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 Takes First Place in National Research Symposium Contest
Cal Poly environmental soil science senior Patrick Michelsen won first place in the Oral Undergraduate Research Symposium Contest held during the 2014 International Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America in Long Beach.
Patrick’s presentation was titled “Environmental Ramifications of a 120-Year-Old Railroad Bridge Painted in Lead Paint.” The study focused on the influence of wind and water flow in the distribution of lead — a known human toxin — in the soils, plants and sediments in and around Stenner Creek, which surrounds Trestle Bridge, a structure constructed around 1894 at Cal Poly. His findings demonstrated the importance of wind in transporting lead to the soils directly under and downwind from the bridge. Cal Poly News Website.
Cal Poly Drone Team Places Second at International Student Design Competition
Cal Poly’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “SkyBarge” maneuvered through an obstacle course to a second-place finish among 21 collegiate teams at the 22nd annual American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Student Design Competition on Nov. 17 in Montreal, Canada. Held at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exhibition at Montreal's Palais des Congrès, the competition included a roster of topflight engineering teams from China, France, India, Peru, Turkey and the U.S. To advance to the finals, Cal Poly won the ASME’s western regional competition held at Cal Poly in April. The teams were tasked with designing and building an original drone that could navigate a series of high and low obstacles, complete a targeted payload drop, and return to the start in one piece. The Cal Poly team included mechanical engineering students Gordon Belyea (project team lead), Garrett Gudgel (pilot), Ethan Juhnke, Brandon-Roy Sadiarin, Eric Dreischerf and Seyhun Oh; aerospace engineering students Hank Mandsager and Armand Lim; and agricultural engineering student Shane Thulin. Cal Poly News Website.
Cal Poly Startup Wins $5,000 Prize at Central Coast TechPitch Competition
Superior Solutions Manufacturing, a startup based out of the SLO HotHouse in downtown San Luis Obispo, took home the $5,000 Grand Prize Award at the fourth annual TechPitch competition, where six Central Coast companies pitched their businesses to a panel of six expert judges. S. Brett Whitaker presented the $5,000 judges award and the audience award to Justin Russo and Marty Affentranger of Superior Solutions for the LiftGator, a removable lift gate that attaches to any pickup and is capable of lifting up to 1,000 pounds. The company will pitch its product in Santa Barbara in November to Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investment group in the U.S. Additional finalists, selected from a group of more than 25 applicants, included: Salty Girl Seafood from Santa Barbara; Tandemech Engineering, San Luis Obispo; The Cardboard Guys, San Luis Obispo; FuelBox, Santa Barbara; and RVPlusYou, San Luis Obispo. Cal Poly News Website.
Cal Poly Students Win ASHRAE Applied Engineering Challenge
A pair of Cal Poly mechanical engineering seniors, Juan Silva and Nelson Echeverry, took first place in ASHRAE’s 2014 Applied Engineering Challenge. Their winning design for the Applied Engineering Challenge combined sustainability, affordability and maintainability to improve the indoor air quality for a low-income residence living in Mexico City. The award includes a $2,000 cash prize. ASHRAE, formerly the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, will present the awards in January. Another top-performing Cal Poly team placed third in the system selection category, in which students demonstrate what it takes to make a building more comfortable and energy efficient. Team members included mechanical engineering seniors Joseph Annan, Matthew Boncich, Christopher Carlson and Taylor Stone, as well as Kurt Rapp, a business graduate student. Cal Poly News Website.
