Campus: CSU Long Beach -- March 12, 2004
CALVEIN Project at Cal State Long Beach Receives
Award from L.A. Council of Engineers, Scientists
California Launch Vehicle Education Initiative (CALVEIN) at California
State University, Long Beach has received an Engineering Project Achievement
Award from the Los Angeles Council of Engineers and Scientists (LACES)
for its two successful launches of an aerospike rocket engine. The award
was presented recently during the 2004 LACES Engineering Awards Banquet.
LACES serves as a coordinating organization of technical societies and
associations in the greater Los Angeles area. The council’s primary
purpose is to operate for educational and charitable purposes by promoting
the advancement of engineering and science.
Council officials cited two main reasons for presenting the award to
the CALVEIN project, including “the benefits it has in terms of
student mentoring, workforce development and inspiration for future
generations of engineers and scientists” and the technologies
developed as part of the program.
“This is one of LACES’ goals--to promote engineers and scientists,
and we feel this project is very worthy of recognition, especially during
Engineering Week,” commented Mike Simpson, president of LACES.
Some 50 Cal State Long Beach students have been working in cooperation
with Garvey Spacecraft Corp. and other industry mentors to develop key
technologies that may contribute to cheaper and more responsive spacecraft
applications for commercial and military use.
The 1,000-pound thrust aerospike engine prototype developed by the CSULB
liquid propellants, and its test flight made it the first such engine
to have successfully powered a
rocket after more than four decades of industry research. The technology
for aerospike engines would greatly benefit single state-to-orbit vehicles
such as the Space Shuttle, which operates with engines from sea level
to orbital velocity.
“We are delighted that such partnership between academia and industry
is being recognized for both its educational benefits and the technologies
it helped develop, technologies which could greatly enhance the performance
of future launch vehicle and help make space more accessible,”
said Eric Besnard, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering
and director of the CALVEIN project.
Among those on hand to accept the award were Besnard, industry partner
John Garvey, president of Garvey Spacecraft Corporation and student
team members Ashley Carter, senior and president of the CSULB student
chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and
senior Christian Rojas. Other attendees included: Jalal Torabzadeh,
CSULB professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and program
coordinator of mechanical engineering; Paul Skaar, a technician in the
CSULB Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering who works closely
with the students.