Updated: SJSU Students Take Home Three Awards at CSU Competition

On April 26 and 27, a dozen San Jose State University students competed for top honors at the 33rd Annual California State University Student Research Competition at CSU Fullerton, with SJSU competitors brining home two first place finishes and one second place prize in their categories. In true Spartan spirit, each of the student projects aimed to do some greater good– through improving fuel efficiency of aircrafts; converting greenhouse gases to liquid fuels; and creating chatbot tutors in support of student success.

Sarah Ortega, ’18 Aerospace Engineering, placed first in the category of Engineering and Computer Science, graduate level; Vanshika Gupta, a student in the College of Science placed first in the category of Physical Sciences and Mathematics, undergraduate level; and Sambhav Gupta, a student in the Lucas College of Business placed second in the category of Business, Economics and Public Administration for graduate and undergraduate level.

Ortega presented her research on designing a short to medium range hybrid transport aircraft that would use batteries as part of its fuel source. She worked closely with faculty advisor, Professor and Chair of Aerospace Engineering Nikos Mourtos.

“I knew there were electric aircraft, but current battery capabilities are limited,” she said. “I wanted to design a jet transport aircraft. I also knew I wanted to design something that could be feasible in the next decade or two, so we decided on a hybrid.”

She met regularly with Mourtos and also took an aircraft design class.

Vanshika Gupta, ’20 biochemistry, worked with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Madlyn Radlauer on her project “Investigating Macromolecular Structures for the Transformation of Greenhouse Gases into Liquid Fuels.” She has presented her research at the College of Science Research Day and as part of the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology conference in 2019.

Vanshika said she joined Radlauer’s research team during her first semester at SJSU.

“Dr. Radlauer trained me on the different instruments and polymerization techniques necessary for our projects,” she said. “For the competition in particular, she guided me in my presentation. I performed multiple runs in front of her and she advised me on improvements.”

The biochemistry student said she especially appreciated the opportunity to learn about the research projects that students from other CSU campuses presented.

“Since I started at SJSU in fall 2017, I have had the great pleasure of working with SJSU students in both the classroom and laboratory,” Radlauer said. “My research students are amazing and because each one of them comes to science via their own path, there is a wealth of perspective and experience in the group. I’m so proud to see them succeeding and sharing that success with one another.”

Sambhav Gupta, ’20 Business concentration in corporate accounting and finance, received second place for his project, “Artificially Intelligent (AI) Tutors in the Classroom: A Need Assessment Study of Designing Chatbots to Support Student Success.” Sambhav Gupta worked with Assistant Professor in the School of Information Systems and Technology Yu Chen on his project.

“There are advisors, and then there are mentors,” he said. “Dr. Yu Chen has helped me grow in both my academic career and as a person as well since I started working with her on this project back in October 2018.”

In February, the three CSU competition winners first presented their projects to a panel of judges as part of SJSU’s Student Research Competition. The students were selected along with nine others to represent the university at the systemwide event. At the SJSU Celebration of Research on April 23, the SJSU finalists were recognized in front of a crowd of students, faculty and staff.

City of San Jose Offers Commendation to SJSU TechEd Team

San Jose city officials presented a commendation to San Jose State University students and faculty members for their work with NASA Ames' technology education satellite program, following the successful launch of their latest satellite in January. At Council Chambers at City Hall in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. ( Josie Lepe/San Jose State University )

San Jose city officials presented a commendation to San Jose State University students and faculty members for their work with NASA Ames’ technology education satellite program, following the successful launch of their latest satellite in January. At Council Chambers at City Hall in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. ( Josie Lepe/San Jose State University )

City of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilmember Raul Peralez offered a commendation at their February 26 council meeting to San Jose State University Aerospace Engineering professors and students for their ongoing collaboration with NASA Ames Research Center on the Technology Education Satellite Program. In partnership with NASA, the most recent satellite was launched from the International Space Station in January.

“You may have caught it in the news and it sparked my interest,” said San Jose Councilmember Raul Peralez, an SJSU alumnus, during the presentation. “I want to show recognition for my alma mater.”

He and the mayor invited students and professors to the front of the council chambers to receive the commendation.