Landscape Architecture Students Get Award for South Africa Orphanage Project
A team of Cal Poly landscape architecture students has received a national award of excellence for a playground they designed and built at a South African orphanage. The 5,000-square-foot project was honored in the community service category of the 2014 American Society of Landscape Architects Student Awards competition. It was one of only three awards of excellence given out in the annual competition that attracted more than 500 entries from 77 universities across the nation. “The Ratang Bana Orphanage Park project has absolutely changed the face of the surrounding community,” said David J. Watts, interim chair of the Cal Poly’s Landscape Architecture Department, who organized the project and traveled to South Africa with the students. “We are so proud of our students and faculty,” said Dean Christine Theodoropoulos, who heads the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. “They've made a difference in the lives of these children, and have improved the community in which they live. This is Learn by Doing at its very best.” The awards will be presented at ASLA’s annual meeting in Denver on Nov. 24. The team included students Michael Aguas, Alex Clark, Andrew Elias, Alex Henige, Ryan Higginbotham, Alix Kidwell, Joanne Mark, Amanda McCaulley, Erica Monson, Rachel SantaOlalla, Nick Tuttle, Tony Webster, Ryan Higginbotham and Julianna Wild. Cal Poly News Website.
Cal Poly Students Excel on Chartered Financial Analyst Exam
A group of Cal Poly Orfalea College of Business finance students recently achieved a pass rate of 61 percent — well above the average 42 percent pass rate — on the Chartered Financial Analyst Level 1 Exam. Students prepared for the exam as part of the CFA Challenge, a project created by Cyrus Ramezani, Finance Area chair in the College of Business. Finance faculty members have made the CFA Challenge an intense, self-directed study of financial ethics, economics, accounting and quantitative methods. Students take multiple, full-length practice tests, each exam spanning six hours. Since its launched in 2007, the CFA Challenge has expanded to include undergraduate and MBA candidates in the Orfalea College of Business. Each year, Cal Poly students have outperformed the national pass rate by significant margins. Cal Poly News Website.
Cal Poly Students Earn Honors at Corrugated Fiberboard Design Competition
Cal Poly business students took second and third in the structural design portion of the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC) Student Competition. Using corrugated fiberboard and other paper materials, four-student teams were challenged to create a family of products to help recruitment efforts at their universities. Two teams from Orfalea College of Business created standing displays, mailing packets and giveaway containers inspired by the Central Coast skyline and Cal Poly’s unique lifestyle. Catlin Khamashta received $1,000 from the J. Richard Troll Memorial Scholarship to support her industrial and packaging technology studies at Cal Poly. The essay she wrote took second place. Cal Poly News Website.
Transportation Engineers Win International Student Chapter Award
Cal Poly ITE, a student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, has been named the institute’s international chapter of the year. The student group was honored at the ITE annual conference for organizing and hosting the ITE Western District Student Leadership Summit — ITE’s first-ever conference designed by and for students. For more, go to the Cal Poly News Website.
Food Science & Nutrition Students Win National Food Development Contest
A team of Cal Poly food science and nutrition students won a first place in the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition. The students were tasked with incorporating defatted soy meal and sunflower meal — by-products of vegetable oil processing, a growing industry in Africa — into a tasty, wholesome food product. For more, go to the Cal Poly News Website.
Cal Poly computer science junior Michelle Lam will receive the 2014 California State University (CSU) Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, one of the system's highest student distinctions. The awards will be presented Sept. 9 at the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach, Calif. As a recipient of the CSU Trustees Award, Lam will receive $6,000 for the 2014-15 academic year. “It will mean everything,” she said. The CSU Trustees Award scholarship will allow Lam to give her full attention to completing her education and achieving a personal goal: She says that she plans to be the family’s first first-generation college graduate, though she has two older brothers who are computer science students at Sacramento State and San Jose State, respectively. Cal Poly News Website.
Two Cal Poly Seniors Selected for Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s Congressional Internship Program
A pair of Cal Poly seniors are the university’s 2014 representatives to the Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s Congressional Internship Program. Jessica Burke, an industrial engineering major from San Luis Obispo, and Yenifer Origel, a business administration major with a concentration in accounting from Hayward, will spend two weeks in August training at the Panetta Institute, located at California State University at Monterey Bay, followed by 11 weeks in Washington, D.C., working full time in the office of a congressional representative. They are among 26 students from around the Golden State taking part in the program. Participating students were nominated by their respective campus presidents.
