Alumni Newsletter - Fall 2008

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CU Solar Decathlon House Shines at Democratic National Convention

Featured in Green Frontier Fest

Women of CU Engineering Celebrate Achievements

WIEP celebrates 20 years

CU Solar Decathlon House Shines at Democratic National Convention

With support from Xcel Energy and the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, CU’s Solar Decathlon team received some well-deserved attention during the Democratic National Convention in August for its innovative solar-powered home.

The CU solar house, which was designed and built by students for an international competition in Washington, D.C. in fall 2007, was featured in the city of Denver’s Green Frontier Fest, a celebration of everyday positive choices that individuals, families, and organizations can make now to address global energy challenges.

CU engineering and architecture students talked to thousands of people during the five-day event about solar energy and energy-efficient building technologies while giving tours of the modular, 800-square-foot house. The event was held in the Denver Center for Performing Arts’ Sculpture Park on Speer Boulevard, where the CU house was set up underneath the prominent “Dancers” sculpture (see photo above).

Women of CU Engineering Celebrate Achievements

Nearly 200 alumnae, corporate supporters, faculty, staff and students joined in the Oct. 16 celebration of the Women in Engineering Program’s 20th anniversary. They came to see friends and colleagues, network, and honor the program that has supported women in engineering for the last two decades.

WIEP was founded in 1988, a time when women comprised only 13 percent of B.S. graduates in engineering. Today, women make up 17.5 percent of CU engineering graduates, and WIEP Director Bev Louie is leading the effort to increase that further.

“I think it’s amazing how it’s changed so much. I’m thankful that it has,” says alumna Patricia Giarratano (MechEngr’58, MS’64), who remembers being one of only four women in the engineering graduating class 50 years ago.

“At the time, it didn’t impress me that much that we were the only ones—we just took it in stride,” she recalls during a recent interview. Born and raised in Pueblo, Giarratano said she was encouraged by teachers and family members to pursue the career she wanted, and she has an older sister who became an engineer as well.

Giarratano spent the first few years of her career at Convair (now General Dynamics) in Fort Worth, Texas, before returning to CU for a master’s degree. She then joined the cryogenics division at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST) where she focused on experimental research for 33 years until her retirement.

“I loved every minute that I worked at NIST,” she recalls. “I really enjoyed the intellectual challenge, the people I met, and the academic-like atmosphere. It was exciting. I loved doing the experiments, and I never minded going to work.”

Giarratano continues to be an active Boulder resident today enjoying such activities as horseback riding, bicycling, and skiing.

Looking Ahead: New Building Projects on Horizon

CU-Boulder hopes to break ground on three new buildings before the end of the decade that together would provide a significant expansion and upgrade of space available to the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Campus planners are projecting the Systems Biotechnology Building could open in 2010 or 2011, followed by the Aerospace and Energy Systems Building and the Geosciences Building in 2012. The projects are being financed through a combination of university funds, state support, and private sector donations.

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering plans to relocate to the biotechnology building when it opens on the East Campus, where it will join faculty from the biochemistry division along with biotechnology researchers from various other departments working in an interdisciplinary environment.

The Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, meanwhile, plans to move into the Aerospace and Energy Systems Building, which is planned as an addition to the Engineering Center Complex on the main campus. An interdisciplinary energy systems cluster also will be created on the building’s upper levels, which will include the new Center for Research and Education in Wind being established by the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, the Building Systems Program in civil engineering, and other energy-focused groups in the college.

The Geosciences Building is a third, campus-wide initiative to integrate several programs related to energy and the environment, including engineering research laboratories associated with the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, the first research center established by the statewide renewable energy collaboratory.

CU Engineering Produces Prospective Student Video

The College of Engineering produced a video this summer to attract prospective students to CU-Boulder and the field of engineering. The video highlights CU’s top-notch students and programs and offers a glimpse into life as a CU Engineering student.

Fall 2008 Classnotes

John McCrumm (ElecEngr ’33, MS ’34), who made the first ascent of the Flatirons route now known as McCrumm’s Crack, is 96 and living in Media, Pa.

Lester Lautman (AeroEngr ’46) is retired from Boeing and lives in Normandy Park, Wash., where he sees his former classmate Roy Mason frequently.

Maurice Carder (MechEngr ’49) is retired and living in Centennial, Colo. His granddaughter Tyra is a freshman in architectural engineering at CU-Boulder.

Robert M. Wood (AeroEngr ’49) is collaborating with his son, Ryan, on UFO research and the design of recuperators to improve the efficiency
of helicopter engines and remotely piloted vehicle design. The son of K.D. Wood, first chair of the aeronautical engineering department at CU-Boulder, he recently served as program chair for the June meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration.

Fred Pogust (ElecEngr ’50) encourages fellow alumni to check out his novel, Refuge of Scoundrels: An Indecent Exposure of the Perils of Government Work, published by Xlibris Corp., 2001. He lives in Cherry Hill, N.J.

Curtis Baker (CivEngr ’51) is retired from the state of Oregon where he worked for the highways and parks departments. He lives in Salem and enjoys woodworking.

Pentti Honkanen (ElecEngr/ApMath ’59) is professor emeritus of computer information systems at Georgia State University. He lives in Atlanta, and has six children and 10 grandchildren.

Ann Bardin (EngrPhys ’60) is a student again, studying climate science and living in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Ronald Steinberg (ElecEngr ’62) retired in 2006 and is living in Rockville, Md.

Roger Repp (MechEngr/Bus ’65), after a fulfilling 35-year career in agricultural science (chemicals and seeds), has now completed the four-year master of divinity degree at Southeastern Baptist Seminary, and is serving in church ministry to help others. He and his wife, Donna, live in the Research Triangle Area of North Carolina, not far from their two daughters and six grandchildren.

Calvin Ferguson (CivEngr ’68) is retired from the state of Washington’s Department of Ecology. He lives with his wife in the Spokane area.

Vladimir Cervenka (PhD CivEngr ’70) sends greetings from the Czech Republic and his thanks for converting to an electronic alumni newsletter. He lives in Prague, where he owns the firm Cervenka Consulting.

Charlie Czarniecki (ChemEngr ’74), at left in photo, placed second in the Rocky Mountain Senior Games 20K bicycle road race in June behind CU dental school graduate Eric Van Zytveld. Czar is a retired Air Force colonel working at Schriever AFB in Colorado Springs as a space systems engineer on the Global Positioning System program.

Richard Ferguson (MechEngr ’77) is a metal sculptor producing primarily geometric works. He participated in Boulder Open Studios in fall 2007.

Terry Clark (MechEngr ’80) has joined Black Elk Energy, an independent oil and gas company in Houston, as executive vice president and chief technical officer. He was previously reservoir engineering director for Amoco Production Co.

Pamela (Woods) Johnson (CivEngr ’80) recently left northern California for the great Northwest, accepting a position with Seattle City Light leading the newly created Asset Management Division.

William Andrews (ArchEngr ’83) recently joined Walter P. Moore & Associates-Structural Engineers as managing director for their new San Francisco office.

Scott Donnelly (ElCompEngr ’84) was named executive vice president and chief operating officer of Textron, headquartered in Providence, R.I.

Pamela Drew (Math ’85, MS CompSci '87, PhD '91) was appointed senior vice president of business development for Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems sector in Reston, Va.

Gordon Harvey (ElecEngr ’87) works for Emerson Process Management in Colorado Springs, and his oldest daughter is a freshman at CU.

Henry LeRoy Miller (CivEngr ’92, PhD’96) was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with Al Gore. Henry was part of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report Working Group I Technical Support Unit.

Rob Fluehr, Jr. (ArchEngr ’94) owns Northampton Nursery and Building Solutions and lives in Glenside, Pa. He is married and has four children ranging in age from 2 to 7.

Armin Mehrabi (PhD CivEngr ’94) was appointed president of a new Bridge Engineering Solutions division of Pure Technologies Ltd., a company headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

Greg Doubek (MS Telecom ’01) serves in the U.S. Army and is currently stationed on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, although he will soon deploy to Kuwait as the director of the South West Asia Theater Network Operations and Security Center. He sends his best wishes to all telecom students and Army FA24s.

Brett Weitzel (MechEngr ’01/BioChem ’01) is a medical student at the University of New Mexico.

Henri Begin (ElCompEngr ’02, MS ElecEngr ’02) is a staff firmware engineer at Seagate Technology and is currently pursuing a master’s in engineering management at CU-Boulder.

Christopher Williams (MechEngr ’07) is a project engineer with Kiewit Pacific Coast Structures and just completed construction of the new San Francisco Bay Bridge.

Elizabeth McCartney (ChemEngr ’08) is a field engineer with Schlumberger and is relocating from Denver to Tanggu, China for work.

Important Announcements

CUEngineering:  A publication for alumni and friends. Read the 2016 edition of CUEngineering magazine here.

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