2014 Mini-Baja Competition


The CBU Mini-Baja Team, Jeremie Gruber, Cali Copsey, James LaRue, Joseph Ferris, Connor Martin, Sydney Barnes, and Dr. Jose Davila (ME Faculty), participated in the 2014 Baja SAE Competition in El Paso, Texas, on April 24-27. Working with very few resources, these students built a one-person motorized car that passed the legendarily difficult Baja SAE technical inspection (after a few corrections). They were able to race the car through the dry dusty terrain, dodged sharp desert rocks, and braved a sand storm.  They got stuck a few times, got a flat tire, and swallowed a lot of dust, but overall had an amazing experience. Best of all, they had the opportunity to meet with competitors from around the world, with whom they shared racing gear, welding tricks and other car-making tidbits…they even learned some Korean, and now know how to say Baja in Spanish!

Dr. Davila gave this year’s Baja very high remarks: “This was by far the best Mini-Baja car built by CBU students, and it is no coincidence that some of the team members had attended previous competitions.  For this reason non-seniors are encouraged to join with the seniors in designing, building and racing of our 2015 Baja car. Join the fun.  Become a bajista TODAY!”

More photos of this years Baja can be found on our Facebook page. You can also watch a video of the entire trip at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8ySnTS6cVo&feature=youtu.be


Congratulations to the May 2014 Graduates!


  • Charles  Armour, B.S. Civil Engineering (Magna Cum Laude)
  • Phyo Thoon Aung, B.S. Civil Engineering (Magna Cum Laude)
  • Evan Boulanger, B.S. Civil Engineering
  • Cali Copsey, B.S. Mechanical Engineering (Magna Cum Laude)
  • Mahnoor Fatima, B.S. Chemical Engineering (Summa Cum Laude)
  • Kaitlin Howle, B.S. Electrical Engineering & B.S. Computer Science (Summa Cum Laude)
  • Michael Kist, B.S. Mechanical Engineering
  • Mitchell Moorehead, B.S. Electrical Engineering
  • Kenderick Norris, B.S. Civil Engineering
  • Michael Powers, B.S. Electrical Engineering & B.S. Computer Science (Summa Cum Laude)
  • Joshua Segovia, B.S. Chemical Engineering
  • Caroline Shankle, B.S. Civil Engineering
  • Wei Siow, B.S. Chemical Engineering (Summa Cum Laude)
  • Caleb Smith, B.S. Mechanical Engineering (Cum Laude)
  • Joshua Swillum, B.S. Electrical Engineering (Summa Cum Laude)
  • Ivan Tamayo, B.S. Civil Engineering
  • Vietminh Tong, B.S. Electrical Engineering (Cum Laude)
  • John Vo, B.S. Electrical Engineering
  • Matthew Winters, B.S. Electrical Engineering


  • Kimberly Alexander, M.S. Engineering Management (completed degree requirements December 2013)
  • Joshua Dove, M.S. Engineering Management
  • Wes Henderson, M.S. Engineering Management
  • Lindsey  Hodges, M.S. Engineering Management
  • Rizgar Jan, M.S. Engineering Management (completed degree requirements August 2013)
  • Ricky Rivers, M.S. Engineering Management (completed degree requirements December 2013)
  • Norman Witteborg Jr., M.S. Engineering Management (completed degree requirements December 2013)

2014 School of Engineering Commencement Awards

Congratulations to our 2014 Commencement Award Recipients:

  • Cali Shannon Copsey, Outstanding School of Engineering Graduate Award (This award is presented by the School of Engineering faculty to the School of Engineering graduate who has demonstrated outstanding academic excellence, distinguished leadership and dedicated service to the University and/or community.)
  • Charles Cahlen Armour, Thomas G. Morrison Award (The Thomas G. Morrison Award is given annually by the Civil Engineering faculty in honor of the late Dr. Thomas G. Morrison, Professor Emeritus. The award is presented to the department graduate who has demonstrated academic excellence in structural engineering.)
  • Michael Brennan Powers, Brother Philip Morgan Electrical Engineering Design Award (This award is presented by the Electrical Engineering faculty to the department graduate who has demonstrated academic excellence and outstanding design achievements in engineering design.)
  • Wei Shiong Siow, Philip M. Becker Award in Chemical Engineering  (This award is presented by the Chemical Engineering faculty to the department graduate who has demonstrated academic excellence and creativity in solving chemical engineering problems.)
  • Caleb Daniel Smith, T. Herbert Darnell Award  (This award is presented by the Mechanical Engineering faculty to the department graduate who has demonstrated academic excellence and dedicated service to the Mechanical Engineering Department.)

More ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technicians Added to CBU Packaging Lab

Congratulations to the following engineering students: Mallory Harvey (Civil Engineering), Gabriela Gomez-Pedro (Mechanical Engineering) Rebecca Wauford (Mechanical Engineering), Alex Othmani (Mechanical Engineering), and Caleb Smith (Mechanical Engineering), for passing the ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technician Test!  ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) allows students to take the technician level test of its three-level Certified Packaging Laboratory Professional (CPLP) Program.  Soon their names will be added to the list of about 250 ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technicians around the world.  CBU Packaging Lab has been certified by ISTA as a commercial lab since 2009. Bob Moats (Engineering Lab Technician) is an ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technician and Dr. Pong Malasri (Packaging Department Chair) is an ISTA Certified Lab Technologist.

Engineering Students Win Film Award

memphisrocksTrey McGinnis (EE,CS’16) and Becky Wauford (ME’16) show off their trophy for winning the Memphis Rocks “School” category (two years in a row!) at the On Location: Memphis International Film and Music Festival at Studio on the Square. Their film, September of Service Non-Profits Make Memphis Rock, highlights the many agencies with which CBU works during September of Service: 30 Days of Good Deeds. The film can be viewed here. Thanks to Jeremy Park and the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, who created the Memphis Rocks initiative, a fundraiser for a Memphis fallen officers’ memorial.

2014 Future Women Engineers Program

To encourage young women to choose engineering as a major in college and as a career choice, the CBU School of Engineering hosted a week-long summer program for high school female students called “Future Women Engineers Program. The summer program involved a hands-on engineering workshop in the morning and an industrial tour in the afternoon. The workshops were conducted by Dr. Divya Choudhary (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Dr. Randel Price (Chemical Engineering), Dr. Paul Shiue (Mechanical Engineering), and Dr. Andrew Assadollahi (Civil Engineering) and Dr. Pong Malasri (Packaging).
More photos can be found on our CBU Facebook page. A video of the 5-day workshop can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqcdb-Ii060.

Engineering Management Honor Society

James B. Moore (Electrical Engineering ’69), Captain Joshua K. Dove (Mechanical Engineering ’07), and Keith Wyrick  (Electrical Engineering ’10) were inducted into the Engineering Management Honor Society on May 9, 2014. Selection criteria were (1) having GPA at least 3.65, (2) completing at least 18 credit hours, and (3) being on the top 35% of active graduate students per faculty votes. James Moore is the founder and president of RadioMobile, Inc., a new startup company located in San Diego, CA. Captain Joshua Dove is a C-17A Instructor Pilot assigned to the 62nd Operations Support Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. He served four times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also flew airdrop missions in Afghanistan. He has received various military medals. Keith Wyrick has worked in the utility industry for Midsouth Utility Consultants as a protection and substation design engineer.

Packaging News

  • Official Journal of CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium Received an ISSN Number: On July 21, 2014, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources, New Delhi, India, issued an ISSN number (ISSN 2349-6665) to the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology, the official journal of CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium. ISSN (International Standard Serial Number – www.issn.org) is an international organization with its headquarters in Paris, France. Currently the ISSN network is comprised of 88 member countries. CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium (founded in 2010) announced a collaboration with Cloud Publication (India) in designating the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology as the consortium’s official journal on October 17, 2013. It is an open-access online journal where published articles are available free of charge to the public. The journal website is at: http://technical.cloud-journals.com/index.php/IJAPT

Pictured above are (l-r): Dr. Ray Brown (Mechanical Engineering), Bob Moats (Engineering Lab & ISTA Certified Lab Technician), Dr. Pong Malasri (Dean of Engineering, Packaging Department & ISTA Certified Lab Technologist), Dr. Frank Buscher (Academic VP), Becky Wauford (Mechanical Engine ering ’15 & ISTA Certified Lab Technician), Larry Rutledge (CBU Packaging Lab Manager), Dr. Asit Ray (Chemical Engineering), Ed Church (ISTA President), and Dr. John Smarrelli (CBU President).

  • Ed Church, President of International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), visited the CBU Packaging Lab on May 13. The CBU lab has been an ISTA certified lab since October 2009. The visit was mentioned in an article in the June issue of  istaviews (“Ed Church visits Christian Brothers University Packaging Program”). The same newsletter from ISTA also contains a list of new ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technicians, including three CBU students: Alex Othmani (Mechanical Engineering), Caleb Smith (Mechanical Engineering’14), and Rebecca Wauford (Mechanical Engineering ’15).
  • An article entitled “Softwood Pallet Stringer Temperature Estimation” by Dr. Ali Pourhashemi (Chemical Engineering) and Dr. Pong Malasri (Dean of Engineering) was recently published in the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology.  The work was part of the Pallet Project sponsored by FedEx with materials donated by The Pallet Factory, membe rs of the CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium.

