Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- September 24, 2001

Cal State L.A. Receives Support Program Awards from the U.S. Department of Defense

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has recently announced the granting of Infrastructure Support Program Awards to two faculty members from California State University, Los Angeles. The grants will enhance programs and capabilities in scientific disciplines critical to national security and the DoD.

Sonsoles de Lacalle (Los Angeles-90024), assistant professor of Biology and Microbiology, will receive $105,000 from the Army Research Office for her instrumentation proposal, "Acquisition of a Fluorescence Microscope and Related Instruments to Set-up a Core Resource for Research and Teaching." This facility will fulfill a double purpose: it will address the research needs of several faculty members in the Department of Biology and Microbiology at Cal State L.A. (such as the acquisition and analysis of images from cell culture, through a high resolution microscope and digital camera, and the generation of publication-ready prints) and will also meet instructional needs, allowing new laboratory exercises in the Cell Biology curriculum (for example, the demonstration of changes in gene expression using fluorescent probes) and in the Biotechnology Certificate classes.

An award of $800,000 from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research will be granted to Majdedin Mirmirani (Rancho Palos Verdes), professor of Mechanical Engineering, to support his research on "Multidisciplinary Anaylsis and Control of High Performance Air Vehicles." The project will establish a Flight Dynamics and Control Testbed where multidisciplinary research will be conducted to develop advanced control laws for high-performance air vehicles. The testbed will be an integrated computer simulation environment to facilitate development and testing of these controllers. Robust, adaptive multivariable feedback control techniques, neural networks, and reconfigurable control designs will be developed and tested using complex aircraft models. The Unites States Air Force Advisory Board in its report has identified high-performance air technology including hypersonic vehicles as the key to preparedness and technological superiority essential to national security in the 21st century. Therefore, the research is of immediate interest to the Air Force, NASA, and the aerospace industry.

To accomplish the objectives of the project, Cal State L.A. has formed a coalition with USC, and two aerospace companies, Boeing and BAE SYSTES (former Lear Astronics Lear Jet). In addition to Professor Mirmirani, two Cal State L.A. professors, Helen Boussalis of Electrical Engineering, and Chivey Wu of Mechanical Engineering, as well as Professor Petros Ioannou of USC will be collaborating on this project. The project will build on the considerable experience and expertise of these investigators gained in the past few years by working on several research projects funded by NASA in the areas of flight dynamics, control of large flexible structures, and multidisciplinary design optimization.

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