Students Shine in Professional Competitions
SAN LUIS OBISPO -- Every year, Cal Poly students put their education to the test in national industry and professional competitions across the country, and come out on top. A look at some of this year's winning teams:
Cal Poly Student-Designed Hybrid Rocket Reviewed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
Cal Poly engineering students conducted a successful preliminary design review of a hybrid rocket with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the project sponsor. The single-stage hybrid rocket will fly to 60,000 feet carrying payloads of sensors to be tested at high altitude. Six students from Cal Poly Space Systems (CPSS) presented their design Nov. 12 via videoconference between San Luis Obispo and Lockheed Martin engineers in Sunnyvale, Calif. For more on the hybrid rocket. For more on hybrid rocket.
Poly Student Wins Business Contest
Cal Poly student Quincy Freeman won first place in a National Elevator Pitch Competition at the College Entrepreneurs’ Organization Conference earlier this month in Chicago. The competition requires students to present a business idea to a panel of judges in about a minute — the time a person would have to pitch an idea to someone they met during an elevator ride. Freeman’s winning business pitch was a proposal to build her real-life Western wear fashion line into an independent company. For more on Freeman.
Graphic Communication Student Receives CSU Trustee Award
Cal Poly graphic communication senior Juana Villa was awarded the 2013 California State University (CSU) Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, one of the highest student distinctions within the university. Villa is a first-generation Mexican-American college student. She is currently earning a 3.85 GPA in graphic communication with a concentration in web and digital media and a minor in packaging. For more on Villa.
Engineering Students Float Ideas in Reduced Gravity Aircraft
A team of five Cal Poly Engineering students conducted hands-on experiments in near-zero gravity this summer as part of NASA’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The undergraduate team from Cal Poly Engineering was one of six in the nation selected to conduct experiments related to current NASA research. The teams were selected based on scientific merit, educational outreach potential and team dynamics. For more on weightlessness.
Cal Poly ASI President Named Zeta Beta Tau National Brother of the Year
At a national brotherhood convention last month, the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity gave incoming Cal Poly ASI President Jason Colombini its 2013 Roswell "Buddy" Messing Award for Outstanding Brother of the Year. The award recognizes the undergraduate member who best exemplifies the fraternity’s core values of intellectual awareness, social responsibility, integrity and brotherly love, and is one of the organization’s top three awards. For more on Colombini award.
Food Science and Nutrition Students Take Top Honors at Institute of Food Technologists Competition
Cal Poly Food Science and Nutrition (FSN) students placed first and second in their respective categories at an international competition held by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). The competition, which took place during IFT’s Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago, Ill., judged student teams on their ability to develop nutritious food solutions for a variety of real-world challenges. Cal Poly’s undergraduate FSN students competed against 67 domestic and international universities, including undergraduate and graduate students. For more on the Food Tech win.
Cal Poly Alumna Wins Fulbright Award
Paige Wopschall, 2011 Cal Poly graduate, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach in Bulgaria, becoming the first student applicant from Cal Poly in 20 years to win a Fulbright award. For more on Wapschall and the Fulbright Award.
Cal Poly-Born Start-Up InPress Technologies Chosen for Fogarty Institute for Innovation’s Incubator Program
InPress Technologies, a medical-device startup launched by Cal Poly students and nurtured through the university’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, has been chosen for a prestigious incubator program through the Fogarty Institute for Innovation. For more on the Fogarty incubator program.
Cal Poly Alumnus Selected for the Latest NASA Astronaut Group
Cal Poly engineering alumnus and U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Victor Glover is one of eight people named to NASA’s 21st astronaut candidate class. Glover and seven others were selected from a pool of more than 6,100 applicants. According to NASA, the new group of potential astronauts will help the agency push the boundaries of exploration, including the first human missions to an asteroid and to Mars. When he completes his training, Glover will become the fourth Cal Poly alumnus to serve as an astronaut. For more on Glover as astronaut.
