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February 2015


We are thrilled to announce that our college has an unprecedented number of NSF CAREER award winners this year! We are extremely proud of these seven junior faculty members, who join the more than 50 prior CAREER winners from the college.

“This shows a very high level of accomplishment from our junior faculty, as well as excellent choices in our hiring decisions,” said Dean Robert H. Davis. “The external recognition from the NSF and the review panel further confirms the high quality of our engineering program here at CU-Boulder.”

The following faculty member received their official notifications, with one faculty members still waiting to hear on his proposal.

·  Aaron Clauset, computer science, Hierarchical Probabilistic Models for Networks with Rich Data in Scientific Domains

·  Shideh Dashti, civil, environmental and architectural engineering, Toward a New Paradigm in Evaluating and Mitigating Urban Liquefaction

·  Alireza Doostan, aerospace engineering sciences, Fast Surrogate Modeling for Design under Uncertainty of Complex Engineering Systems

·  Joel Kaar, chemical and biological engineering, Rational Engineering of an Ionic Liquid Compatible Cellulase Cocktail

·  Greg Rieker, mechanical engineering, Frequency Comb-based Diagnostics for Combustion Environments

·  Fernando Rosario-Ortiz, civil, environmental and architectural engineering, Impact of Effluent Organic Matter on Photochemical Processes in Surface Waters 

·  Tom Yeh, computer science, Adaptive Tactile Picture Books for Blind Children during Emergent Literacy

Congratulations to all of our winners! 


Thank you to everyone who nominated or wrote letters of support for our accomplished alumni this year. The winners of the Distinguished Engineering Alumni and Recent Alumni awards have been selected and invited to save the date for the awards banquet on April 24.  

DEAA Winners

·  Industry & Commerce: Cheryl R. English, Vice President of Government and Industry Relations at Acuity Brands

·  Industry and Commerce: John C. Mollenkopf, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P.

·  Industry and Commerce: Kathryn G. Tobey, Vice President and General Manager for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company Special Programs

·  Government Service: Darrell F. Zimbelman, PhD, Director, Electro-Optical Imagery Satellite Systems, National Reconnaissance Office, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Space

RAA Winner

Evan A. Thomas, PhD, Assistant Professor and Director, SWEET (Sustainable Water,Energy and Environmental Technologies) Laboratory and Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University


Four engineering students spent their winter break in a tropical locale, but it was strictly business for the founders of SolVia Solar, part of the inaugural cohort of Catalyze CU-Boulder.

For Taylor Robert Scott, mechanical engineering; Emily Eggers, aerospace engineering; Kamron Medina, aerospace engineering; and Myranda Prentiss, applied mathematics and geophysics, the trip to Nicaragua was a crucial step in moving their solar irrigation business venture forward past graduation. The team spoke to nearly two dozen potential customers and key stakeholders about the benefit of solar power, initial costs and environmental impact.

“Our assumptions were validated,” Scott said, but added “we have a lot of work to get done before May.” The team is currently putting the final touches on their business model and financing. 



Dennis Akos of aerospace engineering sciences received a one year, $503K award from Space Sciences and Engineering LLC for a project titled “Pyxis Receiver Development”. 

Kristi Anseth of chemical and biological engineering has received the 2015 Bayer Distinguished Lectureship from the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering.

Jason Bara, Richard Noble and Douglas Gin of chemical and biological engineering have been issued a patent for a material used to make a “green” replacement for polar organic solvents, which are commonly used in cleaning, reactions, and processing in many industries

Christopher Bowman and Jennifer Cha of chemical and biological engineering, along with Noel Clark of physics and David Walba of chemistry, won a $12M award from NSF that funds the Soft Materials Research Center. Chemical and biological engineering has received $1.9M of their allocated $4.8M budget.

Webster Cash of aerospace engineering sciences was awarded a two-year, $528K grant from NASA for “Development of Formation Flying Systems.”

