The past year has seen a high level of innovation in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, arguably more than in any other of the 12 years I have served as dean. A few examples of innovation are cited below and described more fully in this issue of CUEngineering.
It was 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday in 2003 when Kristine Larson realized what she was seeing. Larson, a professor in aerospace engineering sciences, had been using data from global positioning system (GPS) receivers to record the slow movements of tectonic plates. But that morning she was looking at data recorded soon after the magnitude 7.8 Denali Fault earthquake.
Won Park was hoping the result of the in vitro bladder cancer experiment using his nanoparticle technology wouldn’t just leave him seeing red. Among the red-stained live bladder cancer cells was an area stained blue, which showed the nanoparticle therapy had killed the cancer cells. The experiment was a success.
Wondering how to make a clean, green hydrogen fuel? Check out what Professor Alan Weimer of chemical and biological engineering and his CU-Boulder team did - they came up with a method to harness the power of sunlight to efﬁciently split water into its components of oxygen and hydrogen.
A year ago, while reading the children's classic Goodnight Moon, Tom Yeh, an assistant professor in computer science, began thinking about how to make books more accessible to visually impaired preschool-age children. Although his son has no visual impairment, Yeh, whose research is focused on human-centered computing - how humans and computers interact - set his sights on printing children's picture books using a 3D printer.
During an earthquake, which buildings will stand? Which will fall? Finding the answers to these life and death questions is at the heart of Abbie Liel's work in earthquake engineering. An assistant professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, Liel specializes in structural engineering and structural mechanics, studying how concrete buildings withstand seismic events.
Conrad Stoldt and Sehee Lee, both associate professors of mechanical engineering, have created an experimental battery that would vastly reduce the risk of the type of thermal runaway reaction that dogs today's lithium-ion batteries. Just as important, the same technological breakthrough would increase the battery's energy density, an improvement that has the potential to double the range of today's electric cars.