Student Design Wins Bank of America Low-Income Housing Challenge
An interdisciplinary team of Cal Poly students earned first place in the 22nd annual Bank of America Low-Income Housing Challenge, a regional competition. This is the third time in three years that Cal Poly has won the competition. For more on the low-income housing design.
Cal Poly Team Wins International Vehicle Safety Technology Design Competition in Seoul, Korea
Collision-avoidance technology created by a team of Cal Poly mechanical engineering students took first place at the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV) International Collegiate Student Safety Technology Design Competition held May 27-30 in Seoul, Korea. Ian Painter and Elliot Carlson, both seniors, and Thomas Stevens, a graduate student, developed a tenth-scale vehicle prototype that uses a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensor to aid a driver in last-minute maneuvers around a crash obstacle. For more on the international win.
Six Cal Poly students won awards at the recent 27th annual California State University Student Research Competition, held this year at Cal Poly Pomona. The competition is grouped into 10 categories: Biological and Agricultural Sciences; Business, Economics, and Public Administration; Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Engineering and Computer Science; Humanities and Letters; Creative Arts and Design; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Health, Nutrition and Clinical Sciences; Education; and Interdisciplinary. For more on the CSU Research competition.
Cal Poly Students’ Online Goal-Tracking Company Acquired
Cal Poly startup company Quest.to, an online goal-tracking platform, was recently acquired by Whodini, a company that provides enterprise engagement analytics. Whodini will fold Quest.to’s existing assets into a new goal-tracking platform dubbed Goalchi. The Quest.to team was formed as Grappple during Startup Weekend San Luis Obispo in 2012. For more on the acquisition.
Team Takes 1st and 2nd Place in National Packaging Design Contest
Two teams of Cal Poly packaging students took the top honors in the Ameristar Student Package Awards, a national competition sponsored by the Institute of Packaging Professionals that judges innovative student designs in product packaging. For more on the packing win.
Student-run Printing Company Receives Sustainability Re-certification
Cal Poly’s student-run printing, publishing and imaging company, University Graphic Systems (UGS), received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sustainability re-certification. UGS has held this certification for five years and is the only student organization of its kind in the nation to hold it. For more on the sustainability certification.
‘Leaning Trike’ Design Places Second at Human Powered Vehicle Challenge
Cal Poly leaned in at the recent Human Powered Vehicle Challenge West, taking second place for an innovative leaning-trike design. The team finished fourth overall at the regional competition, held April 12-14 at San Jose State University. For more on the Leaning Trike.
ROTC Cadet Named ‘Finish Line Hero’ at Boston Marathon
Noah Falck, a first-year Cal Poly ROTC cadet and aerospace engineering major who ran the Boston Marathon on Monday, completed the race in just over three hours, 10 minutes. But his legacy will be in what he did in the moments after two explosions rocked the race. For more on Falck.
Supermileage Team Goes Far on a Gallon of Gas at Shell Eco-marathon
Cal Poly’s entry, the Lamina II, placed seventh in an elite pack of prototype cars that achieved 1,000 mpg or more at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas held April 5-7 in Houston. For more on the Lamina.
Cal Poly Students Find Success at Business Competition
Two Cal Poly business teams recently won awards for their innovative business models at San Diego State University’s Lavin School of Entrepreneurship LeanModel Start-up Competition. LunaLight, a solar rechargeable LED lantern designed by Cal Poly team for use in developing countries earned second place overall. Mr. Eco, an environmental rap superhero, was recognized for the display and performance at the competition’s trade show. For more on the product competition.
Cal Poly Biology Students Lead NSF Workshop, Teach Professors New Technique
A group of Cal Poly biology students are among a select few experts in the country using a new method of protein analysis. Last December, the students shared their expertise by teaching the process to professors and doctoral students from other universities. The students planned and led a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded workshop in environmental proteomics, a method of analyzing how organisms respond to different environmental stresses. For more on students teaching the pros.
