June 2012 eNotes

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Environmental Engineers Win Regional Competition

Team advances to nationals

Environmental Engineers Win Regional Competition

Associate Professor Angela Bielefeldt (pictured above, at center) joins CU environmental students at the May 4 regional student design competition sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association and American Water Works Association, where they won first-place for their design and recommendations for the Broadmoor Park Properties Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

CU students (from left to right) Bailey Leppek, Kristin Johansen, Alexandra Murray, Matthew Huntze (grad student, civil engineering), and Maria Cabeza-Tedesco will now advance to the national competition in New Orleans Sept. 29-Oct. 3.

Undergraduates to Take Microgravity Flight

A team of six undergraduate students—Mike Lotto, Andrew Broucek, Kirstyn Johnson, Chris Nie, and Kyle Shannon of aerospace engineering, and Jared Yenzer of electrical and computer engineering—has been selected to participate in NASA’s 2012 Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program. 

The CU team, which is one of 18 university teams selected for this year’s program, will be in Houston for its reduced-gravity flight July 13 to July 21. The team’s project focuses on “Validating the Gravity Dependence of the Churchill-Chu Correlation for Free Convective Heat Transfer from a Finite, Flat Plate.” Faculty advisor Dave Klaus says the project will provide data for the design of a space station, or lunar or Mars habitat, where gravity affects convective cooling. 

According to NASA’s Microgravity University website, the reduced gravity aircraft generally flies 30 parabolic maneuvers over the Gulf of Mexico. This parabolic pattern provides about 30 seconds of hypergravity (about 1.8G-2G) as the plane climbs to the top of the parabola, and once the plane starts to “nose over” the top of the parabola to descend toward Earth, the plane experiences about 18 seconds of microgravity (0G).

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Satellite Team Passes Major Review

The DANDE student team held its Pre-Ship Review (PSR) for representatives from the Air Force Research Labs (University NanoSat Program), the Space Test Program, and SpaceX (providing the launch vehicle) on May 15.  The review lasted 11 hours and took place in the Onizuka Conference Room in the Engineering Center, where students presented and answered questions from AFRL, STP, and SpaceX representatives.

The review was a major milestone for the team and the project, representing DANDE's hardware and mission readiness.  The team passed PSR with a few expected actions to complete through the end of May, clearing the way for the team to ship the DANDE spacecraft to Albuquerque, where it will begin environmental testing at AFRL and start the journey to the Falcon 9 launch scheduled for December 2012.

Participating in the review were students Miranda Link of astronomy, Bill Irelan of computer science, Jeremy Reed, Mike Mozingo, and Vignesh Muralidharan of electrical and computer engineering; and Kyle Kemble, Caitlyn Cooke, Rees McNally, Ian Barry, Tanya Hardon, Nicole Ela, Ben Leeds, Michael Trowbridge, Ian Andrzejczak, Quinn McGehan, Mark Sakaguchi, and Ahna Isaak or aerospace engineering sciences.

Students Give Back through Volunteer Hours

Through participation in the Peace Corps, Engineers Without Borders, and dozens of societies, CU engineering students give back to their community in droves.

The ITL TEAMS Program offers another altruistic outlet for CU students to volunteer their time. During the 2011-2012 academic year, 46 undergraduate engineering students volunteered 261 hours to help with K-12 campus visits. Their time was spent engaging K-12 students in hands-on engineering activities, giving campus tours using GPS receivers, serving on student panels, and dining in small groups with future engineers. Another 33 undergraduates committed their time weekly during the fall and spring semesters to lead afterschool engineering clubs for 150 elementary students at nine different elementary schools in Longmont and Lafayette.

These hundreds of hours of volunteer time helped make the ITL Program’s K-12 engineering education initiative a tremendous success. Thank you, CU engineering students, for your generosity!

Honors & Awards: June 2012


  • Butcher Seed Grants were recently awarded to 10 interdisciplinary CU teams for biomedical research projects. Among the winners were Jean Hertzberg of mechanical engineering, who will be a co-PI on a project to study 4-dimensional flow cardiac MRI for diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension; and Kristi Anseth of chemical and biological engineering, who will be a co-PI on a project on cardiac cell mechanobiology.
  • Diane Dimeff, executive director of the Center for Space Entrepreneurship (eSpace), was selected to receive one of five “Women Who Light the Community” awards from the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. The award honors women who have made significant contributions through innovations and a committed effort to address a meaningful business or community need, locally, regionally, nationally, or globally.  She will be honored at a luncheon on June 13.
  • Shape Ophthalmics, a company developing shape memory polymer-based devices for the treatment of eye diseases based on work by Robin Shandas of mechanical engineering and CU School of Medicine faculty members, has received a technology commercialization grant from the state of Colorado’s Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program.


  • Pam Wheeler of electrical, computer, and energy engineering was selected to receive the Employee Recognition Award for May.


  • Lauren Blum, a graduate student in aerospace engineering sciences, has been selected for a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship.
  • Sibylle Walter, a graduate student in aerospace engineering sciences, has been awarded a NASA Aeronautics Scholarship--one of only five nationally from a field of more than 100 applicants.

New Faculty & Staff: June 2012

Welcome to the new faculty and staff who are joining the college:

  • Julia Bright, External Relations Director, Mechanical Engineering
  • Philip Bradley, Project and Financial Coordinator, Mechanical Engineering
  • Joanne Uleau, Administrative Assistant, Dean’s Office

Important Announcements

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

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