Engineering

When words, not math, are the secret to engineering

While civil engineering centers on the design and construction of physical environments, Jordan Burns specializes in a critical part of the discipline that isn’t often recognized—communication.

“I’m not an engineer who can just sit and do math. I like to interact with people,” said the junior civil engineering major, who is also president of the CU-Boulder chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-USA CU).

Cambridge bound student shows breadth of impact math can have

Stephen Kissler spends a lot of time thinking about research problems such as an artificial pancreas that could determine exactly how much insulin to release in a diabetic person.

“Usually my thoughts are about what’s valuable, what hasn’t been done, what would be an important piece of information for either a patient or a doctor to have and what skills I have to address that,” said Kissler.

CU-Boulder researchers use video games to spark kids' interest in coding

In grade school classrooms across the country, students have been hard at work this semester trying to figure out how to smash a virtual frog with a virtual truck. They’re building their own video games—inspired by the 1980s classic Frogger—and there are a thousand details to work out. 

In the end, the students will have built a video game. But more important, the students will have learned how to code—whether they knew it at the time or not.

‘Memory fibers’ add fourth dimension to 3D printing

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have successfully added a fourth dimension to their printing technology, opening up exciting possibilities for the creation and use of adaptive, composite materials in manufacturing, packaging and biomedical applications.

Satellite designed and built by CU-Boulder students now in orbit

DANDE has left the planet.

A beach ball-sized satellite designed and built by a team of CU-Boulder students is now whipping around the planet in a polar orbit. Roughly 150 students have been involved in the project since 2007.

The satellite, known as the Drag and Atmospheric Neutral Density Explorer satellite, or DANDE, will investigate how atmospheric drag can affect satellite orbits.

CU, MIT breakthrough in photonics could allow for faster and faster electronics

A pair of breakthroughs in the field of silicon photonics by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Micron Technology Inc. could allow for the trajectory of exponential improvement in microprocessors that began nearly half a century ago—known as Moore’s Law—to continue well into the future, allowing for increasingly faster electronics, from supercomputers to laptops to smartphones.

CU-Boulder’s new and renovated residence halls showcase new academic program, sustainability

CU-Boulder’s newest residence hall, Kittredge Central, is welcoming students this week for the first time, 53 of whom are engineering students and will be immersed in Spanish through the building’s new Residential Academic Program, or RAP. Also, the nearby Kittredge West residence hall is reopening this week after renovations. Both buildings comprise a number of “green” features to improve water and energy efficiency and to reduce the campus’s carbon footprint.

Software-defined networking company built on ‘impossible’ technology sells for $125M

A decade ago, John Giacomoni was working as a professional research assistant in the Software Engineering Research Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder when the group took on a problem they couldn’t afford to solve.

Giacomoni was working in Professor Alexander L. Wolf’s lab and their task was to build a system that could secure the campus from electronic attacks. As the scope of the project expanded, they soon discovered the specialty hardware they needed to continue was a budget buster.

Students become rocket scientists at NASA facility in Virginia

A Colorado student space research consortium led by the University of Colorado Boulder teamed up with a Virginia space consortium led by the University of Virginia this week to help aspiring rocket scientists from around the country learn how to design, build and fly payloads.

Insect eye-inspired camera captures wide view with no distortion

When praying mantises, dragonflies, ants and other insects peer out at the world, their bulging, compound eyes allow them to see an incredibly wide field of view with an almost infinite depth of field.

Imitating the functionality of an insect eye — which is really a collection of many tinier eyes, known as ommatidia — in a camera has been a long sought-after goal for engineers. Now, camera lenses with wide fields of view, such as fisheye lenses, create distortion around the edges of the image.

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