Alumni Newsletter - Spring 2011

You are here

Chemical Engineering Alumni ‘Give Back’ to Future Students

A new, state-of-the-art teaching lab

In Memoriam: Fellowship Honors Alumnus

Remembering Andrew Gelston Graham

CU Building Optimization Software Makes Impact on Energy Use

Building energy optimization software jointly created by architectural engineering Professor Gregor Henze and the Chicago-based company Clean Urban Energy, is creating large-scale energy and cost savings while introducing demand flexibility into the urban electric grid.

Professor Gregor Henze with graduate students William Surles adn Peter May-OstendorpThe technology is part of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that manipulates the performance and electric demand of a building’s heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system by harnessing thermal mass (the mass in and of the building, such as structure, furniture, and books).

Once the optimization system has determined how energy is stored and released by the building’s thermal mass, it implements strategies that optimize the building’s HVAC operations as a function of electricity prices, hourly temperatures, humidity, solar radiation, and carbon emissions.

Clean Urban Energy demonstrated the technology in several large commercial buildings in the Chicago area in 2009, and in 2010, used the software to optimize two office buildings in the Chicago Loop totaling 1.94 million square feet. The company recently completed a licensing agreement with CU granting it the exclusive right to commercialize the software algorithm.

RECUV Conducts Flight Test for Future Spacecraft

Scaled model of the Dream ChaserThe Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV) and Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) conducted a successful helicopter air-drop flight test of a dynamically scaled model of the Dream Chaser spacecraft at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in December.

The full-size Dream Chaser is derived from the HL-20, which NASA began researching almost 30 years ago but had never flown until the scaled model test. The vehicle is designed to carry up to seven people to the International Space Station and back, launching vertically on an Atlas V rocket and landing horizontally on conventional runways.

The development of the scaled model was led by aerospace engineering professors Ryan Starkey and Brian Argrow. Special kudos go to research assistants Josh Fromm and Eric Hall, who worked exceptionally hard designing and building the 5-foot-long, 15-percent scale model in conjunction with their SNC partners and six students working on software.

>>See video, broadcast on the Discovery Channel

Chemical Engineering Alumni ‘Give Back’ to Future Students

Mike Wirth answers questions forllowing a lecture he gave at teh college about the energy industryThe college is looking forward to providing a new, state-of-the-art teaching laboratory for chemical engineering students when the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building is completed in one to two years. The new unit operations lab has been made possible through a naming gift by Chevron, thanks in large part to two CU-Boulder alumni who have continued their devotion to CU throughout their careers.

Executive Vice-President for Downstream and Chemicals Mike Wirth (ChemEngr’82) and Designs and Engineering Manager Thad Sauvain (ChemEngr’91) are making good things happen in Boulder through their continued involvement. Both are Colorado natives—Wirth from Golden and Sauvain from Colorado Springs.

 “After spending part of my own junior year at CU huddled around the triple effect evaporator in the current lab, I am excited to be a part of bringing a new unit ops lab to future chemical engineers,” said Sauvain, whose internship some 20 years ago at Chevron launched his career there.

Sauvain visits Colorado regularly for recruiting and other events, such as unveiling Chevron’s support for the BOLD Student Success Center last fall. Typically, he also gets to visit family and go skiing as part of his visits. “The biggest payoff for me is to see Chevron hire some of the good students we have at CU and have them succeed at Chevron,” he said.

Wirth, who serves on the Engineering Advisory Council and oversees Chevron’s relationship with the college, agrees. "The things I learned in the CU unit operations lab during the 1980s prepared me well for my early years as an engineer at Chevron,” said Wirth.  "As a CU alum, I'm proud that Chevron is helping to build a new lab where students can experiment and master technologies for the 21st century."

Empowering the Public with Information in Crisis

EPICContinuing their work at the intersection of social media technology and emergency communications, graduate student Kate Starbird and her colleagues have monitored social media use in aftermath of the New Zealand earthquake, along with Twitter postings in both English and Arabic coming out of the popular uprisings in the Arab world. >>Read more

In Memoriam: Fellowship Honors Alumnus

Andrew Gelston GrahamA graduate fellowship was renamed this fall to honor Andrew Gelston Graham, a 2008 CU-Boulder civil engineering graduate who was tragically killed in November 2009. The fellowship provides support to outstanding MS and PhD students in the department, including tuition and stipends. The Andrew Gelston Graham Graduate Fellowship was endowed by members of the faculty and named to honor the memory of Graham’s outstanding scholarship as well as his enthusiasm for life’s challenges and promise. >> Read more

Spring 2011 Classnotes

Michael Francis (AeroEngr’69, MS’70, PhD’76) presented the Wright Brothers Lectureship in Aeronautics at the AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting in January in Orlando. He was chosen for the honor because of his accomplishments in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles. He serves as chief advanced programs and senior fellow at the United Technologies Research Center, based in East Hartford, Connecticut.

