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An Overview of the Hornet Leadership Program in the College of Engineering & Computer Science at California State University, Sacramento

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Designing and Evaluating Engineering Leadership Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Leadership Development

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Paper Authors


Harindra Rajiyah California State University, Sacramento

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Dr. Harindra (Raj) Rajiyah’s career spans six organizations from Academia to Industry. He currently teaches as an adjunct faculty in the college of engineering & computer science at CSU.

• Raj started his career at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta as an Assistant Professor in Engineering Science and Mechanics. He taught 5 undergraduate and graduate level courses, mentored graduate students and published over 20 articles.
• At GE Corporate R&D center in Upstate NY, he was a senior staff engineer where he received many patents in Active noise control, Rotor crack diagnostics and Advanced composite materials. He then transferred to GE Transportation Systems as manager of propulsion engineering where he was responsible for leading the design/development of the next generation locomotive propulsion system.
• At Cummins Engines in Columbus, IN, he was the executive director of applied mechanics, materials and current product engineering, where he had the responsibility of leading over 250 people world-wide. He also served as a program leader for the Cummins B/C series engine launches resulting in annual revenues over $200M.
• At GE transportation systems in Erie PA, he was the general manager of advanced technology as well as leading the chief engineer’s office and global lab operations. He was also responsible for the patent process and portfolio development and government funding for technology at GE transportation.
• At Space Systems Loral in Palo Alto, CA, he was the executive director of product innovation responsible for a $50M R&D portfolio spanning Solar Arrays, Low Cost/Mass Power Systems, Composite Materials, Additive Manufactured Components, Active Arrays, Digital Processors, Power Amplifiers, Microwave Photonics, Analogue over Free Space Optics, Modular Spacecraft Architectures and Robotic Servicing.
• At California State University, Sacramento, he teaches as an adjunct faculty in the College of Engineering & Computer Science.

Raj has a Ph.D. from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY and a B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India both in Mechanical Engineering.

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Lorenzo M. Smith Ph.D. California State University, Sacramento

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Dr. Lorenzo M. Smith graduated from the University of Illinois, C-U, in 1991, earning his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Soon afterwards, he accepted a full-time engineering position at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI, where he primarily engaged in research and development in the fasteners engineering section. While a full time employee at Ford Motor Company, he worked on his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Wayne State University, graduating in 1993. Following his long-term plan first seeded during his undergraduate years, Dr. Smith left Ford Motor Company in order to pursue a Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics at Michigan State University. After completing all required course work by 1996, Dr. Smith accepted a sheet metal formability analyst position at General Motors Corporation. While at General Motors, Dr. Smith completed his dissertation entitled “Solid Finite Elements for Sheet Metal Forming Simulation” and graduated in 1999, earning his Ph.D. In early 2000, Dr. Smith joined Oxford Automotive in Troy, MI where he continued to refine his skills as a sheet metal formability analyst.
Since 1998, Dr. Smith complimented his industrial experience with part-time adjunct faculty positions at the University of Detroit, Mercy and Oakland University where he taught Metal Forming and Material Science classes, respectively. Such experiences helped pave the way for his full-time, associate professor position at Oakland University, where he explored a variety of research areas within the mechanics of sheet metal forming arena. Following a sabbatical at the University of Southern California, Dr. Smith recently initiated a parallel research track in the area of biomimetics, where he is investigating the use of biomimetic tactile sensors for the purpose of bio-tissue irregularity detection. In August of 2011, Dr. Smith accepted a position as associate dean in Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science.
Dr. Smith has published over 40 articles across various dissemination venues, including peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings. His sponsored research activities are supported by a variety of sources: William Beaumont Hospital, Department of Energy (through the USAMP), United States Automotive Manufacturing Partnership, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Group, Pacific Northwest National Labs, China First Heavy Industry, Borg Warner, and Michigan Space Grant Consortium. From 2001 to 2011, Dr. Smith secured approximately $1.8 M in external funding as PI.
In addition to his research Dr. Smith has invested heavily into his teaching aspects of his faculty position. He is a recipient of the Oakland University Withrow Teaching Award as well as the Oakland University Kheir Teaching Award. His commitment to serving the community is highlighted by his involvement with under-represented pre-college students. Over the course of the past decade, Dr. Smith has delivered numerous presentations and short-workshop courses to under-represented pre-college students in the Detroit area. He is an active Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program board of directors member, a faculty advisor for Tau Beta Pi, a member of the American Society of Engineering Education, participant in the North American Deep Drawing Research Group, and has co-chaired the 2005 Numisheet (International) Technical Conference. Most recently, Dr. Smith brought to Oakland University CLIC-form (Chrysler Learning and Innovation Center for Sheet Metal Forming), which is a first-of-its-kind program for producing “work-ready” graduates who plan to enter into a career in sheet metal stamping.

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Susan L. Holl College of Engineering & Computer Science, California State University, Sacramento

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Director, Hornet Leadership Program, College of Engineering & Computer Science.
Professor of Materials Science in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Active with student organizations as an advisor and mentor.
Active with undergraduate and MS level research.

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The purpose of this article is to present an overview of the activities undertaken in the College of Engineering & Computer Science (ECS) at California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State) with the Hornet Leadership Scholars’ Curriculum. The Hornet Leadership Program (HLP), launched in 2018, addresses some of our potential gaps in engineering leadership education. The program includes instruction on principles of leadership, seminars by industry leaders, leadership practice and reflection, discussions, one-on-one mentoring, leadership development in student organizations, and community activities. The program also reinforces the educational process by creating opportunities for participants to be coach/mentors for less experienced students as they progress in the program. The HLP allows students to enhance their engineering leadership training through direct application of leadership principles. As we grow the HLP, we have formulated three pillars of opportunity to encourage wide participation throughout the College. This paper describes the curriculum and our implementation of our unique engineering leadership program. The student feedback, outcomes assessment, and improvements will be published in a subsequent article.

Rajiyah, H., & Smith, L. M., & Holl, S. L. (2021, July), An Overview of the Hornet Leadership Program in the College of Engineering & Computer Science at California State University, Sacramento Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36681

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