Logo: University of Southern California

Lockheed Martin Invests in Viterbi School Engineering Education

Donation will sponsor three new capstone senior design projects and five extracurricular student design teams

September 30, 2009 —

Two representatives of Lockheed Martin —  Fellow Gary Hafen and West Coast University Relations Manager Cindy Campos — presented a check for $80,700 to the Viterbi School on September 24.

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For Engineering! (from left) Lockheed representatives Cindy Campos and Gary Hafen present check to Dean Yannis Yortsos, Associate Dean of Student Affairs Louise Yates, and Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives Cauligi “Raghu” Raghavendra
Dean Yannis Yortsos, Associate Dean of Student Affairs Louise Yates, and Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives Cauligi “Raghu” Raghavendra received the gift, whcih will sponsor a wide array of projects that will directly improve undergraduate engineering education. 

Hafen is Lockheed Martin’s senior executive for matters pertaining to USC and is an MS alumnus of the Systems Architecture Engineering program. Campos has worked for many years directly supporting student programs, including the Viterbi School’s Center for Engineering Diversity, where she serves as a member of the Industry Advisory Board.   Both are regular visitors to the Viterbi School and are well known to Viterbi School administrators.

This check presentation was different from past presentations, however, in that the corporate sponsorship funds will be used for the first time to launch three new capstone senior design projects.   The funds will also help sponsor five extracurricular student design teams. All of these design project efforts are among the top undergraduate academic priorities of Yortsos and Raghavendra, who directs the newly created Division of Engineering Education. 

Raghavendra noted the capstone design project courses are part of an effort begun in fall 2008 to ensure all undergraduate students participate in a graded design project before they graduate. The new capstone courses include projects in electrical engineering, computer science, and astronautical engineering.

Hafen was pleased with the Viterbi School’s initiatives, and noted the importance of students getting project experience before they enter the workforce. He also noted that the projects are of specific interest to Lockheed Martin. 

Lockheed Martin is also sponsoring five student design projects including the Rocket Propulsion Lab Team, Cube Satellite Team, Competition Robotics Team, Formula SAE Auto Racing Team and much acclaimed Aero Design Team. 

The company has supported the Aero Design Team for many years. The team placed third in international competition in April 2009, and has a long history of placing regularly in the top ten among a field that has annually included as many as 60 entries from universities across the U.S. and from various foreign countries. 

Lockheed Martin has also sponsored USC’s annual Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Computer Programming Contest for the past two years, and once again renewed their support for the current academic year.

About twenty five faculty and students representing the various projects and courses attended the check presentation to personally thank Hafen and Campos for Lockheed Martin’s generous gift. All expressed enthusiasm for the experience students gain from design projects, both in capstone courses and in extracurricular project teams, and were grateful for Lockheed Martin’s support.  

Dean Yortsos is flanked by LM Fellow Gary Hafen (l) and LM Campus Relations Manager Cindy Campos (r) along with faculty and students representing the Aero Design, Rocket Lab, Cube Satellite, Formula SAE Auto Racing, and Competition Robotics student design teams.