Larry Rutledge at the 2014 ISTA TransPack Forum in Orlando, FL.

  • Larry Rutledge (pictured above), CBU Packaging Lab Manager and former FedEx Lab Manager, represented CBU with a display booth at the 2014 ISTA TransPack Forum in Orlando, FL, April 22-25. TransPack is one of the largest packaging meetings in the world attended by packaging professionals from all across the globe. Larry also represents CBU on the ISTA Global Education Committee. The CBU Packaging Lab has been certified as a commercial lab by ISTA since 2009.

Dr. Pong Malasri’s PKG 201 class visited the new packaging lab at FedEx.

  • Packaging students in Dr. Pong Malasri’s PKG 201 class visited the new packaging lab at FedEx  in Collierville on April 4. Pictured above (l-r) are Gilman(FedEx Packaging Manager), Dr. James AflakiYuliana Sanchez-LunaMatt Johnson,Ashley QureshiIke GriffithSebastian PolaniaMichael KistChristopher Nguyen,David GuerreroAle Othmani, and Luis Garcia.
  • The CBU Packaging Lab has recently been certified by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) for six additional test protocols. This brings up the total number of certified test protocols for CBU lab to 13.  Currently ISTA has a total of 21 test protocols. CBU lab has been a certified commercial lab since 2009. It is well equipped and staffed by Larry Rutledge (former FedEx Packaging Lab Manager), Bob Moats (ISTA Certified Lab Technician), and Dr. Pong Malasri (ISTA Certified Lab Technologist). In addition, CBU has six ISTA student members. The lab has  also been an important part of packaging research at CBU. For a listing of certified test protocols for CBU lab, click here.

Alumni News

  • rtRobin Turner (MEM’02), Director of Global Packaging Development at Medtronic, was honored as the recipient of the 2014 Craig Blackman Graduate Engineering Alumni Award at the Annual Graduate Engineering Celebration on May 9. Robin, a Certified Packaging Professional (CPP), is a member of CBU Packaging Advisory Board and Medtronic representative for the CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium. Her professional accomplishments and recognitions include the Paperboard Packaging Council Nationwide Award of Excellence in Structural Design for INFUSE Packaging, a U.S. Patent on Blister Packaging Cosmetic Article and Means to Protect Applicator , and a U.S. Patent on Modular Surgical Tray and Cover. She is a Leadership Memphis Executive Program graduate and has also been involved in various humanitarian activities, including the Nicaragua Mission Team, Kenya Mission, Habitat for Humanity, Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief, Mid-South Foodbank, Leadership Memphis, and St. Jude Hero.
  • Gov. Phil Bryant has named Gary Rikard (CE’91) as the new executive director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Rikard, a partner with Butler Snow, has practiced environmental law since 1996, serving as senior attorney at MDEQ from 1996-1998. Prior to earning his law degree, he worked as an environmental engineer at MDEQ, specializing in permitting and water quality compliance issues. He served more than 22 years in the Mississippi National Guard, retiring with the rank of Major. During his service with the National Guard, he served as assistant staff judge advocate, acting as the primary legal officer for environmental matters. To view the article, visit the MBJ Business Blog.

Faculty News

  • Dr. Juan Carlos Olabe (Electrical Engineering) gave a week-long workshop entitled “Introduction to Computational Thinking” to the faculty of the Maxine Smith STEAM Academy (MSSA).  The workshop was held at MSSA on July 21 – 25, 2014. Maxine Smith STEAM Academy is a middle school in collaboration with Christian Brothers University.
  • Dr. Pong Malasri (Dean of Engineering) gave a one Professional Development Hour talk entitled “Healthcare Packaging Consortium: A University-Industry Partnership” at the Engineers’ Club of Memphis meeting on June 30. Dr. Divya Choudhary (Graduate Engineering) and Dr. Andrew Assadollahi (Civil Engineering) were among the audience.
  • Dr. Randel Price (Chemical Engineering) recieved the Certificate of Merit of the Outstanding Advising Award – Faculty Academic Advising from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)  at its national conference.
  • Dr. Pong Malasri (Packaging, Civil Engineering) spoke on “Packaging: More Engineering Than You Could Have Ever Imagined” at the April Meeting of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers (Memphis Chapter) on April 8.