Professional Highlights In This


ECST e-Bulletin

Feature Stories
ECST Welcomes
New Dean
Fuel Cell Aircraft
ABET Evaluation
Technology Department Program Review
US News Ranking
CSULA Alumni & Apollo 13 Flight Controller
Department News
Mechanical Engineering





Dear Alumni, Faculty, Staff, Students and Friends,

Welcome to the first edition of the ECST Bulletin.  The College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology (ECST) has enjoyed over 50 years of successfully educating students and “Transforming Dreams into Reality”. 

ECST has been a transformational path of excellence for students and for more than 6000 alumni.

WebsterÂ’s dictionary defines the word “Transform” as “to change greatly the appearance or form.”  Prior to taking the appointment as Dean, I was intrigued to learn about the special qualities of the College that created this agency of change for our students.  A few things were apparent:  The College offers a hands-on curriculum and early research opportunities to prepare students for advanced studies and a fast-paced work environment.  Even more importantly, our faculty value nurturing our undergraduate and graduate students to reach their full potential.  Efforts such as our MESA program provide a home away from home for students.  Co-curricular activities provide the professionalism, and competitive drive which illustrates to our students that they can compete globally. 

Cal State L.A.Â’s ECST College offers some unique programs and facilities that are world renowned:  The NASA University Research Center is the first and only one of its kind in California. The $31 million facilities renovation gives CSULA students access to state-of-the-art laboratories. CSULAÂ’s SuperMileage car was first in the U.S. in the 2004 SAE Contest with 1,615 miles per gallon fuel efficiency. The 2004 Mini Baja team placed first in California and our students were first in NASAÂ’s 2003 student design competition.  We also placed first in the 2004 and 2005 WESTEC Manufacturing Challenges.

As we push into the 21st century, I believe that Cal State LA ECST graduates and students will lead the creation of a new world economy.  It is my intention to make sure that we lay the foundation for every student to transform their dreams into reality.

H. Keith Moo-Young, Ph.D., P.E.  

ECST Welcomes New Dean

Dr. H. Keith Moo-Young, P.E.—a nationally recognized scholar in environmental engineering—is the new dean of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology at California State University, Los Angeles. Moo-Young, also joins the Cal State L.A. faculty as professor of civil engineering.

In this new capacity, Moo-Young will direct the five departments within the College—Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Technology. Collectively, these departments offer 12 undergraduate programs, four graduate programs and two teaching credentials. Nearly 80 faculty and staff service more than 1,700 engineering, computer science, and technology students.

Most recently, Moo-Young served Villanova University as its interim dean and associate dean of research and graduate studies for the College of Engineering. He also chaired the Graduate Committee and the Ph.D. Committee, and directed an interdisciplinary doctoral program, systems engineering M.S. program, and  technology management. Dr. Moo-Young managed the day to day operations of a $12.0 Million research portfolio including capture management, contracts management, and research program and project implementation.  Dr. Moo-Young worked to secure earmarked and competitive federal grants, corporate and private gifts and donations, and foundation grants.  Dr. Moo-Young was also responsible for developing an intellectual property portfolio, managing and licensing the portfolio, and development of start-up ventures.  He also engaged in economic development activities with the Navy Yard in Philadelphia and Chester Pennsylvania where he led nine corporate, non-profit and university partners to formulate the Delaware County Keystone Innovation Zone for small business technology spin-offs. 

His research focuses on hazardous and solid waste management, the remediation of contaminants in groundwater, recycling and reuse of industrial co-product materials. His research has been funded by the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, Pennsylvania Department of Commerce, Corp of Engineers, Battelle, General Electric and Federal Highway Administration.  Dr. Moo-Young has over 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals, conferences, and books.

Currently, a Pasadena resident, Moo-Young earned both a Ph.D. and M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received a B.S. in civil engineering, with valedictorian honors, from Morgan State University. He was awarded an executive masterÂ’s degree in technology management from the University of PennsylvaniaÂ’s Wharton School of Business/School of Engineering. He also participated in Harvard UniversityÂ’s Management Development Program and is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania.


Flying on fuel cells, UAV triumphs

In a Kitty Hawk moment, an unmanned airplane with an 18-foot wing span made history by demonstrating that fuel cells can be used to power flight.

Developed by a team of students at Cal State L.A.Â’s Multidisciplinary Flight Dynamics and Control Laboratory, the plane took off at the Apollo XI Radio Control (RC) Airfield in Van Nuys around 7:30 a.m., Aug. 25.

