by building a new projects complex in the campus core that represents the profession today. “We’re already working with architects to help us envision a model facility,” said Jim Gearhardt, mechanical engineering technician who serves on the College of Engineering committee charged with planning a new Engineering Projects Workshop. According to Gearhardt, plans underway outline a 35,000-square-foot building co-located with the Bonderson Center that includes a yard, and open reconfigurable spaces containing design and manufacturing workspace, research cells, and a club row for team projects. “With the recent shifts in spending priorities by the State of California we must look to private funding to finance this vital facility that is core to our mis-

sion,” explained Dean Debra Larson. “What we hope to realize in the new Projects Workshop — with the help of alumni, friends and industry partners — is a Learn by Doing epicenter that fosters collaboration and innovation, a showcase environment for investigating, designing and fabricating products and systems.” It sounds like the spirit of the Hangar — and a core value of Cal Poly — will live on. n

Da Vinci

Best in the West


Cal Poly tops magazine’s list for 23rd consecutive year

From Page 3

Summer Institute Scholarship, and Northrop Grumman Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) Mentors. Northrop Grumman Scholars receive financial support and proactive advising to ensure that they remain on track to meet academic requirements. The first Northrop Grumman Scholars include Da Vinci engineering freshmen Becky Lu (Mechanical Engineering) and Johnnie Joseph (Aerospace Engineering), and sophomore Chan Le (Computer Science). The Summer Institute introduces freshmen to Cal Poly and allows them to take several units of general education credit over a three-week period during summer. Lu and Joseph attended this year, thanks to their Northrop Grumman Summer Institute Scholarships. MEP, which provides social networking and academic advising to engineering students, now coordinates with the Da Vinci counseling office to offer campus visits and encourage Cal Poly attendance. Additionally, Northrop Grumman supports a peer mentoring program, the Northrop Grumman MEP Mentors, who serve the Northrop Grumman Scholars. In addition to these efforts, Northrop Grumman supports a Cal Poly math professor to engage with Da Vinci teachers to help map a mathematics curriculum that prepares students for entry into a rigorous engineering degree program. For more information on Da Vinci, see n From Page 3

Cal Poly deserves much of the credit for our success. “So, we’re motivated to give back — and we also understand that the AERO Department needs our help in maintaining and enhancing its labs. State funding to the university does not cover labs, plus it’s important to keep pace with new technology. We hope to grow the lab endowment to $100,000 or more, which will generate $4,000 annually for lab expenditures.” For more information and to make a gift to the Aerospace Engineering Lab Endowment, see https://aero.calpoly. edu/alumni/. n

College News


al Poly has kept its streak alive for 23 years as best public-master’s university in the West, according to the latest edition of the U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges guidebook. U.S. News ranks colleges that grant doctoral degrees, such as those in the University of California system, in a separate category. In the magazine’s ranking of the West’s best universities, Cal Poly was foremost among publicly funded schools, tied for 10th on a top-10 list otherwise dominated by private schools. The overall category included 116 public and private institutions in 15 states that provide “a full range of undergraduate and master’s level programs but few, if any, doctoral programs.” For the fourth straight year, Cal Poly also boasts the nation’s best state-funded

Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programs No. 1 among state-funded universities undergraduate engineering program. The school’s civil engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering programs are also No. 1 among statefunded universities. In overall listings, Cal Poly Engineering placed seventh behind private institutions Harvey Mudd College, Rose-Hulman and Olin College and the federally funded U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Naval Academy. “It’s an honor to be ranked so high, so consistently,” said Cal Poly Engineering Dean Deb Larson. “It’s a reflection

of our outstanding students, a faculty that’s focused on their success inside and outside of the classroom, and the deep, enduring and expanding value of the Learn by Doing experience — especially in a 21st century world.” The university’s engineering program issues more than 1,000 bachelor’s degrees annually — about three times more than the three top military academies combined, and about twice the number of the top three private schools if totaled together. Cal Poly was also ranked 10th most veteran-friendly university in the West. In April, Cal Poly dedicated its Veterans Success Center — a one-stop shop for veterans and their dependents that helps make pursuing a college education more accessible. The U.S. News rankings are available at CAL POLY ENGINEERING


College News Cal Poly Shines at 2015 Solar Decathlon B

uilt by a multidisciplinary team of Cal Poly students, the 1,000-square-foot INhouse finished third overall among 14 sun-powered homes at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 at Orange County Great Park in Irvine. Cal Poly’s INhouse, which featured a folding “window wall,” two-sided solar panels and cutting-edge LED lighting, finished behind first-place Stevens Institute of Technology at Hoboken, N.J., and runner-up, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. “It took months and months of work from a dedicated team to arrive in Irvine ready to go, and despite every hardship along the way we persisted, competed and accomplished,” said civil engineering student Erik Pinuelas, who completed his senior project with the Solar Cal Poly team. “The process of getting the project approved is what I view as its most defining feature because I learned how tenacity, communication, and intelligence can make anything happen.” The international competition included 10 individual categories. The Cal Poly team tied for first in commuting, placed second in market appeal and home life, third in architecture and fourth in engineering. Other Cal Poly Engineering participants included electrical engineering majors Casey Smith and Jenna Denhaan, and electrical engineering faculty advisor Dale Dolan; computer science majors Dante Tim Ambrose and Andrew Elliott and computer science faculty advisor John Clements; and mechanical engineering faculty advisor Kim Shollenberger. n For more on Solar Cal Poly, see For details on the Solar Decathlon, see



Student leaders Lisa-Marie Mueller (Architecture) and Erik Pinuelas (Civil Engineering) oversaw construction of the INhouse, Cal Poly’s entrant into the 2015 Solar Decathlon. Designed to integrate into the landscape of Coastal California, the INhouse featured energy-efficient LED lighting inside and drought-tolerant landscaping outside.

Unique, two-sided solar panels cover the outdoor deck. At right, Solar Cal Poly team members Sandy Stannard (faculty advisor), Christina Paguin, Brian Murrillo, LisaMarie Mueller, Alyssa Parr, Christine Theodoropoulos (dean, College of Architecture and Environmental Design) and Erik Pinuelas hold the third-place trophy on the final day of competition at Orange County Great Park in Irvine. (Photos: Department of Energy)

College News

Initiatives Build Student Success and Diversity Vista, PEEPS help support students in STEM courses


he College of Engineering, Cal Poly and the California State University (CSU) system have undertaken initiatives and launched new efforts to increase student diversity. For the second year, Cal Poly has taken part in a CSU-wide program to build student success in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with a special focus on traditionally underrepresented students. “Enhancing diversity and promoting inclusivity starts with attracting and recruiting a diverse student population, but it can’t stop there,” said Emily Liptow, community partner liaison for STEM initiatives at Cal Poly. A recent engineering graduate from Ohio State University, Liptow is one of 19 AmeriCorps Vista national service program volunteers currently serving in STEM departments, colleges and academic institutes throughout the CSU as part of the CSU STEM Vista Program. On campus, Liptow is supporting the College of Engineering’s Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools (PEEPS), working with Kathy Chen, a materials engineering professor and department chair who also serves as the PEEPS director, and Jackie Duerr, the Multicultural Engineering Program advisor. “PEEPS is a unique program that provides not only scholarships but an entire support system for a cohort of students who are first-generation partner school students — partners being schools that typically serve low-income students,” said Duerr. Liptow is working with this year’s cohort of 13 engineering students, seven of them freshmen. “All students need a sense of belonging,” said Liptow, “and one of the key parts of the PEEPS scholarship is that the students are enrolled in classes together. By taking courses together and sharing in social activities together, they are developing a strong peer support network that will help them to be successful engineering students at Cal Poly.” A foundational building block for Please see INITIATIVES, Page 8

The LiftGator, a removable, full-sized, hitch-mounted lift gate for pickup trucks won first place at the 12th annual Innovation Quest (iQ) competition. Here, LiftGator team members Justin Russo (Mechanical Engineering), Marty Affentranger (Mechanical Engineering), Matt Kloss (Business Administration) and Brent Taylor (BioResource and Agricultural Engineering) share a laugh standing on their invention. Fifty-five teams competed in the 2015 iQ competition.

Autodesk CEO Talks Cloud Computing at Haas Conference


Autodesk CEO Carl Bass holds up a 3Dprinted car part during his talk at Cal Poly.

arl Bass, president and CEO of Autodesk, maker of design, engineering and entertainment software, was a keynote speaker at the national HTEC (Haas Technical Educational Center) conference for CNC educators hosted by Cal Poly in July. Bass said that one of the most transformative trends reshaping manufacturing is cloud computing. The future of the industry — and hands-on engineering education — will be based on tools designed for collaboration and taking advantage of the “infinite power of the computer.” Bass is passionate about helping engineers and other innovators “not only design something but make something.”

