Alumni Newsletter - Fall 2012

You are here

CU engineering team awarded grant to reinvent the toilet

Team tackles global challenge

Vote for CU engineering alumnus to win innovation competition!

ME alum competing for $100,000 prize

Featured Donor: Dan Ivanoff creates business-engineering partnership

Gift boosts construction management track

Come ‘Back to Boulder’ Nov. 1-3

If you’re like a lot of engineering alumni, you remember your time at CU-Boulder with pleasure, but you also remember working really hard to achieve your goals.

Now, we’re offering you an opportunity to relive one of the greatest times in your life—without homework and tests! Come 'Back to Boulder' and enjoy classes without quizzes on Friday, Nov. 2. Select among 20 classes offered by the College of Engineering and Applied Science, from Engineering Projects to Global Navigation Satellite Systems. (Note: You must register by Oct. 26; go to the Classes Without Quizzes page for information.)

Or, take a tour of CU-Boulder’s new Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building guided by engineering Dean Rob Davis. The tour departs at 9:30 a.m. from the main reception desk in the building; refreshments will be provided after the tour and no registration is necessary.

We hope to see you for one or more of these events. For more information on these and other Back to Boulder Homecoming Weekend events, visit the Back to Boulder site.

Vote for CU engineering alumnus to win innovation competition!

Mechanical engineering alumnus Tom Rachlin is one of five finalists competing to win a $100,000 prize in a national entrepreneurship innovation competition sponsored by Ketel One Vodka and GQ Magazine. A former Maryland resident who earned his bachelor’s degree in 2009, Rachlin entered his water conservation idea in the contest last summer and was selected from thousands of entries.

“What better timing than the middle of a drought?” the 26-year-old Boulder resident said about his Clean Water Reserve System, which would capture unused cold water from the plumbing of a sink or shower when it is first turned on, and release it back into the plumbing after the hot water reaches the faucet so that it isn’t wasted.

Rachlin’s invention, which includes options for retrofit and new construction, is featured in detail along with those of the other finalists in the November issue of GQ, and on Ketel One’s Facebook page.  Anyone can vote for the contest winner by going to between Oct. 24 and Nov. 24. Votes can be cast as often as once a day during the voting period. (Rachlin photo: Cliff Watts.)

CU engineering team awarded grant to reinvent the toilet

Graduate students make synthetic poop (yuck!) as part
of their research on a solar-biochar toilet.

Potty humor has become the new order of the day for some students in the environmental engineering program where an interdisciplinary team is working to develop a solar-biochar toilet for use in developing countries. But their goal certainly isn’t juvenile.

CU-Boulder embarked on the project this fall with a grant of nearly $780,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge,” which seeks to address a sanitation issue affecting nearly 40 percent of the world’s population.

Environmental engineering professors Karl Linden and R. Scott Summers are joining with chemical and biological engineering professor Al Weimer on the project. The idea proposed by the CU team involves using concentrated sunlight delivered through a bundle of fiber-optic cables to heat and decompose toilet waste for reuse in improving agricultural soils.

“This project integrates areas of expertise at CU in solar-thermal processes, disinfection and biochar that would not typically work together and creates a great team to tackle such a complex and important problem as sustainable sanitation solutions in developing countries,” said Linden, principal investigator on the project.

> Learn more

Featured Donor: Dan Ivanoff creates business-engineering partnership

A gift from civil engineering alumnus Dan Ivanoff and his wife, Laurie, is creating a new partnership between the engineering and business schools to benefit students. The gift will support a new construction management track within the MBA program in the Leeds School of Business starting in fall 2013, and open the door for graduate construction engineering and management students to take associated business classes. 


Fall 2012 Classnotes

Glenn Selch (ChemEngr '56) continues to sell chemical process equipment and solve process engineering problems through his business, Selch Process Systems.

Kenneth Brophy (CivEngr ’74) is working as a power plant engineering and construction management consultant for Marubeni Corporation in Jakarta, Indonesia. He wrote to us in August to report that after passing performance and reliability operation testing of a new Combined Cycle Power Plant in the sleepy fishing village of Maura Tawar, he was off to a vacation in Alaska.

