Fall 2014 Dean’s Message

S_MalasriGreetings from the CBU School of Engineering….

Did you know that we offer many opportunities that help our graduates stand out when they apply for a job or are up for promotion? Here are some examples:

  • Dual degrees in Electrical Engineering (computer track) & Computer Science in four years
  • Mechanical or chemical engineering degree with Packaging Certificate or Packaging minor
  • Chemical engineering degree with biochemical track
  • Civil engineering degree with Math minor
  • Engineering Management with concentration in Packaging or Information Management (two new concentrations will be added in 2015-16 academic year; Sustainability and Video Game Design)
  • Video Game Design minor will also be available in the 2015-16 academic year
  • Packaging minor with an opportunity to become an ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technician
  • Involvements in undergraduate research which lead to academic publications
  • Accelerated Five-Year B.S./M.S.E.M. Degree Program
  • M.S.E.M. plus a graduate certificate in Information Technology, Packaging, Innovation, Construction Management, or Quality of Medical Devices

The opportunities are endless.  Student success is our goal.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at (901) 321-3405.

Happy Holidays!

Pong Malasri, Ph.D., P.E.
Dean, School of Engineering

Engineering Welcomes Civil Engineering Faculty Member

486321_581778878865_743193495_nDr. Andrew Assadollahi joins the School of Engineering as a full-time Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Assadollahi is a native Memphian and a 2005 graduate of Christian Brothers High School. He graduated from Christian Brothers University in 2009 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering (concentrating in structural engineering) and a B.S. in Mathematics (concentrating in applied differential equations). In 2010, Dr. Assadollahi earned an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Memphis with a concentration in structural seismic engineering, and in 2013, he completed his Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Memphis with a concentration in geo-structures.

2015 Lasallian Fellows Award Recipients

CBU has named two engineering students, Lauren Harrett (Civil Engineering ’15) and Mallory Harvey (Civil Engineering ’15) as part of its 2015 Class of CBU Lasallian Fellows.

CBU Lasallian Fellowships are presented annually to five members of the senior class based upon the reflection of Lasallian values in their scholarship, leadership, and service. Each student was nominated by a member of the CBU faculty or staff because of academic excellence, commitment to social justice, the active nature of his or her faith, and an inspired approach to change-making. Upon graduation, the Fellows will be awarded $5,000 as a means of perpetuating their work in the community. The Fellowships are made possible through the creative generosity of Joyce Mollerup and Robert Buckman.

Lauren Harrett

Lauren Harrett — CE’15

Lauren Harrett is an outstanding student who fully embraces the Lasallian values of faith, service and community and uses her initiative, creativity, leadership skills and academic achievement to further the welfare of others at CBU, the Memphis community, and the world at large. Lauren is motivated by her strong faith life and is an active member of the Sunday night Mass group serving as lector and a member of the group that leads the music.

Lauren, a civil engineering major who has already completed three internships with Toyota Motor Corporation, is a member of the CBU Honors Program and sits on the board of directors of Page Robbins Adult Day Care Center through the servant-leadership program, Brothers’ Keepers. She is a proud Big Geek mentor to several younger honors students, and also serves as a CBU President’s Ambassador, a position of great responsibility as CBU seeks to attract other bright and highly motivated students like Lauren. She is a two-sport varsity athlete at CBU, competing in tennis and golf and has shown her leadership skills as the golf team captain. Using her passion as a catalyst to help others, as a participant in The First Tee of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky she coached groups of underprivileged children in life skills and leadership through the game of golf.

Lauren was selected to participate in the United Nations World Youth Peace Summit in Hartford, Connecticut, an organization that helps develop scholar-athletes and scholar-artists from around the world into successful peace advocates. Lauren is an officer in the Society for Women Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In fact, she demonstrated her management skills as Conference Chair for the 2014 ASCE Deep South Conference, which has thirteen member universities in West Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. This was an enormous undertaking for a small school like CBU to host. Lauren eagerly “stepped up to the plate” to assume the responsibility of organizing the conference and did a fantastic job!