A prodigious do-it-yourselfer himself, Bass has introduced Autodesk’s tools for design, simulation and modeling to the Maker Movement, where do-it-yourself invention is combined with technology. In addition, the company now gives away much of its software to future engineers and designers. “It’s fun to be a CEO — turning a $100 million business to zero,’’ he said, referring to the decision last year to make the company’s products free to students and schools around the world. n Related link: education/free-software/all. CAL POLY ENGINEERING


College News From Boots to Books

addition, they may have experienced mental or physical trauma, or may Veterans Success Center aims to enhance Cal Poly experience have physical limitations from combat injuries, which housands of students converging on California to a university-wide can limit their mobility campuses this fall are not only facing the academic support network that and access to campus rigors that will prepare them for their future, they’re also includes specialized activities. I personally have braving a challenging transition from military service to orientation programs, received a lot of assistance civilian life — a change that can sometimes be overcounseling, career serand support from the whelming. vices, financial aid and At Cal Poly, a new Veterans Success Center opened training programs for U.S. Navy veteran Sean Tischler, center, works with teammates Dan Schletewitz Cal Poly Disability Resource Center, which last spring that’s designed to jumpstart the college faculty and staff on and Luke Holmes on the base of a solar reflecting cooker in the Bonderson works closely with the VetProjects Center. All three are mechanical engineering students. education and enhance the overall campus experience the special challenges erans Success Center.” of approximately 300 student veterans and their depen- veterans face. Veterans often miss the camaraderie of military life, dents. The center is the hub of a growing array The College of Engineering attracts more than double and the Veterans Center helps bridge that gap, said of campus-wide efforts that got Cal Poly ranked as the number of student veterans than at other colleges. Tischler. “It offers a place to study and be around a 10th-best veteran-friendly university among western “Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing motto is a huge draw to the more mature group of people who have shared similar universities in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report kind of person who would both serve in the military experiences.” guide to colleges. and want to study engineering,” said Sean Tischler, a Under the Post-9/11 Bill, veteran benefits include “We’re providing a one-stop shop for our veterans mechanical engineering student veteran. four academic years of tuition and fees, plus a stipend and their dependents at Cal Poly, helping them to be But student veterans can feel disconnected from for books and further assistance with other living exsuccessful students and move into their careers,” said their college life, said Tischler, and it’s not only their penses, such as rent and utility bills. n Everette Brooks, the center’s coordinator. “We are the military background that sets them apart. go-to place for veterans’ resources, activities and social “Many veterans who return to complete their circles, and home of the Student Veterans Organizadegrees are older than other students on campus and For more on the Cal Poly Veterans Success Center, see tion.” The center connects its unique cohort of students many, like me, are married with families,” he said. “In


Expanding Partnership


Cal Poly, Munich University of Applied Sciences receive grant for exchange program


$1.14 million grant will allow Cal Poly and Munich University of Applied Sciences to expand a studentfaculty exchange program that has allowed scores of mechanical engineering students to study at the second-largest university of applied sciences in Germany. The four-year grant, valued at one million euros, was awarded to Munich University from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), a publically funded independent organization of higher education institutions in Germany. It will allow Cal Poly and its counterpart to expand joint teaching, learning and research activities. “The competitive DAAD grant recognizes our 12-year history with Cal Poly, an institution with which we have much in common, including our applied, hands-



Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong (right) accepts a recording of the student choir at Munich University of Applied Sciences from President Michael Kortstock.

on approach to student learning,” said Michael Kortstock, president of Munich University. “We look forward to optimizing our exchange program and to developing new collaborations that might include cross-faculty and interdisciplinary study, integration of industry and other external partners and curricula development.” Over the years, Munich University students have benefited from exposure to one of the top engineering programs in the United States and improved their English language skills, a requirement of the global job market. n

From Page 7

student success is the “Engineering Student Success 101” class that Liptow coteaches under the supervision of Chen and Duerr. ‘’This course is especially designed for first-generation students — students who are the first in their family to attend college — as well as any other engineering students wish- Emily Liptow, on far right, with PEEPS (Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools) scholarship students. ing to develop a supportive community among peers and to gain the programs. Liptow also works with clubs, learning skills needed to be a successful such as the Society of Women Engineers engineering student,” said Liptow. and the Society of Hispanic Professional “Without Emily, there would be no Engineers, to enhance their K-12 STEM PEEPS program,” said Duerr. “We need outreach efforts. her help to build a supportive learn“The ‘partner’ in Emily’s title reing community and assist us in scaling flects the multiple responsibilities and up our program within the college in relationships involved with her job,” terms of diversity, recruitment and said Chen. “She’s doing more than retention.” just PEEPS — she’s involved with many In addition to supporting PEEPS different efforts. Her role is to build our students, Liptow is helping build a supcollege’s capacity and implement susportive learning environment; assisting tainable solutions that will live beyond freshmen and transfer students; and her year of service — and she’s doing developing and coordinating outreach just that.”n

Searching for Shipwrecks

Student News Cal Poly Steel Bridge Team Finishes Second at National Competition


Cal Poly computer science student Katie Davis, left, and professor Zoë Wood helped a team deploy underwater robots to map the Mediterranean Sea near Malta in seach of lost ships.

Cal Poly Engineering team joins marine archaeologists employing underwater robots to map the coast of Malta


research team from Cal Poly and Harvey Mudd College recently traveled to Malta to deploy underwater robots to help map coastal shipwrecks and develop innovative technology for marine archaeology. The expedition was organized as a joint International Computer Engineering Experience (ICEX) program. Throughout the week of Aug. 24, students from Cal Poly and Harvey Mudd collaborated with accompanying faculty, local experts and archeologists. “Being located in the Mediterranean Sea between continental Europe and northern Africa, the island nation of Malta and its coastal waters are home to a large number of historical wrecks,” said Zoë Wood, a computer science professor at Cal Poly. Historically, identifying shipwreck sites has been a slow, hazardous and labor-intensive archaeological endeavor — but that’s changing. “The project goals were to develop an autonomous underwater vehicle system for intelligent shipwreck search, mapping and visualization,” she said. Using a diving team and autonomous underwater vehicles at three sites, the Cal Poly and Harvey Mudd researchers gathered data in video format that will be processed into 3D

photogrammetric imagery, photography that will enable the researchers to map and measure distances between objects. In addition to Wood, the team included Cal Poly computer science students Katie Davis and Ian Dunn, and Harvey Mudd engineering major Apoorva Sharma and engineering professor Chris Clark. Clark co-founded ICEX about six years ago as an international learning experience for computer science students at Cal Poly, where he was teaching at the time. When he joined the Harvey Mudd faculty in 2012, it created an opportunity for collaboration between the two institutions. This year marks the fourth time he and Wood have taken students from their respective schools to Malta to advance research in autonomous systems, including underwater robots and multirobot systems. The technology developed in Malta has applications not only to archaeology, but also to oceanography, biology, homeland security and defense. n For more information, visit the Malta research blog and the website for Clark’s research lab, the LAIR, at http://

n its highest finish ever, Cal Poly placed second overall at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National Student Steel Bridge Competition in May at the Kansas City Convention Center. The University of Florida was first and the École de Technologie Supérieure of Montreal, Canada, finished third at the competition hosted by the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Sponsored by the ASCE since 1992, the competition allows collegiate teams to design, build and test steel bridges. Forty-seven teams took part in the event, competing in six categories. Cal Poly earned second place overall by finishing second in Efficiency, third in Construction Speed, fourth in Stiffness, fifth in Lightness, seventh in Economy and 11th in Display. Cal Poly qualified for the national championships by winning the ASCE Pacific Southwest Regional Conference at the University of Arizona-Tucson in early April. “Although we have been in the Top 10 at nationals for the last five-plus years, we are very proud to have come home with the best finish Cal Poly has ever had,” said Shayla Allen, team captain. “This year the team focused on organization and perseverance. Despite many difficulties and problems that

arose, we came together and found solutions that would keep us on schedule to meet our goals.” In addition to Allen, the Steel Bridge team members included senior captains Eric Babin, Jeremy Gold, Demi Pacifuentes and Angel Trejo. Junior captains included Elizabeth Coffey, Drew Glover, Michael Clark, Jimmyhee Quach and Tyler van Iderstein. Allen credited early preparation

and Cal Poly’s tradition of cutting-edge design for the team’s strong showing. “One challenge the steel bridge team faces is new design specifications each year,” she said. “We spent a good portion of time reviewing the rules this year before we arrived at a final design. Each year we build off the advice and experience from past teams. This allows us to learn and improve each and every year.” n For complete results, go to http://

The Engineering Student Council for 2015-16 includes, top row from left, Andre Arguelles (Biomedical Engineering). Jaime Forslin (Mechanical Engineering), Bo Oelkers (Software Engineering) and Ashwin Ramanathan (Industrial Engineering); bottom row from left: Lindsey Kuster (Architectural Engineering), Rachel Jakob (Mechanical Engineering) and Mairead Blaes (Electrical Engineering).