“We are like a family with eight generations,” said Aerospace Engineering Professor Periklis Papadopoulos. “Students graduate and go on to power the Aerospace industry.”

Read a story about the launch online.

Disney finalists

SJSU Team Named a Finalist in Disney Competition

Disney finalists

Zaid Karajeh, Dondel Briones, Amanda Sharpe and Simone Getty (courtesy of Zaid Karajeh).

Contacts:
Pat Harris, SJSU, 408-924-1748
Frank Reifsnyder, Walt Disney Imagineering, 818-544-2142
Tim Choy, Peter Goldman, Davidson & Choy Publicity, 323-954-7510

San Jose, CA–A San Jose State student team has been named one of six finalists in Walt Disney Imagineering’s 24th Imaginations competition.

From the art to the engineering, it was all amazing work,” said Zaid Karajeh, ’16 Aerospace Engineering.

Contestants were asked to imagine a Disney transportation experience, including station/stops and vehicle designs that reflect the diversity of the city, and are accessible, energy-friendly, and fun.

Interdisciplinary

In the beginning, Karajeh had one teammate: Dondel Briones, ’16 Aerospace Engineering. But they soon realized “we would need someone to bring our concepts to life,” Karajeh said.

Amanda Sharpe, ’15 Animation and Illustration, added an artist’s touch, and brought along Simone Getty, ’16 Mechanical Engineering, who applied her expertise.

The SJSU team proposed Aether, a breathtaking journey lifting passengers above Toronto to transport them to commuter and tourist destinations.

While onboard, guests are entertained by 3-D projected artificial intelligence tour-guides, smart glass projections, interactive seat-backs, and automated photo stops, all of which provide for a unique experience immersed in the imaginative realm known as steampunk.

“The project could not have been possible without those three,” Karajeh said. “Their hard work and dedication is what made Aether standout to Disney.”

Dream internship

Walt Disney Imagineering is the design and development arm of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. With Imaginations, the company seeks out and nurtures the next generation of diverse Imagineers.

The other finalists are from Art Center College of Design, Drexel University, Ringling College of Art + Design, Texas Tech University, and University of Nevada, Reno.

All will receive a five-day, all-expense-paid trip to Glendale, Calif., where they will present their project to Imagineering executives and take part in an awards ceremony on Jan. 31.

The top three teams will be awarded cash prizes, with the first place team receiving $3,000. An additional $1,000 grant will be awarded to the first place team, to be equally divided among its sponsoring universities and/or organizations.

Finalists will also have an opportunity to meet and network with Imagineers, go behind the scenes where Disney magic is created, and interview for paid internships during their visit.

“Regardless of the outcome, I hope my teammates and I get the internships!” Karajeh said.

About San Jose State

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

About Imaginations 

The projects and concepts presented are not necessarily intended to be built by Disney – they are a way for the entrants to demonstrate their skills and creative abilities. In consideration for the opportunities provided by Imagineering, submissions become the sole property of Walt Disney Imagineering and Imagineering retains all rights to use and/or display the submissions and the materials contained in them.

SJSU Satellite Launches From International Space Station

SJSU Satellite Launches From International Space Station

SJSU Satellite Launches From International Space Station

With NASA support, a team of SJSU aerospace engineering students worked on a cube satellite called TechEdSat, part of a group of cube satellites that were deployed from the International Space Station, October 4. An Expedition 33 crew member aboard the ISS captured this image of deployment.

Posted by NASA Oct. 4, 2012.

NASA engineers, student interns and amateur radio enthusiasts around the world are listening for signals from a small, cube-shaped satellite launched into orbit from the International Space Station Thursday.

The satellite, dubbed “TechEdSat,” was released at 11:44 a.m. EDT from the new Japanese Small Satellite Orbital Deployer aboard the space station.

TechEdSat measures about 4 inches (10 centimeters) on a side and carries a ham radio transmitter. It was developed by a group of student interns from the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering with mentoring and support from staff at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. TechEdSat arrived at the space station aboard the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle July 21 and the station’s Expedition 33 crew processed it for launch.

