September 2012 eNotes

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Civil Engineering Student Gets Experience at Panama Canal

CH2M HILL sponsors premier internship...

Civil Engineering Student Gets Experience at Panama Canal

CU-Boulder undergraduate Christina Jones decided to major in civil engineering because she likes construction projects. Little did she know when she made that decision that she would be selected as an intern to work on one of the largest and most significant projects underway in the whole world—the expansion of the nearly 100-year-old Panama Canal.

The Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering developed the IMPACT Scholar Internship with CH2M HILL to inspire civil engineering students through a premier internship opportunity.

“It’s such a high-profile project, I can’t believe I got to go down there as a student,” says Jones, who returned in August after working for three months in Panama. “It was such an amazing experience.”

The expansion project began in 2007 and involves building a larger set of locks on each end of the canal, as well as deepening and widening the navigational channels so that larger ships can pass through. Professor and CEAE department chair Keith Molenaar, who worked on the risk analysis for the canal expansion project from 2006 to 2010, was instrumental in setting up the internship opportunity.

Jones really enjoyed the work and the people she met on the construction management team, who she said inspired her with what she can do with her engineering degree:  “I can reach for something and go after it.”

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Third Set of Locks Pacific Team

College Ranks Among Nation's Best

The College of Engineering and Applied Science maintained its ranking of 19 among public engineering schools whose highest degree awarded is a doctorate in the latest Best Colleges (undergraduate rankings) edition published Sept. 12 by U.S. News & World Report.

The report shows CU-Boulder Engineering at No. 34 among the nation’s top undergraduate engineering programs (both public and private), which is well above other Colorado engineering schools and the highest ranking in the Rocky Mountain Region.

CU's aerospace engineering sciences program was ranked 12th in the nation, and 8 among public engineering schools offering aerospace engineering.

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Herbst Offers Lunchtime Seminars for Faculty & Staff

The Herbst Lunchtime Seminars for faculty and staff are back! Bring your lunch and join the Herbst Program of Humanities for a directed reading group on a series of great books. Seminars will be held on Wednesdays from 12 noon to 12:50 p.m. in ECOT 831.

First up is Plato’s Symposium, presented by Scot Douglass on Sept. 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 3. For more information about readings and a complete schedule of the lunchtime seminars, go to the Herbst website. Books are available free of charge at the front desk of the Dean's Office while supplies last.


DEAA Nominations Due Oct. 31

Recognize a deserving alumnus and help raise the profile of your department and the college by submitting a nomination for the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award. The DEAA is given annually to individuals with outstanding personal qualities and contributions to their fields. Winners are selected based on criteria including career achievement, community and professional service, and continued involvement with the college.

Nominations are due Oct. 31 for awards to be given in spring 2013. The DEAA is a great way to recognize stellar alumni and promote continued affinity with CU. Details and nomination forms are available at

Honors & Awards: September 2012

Congratulations to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:


Nikolaus Correll of computer science received a NASA early career award for space technology research on tele-operated autonomous greenhouses. The award will provide $600,000 over three years to investigate the key perception and manipulation challenges that will enable robots to grow food in space.

John McCartney of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering won the Deep Foundations Institute’s 2012 Young Professor Paper Competition for his paper on Strain Distributions in Full-Scale Energy Foundations. The award will be presented in Houston in October.


Alexander Pray of architectural engineering received the Henry Adams Scholarship from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers.


New Faculty & Staff: September 2012

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

Jelliffe Jackson - Instructor (AES)

Jennifer Cha - Associate Professor (ChBE)

Andrew Goodwin - Assistant Professor (ChBE)

Prashant Nagpal - Assistant Professor (ChBE)

Matthew Morris – Instructor (CEAE)

Paul Goodrum - Professor (CEAE)

Tom Yeh - Assistant Professor (CS)

Judy Stafford - Senior Instructor (CS)

Eric Keller - Assistant Professor (ECEE)

Ray Littlejohn - Scholar in Residence (EMP)

Sharon Black – Scholar in Residence (ITP)

Conwell Dickey – Scholar in Residence (ITP)

Jeffrey Knutsen - Instructor (ME)

Nathan McNeill – Instructor (ME)

Shalom Ruben – Instructor (ME)

Peter Hamlington - Assistant Professor (ME)

Important Announcements

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

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