New Faculty: Cabrales Arriaga helping build mechatronics department

Luis Cabrales Arriaga

Luis Cabrales Arriaga is the founding faculty member for CSUMB's new mechatronics department.

October 12, 2023

By Mark Muckenfuss

Luis Edgar Cabrales Arriaga helped found the engineering program at CSU Bakersfield in 2012, a program that grew to more than 300 students. Now, he’s doing it again as founding faculty for CSU Monterey Bay’s Mechatronics Engineering program. 

Arriaga came to CSUMB this year specifically to establish the new program. The expansion of the College of Science is being funded through a Department of Education Title V grant and will include remodeling space for labs, purchasing new equipment and hiring new faculty. Courses for the new program are in the approval process and students will be able to enroll in the program next fall. 

Arriaga was born in Tampico, Mexico, on the country’s Gulf Coast. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Tamaulipas in nearby Altamira. 

He began his working career as an engineer at M&G Polymers, one of the largest polyester producers in the world. Afterwards, he went on to earn a master’s degree in chemical engineering at Texas Tech University, working on research projects related to polymer science. 

He subsequently joined the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute at Texas Tech as a research associate. While working at the institute, he continued his studies, earning a PhD with specialization in fibers and biopolymers in 2011. 

In 2012 he started as an assistant professor at CSU Bakersfield, eventually becoming a full professor. He also served as the chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering. 

During his time at CSUB, he worked on multiple research projects, collaborating with industry, government and local partners. He has worked in the areas of water treatment technologies, specifically the treatment of wastewater from oilfields. He is also interested in the use of polymers from renewable resources.