Paul Ahlstrom (MS ElEngr '74) has worked for nine years at Seagate Technology in Longmont after previous employment at Hewlett-Packard and Agilent for 24 years. He and his wife Janet enjoy spending time with their adult children, three grandsons, and 16-year-old niece, Emily. Paul and Janet met while they were students and CU and recently celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary. Congrats!

After nearly 21 years of patent law practice in Seattle, Washington, Bob Carlson (ElEngr '77, Law '82) has changed practices to the Seattle office of Lee & Hayes PLLC, where he provides patent law and intellectual property counseling and litigation services to regional, national and international clients.

Greg Rech (ArchEngr ’84) was named president of the Santa Barbara Architectural Foundation. He was involved in the planning, research and writing of a weekly walking tour. He has been married for 20 years and has a son and two granddaughters.

John Boik (CivEngr '84) recently published Creating Sustainable Societies: The Rebirth of Democracy and Local Economies, a book in which he proposes a new economic system that he says would help sustain local businesses and the environment.

Kyle Way (ElEngr/CompSci '84, MS ElEngr '87) sent his triplets (Dylan, Taylor, and Adrienne) to CU this fall where they are enjoying their freshman year.  Dylan plans to major in electrical engineering, Taylor in aerospace engineering, and Adrienne in film studies.

C. Ben Nelson (CivEngr '84, MS '88) was named President of the National Council of Structural  Engineering Associations  on Oct 5. at the NCEA national convention in St. Louis. Ben has served on the NCSEA Board in various positions for the past six years. The organization advocates for the practicing structural engineer and represents over 12,000 members in 43 state-wide chapters.

Dave Parry (ElEngr ’85) is vice president of engineering at Solarflare, where he manages hardware and software development. Solarflare is the leading provider of application-intelligent networking products.  Before working at Solarflare, Dave worked at SGI and held various other engineering and management positions.

Terry Fulp (MS CivEngr ’88) was named regional director of the lower Colorado River region for the Bureau of Reclamation. As such, he serves as water master of 700 miles of the Colorado River in southern Nevada, southern California, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico and oversees facilities such as the Hoover Dam.

Kent Dickson (AeroEngr ’90) is CTO at Tendril where he is responsible for technology strategy, research, product architecture, standards and security. He was a speaker at the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley and discussed how devices and the “big data” they produce can massively reduce the amount of energy needed to live a comfortable life.

Jim Arnow (MS ApMath '97) is working at the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), an NSF-funded project collecting 30 years of ecological data to disseminate freely to the public.

David Whitt (MechEngr ’93, MS ’99) joined Microsoft in 2010 as a mechanical engineer.

Brendan Bartolo (CivEngr '00) recently moved from PCL Construction Services to Dynalectric Colorado, an electrical contractor based in Denver. He is currently a quality control manager working on a project in Colorado Springs. 

Gretchen Burks (AeroEngr '00) just moved back to the Seattle area after having been away for 15 years. Ten of those years she spent working at NASA in Maryland and Texas.  Gretchen and her husband celebrated the birth of their first son in July. 

Andrew Cozens (AeroEngr '01) has worked for Boeing since graduating and relocated from southern California to Washington (state) in 2006. He married an Oregon native in 2007 and now they have two little boys—Marshall, 3, and Logan, 1. Both love watching Buffs football with their dad. 

Nicole Skogg (ArchEngr ’01) recently spoke to the Peak Venture Group about her high-tech startup, SpyderLynk, and what she’s learned as an entrepreneur. SpyderLynk is a Denver-based mobile marketing company that sells custom QR codes called “SnapTags.” The company employs 14 people and provides SnapTags to about 40 clients that include national magazines like Glamour and InStyle and international brands such as Coca-Cola, L’Oréal Group, MillerCoors and Toyota Motor Corp.

Jeffrey White (MS AeroEngr '03) was hired on at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. before he graduated and has been working happily there for almost 10 years.

Scott Carpenter (CompSci '03) has spent the last year and a half helping grow Skytap Inc., a Seattle cloud computing startup.

Corry Lee-Boehm (EngrPhys & ApMath '04) won the Writers of the Future award for his science fiction short story "Shutdown." Cory also completed his PhD in experimental particle physics at Harvard University.

Grayson McArthur (AeroEngr ’05) is working on the 737 MAX  airplanes in the Static Loads group at Boeing.

Andrew Schneider (ChemEngr ’06) moved to Houston, Texas to take a job as sales account manager for Trevida, an environmental services company.

Zach Hazen (AeroEngr ’07) competed in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Beaverton, Oregon, in June in the hammer throw. Earlier this year he set a personal record with a 69.40 meter (227 feet 8 inches) throw at the Hamilton Open in Berkeley. Zach finds time to train around his full-time job as an aerospace engineer at Zee.Aero in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Justin Guevara (CivEngr ’08) has been working on the Port Mann Bridge project in British Columbia for nearly four years now. It has half the lanes open and the other half will open in December. Guinness recently confirmed that it’s the widest bridge in the world.

Margarite Parker (ChemEngr '09) is attending graduate school at the Colorado School of Mines.

Andreas Detsch (CivEngr ’09) and his wife celebrated the birth of their new son this spring. We got to meet him at the alumni picnic over the summer and he sure is cute!

Geoffrey Lake (MS AeroEngr ’09) and Melina Tremblay (AeroEngr ’08) got married in Bethel, Maine. The couple recently moved to a tropical island in the South Pacific where they will spend three years doing astrodynamics and signal processing research on a suite of telescopes and radars.

Aaron Biel (BS/MS AeroEngr '10) is working on starting a social networking firm with a team of four colleagues.

Aaron Cephers (CompSci '10) has started his own tech business.

Amber Shoals (ArchEngr ’10) lives in Washington, D.C. and joined the college’s GOLD Young Alumni Board this fall.

Katy Beggs (MS CivEngr ’07, PhD ’10), Kamal Ouda (PhD CivEngr ’10), and Abby Watrous (MS CivEngr ’06, PhD ’12) – the first three doctoral graduates of CU-Boulder’s Engineering for Developing Communities program were selected to be AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows. They join fellow CU engineering alumni Clarissa Hageman (MS CivEngr’07), TJ Donahue (ChemEngr’85), and Kavita Ravi (PhD ElecEngr’99), who are renewing AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows this year.

Zach Molden (ElEngr '10) was promoted from Engineer I to Engineer II at NetApp Inc.

Brandon Parker (MS CivEngr ’11) joined JVA Inc. as a design engineer in the JVA Structural Department in Boulder.

Geoff Babovec (CivEngr '11) has moved to Eagle, Colorado.

Joseph Freelong (AeroEngr '11) moved to Seattle, Washington a little less than a year ago to take on a position as a maintenance engineer for Boeing, where he develops the Aircraft Maintenance Manual, Fault Isolation Manual, and the System Description Section for the P-8 military aircraft. He is in charge of the communication systems of the P-8 and has also been on the flight line to validate the procedures that he and his team have developed.

Nicholas Przybysz (MS MechEngr'11) started working for Vestas full time in December. 

Andrew (AJ) Gemer (AeroEngr ’10, MS MechEngr ’12) is working for LASP and living in Louisville.

Stephanie (Sorenson) Wettstein (MS ChemEngr ’07, PhD ’10) joined the faculty of Montana State University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering as an assistant professor. Previously she worked at Kimberly-Clark Corp. Stephanie did her post-doctoral work at University of Wisconsin, and her research included catalysis and separations with a focus to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable resources.

Ben Switzer (ChemEngr ’12) was preparing to leave the United States in October for a tour of duty in Kenya teaching with the Peace Corps. Happy travels, Ben!

Brad Lindseth (PhD ElEngr '12) is working on wind profiler radar at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.  He and his wife, May, gave birth to a son, Daniel Bjerke Lindseth, on August 30.

Since graduating, Doug Stillings (CompSci '12) started a job at Ricoh, moved to Longmont, and had a baby, born Aug 23, 2012.

Tell us what's new in your world! We'd love to hear and share your news, accomplishments, and other changes in your life.
> Submit Class Notes and Update Your Contact Information

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