Alumni Newsletter - Summer 2011

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EWB-CU Chapter completes reed bed system in Nepal

One of EWB's largest projects to date

CU-Boulder designs next generation of Internet to keep up with mobile users

Bringing wi-fi to campus buses and more

EWB-CU Chapter completes reed bed system in Nepal

Four CU engineering students traveled to eastern Nepal this summer to complete a reed bed wastewater system for a municipal hospital in the Ilam District.

The project is one of the largest and most complicated projects undertaken to date by the CU chapter of Engineers Without Borders, an organization that provides hands-on learning opportunities for students while helping to meet the needs of the developing world. Students say the reed bed system is desperately needed because the hospital has been dumping wastewater into a gully that runs to the Mai Khola River, affecting thousands of people downstream who use the river as a water source.

CU engineering students Arista Hickman, Marika Meertens, Taylor Pearce, and Michael Fend, along with the team’s technical mentor and professional engineer, Mike Gill, worked with the community to install the system’s final component, a septic tank, and provide training on its proper use and maintenance during their May/June visit. 

CU students last traveled to Nepal in December, when they finalized the reed bed structures and surveyed the hospital property for the best location for the septic tank.  >>Watch video

CU-Boulder designs next generation of Internet to keep up with mobile users

Researchers from the College of Engineering and Applied Science are helping develop the next generation of the Internet -- a more mobile version -- and the CU-Boulder campus is using this new technology to provide wireless service on campus buses and in some labs and classrooms.

The university recently used the WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) wireless protocol to extend its wireless network to the campus buses running between the Boulder campus and off-campus student residence halls located about a mile from campus. A tablet-wielding student in one of these off-campus residence halls can now jump on the campus wireless network while waiting at the bus stop, board the bus and ride it to campus, all during one uninterrupted session on the campus wireless network.

"The Internet, and the way that people access the Internet, is changing," said computer science professor Dirk Grunwald, who is involved in the WiMax project. "Internet access has grown increasingly mobile ... The next generation Internet needs to directly address the mobile users of the future."

While Wi-Fi wireless service -- the kind most of us are accustomed to using in coffee shops and hotels -- is designed for short-range wireless coverage, primarily inside buildings, WiMAX is designed for mobility and outdoor connections that can be maintained at highway speeds.

The university's Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program, or ITP, is employing WiMAX technology in a laboratory setting to allow students first-hand experience with this technology, and Professor Timothy Brown, director of the ITP, will use the campus WiMAX service in a class to help students design and analyze wireless networks.

"Because students in my class need to download large amounts of data, we need a way to do it that won't take down the campus wireless network," Brown said. "Our lab's WiMAX system allows us to do our work without kicking off the wireless users in the classroom next door. Everyone is happy."

CU engineers recognized at spring commencement

The college is pleased to join in recognizing the following CU engineers who were honored for their vision and leadership at University Commencement on May 6:

Juan Rodriguez, adjunct professor in electrical and computer engineering, and co-founder of Storage Technology Corp. and other entrepreneurial ventures, was awarded an Honorary Degree
Richard Weingardt, 1960 bachelor’s and 1964 master’s civil engineering alumnus, successful structural engineer, and author of numerous articles and books promoting the history and heritage of the engineering profession, was awarded an Honorary Degree
M.A Mortenson Jr., 1958 civil engineering alumnus and successful construction contractor who endowed the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities and Mortenson Chair in Global Engineering, was awarded the University Meda


In Memoriam: Max S. Peters, 1920-2011

Max S. Peters, who will be remembered for his strong leadership and remarkable achievements over 16 years as dean of engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder―as well as for his fun-loving personality, athleticism, and service to the engineering profession―died on June 20, 2011, at the age of 90.

From 1962 to 1978, Max led the engineering school through the construction of a new, modern-day Engineering Center, and oversaw significant increases in research funding and improvements to graduate education as the eighth dean of the college. Max continued to teach and do research while dean, and wrote many technical papers and several textbooks on chemical engineering, including the widely known Plant Design and Economics for Chemical Engineers, which is now in its 5th edition and has sold over 100,000 copies. He subsequently served as chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1981 to 1985, and retired from active duties in 1987, when he became professor emeritus of chemical engineering and dean emeritus of the college.