“TechEdSat will evaluate plug-and-play technologies, like avionics designed by commercial providers, and will allow a group of very talented aerospace engineering students from San Jose State University to experience a spaceflight project from formulation through decommission of a small spacecraft,” said Ames Director S. Pete Worden.

TechEdSat’s mission showcases collaboration among NASA, academia and industry to set the standard for future endeavors with small satellites known as Cubesats.

TechEdSat is funded by Ames and NASA’s Space Technology Program. The total cost was less than $30,000 because engineers used only commercial off-the-shelf hardware and simplified the design and mission objectives.

Watch an SJSU video profiling a recent graduate who worked on the project. 

For more about TechEdSat, visit SJSU’s site about the mission.

For more about Ames Research Center.

For more information about NASA education programs.

Spartans at Work: NASA Ames

Where will an SJSU degree take you? We hit the road to find out, visiting summer interns and recent grads on the job in the Bay Area and beyond. Our video series continues with Ali Guarneros Luna, ’10 ’12 Aerospace Engineering. She is a systems engineer at NASA Ames Research Center. Read more about her experience! http://bit.ly/sjsu-aluna-post

Cube Satellite Launches to International Space Station

By Sarah Kyo, Web Communications Specialist

TechEdSat, a NASA-sponsored cube satellite that SJSU aerospace engineering students have worked on, launched from Japan to the International Space Station.

NASA TV began its live-stream coverage on Friday, July 20, 6:15 p.m. PDT. Then 7:06 p.m. was the official launch of the Japanese transfer vehicle, which contains TechEdSat and four other cube satellites from international universities and organizations.

“Cubesats have been around, but this is the first ever deployed from the space station, thus it has to meet all the ISS requirements,” said Professor Periklis Papadopoulos, who also works at NASA Ames Research Center and served as a technical advisor on the project. “This has not been done before. Some of those requirements we had to help them define since there was no precedence.”

Normally, projects that are sent to the International Space Station take four and a half years to complete, said graduate student and system engineer Ali Guarneros Luna, but TechEdSat was completed in about nine months. The student team was responsible for designing and integrating the cube satellite’s system, as well as performing various tests and making sure it passed the standards of both the International Space Station and NASA.

In a NASA news release, Andres Martinez, program manager for Small Spacecraft Payloads and Technologies at Ames, said TechEdSat “will allow a group of very talented aerospace engineering students from San Jose State University to experience a spaceflight project from formulation through decommission of a small spacecraft.”

If this mission is successful, then it may lead to future cube satellites with a similar communication system.

Spartans at Work: At NASA Ames, "I'm Pursuing My Childhood Dream"

Spartans at Work: At NASA Ames, “I’m Pursuing My Childhood Dream”

By Sarah Kyo, Web Communications Specialist

(This summer, SJSU Today hits the road, visiting students and recent grads on the job across the country and around the world. Our Spartans at Work series continues with aerospace engineering graduate Ali Guarneros Luna.)

Where will an SJSU degree take you? How about beyond the Earth’s atmosphere? While Ali Guarneros Luna, ’10, ’12 Aerospace Engineering, has her feet on the ground as a systems engineer for NASA Ames Research Center, she has been involved in projects that have made it to outer space.

Guarneros Luna lead an SJSU student team that worked on the cube satellite, TechEdSat, one of five cube satellites, or cubesats, being transported to the International Space Station. A transfer vehicle containing the cubesats, additional experiments and supplies launched from Japan at 7:06 p.m. PDT July 20. TechEdSat is the first NASA cube satellite that will orbit the earth after being launched from the International Space Station.

Becoming an aerospace engineer was a childhood dream for Guarneros Luna, who grew up in Mexico.

“I read something, I saw something on TV when I was probably five or seven years old, and it just impacted me,” she said.

She earned her current job after interning at NASA Ames during her last year of undergraduate studies, where she made connections with SJSU faculty members who also worked at that research center.