Student News Cal Poly Engineers Win CSU Award

Floating Ideas

Natural sunblock project takes first place at CSU Research Competition


would be indicative of preventing UV damage.” Bishard credits Laiho, who is also director of the college’s interdisciplinary projects, for introducing her and Campbell to a uniquely interdisciplinary project. Dr. Rafael Jimenez-Flores, a dairy science professor, had approached Laiho with the concept — which may mark the first time that biomedical engineering partnered with agriculture. Over the last two years, Campbell has immersed himself in Cal Poly’s hands-on labs. “UC Berkeley is big on the theoretical, of course, but when you get here it’s very much Learn by Doing — I got to combine the theoretical with the practical to a degree that simply isn’t possible elsewhere.” Currently, Campbell is pursuing a doctorate in bioengineering at UC Davis. Bishard, who is “really interested in stem cells and all the potential they have” was one of 10 students selected for a specialized graduate program in stem cell research funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Bishard and Campbell were among five Cal Poly students taking top honors at the CSU competition, including Shaker Von Price Funkhouser, a physics senior; Mikaela Vournas, an anthropology and geography graduate; and Mathew ThomBiomedical engineering students Kevin Campbell and Kristina Bishard won son, a graduate economics student. first place at the CSU Research Competition. Participants in the statewide competition submitted a five-page research report and no real results — until Kevin’s research rather gave an oral presentation before a panel of judges. quickly yielded statistically significant data.” They were judged on clarity of purpose, appropriCampbell arrived last year from UC Berkeley ateness of methodology, interpretation of results, where a professor had inspired him to work with clear articulation of the research, and their ability photonics. “When I came to Cal Poly I looked for to field questions from the jury and audience. professors involved in imaging and different kinds More than 245 students from 22 CSU campuses of microscope work — which is how I found Dr. participated this year. Cal Poly’s 13 student-scholLily Laiho,” said Campbell. “She was working on ars presented their work on 10 different projects. this project in her biophotonics lab, and I’ve been Overall, Cal Poly tied for the most first-place involved with it the last two years.” awards and was second in most awards overall. As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, Campbell “It is a testament to the quality of research conducted research on the effects of radiation on opportunities and mentorship available to our breast cancer cells and, after graduating, continstudents that we compete so well in this competiued to study techniques for looking at markers. tion each year,” said Dean Wendt, Cal Poly dean “As a result — although the Cal Poly study inof research. “Our faculty members impact student volved different markers — I started seeing some learning through their research programs, and it is really significant things really quickly.” a prime example of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing apThe two formed a team, with Bishard “the cell proach and our academic excellence.” n whisperer,” said Campbell. “She was very good with sterile procedures and everything necessary to grow out a layer of skins cells. My role was to For a complete list of winners, visit: http://gradstain and image them, which showed how our was preventing DNA damage, which Competition.html.

wo students’ research on a safer, more natural alternative to sunscreen for sun protection won first place at the CSU Research Competition in the category of health, nutrition and clinical sciences. Presented in May by Kevin Campbell (M.S., Biomedical Engineering, 2015) and Kristina Bishard, now a graduate student specializing in stem cell research, the project focused on the use of a dairy protein to protect against UV-induced damage in human skin cells. Bishard, involved with the project from her freshman year, had seen some progress but, due largely to student turnover each year, “there were



Innovative Cal Poly Concrete Canoe Team places second at the ASCE Nationals


al Poly’s Concrete Canoe team won the Innovation Award and earned second place overall at the National Concrete Canoe Competition at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., in June. This marks the 10th consecutive year that Cal Poly has placed in the top five at the event referred to as the “America’s Cup of Civil Engineering.” The 28th annual competition, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), drew 22 teams from some of the top engineering schools in the U.S. and Canada. Overall rankings were based on team scores in four categories: design paper, oral presentation, final product and race performance. The University of Florida won best overall. Performing strongly in both the academic and athletic arenas, Cal Poly placed second in overall race points, second for its design paper and third for its oral presentation. Team members included project manager Jessica Leyva; mix design captains Joshua Core, Julie Hendrick and Brandon McCormick; and construction captains Brett Diener, Tim Forrest and ASCE Concrete Canoe Dayna Scott. Faculty Competition Final Ranking advisors were Garrett 1. University of Florida Hall and Eric Kasper. 2. Cal Poly This was Cal Poly’s 3. UC Berkeley 16th trip to the national 4. École de technologie supérieure competition, includ5. Clemson University ing three back-to-back national titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The National Concrete Canoe Competition is designed as an opportunity for civil engineering students to gain handson, practical experience in project management and working with concrete mix designs. The event also builds public and industry awareness of the versatility and durability of concrete as a construction material. “It’s exciting to see the next generation of civil engineers demonstrate such impressive teamwork, leadership, creativity and ingenuity as they embrace this challenge,” said Mark Woodson, president-elect of ASCE. n

Engineers Without Borders Leaders Join Forces with Global Partners


hree student leaders from Engineers Without Borders - Cal Poly (EWB) worked with 500 delegates from around the world to advance global development at the 7th Annual Millennium Campus Conference, an event sponsored by the United Nation’s Millennium Campus Network (MCN). The conference was held Aug. 11-15 at U.N. headquarters in New York. The Cal Poly EWB representatives included environmental engineering senior and EWB past-president Chris Apple; Kimmy Pugel, vice president, an environmental Three members of Engineers Without Borders - Cal Poly attended engineering senior; and Dan the U.N.’s Millennium Campus Conference in New York. Hornett, a civil engineering jument campaigns, and we connected nior and Thailand team project with inspiring youth leaders from Brazil, manager. Ghana, Haiti, Hong Kong, Kenya, LibeMCN challenges student leaders to ria, the United Kingdom and the U.S.,” rethink the paradigms that perpetuate said Apple. “Basically, we learned about inequality and promote a collaborative the world from new perspectives. All of approach to global development based us were inspired to continue making a on community-led partnerships. difference in the world.” n “We learned about global develop-

Student News Cal Poly students Kimberly Pugel (Environmental Engineering), left, and Lili Gevorkian (Biological Science) earned Young Researcher Awards at the 2015 Algae Biomass Summit.

Cal Poly Students Honored at National Algae Summit


ompeting against young researchers from around the world, two Cal Poly students were honored at the 2015 Algae Biomass Summit in Washington, D.C., in September. Sponsored by the Algae Biomass Organization, the summit unites professionals and students to discuss algae utilization industries, including biofuels, fertilizers, bioplastics, supplements and foods. Environmental engineering student Kimberly Pugel received a third-place Young Researcher Award for her poster, “Effects of Water and Nutrient Recycling and Coagulant Addition on the

Anaerobic Digestion of Algae Biomass.” Lili Gevorkian (Biological Science) received a second-place award for her poster, “Anaerobic Co-digestion of Hydrothermal Liquefaction Process Water with Wastewater Solids.” “This was a great chance to design and conduct my own research project,” Pugel said. “Having the opportunity to present my research at such a prestigious conference was an experience in itself, so the fact that Lili and I won the awards makes me really proud of the all the work I am putting into this project.” For more, see

Rock On Cal Poly’s SAE Baja Race Team finishes strong

The Cal Poly Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja Race Team finished first in Maneuverability and fifth overall out of 104 teams participating in the SAE Baja Oregon Student Competition in May at the Washougal Motocross Course near Portland, Ore. In other competition categories, Cal Poly finished sixth in Acceleration, seventh in Design, ninth in Endurance and 22nd in the Hill Climb. For more on Cal Poly SAE, see



Student News

Going Places Cal Poly transportation engineers once again selected international student chapter of the year

F RoboRodentia Turns XX For two decades, Cal Poly engineering students have been battling with autonomous robots in the RoboRodentia competition at Open House. Mirroring past competitions, RoboRodentia XX was full of innovative designs and intense competitors. Above, firstplace winner Sonic was built by a team that included, from left, Justin Battle, Matt Fleck, alumnus Ryan De Haven (B.S., Computer Engineering, 2013; M.S., Computer Science, 2013) and Chris Kirby. At left: David Lennon (Computer Engineering) and Chandler Warne (Computer Science) work on “SWOLBOT,” the second-place finisher. At right, mechanical engineering student Ryan Takatsuka preps his robot while wearing the colors of Team America. n

Cal Poly HPV Wins Design Award


eaturing a series of LEDs that change from green to yellow then red if the rider is pushing the vehicle too hard or is close to rolling over, Cal Poly’s Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) Sweet Phoenix won first place in Design at the 2015 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) HPV Challenge West in April. “I’ve been around human-powered vehicle competitions since 1980, and in all the races, this was the most beautiful three-wheeled bike I’ve ever seen,” said George Leone, HPV team advisor. “This was top-notch aerospace quality.” Designed and built by a team that included mechanical engineering students Trent Hellmann, Peter Auman, Matt Allen and Judy Lantaca, the recumbent tricycle finished seventh overall at the competition in San Jose, Calif. The Sweet Phoenix finished first in the Men’s Sprint, fourth in Innovation, fourth in the Women’s Sprint and



Cal Poly’s Sweet Phoenix Human Powered Vehicle, a recumbent tricycle, features a rollover detection system with a series of LEDs that change color if the rider takes a curve too fast.

17th in Endurance. “There were well over 1,000 manhours put into designing, making, and testing of Sweet Phoenix,” said

Lantaca. “The Sweet Phoenix was designed more for utility than speed to keep up with ASME’s push for more utilitarian vehicles.”n

or the second consecutive year, Cal Poly ITE, a student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, has been named the institute’s international chapter of the year. The student group was honored at the ITE annual conference, held August 2-5 in Hollywood, Fla. “I don’t know specifically what put us over the top again this year,” said Kevin Carstens, chapter president, “but my guess is that, in addition to our increase in membership and activities, it was our acquisition of the Transportation Engineering Student Project Area. It’s a new space in Cal Poly’s Bonderson Projects Center, which is now dedicated to transportation engineering projects and research.” In addition to Carstens, the 2014-15 Cal Poly ITE chapter officers included Krista Purser, vice president; Karl Schmidt, treasurer; Alex Chambers, secretary; Kelsey Littell, events coordinator; Monica FiedlerRoss, firm tours coordinator; Bobby Sidhu, marketing coordinator and Engineering Student Council representative; and Troy Kawahara, historian and webmaster. The club also won the title and $2,000 in the ITE Collegiate Traffic Bowl Grand Championship, competing with teams from each district in Canada and the U.S. The University of Manitoba and Purdue University placed second and third, respectively. “Winning the Traffic Bowl was the cherry on top of this year’s Student Chapter of the Year award,” said Anurag Pande, faculty advisor for the club. “We may not play schools like Purdue on the gridiron, but this was almost as exciting — the three finalists turned it into a very close contest,” he said. “The Jeopardy-style event has a traffic and transportation engineering theme, and the winning question was ‘What is a sharrow?’” (Answer: A lane marking that tells drivers where to expect to share the lane with bicyclists). Cal Poly contestants in the Traffic Bowl competition included chapter officers Carstens, Purser, Chambers and Sidhu. n

For more on the Cal Poly ITE Student Chapter, see

Department News Seventy-one freshmen enrolled in the General Engineering Program in the fall. The program is separating from Biomedical Engineering, which has grown rapidly since its inception in 2007.