Cal Poly News Website.
Cal Poly Concrete Canoe Team Takes Second at National Competition
A team of Cal Poly civil engineering students took second place at the National Concrete Canoe Competition, held June 19-21 at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in Johnstown, Penn. This makes the ninth consecutive year that Cal Poly has placed in the top five at the event referred to as the “America’s Cup of Civil Engineering.” The teams’ overall rankings in the national competition were based on their scores in four categories: design paper, oral presentation, final product and race performance. Cal Poly claimed first place in oral presentation, second place in final product, sixth in design paper, and fourth and fifth place in the men’s and women’s endurance races, respectively. This was Cal Poly’s 15th trip to the national competition, including three back-to-back national titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Cal Poly News Website.
Cal Poly English Graduate Student Named CSU Pre-Doctoral Scholar
Cal Poly English graduate student Anthony Breakspear was selected as a California State University (CSU) Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar for the 2014-15 academic year. Breakspear was one of 52 CSU students selected from a pool of 200 applicants. Breakspear will receive guidance from CSU faculty members; participate in a summer research experience at a doctoral-granting institution; travel to a national symposium or professional meeting in his field; and receive funding for graduate school testing and application fees. Cal Poly News Website.
Cal Poly and University of Munich Collaboration Wins International Award
Students from Cal Poly and the University of Munich Applied Sciences won the Freestyle Demonstrator award at the 2014 Large-Area, Organic & Printed Electronics Convention (LOPE-C) for their collaboration on the printed electronics project “Flexible Timer for Rough Environments.” The team received one of four awards for its creation of a waterproof timer designed for rough environments — in particular, a surfboard. Named FluxTime, the timer tracks remaining rental time through an electrochromic display window. FluxTime can also be applied to beauty products and perishable food items. Cal Poly student participants were Stephanie Friend, Karli Sherer, Ginny Yan, Logan Spittler, Greg Bergdoll, Zoey Le, Errol Leon, Grace Luo, Joe Mazzanti, Ryan Moelter, Benny Ng and Haleigh Vierra. Cal Poly News Website.
Cal Poly Graphic Communication Students Win Technical Writing Competition
Cal Poly graphic communication students Mallory Mize and Hannah Stombler-Levine won first and second place, respectively, in the 2014 GEF/Flint Group Technical Writing Competition. Mize’s first-place paper is titled, “Cylinder Engraving Methods and Print Quality.” Stombler-Levine was honored for her work, “Potential Areas of Growth in Rotogravure.” Both essays were developed in Cal Poly’s course Web Offset and Gravure Printing Technologies taught by graphic communication Professor Kevin Cooper. Mize and Stombler-Levine join a tradition of Cal Poly success at the competition, with the university winning first place eight times in the past nine years, including six years of students winning both first- and second-place honors. Cal Poly News website.
Biology Student Wins National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship
Cal Poly biological sciences senior George Brusch was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate research fellowship, which will fund three years of his doctoral work at Arizona State University beginning in fall 2014. The fellowship program supports outstanding graduate students pursuing research-based degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For more, go to the Cal Poly News website.
Anthropology and Geography Student Places First at Geographical Society Conference
Cal Poly anthropology and geography student Troy Lawson placed first in the Professional Digitally Displayed Cartographic Award competition for his project “Historical Mapping for the City of San Luis Obispo.” Lawson digitized historical Sanborn Maps ranging from 1905 to 1950 into a geographic information system (GIS) format and linked them to 2011 aerial imagery of San Luis Obispo to track building trends and identify cultural and historical buildings. To view the maps, go to Lawson's mapping website.
Cal Poly Students Succeed at Statewide Research Competition
Four Cal Poly projects placed first and one earned a second-place award at the recent 28th annual statewide California State University Student Research Competition. More than 200 students from campuses throughout the CSU presented the results of their original research. Cal Poly projects included a system to assist online game developers to more easily create soundtracks, a device to improve blood flow in damaged cardiac blood vessels, and an analysis of how corporate farms impact the food availability of their region. For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.
