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 Tuesday, April 24, 2007 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


CU engineering students to demonstrate creative ingenuity at ITL Design Expo
By Carol Rowe, College of Engineering and Applied Science

Engineering students at the University of Colorado at Boulder are putting their creative ideas to work on solving the world's energy problems. More than a dozen alternative energy systems and devices will be among the 75 student projects showcased at the Integrated Teaching and Learning (ITL) Spring Design Expo on Saturday, April 28.

A "hybrid" model speed boat that could operate on a hydrogen fuel cell is one such invention. The team of first-year students who came up with the idea presented their progress in class last week, saying "We think it's going to be fast. We hope to do the final test on Tuesday."

Finishing their projects in time for the Design Expo usually means long hours of trouble-shooting in the final days leading up to the event. Student Matt Raney, who is helping to build a "ball machine" for Ryan Elementary School, said he has learned that "even if something doesn't work all the time, if it works most of the time, it's still good." Engineering students are developing playground exhibits for the Lafayette math and science focus school for the second consecutive year, said Professor and ITL Co-director Larry Carlson.

Students who set out to build fuel cell devices also learned to handle necessary design modifications since the fuel cells for their projects didn't arrive on time from Germany, according to Professor Marty Dunn. As a result, the students designed hybrid devices, which can run on either battery power or a fuel cell if it were available. As in real life applications, the students also have developed different schemes for storing or supplying the hydrogen as part of their designs, Dunn added.

The Design Expo is free and open to the public from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the ITL Laboratory, located on Regent Drive south of Colorado Avenue. The event will showcase the work of about 400 engineering students, including both first-year and senior design projects. A dozen projects built by students in the Centaurus High School Pre-Engineering Academy also will be shown.

Lockheed Martin is sponsoring the semi-annual event, and many people from industry, government and the community volunteer as judges. An awards ceremony will be held at the end, and attendees can vote for their favorite project to win the People's Choice award. For more information, call 492-7222 or visit the website.

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