GENE Split: General Engineering Program Breaks Away from Biomedical Engineering


ight years ago, the Biomedical Engineering Department was, in effect, a startup in need of a place to grow — and the General Engineering Program was that place. Now, with the Biomedical Engineering Department thriving and fully accredited as of this year, General Engineering is charting new ventures of its own. This fall the program welcomed the Class of 2019 — 71

freshmen — who represent the first four-year cohort of the revamped program. “Flexibility, core competency and self-determination remain the bywords for students of the General Engineering Program,” said Bob Crockett, who has been the program director for the past seven years. “One of the most immediate changes I’m pleased to announce is the appointment of Jim Widmann as

interim program director while I take a year-long sabbatical,” said Crockett. “Jim is a mechanical engineering professor with a highly multidisciplinary skillset and mindset, and a strong sense of what General Engineering is about.” “What will remain the same is a General Engineering Program that’s uniquely interdisciplinary and Please see GENERAL, Page 16

Women in Computing Celebrated Professors Yarrow Nelson, left, and David Marshall, center, are taking the reins as chairs for the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department and the Aerospace Engineering Department. Professor James Widmann, right, is the Interim Director of the General Engineering program. Nelson, a member of the department since 1999, is an expert in bioenvironmental engineering, bioremediation and toxic metal pollutants. Marshall joined Cal Poly in 2004. His areas of research include aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics. Widmann, a member of the mechanical engineering faculty since 2004, is interested in design, stress analysis, hydraulic systems and advanced aerospace metal forming. n

Many members of Cal Poly’s chapter of Women Involved in Software and Hardware (WISH) attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference held Oct. 14-16 in Houston. (Photo: Eva Chen)

Cal Poly Makes Strong Showing at Grace Hopper Conference


t almost 100 strong, a contingent from Cal Poly’s Computer Science and Software Engineering Department had the distinction of being the largest student delegation at the largest gathering of women in technology in the world. The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, held Oct. 14-16 in Houston, attracted more than 12,000 attendees. This was the sixth consecutive year the department has sent students to the conference. Allie Lustig, a fourth-year computer engineering major who Please see COMPUTING, Page 15



Department News

The team building the new rolling road track section for the wind tunnel includes aerospace engineering students Daniel Stalters, Matthew Paul and David Alexander, and mechanical engineering student Andrew Furmidge, second from left.

There’s a New Wind Blowin’ at Cal Poly Donation of a “rolling road” test section fans renovation of 30-year-old wind tunnel


he Cal Poly Low-Speed Wind Tunnel, which measures the aerodynamic efficiency of vehicles and airplanes, has been a hotbed of hands-on education for generations of aerospace engineering students. But the facility has much more than nostalgia to offer, said Graham Doig, an aerospace engineering professor who is overseeing transformation of the wind tunnel. ”We want the lab to reflect the advanced way industry does aerodynamic development, which is very different from when Cal Poly first built the facility.” Doig said renovation goals include providing the instrumentation for integrated testing and simulation practices that new graduates will encounter in industry. “Cal Poly’s wind tunnel has been a solid workhorse for almost 30 years, but hasn’t been able to keep up with the changes in industry, especially the growing importance of instrumentation and how air flows are now often measured with lasers and clever imaging rather than traditional probes,” Doig explained. A donation of a rolling road and test section by All American Racers, known for its winning Le Mans and Indy race car designs, literally got things rolling. “It was quite fortuitous — with much credit due to John Fabijanica, a mechanical engineering professor who had worked for the company some years ago,” said Doig. That good fortune was further compounded by



The new rolling road section in the wind tunnel allows the Cal Poly Supermileage team to test for aerodynamics. Above, mechanical engineering students Dorian Capps and Andrew Furmidge load the vehicle into the wind tunnel. Furmidge is lead designer on the new wind tunnel.

a sizable gift from the Raintree Foundation, a family trust, to support the facility’s overall revitalization. The donations became a catalyst for the department to rethink everything about the wind tunnel. “The goal became, first, let’s get the lab into the 21st century, then look at what we want to be 20 years from now. What types of testing will we be doing? What capacity should we build in now to have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects in the future?” said Doig. “The rolling road isn’t a glorified treadmill. It’s a serious piece of kit [slang, in Doig’s native Australia, for new technology] that enables us to get accurate airflow underneath vehicles and around the wheels — where noise and turbulence are a problem and where grip can be gained,” he said. “We’re not aware of any other university on the West Coast that has this rolling capability. It’s completely unique.” And it’s particularly well suited for Cal Poly, where both student-led vehicle and aircraft projects abound. “A lot of students enter our program because of their love for cars — and, in college, aerospace engineering is about as close as you can get to a racing car degree. If you want to learn aerodynamics and the

fiber composites that go into racing cars, this is the place,” he said. “With the lab as envisioned, Cal Poly will ultimately be able to show industry that it has an accurate, reliable modern facility that offers companies the same caliber of results they would get from private labs or facilities.” Among some of the new curricular and extracurricular areas primed to benefit from a modernized wind tunnel: a two-quarter graduate-level course in aerodynamic research and development, which involves integrated simulation and wind tunnel testing, and a student-led Prototype Vehicles Laboratory (PROVE Lab) focused on the design and development of innovative alternative energy vehicles for breaking world records. “Cal Poly’s revamped wind tunnel facility can be our calling card,” said Doig. “The lab has every potential of becoming the go-to place for improving vehicle performance and fuel efficiency through innovative design.” n For more information, including how you can help support Learn by Doing opportunities for students in the wind tunnel lab, visit

“I’ve had the privilege to attend the event for three consecutive years. I’m always star struck to experience, firsthand, the power and inspiration of being part of this large community of women in technology.”

Department News Puma Touches Down at Cal Poly Engineering

— Esha Joshi, software engineering


From Page 13

was attending the conference for the third time, said that each year sparks new ideas and interests to explore. “This year I was drawn to lots of talks on artificial intelligence and machine learning — I used those methods at Apple last summer.” Now approaching graduation, she also sought out talks about how to be an effective leader, “particularly how to handle certain issues in the workplace that women in tech often face. Clara Shih, chief executive officer of Hearsay Social, was especially compelling.” The Cal Poly attendees represented computer science, software engineering and computer engineering. Most of the Cal Poly delegation are members of the student club Women Involved in Software and Hardware (WISH). Their participation was sponsored through generous gifts by Apple, the department’s Industry Advisory Board and alumni. “I’ve had the privilege to attend the event for three consecutive years,” said Esha Joshi, a senior software engineering student. “I’m always star struck to experience, firsthand, the power and inspiration of being part of this large community of women in technology.” Sara Bilich, a software engineering sophomore, agreed: “Getting to meet people working in such varied positions in the industry made me realize that there is a position in tech for everyone, including myself.” Cal Poly’s strong presence at the conference reflects efforts undertaken by the department, led by Associate Professor Zoë Wood, to increase the number of women in computing fields. In addition to providing Grace Hopper grants, the department also supports WISH. n For more on the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference, see

Unmanned aircraft system will play a big role in Autonomous Flight Program


he gift of a Puma AE (All Environment) unmanned aircraft system landed at Cal Poly in mid-August when officials from AeroVironment Inc. presented the small plane to the College of Engineering. With a wingspan of 9.2 feet, the Puma can cruise at an operating altitude of 500 feet for more than three hours. Among the hand-launched UAS’ features is its capability to carry

multiple payloads and land on land or water. Aerospace engineering Professor Aaron Drake said the Puma, which is designed to “provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data,” will be an important part of Cal Poly’s Applications in Autonomous Flight (AAF) program. “The Puma will provide a core resource platform for the program” said Drake. AeroVironment Inc. presented the Puma AE unmanned aircraft system “It’s very flexible, easy to fly to Cal Poly Engineering. Pictured, left to right, Marshall Davidson, and can carry a wide variety AeroVironment vice president and chief technology officer; aerospace engineering students Andrew Mercier, Eric Belfield, Andrew Meyer of payloads. We can use it and Nia Asmady; and aerospace engineering Professor Aaron Drake. for all kinds of research into Above: Belfield demonstrates hand-launching the Puma. autonomous flight.” the initiative, which got off the ground The Puma joins the in 2013 with a $100,000 grant from the RMAX autonomous helicopter as a Raintree Foundation, is to participate research vehicle in the Cal Poly AAF, in the rapid advancement of the unwhich is expected to include as many manned aerial systems industry. n as 20 students. The strategic goal of The Puma unmanned aircraft system is assembled by aerospace engineering students. Pictured, left to right: Andrew Mercier, Andrew Meyer, Eric Belfield and Nia Asmady.