Kinesiology Student Awarded $67,000 NIH Grant
Cal Poly Kinesiology major Adrian Mercado received a $67,000 Diversity Supplement Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant, which supports diversity in the biomedical field, will now fund Mercado's work on the project and enable the research team to collect placentas and umbilical cord blood from women participating in the study. For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.
Geotechnical Engineering Student Chapter Receives Rising Star Award
Cal Poly’s student chapter of the California Geotechnical Engineers Association (CalGeo) received the Rising Star Award at the group’s annual conference, held May 1-3 in Newport Beach, Calif. The Cal Poly CalGeo Club was recognized for its outstanding program of meetings, tours, community service and events. Geotechnical engineering is a rapidly growing branch of civil engineering that applies the principles of soil and rock mechanics to structures on or in the ground, such as landfills, tunnels and foundations. For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.
Student-Powered Program Wins So Cal Competition to Reduce Water and Energy Usage in Student Dorms
Cal Poly’s chapter of the PowerSave Campus Program won a Southern California competition to reduce water and energy consumption on campus. The SoCal PowerSave League win is part of the 2014 Campus Conservation Nationals. Cal Poly had an average reduction of 2.9 percent, beating out UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly Pomona with reductions of .6 percent and .5 percent, respectively. For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.
Top Three Teams Awarded $30,000 in Innovation Quest Competition
The top teams were awarded $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000, respectively, for their entries in the 11th annual Innovation Quest (iQ) competition held Friday, May 16. Accuspine took first place with the concept of a low-cost medical device for the accurate placement of screws in spinal fusion surgeries. Hydrex took second for a wearable device that would monitor hydration levels through changes in tissue properties and alert the user. Tandemech Engineering took third with the concept of wall-climbing robotic devices for an easier, quicker, safer way to inspect large structures. For more, visit the Innovation Quest website.
Cal Poly Team’s Solar Panels Win Second Place at International Competition
An innovative approach to solar panels won a Cal Poly environmental engineering team second place at the International Environmental Design (IEE) Contest held in April at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces, N.M. The event brought together students from across the U.S. to develop technological solutions to environmental problems. Cal Poly’s team was recognized for its design of floating solar panels for a hypothetical copper mining operation in the southwestern U.S. It also picked up an innovation prize for energy efficiency. For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.
Graphic Communication Students Win First in Packaging Challenge
Cal Poly graphic communication students won first place at the Phoenix Challenge Flexo Packaging Competition on April 26. The competition was sponsored by the Phoenix Challenge Foundation to encourage high school and college students to explore opportunities in the flexographic printing industry. For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.
Cal Poly Student Receives Engineering Education Award
Materials engineering senior Matthew Vance received the Undergraduate Student Award from the Pacific Southwest section of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) at its regional conference held in Long Beach, Calif. For more, visit the Cal Poly News website.
Cal Poly Places in Top Seven Percent Nationwide at Prestigious Math Competition
Results were released for the 2013 Putnam Math Competition, and Cal Poly placed an impressive 36th out of 557 schools participating. This is Cal Poly's second top 50 finish in three years on the notoriously difficult annual exam taken by undergraduates. To put it in perspective, out of a possible 120 points, the median score for the 2013 exam was one point. Read more about the Putnam Competition.
Cal Poly Team Showcases Alternative Flame Retardant at Innovators Conference
Two Cal Poly students showcased their idea for an alternative flame retardant at last month’s National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) in Silicon Valley. The team presented an environmentally friendly, cost-effective alternative to the recently banned flame retardant HBCD. The product exceeds all current and proposed fire safety regulations and is safe enough to eat, said one of the inventors. Read more.