Cal Poly Women Engineering Student Leader Recognized at National Conference
Laura Ashley Harris received the collegiate Emerging Leader award at the regional Society of Women Engineers (SWE) conference held March 1-3, 2013, in Salt Lake City. Harris, an industrial engineering graduate student from Contra Costa, Calif., is the current president of Cal Poly SWE. For more on SWE leader.
Cal Poly Students Headed to Malta and Sicily for Underwater Archeology Expedition
Eight Cal Poly students are heading to Malta and Sicily in March to launch their underwater robots and explore ancient water systems and marine caves. Organized through this year’s International Computing Engineering Exchange (ICEX) program, the students will collaborate with marine archaeologists and biologists from the University of Malta to investigate previously unexplored underwater sites, including marine caves and ancient water cisterns -- underground water storage systems located beneath fortresses, private homes and churches. The students, who will be gone March 3 to 30, will be joined by Zoë Wood, Cal Poly computer science associate professor, and Jane Lehr, associate professor of ethnic studies and women's and gender studies, along with a team of four Harvey Mudd College students and associate professor of engineering Christopher Clark. Clark is a former Cal Poly faculty member.
More on the expedition
Cal Poly Student Wins Three Awards at 2013 International Builders’ Show
Cal Poly construction management senior Jennifer Gallegos won three awards – including an Outstanding Student award – at the recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. Gallegos, who is from Madera, Calif., won the Capturing the Best Moment Through a Photo Award and Staying Connected through Twitter Award, in addition to the NAHB Student Chapters Outstanding Student Award. Gallegos’ winning photo was of a veteran for whom the NAHB decided to build a home. The NAHB asked the competitors to Tweet about their experiences during the NAHB competition. Gallegos posted Tweets that wished other teams good luck, encouraged other teams to watch Cal Poly teams present, and captured Cal Poly’s team adventures in Las Vegas.
More on Gallegos
Cal Poly Hosts – and is Honored at – Engineers Without Borders Conference
With global projects in India, Thailand and Nicaragua, Engineers Without Borders-Cal Poly recently undertook another project closer to home: hosting Engineers Without Borders’ (EWB) West Coast regional conference on campus Oct. 19-21. The event drew more than 250 attendees. During the conference, the Cal Poly chapter received several awards, foremost among them, Premier West Coast Chapter. The award is significant because it was the only regional honor decided at the national level, and because it makes Cal Poly – which was named National Premier Student Chapter in March – eligible to compete for the national title again next spring. Cal Poly and UCLA student chapters tied for the Regional Champion Award, which recognizes outstanding service in the developing world and efforts and leadership that benefit EWB’s West Coast region as a whole. The award includes $500 for each chapter.
More on the EWB honor
Construction Management Students Win First in Regional Competition
A team of Cal Poly construction management students won first place in a regional competition sponsored by the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC). The students were invited to compete in the Pre-Construction division by Region 3 (the Great Lakes Region) of the ASC held in Downer's Gove, a suburb of Chicago, Ill. The Great Lakes Region includes institutions that offer four-year construction management, science and technology degrees in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
More on the team's win
Cal Poly Sweeps AIAA Design Competition
Cal Poly aerospace seniors swept first, second and third place in the 2011-12 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation (AIAA) Undergraduate Team Aircraft Design competition in early September. The wins extended a decade of remarkable finishes at what is considered the most prestigious national collegiate aeronautical engineering design contest in the country. Led by faculty advisors Bruce Wright and Robert McDonald, the teams won for their designs of an unmanned aerial vehicle that serves as a humanitarian response aircraft system capable of providing aid in natural disasters to the populations of both developed and underdeveloped nations worldwide.
More on the students' AIAA sweep
Architecture Student Takes First in International Steel Design Competition
A Cal Poly student pursuing a Bachelor of Architecture degree won first place in an international steel competition. David Heck of Bellingham, Wash., was selected from a field of 303 entries to win one of two first-place awards in the 12th annual Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture/American Institute of Steel Construction Steel Design Student Competition. Heck’s project, “The Paris Market Lab,” won in the Culinary Arts College category. Jurors called Heck’s submission “a wonderful architectural expression of steel, where steel is both clearly used in the background and also as infill in the foreground.”
More on Heck's victory
Cal Poly Grad Student Takes First with Dairy Products Research
Cal Poly Dairy Products Technology Center Master of Science candidate Lauren Collinsworth took first place in the Sensory Evaluation Division of the Rose Marie Pangborn Memorial Graduate Paper Competition. The competition was held June 25-28 at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual meeting in Las Vegas. The presentation was titled “Evaluating the Change in Emotions During the Consumption Experience of Carbonated Orange Soda, Dairy Beverages, and Convenience Cheese.” Collinsworth was one of six finalists selected to present their graduate research. The award is presented annually by IFT's Sensory Evaluation Division executive committee to a graduate student for exemplary research and oral presentation of research and is judged on technical merit, writing and organization.
More on Collinsworth's prize
Cal Poly Claims National Concrete Canoe Championship for Third Year In a Row
For the third consecutive year, Cal Poly won gold at the National Concrete Canoe Competition, considered the America’s Cup of Civil Engineering. The team’s three-peat came in a canoe aptly named Prospector in honor of the California Gold Rush.
The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 25th annual National Concrete Canoe Competition was held June 14-16 at the University of Nevada, Reno. Cal Poly was among 22 top engineering schools at the prestigious event that challenges students’ knowledge, creativity and stamina while showcasing the versatility and durability of concrete as a building material. The competition was broken into four equally weighted categories: final product, design paper, technical presentation and races. Cal Poly placed first in three categories and third in technical presentation. “We put in 5,250 hours on the development of Prospector,” said Project Manager Erik Bjornstrom. “We applied innovative and sustainable practices to every aspect of its construction. That included testing 160 different concrete mixes, eliminating a layer of reinforcement and incorporating more sustainable materials.”
More on the students' concrete canoe competition
Cal Poly Human Powered Vehicle Runs Strong in ASME Competition
Cal Poly won first place in design and second overall at the 2012 ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge held May 4-6 at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. When final results were tallied, Cal Poly was bested by one one-hundredth of a point by Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T). The design component included six elements – design, innovation, analysis, testing, safety and aesthetics – and was the biggest contributing factor to the contestants’ overall scores (40 percent). “It is the one part of the competition where luck doesn’t play a part,” said George Leone, the team’s technical adviser. Team members included mechanical engineering students Cody Anderson, Peter Aumann, Matt Baker, Cameron Christenson, Katie Hahn, Trent Hellman, Tim Hoekstra, Chris Hunt, Sam Juday, Alex Powers, Lauren Romero, Josh Smith, Samantha Weiner and Zack Yasuda; third-year aerospace engineering student Will Hilgenberg; computer science graduate student Kimberly Patterson; and history student Elizabeth Metelak. Kim Shollenberger was the faculty adviser.
More on the Human Powered Vehicle team
Cal Poly Students Succeed at Statewide Research Competition
One Cal Poly student won first place and three others won second-place awards in annual California State University research competition. Each spring more than 200 students representing the 23 campuses in the California State University system gather to present the results of their original research, scholarship and creative work to panels of judges. A team of 13 students represented Cal Poly at the 26th annual competition held May 4-5 at Cal State Long Beach. Their projects included a study on ice cream as a protective medium for consumption of health-promoting bacteria, research on complex chemical reactions designed to synthesize improved medications, and an investigation on the use of geosynthetic clay liners to prevent environmental contamination arising from landfills. Cal Poly’s four winners were:
- Anna Clauson, an undergraduate student from Altadena, received a second-place award for her project in which she studied native menarche ceremonies to further understand urbanization and social change in Fiji.
