Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- December 04, 2002

Cal State L.A. Awarded Grant for NASA University Research Center

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has recently awarded California State University, Los Angeles’ College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology a $6 million, five-year grant to establish a University Research Center (URC) for the study of aerospace technology and space science enterprises. The Center, entitled “Structures, Propulsion, Aerospace and Control Engineering (SPACE),” is the first and only NASA URC established on a CSU campus.

The URC will combine the College’s SPACE (Structures, Pointing and Control Engineering) Lab with the Multidisciplinary Flight Dynamics and Control Lab (MFDC Lab) to conduct multidisciplinary research in eight areas, including intelligent flight control, unmanned air vehicles (UAV) autonomous control, virtual aircraft design, propulsion systems, space telescope technology, digital computation, and nonlinear modeling of complex structures.

In addition to research and development, the URC (new SPACE Center) program will devote significant resources to educational programs that increase the number of degrees awarded to students who have been underrepresented in NASA-related fields. Cal State L.A. will collaborate with the University of Southern California, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), Dryden Flight Research Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Boeing and TRW.

Kuei-wu Tsai, dean of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology at Cal State L.A. and a widely recognized engineering educator and leader, will serve as the principal investigator (PI) for the project. Using their combined multidisciplinary expertise in electrical and mechanical engineering, the senior co-PI’s—Helen Boussalis, chair and professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Maj Dean Mirmirani, chair and professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering—will be responsible for the development and operation of the Center. Boussalis and Mirmirani have worked successfully over the past eight years on three major research projects related to structures and controls supported by NASA, the Air Force and the National Science Foundation.

For more information, contact Teresa Hagen at (323) 343-4513 or e-mail:

Structures, Pointing and Control Engineering (SPACE) Lab
Under the NASA IRA “space telescope” exploration program, Professor Helen Boussalis and Professor Maj Mirmirani established the SPACE Lab at Cal State L.A. in 1994. This outstanding project consists of a coalition of students and faculty from Cal State L.A., USC, UC Berkeley, CSU Long Beach, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Boeing, TRW, Lockheed-Martin Aerospace Company and Schober’s Machine and Engineering. To date, nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate students have participated in research to develop a model of a space-segmented reflector telescope. For more information, contact Helen Boussalis at (323) 343-4549 or e-mail:

Multidisciplinary Flight Dynamics and Control (MFDC) Laboratory
Using several grants from NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, and one major grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Cal State L.A. Professors Maj Mirmirani, Helen Boussalis and Chivey Wu, along with Petros Ioannou (USC), established this multidisciplinary laboratory. The lab’s objectives are to establish a flight dynamics and control testbed, where a complete aircraft design—from basic requirements to detail aerodynamics, structural dynamics, control design, including fault-tolerant reconfigurable control design and virtual flight test—can be conducted in an integrated computational environment. A major objective of the project is to evaluate the developed control laws using full-fledged aircraft models and simulation capabilities of the testbed. For more information, call Maj Mirmirani at (323) 343-4492 or e-mail:

Contact: Carol Selkin, Media Relations Director (323) 343-3044

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