January 2011 eNotes

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Fall 2010 Engineering Design Expo

Undergrads demonstrate projects to community...

RECUV Conducts Dream Chaser Test Flight

Scaled model dropped from helicopter

Fall 2010 Engineering Design Expo

The Fall 2010 Engineering Design Expo, held Dec. 4 at the Integrated Teaching Learning Laboratory, featured 80 inventions created by CU engineering undergraduate students. 

More than 400 students exhibited their creations at the design expo, presenting innovations such as a recycling jukebox that rewards users for discarding recyclable waste with playing of the CU anthem and a rotating shelving unit that enables wheelchair-bound people to access clothing and other items.

Exhibiting their engineering creations in public at the semiannual design expo challenges students to build a functioning project that is creative, impacts the everyday lives of people, capitalizes on students’ imagination through teamwork and hones their presentation skills — all essential to today’s budding engineers.

Congratulations to the People’s Choice Award winner, Team “Lock It Up,” for creation of a retractable bike lock. The students were Matt Feddersen, Alex Fout, Nicholas Reynolds, and Benjamin Sherman. The People’s Choice Award is awarded based on votes cast by the public for their favorite invention.

RECUV Conducts Dream Chaser Test Flight

CU Engineering’s 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. 

SNC’s full-size Dream Chaser is derived from the HL-20, which NASA began researching almost 30 years ago but had never flown until last week. 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 Ryan Starkey and Brian Argrow of RECUV. 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 our SNC partners and six students working on software.

Honors & Awards: January 2011

Congratulations to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:


The following faculty members were selected for honors as part of the college’s 2010 awards program:

  • Angela Bielefeldt of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering has been selected to receive the Max Peters Faculty Service Award.
  • Martin Dunn of mechanical engineering has been selected to receive the College of Engineering Faculty Research Award.
  • Christine Hrenya of chemical and biological engineering has been selected to receive the Charles Hutchinson Memorial Teaching Award .

Other faculty awards include:

  • Fred Glover of electrical, computer, and energy engineering was awarded the 2010 INFORMS Impact Prize by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. The award recognizes his lifetime achievement in pioneering the field of metaheuristics (which he himself named including his introduction of scatter search in 1977. 
  • Jean Koster of aerospace engineering sciences was selected as the CU-Boulder New Inventor of the Year for his efforts working with the HELIOS and Tigon student teams to develop a new hybrid engine technology. A new startup company, Tigon EnerTec, has been formed based on this work.
  • Ryan Gill of chemical and biological engineering was selected as the University of Colorado Inventor of the Year. In addition, the spinoff company that he co-founded, OPX Biotechnologies, was awarded the “Renewable Chemical Product of the Year” by Biofuels Digest.
  • John Falconer and Garret Nicodemus of chemical and biological engineering were selected to receive a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in STEM Education. They will receive $10,000 for their proposed work on “Biologically Focused Screencasts and ConcepTests for Chemical and Biological Engineering Courses.”
  • Lakshmi Kantha of aerospace engineering sciences has been appointed an associate scientist at the Istituto di Scienze Marine in Venice, Italy, an institute of the Italian National Research Council. He may be the only U.S. scientists ever selected and is one of only two non-Italian scientists to hold this position in the institute’s history.


  • Erik Hogan, a graduate student in aerospace engineering sciences, has won the competitive John V. Breakwell Travel Award for the Winter 2011 Space Flight Mechanics Conference sponsored by the American Astronautical Society. His advisor is Hanspeter Schaub.
  • Daniel Costinett, a graduate student in electrical engineering, was selected to receive the first-ever Dwight and Jessie Ryland Graduate Fellowship from the college. The fellowship funds first-year PhD students working in alternative energy or improved energy utilization and efficiency.


  • Jana Murphy of the Dean’s Office was awarded the 2010 College of Engineering Outstanding Staff Award.
  • Janet Yowell of the ITL Laboratory received the Employee Recognition Award for December.

The following employees, reaching a five-year anniversary of continuous service to the college with an appointment of at least 50 percent time and having received the highest performance rating for the most current three years of service, received the Commitment to Excellence Award for fall 2010:

  • Ann Brookover, AES (5 years)
  • Valerie Matthews, ECEE (5 years)
  • Brian Sanders, Space Grant (5 years)
  • Chris Sarris, Dean's Office (5 years)
  • Rebecca Scala, AES (5 years)
  • Tim May, ITLL (10 years)
  • Bernadette Garcia, Space Grant (10 years)
  • Christina Vallejos, CEAE (10 years)
  • Araceli Warren, CEAE (10 years)
  • Jana Murphy, Dean's Office (10 years)
  • Vicki Bain, ME (15 years)
  • Ruth Rindin, ITLL (20 years)

New Faculty & Staff: January 2011

Welcome to the following new faculty and staff in the college:

  • Stephanie Preo, manager of budget and finance, Dean’s Office
  • Nora Van Leuvan, administrative assistant, ECEE
  • Nick Lobejko, associate director, Engineering Development
  • Marcie Gorman Smith, director of business development and marketing, CAETE and ITP

Important Announcements

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

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