News Release| CSULA; Super Eagle

August 12, 2009

Note to news directors and journalists:

To download a group photo of Cal State L.A.’s 2009 Super Eagle team,

go to /sites/default/files/univ/ppa/images/supereagle2009.jpg

To get the most up-to-date news from Cal State L.A. delivered to your Facebook page, become a “CSULA News” fan by logging in or signing up today at:

The anti-clunker from Cal State L.A. – fuel-efficient, good-looking Super Eagle is #1 in California

With almost 1,110 mpg, supermileage vehicle places third
in SAE’s international competition

Los Angeles, CA – Achieving 1,092 miles per gallon, Cal State L.A.’s student-built supermileage vehicle, Super Eagle, placed third at the recent Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Supermileage® competition in Marshall, Michigan.

The Super Eagle — one of only two California vehicles to make the finals — outperformed 42 college entries in the overall competition, including UCLA, Pennsylvania State University and other institutions from throughout the U.S., Canada, India and Bahrain. For a complete listing of the SAE competition results, go to  

With a carbon-fiber body, a modified fuel-injected Briggs & Stratton engine, and painted Cal State L.A.’s trademark black and gold, the aerodynamic Super Eagle weighs about 90 pounds.

According to CSULA faculty advisor Virgil Seaman, professor of technology, “Our Super Eagle team achieved both of its goals: to place in the top three and to increase the number of points earned for the design report and team presentation (an impressive total of 295).”

Led by team captain Raul Frank Almeida, mechanical engineering major (Diamond Bar resident) and team co-captain Samuel Samayoa, management major (Torrance), the 2009 Super Eagle team members include:

Bernardo Chavez, mechanical engineering major (Maywood);

Brian Choi, industrial technology/mechanical engineering major (Torrance);

Michele Choi, mechanical engineering major (Torrance);

Beto Gomez, mechanical engineering major (Los Angeles);

Mary Kiley, biochemistry major (Eagle Rock);

Neil Lau, team driver and manufacturing engineering major (Monterey Park);

Sergio Mendez, electrical engineering senior (L.A.-Watts);

Oscar Merchant, mechanical engineering major (Los Angeles):

Chaumont Pham-le, mechanical engineering major (Los Angeles);

Marilyn Phen, mechanical engineering major (Alhambra);

Chris Reid, mechanical engineering major (Lakewood);

Vu Tran, industrial technology major (Torrance);

Eric Younger, mechanical engineering major (Los Angeles);

Raymond Wu, mechanical engineering major (Arcadia); and

Tina Yu, team driver and civil engineering major (Los Angeles).

In 2004, the original Super Eagle outlasted 39 other entries from the U.S. and Canada in the SAE international Supermileage® competition, achieving a record 1,615 mpg. Last year, Cal State L.A.’s newly-designed supermileage vehicle was named Best Looking Vehicle.

The Supermileage® competition provides engineering and technology students with a challenging design project that involves the development and construction of a single-person, fuel-efficient vehicle. Vehicles are powered by a small four-cycle engine donated by Briggs and Stratton (a 30-year partner of the competition). The vehicles run a specified course. The vehicle that combines high gas mileage with design segment points wins the event. Students have the opportunity to set a world fuel-economy record and increase public awareness of fuel economy.

For more information, call Professor Seaman at (323) 343-4550.

#  #  #

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 210,000 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. 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.