October 2013 eNotes

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Renovation Will Create Cross-Disciplinary "Makerspace" for Student Design

Idea Forge takes shape in Fleming building

Student-built Satellite Now in Orbit

Six years' work leads to successful launch

Renovation Will Create Cross-Disciplinary "Makerspace" for Student Design

Plans are underway to repurpose approximately 22,000 square feet of the former law library in the Fleming building to create a unique space dedicated to student invention and design. The Idea Forge is envisioned as a flexible, cross-disciplinary collaborative space where students can imagine, design, create, and test products and solutions to meet a range of societal and customer needs.

The space will house Design Center Colorado and support course-related student teams, entrepreneurial-minded individuals, and service-oriented groups from across the College of Engineering and Applied Science and other disciplines. Plans include the creation of a series of reconfigurable, interconnected "makerspaces" with opportunities for formal and informal learning. Rapid prototyping, welding, and electronics shops, plus advanced machining facilities, will be included within a space that is open and reconfigurable to handle the needs of different projects over time.

The Idea Forge is currently in the design phase, with construction slated to begin in February and be completed for the start of the Fall 2014 semester.

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Student-built Satellite Now in Orbit

DANDE has left the planet. Six years after students at CU-Boulder began work to design and build the beachball-sized Drag and Atmospheric Neutral Density Explorer satellite, or DANDE, the small satellite successfully launched into orbit Sept. 29 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Its mission is to help researchers better understand how atmospheric drag can affect satellite orbits.

Twelve of the roughly 150 students who have worked on the project through the Colorado Space Grant Consortium attended the launch, while others celebrated the success here in Boulder. The team photo at right was taken in California following the launch: These students had a remote ground station set up in California near Vandenberg Air Force Base, which was the launch site. The team photo here was taken in California following the launch, just after the team saw received and processed beacon data that confirmed DANDE's health. The students had a remote ground station set up a few miles from the launch site. Data was downlinked with a ground station on top of the DLC, and the student teams in Boulder and California were able to see the beacons at the same time.

“For me the launch of DANDE was the culmination of countless hours, innovation and dedication by our team,” said Brenden Hogan, one of two project manager co-leaders for DANDE and a junior in aerospace engineering.  “I was prepared for the worst outcome at every turn but at every turn there was nothing but success.”

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CEAS Ranked in Top US Undergrad Programs

The College of Engineering and Applied Science was again recognized for its educational excellence by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges (undergraduate rankings), published Sept. 10. The college moved ahead two spots this year, coming in 17th among public institutions whose highest degree is a doctorate.

The report shows CU-Boulder Engineering at No. 32 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.

Within engineering, recognition went to CU’s aerospace engineering sciences program, ranked 16th in the nation and 11th among public institutions, and to the civil engineering program, ranked 20th in the nation and 13th among public institutions. This is civil engineering’s first appearance on the undergraduate rankings list since 2006.

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Honors & Awards: October 2013

Congratulations to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:


Scott Summers of environmental engineering received the the American Water Works Association’s 2013 A.P. Black Research Award, which honors long-term outstanding research contributions in water science and supply.


Bobbie Atkinson of Computer Science received the Employee Recognition Award for September


Mechanical engineering PhD student Jacob Dove has been named the 2013/2014 Thomas & Brenda Geers Graduate Fellowship recipient.

Chemical engineering graduate student Chern-Hooi Lim was one of five students nationwide to win a fall 2013 American Chemical Society (ACS) Chemical Computing Group Excellence Award for Graduate Students.

New Faculty and Staff: October 2013

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

Doug Smith, Assistant Dean for Programs and Engagement, Dean’s Office
Karey Sabol, Director of International Programs, Dean’s Office (starts Oct. 14)
Nancy Tway, Finance Manager, Mechanical Engineering (starts Oct. 15)

And best wishes to the following retiring faculty and staff:

Laurels Sessler, Environmental Engineering Program

Important Announcements

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

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