Welcome to the 2016-17 edition of Spectra!


Welcome to the 2016-17 issue of Spectra, our college’s flagship magazine! It has been a very successful 12 months since our last issue, in February 2016, and I invite you to check out the wonderful work of our students, faculty and staff in this latest edition.

It is a matter of pride that our sequel proposal to continue the work we started in 2011 with our nationally recognized AIMS2 program was selected for funding by the U.S. Department of Education in the 2016 competition. This timely $6 million grant expands and builds on the successes of the original grant and fits in perfectly with the college’s efforts to improve student retention and graduation rates and close the achievement gaps. Some of the innovative pilots include summer workshops to assist incoming freshmen and transfer students with their preparation in key math courses and providing them with early exposure to their chosen majors. Speaking of innovative programs, we hosted ABET site visits for inaugural reviews of our bachelor’s degree programs in engineering management and computer information technology in fall 2016. The visits went off very well, thanks to the diligence and preparation of our faculty, and we should be hearing the final outcomes following the ABET summer commission meetings later this year. Pending the accreditation of these new programs, we will have nine accredited bachelor’s degree programs in the college in fall 2017. Our graduate programs continue to evolve to stay contemporary and relevant, and we will soon be launching our revised master’s degree program in engineering management (online) in collaboration with the Tseng College of Extended Learning.

This issue of Spectra features the outstanding work of our faculty and students, from cutting-edge research projects to new partnerships and grants in emerging areas of interest such as digital manufacturing. We were thrilled when Robert Taylor (Class of ’82) was recognized with one of the three 2016 CSUN Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards—a testament to the transformative effect of our programs on our students and graduates. Tech Fest and the Senior Design Project Showcase continue to shine a bright light on the ingenuity and creativity of our students. Our award-winning CSUNSat1 CubeSat project was the grand prize winner in the 2016 showcase and is all set for launch by the time this issue hits the press. As the team traveled to Houston a few weeks ago to “deliver” the satellite, Professor Sharlene Katz emailed me to say that it felt like dropping off a child going to college! The project team will be recognized with a Distinguished Engineering Project award in the Engineers’ Council annual banquet and awards ceremony during the 2017 National Engineers Week festivities. Our faculty and staff care deeply about student success, and it manifests itself in wonderful interdisciplinary projects such as CSUNSat1.

In closing, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the ongoing support from our incredible industry partners, donors and well-wishers. The annual donor-scholar reception is a great testament to the impact that our donors have on the lives and careers of our students. We are deeply grateful for your support and encouragement! Let me sign off by wishing all of you a great year ahead and requesting that you stay connected and guide and support us in all our endeavors.