It is for all these reasons and many more that students who know Lauren Harrett best call her Wonder Woman, faculty who have taught her wish other students were more like her, and that she so richly deserves being named a 2014-2015 CBU Lasallian Fellow.


Mallory Harvey – CE’14

Mallory Harvey leads by example and believes one obtains success by earning it. She embodies the best of CBU and lives her faith every day as evidenced by her respect, support, and treatment of her peers, faculty and the CBU community. She has been a leader in the Science Olympiad, Memphis-Area Joint Engineers Council (MJEC) Engineers Week Student Contest, and MATHCOUNTS, a middle school math competition. She has travelled to California to promote engineering at CBU and, conduct workshops for high school students to prepare them for a college major and career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Mallory is President and a founding member of the student chapter of Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) and Vice-President of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She is a Technical Assistant for the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology (IJAPT) where she uses her knowledge of packaging, research abilities, technical writing skills, and computer expertise to contribute to the publication of the international journal. She has 13 publications and is one of approximately 250 individuals worldwide that is certified by ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) as an ISTA Certified Packaging Lab Technician. It is clear that she is an individual who recognizes opportunities for change and has the resources, enthusiasm, and dedication to help initiate those changes.

While Mallory is already an outstanding young professional, she is also dedicated to serving the broader community. She not only volunteers to assist with community activities, she often leads the activities by organizing the events and encouraging others to participate. One example of this is her leadership of September of Service (SOS) 2014. This is the first year the leadership positions were advertised to the entire campus and Mallory was the first to apply. Given her other leadership experiences, SOS 2014 is guaranteed to reach more members of the CBU and Memphis communities with Mallory as a part of the team. When asked why she wanted to lead SOS, Mallory wrote: “I want to be a part of the change making in a more involved manner. I want to improve Memphians’ quality of life. I want to challenge other students to do work that stands for something big. I want to share my enthusiasm in expressing the importance of charity and faith in the community.” Because of her innovative leadership and professionalism, as well as her volunteer spirit, Mallory Harvey has earned the title CBU Lasallian Fellow.