“I was just lucky enough that … San Jose State University gave me the opportunity to pursue the dream that I had when I was growing up,” she said.

group shot of team with model airplane

Aerospace Engineering Students Score First Place at Design/Build/Fly Competition

group shot of team with model airplane

From left to right, Aircraft Design Instructor Gonzalo Mendoza, Thomas Zumsteg, Chao Lao, Rahul Bhanushali, Norman Romero, Norio Eda, Aaron Crosby, Tung Dao and Joel Horst.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Neither a tornado (yes, a tornado!) nor equally fierce competition from 67 other teams representing the best engineering colleges in the nation kept San Jose State from scoring first place in the 2012 Cessna Aircraft Company/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Design/Build/Fly Competition Flyoff April 13-15 in Wichita, Kansas.

“Our students are to be congratulated for their excellent design skills, their creativity as well as their communication skills (second best report in the competition),” wrote Professor and Director of the Aerospace Engineering Program Nikos J. Mourtos. “Many kudos go also to Gonzalo Mendoza, our own alumnus, who coached our team to victory.  We are very lucky to have him!”

Here’s more from David Levy, who shared the following report on behalf of the Design/Build/Fly Competition Flyoff Governing Committee.

***

The 2012 Cessna Aircraft Company/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Design/Build/Fly Competition Flyoff was held at Cessna East Field in Wichita, KS on the weekend of April 13-15, 2012. This was the 16th year the competition was held. A total of 68 teams submitted written reports to be judged. At least 57 teams attended the flyoff, 54 of which completed the technical inspection. Approximately 500 students, faculty, and guests were present. Attendance was down this year due to a new rule limiting universities to a single team, however, the quality of the teams, their readiness to compete, and the execution of the flights was extremely high.

The primary design objectives for this year were performance based:
Mission 1 was scored on the number of laps which could be flown in 4 minutes, so speed was important
Mission 2 simulated carrying a specified passenger load for three laps, testing load-carrying ability.
Mission 3 measured airplane time to climb with a two-liter water payload.

Total flight score was the sum of the three mission flight scores. As usual, the total score is the product of the flight score and written report score, divided by airplane empty weight. More details can be found at the competition website: http://www.aiaadbf.org

This year the flyoff was affected by significant weather events. Flights were suspended Saturday at 12:45 p.m. by high winds, and when they did not subside by 2 p.m. activities were terminated for the day. That night, a severe storm cell hit southeast Wichita and a tornado passed approximately ¼ mile from Cessna East Field. The hangar escaped damage – except for the food vendor trailer which was flipped – but downed power lines forced closure of the road to the site and prevented normal access. It was determined that the flyoff could not continue and a recovery plan was implemented to provide access through the main Cessna plant for teams to recover their property. We are all thankful that none of the teams experienced any property loss, and also that there weren’t serious injuries to any of the Wichita population.

Despite this unprecedented weather event, two complete rotations through the flight queue were completed, and there were ten attempts at a third flight. By unanimous consensus of the DBF Organizing Committee, it was ruled that the winners of the competition would be based on the scores from the two complete rotations. This was considered the most fair, as the overwhelming majority of teams did not get an opportunity for a third attempt.

First place is awarded to San Jose State University: Team PhalanX, with the second highest report score, excellent flight scores, and second lowest RAC. Second place goes to University of California at Irvine: Angel of Attack, and third place to University of Colorado: H2BuffalO. It
should also be noted that Colorado and Irvine were the only two teams to complete all three missions, even though the third score ultimately was not used. This is a testament to their readiness to fly and to their final execution of the missions. Finally, special mention goes to Wichita State University for the highest report score at 96.50 (WSU also had the low RAC at 1.72 lb). The complete standings are listed in the table below.

We owe our thanks for the success of the DBF competition to the efforts of many volunteers from Cessna Aircraft, the Raytheon Missile Systems, and the AIAA sponsoring technical committees (Applied Aerodynamics, Aircraft Design, Flight Test, and Design Engineering). These volunteers collectively set the rules for the contest, publicize the event, gather entries, judge the written reports, and organize the flyoff. Thanks also go to the Corporate Sponsors: Cessna Aircraft, Raytheon Missile Systems, and the AIAA Foundation for their financial support. Special thanks go to Cessna Aircraft for hosting the flyoff this year.

Finally, this event would not be nearly as successful without the hard work and enthusiasm from all the students and advisors. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t keep doing it.