Civil Engineering Senior Takes Part in Clinton Global Initiative University
Cal Poly civil engineering senior Chao Yang participated in the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), where college students worked to turn ideas into actions. The event, led by former President Bill Clinton, was held March 21-23 at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Read more about the CGI U and participants.
Agribusiness Students Win National Marketing Competition
A team of Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences students won this year’s national marketing competition hosted by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA). The students spent the last several months conducting market research, writing a marketing plan, and developing a presentation for the marketing of high-end produce. See Cal Poly News for more.
Society of Civil Engineers Wins Distinguished Chapter Award
Cal Poly’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter has been awarded the 2014 Distinguished Chapter Award for Region 9 and was named a Robert Ridgway Award Finalist. The Distinguished Chapter award is made annually to the most outstanding student organization in the region. For more, see the CENG website.
Journalism Student Winner of Generation Next Competition
Cal Poly journalism student Kyle McCarty was named one of three winners of the Entertainment Industry Council’s (EIC) Generation Next competition. Selected from a pool of more than 100 submissions statewide, 12 semifinalists in three categories were chosen to further develop their projects, from which three winners were announced. See Cal Poly News for more.
Student Body President Wins Award of Distinction from Interfraternity Conference
Cal Poly Associated Students Inc. President Jason Colombini won an Undergraduate Award of Distinction from the North-American Interfraternity Conference for outstanding contributions. The award was given to acknowledge the hard work of individuals and chapters to improve the Greek experience across the nation. See Cal Poly News for more.
Business Student Named University Innovation Fellow by NSF-Funded Epicenter
Cal Poly business administration freshman Nicholas Sinai was one of 66 university students from across the U.S. selected to be a University Innovation Fellow by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). See Cal Poly News for more.
Engineering Students Win Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Regional Competition
A multidisciplinary team of Cal Poly engineering students won the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) competition sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The contest challenged students to design, build and fly a radio-controlled air vehicle capable of maneuvering through obstacles on a small course and dropping a payload on a target within the allotted five minutes, simulating a hypothetical UAV firefighting mission. See Cal Poly News for more.
Concrete Canoe Sweeps the Competition
The Cal Poly Concrete Canoe Team swept the concrete canoe competition at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Pacific South West Regional Conference. See Cal Poly News for more.
Mustang News Brings Home Top Honors from College Newspaper Business and Advertising Convention
Mustang News, Cal Poly’s student-run integrated newsroom, won numerous top honors at the College Newspaper Business and Advertising Managers (CNBAM) convention in categories that included Marketing/Public Relations Manager of the Year, Designer of the Year and Ad Rep of the Year. See Cal Poly News for more.
Business Students Win Regional Ernst & Young Case Competition
A team of Cal Poly students from the Orfalea College of Business took first place at the recent EY (Ernst and Young) Beam Abroad Case Competition. The EY Beam Abroad Case Competition is intended for students with an interest in information technology and accounting. Students must demonstrate an understanding of domestic and international accounting issues and global markets. The teams are given a week to prepare their presentations, which they give to a panel of EY judges. See Cal Poly News for more.
NASA Selects Outstanding Cal Poly Aerospace Engineering Senior as Student Ambassador
Samantha Rawlins, a Cal Poly aerospace engineering senior, is among an elite group of interns inducted into NASA’s Student Ambassadors Virtual Community (NSAVC). The new inductees were nominated by NASA managers and mentors based on the students’ internship performance and involvement in other NASA-related activities. See Cal Poly News for more.
Mustang News Garners 20 National and State Awards
Mustang News, Cal Poly Journalism Department’s student-run integrated newsroom, received national and state recognition with 20 awards from the Associated Collegiate Press and the California College Media Association. See Cal Poly News for more.
Finance Students Win Local CFA Institute Research Challenge
An interdisciplinary team of business students won the local CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute Research Challenge. The competing teams were charged with analyzing and making buy/sell/hold recommendations for a selected company. The initiative promotes best practices in equity research among the next generation of analysts through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills. See Cal Poly News for more.