Fall 2014 Faculty News

  • Mayor A. C. Wharton recently appointed Dr. Y. Lu Lin, Professor of Civil Engineering at CBU, as a member of the Memphis Stormwater Board.  The Board oversees stormwater rules and regulations and conducts hearing appeals due to civil penalties issued by the Stormwater Management Program in accordance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.   Dr. Lin is a stormwater expert. He has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering for the last seventeen years on various projects, including St. John-New Madrid Flood Control, EnvirFish Program, Bayou Metro Irrigation, Potamology-Sedimentation Study, White River Comprehensive Study.  Dr. Lin also served as the expert panel to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for TVA Hydrologic Projects.
  • Dr. Andrew Assadollahi (Civil Engineering) recently presented a paper entitled “Minimization of CO2 Emissions for Spread Footings under Biaxial Uplift Using a Big Bang-Big Crunch Algorithm” at the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure in Long Beach, California, November 6-8, 2014. The conference was hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers.cmbaker
  • Dr. Chad Baker (Electrical & Computer Engineering, Emeritus) recently took first place in the “Tour de Midtown,” a competition at the InsideOut Life Gym that replicates the actual Tour de France bicycle race on stationary spin bikes. When the riders were on hills, participants cranked up the resistance on the wheels of their spin bikes. Very few days were on the flats and those days were combinations of mad dashes with varying resistances. Over 50 gym members participated in the competition, and the participants rode over 250 miles in 21 days. Dr. Baker won 8 of the 21 stages and over $600 in prizes.
  • Dr. Pong Malasri (Dean of Engineering) gave a one-hour talk on Packaging Research at the CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium at Tennessee Tech University (TTU) on September 23. The event was hosted by TTU Center for Manufacturing and Center for Energy Research. He also explored packaging research collaboration opportunities with Dr. Joseph Rencis (Dean of Engineering), Dr. Vahid Motevalli (Associate Dean of Research and Innovation & Interim Director of Center for Manufacturing Research), Dr. Periasamy Rajan (Interim Director for Energy Systems Research), and Dr. Mohan Rao (Mechanical Engineering Department Chair). On the same trip, he had a dinner meeting with five engineering alumni — Tom Doss (Electrical Engineering ’63), Mike William (Electrical Engineering ’83), David Swaney (Electrical Engineering ’01), Tricia Swaney (Civil Engineering ’01), and  Paolo Fonda (Civil Engineering ’02) in Nashville on September 23, visited Father Ryan and Harpeth Hall high schools in Nashville with Erica Mitchell (Admissions) on September 24, and set up a CBU booth at the 2014 Tennessee Engineers’ Conference in Murfreesboro on September 25-26.
  • Dr. Pong Malasri (Dean of Engineering) has been recognized by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) as a Certified Packaging Laboratory Professional. The CPLP designation consists of three levels of certification; Technician, Technologist, and Professional. The first two levels require a two-hour test each. Professional-level certification is based on a resume of transport packaging activities and accomplishments. Dr. Malasri’s accomplishments include authoring several transport packaging-related journal articles, serving as director of the CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium, and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology.
  • Gene McGinnis (Civil and Environmental Engineering) was recently inducted as a Director for the West Tennessee Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers in a ceremony conducted at the Racquet Club of Memphis.
  • Dr. Juan Carlos Olabe-Basogain (Electrical & Computer Engineering) has published Hello Scratch, a book on the interactive programming language and its use in K-12 education.
  • Dr. Ali Pourhashemi (Chemical Engineering) has two books forthcoming for publication: Engineering Materials: Applied Research and Evaluation Methods (editor, Apple Academic Press, October 2014), and Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology for Composites: Design, Simulation, and Applications (coauthor, CRC Press, November 2014). He also recently published Chemical and Biochemical Engineering: New Materials and Developed Components (editor, Apple Academic Press, September 2014)
  • Dr. Asit Ray (Chemical Engineering) made a two-hour presentation on “Medical Packaging” and another two-hour presentation on “Plastics Used for Packaging” at the Indian Institute for Packaging (IIP) at Kolkata. His presentations were attended by about 40 graduate students and 10 professionals from medical industries. He established contacts with Professor Bidhan Das, the deputy director and regional head of the Institute and his colleagues and two other highly regarded packaging specialists. Dr. Ray also visited IIP in Delhi and met with Dr. Tanweer Alam, Joint Director and Regional Head of the institute. Course web pages by

