Top Research Stories

David Pfotenhauer

Doctoral students work on better air quality

When David Pfotenhauer decided to pursue a PhD at CU Boulder, he knew that he wanted to specialize in an application-based science that would allow him get out into communities and use his knowledge to address public issues. As a current doctoral student in Mechanical Engineering, David joined CU Engage's 2016-17 cohort of Community-Based Research (CBR) Graduate Fellows. He became the newest member of an ongoing research project, a collaboration between CU Boulder and the Denver-based organization Taking Neighborhood Health to Heart (TNH2H). He began working to further the research that his colleague, CU Boulder CBR Fellow (2015-16) and Civil Engineering doctoral student Ashley Collier, had begun the year before in response to community concerns about air quality, contaminants and environmental health. David’s role in the project is to investigate air quality and radon levels in northeast Denver, one of the areas in which TNH2H members live. Read more
Water running through boulders

Fracking risks groundwater contamination

New oil and gas development techniques like horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing have dominated public concern in recent years about groundwater contamination in oil and gas basins. However, older vertical wells are more likely to cause groundwater contamination than newer wells, according to a new study from CU Boulder. Read more
Wind Turnbines

Engineers seeking to improve membrane of large-scale battery technologies

The research project, led by Richard Noble, Douglas Gin and Hans Funke of CU Boulder’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, will focus on improving the sophisticated membranes hidden inside powerful flow batteries. Unlike small, self-contained consumer batteries (AAAs, for example), flow batteries use external tanks to store the chemicals needed for an electrical reaction. The chemicals are commonly separated by a semi-permeable membrane. Read more