Engineering & Science Outreach Activities

On March 1, CBU hosted the regional Science Olympiad for the western part of the state of Tennessee.  Approximately one hundred students participated from five high schools  and three middle schools.  The competition included 5 events: Robo-Cross, Elastic Launch Glider, Wheeled Vehicle, Scrambler, and Helicopter. Some events are essentially pen and paper exams which test for theoretical knowledge, some require the contestants to bring in previously constructed devices that are tested either to destruction or for speed/precision, and other events require the contestants to construct and test devices in a certain limited period of time.  All in all, it was a very fun, exciting and educational day for the contestants, their coaches and parents. A big thanks is given to all who participated in the Science Olympiad this year!


Contestants in the Science Olympiad.

The First Lego League (FLL) workshop was also held at CBU on March 1. Frank Niedzwiedz and Chris Nielsen of R&N Systems Design LLC and CBU students Charmaine Cooper (EE’15), and Mellissa Dollar (EE’17) provided a workshop on running a Lego Mindstorm Robot in a First Lego League competition for middle schools. More than 30 teachers, coaches, and students attended the event. Three new FLL teams were formed and teachers came from as far away as Jackson, TN. This is the third FLL workshop; the next workshop will be this fall.


Charmaine Cooper (EE’15), and Mellissa Dollar (EE’17) help students with a Lego Mindstorm Robot workshop as part of the First Lego League.

As part of the National Engineers Week Celebration each year, the Memphis Chapter of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers hosts a regional MATHCOUNTS competition for 7th and 8th graders. This year it was held at the University of Memphis on February 15.  Several CBU students and faculty were volunteers at the event: Mallory Harvey, Shesha Shah, Shilpa Appurubugatha, Phyo Aung, David Guerrero, Gabby Gomez-Pedro, Nadia Earle, Alvin Siow, Dr. Andrew Assadollahi, and Dr. Pong Malasri.  Mallory Harvey served as Student Volunteer Coordinator for the event.

Engineering Students Study Abroad

study abroadFour mechanical engineering students joined Dr. Pong Malasri on a study abroad trip to Leon, Mexico, March 8-15. Pictured above are (l-r): Becky WaufordDaniel Olivares (Industrial Engineering Department Chair, DeLaSalle Bajio), Dr. Pong MalasriMauricio Salvatori (Engineering Dean, DeLaSalle Bajio), Alex OthmaniCaleb Smith, and Gabby Gomez-Pedro. Besides attending a two-day seminar on Transport Packaging (given by Dr. Malasri), they visited the technology and design center of Mabe Corporation in Querretaro, which includes its packaging lab. Mabe produces various appliances, including washers, dryers, and refrigerator.  Some of their products are sold in the U.S. under GE label. Our students also toured several cities in the region, including San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Penjamo. More trip pictures can be found at the CBU Packaging Facebook page.

2013-14 Featured Engineering Student

cali-copsey2Congratulations to Cali Copsey who was recognized by the CBU School of Engineering as the 2013-14  Featured Engineering Student for Academic Excellence, Student Leadership, and Service to the University & Community. Cali is a senior in the Mechanical Engineering Department at CBU. She is President of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honors Society and serves on the Mechanical Engineering Student Advisory Board. She is Chapter Secretary of the ASME student chapter and Senator of the Student Government Association. She is an active member of the SAE Mini-Baja team, Up ‘Til Dawn, the CBU Honors Program, and Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity. She is on the CBU Division II Cross Country Team and served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee from 2011-2013. She currently volunteers as a mentor for the US Dream Academy and works as a Packaging Intern for Olympus Surgical Technologies of America.

Faculty News

  • Congratulations to Dr. Eric Welch (Dean of Engineering) who was the recipient of the 2014 Featured Engineering Faculty Award for his excellence in teaching, outstanding leadership, and contributions to the university and community. Dr. Welch received the award at the 2014 Engineers Week Luncheon on February 19.
  • Dr. John Ventura (Electrical and Computer Engineering) was promoted to Professor effective 2014-15 Academic Year.
  • Dr. Divya Choudhary (Electrical and Computer Engineering) was promoted to Associate Professor effective 2014-15 Academic Year.
  • Dr. Neal Jackson (Professor Emeritus, Engineering Management) and Dr. Pong Malasri (Civil Engineering) gave a one-hour Lunch & Learn talk at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Memphis District) on March 6. The talk was titled “Operations Research: A Powerful Tool for Engineers” and focused on a common resource allocation problem.  About 25 engineers attended the event, including Colonel Jeffrey Anderson, the Memphis District Commander. Operations Research is an optimization tool covered in the M.S. in Engineering Management Program at CBU.
  • Dr. Divya Choudhary (Electrical & Computer Engineering), assisted by Shilpa Appurubugatha (EE’14) and Mallory Harvey (CE’14) (pictured above) recently gave four workshops and a lunch-and-learn presentation introducing concepts of Electrical and Computer Engineering at New Tech High School and Justin Sienna High School in California

    Shilpa Appurubugatha and Mallory Harvey give a presentation at a California high school.

