Spotlight on Research - Spring 2012

You are here

Research Metrics - Spring 2012

Awards continue strength in FY 2012

Distinctive Facilities: Crimaldi Lab

A unique turbulent flow facility

New Projects - Spring 2012

Jeffrey Forbes (ASEN) and Jeff Thayer (ASEN) will lead a multi-university $4.5 million NSF Frontiers in Earth System Dynamics Award to study electrical processes that connect the Earth with the atmosphere and with space. Among the program's goals are the improvement of data resolution and modeling capabilities to more realistically simulate complex processes and forecast disruptive or "threshold" events that may affect the Earth environment.

Alex Repenning (CSCI), David Webb (Mathematics Ed) and Kris Gutierrez (School of Ed) were awarded $1.5 million by NSF for Computational Thinking for Teaching Computing (CT4TC): Validating a Theory of Broadening Participation.

Amy Javernick-Will (CEAE) obtained two NSF awards totaling over $667,900. She received one award with Paul Chinowsky (CEAE), Mark Riddle (Antioch University) and John Taylor (Virginia Tech) for VOSS: Creating Global, Multi-lateral, Knowledge-Sharing Communities of Practice and a second with Cathy Leslie (Engineers Without Borders) for Collaborative Research: Gender Diversity, Identity and EWB-USA.

Eric Frew (ASEN) received $500,000 from NSF for research on Robust Intelligence: Providing Quality of Information in Robot Sensor Networks.

Henry Tufo (CSCI) received an award from the Department of Energy for just over $1.5 million for work on a Petascale Non-Hydrostatic Atmospheric Dynamical Core in the HOMME Framework.

Kelvin Wagner (ECEE) received an NSF award for Wide-Field Super-Resolved DEEP 3-D Microscopy amounting to $474,922 and a second award for $340,000 from Brimrose Corporation of America for Ultraviolet Acousto-Optic Devices Using Barium Borate (BBO) originating from the Army ARO STTR (Phase II) program.

Mahmoud Hussein (ASEN) and Sedat Biringen (ASEN) received an NSF award totaling over $500,000 for work on phononic surfaces for flow control.

Mark Hernandez (CEAE) received a total of $808,000 from an NSF award for characterization of bio-aerosol loads and their long-term toxicological effects and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation award for "Conferences on the Microbiology of the Indoor Environment: (i) Boulder, Colorado, (ii) District of Columbia, (iii) TBD."

James Maslanik (ASEN), Mark Tschudi (ASEN), Bill Emery (ASEN), Brian Argrow (ASEN), Eric Frew (ASEN), Scott Palo (ASEN), Darren Jackson (CIRES) and Dale Lawrence (ASEN) were awarded over $3 million for Investigations of Spatial and Temporal Variability of Ocean and Ice Conditions In and Near the Marginal Ice Zone. The effort will contribute to NASA's Earth science goals by making measurements that are directly relevant to improving Earth system models, by improving our understanding of fundamental phenomena, and by characterizing change in key components of the Earth system.

Shannon Hughes (ECEE) was awarded $425,850 from NSF for CIF: Small: Kernel Trick Compressive Sensing.

Shideh Dashti (CEAE) received $704,850 from an NSF award for research in Seismic Response of Shallow Underground Structures in Dense Urban Environments.

Won Park (ECEE), Dave Walba (CHEM) and Mark Ablowitz (APPM) were awarded over $1.25M by NSF for SOLAR Collaborative: Photonic Enhancement of Organic Photovoltaics to Enable Higher Efficiencies and Exotic Mechanisms.

Zoya Popovic (ECEE) and Dragan Maksimovic (ECEE) received DARPA awards totaling $4.4 million under the Microscale Power Conversion program to integrate wide-bandgap GaN microwave (RF) amplifiers with GaN dynamic supplies and some digital control to achieve a high-efficiency, linear transmitter that can handle high bandwidth signals for radar and communications.

Research Metrics - Spring 2012

In the first 5 months of FY2012, new research awards continue to be strong in most Departments with Aerospace doing exceptionally well. Thank you to all faculty, staff, and graduate students for your hard work and exceptional performance!

Research Awards for Fiscal Periods July- December:

Research Proposals Submitted for Fiscal Periods July-December:

For a complete list of new projects, see the OCG Monthly Awards Report.

Research Center Spotlight: CCAR

The Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR) is dedicated to the study of astrodynamics and the application of satellites to science, navigation, and remote sensing of the Earth and planets. Hosted by the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, CCAR was established in 1985 as a key component of the University of Colorado Boulder's emphasis on space science. CCAR brings together a multidisciplinary group of faculty, staff, and students to enhance our understanding of the Earth and the solar system through satellite missions and observations. Research emphasis areas include astrodynamics, which involves orbital and attitude motion of Earth satellites, interplanetary spacecraft, and planetary bodies; global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) used for orbit determination, remote sensing, and vehicle navigation; and Earth science and remote sensing, which considers the design and use of space borne and land-based instruments to better understand the Earth's surface, atmosphere, and oceans. This includes the development of techniques and the integration of observations and new processing techniques to solve outstanding problems.