Aerospace Engineering Students Score First Place

group shot of team with model airplane

From left to right, Aircraft Design Instructor Gonzalo Mendoza, Thomas Zumsteg, Chao Lao, Rahul Bhanushali, Norman Romero, Norio Eda, Aaron Crosby, Tung Dao and Joel Horst.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Neither a tornado (yes, a tornado!) nor equally fierce competition from 67 other teams representing the best engineering colleges in the nation kept San Jose State from scoring first place in the 2012 Cessna Aircraft Company/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Design/Build/Fly Competition Flyoff April 13-15 in Wichita, Kansas.

“Our students are to be congratulated for their excellent design skills, their creativity as well as their communication skills (second best report in the competition),” wrote Professor and Director of the Aerospace Engineering Program Nikos J. Mourtos. “Many kudos go also to Gonzalo Mendoza, our own alumnus, who coached our team to victory.  We are very lucky to have him!”

Here’s more from David Levy, who shared the following report on behalf of the Design/Build/Fly Competition Flyoff Governing Committee.

***

The 2012 Cessna Aircraft Company/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Design/Build/Fly Competition Flyoff was held at Cessna East Field in Wichita, KS on the weekend of April 13-15, 2012. This was the 16th year the competition was held. A total of 68 teams submitted written reports to be judged. At least 57 teams attended the flyoff, 54 of which completed the technical inspection. Approximately 500 students, faculty, and guests were present. Attendance was down this year due to a new rule limiting universities to a single team, however, the quality of the teams, their readiness to compete, and the execution of the flights was extremely high.

The primary design objectives for this year were performance based:
Mission 1 was scored on the number of laps which could be flown in 4 minutes, so speed was important
Mission 2 simulated carrying a specified passenger load for three laps, testing load-carrying ability.
Mission 3 measured airplane time to climb with a two-liter water payload.

Total flight score was the sum of the three mission flight scores. As usual, the total score is the product of the flight score and written report score, divided by airplane empty weight. More details can be found at the competition website: http://www.aiaadbf.org

This year the flyoff was affected by significant weather events. Flights were suspended Saturday at 12:45 p.m. by high winds, and when they did not subside by 2 p.m. activities were terminated for the day. That night, a severe storm cell hit southeast Wichita and a tornado passed approximately ¼ mile from Cessna East Field. The hangar escaped damage – except for the food vendor trailer which was flipped – but downed power lines forced closure of the road to the site and prevented normal access. It was determined that the flyoff could not continue and a recovery plan was implemented to provide access through the main Cessna plant for teams to recover their property. We are all thankful that none of the teams experienced any property loss, and also that there weren’t serious injuries to any of the Wichita population.

Despite this unprecedented weather event, two complete rotations through the flight queue were completed, and there were ten attempts at a third flight. By unanimous consensus of the DBF Organizing Committee, it was ruled that the winners of the competition would be based on the scores from the two complete rotations. This was considered the most fair, as the overwhelming majority of teams did not get an opportunity for a third attempt.

First place is awarded to San Jose State University: Team PhalanX, with the second highest report score, excellent flight scores, and second lowest RAC. Second place goes to University of California at Irvine: Angel of Attack, and third place to University of Colorado: H2BuffalO. It
should also be noted that Colorado and Irvine were the only two teams to complete all three missions, even though the third score ultimately was not used. This is a testament to their readiness to fly and to their final execution of the missions. Finally, special mention goes to Wichita State University for the highest report score at 96.50 (WSU also had the low RAC at 1.72 lb). The complete standings are listed in the table below.

We owe our thanks for the success of the DBF competition to the efforts of many volunteers from Cessna Aircraft, the Raytheon Missile Systems, and the AIAA sponsoring technical committees (Applied Aerodynamics, Aircraft Design, Flight Test, and Design Engineering). These volunteers collectively set the rules for the contest, publicize the event, gather entries, judge the written reports, and organize the flyoff. Thanks also go to the Corporate Sponsors: Cessna Aircraft, Raytheon Missile Systems, and the AIAA Foundation for their financial support. Special thanks go to Cessna Aircraft for hosting the flyoff this year.

Finally, this event would not be nearly as successful without the hard work and enthusiasm from all the students and advisors. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t keep doing it.