Discover Engineering Camp students in front of East Bay letters monument

Celebrating a Decade of Engineering the Future

  • BY Kimberly Hawkins
  • PHOTOGRAPHY BY Garvin Tso
  • June 26, 2024

Look around you. There aren’t many parts of our lives that an engineer hasn’t touched — from designing the cell phone you may be reading this on to roads, bridges and the electrical components powering our homes and buildings. We all love the conveniences of modern life, but it appears the talent pool of engineers is drying up faster than our needs demand, threatening to impact America’s technological progress and economic growth. 

“We are facing a shortage of engineers and constructors as well as other types of engineers in lieu of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Bill passed by Congress a couple of years ago,” Farzad Shahbodaghlou, Cal State East Bay’s director of the Construction Management Program said. “In addition, we need to diversify the field of Engineering.”

To this end, Cal State East Bay is hosting the weeklong Discover Engineering! Camp through June 28, hoping to inspire students to consider engineering as a future pathway to college and careers. 

“I do a lot of recruiting for my program at the community colleges and high schools,” said Shahbodaghlou. “This gives me an added opportunity to discuss this life-changing path in more depth with another group of motivated students.”

This is the 10th annual camp on the Hayward campus. Students live on campus while they learn and collaborate with others to build autonomous vehicles and bridges. The six-day, five-night summer camp culminates on Thursday afternoon as teams compete, testing their creations’ functionality and strength. On the morning of Friday, the teams present the results of their weeklong efforts.

“Our goal is severalfold,” said Shahbodaghlou, one of the camp’s founders. “We want to make going to college a serious possibility for the diverse, under-represented group of high school students. We also want them to consider STEM fields for college, specifically engineering. Finally, we want to introduce them to our very own successful Construction Management as well as Civil Engineering programs at 管家婆心水论坛, in addition to the other majors in the School of Engineering.”

Shahbodaghlou said he has been thrilled to see the number of girls interested in the program grow over the last decade. He is also grateful to keep in touch with past camp attendees. A highlight for Shahbodaghlou was having one of the past camp alumni return as an engineer to speak to the students last year as part of the Industry Roundtable. 

This year, engineers from different fields came to campus to have dinner with campers and then spoke to students in small groups.

“This experience inspires the students by seeing themselves in the engineers who come and speak,” he said. 

The camp is made possible thanks to a partnership with Chevron, which has contributed more than $1.5 million over the past 10 years to this project.