May 2013 eNotes

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Students Excel in Math Modeling Contest

Two CU teams among Outstanding Winners

Design Expo Highlights Student Creativity

Spring expo showcases 80 team projects

Design Expo Highlights Student Creativity

The April 27 Engineering Design Expo showcased 80 hands-on team projects by engineering undergraduates and local high school students. Students demonstrated their projects both inside and outside the ITL Laboratory, and the community was invited to attend. The People’s Choice Award, chosen by attendees, went to students Amanda Kuker, Matt Gosche, Nicholas Mati, Scott Leipprandt, David Reid, Adam Clarke, and Mike Choi for their Low Cost Exploration Landing System, shown below left.



Students Excel in Math Modeling Contest

Whether they are developing a mathematical model to help a country meet its projected water needs or developing the perfect dessert pan, CU-Boulder students are hard to beat.

Two undergraduate teams from CU-Boulder were named among the 11 "Outstanding Winners" from a field of 5,636 teams that entered the international Mathematical Contest in Modeling, sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications.

One of the two teams was comprised of students Gregory Mcquie and David Thomas of aerospace engineering sciences, and Yueh-Ya Hsu of applied mathematics. The other included students Christopher Aicher and Tracy Babb of applied mathematics, and Fiona Pigott, who is double-majoring in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics. Anne Dougherty of applied mathematics served as faculty advisor to both teams.

According to the contest rules, the students had 96 hours to decide which of two problems to complete, research their problem, come up with a mathematical model, program a numerical model, and write a report.  One of this year’s problems focused on developing an effective, feasible and cost-efficient strategy to meet projected water needs in a given country, while the other challenged students to develop the “ultimate brownie pan” to maximize heat distribution and cooking potential in an oven.

CU-Boulder had two teams designated as Outstanding Winners in 2012 as well, and has had a total of 13 Outstanding Winner designations since 2000.

CU Student/Alumni Startups Garner Attention

A new startup company launched by computer science doctoral student Aaron Schram and recent grads Ben Jacobson and William Butler is the latest in a string of successes in the entrepreneurial and startup space involving CU engineering students and alumni.

The company, Collective IP, debuted its new technology transfer information aggregator at a major biotechnology conference and business forum held April 22-25 in Chicago. The team developed a web-based search engine that offers access to technologies and inventors from around the world, with technology listings from more than 1,000 sources of innovation – including universities, research institutes, hospitals, government labs, foundations, associations, agencies and patent offices. It also features a comprehensive index of research grants awarded to public and private universities so that companies can understand what is currently being studied across the world and what that might mean for licensable technologies in the future.

Other recent entrepreneurial successes by CU students and alumni include:
- LineRate Systems, started by computer science doctoral student John Giacomoni and former electrical and computer engineering professor Manish Vachharajani, was acquired by F5 Networks in February; and
- Rally Software, founded by civil engineering graduate Ryan Martens along with compuer science alumnus Zach Nies and other CU grads, recently filed for a $70 million IPO.

“We’ve long produced students who have gone on to successful careers as employees, and some who have started their own businesses, but now we’re seeing an increasing entrepreneurial spirit in our students,” says associate chair of computer science Ken Anderson. “This is building on a new dynamic of collaboration between engineering, business and law to work on growing students’ potential in the entrepreneurial sphere.”

Honors & Awards: May 2013

Congratulations to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:


Matt Hallowell of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering was selected as the college’s Outstanding Faculty Advisor.

Paul Chinowsky of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering has been elected chair of the Boulder Faculty Assembly for 2013-14.

Gregor Henze, Balaji Rajagopalan, and their research group in civil, environmental, and architectural engineering won the Best Conference Paper Award for 2013 from the Architectural Engineering Institute for their paper, “Probabilistic Identification of Inverse Building Model Parameters.”

Angela Bielefeldt of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering won the Best Paper Award at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Rocky Mountain Section Conference for her paper titled “Student Perceptions of the Importance and Achievement of Sustainable Engineering Outcomes.”

Jeffrey Knutsen of mechanical engineering, and Matthew Morris and Sandra Vásconez of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering were among 16 CU-Boulder faculty and staff to receive the Marinus Smith Recognition Award from the CU Parents Association this year.  The award recognizes CU-Boulder faculty and staff who have had a significant impact on CU-Boulder’s undergraduate student population.

Kristi Anseth of chemical and biological engineering was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, a top honor recognizing scientists and engineers for their distinguished and continuing achievements in research.


Lesley McDowell of computer science was selected as the college’s Outstanding Staff Advisor.

Jen Gifford of chemical and biological engineering received the Employee Recognition Award for April.

Pamela Williamson of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering was selected to receive the Employee Recognition Award for May.


Ilana Trumble of applied mathematics, Taylor Kennedy, Anna McLeland, and Kayla Weston of chemical and biological engineering, Erik Bergal of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, Christopher Poulton of electrical, computer, and energy engineering, and Christopher Miller of mechanical engineering won awards at the annual Discovery Learning Research Symposium on April 19.

Nikki Look of applied mathematics, Rachel Viger and Claire Wise of chemical and biological engineering, and Alex Dohm of mechanical engineering were among the CU 4.0 Club students honored at the Student-Athlete Academic Recognition Banquet in April.

Levin Sliker, a graduate student mechanical engineering working with Mark Rentschler, has been awarded a Whitaker International Fellowship to study biorobotics at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa, Italy. 

Eric Simley, a graduate student in electrical engineering advised by Lucy Pao, won a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue research at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) next year.  His research is on Measuring Wind Evolution for Wind Turbine Control using Light Detection and Ranging.

New Faculty & Staff: May 2013

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

Jared Wampler, Applications Engineer – Integrated Teaching & Learning Program

Lauren Cole, Undergraduate Advisor – Aerospace Engineering Sciences

Lindsay Powers, Research Support Assistant – Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

Malia Frederickson, NCWIT Aspirations Project Manager – ATLAS Institute

Important Announcements

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

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