Spectra Newsletter

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Industry Partnerships - Aerojet Rocketdyne

“We’ve supported these kinds of initiatives at the college for quite a while before we called it LEAP,” says Chris Erickson, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s chief engineer for energy and advanced programs and a member of the CECS Industry Advisory Board. “We have been very active.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne is particularly interested in technical collaborations, he notes, adding that the company supported a successful collaboration with mechanical engineering professor Bob Ryan and his students involving an advanced phase change pressurization system. Another collaboration, with Rais Ahmad, assistant professor of civil engineering and construction management, is exploring ultrasonic leak detection.
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Industry Partnerships - Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific is likewise firmly committed to the principles of the LEAP Compact but is still hammering out the details of the arrangement with CSUN.

“It’s not a formal agreement,” explains Milad Girgis (’97, Mechanical Engineering; MS ’01, Engineering Management), vice president of international sales and program management and Boston Scientific’s Deep Brain Stimulation program. “It was a case of going to the CSUN president and saying, ‘We really believe in this type of education and would like to help the university in things like this.’ ”
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Industry Partnerships - Northrop Grumman

Early in 2013, Northrop Grumman, another longtime partner with the college, also decided to be more strategic in its approach to university grantmaking and recruiting. Previously, it had designated 15 or so universities nationwide as Core University Partners—well-known institutions renowned for producing high-caliber students and for conducting cutting-edge research, according to Charles Volk, vice president and chief technologist for Northrop Grumman Navigation Systems, and a member of the college’s Industry Advisory Board. But a number of people in the company, including Volk, had been lobbying to expand the list to include “backyard” schools like CSUN—universities that are near Northrop Grumman campuses and are a source of employees and collaborations.

“It’s a natural place to recruit from, and it’s a key school to me because it’s a large contributor to the employee base here—both new hires and people looking to advance their careers,” Volk says. “A number of Northrop Grumman employees with bachelor’s degrees go to CSUN to get their master’s degrees.”

When the revised list of Core University Partners came out a few months later, the number had expanded to 53, and CSUN had made the grade. [Read More…]

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IAB Highlight - Chris Erickson

Erickson-Hi-Res-picture2.jpgChris Erickson
Chief Engineer
Energy & Advanced Programs
Aerojet Rocketdyne

Chris Erickson, chief engineer for energy and advanced programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne, joined the IAB in 2009, but he was already well known within the college. For several years, he had been substituting when Aerojet Rocketdyne’s existing IAB member couldn’t make the meetings. He really enjoyed the work, so he was happy to make his role official when the other member moved on to another position.

“I liked being on campus and seeing students learning and professors very engaged,” he says. “I enjoy the relationships with the faculty and dean. I find it rewarding to stay in touch with academia.”
As an IAB member, Erickson brings enthusiasm, insight and experience to meetings. A Chicago native who did his undergraduate work at the University of Illinois and earned his master’s degree in chemical engineering at UC Berkeley, he has 35 years’ experience with Aerojet Rocketdyne, supporting propulsion and energy programs. He was Aerojet Rocketdyne’s 1996 Engineer of the Year and holds four patents in innovative rocket engine power cycles. He also sits on the board of the CSUN Foundation and recently received a campus Volunteer Service Award. [Read More…]

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