According to Christopher Herwerth, the graduate student in mechanical engineering who leads the team, “The fuel cell performed very well, yielding 480 watts of maximum sustained power that turned a 20-inch propeller. The UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) took off slowly but climbed steadily, reaching an altitude of 100 feet.”

With the touchdown, the team, comprised of roughly a half-dozen students, became the firs... moret university crew west of the Mississippi—and the second overall—to achieve successful flight powered by fuel cells. According to Herwerth, only two other groups have achieved public flights of such craft: AeroVironment, a Simi Valley-based aerospace company; and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

One of the projectÂ’s long-term goals is to develop an unmanned aircraft that can survey environments without polluting them. (The fuel cells are fed by hydrogen and release only pure water as an emission.)

Three mechanical engineering professors— Maj Dean Mirmirani, Chivey Wu and Darrell Guillaume—supervise the Multidisciplinary Flight Dynamics and Control Laboratory and serve as project advisors.

Mirmirani, chair of the Mechanical Engineering department, said the flight is likely the last for the plane, which now may be more valuable as a piece of history, to be seen in museums and outreach displays. back


ABET Evaluation

On October 10-12, 2006, the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology welcomed visitors from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc (ABET). to CSULAÂ’s campus.  Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering programs were reviewed by ABET for program quality and adherence to the ABET-mandated criteria.  The Engineering Team was lead by Dr. Jack Rutherford of the Boeing Corporation, and the Computer Science team was led by Dr. Kenneth Martin, the former Provost at the University of North Florida.  Additional team members included faculty from Rose Hulmann University, West Point, and the University of Maryland. 

The exit interview was extremely positive.  We should received final word on our reaccreditation status by August 2007.  Both the Engineering and Technology programs at Cal State L.A. have received A+ evaluations through recent ABET and Program Review processes.  The college received “rave reviews” for its success in implementing a continuous quality improvement process based on the results of a student outcomes and assessment process.

ABET, Inc., the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology, is a federation of 28 professional and technical societies representing these fields. Among the most respected accreditation organizations in the U.S., ABET has provided leadership and quality assurance in higher education for over 70 years.

ABET currently accredits some 2,700 programs at over 550 colleges and universities nationwide. Over 1,500 dedicated volunteers participate annually in ABET activities


Technology Department Program Review

In December 2006, the Technology Department conducted a program review.  Two reviewers from Indiana State University and Cal State San Bernardino came to campus to review the Graphic Communications, Fire Protection Administration, Aviation Administration, Industrial Technology, and Vocational/Technology Education Programs.  The program review was extremely successful, and we look forward to moving many of the recommendations into an action plan.


U.S. News and World Report Ranks ECST High

U.S.News & World Report 2007 “America’s Best Colleges” issue has ranked California State University, Los Angeles’ engineering program among the nation’s best undergraduate programs for the eighth year in a row. Cal State L.A. is the only public undergraduate (master’s-awarding) university in the greater Los Angeles area making the top of the list.

Using a reputational survey sent in the spring of 2006, U.S.News ranked the engineering program at Cal State L.A.Â’s College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology #36 among the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (non-Ph.D.) in the United States.

To appear on U.S.NewsÂ’ undergraduate engineering survey, a school must have an undergraduate engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Accredited undergraduate engineering programs are split into two groups: those schools whose highest engineering degree offered is a Ph.D. and those schools whose highest engineering degree offered is a bachelorÂ’s or masterÂ’s. According to U.S.News, schools whose highest engineering degree is a bachelorÂ’s or masterÂ’s tend to be more focused on undergraduate education.


Apollo 13 flight controller to land at Cal State L.A. Feb. 20

Remember ‘Houston, weÂ’ve had a problemÂ’? This CSULA alumnus helped handle it.  Author Sy Liebergot will sign ‘Apollo EECOM: Journey of a LifetimeÂ’ after talk

Los Angeles, CA – With the Apollo 13 spacecraft facing unthinkable disaster as it headed to the moon, back at Mission Control Sy Liebergot made the call: abandon the moon landing and just return home safely.

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, Liebergot will return to his alma mater, Cal State L.A., to describe the Apollo 13 rescue and other Mission Control experiences in the keynote address for the universityÂ’s National Engineers Week activities. The lecture, which is free, will be at 2 p.m. in the Golden Eagle Ballroom.

On April 13, 1970, Apollo 13 was 56 hours – and 200,000 miles – into its trip to make the third manned landing on the moon when one of its two oxygen tanks exploded, causing the remaining tank to leak oxygen into space and prompting astronaut Jack Swigert to utter one of space history’s most famous lines: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

As the lead EECOM (electrical, environmental, sequential systems engineer) flight controller, Liebergot was at the console at Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston with the responsibility for ending Apollo 13Â’s mission to the moonÂ’s surface and starting the fight for survival. About three and a half days later, the crew landed safely in the ocean.