  • Dr. John Ventura PE, LRS (Electrical & Computer Engineering) passed the “Mississippi Standards of Practice for Surveying Test” on December 23, 2013. Dr. Ventura has been a licensed surveyor since 1981 and licensed engineer since 1971.
  • Dr. Eric Welch (Dean of Engineering) attended a workshop for the Consortium of Universities for Sustainable Power (CUSP) hosted by the University of Minnesota, February 6-9, 2014. The purpose of the consortium is to create a community of teaching/learning scholars whose mission is to provide a first-rate education in the field of Electric Energy Systems with an emphasis on sustainability. The workshop’s goal was to plan, select, and upload the content of 13 graduate courses and make them available online to graduate students at various universities. The workshop was funded by the ONR and NSF.

Dr. Eric Welch attended a workshop for the Consortium of Universities for Sustainable Power (CUSP) in Napa Valley, CA.


Spring 2014 Upcoming Events

Student Competitions/Conferences

  • March 13-16:  IEEE SoutheastCon, Lexington, KY
  • March 28-30: ASME Student Professional Development Conference (SPDC), Clemson University
  • March 28-30: ASCE Deep South Conference, Christian Brothers University
  • April 10-12: NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge (Moonbuggy), Huntsville, AL
  • April 24-27: SAE Mini-Baja Competition, El Paso, TX

Senior Presentations

  • February 8: Electrical Engineering
  • March 22: Mechanical Engineering
  • March 22: Civil Engineering
  • April 12: Chemical Engineering

Lunch & Learn Series:

  • February 27: Cargill Corn Milling
  • March 27: Tennessee Tech University
  • April 10:  FM Global

Other Activities

  • March 1:  Science Olympiad, Christian Brothers University
  • March 24-25:  Memphis and Shelby County Science & Engineering Fair


Alumni News

  • Jittapong “JT” Malasri (CE ’06, MBA ’12) was selected to the Memphis Flyer’s “20 < 30″ Class of 2014, the newspaper’s annual selection of young Memphians who are shaping the city’s future. JT, who designs utilities for apartments and subdivision for MLGW, was lauded for his work with the Urban Land Institute, an organization that helps real estate and development specialists share best practices for a more sustainable city.
  • aassAndrew Assadollahi (CE & MATH ’09) (pictured right) completed his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at the University of Memphis in December 2013.  He is currently teaching Geotechnical Engineering, Foundation Design, and Advanced Mechanics of Materials as an Adjunct Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Christian Brothers University. This is what he had to say about his CBU education: “The education I received at CBU enabled me to successfully complete my graduate degrees.  Now, I get the privilege to provide a high quality education to students at CBU like what I experienced when I was a student here.”   

Civil Engineering News

Dr. Andrew Assadollahi (Civil & Environmental Engineering), Professor Gene McGinnis (Civil & Environmental Engineering) and Lauren Harrett (Civil Engineering ’15) recently presented a PowerPoint presentation to six classes of high school students at CBC High School in St. Louis. The trio illustrated how the math and science courses that they were taking in high school related to the engineering profession. They also attended the 2014 ASCE Workshop for Student Chapter Leaders in St. Louis along with Kolbie Seay (Civil Engineering ’15), Reggie Raney (Civil Engineering ’17) and Emily Conrad (General Studies ’17).


Packaging News – Winter 2014

  • Dr. Pong Malasri (Packaging) gave a two-day seminar on Transport Packaging at the Universidad DeLaSalle, Bajio (Leon, Mexico) on March 10-11. About 100 people attended the seminar with about half from area companies. DeLaSalle will start a new Master of Packaging in August 2015. They are also working on forming a packaging consortium with area companies similar to the CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium and possibly a commercial test lab similar to CBU’s certified packaging lab. The seminar is also part of Dr. Malasri’s study-abroad packaging course.

Pictured (l-r) PKG 201 class: Alex Othmani, Yuliana Sanchez-Luna, Sebastian Polania, Matthew Johnson, Ashley Qureshi, David Guerrero, Michael Kist, and Dr. Pong Malasri.

