Fall 2018 Dean’s Message


Dear CBU Engineering Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff, and Friends:PongMalasri3

We have had an exciting year 2018!  Much progress has been made in the Gadomski School of Engineering, including:

  • Our engineering programs have been listed in various rankings, including 2018 Colleges of Distinction Engineering Programs, 20 Best Value Small Colleges for an Electrical Engineering Degree 2018, 10 Best Value Small Colleges for Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Degrees 2018, Best Online Master’s Engineering Management 2018, Most Affordable Master’s in Engineering Management Online, and US News Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.
  • “Construction Management” and “Data Analytics” concentrations have been added to our fast growing B.S. in Engineering Management program.  These are in addition to the two existing “Packaging” and “Sustainability” concentrations.
  •  The new “Construction Engineering & Inspection” Consortium has been publicly announced on December 3, 2018. This is in addition to the existing Healthcare Packaging Consortium (2010) and Surface Water Institute (2017).
  • We have accomplished two of the eight strategic goals in our Strategic Plan 2017-2022; “100% placement rate of graduates within twelve months of graduation” and “25 formal industry partnership agreements.  We have made significant progress in other goals as well, including “100% of graduates will pass a nationally recognized examination/certification upon graduation” and “State-of-the-art engineering facility.”

In the coming years, we will focus more in “innovation” and “entrepreneurship.”  The bottom line is the success of our graduates.  We want graduates to be technically competent, innovative, entrepreneurial, as well as good citizens who give back to the community.

On behalf of the Gadomski School of Engineering, I wish you and your family a Happy Holidays Season.



CBU Launched the Construction, Engineering & Inspection Consortium


MEMPHIS, TN – The Gadomski School of Engineering at Christian Brothers University (CBU) has launched the Construction, Engineering & Inspection (CE&I) Consortium) to advance and share knowledge related to the construction industry among its members through education and research.

Dr. Andrew Assadollahi, PE (CE&I Consortium Director and Department Chair of Civil & Environmental Engineering), explained that the vision of CE&I is “to be a unique, world-class consortium with member companies from various segments of construction engineering and inspection,” adding, “a huge benefit for our Engineering students is that the Consortium will provide internship and research opportunities for CBU students majoring in our BS in Engineering Management and our BS in Civil Engineering.”

Founding CE&I Consortium partners include: Allen & Hoshall; Fisher Arnold; Flintco; Linkous Construction Company, Inc.; MMC Materials, Inc.; Montgomery Martin Contractors; Process Systems, Inc.; Tri-State Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors, Inc.; and Risk Strategies.

“Linkous Construction is honored to partner with CBU, serving as a founding member of the Construction, Engineering & Inspection Consortium,” said Rusty Linkous, President of Linkous Construction. “CBU has a very distinguished history within our city, producing many of the professionals that help guide us in the construction and engineering marketplace and we look forward to taking this next step to further strengthen this program.”

Jeff Emerson, founding partner and vice president of Montgomery Martin Contractors, noted that his company’s “primary goal for recruiting is to find highly qualified college graduates that are also from the Memphis area.  We have been working with CBU for several years to develop a construction program that achieves both these goals, and to now be a founding member of this program is very rewarding. We have been involved with CBU for many years, so this just seems to be a natural fit.”

Consortium members and their guests celebrated the launch of the newly formed consortium at an invitation-only luncheon on December 3, 2018 in the Montesi Executive Center in Buckman Hall on the CBU campus.

More info at www.cbu.edu/CEI.


Engineering Career Day

Engineering students and recent grads had the opportunity to speak with approximately 20 local and regional employers who frequently hire engineers for full-time jobs and internship. Some of the companies attending included AZO Inc., Centro Inc., FedEx, Flintco, Green Mountain Technology, Logical Systems, Lucite International, Missouri Department of Transportation, Mitsubishi, Nashville Electric Service, Pickering, Rockwool, Smith & Nephew, Kroger, and ThyssenKrupp.

Engineering Alumni News

Veronica Braker (ChE ’92) was a featured speaker at the FABTECH Expo in Atlanta in November at the “Women of FABTECH Breakfast.” Braker is vice president of Operations Performance Materials North America for BASF.