For more on the Puma, see http://



Department News GENERAL

From Page 13

emphasizes the interconnected nature of engineering,” said Widmann. What’s new is that the program has been restructured into two concentrations that better enable students to study specialized practices within a broad field. “Ironically, the newest concentration in General Engineering is a general engineering curriculum that all students in the program are now required to take their first two years,” said Widmann.” “The other area, Individualized Course Studies, is akin to what most previous students experienced,” said Crockett, “except that now you can’t take it until after your second year. From that point on, any student, from any major, can apply. “We want students to complete two years because individual tracks are especially rigorous,” explained Crockett. “It’s definitely not a ‘pick what classes you want’ program.” On the contrary, the individualized course studies concentration requires highly motivated individuals “who know what they want to do — and that what they want to do doesn’t fit the school’s standard curriculum,” he said. “You can’t come into this concentration without a strong sense of who you are and what you want to accomplish.” n

Nobody in the Pool

California’s extended drought makes a research project undertaken by Cal Poly and the National Plasters Council increasingly important. The study focuses on the effectiveness of pool covers in reducing evaporation. Misgana Muleta, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is directing the project located at the National Pool Industry Research Center on campus. The data gathered will help determine whether currently available pool-cover technologies could result in significant water savings. Just a 30 percent reduction in evaporation from California pools would save more than 10,833 acre-feet of water per year — enough to supply a city of about 100,000 people. Results of the study will be released by the end of the year.

Mechanical Engineering’s Russ Westphal Named the Chrones Endowed Professor


nown for his pioneering work on the Cal Poly Boundary Layer Data System (BLDS) project, Russell Westphal was chosen by the Mechanical Engineering Department (ME) faculty to serve as the Constant J. and Dorothy F. Chrones Professor of Mechanical Engineering. The award recognizes creative scholarly achievements and provides $25,000 for two years to fund research projects and associated laboratory development. To date, Westphal has involved more than 48 undergraduate and graduate students in the development and application of the BLDS, a family of small, light-weight, autonomous instruments that provide near-surface flow measurements on aircraft. This instrumentation serves to inform performance improvement related to energy conservation;



energy production; electronics cooling; and efficient transportation, including low-drag aircraft. The project has attracted in excess of $1.1 million in external funds from Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Air Force and NASA. “My main goal with the Chrones award is to undertake tasks for which the results will then be non-proprietary and available for publication and use with any sponsor,” noted Westphal. “I already have two such projects underway, with encouraging results in hand from one of those, so I’m quite excited about my Chrones-funded work.” n Chrones Professor of Mechanical Engineering Russ Westphal, right, is working with students Alex Powers and Jacob Phillips on the Cal Poly Boundary Layer Data System research project.

MonsterCreate, an educational app that promotes creativity in children by allowing them to design their own monsters, was a new product produced at the 2015 Global Game Jam.

Faculty News

Faculty Notes

Biomedical Engineering Professor Kristen Cardinal works in the lab with students Devon Patel, Luke Scheldon and Ryan Silva. Cardinal received Cal Poly’s 201415 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award.

n Dean’s Office Bill Britton, visiting director of the Cal Poly Cybersecurity Center, testified at “Cybersecurity in your Local Community,” a hearing of the California State Assembly’s Select Committee on Cybersecurity held in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

n Multidisciplinary Sam Blakeslee (IATPP, Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy), Alex Dekhtyar (Computer Science), Foaad Khosmood (Computer Engineering), Franz Kurfess (Computer Science), Toshihiro Kuboi (M.S., Computer Science, 2014), Hans Poschman (IATPP), Christine Robertson (IATPP) and computer science student Skylar Durst published “Digital Democracy: Making Government More Transparent” for Digital Humanities 2015. Khosmood and Kuboi presented the work at the conference in Sydney. nnn David Braun (Computer Engineering/ Electrical Engineering) and Scott Kelting (Construction Management) presented “A Process to Qualify Courses for a Sustainability Catalog” at the 2015 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference held at San Francisco State University. Norm Borin (Marketing) also co-authored the paper. nnn Diane DeTurris (Aerospace Engineering), Jane Lehr (Women’s & Gender Studies) and additional co-authors published “Learning from Senior-Level Engineering and Business Development Professionals to Create Globally Competent Engineers via On- and OffCampus Activities” at the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference & Exposition (Paper #13565) in Seattle. nnn Allan Fowler (Computer Science), David Gillette (English/Liberal Arts &

Cardinal Receives Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award


risten Cardinal, associate professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department, received Cal Poly’s 2014-15 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award. Cardinal earned a bachelor’s degree at Cal Poly in 2003 and her doctorate in biomedical engineering in 2007 from the University of Arizona. She joined the Biomedical Engineering Department at Cal Poly that same year. In helping her students build “real-world” skills, Cardinal offers many opportunities for applied research and industrial collaboration. Her advising philosophy includes involving students who have a range of backgrounds and experience levels, and recognizing students’ achievements and contributions.

Engineering Studies) Michael Haungs (Computer Science/Liberal Arts & Engineering Studies) and Foaad Khosmood (Computer Science/Computer Engineering) published “Escaping the Room: Creating Interactive Puzzles from Narrative Space” at the Digital Game Research Association of Australia conference held at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. nnn Foaad Khosmood (Computer Science/ Computer Engineering), Eric White (Physics) and Sandrine Fischer (Computer Science) presented “Generation

Cardinal’s research focuses on tissue-engineered blood vessels and intravascular device evaluation, and her industrial collaborators have included several medical device companies, including Abbott Vascular, where she spent time in the Preclinical Research group. Students report that Cardinal seems to know every student she has taught and is “extremely accessible, hosting ample office hours and responding promptly to each and every email.” “I have seen her provide advising to multiple Cal Poly students with career planning and grad school advice,” said one student. “Most importantly, I know I wouldn’t be pursuing a graduate degree now without her advice.” n

of Infotips from Interface Labels” at the International Conference on HumanComputer Interaction in Los Angeles.

n Aerospace Engineering Graham Doig founded the Fluids Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Projects (FLIP), which partners with collaborators in industry and academia in the U.S., Australia and Europe. The group undertakes inventive, high-quality experimental and numerical work in applied aerodynamics and hydrodynamics. Project descriptions and videos can

be found at

n Civil & Environmental Engsineering

Jim Hanson co-chaired the First Kazakhstan-USA Geotechnical Engineering Workshop held in Astana and Almaty, Kazakhstan. The theme of the workshop was transportation and energy geotechnics, inclusive of highways, railways, tunneling, bridges, wind energy, geosynthetics and geothermal energy systems. nnn CAL POLY ENGINEERING


Faculty News

Steffen Peuker (Mechanical Engineering), left, receives the Learn by Doing Scholar Award from Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong.

Engineering Faculty Honored with Learn by Doing Scholar Award


ngineering faculty members were recognized by a new award established to acknowledge and inspire formal scholarship and research into Cal Poly’s signature pedagogy. Steffen Peuker, the James L. Bartlett Jr. Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, received the Learn by Doing Scholar Award for a proposal highlighting pedagogical innovations: team-based learning, service learning, and a challenge to students to design their process for becoming a “world-class engineering student.” The committee also acknowledged the collaboration of lecturer Jennifer Mott (Mechanical Engineering). “I am truly honored to be chosen together with my collaborator, Dr. Mott,” said Peuker. “Learn by Doing is more than a motto to me. In my opinion, it is the best approach for student learning and success.” In addition to Peuker, J. Kevin Taylor, chair of the Kinesiology Department, was recognized for his article “Learning Design through the Lens of Service: A Qualitative Study” published in the spring 2014 edition of the International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering. Taylor’s co-authors included Brian Self and James Widmann (Mechanical Engineering), Lynne Slivovsky (Electrical Engineering) and former kinesiology assistant professor David Hey. n



Cal Poly Fire Protection Engineering Director Receives National Award


rederick W. Mowrer, director of the Fire Protection Engineering Programs (FPE) at Cal Poly, will be awarded the 2015 John L. Bryan Mentoring Award by the Society of Fire Protection Engineering (SFPE). This award is presented to an individual who exemplifies commitment and dedication to educating, training and advising fire protection engineers. “I am very honored to receive the John L. Bryan Award because of what it represents,” said Mowrer, who worked with Bryan for seven years at the University of Maryland. “This award means more to me than all the other awards I have received during my career.” In his acceptance, Mowrer thanked the SFPE as well as his past and present students for the recognition.

sionals are currently in Mowrer played a key high demand, parrole in the development ticularly on the West of Cal Poly’s FPE master’s Coast. The discipline degree program in 2009, utilizes science and and it has grown in size technology to minimize and stature under his the damage done by guidance. Cal Poly offers destructive fires. a master’s degree in FPE The award was as well as two graduate established in 2007 certificates: FPE Science in honor of the late and FPE Applications. Dr. John L. Bryan, the The programs are offounding chair of the fered both on-campus Department of Fire and online, serving stuProtection Engineerdents all over the world. Frederick W. Mowrer Fire Protection Engineering ing at the University The online master’s proof Maryland, who was gram was ranked among known for his dedication to the success the top 50 online master’s in engineerof his students. ing degree programs by U.S News and For more on the Cal Poly FPE proWorld Report in 2014. grams, visit Fire Protection Engineering profes-

