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With turbines’ high efficiency,
Cal State L.A. students generate first place
WESTEC Manufacturing Challenge
to the world of manufacturing
Angeles, CA –
Demonstrating outstanding manufacturing technology
skills, teamwork and problem-solving abilities,
Cal State L.A.’s technology student team placed
first in the university category for
its boundary-layer turbines at the
WESTEC 2008 Manufacturing Challenge, a
creative annual manufacturing competition where
college students design and manufacture products for
judging by manufacturing professionals.
Beating out more than 11 participating colleges and
universities, Cal State L.A.’s winning team includes
Blake Cortis (senior, North Hollywood
resident), Thomas Cisneros (senior, Los
Angeles), Danley Dizon (senior, Rancho
Cucamonga), Mike Frausto (junior, Los
Angeles), and Mark Hirami (junior, San
Gabriel). The event was held recently at the Los
Angeles Convention Center.
Under the direction of faculty advisor
Jai Hong, associate professor of industrial
technology, along with support by
technical staff members Bruce Fisher and
team developed two 6-inch boundary-layer turbines.
Converting aerodynamic drag into rotational
movement, the turbines are capable of producing 20
HP (horsepower) at 9,000 RPM (revolutions per
minute) and can reach up to 16,000 RPM.
Professor Hong explained, “For the
competition, the students were to develop two
turbines that can be used in place of electrical or
heating engines, such as a micro-sander attached to
a flex shaft. They also can be utilized in
clean-room environment because there is no need for
lubrication and they have a self-cooling capability.
The turbines are stand-alone units that require
nothing more than standard compressed air to
Following are the stages involved
with manufacturing the project:
(1) With a low-input air pressure
(100 PSI), the team designed, developed and tested
multiple inlet nozzles to dramatically increase the
input velocity of the air flow to the turbines.
(2) Critical parts contributing to
proper operation of the turbines then undergone
severe testing by means of computer-assisted design
and analysis, and rapid prototyping.
(3) The final machining processes
included manual machining as well as sophisticated
automated machining processes.
According to Hong, “Although designed
and manufactured on a small scale, the turbines
display an ability to perform at high levels of
efficiency in many industrial and commercial
The WESTEC Challenge, Hong said,
underscores the important connection between
classroom lecture/lab activities and industrial
Celebrating its 45th year, WESTEC is the largest
North American machine-tool and
advanced-manufacturing event. It is cosponsored by
Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
more information, call the
Department of Technology at Cal State L.A.,
# # #
Mike Frausto, Thomas Cisneros, Danley Dizon, Mark
Hirami, and Blake Cortis.
Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 200,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Among programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. www.calstatela.edu