October 2012 eNotes

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Astronaut-Alumnus Vance Brand Returns to Campus

Engineering student awarded $10,000...

Astronaut-Alumnus Vance Brand Returns to Campus

NASA astronaut and CU-Boulder alumnus Vance Brand returned to campus last week and presented engineering student Sri Radha with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. Radha (pictured above with Brand and CU astronaut-faculty Jim Voss and Joe Tanner) is a junior majoring in chemical and biological engineering and a participant in the Engineering Honors Program.

More than 150 students, staff and faculty packed the Andrews Hall common room for the presentation, including environmental engineering professor Angela Bielefeldt, who is a prior ASF scholarship winner, and a local elementary school student who had studied Brand's acheivements (the youngster is pictured at top right with Brand and CU top scholarship coordinator Deborah Viles).

Brand, who earned bachelor’s degrees in business and in aeronautical engineering at CU-Boulder in 1953 and 1960 respectively, was selected as a NASA astronaut in 1966. He flew on the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, which has historical significance as the first international docking mission, and on three space shuttle missions.

He was the second astronaut to visit Boulder in a two-week period. Scott Carpenter (pictured at bottom right), who also earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from CU-Boulder and was the second American to orbit the Earth, in May 1962, returned to Boulder Sept. 20 for the 50th-anniversary rededication of the park that bears his name.


Ivanoff Gift Integrates Business, Engineering Education

A gift from CU-Boulder alumnus Dan Ivanoff and his wife, Laurie, is creating a new partnership between the engineering and business schools to benefit students. The gift will support a new construction management track within the MBA program in the Leeds School of Business starting in fall 2013, and open the door for graduate construction engineering and management students to take associated business classes. 

Ivanoff  (MBA ’86, MS CivEngr ’87) leads a large real estate investment, development, and management company based in Seattle with properties throughout the western United States. As such, he is aware of the special skills involved in construction management and is keenly interested in better integrating business and engineering education.

“The Ivanoff gift creates a powerful collaboration and cross-campus partnership between Leeds and CU’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, providing MBA students a great way to specialize and engineering students a means for developing business know-how,” said Dean David Ikenberry of the Leeds School.  “Bringing students together across disciplines creates a richer learning environment while meeting market demands.”

The gift provides support to the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering and to the CU Real Estate Center to help bring the programs together.  Part of the funding to CEAE includes a faculty fellowship that was awarded to assistant professor Amy Javernick-Will, whose career path included education and industry experience in civil engineering and real estate development, similar to Dan.

Screencasts Provide Alternative Learning Technology

Screencasts--short video captures of writing on a tablet PC screen with narration by an instructor--are among the latest tools being used to improve undergraduate education at CU-Boulder. Viewed outside of class, these videos present detailed explanations of concepts, problem solutions, mini-lectures, software tutorials, and exam reviews, giving students alternatives to lecture notes and textbooks.

With funding from NASA and EEF, CU-Boulder chemical and biological engineering and mechanical engineering faculty have developed 660 screencasts that are available on YouTube, iTunesU, and other locations on the Web. In August, the screencasts were downloaded more than 99,000 times by students studying chemical and mechanical engineering around the world.

ChBE senior Anna Blakney said that screencasts “are a useful way to gain more guided practice in addition to what we learn in class. The major benefit for me is that they are available 24/7, cover a range of topics in all of our classes, and present problems that we haven’t seen before.”

>More info

Student Space Weather Experiment Launches Successfully

A tiny satellite known as the Colorado Students Space Weather Experiment, or CSSWE, was successfully launched Sept. 14 from Vandenberg Air Force Base and is now returning data back to a ground station operated at the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics at CU-Boulder.

The CubeSat, which is about the size of a toaster,  was designed, built and tested over the last four years by graduate students under the direction of aerospace engineering sciences professors Xinlin Li and Scott Palo.

The goal of the mission, funded by the National Science Foundation, is to study solar flares -- violent processes emanating from the sun that are associated with large energy releases -- and the dynamics of Earth’s radiation belt electrons.

>More info

Honors & Awards: October 2012


Chris Koehler of the Colorado Space Grant Consortium was honored with a NASA Group Achievement Award for exceptional achievement in implementing suborbital student flight opportunities to recruit the next generation of scientists and engineers through the annual RockOn! Workshop at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Oleg Vasilyev of mechanical engineering was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Ken Krechmer of the telecommunications program won first prize and $20,000 for his paper on Cloud Computing Standardization in a global challenge sponsored by the International Electrotechnical Commission and IEEE.


Jackie DeBoard of computer science was selected to receive the Employee Recognition Award for September.


Kirstyn Johnson of aerospace engineering sciences was selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Women in Aerospace Foundation.

New Faculty & Staff: October 2012

Sally Gillett, program manager, International Programs and Summer Session, Dean’s Office

Important Announcements

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

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