Jim Hanson, Nazli Yesiller, director of Cal Poly Global Waste Research Institute, and additional co-authors published the following: • “Waste Heat Generation: A Comprehensive Review,” Waste Management (Vol. 42, p. 166-179). • “Beneficial Reuse of Waste Insulation Material in Drilling Applications” and “Temperature Effects on Sand-Steel Interface Shear and Quantification of Post-Shear Surface Texture Characteristics of Steel,” Proceedings of the International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo 2015 (pp. 2728-2737 and 1711-1720, respectively). The latter article was co-authored by Derek Manheim (B.S./M.S., Environmental Engineering, 2012) and graduate student Andrew Flores. Hanson presented the paper at the Expo in San Antonio. • “Temperature and Moisture Effects on GCL and Textured Geomembrane Interface Shear Strength,” co-authored with Manheim and Taki Chrysovergis (B.S./M.S., Environmental Engineering, 2012), Geosynthetics International (Vol. 22, No. 1, p. 110-124). • “Cross-Departmental Teaming Exercise as a Teaching Tool for Efficient Student Learning and Advancement of Science and Engineering” and “Assessment of Communication Skills During an NSF REU Program Related to Sus-

tainable Management of Wastes and Byproducts,” Proceedings, 122nd ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, (pp. 1-11 and 1-17, respectively). The latter was co-authored by graduate student Kevin Kopp. • “Investigation of Post-Shear Surface Texture Characteristics of Geomembranes” (with Manheim), Proceedings Geosynthetics 2015, Industrial Fabrics Association International (pp. 1179-1189). Hanson presented the article at the conference in Portland, Ore. • “Assessing Approaches for Extraction of Heat from MSW Landfills” (with Kopp and Columbia University student Emma Yee) and “Beneficial Reuse of Wastes for Thermal Insulation in Underground Construction Applications” (with Kopp, graduate student Craig Cooledge and Yale student Samuel Kaufman-Martin), 15th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium. Kopp presented these papers at the conference in Sardinia, Italy. nnn Robb Moss was part of an NSF-funded reconnaissance team that investigated the geotechnical effects of the M7.8 and M7.3 Nepal earthquakes in April 2015. The team assessed the earthquake effects, collected perishable data and communicated the lessons learned to local stakeholders, the Nepali people,

and to the broader international earthquake community. Moss presented some of his observations and experiences at the Kennedy Library. The reconnaissance team also published a report on their findings: “Geotechnical Field Reconnaissance: Gorkha (Nepal) Earthquake of April 25, 2015, and Related Shaking Sequence,” Geotechnical Extreme Event Reconnaissance (GEER Association Report No. GEER-040, Version 1.1, August 7, 2015). nnn Tracy Thatcher and co-author D.W. Layton received the Haagen-Smit Prize presented annually to two outstanding papers published in Atmospheric Environment. Their award-winning paper is “Deposition, Suspension and Penetration of Particles within a Residence” (Vol. 42, pp. 1-42, 2008).

n Computer Engineering

/ Computer Science

Foaad Khosmood and instructor Allan Fowler co-organized the Workshop on Game Jams, Hackathons and Game Creation Events co-located with the Foundations of Digital Games 2015 in Monterey, Calif., where Khosmood presented “Trends in Organizing Philosophies of Game Jams and Game Hackathons.”

Faculty News Electrical Engineering Faculty Members Receive Professorship Awards


wo Cal Poly professors who “light Learn by Doing on fire” have been named Richard and Julie Hood Endowed Professors in Electrical Engineering. The annual award, presented in May to Wayne Pilkington and Bridget Benson recognizes electrical engineering faculty who push boundaries to evolve student learning opportunities and support the objectives of the college and university. The professorships are funded by Richard Hood (B.S., Electronic Engineering, 1973) and his wife Julie. Benson (B.S., Computer Engineering, 2005) began teaching at Cal Poly in 2011 as one of the school’s first Forbes Endowed Professors. Starting with “a bamboo tablet, pen, microphone and a large dose of energy” a faculty colleague recalls her quickly becoming a department leader in online education. She has also spurred the school’s international education efforts on a variety of fronts that include her involvement in setting up a faculty exchange program between the Electrical Engineering Departments at Cal Poly and Munich University of Applied Sciences, and helping develop a new international student exchange program on innovation at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. In addition, she has expanded the college’s interdisciplinary studies by introducing a new general education class called “Ocean Discovery through Technology” and served on the Marine Science Steering Committee to create a new interdisciplinary marine science major. Pilkington, known as an “energetic and passionate” teacher, has made similarly positive contributions to the department through wide-ranging committee involvement and leadership that has enhanced and expanded curricular and administrative initiatives. Most recently,

Khosmood, Matthew Parker (B.S., Computer Science, 2013) and student Grant Pickett co-authored “Game of Thrones for All: Model-based Generation of Universe-appropriate Fictional Characters” presented by Khosmood at Digital Humanities 2015 in Sydney. Khosmood also co-authored “Element Detection in Japanese Comic Book Panels” with Toshihiro Kuboi (M.S., Computer Science, 2014) who presented the paper at Digital Humanities 2015.

n Computer Engineering

& Electrical Engineering

Bridget Benson received the Exemplary Course award from the CSU’s Quality Online Learning and Teaching (QOLT) Awards and Recognition Program. Benson was commended for teaching

ment for the Orfalea he worked with College of Business, from Associate Dean which their daughter Fred DePiero and Becky graduated with Department Chair a degree in marketing. Dennis Derickson The award’s endowment to guide the deprovides resources that partment through wouldn’t otherwise be its successful available to further the ABET accreditafaculty’s personal and tion visit and professional developrecertification of ment. the department’s The college currently bachelor’s degree has nine endowed proprogram. He has fessors: also served as • Steffen Peuker associate de(Mechanical Engineerpartment chair, ing), James L. Bartlett Jr. graduate coordiEndowed Professor nator, scheduling • Andrew Kean, committee chair, Wayne Pilkington and Bridget Benson were named the Richard and Julie Hood Stephen Klisch, student awards Endowed Professors in the Electrial Engineering Department. Tom Mackin and committee chair Russ Westphal (all Meand systems chanical Engineering), Bently Endowed Professors technical area committee chair. • Russ Westphal (Mechanical Engineering), Chrones Pilkington has a strong interest in developing stuEndowed Professor dent project opportunities and is “most hoping to use • Bridget Benson (Computer Engineering/Electrical the support of this endowment to provide meaningful, Engineering) and Foaad Khosmood (Computer technically challenging new master’s thesis and senior Engineering/Computer Science), Forbes Endowed project opportunities for our students.” The endowment was created in 2005 by Richard and Professors • Bridget Benson and Wayne Pilkington, Hood Julie Hood to support faculty in Cal Poly’s electrical Endowed Professors in Electrical Engineering engineering program, from which not only Richard but • Dale Dolan (Electrical Engineering), Lockheed also their son Brian (B.S., Electrical Engineering, 2000) Martin Endowed Professor n graduated. The couple established a similar endow-

a hybrid course on digital design with real-life examples, timely and effective communication, and reflective learning activities in online modules. nnn David Braun presented “A Paramedic Method Drill Master to Improve Students’ Writing” at the 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition in Seattle.

n Computer Science

& Software Engineering

John Clements published “Generating 56-bit passwords using Markov Models (and Charles Dickens)” on ArXiv (http:// The paper proposes a way to generate memorable passwords based on English texts such as “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles

Dickens. The Smithsonian Magazine and New Scientist followed up with articles on Clements’ idea. See http://bit. ly/1P4GNrW and nnn

Michael Haungs published “Creative Greenfoot,” a book that grew out of course tutorials for Haungs’ freshman game design course. The information is designed to build students’ game programming skills quickly. The book includes course material and topics on artificial intelligence, user interfaces, collision detection, animation, and gamepad controller support.

n Electrical Engineering Dennis Derickson, chair, and electrical engineering graduate student Christian Martens presented “Frequency Sweep Jitter and Wander of a VernierTuned Distributed Bragg Reflector (VTDBR) Laser at 1550 nm in OCT Applications” at the European Conference on Biomedical Optics in Munich. Derickson also presented a paper at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Pacific South West Conference in San Diego on “Incorporation of Amateur Radio Element Into the Electrical Engineering Curriculum” co-authored with Marcel Steiber (B.S./M.S., Electrical Engineering, 2012), now a hardware engineer with Amazon Lab 126, and electrical engineering student Sean O’Brien, presiCAL POLY ENGINEERING


Faculty News dent of Cal Poly’s Amateur Radio Club. The paper outlines how amateur radio testing and project activity has been incorporated into labs and coursework in the Electrical Engineering Department. nnn Dale Dolan, Vladmir Prodanov and Taufik co-authored “Energy and Economic Losses due to Soiling on Utility Scale PV Systems to Guide Timing of Cost Effective Cleaning” presented at the 42nd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference in New Orleans. nnn Dale Dolan and Taufik co-authored Work-In-Progress: Enhancing Students’ Learning in Advanced Power Electronic Course Using a USB Solar Charger Project” presented at the ASEE Pacific Southwest Conference in San Diego. nnn Taufik co-authored and presented the following papers: • “DC/DC Boost Converter with PI Controller using Real-Time Interface” (A. A. Bakar, W. M. Utomo, Taufik, S. A. Zulkifli, Jumadril Jn), The International Conference on Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Malaysia. • “Calculating Frequency and Max Duty Cycle for the TI UCC38C4X Family PWM Controllers” (S. Westdal, K. Mendoza, Taufik, A. Parastiwi), and “Calculating Frequency and Max Duty Cycle for the TI UCC38C4X Family PWM Controllers” (S. Westdal, K. Mendoza, Taufik, A. Parastiwi) 2015 National Seminar on Information Technology and Its Applications, Indonesia. • “Design Study of Zero Voltage Switching for DC/DC Boost Converter” (A. Bakar, M. Wahyu, Taufik, S. Aizam, Jumadrill), Ninth International Power Engineering and Optimization Conference, Malaysia. Taufik published the following journal papers: • “Design Study of Zero Voltage Switching for DC/DC Boost Converter” (A. B. Afarulrazi, M.U. Wahyu, T. Taufik, S. Aizam, Jumadril), Applied Mechanics and Materials (Vol. 785, pp. 136-140, April 2015). • “Study of the Effect of Air-Gap to Array Microstrip Antenna for Mobile Satellite Communications” (M. F. E. Purnomo, Taufik), Asian Research Publi-



Lubomir Stanchev, left, and Bruce DeBruhl have joined the faculty of the Cal Poly Computer Science Department. They are experts in databases, Big Data and cybersecurity.