Distinctive Facilities: Crimaldi Lab

John Crimaldi (CEAE) and his students have developed a large-scale turbulent flow facility to study stirring, mixing, and chemical reactions in complex fluid flows. The facility is 15 m long and 1.5 m wide, and accommodates free-surface water flows up to 0.5 m deep at speeds of up to 1 m/s. The facility incorporates a unique two-color laser induced fluorescence system that can simultaneously image the mixing of two overlapping chemical species transported by the flow. Data are acquired via a state-of-the-art multi-camera image acquisition system. Current research is being performed to understand how structured and chaotic velocity fields enhance reactions between two initially distinct chemical species. An on-going project uses the facility to investigate the role of turbulent ocean flows on the fertilization strategies of broadcast-spawning marine invertebrates (e.g., corals). The imaging techniques can be modified for a broad range of fluid-flow applications at scales ranging from microns to meters.

Professor Crimaldi is interested in establishing research collaborations with faculty in the college who could benefit from this world-class flow characterization equipment. While it is currently set up for a recirculating flume in his lab, it can be easily transported and used to characterize a variety of flow systems. Please contact John Crimaldi at if you would like to discuss any collaborative research involving these facilities or imaging systems. (Photo credit: Michael Soltys)

Technology Transfer News - Spring 2012

CU Announces Annual Technology Transfer Awards

TTO hosted its 10th annual awards ceremony on Jan. 17, honoring several faculty researchers, two companies founded on university research, and several members of the local entrepreneurial community. "The University of Colorado is a primary driver for the Colorado economy in many ways - one way that is often less visible than our thousands of graduates, new buildings and faculty accolades is the commercialization of research," said David Allen, associate vice president for technology transfer at CU. "This event recognizes excellence in the people and licensee companies that exemplify CU's success in transforming research into real-world impact."

This year's award winners include Phobos Energy, Physical Sciences/Engineering/IT Company of the Year. Phobos Energy (Menlo Park, CA; Lafayette, CO) is focused on increasing energy production, decreasing costs, and opening up new applications for solar photovoltaic power production. Phobos' technology is based on recent research by Bob Erickson (ECEE).

OPX Biotechnologies was recognized as Bioscience Company of the Year. OPXBIO (Boulder, CO) is a venture-backed company making renewable bio-based chemicals and fuels that are lower cost, higher return and more sustainable than existing petroleum-based products. This company is based on technology transfer from the research labs of Ryan Gill (ChBE).

Additionally, Kristi S. Anseth (Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, CU-Boulder) was inducted into the Pinnacles of Inventorship, a CU system-wide all-star group recognizing continuous commitment to best practices in technology transfer.

ChBE Fuels Economy with 10 Startups

Ten active companies have been created since 1997 based on technologies invented wholly or in part by chemical and biological engineering students and their faculty supervisors. Chemical and biological engineering spinoff companies from CU-Boulder have raised nearly $410 million in follow-on funding, including grants, venture capital financing, U.S. Small Business Administration funding, and acquisitions, according to the University of Colorado's Technology Transfer Office.

One of the greatest success stories has been Copernican Energy, an ultra-clean, bio-based fuels company using a high-temperature radiant particle reactor to turn cellulosic material into green gasoline. The company was co-founded in 2006 by CU Professor Al Weimer, CU student Chris Perkins who earned his doctorate the same year, and alumnus Mike Masterson, who earned a master's degree in chemical engineering at CU in 1977. The spinoff was acquired by Sundrop Fuels in 2008, and the Louisville-based company, which has 22 employees and a number of different contractors, received a $155 million investment, amounting to a 50 percent stake in the company, from Chesapeake NG Ventures Corp. in July. Sundrop Fuels previously had raised $62 million in support.

How Can We Help?

The Office of the Associate Dean for Research assists college faculty and departments in all research-related activities. We also provide support for proposal cost-sharing, travel to funding agencies, and interdisciplinary seminars.

Faculty may submit a half-page proposal for travel funding at any time. Priorities will include trips to explore major funding or center opportunities or with one or multiple visits per trip.

When requesting travel support to Funding Agencies from Kurt Maute, the Associate Dean for Research, please include the following:

1. Half page proposal that includes:
   • Dates of intended travel,
   • Names of traveler(s),
   • Agency(ies) – names of individuals you are meeting with
   • Location(s) that will be visited
   • Short paragraph describing purpose of trip and expected outcome
   • Amount requested – breakdown including airfare, hotel, meals,
     and transportation

2. ADR Office will approve these requests based upon proposal. Note: The ADR Office may provide a 1:1 cost share, but will decide on an amount based upon the available budget and expense of trip.

3. Post-trip, please provide Kurt with a short report recapping your meeting(s) and discussion(s). We will post summaries of major findings of interest to other faculty on the college's internal website,

Proposals should be submitted to Linda Rose ( and they will be reviewed by Associate Dean Kurt Maute. A 1:1 cost share by the home department or unit is expected. Approximately $20,000 is budgeted annually by the Dean's office for travel.

Information on current funding opportunities as well as myriad information about funding agencies, proposal preparation, etc. can be found at, the password-protected research web site for CEAS faculty. (Contact Jeff Sczechowski for access if you cannot find the login information that was emailed to you.) We are continually updating and improving this web site so please let us know if you have suggestions.

We welcome your feedback in general and encourage you to let us know how we can further help support your research programs.

Kurt Maute
Associate Dean for Research

Jeff Sczechowski
Assistant Dean for Research Opportunities

Linda Rose
Coordinator for Research Facilitation

Molly Riddell
Manager of Large Proposals

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