Fall 2014 Alumni News

  • CBUgalaChristian Brothers University (CBU) honored one of our engineering alum, Michael Pohlman, as its 2014 Distinguished Alumnus at its 3rd Annual Bell Tower Gala on Saturday, November 15. The Distinguished Alumnus Award, CBU’s highest alumni award, was established in 1974 and recognizes an alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree and is 35 years or older. This award is given to a CBU graduate who has achieved a notable level of success in life, made significant contributions to their profession, supported the efforts of CBU, and contributed to society through public service and/or church activities.Michael Pohlman, PE (Mechanical Engineering’79) is CEO and President of the Pickering Firm, an engineering and architecture company in Memphis that provides services to public and private entities from surveying, civil/site development and design, to architecture, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering, plumbing and fire protection, and construction administration.Pohlman has 34 years of experience as a Professional Engineer; his entire career spent holding many positions within Pickering’s corporation. In the capacity of CEO and President, he currently directs the firm’s overall efforts.Pohlman has managed numerous projects for a variety of Pickering clients including governmental, private and public sectors in the industrial, commercial and federal markets. His corporate clients have included FedEx, UPS and Nike to mention a few, and governmental clients have included the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, TVA and the Tennessee National Guard.Pohlman holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from CBU and is a Professional Registered Engineer in the State of Tennessee. He has served as Director of the Western Region of the Tennessee Economic Development Council, on the Chairman Circle of the Memphis Regional Chamber, as President of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee, and as President of the Memphis Post of the Society of American Military Engineers. He has also served on the Board of the Consulting Engineers of Memphis, and on the Engineering Advisory Boards of both the University of Memphis and Christian Brothers University. Pohlman is also a member of the Christian Brothers High School Hall of Fame.
  • 10666084_662875790005_1418118978183134018_nCongratulations to one of our CBU Engineering alumni for being recognized among the “Top Forty Under 40″ Class of 2014, as selected by the Memphis Business Journal JT Malasri (Civil Engineering ’06, MBA ’12), Supervisor of Residential Engineering at MLGW. The 18th annual awards program recognizes the talents of the brightest Memphis-area professionals under age 40, both for career accomplishments and for giving their personal time to help local charities. The awards were officially presented at a banquet event at the Hilton of Memphis presented by CBU on Thursday, November 20. The honorees were also recognized at a reception at the Cooper-Wilson Center at CBU on Thursday, November 13.
  • 20141125_140926On Tuesday, November 25, four chemical engineering alums spoke to Dr. Asit Ray’s CHE Projects class (freshmen and sophomores) about career paths, choices, and options. Pictured l-r: Alfred Dyson (’78), Andrea Gough (’95), Dr. Asit Ray (ChE Professor), Zac Scott (’01), and Mike Haskins (’93).
  • Greg Emerick (ME’97) was recently promoted to the position of Director of Heavy-duty Turbocharger Product Line at Cummins Engines. He will be leading a global team that includes China, India, and the U.K., and will be  responsible for the design and development of turbochargers for heavy-duty engines.  This includes new product development as well as improvements to existing product lines.

Fall 2014 Packaging News

  • The CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium hosted its 2014 HPC Fall Meeting on Friday, November 14.  The meeting was well attended with a total of 36 participants from CBU, Memphis College of Art, MicroPort Orthopedics, Autozone, FedEx, The Royal Group, Smith & Nephew, Century Wealth Management, Southern Growth Studio, and Bayer Consumer Care.  More information can be found in the meeting proceedings at:  http://facstaff.cbu.edu/~pong/Packaging/2014HPCFallMeetingProceedings.pdf
  • On October 28, the CBU Certified Packaging Lab hosted a Transport Packaging Workshop for 14 area high school students.  They learned how a paper-based box was designed and cut, how compression box strength was determined, how an Edge Crush Test and pre-shipment tests were performed.  Pictures of the event can be viewed on our Facebook page.
  • The International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) has recently added a new test protocol, 6-AMAZON.com-B, to the list of protocols our CBU Packaging Lab is certified to perform commercially.  This brings the total number of certified test protocols for our CBU lab to 14 out of 29 ISTA test protocols.
  • An article entitled “Rice Hulls as a Cushioning Material” was recently published in Vol. 2, No. 1, 2014, of the International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology.  It was authored by Siripong Malasri (Dean of Engineering), Ryne Stevens (Engineering Management ’15), Alex Othmani (Mechanical Engineering ’17), Mallory Harvey (Civil Engineering ’15), Ike Griffith (Civil Engineering ’15), David Guerrero (Civil Engineering ’15), Matthew Johnson (Engineering Management ’16), Michael Kist (Mechanical Engineering ’14), Christopher Nguyen (Engineering Management ’16), Sebastian Polania (Mechanical Engineering ’17), Ashley Qureshi (Chemical Engineering ’15), and Yuliana Sanchez-Luna (Civil Engineering ’17).

CBU Engineering Hosts Scratch Workshop for Black Girls Code

Dr. Juan Carlos Olabe (ECE Professor) presented a workshop on Scratch for Black Girls Code (http://www.blackgirlscode.com/about-bgc.html), an organization that provides young girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up. The Black Girls Code mission is to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures. Dr. John Ventura (ECE Professor) assisted with the workshop. Forty girls along with 20 volunteers attended the workshop that was held on Saturday, November 6, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at CBU in the Nolan Engineering Center.

