University of Colorado
College of Engineering & Applied Science
Aerospace Engineering Sciences
Department Update | Summer 2013
Creating New Opportunities for Learning and Research
The emphasis on hands-on learning that has characterized CU-Boulder's undergraduate aerospace curriculum for more than a decade, continues to drive our students' award-winning successes in capstone senior projects and to foster their involvement in research projects within the university and in national competitions. Project-based learning is now taking off at the graduate level with more and more MS and PhD students engaged in hands-on projects, and winning national competitions with their creative and technically sound designs. The success of these project teams is resulting in exciting new opportunities for research and education.

A proposal by AES Professor Eric Frew and Computer Science Professor Nikolaus Correll to build an Indoor Flying Robot Laboratory (IFRL) recently was selected for funding by the Engineering Excellence Fund. The lab, housed in the former Fleming Law building, will be used by computer science, aerospace, and mechanical engineering students, and includes a motion capture system to enable precise attitude and control measurements at fast enough update rates to support operation of three quad-rotor autonomous aerial robots. This equipment includes several cameras, a computer, networking and image routing hardware, and control software.

Frew and AES Professor Brian Argrow also were involved this spring in a CU-Boulder-led effort to bring an unmanned aircraft systems test site to Colorado. As the FAA considers proposals for six national test sites across the U.S., Colorado boasts experienced personnel and the diverse terrain required for such experiments. Over the past 10 years, faculty and students in our Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV) have been leaders in UAV research, from chasing tornadoes in summer to charting sea changes in freezing waters. The FAA plans to announce selections in December.

>> Learn more about the proposal for a UAS test site in Colorado

>> Read Nature feature on RECUV and the Tempest UAS
Student Feature: Mike Lotto Dives Beside Astronauts in NASA Co-op
As he prepares to enter his senior year at CU, Goldwater scholarship recipient Mike Lotto already has more on-the-job experience with NASA than some of his counterparts who have been out of school for a few years. Throughout his CU career, Lotto has participated in NASA’s co-op program at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

This past spring, he worked in the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) branch of the Mission Operations Directorate - the group responsible for training, developing, preparing, and leading spacewalks outside the International Space Station (ISS). Mike developed a new class to be taught to future ISS crews, refined real-time procedures for on-orbit operations, and followed astronauts through their EVA training flows at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL).

The NBL is the world’s largest indoor pool - large enough to contain full-size mock-ups of ISS components. By becoming neutrally buoyant in the water, astronauts can train in a controlled, zero-gravity environment prior to spacewalk missions outside the ISS.

Mike had the chance to dive in the NBL on numerous occasions. This included the opportunity to dive alongside CU alum and NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, while he simulated a spacewalk in the NBL. Mike says this was a highlight of his co-op experience.
Faculty and Staff Donations Fund New Banquet Honoring AES Grads
The Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences launched a new tradition in May honoring its graduates. AES faculty and staff made personal contributions as part of a college-wide Family Campaign, which were matched by the dean to fund the inaugural AES Banquet for Graduating Students.

Nearly 130 faculty, staff and AES students who graduated in fall 2012 or spring 2013 attended the event held at the historic Hotel Boulderado near the Pearl Street Mall. Following speeches by Chair Penny Axelrad, Professor Dave Klaus, and Professor Donna Gerren (a.k.a. "Dr. G"), a spontaneous roasting of several faculty by the students as they remembered their experiences in AES added a light-hearted touch to the evening.

"The fact that faculty and staff were willing to donate money to put on a dinner for the seniors just goes to show how amazing the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences is," says recent graduate KatieRae Williamson. "I enjoyed the awesome food and personal interaction with professors and staff and I found the professors’ speeches inspiring."
Colorado showcases impact of aerospace industry
Recognizing the importance of the aerospace industry to Colorado’s economy and job growth, state legislators this spring passed a joint resolution establishing March 25 as Colorado Aerospace Day. Colorado’s aerospace industry is second in the nation for private sector aerospace employment, contributing $8.7 billion to the state economy and employing more than 66,000 people in high-paying jobs.

On May 30, Senator Michael Bennet hosted the Front Range Aerospace Bus Tour for the purpose of educating Colorado aerospace executives and economic development agencies about the wide range of aerospace activities in Colorado. Approximately 40 invitees stopped at Ball Aerospace, United Launch Alliance, and the Space Foundation, where panels of local aerospace executives discussed their companies' activities from the local to global scale. At Ball, CU's Dan Baker, director of LASP, discussed the many CU-Boulder departments, centers, and institutes dedicated to the study of Earth and space sciences.
Alumni Class Notes
Following 10 years at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory and 12 years working in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Engineering and Systems, Richard Rumpf (AeroEngr '65, MS '68) is continuing his career as president of Rumpf Associates International, a technology and systems consulting company.

Michael Van Portfliet (AeroEngr ’73)
retired in April after 34 years with Lockheed Martin and 40 years total in the aerospace industry.

Rick Mayer (MS AeroEngr '89)
provides working information technology support to the Naval Air Command in Maryland.

Jim Hansen (AeroEngr ’92, MS ’93) received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Award for his service as research and development lead in the Piracy Attack Risk Surface project. (Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory - Marine Meteorology Division)
>> Read more

David B. Spencer (PhD AeroEngr ’94) was promoted to the rank of professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Pennsylvania State University.