- Marcus Foley, a graduate student from Bakersfield, won first place for his work using sandblasting to optimize cell and tissue interactions with implanted medical devices.
- Rachel Gohres, an undergraduate student from Murrieta, took second place for her analysis of how protein coatings affect endothelial cell adhesion in an effort to improve implanted vascular devices.
- Kevin Schilling, an undergraduate student from Los Angeles, received a second-place award for his work using laser printing to produce paper-based devices to diagnose disease in areas without access to clinical laboratories.
More on the student researchers' awards
Cal Poly Students Earn Top Honors in International Business Competition
A team of three Cal Poly Orfalea College of Business students earned the highest honor in the online Glo-Bus International Business Competition. Glo-Bus is a computerized business simulation in which teams of students compete in a global industry to design, manufacture, distribute and sell their products. Orfalea College students Jordan Carson, Katie Talbert and Victoria Valentine took part in the competition as co-managers of E Company at Cal Poly. The competition ran April 30 through May 6. The Cal Poly students earned the No. 1 spot worldwide for achieving the best overall game-to-date score among 1,276 teams from 72 colleges and universities participating in the simulation worldwide. No other Cal Poly student team has ever earned such a distinction in the nearly 10 years the university has been competing. The participating students entered as part of the Advanced Seminar in International Management course taught by J. Michael Geringer, professor of international strategy. The simulation allows students to put Learn by Doing into action as a way to become well-rounded, management-ready graduates.
Cal Poly Graphic Communication Students Win Phoenix Challenge College Competition
A team of Cal Poly Graphic Communication students took first place in the 2012 Phoenix Challenge College competition in San Antonio, Texas. Cal Poly team members Audrey Van Camp, Chris Hernandez, Kendra Jaqua, Eli McNutt, and Kaela Soohoo took first place for its packaging redesign of Cal Poly Chocolates. The students spent a year performing market research, designing, preparing prepress electronic files, and printing the packaging under the mentorship Professor Malcolm Keif. The students then presented and described their project to the Phoenix Challenge judges. The students redesigned nine Cal Poly Chocolates’ packages, although only four were required for the competition.
Cal Poly Senior Project Wins Packaging Industry Award
A two-part, display-ready asparagus shipper developed by two Cal Poly students in 2010 won the AmeriStar award from the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP), considered by industry professionals to be the most prestigious packaging competition awards in North America. More than 150 packages were submitted and judged on package innovation, sustainability, protection, economics, performance and marketing.
More on the packaging award
Cal Poly Team Places Second in Regional Human Resource Games
A team of three Cal Poly undergraduates took second place at the recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Pac West Regional Case Competition at Pepperdine University in Malibu. Better known as the “HR Games,” the competition tasks students with presenting their analysis and action plans for a company experiencing a downsizing and presenting those ideas to a panel of senior-level human resource executives.
More on the "HR Games"
Cal Poly Math Team Scores High On Putnam Exam
Cal Poly’s math team ranked No. 47 in the annual Putnam Exam – one of the most difficult math competitions in North America. The competition pitted Cal poly’s team against teams from 572 participating universities in the U.S. and Canada.
More on the math team
Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers Rides Wave of Awards at Regional Conference in Hawaii
Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers (SWE) caught a wave of awards at the SWE regional conference Feb. 25 to March 3 in Honolulu. The Cal Poly chapter won all five categories in which it competed.
More on the SWE awards
Cal Poly Student Innovators’ Video Wins Social Impact Award
Cal Poly Engineering’s “Earth2Block” video entry won the Greatest Social Impact Potential award at the Open Minds 2012 video competition. Hosted by the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) and Inventors Digest, the annual competition challenges student innovators to take their inventions one step closer to reality by communicating the importance of their ideas to the general public.