Mustang Marching Band Selected to Perform in Chinese New Year Parade
The Cal Poly Mustang Band has been invited to participate in the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade on Feb. 15. Started in the 1860s by the Chinese community in San Francisco to educate and share their culture with the greater community, the parade and festival have grown to be the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia. The parade was named one of the Top 10 Parades in the world by the International Festivals and Events Association. See Cal Poly News for more.
Cal Poly Float Wins Crown City Innovation Trophy at 2014 Rose Parade
The float co-constructed by students from Cal Poly and California State Polytechnic University in Pomona received the Crown City Innovation Trophy at the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade held New Year’s Day. The Cal Poly float, “Bedtime Buccaneers,” depicts children, pets and stuffed animals playing on a bed-turned-pirate-ship, and featured something never before seen at the Rose Parade: a system for making the flowers themselves move, creating a ripple effect on panels of the blue flowers on the front and back of the float representing water around the “ship.” This system was conceived, designed and built from the ground up by students in the Mustang 60 lab at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Visit the Cal Poly News website for more.
Cal Poly’s Newest CubeSat Part of Atlas V Launch
Cal Poly’s eighth small satellite or “CubeSat” designed and built by students launched into space Dec. 5 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Now in orbit, the CubeSat is carrying five low-resolution cameras that might help NASA achieve its larger vision for satellite imagery. Called IPEX (Intelligent Payload Experiment), the satellite was sponsored by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). See Cal Poly News for more.
Women Engineers Awarded Gold for 10th Time
With the theme, “Make connections, make history,” the recent Society of Women Engineers (SWE) National Conference helped Cal Poly make some history of its own. For the 10th time since 2002 and the third year in a row, the Cal Poly chapter received the Outstanding Collegiate Section Gold Award. See Cal Poly News for more.
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 Entrepreneurship 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.
Construction Management Teams Take Top Honors in National Competition
Two Cal Poly Construction Management teams took top awards in the national open category of the recent Associated Schools of Construction Region 3 student competition. The Electrical Team took first, and the Preconstruction Team came in second. See Cal Poly News for more.
Cal Poly Places First and Second at AIAA Design Competition
Cal Poly aerospace seniors won first- and second-place awards in the 2012-13 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation (AIAA) Undergraduate Team Aircraft Design competition in early September. The winning entries extend more than a decade of remarkable Cal Poly finishes in this competition, considered the most prestigious national collegiate contest in the aeronautical engineering design industry. The Cal Poly teams won for their designs of a regional-sized commercial airliner powered by hybrid electric propulsion and advanced modular batteries. For more, see the CENG website.
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.
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, go to Cal Poly News.
Cal Poly Lambda Chi Alpha Chapter Wins Top Award at National Fraternity’s Conference
The Phi-Sigma chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity at California Polytechnic State University won the 2013 Grand High Alpha Award at the fraternity’s annual Stead Leadership Seminar. For more information, go to Cal Poly News.
Cal Poly Journalism Students Win Mark Twain Award
Cal Poly broadcast journalism students Ed Zuchelli and Lindsay Macleod were awarded the Mark Twain Award from the Associated Press Television and Radio Association in the Student TV category Best General News. For more information, go to Cal Poly News.
Cal Poly Places First in Design at National Concrete Canoe Competition
Cal Poly’s concrete canoe took first place in design for the fifth year in a row at the National Concrete Canoe Competition held June 20-22 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill. The event, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, drew 23 collegiate teams from across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Cal Poly’s winning design, combined with some fast paddling, won the team a strong fourth-place overall showing, which marks the school’s eighth consecutive year in the top five. For more information, go to Cal Poly News.
Cal Poly Team Wins International Vehicle Safety Technology Design Competition in Seoul, South 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 Seoul, South Korea. The student team 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 information, go to Cal Poly News.
Cal Poly Students Succeed at Statewide CSU Research Competition
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 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.
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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.
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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.
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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