Keeping the World Safe! | LAunchPad 2020

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Keeping the World Safe!

Keeping the World Safe!

Everybody wants to feel safe when disaster strikes. During this event, students will learn about how engineers design to prepare for fires, earthquakes, and other emergencies with Cal State LA faculty and industry professionals.

Watch Session Recording ›

 

 


9:00 AM - 10:20 PM

FACULTY SPEAKERS

Xiaolei (Lily) Chen, Ph.D.

Xiaolei (Lily) Chen, Ph.D.

Dr. Chen received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and joined Cal State LA as an assistant professor in Fire Protection Administration and Technology in 2015. Her major field is fire protection engineering with a focus on building fire performance evaluation. In addition to teaching, she also conducts research in performance based design approach, fire modeling and simulation, fire safety in green building, etc.

Tona Rodriguez-Nikl, Ph.D.

Tona Rodriguez-Nikl, Ph.D.

Dr. Rodriguez-Nikl is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from U.C. Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from U.C. San Diego. He is also a licensed Professional Civil Engineer in California. The main goal of his research is to improve the earthquake-safety of structures. He is also interested in the long-term wellbeing of infrastructure and communities. Dr. Rodriguez-Nikl advises the EERI student group on campus. This group builds a scaled building then tests it to see if it can withstand a simulated earthquake.

Wing Shun (Welson) Kwan, Ph.D.

Wing Shun (Welson) Kwan, Ph.D.

Dr. Kwan is an Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at California State University, Los Angeles. His research work focuses on Geotechnical Engineering.

 

 


10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

INDUSTRY SPEAKERS

Stephanie Franco

Stephanie Franco

Stephanie Franco graduated from California State University, Los Angeles in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Administration. As an undergraduate student, she received an internship with Great Minds in STEM (GMiS), an industry that helps underserved communities and teaches them about STEM all over the country. This opportunity assisted and guided her to discover Aviation as a degree. Aviation has grown on so many levels and it has become a big part of her life. After college, she worked for an FBO (Fixed Based Operations) at LAX as a Customer Service Representative and then as a Private Jet Charter Broker. Both experiences shaped her into her current career position at Burbank Airport as an Airport Operations Specialist. She is truly thankful to say that she chose a career that allows her to continue to learn and enjoys each day.

Sumire Spurlock

Sumire Spurlock

Sumire Spurlock, the Safety Management System (SMS) Manager at Hollywood Burbank Airport. I've worked in the Aviation industry for over 10 years. I went to the University of California Santa Barbara and received a Bachelor's degree in Cultural Anthropology. Soon after graduation, I fell into and in love with the world of aviation and have not looked back ever since. I briefly worked for an airline and TSA before getting into Airport Operations and progressing from there. Now, as an SMS Manager, I get to build from the ground up a safety program for the entire airport to ensure we are proactive in our safety efforts. This includes our response and recovery from COVID-19.

Diana Gomez

Diana Gomez

Diana began her career with Caltrans upon graduation as a Transportation Electrical Engineer in Fresno California. During her more than 24 years with Caltrans, she has held various positions such as Senior Transportation Electrical Engineer, Chief for the Office of TMC Support, Chief of the Office of Traffic Management, and Chief of the Office of Systems Management Operation at Headquarters. Her contributions include implementing QuickMap, which displays statewide traffic information, and a software tool to track the response to incidents. She also consolidated the Permit Offices and reorganized the Division of Traffic Operations in Los Angeles. In 2011, Diana was appointed to the Caltrans' executive management team in Los Angeles as the Deputy District Director of Operations, which made her the highest ranking Latina engineer at California Department of Transportation.
In 2012 Diana was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown as the Central Valley Regional Director of California High-Speed Rail Authority. She joins an executive management team that will significantly improve the Authority's operations. It will bring high-speed electric passenger operations to California, tying together the Central Valley with the Los Angeles Basin as a first step toward a statewide high-speed rail system. As the Director for the Central Valley, she was responsible for ensuring the high speed rail project in the Central Valley continues to move forward on the planned schedule and budget. Most recently, Diana was appointed as the District 6 Director for Caltrans.
In her spare time, Diana is an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Holding positions on the SHPE Board such as Regional Vice President, National Treasurer and National President and currently is the Chair of SHPE Foundation. Diana serves her community by speaking at local high schools, encouraging young Hispanics to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and higher education.
She has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business and as one of the top 100 Hispanics in the technical field by Hispanic Engineer.
Diana graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Fresno. She is currently a board member for the Alumni Association and on the Advisory Board for the School of Engineering at CSU Fresno.
Diana has been a Registered Electrical Engineer since 1997 and she obtained her Project Management Professional (PMP) Credential in 2005.

Blanca Herrera, P.E.

Blanca Herrera, P.E.

I’m a graduate from California State University Los Angeles ©l State LA) from where I received a BS in Civil Engineering. While attending Cal State LA I was an active member of the Society of Women Engineers, Chi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pie and Delta Zeta National Sorority, an organization on which I held leadership positions. As an undergraduate student, I worked as a student engineer at the Port of LA doing construction management. Nowadays I hold a master's in civil engineering from the University of Southern California (USC), I’m also a Register Professional Engineer with the State of CA. Currently, I work for the Department of Water and Power (DWP) as a Civil Engineer Associate. I truly believe that students are our future and I’m passionate about helping them fulfill their career goals.

 

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