Campus: CSU Long Beach -- September 19, 2001

DENSO North America Foundation Awards 1-Year, $34,000 Grant to College of Engineering at California State University, Long Beach

The DENSO North America Foundation has awarded a $34,000 grant to the College of Engineering at California State University, Long Beach for a project that will enhance its manufacturing and mechanical engineering programs and better prepare students for the California workforce.

The funds will be used to purchase a portable coordinate measuring machine (CMM), a flexible measuring device that is essential for use in reverse engineering applications and as a calibration instrument to measure gauges. The grant will also support senior design projects for as many as 30 students for each of the next two semesters.

"With the ever-changing technologies and global challenges, it is even more critical that students work with modern equipment similar to that used in industry," explained Michael Mahoney, dean for the College of Engineering and the principal investigator for the newly funded project. "They should also be afforded the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills through competition and project development. This grant will help us do both."

The CMM is widely used in the manufacturing industry, and most schools offering courses and labs in quality control have this machine. It is capable of providing highly accurate dimensional information along three mutually perpendicular axes, and it is used to check the dimensions on mold cavities, die assemblies and other work holding or tool positioning devices.

A senior design project is required of all mechanical engineering majors for graduation. This includes the conceptual design, drawings, manufacturing and assembly of the final product or prototype. Project results are presented in a final, formal report followed by an oral technical presentation to a peer group. Some of the projects from past semesters include a golf ball feeder, a snowboard boot, a camera stabilization system, a human-powered boat, a low-speed wind tunnel, a two-truss rod system for guitars and an electro-hydraulic jackstand.

Funds to support these senior projects are extremely limited. In the past, some students have come up with concepts and/or designs, but the funds were not available to support them in carrying out their projects. When this happens, the students must return to the beginning and design another project. This grant, however, will allow most, if not all, of these projects to be completed.

The DENSO Corporation is the fourth largest automotive supplier in the world. It supplies advanced technology, systems and components to all major carmakers. Globally, the firm employs 85,000 people in 27 countries and regions, including 485 employees at DENSO Sales California, Inc., located in Long Beach.

"DENSO is known worldwide for its technology and its manufacturing quality," said Tony Takeuchi, advisor to the DENSO North America Foundation and president and CEO of DENSO International America. "Because new technology contributes to economic growth, DENSO has always supported technological advancement through R&D and production-process improvements. This grant was a natural fit for our foundation's support efforts."

The DENSO North America Foundation, funded by DENSO International America, provides grants to institutions of higher education with an emphasis on engineering, technology and business. It also provides grants to the American Red Cross to offer aid to persons and communities in distress due to the impact of national disasters in North American locations where DENSO operates.

Proposals are considered from universities and higher education institutions throughout North America. Eligible projects include capital campaign support, scholarship programs, undergraduate research and student projects.


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