John Schuenemeyer (ApMath’69, MS’71) authored a book, Statistics for Earth and Environmental Scientists, with co-author Lawrence Drew that has been published by John Wiley & Sons. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Delaware and a fellow of the American Statistical Association. >>

Peter Binney (MS CivEngr’77) has joined Merrick & Company as the firm’s national director of sustainable infrastructure. Headquartered in Aurora, Colorado, Merrick has 12 offices across the U.S. Binney also has held leadership positions at Black & Veatch and CH2M HILL. He previously worked for the city of Aurora, which named its new $660 million water treatment plant in his honor last fall.

Darryl Leopold (MechEngr’80) earned a pharmacy degree and is working as a pharmacist since retiring from Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. He lives in Boulder.

James Michael Williams (CivEngr’84) was hired as senior vice president of engineering for SunLink Corp., a provider of scalable PV mounting systems in San Rafael, California.

A.Scott Moore (ChemEngr ’84) was elected chairman of the board of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. He is vice president of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

Jim Margolis (MechEngr’86) was named to the board of directors of ImproveCareNow, a quality improvement and clinical research program for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in children. He lives in Mill Valley, California, where he is co-founder and CEO of True2o, which works to reduce the use of disposable beverage containers and their impact on the environment.

John Mattson (ArchEngr’88) lives in Nederland, where he is currently working on fulfilling a childhood dream of being a writer. He recently self-published a collection of 26 extreme adventure stories that span the globe and include climbing, skiing, western rodeo, and kayaking many of the world’s deepest canyons. >>

Michael Yurchak (ArchEngr’90) works as a Sr. Facilities Manager at CB Richard Ellis, covering McGraw-Hill in Colorado and Texas. He lives in Broomfield.
Waleed Abdalati

Waleed Abdalati (MS AeroEngr’91, PhD Geog’96) was named chief scientist for NASA and will serve as the principal adviser to the NASA administrator on agency science programs, strategic planning, and evaluation of the agency’s current science investments. He has been an associate professor in the geography department and has directed the Earth Science and Observation Center at CU-Boulder since 2008. He plans to continue advising graduate students, returning a few days a month to Boulder from Washington, D.C.

Judith Rosall (MS Telecom’95) is the founder and managing director of a new market research consultancy, Lifesciences Market IQ. She lives in Denver.

Greg Fettig (ElecEngr’98) was recently named a partner in the Boulder patent law firm Duft Bornsen & Fishman. He lives in Golden.

Manish Kapoor (ElecEngr’99) is a business development manager at Cisco Systems. He and his wife are expecting their second child this spring; they live in Aurora.

John Purvis (AeroEngr’01, MS’05) has been named vice president of small tactical unmanned air systems at AeroMech Engineering, headquartered in San Louis Obispo, California.

Shawn Doherty (MechEngr’02) has been named engineering manager at ABSL Space Products in Westminster, Colorado, where he is responsible for leading the engineering team to develop and deliver lithium-ion battery systems for aerospace applications.
Jason Burdick

Jason Burdick (PhD ChemEngr’02) was selected to receive the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Kalpana Chawla Outstanding Recent Alumni Award in May. A former member of Kristi Anseth’s research group, he is currently a tenured associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Seth Glauberman (MechEngr’04) was promoted to vice president of sales at Malco Products, a family company and supplier of automotive and consumer specialty products. He has been working full-time at the Barberton, Ohio-based company since 2006. He also is working on an MBA at Case Western Reserve University.

Andrew Campbell (AeroEngr/MechEngr’05) transferred back to Colorado with Lockheed Martin, where he has been a systems engineer for the last five years in Sunnyvale, California.
Ashley Moore

Ashley Moore (AeroEngr/ApMath’06) was awarded the Amelia Earhart Fellowship for 2010-2011 by Zonta International. She is currently pursuing a PhD in control and dynamical systems at the California Institute of Technology.

Important Announcements

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

University of Colorado Boulder
© Regents of the University of Colorado
PrivacyLegal & Trademarks
College of Engineering & Applied Science
Contact Us