February 2011 eNotes

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Chevron Names Chemical Engineering Teaching Lab

Thad Sauvain unveils company gift

Chevron Names Chemical Engineering Teaching Lab

The new Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building is taking shape on CU-Boulder’s East Campus, and fundraising to complete the state-of-the-art research and teaching facility is in full swing. Occupants of the new biotechnology building will include the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department, the Division of Biochemistry, and the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology. 

The first three wings of the 330,000-square-foot building are expected to be finished in November 2011, and the fourth wing in March 2012. A fifth wing is planned for the future, when capital funding from the state of Colorado becomes available.  The $170 million facility is being paid for by private fundraising, university funds, and a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Chevron is the first corporate sponsor of space devoted to the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department in the new building, thanks in large part to the efforts of Mike Wirth (ChemEngr’82), Chevron’s Executive VP for Downstream and Chemicals. The ChE unit-ops lab in the new building will be named the Chevron Chemical Engineering Teaching Laboratory, based on generous support from Chevron.  Since the lab will not be completed until a later phase, the college has renamed the current unit-ops lab in recognition of Chevron’s support. Thad Sauvain, Cynthia Murphy, and Steve Leichty of Chevron dedicated the lab during their visit to the college last fall.

Additional naming opportunities are available, including shared research facilities, modern laboratories and classrooms, shops, study areas, a café, and other amenities that will promote excellence in research, education, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Contact Engineering Development for more information.

Hermes CubeSat to Launch Feb. 23

The Colorado Space Grant Consortium’s first student CubeSat mission, Hermes, is scheduled to be launched aboard a Taurux XL rocket Feb. 23 as an auxiliary payload on NASA's Glory launch.

Brian Sanders, student research coordinator, and approximately 10 CU students, including student lead Nicole Doyle, will  travel to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for the event. Part of the Hermes team will stay here in Boulder to monitor the first "fly-bys" over Colorado from the Discovery Learning Center's Mission Operations Control Center.

CubeSats are in a class of small research spacecraft called picosatellites. Hermes’ mission is to improve CubeSat communications through the on-orbit testing of a high data-rate communication system that will allow the downlink of large quantities of data. 

Honors & Awards: February 2011

Congratulations to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:


  • Kristi Anseth of chemical and biological engineering has been selected as CU-Boulder’s 2011 Distinguished Research Lecturer. The lectureship is among the highest honors bestowed by the faculty on a fellow faculty member.
  • John McCartney of civil, environmental and architectural engineering has been selected to receive an NSF CAREER Award. The $400,000 grant is entitled Thermo-Active Geotechnical Systems with Reinforced, Unsaturated Soils.
  • Penny Axelrad of aerospace engineering sciences developed a K-12 engineering curricular unit called Navigating by the Numbers, which included the #1 most-accessed lesson in the TeachEngineering.com digital library collection during 2010. The lesson drew 24,877 hits on the website, with the entire unit receiving a total of 50,949 hits.
  • Ute Herzfeld of electrical, computer, and energy engineering received two NASA awards, the Ames Honor Award for Team Excellence and a Group Achievement Award, for outstanding accomplishments in the Characterization of Arctic Sea Ice Experiments (CASIE) project.


  • Seyitriza Tigrek, a graduate student in electrical engineering, was selected to receive a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in STEM Education for his proposed work on “Developing an Adaptive Method for Teaching Mobile (Phones) Programming to Freshmen Engineering Students.” Tigrek is working with professors Frank Barnes and Melinda Piket-May.


  • Matt Lessem of electrical, computer, and energy engineering was selected to receive the Employee Recognition Award for January.


New Faculty & Staff: February 2011

Welcome to the following faculty and staff joining the college:

  • Shideh Dashti, Assistant Professor, CEAE


Important Announcements

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

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