New Faculty Expand Curriculum and Research in Cybersecurity, Databases


his fall, Cal Poly Computer Science welcomed new faculty members Lubomir Stanchev and Bruce DeBruhl who bring expertise in the critical areas of databases and cybersecurity. Stanchev, an expert in databases and data mining, earned his doctorate at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He is particularly interested in semantic computing, which enables document retrieval based on meaning. He will teach and help develop undergraduate curriculum in the areas of data science/Big Data, distributed databases, knowledge representation and the semantic web. Stanchev earned his

cation Network Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 2015. • “Effect of Resonant Capacitance and Inductance on Peak Capacitor Voltage and Inductor Current in SLR Converter” (M. Taufik, Taufik, J. Brinsfield, G. Bergdoll), International Review on Modeling and Simulations, 2015. In addition to his published work, Taufik was invited to 20 universities in Indonesia and one in the Philippines to give technical presentations, short lectures and workshops, and he appeared on Voice of America-Indonesia, Indonesian National TV and on the local television station in East Java, Indonesia. Taufik received a total of $32,500 from Power Integrations, Inc. (San Jose) and Enerpro, Inc. (Goleta) for a student project to develop a high-density

bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria. DeBrahl’s experience and research in cyber-physical security, wireless security and software-defined communications adds depth to Cal Poly’s cybersecurity program. He has a joint appointment in the Computer Engineering Program. DeBrahl hopes to develop new courses and projects that address the issue of security in a cyber-physical world, which was the focus for his doctorate degree research at Carnegie Mellon University. He intends to continue this work at Cal Poly in collaboration with students, faculty and industry partners. n

single-phase inverter.

n Materials Engineering

n Industrial & Manufacturing

Kathy Chen, chair, co-authored “Lifelong Learner Growth: In what ways does College Instruction Help and Hinder?” presented at the International Conference on Education and New Developments 2015 in Portugal, and “Moving from Quantitative to Qualitative Analysis to Capture the Development of SelfDirected Learning for a Cohort of Engineering Students” presented at the ASEE Annual Conference in Seattle. Chen co-lead the MOST (Mentors in Out of School Time) course in which pre-service teachers facilitated science and engineering activities at the Bright Futures after-school program at Oceano Elementary school. She also led a hands-on activity for math teachers in Santa Maria. n


Kurt Colvin, David Janzen (Computer Science) and Dan Waldorf directed the first cohort of students through Cal Poly’s new Systems Integration Engineering Program (SIE). Delivered online, SIE offers a professional certificate and prepares working engineers for additional responsibility and leadership positions. The SIE curriculum exposes students to broad knowledge in technical disciplines that allows them to integrate system elements into solutions to meet customer needs within budget and schedule constraints. For more information see

CENG’s Honored Alumna

Faculty Alumni News

Vorrath Keeps Apple Operating at a High Level Alumni

in the news

2000s Ben Schiltgen (B.S./M.S., Engineering, 2008) Trevor Foster (B.S., Aerospace Engineering, 2004) Andrew Gibson (B.S., Aerospace Engineering, 2004)

Garage Startup Ready to Build NASA’s First Manned X-plane in Decades Empirical Systems Aerospace, known as ESAero, was recently awarded an $8 million contract to build NASA’s first manned experimental aircraft in 30 years. Called SCEPTOR, it will be used to demonstrate new electric propulsion technology and aerodynamic concepts. The company, started in a garage more than 10 years ago by Andrew Gibson, Trevor Foster, and Ben Schiltgen — now president, vice president of technology and vice president of finance, respectively — got its first break in 2006 building display models for NASA. As prime contractor on the project, ESAero now sees itself as “paving the way for a new era in demonstrators.” The company is based at Oceano Airport in San Luis Obispo County. nnn Coady H. Pruett (B.S., Civil Engineering, 2002)

2002 Graduate Goes From Civil Engineering to Civil Law Coady H. Pruett, an account executive at INSPRO in Lincoln, Neb., was most recently an attorney at Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather where he had a civil trial practice with an emphasis in commercial litigation, construction law, professional liability claims and in-


im Vorrath (B.S., Computer Science, 1988) may be one of the most important women in technology today. She leads the charge in releasing some of Apple’s most-anticipated technological innovations into the world. Quite literally. One of the highest-ranked female employees at Apple, Vorrath oversees the multiplicity of deadlines, teams and logistics it takes to launch a new release of iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system) into the marketplace. “Kim leads the amazing teams responsible for program management, power, performance and quality assurance for each and every iOS,” said Ignatios Vakalis, chair of the Computer Science Department Surrounded by smiling members of Women Involved in Software and Hardware, College of Engineering Honored Alumna Kim Vorrath, center, visited the Apple Lab in the Cal Poly Computer Science Department. (CSC). As one of the first members on the iPhone team, Vorrath neering, computer science and related and Cal Poly. The company donated also worked closely with Steve Jobs. fields. She’s been a particularly enthufunding for the Apple Lab in 2011 The iOS, the operating system that siastic advocate for Cal Poly’s Women and provided a significant upgrade in runs the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, is Involved in Software and Hardware 2013. The connection between Apple to the iPhone what Windows is to PCs. (WISH) club, and has facilitated Apple’s and the tech sector has been further Vorrath’s career began in 1987 sponsorship of the WISH-led delegastrengthened by Vorrath’s serving on with a college internship at Apple as tion of female engineering students the CSC Industry Advisory Board for a technical support engineer, which who attend the annual Grace Hopper the past three years. As the current led to her being hired full time upon Conference, the world’s largest gather- executive focal for Cal Poly at Apple, graduation — followed by subsequent ing of women in technology. Vorrath leads the company’s efforts to moves up the company ranks to her “Kim has an unquenchable pasrecruit Cal Poly’s top talent — the Kim current position as vice president of sion for women in computing. She has Vorraths of the future. OS Programs. touched many lives and truly inspired In recognition of her distinguished Throughout her career, Vorrath has so many young women being a mencareer, her generous support of retained close ties with Cal Poly, helptor, a computer scientist and a friend,” Cal Poly and her passionate dedication ing connect, inspire and guide new said Vakalis. to women in technology, the College generations of young women studying Vorrath has actively nurtured the of Engineering named Vorrath its 2015 computer engineering, software engigrowing relationship between Apple Honored Alumna.n

surance litigation. The Cal Poly Engineering alumnus practiced civil engineering for more than four years with an emphasis in land development and transportation engineering and still holds a California Professional Engineer license. He went on to graduate with high distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law where he served as editor-in-chief of the Nebraska Law Review. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have two daughters.


Peter Kardel (B.S., Computer Science, 1997)

Doing Good and Doing Well are Birds of a Feather at Clever Ducks “We’ve done very well by doing good,” said Peter Kardel in a recent business

profile of him and his wife, Amy, coowners of Clever Ducks, an IT service company in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The Kardels set out to build a strong company by helping other businesses succeed and believe they have more than achieved their goal. The Kardels launched the IT business together while Peter was studying computer science at Cal Poly. CAL POLY ENGINEERING


Alumni News On Track to Engineering

Greg Stahler (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1996)

Victor Glover encouraged EPIC campers to pursue higher education and STEM fields. This year, 480 middle and high school students converged on campus to build and launch rockets, design and race solar cars, program robots, delve into cybersecurity, and more. A goal of EPIC is to foster increased diversity in engineering — 38 percent of the program enrollment was female, and 31 percent were from underrepresented populations, including Black/African-American and Hispanic/Latino.

Taking a Revolutionary Approach to Medicine An article in the spring 2015 issue of Engineering Advantage (Page 7) on Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci Xi Surgical System prompted Greg Stahler’s father to provide information on his son’s contributions to the robot that allows doctors to perform minimally invasive surgery. In his first job out of Cal Poly, Stahler helped develop the mechanics of the robotic arms. He is listed on the original patent for the device. He is currently a mechanical engineer with Circuit Therapeutics in Menlo Park, Calif., which develops revolutionary approaches to medicine using optogenetics.

1980s Ray Morgan (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1987)

Nanotechnology Website Interviews Startup Star AZoNano recently interviewed Ray Morgan, director of outreach, SEMI Americas. Morgan spoke about startups, venture capitalists and the upcoming Silicon Innovation Forum at SEMICON West 2015. nnn


EPIC Campers Star Struck by Cal Poly’s Current Astronaut


ASA astronaut and Cal Poly engineering alumnus Victor Glover visited campus in July to address members of campus, the community, and teens participating in the Engineering Possibilities in College (EPIC) summer camp. Glover discussed the benefits of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and inspired his audience by talking about his own path to becoming a NASA astronaut. A member of NASA’s 21st astronaut class, Glover (B.S., General Engineering, 1999) was selected from the second-largest number of astronaut applications NASA had ever received — more than 6,100. His class received a wide array of technical training at space centers around the globe in preparation for missions to low-Earth orbit, an asteroid and Mars.


