Department of Mechanical Engineering News
NASA-CU ozone study may benefit air standards, climate
A new NASA-led study involving the University of Colorado Boulder finds that when it comes to combating global warming caused by emissions of ozone-forming chemicals, location matters.
Research scientists Kevin Bowman of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and Daven Henze, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at CU-Boulder, set out to quantify, down to areas the size of large metropolitan regions, how the climate-altering impacts of these chemical emissions vary around the world. The chemicals, which are produced from sources such as planes, factories and automobiles, are converted to ozone in the presence of sunlight and subsequently transported by wind around our planet. Among these chemicals are nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and non-methane hydrocarbons.
Full story in CU News: CU News
Full story in JPL NASA News: JPL NASA News
Graphene membranes may lead to enhanced natural gas production
Engineering faculty and students at the University of Colorado Boulder have produced the first experimental results showing that atomically thin graphene membranes with tiny pores can effectively and efficiently separate gas molecules through size-selective sieving. The findings are a significant step toward the realization of more energy-efficient membranes for natural gas production and for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plant exhaust pipes. Mechanical engineering professors Scott Bunch and John Pellegrino co-authored a paper in Nature Nanotechnology with graduate students Steven Koenig and Luda Wang detailing the experiments. The paper was published Oct. 7 in the journal's online edition.
Read the full story: CU News
CU Professor involved in ground breaking graphene research
University of Colorado Mechanical Engineering Department Professor Ronggui Yang is working with other researchers from the U.S. and China to discover how boundry defects affect the strength of graphenes. Their analyses show that the material is weakest at the bonds between hexagon-heptagon rings - a result that will be important when it comes to designing high-strength, high-performance graphene-based membranes for electronic devices.
Read more about this research in this Nanotechweb article or read the research paper published at Nature Materials.
CU Boulder research leads to living without breathing technology
Insufficient oxygen (hypoxemia) owing to problems with lung ventilation in critically ill patients is a common cause of organ injury and death. The use of oxygen microbubbles may pave the way for an intravenous route to blood oxygenation, according to a new study by a group of researchers led by John Kheir, MD, at Childrens Hospital of Boston in collaboration with Mechanical Engineering faculty member Mark Borden at CU-Boulder.
Inspired by the need for a faster method to oxygenate critically ill patients, Dr. Kheir conceived the idea to use lipid-coated oxygen microbubbles (LOMs) as a direct intravenous route. He contacted Prof. Mark Borden, and together they developed a formulation for large quantities of stable LOMs (Langmuir 2010). Dr. Kheir recently tested the use of LOMs in vivo to extend life following airway failure, showing the promise of this life-saving approach.
Read the full story here: Science Translational Medicine
CU-Boulder students build bikes for kids with disabilities
Students in the junior-level mechanical engineering Component Design course showcased an array of bicycles they modified for use by children with disabilities during the spring 2012 Component Design run-off. Instructor Daria Kotys-Schwartz directed the effort during the spring 2012 semester with the assistance of mechanical engineering PhD candidate Lauren Cooper. Five clients were matched with the 27 student teams (~130 students in the course). Each student team consisted of approximately 5 students and competed against other teams to design and fabricate a bicycle that specifically met the needs of their client.
Read the Daily Camera article here: Daily Camera
Prof. Frank Kreith wins Hoyt Clarke Hottel Award
Prof. Frank Kreith is a world renowned expert on sustainable energy. In recognition of his achievements, Prof. Kreith has recently been selected as the 2012 Hoyt Clarke Hottel Award winner from the American Solar Energy Society, their most prestigious award. The award will be presented to him at the World Renewable Energy Forum (WREF) 2012 Conference in Denver, Colorado. He will be recognized at the Annual Awards Banquet of WREF on Wednesday, May 15 at 7:00pm.
In addition, Prof. Kreith recently wrote the lead article for the May, 2012 issue of ASME Mechanical Engineering Magazine entitled "Bang for the Buck". This article explores the concept of energy return on energy investment as a powerful metric for weighing which energy systems are worth pursuing. The magazine will include an editorial about this article as well as a record of Prof. Kreith''''''''''''''''s plenary talk on sustainable energy at the 2011 ASME Congress.
Senior Design Team takes 2nd place in Eco Marathon with a 1767 mpg gas prototype
The annual Shell Eco Marathon of the Americas competition was held March 29th - April 1st, 2012. Our Senior Design Team consisting of Jared Wampler, Joseph Gratcofsky, Jeff Vankeulen, Paul Sweazey and Matthew Feddersen (faculty advisor Prof. Jack Zable) placed 2nd in the gas prototype class out of 122 teams competing from the US, Canada, Mexico and South America. Their record results achieved an outstanding 1767 miles per gallon. The complete set of 2012 competition results are available here.
CU Boulder research leads to enhanced cancer gene therapy strategy
Gene therapy of cancer remains a tantalizing possibility that has not yet been realized. While many of the molecular mechanisms underlying malignant transformation and progression have been recently uncovered, the tools to reverse these events are frequently still lacking. The use of microbubbles with focused ultrasound may pave the way for cancer gene therapy, according to a new study by a group of researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and Columbia University led by Mechanical Engineering faculty member Mark Borden.
The approach taken by Borden's group - recently featured as the cover story for the Journal of Controlled Release - is to coat a microbubble surface with nanoparticle assemblies of DNA and polymer. The microbubble is injected intravenously and travels with the bloodstream to the tumor, where ultrasound is applied to release the nanoparticles and help the DNA migrate into the tumor. The DNA-polymer assemblies then enter the tumor cells and release the DNA, where it can be transcribed to provide therapy. The platform technology may provide gene therapy for other disorders as well.Read the full cover story here: Journal of Controlled Release
Prof. John Daily elected Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Prof. John Daily has been elected to the grade of Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. AIAA Fellows are persons of distinction who have made notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences, or technology of aeronautics or astronautics. As part of this honor, he will receive a certificate and pin at the AIAA Fellows Dinner on 8 May 2021 at the Westin Alexandria, Alexandria, VA, and also be recognized at the black-tie Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala on 9 May 2012 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington D.C. Professor Daily and his reserach group use a variety of experimental, analytical and computational tools to study problems mainly related to energy and propulsion. Professor Daily has over one-hundred and fifty publications and has given over two hundred conference presentations and technical seminars since receiving his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1975.
CU Engineering team supporting green energy in Haiti
A team of University of Colorado Boulder engineers travel to Haiti this month to support the growth of green energy on the two-year anniversary of the country's devastating earthquake.
Engineering professors Alan Mickelson and Mike Hannigan and graduate student Matt Hulse will be in Haiti Jan. 8-16 to collaborate with the Neges Foundation school at Leogane to create a vocational training program on the installation, operation and maintenance of renewable energy systems.
I'm eager to learn about the people of Haiti and the services that they would like energy systems to provide, said Hannigan, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Historically, the development of energy systems has shaped nations and economies, so the timing is right to pass along what we have learned about those energy systems that are sustainable.
Read the full story: CU News