An Airplane Prototype Lab, a New Board Member and a Super App. All in the October Board Meeting.
The Cal Poly Corporation Board of Directors met on Friday, Oct. 28, for its first 2022-23 academic year meeting. They discussed an airplane prototyping laboratory, a dynamic new mobile super app, and more.
As part of the first meeting of the year, the board welcomed a new student board member, industrial engineering student Aaron Fernandes.
Flight Test and Airplane Prototyping Laboratory
Aerospace Engineering Associate Professor Paulo Iscold attended the board meeting to discuss the establishment of a state-of-the-art testing and prototyping laboratory with capabilities to test Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Communication and Control (C2) systems.
The lab helps set up better flight test capabilities for the Aerospace Engineering Department and increases airplane prototype capabilities to support research activities.
“Imagine music students not having any instruments to play,” Iscold said. “That is what it is like for aerospace students not to touch an airplane.”
According to the grant Iscold received from the U.S. Airforce, he had one year to purchase an aircraft that could be configured to fly manned and unmanned. Cal Poly Corporation played a critical role in helping Iscold reach the grant’s goal. He now teaches students in a classroom located in a hangar at the San Luis Obispo Airport.
“There are very few universities in the nation that offer a hands-on experience like Cal Poly,” Iscold said. “It is an invaluable experience for the students.”
For the past three months, members of the CPC leadership team have been working with Wipro, a technology services and consulting company, and Chartwell’s Higher Education, CPC’s Campus Dining partner, to create a mobile super app that will provide a seamless e-commerce campus experience.
The super app aims to provide a complete shopping experience on campus: Imagine pre-ordering coffee from Scout in the morning, a precalculus study guide from the Mustang Shop in the afternoon and a foam finger at a baseball game that evening. In one app, students, faculty, staff and visitors can get everything they need for life on campus.
This one-of-its-kind super app is a collaborative venture with campus stakeholders and product partners. It will integrate Campus Dining, Mustang Shop, Cal Poly products such as meat, dairy, jam and chocolate, Cal Poly Athletics and off-campus companies to provide a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
Andrea Burns, CPC’s associate executive director, presented alongside Ivy Kusler, Chartwells Higher Education regional vice president, and Sandeep Bahri of Wipro on the project’s vision and the progress made thus far.
Currently, the super app is in the discovery phase with the team collaborating across campus through interviews with Cal Poly stakeholders and potential users to gain insights that will inform the design of the user experience.
They will conduct one-on-one interviews with potential customers and merchants to better understand user behaviors and goals with apps. This work and research will help define how people will use the app and identify key pain points to solve and opportunities to leverage.
The super app will benefit the entire campus community and the university. CPC will share more information as it becomes available.
The next Corporation Board of Directors meeting is Feb. 3, 2023.