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Cal State LA receives grant from clean-air agency for graduate student research

May 14, 2021

By Cal State LA News Service

Cal State LA’s College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology has received $625,000 from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to create a Graduate Research Fellows Endowment Program to support students studying clean-air technologies.

The program will assist graduate students in the college as they prepare to enter the workforce and help them contribute to the fields of air quality and climate change, said David Blekhman, professor of technology and the principal investigator for the program.

“This funding from South Coast AQMD will strengthen Cal State LA’s research and education into a variety of clean-air technologies,” Blekhman said. “This regional collaboration is vital for our research and our students’ success.”

South Coast AQMD is the air pollution control agency for major portions of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

“It is vital that we support the education of air quality and air pollution control technologies wherever we can,” said Wayne Nastri, South Coast AQMD’s executive officer. “We see this as an investment in reducing emissions and cleaning the air now and in the future.”

Cal State LA is a leading university in climate change and sustainability education and research. It is home to the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Energy and Sustainability and the Sikand Center for Sustainable and Intelligent Infrastructure.

In addition, Cal State LA conducts research projects concentrating on air quality, climate change, stationary greenhouse gases pollution, microgrids, big data, intelligent systems and sustainable transportation and energy. 

South Coast AQMD has previously provided funding for the Cal State LA EcoCAR 3 competition team and the university’s Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, the first in the world to sell hydrogen by the kilogram directly to members of the public who operate fuel cell electrical vehicles.

In 2018, Cal State LA received South Coast AQMD’s Clean Air Education and Outreach Award in recognition of the university’s efforts to educate the public about air quality issues and to improve air quality.

In particular, the award recognized Cal State LA’s participation in EcoCAR 3, a collegiate automotive engineering competition in which student teams each redesigned a Chevrolet Camaro to reduce its environmental impact. Cal State LA was the only California university and just one of 16 in the U.S. and Canada that participated in the four-year competition.

Photo: Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility at Cal State LA. (Credit: Emilio J. Flores/Cal State LA)

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit