February 2013 eNotes

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Student-Built Star-Tracker Wins SpaceX Prize

DayStar designed for high-altitude balloon

Student-Built Star-Tracker Wins SpaceX Prize

DayStar, a prototype star tracker developed by a team of CU students for launch on a high-altitude balloon, was awarded the $1,000 SpaceX Grand Prize at the American Astronomical Society’s Guidance Navigation and Control Conference on Feb. 2 in Breckenridge.

The star tracker is designed to work during daytime hours from the stratosphere, while providing sub-arcsecond pointing knowledge.

Aerospace engineering students Jed Diller, Kevin Dinkel, Zach Dischner, and Nick Truesdale developed DayStar as a 2011-12 senior capstone project with support from the Southwest Research Institute. They subsequently launched the star-tracker from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Ballooning Facility in Fort Sumner, NM, on Sept. 22, and are now presenting their data at conferences as graduate students. Hanspeter Schaub is their faculty advisor.

>More info

Space Grant Team Awarded 2013 Launch

A Colorado Space Grant team has been awarded a launch on the High Altitude Student Platform, a flight program supported by the NASA Balloon Program Office and Louisiana Space Grant Consortium. The Colorado student team (primarily composed of first-year CU-Boulder students from the Gateway to Space class) wrote and submitted a proposal to continue the work done in 2012 on the Hydrogen-alpha Exploration with Long Infrared Observation Systems (HELIOS) payload.  

The HELIOS payload launched in September from Ft. Sumner, NM, and HELIOS II will continue the effort -- exploring the feasibility of quality stratospheric observation of space - specifically focusing on observation of the sun.  The Colorado Space Grant student team was one of 12 from across the country selected for flight on HASP 2013.

Herbst Lunchtime Seminars

The Herbst Lunchtime Seminars for engineering faculty and staff will continue this semester with the following offerings. Bring your lunch and enjoy a stimulating discussion led by Herbst faculty members. All seminars are in ECOT 831, from noon to 12:50 p.m.

February 20 and 27
A Discussion of Miguel de Cervantes, Exemplary Stories
Presented by Associate Dean Diane Sieber

March 13, 20 and 27
The New Atheists on Science and Religion
Presented by Wayne Ambler

April 3, 10 and 17
Voltaire’s Candide
Presented by Anja Lange

>More info

Honors & Awards: February 2013

Congratulations to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:


Mahmoud Hussein of aerospace engineering sciences has been selected to receive an NSF CAREER Award for research and education in nonlinear, dissipative mechanics of phononic materials.

Scott Summers of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering has been selected to receive the 2013 A.P. Black Research Award from the American Water Works Association.

Paul Chinowsky of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering won the 2012 Best Peer Reviewed Paper Award from the ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering for his paper titled “Project Network Interdependency Alignment: New Approach to Assessing Project Effectiveness.” 

Jeffrey Thayer of aerospace engineering sciences served on a panel in Washington, D.C. about “Space Technology Policy: Exploring Options.” The panel was co-hosted by the American Chemical Society’s Science & Congress Project and the American Geophysical Union.

John McCartney of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering has been selected to receive the 2013 Shamsher Prakash Annual Prize for Excellence in Teaching of Geotechnical Engineering.


Nora Van Leuvan of electrical, computer, and energy engineering received the Employee Recognition Award for January.

Sharon Anderson of mechanical engineering received the Employee Recognition Award for February.


Jim Bader, Andrew Broucek, Zach Cuseo, Alex Kim, Mike Opland, Sarah Smith, Mike Trowbridge, and Bill Whitmire of aerospace engineering sciences will present a paper on “Testbed for CubeSat Propulsion System Control Algorithms” at the second IAA Conference on University Satellite Missions and Cubesat Workshop in Rome, Italy in February. The senior design project is sponsored by Surrey Satellite Technologies.

Julia Traylor of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering won first place in the ASCE EWRI Student Technical Paper Competition.  She will present her paper, “Optimal Initial Configuration of Treatment Solution for In Situ Remediation of Contaminated Groundwater using Engineered Injection and Extraction,” at the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress in Cincinnati in May.

Torrie Aston of chemical and biological engineering won first place in the AIChE Chemical Reaction Engineering Division Graduate Student Poster Competition in Pittsburgh in November with her poster, “Novel Ferrite Materials for Efficient H2Production and CO2 Separation Using Chemical Looping Hydrogen Production.” Her advisor is Alan Weimer.

New Faculty & Staff: February 2013

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

Pavol Cerny - Assistant Professor, ECEE

Anushree Chatterjee - Assistant Professor, ChBE

Kat McConnell – Undergraduate Advisor, ME

Jason Pfeifer – Finance Manager, ME

Important Announcements

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

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