Published: Oct. 23, 2020

Reappointment Seminar for Donna Gerren, Bobby Hodgkinson, and Nicholas Rainville.
Tuesday, November 3 from 4:30 - 6:15 p.m.
Zoom Webinar - Pre-Registration Required

Donna Gerren

My First (and Last) Reappointment Seminar

Abstract: After nearly 25 years of teaching in the University of Colorado’s Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department, I find myself called upon to present my first seminar for my reappointment.  The seminar will cover my personal history at CU Aerospace Engineering; my international, national, and collegiate society involvement this past year at CU; changes made to ASEN 4138 (Aircraft Design) to teach remotely due to Covid-19; and finishing up with what my students learn in Aircraft Design Class (whether they want to or not)!

Bio: Dr. Gerren graduated from the University of Colorado’s Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences with her B.S. in 1977 and her M.S. in 1979.  She subsequently obtained an M.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas, studying under legendary aircraft designer Dr. Jan Roskam. 

She has experience as an intern at Lockheed Martin in Waterton, Colorado, as a Mass Properties Engineer, working on Titan missiles. She also served as an intern at Johnson Space Center in Houston as a technical journalist on the joint US/Soviet space mission, Apollo-Soyuz.

Her professional experience includes working at Douglas Aircraft Co. in Long Beach, California, DARCorporation in Lawrence, Kansas, and NASA Dryden (Armstrong) Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, California, before being hired as an instructor here in the department by Chair Dick Seebass.

Dr. Gerren has earned numerous teaching awards, including CU’s Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award in Education in 2002, awarded to less than 1% of CU engineering alumni.  She also received a Boeing Welliver Faculty Fellowship in 2007, in time to see the first Dreamliner roll out of the Everett factory. Dr. Gerren is an Associate Fellow of AIAA and a Fellow of SAWE.  She has a pilot’s license and is proud to have flown 80 parabolas on the KC-135 “Vomit Comet”, tossing her cookies only once.

Bobby Hodgkinson

Experiential Learning in Aerospace Engineering Undergraduate Lab Courses During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract: The COVID-19 emergency transition to remote learning in the Spring of 2020 and the Fall 2020 hybrid and remote learning environments forced several changes to the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences undergraduate hands-on educational labs. The hardware based experimental and design labs required the biggest modifications to content delivery and an altered student experience. While some aspects of the experiential learning environment were better suited to virtualization than others, this transition has forced the development and implementation of methodologies to allow for the delivery of lab content while maintaining some of the characteristics of a hands-on learning experience.

This seminar will present how the labs team has adjusted the delivery of the hardware based hands-on labs to this new and hopefully temporary learning environment. Some lessons learned on flexible group formation during a pandemic will be shared. This talk will also cover some of the learning aids that were developed for this new environment and how these aids can be used in the future to improve the overall quality of the experiential learning process while also allowing for an increased growth of enrollments when students are allowed to return to in-person education.  

Bio: Bobby Hodgkinson is an Instructor in the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department (AES) and co-manages the AES educational electronics and instrumentation shop. He assists students and researchers in the AES department for sensor and data acquisition needs as well as manages several lab courses and experiments. He is a member of the Professional Advisory Board for the senior capstone projects course.

Prior to joining the AES department in 2012, he was the lab manager at the Institute of Networked Autonomous Systems at the University of Florida, Gainesville where he focused on the research and development of small, autonomous aerial and underwater vehicles, sensors and actuators. He received a BS and MS degree from the Aerospace Engineering Sciences department at CU Boulder in 2010 and 2011.

Nicholas Rainville

The Common Spacecraft Bus of the Smead Aerospace CubeSat Program

Abstract: CubeSats provide an opportunity for cutting-edge space science and technology demonstration that is accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students. The Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences department has a history of successful CubeSat missions including the Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment (CSSWE), the Miniature X-Ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS), and QB50 Challenger which were built by students in the Graduate Projects course. These cubesats have driven the development of common spacecraft bus components including a Command and Data Handling (CDH) system,  Electrical Power System (EPS), and Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS), which are now available for use and customization by future missions. This talk will both discuss the history and design of these cubesat systems, as well provide a look forward into their continuing development and expanding capabilities for use in CubeSats such as the Compact Spaceborne Magnetic Observatory (COSMO), Climatology of Anthropogenic and Natural VLF wave Activity in Space (CANVAS), and MAXWELL.

Bio: Nicholas Rainville is an Instructor in the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences department at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He is a KD Woods Projects Scholar and supports project-based learning including coordination of the Graduate Projects course. His research interests include CubeSat software and electronics design, passive RF remote sensing, particularly GPS detection of volcanic ash plumes, and active remote sensing radar, including distributed meteor radars. He received his PhD in Aerospace Engineering Sciences in 2019 from the University of Colorado Boulder.  Before Boulder he completed his MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University in 2014 and his BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northeastern University in 2006. Before pursuing his graduate studies, he worked as a microprocessor design engineer for IBM Microelectronics where he specialized in logic design, synthesis, and VLSI integration, and which included development work on the WII U, Xbox 360,and PowerPC 460 processors.


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