Col. David Goldstein (PhD AeroEngr ’00)
has been promoted to director at Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate. He is in charge of a staff of 917 personnel.

Jason D. Kerwood (AeroEngr ’05, MS EngrMgmt ’11)
is training to be an attitude determination and control officer, which is part of the team that is responsible for flying and operating the International Space Station. After completing training, he will be working in the Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center, where he will manage the attitude and altitude of the ISS and respond to any related vehicle anomalies.

Andrew Shulman (AeroEngr '06) recently moved to Washington, D.C., where he is a strategy consultant for the U.S. Air Force at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Jaime Catchen (AeroEngr ’09) is one of several CU Engineering alumni working on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) project at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., which successfully landed the rover Curiosity on Mars last August. She also is a graduate student at the University of Southern California, pursuing a MS in mechanical engineering dynamics and control. Other CU AES Engineering alumni on the MSL project include sequencing/operations team members Matt Lenda (BS/MS AeroEngr ’10) and Pauline Hwang (AeroEngr ’00). (Did we miss you? Send us an update and we’ll be sure to include your MSL involvement in the next edition of Class Notes!)

Liao Liu (MS AeroEngr ’10) works as a stress engineer on the Material Review Board of Spain-based aeronautical company Aernnova. She is also part of the A350 XWB Elevator program at Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center in northeast China, where she analyzes non-conformities of composite and metallic parts as well as stress issues related to elevator assembly.

Brandon Benjamin (AeroEngr ’11, MS ’13) recently joined JPL as a systems engineer in the mission operations group in Pasadena, California.

>> Send us your updates! Click here to submit your information for the next edition of Class Notes.
Note from the Chair, Penny Axelrad
First, I
am delighted
to share
that we were
successful in
all of our
recent faculty
searches! Five new faculty will join us in the areas of astrodynamics, bioastronautics, fluid dynamics, and controls. We plan to introduce you to each of these outstanding individuals in the fall.

This year’s AES Student Design Symposium, held April 19, featured presentations by our 10 senior project and five graduate project teams. The audience included industry affiliates, faculty, and proud family members of our students. Our students displayed their technical work with tremendous professionalism, clear enthusiasm for their work and teams, and justifiable pride in their accomplishments. Industry support for these projects is absolutely essential to our success because it provides financial resources for students to design and build authentic systems. Companies also bring real-world challenges and practical advice to the teams. We regularly hear both from our students and the professionals who work with them how rewarding they find these interactions to be.

Growing relationships with industry and strengthening our connections with science departments on campus is a major objective of the CU-Boulder AeroSpace Ventures initiative. We are continuing to work with industry leaders to support industry needs and increase awareness of AES faculty and students. Faculty in our research centers are reaching out to form multidisciplinary collaborations in areas like UAS, small satellites, and instrumentation.

Please send me your feedback on what we are doing, and updates on your own activities. You can email or stop by when you are in the area. Let us know how you might like to get involved.
Upcoming Events
July 25, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
CU Engineering Picnic for Alumni and New Students at Eben G. Fine Park, Boulder.

September 11, 6-8:30 p.m.
AES Women’s Mentoring Dinner at Chair Penny Axelrad’s home in Gunbarrel. All AES alumnae are invited to meet new and current AES female students. Info/RSVP:

September 25, evening
CU Engineering Grads of the Last Decade Multi-City Happy Hour.
Honors & Awards
Correction: Dan Scheeres won the Dirk Brouwer Award from the American Astronautical Society. The organization was listed incorrectly in the spring edition of this newsletter.

Kristine Larson received a Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence in Research Award.

Donna Gerren was appointed Academic Board Chair, Society of Allied Weight Engineers.

Scott Palo and Hanspeter Schaub were promoted to the rank of full professor.

MS candidate Cheryl Blomberg was appointed Young Professional Liaison to the AIAA Board of Directors.

BS/MS graduate Jarred Langhals received the Outstanding Graduate for Service Award and BS/MS graduate Michael Skeen was honored as Outstanding Graduate at the College of Engineering and Applied Science Recognition Ceremony in May.

Rising senior Michael Lotto received the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship.

PhD candidate Zhibin Yu won first place in the NSF CEDAR Student Poster Competition.

PhD candidate Luis Zea received the Orville & Wilbur Wright Graduate Award.

Jesse Zhang, a high school student mentored by Prof. Jeff Forbes, won first place and $2,000 in the national Thacher Environmental Research Contest organized by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) for “Lunar tidal winds from the HRDI instrument onboard the UARS Satellite.” The paper has also been accepted to the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Sibylle Walter, Paul Anderson, Jason Leonard, Collin Bezrouk, and Ryan McGranaghan

Senior Design team LEOPARD, First Place, AIAA Region V Student Paper Conference (advisor: Prof. S. Palo)

Senior Design team TracSat, Second Place, AIAA Region V Student Paper Conference (advisor: Prof. D. Lawrence)

CU’s Design-Build-Fly (DBF) team, Fifth Place, AIAA DBF international competition (advisors: Profs B. Argrow, D. Gerren)

CU’s NASA X-Hab team, First Place-Graduates and “Best Advanced Concepts,” NASA RASC-AL competition; also selected by the eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge Program (advisors: D. Klaus, J. Tanner)
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Aerospace Engineering Sciences
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