June 2013 eNotes

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GoldShirt Program Replicated in Washington State

CU program is adopted by two other schools

CU Students Complete Robotic Garden Prototype

CU engineering students put the final touches...

CU Students Complete Robotic Garden Prototype

The robotic garden was developed by an interidisciplinary team of aerospace and computer science students to support astronauts in deep space, as part of the 2013 Exploration Habitat Academic Innovation Challenge. Team members pictured, from left to right, are Jordan Holquist, Daniel Zukowski, Huy Le, Scott Mishra, and Emily Howard.

GoldShirt Program Replicated in Washington State

As the fifth class of CU Engineering’s GoldShirt students prepares to come to campus for a two-week bridge program in July, college leaders are pleased to report that two other universities, with National Science Foundation support, are adopting the GoldShirt model.

Started by Associate Dean Jacquelyn Sullivan in 2009 with support from NSF, the campus and generous alumni, the GoldShirt Program expands access to engineering through a performance-enhancing year for talented and motivated students whose academic preparation falls a bit short of standard admission requirements. The GoldShirt moniker comes from the practice of redshirting athletes to give them an additional year of preparation, with gold denoting the high value of one day achieving a more diverse engineering workforce.

The University of Washington and Washington State University recently announced new academic redshirting programs in engineering, with a nod to CU-Boulder for launching the approach.

The GoldShirt Program welcomed 107 students in its first four years, and the program has brought diversity to the student body while achieving retention rates comparable to those of other CU engineering students. This fall, 34 new first-year GoldShirt students will join the CU engineering family.

The first GoldShirt graduate is expected to complete her degree in December, a semester early, while achieving summa cum laude honors, according to program director Tanya Ennis. Faculty and staff throughout the college actively support the GoldShirt initiative—proving that it does take a village.

CU Leads Colorado Proposal for Unmanned Aircraft Test Site

With one of the most comprehensive Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) scientific programs in the nation, CU-Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science is the lead player in a statewide proposal to establish an unmanned aircraft system test site in Colorado.

While military use of drones has sparked controversy, CU Professors Brian Argrow and Eric Frew of the Research and Education Center for Unmanned Vehicles, or RECUV, point out that UAS can be used for tasks ranging from forest fire support and search and rescue missions to oil and gas exploration. A growing number of science efforts also are being undertaken involving UAS.

CU-Boulder’s UAS projects have included monitoring seal populations in the Arctic, charting sea ice changes near Greenland, intercepting storm cells associated with tornadoes in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska, and measuring gaping holes in Antarctic sea ice associated with offshore winds. “We may have more experience flying science missions around the world with UAS than any other research group in the world,” Frew says.

Thirty-seven states are vying for the six sites slated to be established by the FAA across the United States. The Colorado proposal involves 10 regional economic development agencies, seven universities, five industry associations, two state agencies and dozens of private companies. The final site selections are expected to be announced in December.

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Undergrads Prepare for HPC Cluster Competition

Six engineering undergraduates are in the final throes of preparation for an international competition in high-performance computing held in Leipzig, Germany, June 16-20.

The CU-Boulder team, advised by Doug Smith of LASP, is one of only two U.S. teams to be invited to compete in the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) 2013 Student Cluster Challenge. CU’s traveling team includes computer science students Joseph Burns, Erik Kahn, Matt Moskowitz, Sean Rivera, and Dane Larsen, and electrical and computer engineering major David Johnson.

A total of nine student teams will demonstrate the capabilities of their pre-built HPC systems and applications at the Leipzig conference, and also participate in a real-time challenge to build a small cluster of their own design and race to demonstrate the greatest performance across a series of benchmarks and applications.

CU students said they are looking forward to the fun, hands-on learning experience and to meeting the large variety of potential employers who will be in attendance. Smith said CU graduates in high performance computing are in high demand—two members of the team have already landed jobs at Intel.

While the ISC is only in its second year, CU has sent teams to the Supercomputing Conference (SC) in the U.S. regularly since 2007, and will be the host school for the November 2013 SC student competition in Denver.

Honors & Awards: June 2013

Congratulations to the following individuals on their outstanding achievements:


Penina Axelrad of aerospace engineering sciences was appointed to a two-year term on the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Advisory Board, a presidential advisory committee sponsored by NASA.


Sharon Anderson of mechanical engineering, Nick Stites of ITL, Adriane Bradberry of NCWIT, and JoAnn Zelasko of the Dean’s Office were selected to receive the Commitment to Excellence Award for Spring 2013.

Vickie Stubbs of ATLAS was selected to receive the annual ATLAS Award.

Kim Kalahar of the National Center for Women and Information Technology was selected to receive ATLAS’ “Titan of the Quarter” Award.


Heather Underwood, a PhD student at ATLAS who developed an application of digital pen technology to support maternal health in developing countries, was the first place graduate winner in Association for Computing Machinery’s Student Research Competition Grand Finals. She will be recognized at an awards banquet in San Francisco in June.

Ifeyinwa Okoye, a PhD student in computer science, was named one of 30 North American winners of the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, valued at $10,000, and Allison Brown and Neeti Wagle of computer science were among 30 finalists who will receive $1,000 scholarships.

Environmental engineering and applied mathematics students Keith Bowhan, Kyle Gustafson, Alec Thomas and Corey Miller won first-place in the fifth annual Rocky Mountain Student Design Competition sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association/Rocky Mountain Section of the American Water Works Association. The team will go on to compete in the national competition at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) held in Chicago in October. A second CU team comprised of students Ryan Riopelle, Camilla Restrepo, Jay Blackburn, and Molly Bray took second place in the Rocky Mountain competition.

Aerospace engineering students Samantha Archambault, Gautham Gopakumar, Jarred Langhals, Liz Notary, Alex Smith, Chelsea Welch, KatieRae Williamson, and Jonathan Wu won first place at the AIAA Region V student paper conference in April for their Low Earth Orbit Project for the Acquisition and Recovery of Debris (LEOPARD). A second aerospace engineering team comprised of students James Bader, Andy Broucek, Zachary Cuseo, Alex Kim, Mike Opland, Sarah Smith, Mike Trowbridge, and Ryder Whitmire took second place at AIAA Region V for their Target Recognition and Acquisition Cube Sat (TRACSat).

New Faculty & Staff: June 2013

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

  • James Murray, Pre-Engineering Program Coordinator, Dean’s Office

and congratulations to the following staff on their retirements, effective June 30:

  • Sherry Snyder, Dean's Office
  • Jana Murphy, Dean’s Office
  • Lee Ann Stevens, Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering


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