S-PAC 2014

The IEEE Memphis Section, the IEEE student branch at CBU, and the University of Memphis hosted S-PAC 2014 on Friday, November 21, 2014 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center. Over 75 students and 35 professionals attended the conference. Career Services Director, Amy Ware, introduced the theme of the program – “Innovation and Communication.” Maria Teresa (Blanco) Lensing (ECE ’01 & MSEM ’07), Vice President of Signature Client Group at AT&T, gave a presentation on the “How to Define Yourself” and Dr. Ben Amaba, PE (ECE ’87), Worldwide Executive for IBM on Complex Systems, gave a presentation on the “Practice of Innovation.” The program was organized by Conference Chairs, Patrick McGinnis (ECE’15) and Mark Minyard (University of Memphis); Program, Website, and Registration Chair, Patrick McGinnis; and Memphis Section Activities Coordinator, Dr. John Ventura, PE (EE’65). Dr. Amy de Jongh Curry, Chair of the Memphis Section of IEEE, presented Patrick McGinnis  and Mark Minyard with the Award of Service from the Memphis Section of IEEE for their efforts in making S-PAC a success.

S-PAC is a structured event where students interact with experienced engineers from diverse backgrounds. Hosted annually, S-PAC (http://spac.ieeecbu.org/) 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 2014 are Christian Brothers University, CBU Student Government, University of Memphis, Herff College of Engineering, CBU ECE Department, AT&T, MLG&W, Fisher & Arnold, Memphis Chapter of Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers, Midsouth Utility Consultants, and the Memphis Section of IEEE.

CBU Engineering Lotus Flower – India Fest 2014

20141101_144041In mid-August, the CBU School of Engineering was asked by the India Association of Memphis to design and create an abstract lotus structure to be the centerpiece at India Fest 2014 on November 1. After several meetings with the India Fest planning committee and CBU faculty, staff, and students, it was agreed to build an all-aluminum, animated “sculpture“ with a contemporary appeal that would open and close by the turn of a wheel. Once the sculpture was completed, it was transported to the event and the final touches (fabric and lights) were added by the India Fest planning committee.

Mr. Bob Moats (Engineering Technician) was the manager of the project with help from many CBU faculty, staff, and students: Andrew Assadollahi (CE Faculty), Ray Brown (ME Faculty), Divya Choudhary (ECE Faculty), Pong Malasri (Dean), Randel Price (ChE Faculty), Henry Rhodes (Engineering Technician), Paul Shiue (ME Faculty), John Ventura (ECE Faculty), Jake Arnold (ME), David Barnett (ME), Jaemi Guieb (CE), Rene Hudlet (ChE), Joshua Jenkins (ChE), Wes Kelly (ME), Stephen Key (ME), Yuliana Luna (CE), Yuki Namba (ME), and Reggie Raney (CE).

Photos of the event can be found on our Facebook page.

Fall 2014 Lunch & Learn Series

The CBU School of Engineering hosted a series of Lunch & Learns this fall. These talks are available to all engineering  students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

  • September 11:  “The Brain, Language and Learning: What to Learn, How to Learn, and Why” by Dr. Juan Carlos Olabe (ECE Professor)
  • September 18:  “The Soft Side of Engineering” by Joe Polk, Jr., P.E., Retired Manager-Construction Administration, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority
  • October 16:  “Packaging Research at Kasetsart University (Thailand)” By Dr. Lerpong Jarupan
  • November 13: “The Importance of FE Exam and Benefits of Being a Registered Professional Engineer” with panelist Richard Bursi, PE, President, OGCB, Inc.; Richard Gadomski, Retired (Former CEO & Founder of PSI Group of Companies); Tim Herndon, PE, Utilities Engineer, City of Bartlett; and Tom Stoll, PE, LC, Electrical Engineer III, ThyssenKrupp Elevator