More on the social impact award
Cal Poly Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge Teams Strike Gold in Regional Competitions
Cal Poly collected every first-place award at the concrete canoe and steel bridge events at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Pacific South West Regional Conference held March 22-24. The bonanza of first-place finishes – 17 in total – were a record for the chapter and, quite possibly, for the conference, said Rakesh Goel, chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.
More on the concrete canoe and steel bridge teams
Cal Poly Construction Management Students Win Top Honors at Regional Competition
Cal Poly construction management students earned top honors at the recent Associated Schools of Construction Competition (ASC) in Reno, Nev. Seven Cal Poly teams placed, more than any other school in the competition. Cal Poly had 12 teams competing – also more than any other university.
More on the regional competition
Cal Poly Construction Management Students Win Top Honors at National Competition
A group of Cal Poly construction management students captured second place at the recent 2012 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Orlando, Fla.
More on the construction management students
Cal Poly Multicultural Engineering Program Honors Diverse Group of High Achievers
Members of Cal Poly’s Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) who received scholarships for the 2011-12 school year were honored at a recent MEP banquet, where more than $125,000 in scholarships were awarded.
More on the MEP
Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers Honors Five Outstanding Members
The Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers (SWE) announced five recipients of the 2011 Outstanding Women in Engineering and Technology award at this year’s Evening with Industry held Thursday, Jan. 19 at the San Luis Obispo Embassy Suites.
More on the SWE awards
Cal Poly International Business Students Earn Global Recognition
Two student teams from Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business recently placed in the top 100 in international business simulation competitions under the guidance of international business Professor J. Michael Geringer.
More on the business students
Floral Team Flourishes for Fourth Consecutive Year
For the fourth time in as many years, the Cal Poly National Floral Design Team finished in the top three in the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) national student competition. The competition was held in San Francisco during the AIFD Symposium. The annual competition garnered entries from 52 students representing 15 schools.
More on the floral team and individual awards
Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers Repeats with Two Team Tech Firsts
Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers (SWE) again set the gold standard for university SWE chapters across the nation at WE11, the society’s Annual Conference held Oct. 13-15 in Chicago. Cal Poly brought home the Gold Award as the nation’s top Outstanding Collegiate Section, and repeated history with two teams that tied for first in the Team Tech competition.
More on the SWE awards
Cal Poly Engineering Sweeps AIAA Student Aircraft Design Competition
Cal Poly Engineering swept first-, second- and third-place awards in the undergraduate and graduate student design competition sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). In the undergraduate contest, teams were required to design an innovative heavy-lift hybrid air vehicle. The top prize went to Cal Poly's Mustang Aerospace team.
More on the aircraft design competition
Cal Poly Engineering Students Win National Heating and Air Conditioning Design Competition
Cal Poly Engineering won first place in the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Selection category of the 2011 student design competition held by the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
More on the design competition
Cal Poly Students Excel on Chartered Financial Analyst Exam
In the latest Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 Exam, 12 Cal Poly business students outperformed thousands of finance professionals by achieving an impressive 60 percent pass rate—well above the national average of 39 percent. The CFA Charter designation is the “gold standard” for finance professionals worldwide and requires passing three rigorous exams. Cal Poly students prepare to take their Level 1 and 2 exams as part of the CFA Challenge, a senior project created by Cyrus Ramezani, Finance Area chair in the Orfalea College of Business. The CFA Challenge is a prime example of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing approach to education. “Most professionals take this test after they have been in industry for 10 years,” Ramezani said. “Less than 1 percent are college seniors.”
More on Cal Poly's CFA success
Cal Poly Student Selected for ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program
Cal Poly Kinesiology student Mattie McGowen was one of 60 college students chosen to participate in the 2011 ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program. Administered by the ExxonMobil Foundation, the summer jobs program provides exemplary students with eight-week paid internships at one of 267 nonprofit agencies in 12 states in which the company has significant operations.
More on the summer internship program