January 2012 eNotes

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Engineering Design Expo Showcases Student Projects

75 team inventions demonstrated

Engineering Design Expo Showcases Student Projects

The Fall 2011 Engineering Design Expo hosted by the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program on Dec. 3 featured 75 undergraduate student team inventions. Projects included environmental innovations, client-serving solutions, and products that provide everyday-living enhancements for users.

Held twice each year in the ITL Laboratory, the Design Expo provides students the opportunity to engage with the public on their innovations, test their creativity and imagination, and improve their presentation skills.

Congratulations to the Fall 2011 People's Choice Award winner, a team called "BOLD Thinkers," for their interactive, life-sized "Simon" game board that players jump on and follow a pattern. The People's Choice Award is awarded based on votes cast by the public for their favorite invention.

Among the other projects showcased were a safer climbing helmet developed at the suggestion of a local doctor, an array of assistive technology devices for people with disabilities, and a model footbridge to be used by the nonprofit organization Bridges to Prosperity.

Lessons Learned from the Deepwater Horizon Accident

The college will host a free public lecture this month illuminating the lessons learned from the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and resulted in the largest accidental oil spill in U.S. history. Called "What Happened at Deepwater Horizon?" the event will be presented Jan. 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Math 100 Auditorium.

Donald Winter, former secretary of the Navy, professor of engineering practice at the University of Michigan, and chair of the National Academies committee that wrote a report on the Deepwater Horizon accident, will be the first of two guest speakers. The National Academies report, issued Dec. 14, points to multiple flawed decisions leading to the blowout and explosion, and calls for a new "system safety" approach to anticipating and managing possible dangers at every level of operation.

A second guest speaker will be Paul Hsieh, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey who was named 2011 Federal Employee of the Year. Hsieh performed the crucial calculations on pressure that deemed it safe to cap the oil well in mid-July without causing it to rupture from beneath the seabed and result in a bigger disaster.

CU-Boulder environmental engineering faculty Fernando Rosario-Ortiz and Alina Handorean also will present their research into the aftermath of the spill.

Distinguished Engineering Alumni Awards Selected

Congratulations to the following alumni of CU Engineering, who have been selected to receive the 2012 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award. The awards will be presented at the Engineering Awards Banquet on April 27.

Chris Finnoff – AeroEngr '67 – nominated by Jeff Forbes
Nan Joesten - ChemEngr '82 – nominated by Dave Clough
Mike Masterson - MS ChemEngr '77 – nominated by Al Weimer
Dimos Poulikakos - MA A&S '80, PhD MechEngr '83 – nominated by David Kassoy
Ashok Srivastava - ElecEngr '91, PhD '96 – nominated by Xingdong Wu

Fellowship Established in Telecom Program

A graduate fellowship supporting students in the Interdisciplinary Telecom Program has been established in memory of Amy Barnes Frey who died in December. Frey is a 1985 Telecom grad and the daughter of Distinguished Professor Frank Barnes, who co-founded the ITP in 1971.

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Honors & Awards: January 2012

Congratulations to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:


  • Janet deGrazia of chemical and biological engineering was selected to receive the 2011 Max S. Peters Faculty Service Award from the college.
  • Dan Scheeres of aerospace engineering sciences was selected to receive the 2011 Faculty Research Award from the college.
  • David Klaus of aerospace engineering sciences was selected to receive the 2011 Charles Hutchinson Memorial Teaching Award from the college.
  • Melinda Piket-May of electrical, computer, and energy engineering was selected to receive an award from the Women’s Resource Center recognizing “Women Who Make a Difference.” She also was named director of the Academic Management Institute, a professional development institute that is part of the Colorado Network of Women Leaders and the American Council on Education-Office of Women in Higher Education.


  • Deborah Mellblom of aerospace engineering sciences was selected to receive the 2011 Outstanding Staff Award from the college.

Important Announcements

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

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