Fadi Kiameh (Civil Engineering & Business Administration ’86) was the subject of a Memphis Business Journal “Executive Profile” in October. Kiameh is currently an executive account manager for Johnson Controls and has earned the company’s title of Lifetime Master of Sales for continuous exemplary business development performance. He is also a former member of the Gadomski School of Engineering Advisory Board.

Nathan Luce (CE ’03) was selected by Airport Business as one of its 2018 “Top 40 Under 40″ honorees. Luce is manager of engineering and construction for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. He was recently promoted to the position of director of procurement, a role he will begin in 2019. Read more about this here.

Jittapong Malasri (CEE’06) had his company, Malasri Engineering, listed in the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Memphis Crossroads as one of the ten companies/organizations to watch in 2019.

JT Malasri

Yeo Meng Wong (ChE ’97) has been appointed senior vice president and general manager of the Asia Pacific Treaty Reinsurance Division of Allied World Assurance Company, based in Singapore. Read more about this appointment here.

Anne Youngblood (ME’18) passed the FE exam. Anne is currently an Associate Process Improvement Analyst at FedEx Express in Memphis, TN.

Robert Zeiler (ME ’95) pledged $100,000 through a planned gift to the Garrison Financial Institute in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. He is currently the Business Development Manager at New Prospect Company and is based in Little Rock. Read more about his gift here.



Engineering Faculty News

Dr. Divya Choudhary (Graduate Engineering Director) gave a presentation about CBU programs in Chandigarh University, India, which was attended by 200+ master’s students and undergraduate seniors. CU and CBU have signed transfer credits agreement.


Dr. Choudhary (Graduate Engineering Director) also made a research presentation on Data Science at Lovely Professional University, Punjab, India. About 150 faculty and students attended the session. She also had another info session with students interested in coming to CBU.


Dr. Juan Carlos Olabe (Electrical & Computer Engineering) presented a paper entitled “Strategies for the Successful Implementation of STEAM in the Classroom” at the 2nd International Conference on Education and E-Learning, held in Bali, Indonesia, November 5-7. The paper will appear in the International Conference Proceedings Series by ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) ISBN: 978-1-4503-6577-2. This work is supported by the University of the Basque Country.

Dr. Juan Carlos Olabe (Electrical & Computer Engineering) presented a paper entitled “Cognitive Computing in the Classroom Using Blended Learning Strategies” at the Congreso Internacional de Campus Digitales en Education Superior (International Congress of Digital Campuses in Higher Education) held in Caceres, Spain, October 3-5. This work is part of the project Application of Cognitive Computing in Education (ACCE), and it is supported by the University of the Basque Country and the Department of Education of the Basque Country. 

Dr. Juan Carlos Olabe (Electrical & Computer Engineering) participated as the invited keynote speaker at the 2018 International Conference on Education and Distance Learning, held in Nice France, July 17-19. The topic of his talk was “Using the Computational Model of the Mind to Design Educational Methodologies:  Solving Problems More Efficiently in the Classroom.” This work is supported in part by the University of the Basque Country (Euskal Erriko Unibersitatea) and the Department of Education of the Basque Country (Hezkuntza Saila, Eusko Jaurlaritza).

Fall Happenings!

PKG 101 Intro to Packaging class visited Medtronic’s state-of-the-art distribution center.

medtronic field trip

The Christian Brothers University Engineering Team visited St. Scholastica Academy in  Covington, Louisiana yesterday to discuss the different engineering fields available to the girls. Thank you for coming all the way from Memphis, TN. The girls enjoyed the visit.

ssa visit

PKG101 class visited FedEx Packaging Design & Development in Collierville on Friday, Nov 2nd. Marea Swaffer (1st from left) and Wayne Kneipp (2nd from left) gave a tour to the group.

fedex field tripPKG 101 class visited International Paper Container Plant in Olive Branch, MS, on Friday, Nov 9th..

international paper

The CHE 101 class toured Buckman’s manufacturing facility on November 13. Many thanks to Mr. Pedro Bonilla for arranging the tour and to the Buckman associates who invested their time in leading the tours and speaking with our students.

che101 buckman

The CBU IEEE Student Chapter hosted another successful S-PAC Conference. The conference featured a number of guest presentations on Diversity in Technology and Entrepreneurship as well as panel discussions.


