April 2012 eNotes

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Mechanical Engineering Students Place Second in Shell Eco-Marathon

CU's eco-car edges out most other contenders...

Mechanical Engineering Students Place Second in Shell Eco-Marathon

Mechanical engineering seniors from CU-Boulder placed second overall in this year's Shell Eco-Marathon, an annual competition challenging student teams from around the world to design, build, and test energy-efficient vehicles. The CU-Boulder team scored an impressive mileage record of 1,767 miles per gallon in the event.

Team members Jared Wampler, Joseph Gratcofsky, Jeff Vankeulen, Paul Sweazey, and Matthew Feddersen worked with faculty advisor Marcelo Bergquist and lab coordinator Greg Potts on the project.

The annual Shell Eco-Marathon of the Americas was held March 29-April 1 in Houston, Texas. A total of 122 teams from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and South America competed in the gas prototype class in this year's event.

Potts said the CU engineering team implemented an electronic fuel injection system this year, which uses a National Instruments board for control: "Pretty impressive that a group of our students developed what takes major auto manufacturers years to do," he said.

CU has competed in the Eco-Marathon of the Americas for the last five years, and placed seventh in the 2011 event. >See full results

Aerospace Senior Projects Sweep AIAA Regional Awards

For the third year in a row, CU aerospace engineering sciences senior projects swept first, second, and third place in the team category of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Region V Student Conference. The conference was held at CU-Boulder April 4-6. The following awards went to CU engineering students:

•    First Place, Team: "DayStar-Modeling the Daytime Performance of a Star Tracker for High Altitude Balloons," presented by Nick Truesdale, Kevin Dinkel, and Michael Skeen (Team will go onto compete in the AIAA National Competition)
•    Second Place, Team: "FENIX-Fluid Extraction for Nozzle Injection eXperiment", presented by Michael Bonnici, Naveen Penmetsa, and Wenceslao Shaw-Cortez
•    Third Place, Team: "SPEAR-Sounding Payload Ejection And Recovery," presented by Carol Helfenbein and Nicholas Schlatter

CU engineering student Brandon Seifert also took second place in the Outreach category for his presentation on "We Want Our Future; Inspiring Youth Internationally."

These and other aerospace senior design teams will present their projects at the Aerospace Senior Design Symposium on April 20 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Discovery Learning Center. >More information

ASCE Student Group Competes in Steel Bridge Competition

After a two-year hiatus, a dozen students in civil, environmental, and architectural engineering entered the Steel Bridge Competition sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The students, who worked all year to fundraise, design, acquire material, and fabricate their entry, placed seventh overall and first in display in the Rocky Mountain regional competition held at the University of Wyoming during Spring Break.

The students built a bridge that is 22.5 feet long with a five-foot cantilever at one end, designed to sustain a load of 2,500 pounds with less than a half-inch deflection. Daryn Hobbs, president of the ASCE Student Chapter, said the results were promising for a first-year team and the chapter hopes to come back even stronger next year.

Honors & Awards: April 2012

Congratulations to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:


  • Mark Rentschler of mechanical engineering received CU-Boulder's Outstanding Faculty Graduate Advising Award.

Boulder Faculty Assembly "Excellence in Teaching" awards will be awarded to

  • Harihar Rajaram of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering and Hanspeter Schaub of aerospace engineering sciences

Boulder Faculty Assembly "Excellence in Service" awards will be awarded to

  • Brian Argrow of aerospace engineering sciences and Angela Bielefeldt of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering
  • Al Weimer of chemical and biological engineering was invited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to give a talk in Washington, D.C. based on Secretary Vilsack's testimony to the Senate.

Dean's Faculty Fellowships (for one semester during the 2012-13 academic year) were awarded to:

  • Sedat Biringen of aerospace engineering sciences
  • Janet deGrazia of chemical and biological engineering
  • Karl Linden of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering
  • Liz Jessup of computer science
  • Lucy Pao of electrical, computer, and energy engineering
  • Milos Popovic of electrical, computer, and energy engineering
  • Conrad Stoldt of mechanical engineering
  • Yifu Ding of mechanical engineering


  • Saikripa Radhakrishnan and Srinidhi Radhakrishnan of chemical engineering have been selected to receive the Goldwater Scholarship. Stephen Kissler of applied mathematics was one of two honorable mentions.
  • Heather Hava, Ben Bradley, and Brad Cheetham of aerospace engineering sciences received eSpace Entrepreneurship awards from the Center for Space Entrepreneurship.
  • Kirstyn Johnson of aerospace engineering sciences received a scholarship from the Women in Aerospace Foundation.
  • Laura Stiles of aerospace engineering sciences was awarded the Philanthropic Educational Organization Scholar Award and a Beverly Sears Travel Grant.
  • Heather Hava and Robert Stillwell of aerospace engineering, Matthias Young of chemical engineering, Martha Bodine, Callie Fiedler, and Kelsey Whitesell of electrical engineering, Caitlin Glover and Laura Kohler of environmental engineering, and Lauren Cantley and Madalyn Kern of mechanical engineering received NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.


  • Joanie Wiesman of aerospace engineering sciences received the Employee Recognition Award for March.

New Faculty & Staff: April 2012

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

  • Deb Renshaw, undergraduate advisor, chemical and biological engineering
  • Aimee Hartecramer, program assistant, Andrews Hall Residential College

Important Announcements

CUEngineering is here!
The 2014 edition of CUEngineering magazine is hot off the press! Check it out online.

Don't forget summer session!
CEAS courses don't slow down over the summer - choose from 58 undergraduate and graduate engineering courses during Maymester and sessions A-D, May 12-Aug. 8.

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