Copies of his of autobiography, Apollo EECOM: Journey of a Lifetime, will be available for purchase ($20) and signing from 3:30-4:30 p.m. following the talk.

Liebergot, now an author and space historian, graduated from Cal State L.A. with a bachelorÂ’s degree in electrical engineering in 1963. In the Academy Award-winning movie Apollo 13,  Liebergot was portrayed by Clint Howard.  

According to Keith Moo-Young, dean of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology at Cal State L.A., “Engineering is often seen as methodical calculation and design—and it is. But it can also have hugely dramatic human implications. And Sy Liebergot was at the center of some of engineering’s most dramatic episodes.”

After graduating from Cal State L.A., Liebergot began his career with North American Aviation in Downey at the inception of the Apollo lunar program. Soon he was in Houston, Texas, making a move to NASA to qualify for a “front-room” flight controller position in Mission Control. As he puts it, “to get in on the action.”  

He served as assistant flight director on AS-501 (the first Saturn V launch), as lead EECOM flight controller on all Apollo manned missions, as the EECOM for the Skylab missions and, on the international scene, as lead EECOM for the American-Russian Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. He also contributed to the early shuttle missions. As a senior project engineer, he directed the design and fabrication of the astronaut neutral buoyancy trainers for the International Space Station (ISS).

For more on LiebergotÂ’s background, go to




Mechanical Engineering

The Department of Mechanical Engineering announces the hiring of Drs. Trinh Pham and Zhiming Gao as Assistant Professors of Mechanical Engineering. Professor Pham received her PhD from UC Irvine. Her area of research interest is in energy and renewable and alternative energy systems. Professor Gao received his PhD from University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and has worked in Oak Ridge National laboratory since 2001. His area of research interest is in thermal sciences, modeling and simulation, and energy systems. With the joining of Drs. Pham and Gao the department has positioned itself as a leader in R&D in alternative and renewable energy systems.

Dr. Darrell Guillaume has received a $500,000, 4-year NSF S-STEM grant. Two other ME faculty, Professors Mirmirani and Wu as well as two Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty, Professors Liu and Boussalis are the Co-PIÂ’s on this grant. The grant provides 40 scholarships for senior and graduate students in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in designated areas of aerospace engineering.

Professor Wu received a $200,000 Department of Defense Infrastructure and Instrumentation grant to modernize and upgrade Mechanical Engineering laboratory facilities. Professors Guillaume and Mirmirani are the Co-PIs.


Department Of Technology

The Department of Technology majors include: Aviation Administration, Fire Protection Administration, Graphic Communications, Industrial Technology, Technology Education, and Vocational Education.

Hydrogen Fueling Station

The California Air Resources Board recently announced that the Department of Technology was awarded the prestigious “Development of Hydrogen Refueling Stations”.  The award for $1.1 million will allow CSULA to build a state-of-the-art hydrogen refueling station on the CSULA Campus. CSULA will be one of the first dual dispensing (350 and 700 bar) hydrogen fueling stations in the nation.

The hydrogen electrolyzer station will be located on the eastern edge of the campus, utilize 100% renewable wind power and have over 60 kg of storage capacity.  The station will meet or exceed the environmental criteria spelled out in the California Hydrogen Blueprint Plan, help build infrastructure and promote the use of hydrogen as a transportation fuel.

CSULA is one of the key contributors to the California Hydrogen Highway Network.  This is an initiative to establish hydrogen infrastructure to support commercialization of sustainable,zero and near zero emission hydrogen vehicles.



College of Engineering Computer Science and Technology received over $2 million in sponsored research.



Dr. Crist Khachikian on Tap Water vs. Bottled water.  Dr. Khachikian was featured on Los Angeles television station KTLA in November 2006.


Annual ECST Open House
Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 9am-2pm  

February 19-23, 2007 

Special Speaker - NASA Apollo 13 Specialist
Sy Liebergot "Apollo 13 – The Longest Hour”
Tuesday, February 20, 2007 - 2:00-3:30pm
Visit Mr. Liebergot website for more info:

Career Fair
Thursday, February 22, 2007 - 3pm-7pm

Annual ECST Banquet
Friday, February 23, 2007 6pm-Midnight
Almansor Court, Alhambra, CA

Host of the California Engineering Liaison Council Meeting
Thursday and Friday, March 22-23, 2007