Robert Erickson, Dragan Maksimovic and Khurram Afridi of electrical, computer and energy engineering were awarded a two-year grant for $2M from DOE for “A Disruptive Approach to Electric Vehicle Power Electronics.”

Abbie Liel of civil, environmental and architectural engineering has been selected for the ENR Mountain States 20 Under 40 award. She has also received the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Shah Family Innovation Prize.

Robert McLeod of electrical, computer and energy engineering has been awarded a patent for improved optical packaging and circuit fabrication systems (three-dimensional direct-write lithography).

Prashant Nagpal and Anushree Chatterjee of chemical and biological engineering received a three-year, $1M award from the W.M. Keck Foundation for “Quantum Sequencing (Q-Seq): Using Charge Tunneling for Biochemical Assay of Single Molecules.”

Steve Nerem of aerospace engineering sciences won the inaugural American Astronautical Society Earth Science and Applications Award. The award will be presented at the 53rd Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium on March 10-12 in Greenbelt, Md. 

Roseanna Neupauer of civil, environmental and architectural engineering has received a Fulbright U.S. scholar grant to spend summer 2015 at Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral in Ecuador, in the civil engineering program.  She will work help the program prepare to apply for ABET accreditation and conduct research on the Abras de Mantequilla wetland system.

Leysia Palen of computer science has received the Association for Computing Machinery SIGCHI Social Impact Award for 2015. This international award is given to individuals who promote the application of human-computer interaction research to pressing social needs.

Rishi Raj of mechanical engineering has been awarded a patent for a faster, energy-efficient technique for manufacturing the ceramic materials used in aerospace, medical implants, military defense armor and a wide variety of technical applications, in addition to traditional ceramics.

Alexander Repenning of computer science and his team from Scalable Game Design have received a Google RISE Partnership Award [link] to expand their efforts into Mexico.

Ronggui Yang of mechanical engineering was elected chair of the K-9 Committee on Nanoscale Thermal Transport for the ASME's Heat Transfer Division for the 2015-17 term. He was also elected to serve as the 2014-16 chair for ASME's Nanoengineering for Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee. In addition, he has received the 2014 ITS Young Investigator Award, which recognizes a young researcher who has exhibited a record of excellent work and significant results in the field of thermoelectrics or thermoelectric materials.


Kenny Pratt, PhD student in civil, environmental and architectural engineering, won the Best Poster Award at the Workshop on Microscale Ocean Biophysics held at the Aspen Center for Physics on Jan. 11-15. He works in John Crimaldi’s research group.

Undergraduates Austin Holler and Julia Heil of computer science won the 2015 Topplers Domino Award, which includes a trip to South by Southwest Interactive in March.

Colorado Space Grant Consortium’s PolarCube team placed second in the University Nanostellite Program 8 Flight Competition Review in January. Their performance in the competition secured them one of five spots to continue development, which will lead to an eventual launch for PolarCube. 



Mija Hubler, Assistant Professor, Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering

Jae-Woong Jeong, Assistant Professor, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Christy Bozic, Stephen Dunn Professor of Engineering Management, Engineering Management Program

Richard Osborne, Senior Instructor, Computer Science


Amy Jarboe, Research Grant Manager, Computer Science

Andrew Kuklinski, Procurement Specialist, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Kelly Payton, HR/Payroll Specialist, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Josh Coyler, RAP Makerspace Engineer, Idea Forge

Erika Chen, Support Specialist, Interdisciplinary Telecom Program

Colin Mahoney, Assistant Studio Manager, CAETE

Bobbie Jones, Administrative Assistant II, CAETE

Nick Sutcliffe, Director of Marketing and Communications, ATLAS Institute

Important Announcements

CUEngineering is here!

The 2015 edition of CUEngineering magazine is hot off the press! Check it out online.

Engineering Recognition Ceremony to be held at 9am at Coors Events/Conference Center on Friday May 8, 2015

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