Vaughn Cable.<br />
Dawn Team portraits for web site.<br />
Requester: Aimee Meyer.<br />
Photographer: T. Wynne.<br />
Date: 17 April/2012<br />
Photolab order: 070915-144088

Vaughn Cable

Vaughn Cable spends his work days at Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an antenna design and communications specialist, making sure that scientists receive the data that spacecraft beam back to earth. But when it comes to CSUN and CECS, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering in 1970 and 1972, respectively, Cable doesn’t just facilitate the transmission of information; he’s an important source of it. A longtime member of the college’s Industry Advisory Board (IAB) and a part-time instructor (he teaches math modeling, random processes, electromagnetic fields and waves), he’s been sharing his insights as an industry professional with the CECS leadership since the early 1990s. For the past three years, he’s also chaired the board, which provides industry input and resources to the college, its programs and curriculum.

Cable is deeply anchored in CECS, having joined the faculty shortly after receiving his doctorate from Ohio State University. In 1978, however, with a young family to support, he left academia for a job at Hughes, later Lockheed Martin. It was while he was at Lockheed that he was approached about joining the college’s Industry Advisory Board as the company’s representative. Lockheed agreed, and so did he. He has served on the board ever since.

“I wanted to contribute to the effort of trying to get more and better high school students to enter the college,” he recalls. “I also wanted to make sure the college was getting a good picture of industry’s needs so it could adjust and change the curriculum as those needs evolved. The college wants its graduates to hit the ground running, but industry has to provide relevant input. Influence in that arena was part of the draw for me.”

These days he is an especially enthusiastic proponent of industry outreach efforts on behalf of the college. His dream is to see small teams from the IAB interfacing directly with companies to get the word out about CSUN and the opportunities it offers industry, from cooperative research to gaining access to new graduates and possibly hiring them.

“I think having teams that specialize in two or three different disciplines and engage the chief engineers about what resources are available would be a great step forward,” he says. “People need to know that CSUN is a resource for engineering.”

Cable also continues to care deeply about outreach to high school and junior high school students and would like to see IAB members stimulate interest in math and science particularly at the middle school or junior high school level. “High school is almost too late,” he says. “Junior high is where they have to start thinking about it. My feeling is that we have to get students excited about the science side so they will discover why they have to study the math. We don’t have enough engineers in this country, and it’s hard to get students to go in that direction because the concepts are difficult.”

Cable has found his own involvement in the IAB very rewarding throughout the years, and he encourages other industry professionals to get involved with the group. As chair, for instance, he has especially enjoyed the insider’s view he has gained of the various functions and details that the dean has to deal with, such as obtaining support for the college and its curriculum. He acknowledges that people are very busy these days but, he says, “It can be a really rewarding experience if they can make the time.”

In memory of Dr. Jack Coe, Sr.

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Dr. Jack Coe

The College of Engineering & Computer Science and the college’s Industry Advisory Board
mourns the passing of board member Dr. Jack Coe, Sr., who passed away on June 3, 2012.

Dr. Jack Coe was a tireless supporter of the college. He was passionate about accreditation-related issues, given his experience in industry and as an ABET program evaluator. Jack contributed immensely to improving the quality of CECS programs through his insightful comments and leadership on the program review and assessment standing committee of the Industry Advisory Board. Dean Ramesh still recalls one of their early meetings in 2009, when he distributed a paper he had authored titled “Engineering Advisory Boards: Passive or Proactive” and a list of suggested action items for the standing committee. We will miss Jack’s energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the college and express our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.