While Boulder is already an undisputed hub of tech entrepreneurship - Entrepreneur Magazine ranked the city at the top of its "25 Best U.S. Cities for Tech Startups" - a group of CU students and alumni have brought the mission even closer to home with the opening in February of a unique, student-focused innovation incubator space on University Hill.
Fletcher Richman, managing director of the new Spark Boulder and a ECEE senior participating in the Engineering Leadership Program, says the coworking space is designed to build "a bridge between CU-Boulder and the amazing startup ecosystem that's all over Colorado. We're giving businesses a way to tap into the talent that's on campus while also bringing more visibility and introducing students to the businesses that want to talk with them." Richman, along with environmental design senior Bill Shrum and 2013 MBA graduate Ben Buie, conceived the 5,400-square-foot facility as a nonprofit organization with the help of some $140,000 in donations from corporate partners as well as coordination with the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship and the cross-campus New Venture Challenge.
Photo courtesy Paul Talbot/23rd Studios Boulder.
Lupita Montoya, assistant professor in CEAE and affiliated faculty in the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities, has been awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant for spring 2014 in Public/Global Health at La Salle University in Bogota, Colombia. Montoya - who worked with Chile's Pontifical Catholic University in 2012 under a similar grant leading to research on indoor air quality and health, with results recently submitted for publication - will work with La Salle faculty on air quality challenges in Colombia while also lecturing on air quality and public health. This work, in disciplines currently unavailable at La Salle University, will include needs assessment with government and schools on improving local air quality issues. As a result, Colombian faculty can develop tools and knowledge to help them win funding to study the effects of air pollution - currently the third major environmental concern in Colombia after natural disasters and water sanitation. The exchange is also hoped to help formalize a cooperation agreement between CU-Boulder and La Salle University to strengthen academic capabilities at both institutions.
President Barack Obama's announcement Feb. 25 of two new Pentagon-led manufacturing institutes to includes a light-metal manufacturing center near Detroit and a hub for digital manufacturing and design in Chicago - two locations that, at first glance, seem far removed from Colorado. But the news directly affects state research partnerships and funding: CU-Boulder will have ties to research at the Chicago institute (Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, or DMDI), and Colorado School of Mines with the facility near Detroit.
The exact figures for funding to reach CU-Boulder are yet unknown and will depend on CU faculty winning DMDI internal grants. These grants will be matched by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade that has promised matching up to $1 million per year for efforts enhancing manufacturing in Colorado. Additionally, CU has a matching commitment from the Colorado Higher Education Competitive Research Authority of $300,000 per year for five years. CEAS Associate Dean for Research Kurt Maute noted in a recent interview with the Denver Post that while it's impossible now to pin down dollar amounts, there's still cause for celebration, particularly in long-range potential for innovation: "Quite frankly, at this point, everyone can claim success, but nobody knows how much money they will receive from the federal government ... The longer-term effect, that researchers suddenly realize there is something really interesting in the area of manufacturing, that is what is important."
Congratulations to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:
Professor Karl Linden of CEAE was selected as a 2013-14 fellow of the Australian Water Recycling Center of Excellence (AWRCoE). Under the award, which is designed to foster industry-academic partnerships, he will work with Melbourne Water on enhanced implementation of water reuse projects, specifically in advanced treatment technologies, to sustainably meet their most significant water reuse challenges.
Assistant Professor Lupita Montoya of CEAE received a Fulbright Specialist grant in Public/Global Health at La Salle University in Bogota, Colombia for spring 2014.
Associate Professor John Zhai of CEAE was named a Distinguished Lecturer by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), effective July 1.
Sharon Anderson, Graduate Program Advisor in Mechanical Engineering, is the recipient of the Employee Recognition Award for February 2014.
Applied math BS/MS student Stephen Kissler received the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, funded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, for doctoral study in the United Kingdom.
Computer science PhD student Sam Blackshear received the Facebook Graduate Fellowship for 2014-15.
ECEE PhD student Eric Simley received third place in the 2014 IEEE New Faces of Engineering competition, which "highlights the vitality, diversity and rich contributions of engineers 30 or younger."
Two CU teams of aerospace grad students were selected to participate in the 2014 NIA/NASA RASC-AL Competition to be held in Cocoa Beach, Fla., in June: "Enabling the space frontier by implementation of a low mass cis-lunar outpost" (Asa Darnell, Tobias Niederwieser, Elliot Russell, Chris Christensen, Christine Fanchiang, Jonathan Anthony, Chris Nie, and Matthew Milanese) and "ECLIPSE: The Explorartory Cis-Lunar Laboratory for Interplanetary Sample Extraction" (Jake Adams, Adam Brown, Adam Carahalios, Zachary Cuseo, Elyssa Kaszynski, Josh Smith, and Ryder Whitmire).
The CU Physics Team of Tyler Reichanadter, Jordan Stern, and Kaitlyn Parsons - all engineering physics majors - received a silver medal in the University Physics Competition, an international contest for undergraduates.
Welcome to the new faculty and staff who are joining the college: