Alumni Newsletter - Fall 2010

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CU-Boulder Partners in FAA Commercial Space Transportation Center

Shaping the future of space flight

Student Diversity Increases with Launch of GoldShirt Program

An extra performance-enhancing year

CU-Boulder Partners in FAA Commercial Space Transportation Center

CU aerospace engineering faculty and students will help to shape the future of commercial space flight as one of eight institutions selected to participate in the newly formed Commercial Space Transportation Center sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Obama administration recently released its new National Space Policy, which recognizes opportunities and advancements in commercial space transportation and lays out specific ways to use commercial capabilities.

"This industry is currently at a point in time that is somewhat analogous to the barnstorming days of early aviation,” said Professor David Klaus, principal investigator for the CU-Boulder portion of the project. “We have tremendous potential to advance the capabilities of space travel for the generations to come."

The center will focus on four major research areas: space launch operations and traffic management; launch vehicle systems; commercial human space flight; and space commerce including law, insurance, policy and regulation.  Since 1984, the FAA has issued licenses for more than 200 commercial launches and has licensed the operation of eight launch sites known as spaceports.

CU Researchers Study Environmental Effects of Gulf Oil Spill

Two CU-Boulder environmental engineering teams have been funded by the National Science Foundation to conduct quick-response research in the aftermath of the Gulf Oil Spill. One team led by Professor Karl Linden is trying to determine the environmental fate of chemical dispersants used in the clean-up.

Linden’s investigations are focused on Corexit, a proprietary chemical used by BP, and on photochemical degradation, which is believed to be an important mechanism in the breakdown of the dispersant.

Dispersants were sprayed onto the ocean in larger quantities than ever before and injected deep underwater at the source of the oil leak, a new practice with unknown consequences.

Meanwhile, a group led by Professor Mark Hernandez is assessing air quality and respiratory health risks for clean-up workers. "A growing body of research suggests that emergency response crews suffer from various respiratory disorders following floods and other large-scale carbon inputs to brackish and freshwater bodies," said Hernandez, who also conducted sampling in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Students have made multiple trips to Grand Isle, Louisiana, this fall to collect air and water samples and visit contaminated beaches. Their research will continue over the next several months to include sampling during various phases of the cleanup operations.

Student Diversity Increases with Launch of GoldShirt Program

The percentage of underrepresented minorities in this fall’s entering class grew to an all-time high of 12.5 percent compared with 9.3 percent in fall 2009, in large part due to an innovative program piloted by the college last year. Called GoldShirt, the program is similar to athletic “redshirt” programs in that it provides an extra performance-enhancing year to highly motivated students who are not yet ready to begin the regular undergraduate engineering program.

A total of 30 students are participating in the GoldShirt Program this year, roughly twice as many as last fall, and including a large number of underrepresented minorities, females, and first-generation college students.

The GoldShirt concept was developed by the college’s BOLD Center, which takes an inclusive approach to attracting, preparing, and expanding opportunities for students historically underrepresented in engineering. BOLD—Broadening Opportunity through Leadership and Diversity—expands on the methods developed by the multicultural engineering and women in engineering programs, which are now subsumed within the BOLD Center, to try to get greater traction in diversifying the engineering enrollment.

CU Engineering Goldshirt Student Profiles
Kayleigh Arendt
Lafayette, Colorado
Andre Whitehair
Westminster, Colorado


Fall 2010 Classnotes

Harry Tew (ChemEngr’48) is retired and living in Walnut Creek, California, after 27 years as a nuclear/chemical engineer at the Hanford Nuclear Facility. He is currently doing personal research on deep ocean bed chemistry processes, gaseous diffusion, reaction rates, and nutrient recycling.

S. John Archuleta (ArchEngr’61) was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents in May 2010 in recognition of his many efforts to achieve educational opportunity for rural Colorado students. A resident of Grand Junction, “Arch” recently established a partnership between CU-Boulder and Mesa State College to increase engineering opportunities for Western Slope students. He is the president of JVA Inc., and a founding partner of the National Bank of the Rockies.

Michael S. Francis (AeroEngr’69, MS’70, PhD’76) was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents in May 2010 in recognition of his outstanding technology contributions and public service over two decades as a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He currently serves as a program developer and adviser in the areas of autonomy and unmanned systems at United Technology Corp.

Edward Ashwood (ChemEngr’75) is a professor of pathology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He also is the president and CEO of ARUP Laboratories, a university enterprise.

Michael Houdek (ChemEngr’76) is the western region process engineering program director at Banner Health in Bellvue, Colorado.

Kevin Odle (AeroEngr’78, MS’81) is deputy chief systems engineer with the Orion Program at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado.

Lee Sherman (ArchEngr’81) works as a site manager at Boeing and lives in Elbert, Colorado.

Nan Joesten (ChemEngr’82) was selected to receive the Young Alumni Award from the University of California-Berkeley School of Law. She specializes in business litigation and intellectual property and technology at Farella Braun & Martel in San Francisco.

Daniel McAtee (ChemEngr’88) was named president of Harsco Minerals, headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Michael S. Jackson (ChemEngr’90) is a program manager at Applied Materials in Sunnyvale, California. The company supplies manufacturing systems and related services to the global semiconductor industry.

Wataru Nishimura (AeroEngr’93) is managing director of Advanced Material System Pte. Ltd., in Singapore, Malaysia.

Jesse Gatlin (MechEngr’95) was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Wyoming. He earned his PhD in cell and developmental biology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 2005.

Pete Kopfmann (ChemEngr’97) is an engineering manager at Genmab, a biotech company developing human antibody therapies and treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases. He lives in Chaska, Minnesota.

Nate Schnabel (ChemEngr’97) lives in Englewood, Colorado, and is a vice president at DPC Development Company.

Evert Eriksson (ChemEngr’98) is a general/trauma surgeon at the Medical University of South Carolina Hospital. He lives in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Andrea M. Hanson (MS AeroEngr’04, PhD’08) was named to the Space Camp Hall of Fame in August. A former Space Camp staff member, she is now a post-doctoral research scientist/engineer at the University of Washington and the coordinator of a project to develop bone health monitoring hardware for use during future lunar missions.

Katherine Potter (ChemEngr’10) is a research chemical engineer at Bend Research in Bend, Oregon.

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