November 2011 eNotes

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Pre-Engineering Biomedical Curriculum Highlights Value of Engineering

TEAMS Fellow teaches at Centaurus High School...

Engineering Alumni Relations Hosts Talk by Former Rhodes Scholar

Jim Hansen discusses predictive modeling work...

Pre-Engineering Biomedical Curriculum Highlights Value of Engineering

This fall at Centaurus High School in Lafayette, mechanical engineering PhD student and GK-12 TEAMS Fellow Brandi Jackson Briggs is teaching a semester-long biomedical engineering course for the school's Pre-Engineering Academy.

The course focuses on how engineering contributes to society through the design of a remote-controlled, motorized device that explores the abdominal cavity in search of endometriosis. The unique design of the abdominal cavity itself simulates the real look and feel of a human abdomen. The 30 Centaurus High School students have found the project to be an exciting application of engineering and now think of biomedical engineering as a possible career interest.

The biomedical project, created by Briggs and former GK-12 Fellow Ben Terry, also a mechanical engineering PhD student, has been developed into a multi-lesson curriculum, "Next Generation Surgical Tools," that will soon be available on, the NSF-funded digital library collection developed under the leadership of Associate Dean Jacquelyn Sullivan.

Engineering Alumni Relations Hosts Talk by Former Rhodes Scholar

CU aerospace alumnus Jim Hansen, a former All Big-Eight tackle and Rhodes scholar who now works at the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey, California, spoke to students in the Herbst Humanities and Engineering Honors programs, and then presented "Cloudy with a Chance of Pirates," a public talk about his work using predictive modeling techniques to combat pirate activity off the coast of Somalia. The Oct. 20 events were hosted by CU Engineering Alumni Relations and Engineering Development.

At left, Hansen visits with CU alumnus Clancy Herbst while college faculty Diane Sieber and Scot Douglass look on.

Undergrads Launch High-Altitude Balloons as Gateway to Space

Students participating in ASEN 2500 Gateway to Space launched the small payloads they designed and built this semester on a high-altitude balloon near Windsor, Colorado on Nov. 6.

One balloon carried the 10 Gateway payloads, while a second balloon carried payloads from five Colorado Space Grant institutions – including a payload designed by a CU Space Grant team. The CU team's payload is testing the feasibility of using an Arduino board in sounding rocket payloads such as those that are part of the nationwide sounding rocket program facilitated by COSGC staff, students, and NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.

All the payloads flew to an altitude of 100,000 feet before returning to Earth, and one went all the way to Nebraska before students recovered it.

Honors & Awards: November 2011

Congratulations to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:


  • Kristi Anseth of chemical and biological engineering is among the 10 individuals from different fields selected to be inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame on March 8.
  • Arthi Jayaraman of chemical and biological engineering was appointed Patten Faculty Fellow recognizing her many achievements as an assistant professor in the areas of grants and publications, a DOE Early Career Award and the department's undergraduate teaching award.
  • Kenneth Jansen of aerospace engineering sciences was named an associate fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
  • Zoya Popovic and Dragan Maksimovic of electrical, computer and energy engineering are directing three projects under the DARPA Microscale Power Conversion program. The goals of this program are to develop high-efficiency, high-linearity microwave (RF) transmitters that can handle high bandwidth signals for radar and communication applications using integrated supply modulated RF amplifiers based on wide-bandgap GaN devices. The grants total $4.4 million over three years.
  • Karl Linden of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering is participating in a new research consortium funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Institute. The $12 million consortia on the science and technology of dispersants as relevant to deep sea oil releases is led by Tulane University.


  • Janna Martinek of chemical and biological engineering took first place nationally in the Computing and Systems Technology Division poster contest at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers meeting in Minneapolis. Janna's talk on "Modeling and optimization of a multiple tube solar receiver for high temperature solar-thermal processes" was co-authored by Carl Bingham of NREL and Alan Weimer, her CU engineering advisor. 
  • Christopher Muhich of chemical and biological engineering, advised by Charles Musgrave and Al Weimer, took second place in the AIChE Environmental Division poster contest, and post-doc Diana Leung took second place in the AIChE Materials Engineering and Science Division.
  • Josh McCall of chemical and biological engineering, who is advised by Kristi Anseth, was selected to receive the best poster award at the Surfaces in Biomaterials conference.
  • Mark Tibbitt of chemical and biological engineering, who is advised by Kristi Anseth, was selected to receive the 2012 Award for Outstanding PhD Research, and undergraduate Anna Blakney, who is supervised by Stephanie Bryant, will receive the 2012 Undergraduate Student Award from the Society for Biomaterials.

Important Announcements

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

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