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September 20, 2004 :: No. 38

Alumna Returns to Alma Mater to Share Research

Judy Segura, the first Mexican-American woman to earn a doctorate in mechanical engineering with the specialty of thermosciences at Stanford University, will return to her undergraduate alma mater Wednesday, Sept. 22, to share her thesis research and graduate school experiences.

The researcher, one of nine children born to Mexican immigrants, entered Cal State Fullerton initially as a French major. She participated in the university’s six-week Summer Bridge Program and received guidance that led to her working with Murtadha A. Khakoo, professor of physics. Khakoo became Segura’s research adviser, having her assist him in building a new experimental atomic physics lab on campus.

“Before I knew what happened, I was not only building experimental apparatus, I also was taking data, analyzing results and publishing papers,” she notes. “Having never taken a physics class in high school, I’m still not sure how it happened, but I ended up double majoring in both physics and mechanical engineering.”

Segura graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and physics, and completed her doctorate earlier this month from Stanford.

She will discuss her study of multiphase flow phenomena that affects the environment, manufacturing and other industrial applications, at noon with students in the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) program, meet with prospective doctoral students at 2 p.m. and give her thesis presentation at 4 p.m. as part of the Physics Seminar Series.

Media Contacts: Maryanne Horton of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at 657-278-5466 or
Pamela McLaren of Public Affairs at 657-278-4852 or