Achieving Excellence
at California State University, Chico

Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management

Hands-On Science Event for Schoolchildren

The College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construciton Management (ECC) sponsored the third annual Minds in Motion event in April, 2004. More than 4,000 schoolchildren, along with their teachers and parents, came to campus for hands-on competitions and learning in math and science. Several hundred students, faculty, and staff volunteers assisted with the activities.

Investing in Construction Management

In May 2005, the California State License Board presented the Department of Construction Management with $67,000, the initial gift in a new effort to invest in universities to benefit the state’s construction industry. With 520 majors, Chico’s construction management department is the largest in the CSU system and the fifth largest in the country. Construction management also received a leadership award and a $30,000 grant from the Construction Employers’ Association to assess the program’s curriculum in light of construction company priorities.

Student Society of Women Engineers Honored

The CSU, Chico student section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) was awarded the 2005 Outstanding Student Section award for Region A. The region includes 14 universities, including UC Davis, Stanford, and UC Berkeley. The students organized and hosted the SWE regional conference, developed mentoring relationships between lower-division and upper-division female engineering students, and participated in several K–12 outreach events. Their main goal is to support women as they pursue degrees in engineering and computer science. Professor Tonya Emerson is the group’s advisor.

Plastics Lab is State-of-the-Art

ECC received grants in 2005 for the Plastics Laboratory of approximately $1 million from the Departments of Labor and Education. Dean Kenneth Derucher and Joe Greene, director of the polymer manufacturing program, are the principle investigators. The program was upgraded in 2004 with $400,000 of new machinery and $100,000 of renovation. “The new lab provides state-of-the-art training for students,” said Greene.

Engineering Scholar/Athlete

Maija Panttaja, who majored in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics, was the 2005 Outstanding Engineering student. Panttaja is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Honor Society, Golden Key International, and a member of the CSU, Chico University Leaders honors society. In addition to her scholastic achievements, Panttaja played the trombone in concert band, and she was captain of the record-setting women’s basketball team. Upon graduation, she started working for CH2M Hill as a mechanical engineer.

Outstanding Graduate Lands Power Job

Carena Tate, MESA engineering student, was named “Outstanding Black Female Graduate” at the Black Commencement Ceremony, 2005. Tate received a National Science Foundation Scholarship, interned at Duke Nuclear Power Plant in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is now employed by the plant as a civil engineer.

Engineering Professor Collaborates Worldwide

Electrical and computer engineer Roy Crosbie obtained $2 million in grant funds over the last four years. Among his projects are a $75,000 grant with the University of South Carolina and the University of Glasgow, Scotland, to create multi-rate simulations of underwater vehicles, and three student exchanges with Canadian, Mexican, and European universities.

NSF Grant Funds Intelligent Systems Lab

Computer scientists Benjoe Juliano and Renee Renner and mechatronic engineer Ramesh Varahamurti were awarded a $346,000 NSF grant to start an Intelligent Systems Laboratory and to partially fund a summer robotics camp for junior high school girls for three years. Successful camps were held in the summers of 2004 and 2005 for 12 junior high school girls.

Animation Project Wins Best of Show

The CSU Media Arts Festival 2004 winner was “Potty Break” by Todd Jansen. This is the fourth time students from CSU, Chico have won Best of Show. Chico has also won best animation eight out of the 13 years since the competition began. Rick Vertolli, Instructional Media Center and the Department of Computer Science, is the instructor of the animation class where the short was created.



For Additional Information

CSU, Chico
Admissions Office

The College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology

O'Connell Technology Center 410