Engineering

Small satellites becoming big deal for CU-Boulder students

For some University of Colorado Boulder undergraduates, designing, building and flying small satellites is becoming a large part of their hands-on education.

CU-Boulder student finds incubators have wildly varying magnetic fields

Lucas Portelli, a doctoral student in the University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, wanted to know how electromagnetic fields affect living things.

To find the answer, he went about building experiments. He tried to test the impact of the fields on E. coli, on cancer cells, on fruit flies and even on mice. But he quickly ran into a problem: The magnetic fields in the biological incubators he was using weren’t consistent. In fact, they weren’t even close.

‘Part art and part magic’

It took at least 1,000 hours of work but the result is stunning.

During the 2011-12 academic year, engineering students in Andrews Hall started an extracurricular project to build a “grand orrery,” a mechanical planetary system that illustrates the relative positions and motions of both the inner and outer planets.

Ice-capped Antarctic lake harbors life

A frigid brine, isolated from the outside world for about three millennia underneath a thick layer of ice in an Antarctic lake, harbors life, according to a research team that includes scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder.
 
The finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers a hint to how life might be able to thrive in extreme, icy conditions elsewhere in our solar system, such as those found on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Jupiter’s moon Europa or on Mars.
 

Alaska’s iconic Columbia Glacier expected to stop retreating in 2020, says CU-Boulder study

The wild and dramatic cascade of ice into the ocean from Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, an iconic glacier featured in the documentary “Chasing Ice” and one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, will cease around 2020, according to a study by the University of Colorado Boulder.

STEM: Strengthening education, and the power of a nation

STEM education at CU-Boulder is having a ripple effect, transforming undergraduate and graduate-level classrooms; boosting the number of STEM majors pursuing teaching careers; and fanning out to improve STEM learning at K-12 levels. CU gathers to celebrate STEM scholarship and education projects this Oct. 1 at the 4th Annual Symposium on STEM Education.

Learning and living sustainability

SEEDS and Sustainable by Design, CU’s two newest Residential Academic Programs, feature an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability and innovative problem-solving.   

CU students transforming science and math education

One CU-Boulder professor’s idea of how to help students learn more grew into such a successful program that it is now a model for schools throughout the nation.

Through the Colorado Learning Assistant Program, more than 1,500 learning assistant positions have been filled at CU-Boulder, helping to improve introductory courses in 10 departments and to positively impact more than 10,000 CU students each year.

As Voyager 1 nears edge of solar system, CU scientists look back

In 1977, Jimmy Carter was sworn in as president, Elvis died, Virginia park ranger Roy Sullivan was hit by lightning a record seventh time and two NASA space probes destined to turn planetary science on its head launched from Florida.

Engineering students help to improve quality of life in developing communities

Fourteen graduate students from the Engineering for Developing Communities program at CU-Boulder traveled abroad this past summer to gain field experience in community development.

The students partnered with nonprofit organizations, private companies and universities for 4- to 12-week practicum experiences in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, Uganda, Nepal and China.

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