Campus: Northridge -- January 19, 2006
Alum Creates Endowment for Entrepreneurship in CSUN's College of Engineering
Engineering alumnus Robert S. Behl, a biomedical innovator and entrepreneur, has created a $25,000 faculty endowment for entrepreneurship in Cal State Northridge's College of Engineering and Computer Science--seed money for entrepreneurial efforts in the college.
The Robert S. Behl Faculty Award of Entrepreneurship Education Endowment will help faculty members in the college obtain knowledge and skills required to further their understanding of entrepreneurship. It will advance entrepreneurship education and training in the college, university officials said.
"Mr. Behl is a serial inventor and entrepreneur," said S.T. Mau, dean of the college. "He is always looking towards the future. He is the first to promote entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and to establish a mechanism with funding to advance it. His gift helps to continue the college's progress in to the future."
Behl, who earned his bachelor's degree in engineering from CSUN in 1969, said he hopes his gift will serve as a stimulus to help the faculty leverage additional donations and grants to create a "definitive entrepreneurial program" within the college.
"I had been making some noise for a while that the college needed some more entrepreneurial focus, and I guess it was time I put a little bit of money where my mouth was," Behl said.
Behl, who also has a master's in biomedical engineering from USC and an MBA in finance and economics from William Simon Graduate School of Management, holds 22 U.S. patents for medical devices. He is the founder of several medical device companies that have developed products for use in surgical, oncologic and vascular applications.
Behl currently serves as chief executive office and chairman of the board of Percutaneous Systems, Inc., a company focused on treatment of kidney stones and other urologic problems. He is a member of Life Science Angels, an investment group that focuses solely on biotechnology and medical device companies, and serves as a founding board member of Guided Delivery Systems, a pioneering cardiology company.
Last year, Behl served as the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences' commencement speaker. At that time, he advised the graduates to find jobs they really love, make a major effort to find out what their customer's problems and needs really are and to "think outside of the box." He added that he expected the graduates to "make some very positive changes to this world."
Mechanical engineering professor Nhut Tan Ho, who advises The Entrepreneurship Club in the college, said Behl's gift will go toward fostering an environment in engineering and computer science in which students think beyond just getting a job after graduation, but instead dream of becoming business and research pioneers who can affect the world.
"Our goal is for our students to become leaders, not just engineers," Ho said. "It's very clear that for our country to stay ahead we need to develop innovators, creative thinkers and entrepreneurs. Mr. Behl's gift is a step toward helping CSUN continue to move in that direction."
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