STEM Events for Middle & High School Students

Dr. Sean June (ME) hosted a workshop for Maxine Smith STEAM Academy students in August. They learned how solar energy is used to power an irrigation system and small solar cars. They also learned the importance of batteries in storing the energy.

june stem

Two engineering demo sessions for high school students were performed in CBU ISTA Certified Packaging Lab.

demo sessions

The Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at CBU hosted a First Lego League workshop in September.


The CBU Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) hosted over 40 girls for a STEM workshop in October.




Congratulations to Bobby Broom (CE’19) for passing the FE exam and becoming an Engineer Intern. Bobby is a member of CBU ASCE Student Chapter and has been involved with research projects related to construction materials and geotechnical engineering. He is also a member of CBU track team.


layneharrisCongratulations to Layne Harris (CEE’19) for passing the FE exam and becoming an Engineer Intern. She was on the 1st place winning Environmental Engineering Team at CBU in 2017. Layne has been involved in research projects involving sustainable construction materials and geotechnical engineering, leading to a published research paper in 2018.

2018 Academic Convocation


The Academic Convocation for 2018-2019 was held on August 23 in the University Theater. Featured speakers included President Smarrelli, SGA President Megan Wilson, and Dr. Randel Price (Chemical & Biochemical Engineering).


Dr. Paul Shiue (Mechanical Engineering), pictured above with President Smarrelli, was honored as the Distinguished Lasallian Educator for 2018-19, the highest honor given to CBU faculty and staff, nominated by their peers as being exemplary in advancing and bringing to life the Lasallian hallmarks that are part of the core identity of CBU.

Other awards and honors included:

  • Dr. Andrew Assadollahi (Civil & Environmental Engineering), Outstanding New Advisor
  • Dr. John Ventura (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Advisor of the Year
  • Dr. John Ventura, J. Everett Pidgeon Chair

View more photos from the Convocation here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cbualumni/sets/72157672664095998

Spring 2018 Dean’s Message


Dear Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, and Friends:PongMalasri3

In Summer of 2015, we started to develop the School of Engineering Strategic Plan. The plan with eight strategic goals was approved by the faculty/staff on September 27, 2016, and later by the Engineering Advisory Board on August 1, 2017. A copy of Gadomski School of Engineering Strategic Plan 2017-2022 can be found at: https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2091/eng-strategic-plan.pdf or from a link from our homepage at: https://www.cbu.edu/engineering.

We are about to end the first year of our strategic plan implementation. We have made progress on most of our strategic goals. For example:

• 500 Undergraduate Engineering Enrollment by 2022. We are currently at 71% of our goal, up from 65% in the previous year.
• 30% Female Students in Undergraduate Enrollment by 2022. We are at 77% of our goal, up from 67% in the previous year.
• 100% Placement Rate of Graduates Within 12 Months of Graduation by 2022. The latest data we have is for Class of 2016 with 100% of our goal, up from 98% in the previous year.
• 100% of Graduates Will Pass a Nationally Recognized Examination/Certification Upon Graduation by 2022. Our estimate for Class of 2018 is at least 50% of our goal, up from 13% in the previous year.
• State-of-the-Art Engineering Facility by 2022. A three-phase engineering facility upgrade plan is finalized: Phase I (a new 28K SF lab facility behind Benilde), Phase II (Benilde renovation/expansion), and Phase III (Nolan expansion). We expect the construction of the Phase I building will start soon.
• Formal Industry Partnership by 2022. We are at 76% of our goal, up from 64% in the previous year.

This is an exciting time to be an engineer. Job market has never been this great, which is a major factor in our 70% enrollment increase from 2012 to 2017. Starting salary is great, with 72% of the Class of 2016 making over $60K in their first full-time job after graduation. And the most important thing…we are moving toward more experiential/project-based learning, which will make our engineering education more fun.

Have a great summer!