  • Students from PKG 201 Packaging Seminars visited The Pallet Factory in Memphis on January 31. The Pallet Factory, a member of CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium, has supplied wooden pallets for pallet research at CBU.
  • ELViS Finds a New Home in Memphis: Recently Lansmont Corporation posted a short article on their website about the new vibration test system acquired by CBU’s ISTA Certified Packaging Lab last November from the Michigan State Packaging Lab. Lansmont is a leading manufacturer of package testing equipment based in California. The CBU lab has several pieces of test equipment from Lansmont. Eric Joneson, VP of Technology at Lansmont, also serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology, the official journal of the CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium. ELViS stands for Entry Level Vibrati on System.
  • MicroPort Orthopedics, the sixth largest multinational hip and knee orthopedic reconstruction business, has recently become the latest member of the CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium. MicroPort is  located in Arlington, TN; its parent company, MicroPort Scientific Corporation, is based in P. R. China. The CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium was established on June 1, 2010, with seven founding members:  Evergreen Packaging, FedEx, Merck Consumer Care, Medtronic, Plastic Ingenuity, Smith & Nephew, and Wright Medical.  Since then The Pallet Factory, Olympus Surgical Technologies America, WS Packaging, New-Tech Packaging, and MicroPort Orthopedics have joined the consortium.
  • The International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology (IJAPT), the CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium’s official journal, has recently been listed in SHERPA/RoMEO, a research database based at the University of Nottingham (UK). IJAPT has already been indexed/abstracted by DOAJ, Google Scholar, Journal TOCs, IndexCopernicus, ProQuest USA, Research Gate, Journaldatabase, and several others.
  • A Healthcare Packaging Consortium research project on recycled cardboard was cited by NVC Netherlands Packaging Centre. Results showed that the performance of recycled materials had more degradation under extreme conditions than virgin materials. The work was published in the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology. The work, sponsored by FedEx, was under the supervision of Dr. Ray Brown (Mechanical Engineering).
  • Volume 2, Number 1 of the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology (IJAPT) has been issued with the first article on “Time-Frequency Analysis of Shock and Vibration Measurements Using Wavelet Transforms” by Dr. Divya Choudhary (Electrical/Computer Engineering), Dr. Pong Malasri (Packaging Department), Mallory Harvey (Civil Engineering ’14), and Amanda Smith (Engineering Management ’15). IJAPT is the official journal of CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium. The first volume (2013) contains seven articles highlighting our consortium work. The second volume will have contributions from other non-CBU authors.  An article from Eric Joneson, VP of Technology for Lansmont, will appear soon.
  • Mr. Bob Moats (Engineering Lab Technician) recently passed the ISTA CPLP Technician examination. Currently there are about 200+ ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technicians worldwide. There are three levels of ISTA certification: technician, technologist, and professionals. For more information about ISTA CPLP program, please visit
  • Dr. Pong Malasri (Packaging), Dr. Ali Pourhashemi (Chemical Engineering), Bob Moats (Engineering Lab), Mallory Harvey (Civil Engineering ’14), Rebecca Wauford (Mechanical Engineering ’15), David Guerrero (Civil Engineering ’14), Patrick Held (Engineering Management/Packaging ’15), Griselda Matos Martinez (Engineering Management ’16), Ebonee Malone (Engineering Management/Packaging), Matthew Ohlwein (Engineering Management/Packaging ’17), and Frederique Worthy (Packaging Minor) published an article entitled “Effect of Cushion Placed on Wooden Pallets” in the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology. The work is part of the pallet research project sponsored by FedEx.
  • The CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium has completed the first volume (2013) of its official journal, the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology.  This volume documents packaging research work performed at the consortium since its establishment in 2010.  More work will continue to appear in the future volumes of the journal along with non-CBU articles.  Full articles can be viewed at

S-PAC 2013


Dr. Ben Amaba, PE (‘87) gave a presentation on “Practice of Innovation” at S-PAC 2013.

Dr. Ben Amaba, PE (‘87), Worldwide Executive for IBM on Complex Systems gave a presentation on “Practice of Innovation” at the 7th annual Student-Professional Awareness Conference (S-PAC) held on November 8 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center. IEEE Memphis Section, the IEEE student branches at CBU and the University of Memphis, ASCE (CBU), and ASME (CBU) hosted the event. Over 75 students and 35 professionals attended. Career Services Director, Amy Ware, introduced the theme of the program – “Innovation and Communication.”  Pat Nelson, State Representative – Mississippi Legislature, also gave a presentation on “Art of Communication.”

Dr. Yuri Quintana, St. Jude Research Hospital and Chair of the Memphis Section of IEEE, presented Patrick McGinnis (EE,CS‘15), Shilpa Appurubugatha (EE’14), Sean Dantis (EE,CS‘14), and Mark Minyard (UofM) the Award of Service from the Memphis Section of IEEE for their efforts in making the S-PAC a success. The S-PAC is a structured event where students interact with experienced engineers from diverse backgrounds. Hosted annually, the S-PAC brings together students and professionals from mid-south universities where they have a chance to interact with professionals through a round table discussion. The sponsors of S-PAC Fall 2013 are Christian Brothers University, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, University of Memphis, AT&T, MLG&W, ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Fisher & Arnold, Memphis Chapter of Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers, Smith and Nephew, Sharp, NKC, Trane, Lokion, and the Memphis Section of IEEE.

The program was organized by Conference Chairs, Patrick McGinnis, Shilpa Appurubugatha, and Mark Minyard (University of Memphis); Program, Website and Registration Chair, Patrick McGinnis; Sponsorship Chair, Sean Dantis; Facility, and Catering Chair,  Shilpa Appurubugatha; and CBU S-PAC Activities Coordinator, Dr. John Ventura, PE (EE‘65).