Mark Robinson (B.S., Civil Engineering, 1982)

Susan Johnson (B.S., Industrial Engineering, 1977)

On the Frontlines of Transportation

Johnson named to Utah’s Economic Development Board

Mark Robinson recently retired from Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), whose bus, light rail and paratransit operations serve Silicon Valley, San Jose and surrounding areas. During his 32-year career, Robinson was project manager on the Vasona light rail project; group manager on the BART project to San Jose, responsible for the station, tunnel and maintenance yard; and chief engineering and construction officer for VTA.

Utah Business magazine reports that Susan Johnson has been appointed to the board of directors of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) in Utah. The board assists the GOED with programs and initiatives that promote a sustainable economic foundation and bolster economic diversity in the state. Johnson is currently the President of Futura Industries in Clearfield, Utah. Since graduating from Cal Poly, she has worked continuously in manufacturing in various


Glover is the fourth Cal Poly alumnus to serve as an astronaut. The others include Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson (captain, USN, retired) (B.S., Aerospace Engineering, 1969), a four-time commander on the space shuttle and an inductee in the National Aviation Hall of Fame; Gregory Chamitoff (B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1984), and Frederick “Rick” Sturckow (colonel, USMC, retired) (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1984). Glover is an F/A-18 pilot and graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. He also holds degrees from Air University and Naval Postgraduate School. He earned his wings as a Naval Aviator in 2001 and served a two-year deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying 24 combat missions. n

capacities, such as a plant manager in the largest steel foundry on the West Coast and as president of Mack Trucks’ only wholly-owned subsidiary involved in the production and sales of concrete trucks. Her oldest son is a fourth-year mechanical engineering student at Cal Poly. nnn William Swanson (B.S., Industrial Engineering, 1973)

Retired Raytheon Chairman and CEO Joins Resilient Systems Board of Directors Resilient Systems recently announced that Bill Swanson, retired chairman and CEO of Raytheon Company, has joined the company’s board of directors.

Resilient Systems, based in Cambridge, Mass., is a leading incident response platform provider. “There’s clearly a growing need for incident response in today’s critical security environment,” said Swanson. “I am excited to join the board of a company that pioneered the incident response market.” The announcement cited Swanson’s reputation as a business leader and champion of corporate responsibility, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, and armed services support. Swanson is also active in education, including serving as chairman of the California Polytechnic State University Foundation board of directors and as a member of the Cal Poly President’s Cabinet. n

Alumni News

Smart Gridders SLO startup SilvaClean keeps Cal Poly’s football team cleaner with cutting-edge antimicrobial technology


hen Coach Tim Walsh refers to “applied silver” in the context of uniforms, he doesn’t mean that Cal Poly’s football team is sequinstudded. Applied Silver Inc. is a Cal Polyoriginated startup that developed SilvaClean, an Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)-registered antimicrobial and odor textile treatment technology that employs water-based ionic silver. The company has partnered with Cal Poly’s athletic program to provide SilvaClean so that Mustang athletes can take advantage of this cuttingedge environmental cleanliness technology. “We’re a Cal Poly-grown company,” noted CEO Sean Morham (B.S., Materials Engineering, 2011).

“We started researching the process as undergrads. Now, six of our 12 employees are Cal Poly alumni. From the beginning we received guidance from Chairman Russ Bik (B.S., Industrial Technology, 1970), a member of the President’s Cabinet at Cal Poly, who supports entrepreneurial efforts at the university. “Initially, we worked out of a coffee shop in San Luis Obispo. In 2012, we were successful in raising venture capital and filed the product with the EPA — it took three years to receive approval.” User surveys from the Cal Poly Football Team will help inform Applied Silver about its product, and Walsh is supportive. “Anything we can do to make athletics a safer environment is a big bonus, and an

Cal Poly football players Stephen Sippel (Mechanical Engineering), an offensive lineman, and Zachary Powell (Civil Engineering), a long-snapper, keep their uniforms clean and smelling fresh with the help of the SilvaClean antimicrobial textile treatment machine.

infection-free use is foremost,” he said. “Applied Silver is a step ahead of all the competitors — we are fortunate to have

had the opportunity to increase the protection of our student athletes through the use of SilvaClean.”n

IEEE President-Elect

SWE Honoree

Alumna to lead prestigious electrical engineering group

Alumna named organization’s Distinguished New Engineer



aren Bartleson (B.S., Engineering Science, 1980), senior director of corporate programs and initiatives at Synopsys, is the 2016 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) president-elect. “I joined the IEEE as a Cal Poly student member in 1978, and have been a strong advocate ever since,” said Bartleson, whose goals include increasing the organization’s visibility. The organization’s influence is ubiquitous, she said — from highly cited publications to shaping global public policy to developing standards that have made technology available to everyone. Bartleson’s leadership roles in the IEEE include serving as 2013-14 president of the Standards Association; chairing the Internet Initiative, whose charter is to raise IEEE’s influence in Internet governance, cybersecurity and cyberprivacy policy; and, as a member of the Strategy Committee, overseeing IEEE’s

Karen Bartleson (B.S., Engineering Science, 1980)

role in global public policy. She received the 2003 Marie R. Pistilli Women in Electronic Design Automation Achievement Award and authored “The Ten Commandments for Effective Standards: Practical Insights for Creating Technical Standards.” Bartleson’s responsibilities at Synopsis, an electronic design automation company, include technical standards development, software tool interoperability, relationships with universities and research institutions worldwide, and customer engagement through social media. n

string of company firsts in aircraft systems testing and a passion for promoting women in engineering won Kate Van Dellen (B.S., Aerospace Engineering, 2008) the Distinguished New Engineer Award at the National Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Conference, held Oct. 22-24 in Nashville, Tenn. The award honors women engineers who have been actively engaged in engineering in the first 10 years of their careers. “An early love of aviation inspired by my father, a private pilot, has informed my career and life — and, as an engineer, has given me an innate ability to communicate with pilots in critical situations,” said Van Dellen, who has worked as an urgent field support engineer with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. At General Atomics, Van Dellen excelled as a systems test engineer, becoming the first systems test engineer approved to be a test conductor for one of the U.S. Army programs. Within

four years, she was the only systems test engineer approved to test on all three U.S. Army platforms, and she became the company’s only systems test engineer to be a test conductor instructor. She established the company’s first affinity group for women engineers. The company selected her as one of 10 emerging Kate Van Dellan leaders in 2014 (B.S., Aerospace Engineering, 2008) for her outstanding professional performance. “At a young age, Kate has already made exemplary contributions to the aerospace industry, all the while giving back to her community and promoting women in engineering,” said Helene Finger, director of the Women’s Engineering Program at Cal Poly. n CAL POLY ENGINEERING


California Polytechnic State University College of Engineering 1 Grand Ave. San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0350 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED


On Tuesday, Dec. 1, nonprofits, families, businesses and students will come together to celebrate generosity and to give. #GivingTuesday is a special call to action on a national day of giving. Cal Poly College of Engineering partners with #GivingTuesday to conduct a 24-hour giving campaign to support the Learn by Doing promise. Your gift will contribute to the essential elements of a Cal Poly Engineering education: projects, labs and clubs. Without your support, the Cal Poly Engineering experience would not be what it is today. #GivingTuesday is your day to give back and support the Learn by Doing promise. Learn more at • Follow us on:


Parents please note: If your son or daughter is no longer at this address, please share his or her current address with the College of Engineering


Dean’s Office (805) 756-2131 Debra Larson, Dean Fred DePiero, Associate Dean Rakesh Goel, Associate Dean College Advancement Richard LeRoy, Asst. Dean (805) 756-7108 Amanda Oeser, Dir. of Development (805) 756-5711 Elise Erb, Corporate Partners Associate College Marketing & Communications (805) 756-6402 Amy Hewes, Director Miles Clark, Web Administrator (805) 756-6582 Galen Ricard, Writer (805) 756-6623 Dennis Steers, Photography & Design (805) 756-7167 Engineering Student Affairs (805) 756-1461 Kim Marsalek, Director Multicultural Engineering Program (805) 756-1433 Maria Manzano, Coordinator Women in Engineering Program (805) 756-2417 Helene Finger, Director DEPARTMENTS Aerospace Engineering (805) 756-2562 David Marshall, Chair Biomedical Engineering (805) 756-6400 Richard Savage, Chair Civil/Environmental Engineering (805) 756-2947 Yarrow Nelson, Chair Computer Engineering (805) 756-1229 John Oliver, Director Computer Science/Software Engineering (805) 756-2824 Ignatios Vakalis, Chair Electrical Engineering (805) 756-2781 Dennis Derickson, Chair General Engineering (805) 756-6424 Jim Widmann, Interim Director Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering (805) 756-2341 Jose Macedo, Chair Materials Engineering (805) 756-2568 Kathy Chen, Chair Mechanical Engineering (805) 756-1334 James Meagher, Chair Fire Protection Engineering (805) 756-7834 Fred Mowrer, Director Engineering Advantage is a biannual publication of the College of Engineering, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

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Cal Poly Engineering Advantage — Fall 2015

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