January 2013 eNotes

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CompSci Students Collaborate on Swiss Project

New railway ticketing systems developed

Engineering Design Expo a 'Smash' Hit

74 teams present projects at Fall Expo

Engineering Design Expo a 'Smash' Hit

More than 350 engineering students demonstrated their innovations and inventions at the Engineering Design Expo on Dec. 8. Ranging from an educational science exhibit that illustrates physics concepts to elementary school children to various devices designed to assist individuals with disabilities, the student projects were presented to the public at the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory.

Seventy-four team projects were demonstrated, including those created by students in the First-Year Engineering Projects course and various senior projects.

The People’s Choice Award went to Team Apple Smashers for its pedal-powered apple grinder.

COSGC Awarded Grant for PolarCube

CU-Boulder students from the Colorado Space Grant Consortium (COSGC) will design and build another small satellite over the next two years as one of 10 universities selected to be part of the University Nanosat Program.

Brian Sanders, COSGC deputy director, is the principal investigator for the new grant, which was awarded for “PolarCube: A Passive Microwave CubeSat.”   The PolarCube mission is a collaboration with Al Gasiewski in the Center for Environmental Technology and Dave Gallaher in the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Space Vehicles Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory sponsor 10 universities through a two-year design phase including comprehensive design reviews. The winner of the competition, to be announced in January 2015, will then be awarded additional funding for the completion of its satellite, which will be scheduled for a future space launch.

CU-Boulder’s DANDE satellite was the winner of the 2009 University Nanosat competition and is now progressing toward a launch in 2013.

CompSci Students Collaborate on Swiss Project

Increasingly, as engineering and science challenges are growing in scope, complexity and sophistication, there is a need for students to learn to work efficiently within large multicultural environments.

Four CU-Boulder students got to practice these skills over the last several months as part of the Project-Oriented Learning Environment (POLE) project, led by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. CU-Boulder is partnering with the Swiss school on POLE, with Professor Alexander Repenning serving as a disciplinary coach.

Each year, POLE focuses on a single problem, with this year’s project challenging students to develop innovative, new ticket vending ideas for the Swiss railway and transportation company A-Welle, based in Aargau, Switzerland.

Four CU graduate students -- Sadie Zukowski, Rosalind O’Brien, Jeeeun Kim, and Abigale Stangl —were selected to participate and flew to Switzerland in September to meet up with more than 30 other students and multi-disciplinary industry partners in Switzerland and Germany.  

The students split into five teams, with each CU student on a different team, and after the initial five-day kickoff meeting, the teams continued to work on solutions to the challenge from their home universities, meeting weekly over a virtual platform throughout the semester. Final team presentations are set for Jan. 9, and Jeeeun Kim will travel to Switzerland again while the rest of the CU students participate from the U.S.

“While at times the project has been difficult, each challenge presented a great learning opportunity--learning that only comes from hands-on experience and taking risks. Through immersive and intensive exposure we have each found ways to work with language barriers, time barriers, cultural misunderstandings, and ambiguity, all the while experiencing the intrinsic joys of working collaboratively within a unique context,” the CU students wrote in a report.

Engineering Awards Announced

Congratulations to the following faculty, staff and alumni, who have been selected to receive this year's college awards and will be recognized at the Engineering Awards Banquet on Aprili 26:

Faculty & Staff Awards

Faculty and staff awardees also will be recognized at the faculty/staff meeting on Feb. 1:

  • Tim May (ITL) - College of Engineering and Applied Science Outstanding Staff Award
  • Karl Linden (CEAE) - College of Engineering Faculty Research Award
  • Joann Silverstein (CEAE) - Max S. Peters Faculty Service Award
  • Dragan Maksimovic (ECEE) - Charles A. Hutchinson Memorial Teaching Award

Distinguished Engineering Alumni Awards

DEAA awardees include the following individuals in the categories noted:

  • George Born (Special category for non-alumni) - Director of the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, University of Colorado Boulder
  • John Lund (CivEngr ’58, PhD ’67), Education and Research & Invention - Director of the Geo-Heat Center, Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Herb Morreale (CompSci ’91), Industry & Commerce - Chief Executive Officer of 6kites and Founder of Topplers, a nonprofit organization

Recent Alumni Award

A new award for alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years also will be presented this year. The college created the award to recognize alumni for early career achievements, continued involvement with the university and college, and outstanding personal qualities and developments. Nominations for this award will be accepted through Feb. 1. For more information, go to http://www.colorado.edu/engineering/recent-alumni-award.

Honors & Awards: January 2013

Congratulations also to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:


Abbie Liel of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering was selected to receive an NSF CAREER Award for her work in the area of multi-scale modeling to evaluate the impacts of retrofit design and policy on a community for earthquake risk reduction.  The $400,000, five-year grant starts in June.

Bernard Amadei of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering was awarded an honorary doctorate by Drexel University in Philadelphia, in recognition of his powerful impact on the engineering profession through his founding of Engineers Without Borders.

Dan Scheeres of aerospace engineering sciences has won the prestigious American Astronomical Society's Dirk Brouwer Award for 2012.  The award was established to honor significant technical contributions to space flight mechanics and astrodynamics. 

Angela Bielefeldt of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering received the 2012 Best Reviewer Award for the Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice.

John McCartney of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering received the 2012 Associate Editor of the Year Award from the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering.

Matt Hallowell of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering was selected as a 2012 Outstanding Reviewer for the ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management.


Linda Rose (Dean’s Office), Sarah Melssen (AES), Stephanie Morris (CS), and Pam Aguila (ECEE) received the college’s Commitment to Excellence Award, which is given in the spring and fall to staff who are celebrating a 5-year milestone of employment and have earned the highest performance rating in each of the last three years.

Sharon Powers of the Dean’s Office was selected to receive the Employee Recognition Award for November.

Ruth Rindin of the ITL Program was selected to receive the Employee Recognition Award for December.


Waqas Qazi, a PhD candidate in aerospace engineering sciences (Bill Emery, advisor), won best poster in oceanography at an annual poster session hosted by CU-Boulder’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Qazi also was recognized as the Muneeb Kamal International Student of the Year at CU-Boulder.

New Faculty & Staff: January 2013

Welcome to the new faculty and staff joining the college:

  • David Reed – Scholar in Residence, ITP
  • Amanda McGrory-Dixon – Communications Specialist, CEAE
  • Dick Kuchenrither – Scholar in Residence, CEAE

...and congratulations to the following faculty and staff upon their retirement!

  • Vicki Bain – Mechanical Engineering
  • Bob Sani – Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Richard Byrd – Computer Science

Important Announcements

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

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