Max also was active in professional service, so much that the College of Engineering and Applied Science created the Max S. Peters Faculty Service Award, and presented it to him as its first recipient the year he stepped down as dean. He was also recognized as one of the Top 100 individuals in the college’s history.

Throughout his life, Max enjoyed competing in athletics, including running, skiing, ice skating, and later, race-walking. As dean, he shared his playful and competitive nature with his students, racing them annually during Engineering Days - often manipulating the rules before and during the races so that only he could win.

Max is survived by his wife of 63 years, Laurnell Stephens Peters, along with their two children, Margaret and Stephen, and four grandchildren. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Max S. Peters Graduate Fellowship Fund by writing a check to the CU Foundation with Max Peters on the memo line. Checks can be mailed to: Engineering Development, 422 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309.

Summer 2011 Classnotes

Jack L. Bishop, Jr. (ChemEngr ’61) reports that he has been retained for a multi-year consulting contract by Deutsche Börse, which recently acquired the assets of the Chicago-based consulting firm, Kingsbury International. The firm, and Bishop himself, are known for creating and releasing the monthly Chicago Business Barometer, also known as the Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index (Chicago PMI).  

Vladimir Cervenka (PhD CivEngr ’70), who celebrated his 70th birthday this year, was awarded the Medal of Merit at the International Federation for Structural Concrete Symposium in Prague on June 8.

David Sosnowski (CivEngr ’77)John Murphy (Bus ’77), and Dan Park (CivEngr ’77) are celebrating 30 years in business as the Advanced Systems Group. Since its founding in 1981, the Denver-based IT consulting, integration and project management firm has grown to a $152 million company with 108 employees across 10 states.

Stig Stoeme (CivEngr ’77) is Chief Engineer Subsea Production Systems at Lundin Norway AS in Oslo, Norway. He has a 32 year career in the offshore oil and gas business in his home country of Norway and internationally.

Karsten Thompson (ChemEngr ’89) has been named chairman of the Craft and Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering at Louisiana State University. He earned his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan in 1996.

David B. Spencer (PhD AeroEngr '94), associate professor of aerospace engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, has been elected to the grade of Fellow in the American Astronautical Society (AAS).  The AAS has been designating Fellows of the Society since its founding 57 years ago, and has elected 438 distinguished men and women for this honor to date.

Julie Bartsch Riley (ApMath ’97) and David Riley (AeroEngr ’97) welcomed their baby Buff, daughter Avery Siena, to the family on February 5, 2011. The family currently lives in Arlington, VA.

Phil Corbett (CivEngr ’99) recently joined CMA Engineers as a project engineer in the firm’s Portsmouth, New Hampshire office.

John Purvis (BS AeroEngr ’01, MS AeroEngr ’05) was named president and CEO of the newly named AME Unmanned Air Systems, formerly AeroMech Engineering Inc., in San Luis Obispo, California. He had been serving as AME UAS’s vice president for small tactical UAS since last October.

Lisa Weber (ChemEngr ’05) spent five years working in the oil and gas industry. She recently completed her M.S. in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in bioengineering at the University of Denver, where she is currently working towards a Ph.D. in bioengineering.

David Walton (MechEngr ’06) married Sarah Boone in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. The couple lives in Portland, Oregon, where David works as a development engineer for Tyco Electronics.

Rajeev KC  (ChemEngr ’08)  is currently working as a process engineer at FMC Corporation in Rock Springs, Wyoming, but planning to enroll in an MBA program soon!

Cole DeForest (MS ChemEngr '09), who is currently pursuing his PhD in the department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, recently received the 2011 DSM Polymer Technology Award recognizing innovative PhD or post-doctoral research in polymer technology. Cole's development of a synthetic methodology to synthesize novel hydrogel biomaterials will enable researchers to gain better insight into how cells receive complex information from their local native environment.

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