Bobby Braun leads a discussion about engineering in a classroom at Akron High School.
Bobby Braun leads a discussion about engineering in a classroom at Akron High School.
Bobby and Karen Braun (right) inspect the inside of a wind turbine engine at Northeastern Junior College’s advanced wind turbine workshop in Sterling.
The Brauns inspect the inside of a wind turbine engine at Northwestern Junior College.
Bobby Braun, Mayor Wade Troxell & CSU Engineering Dean David McLean at Innosphere.
Bobby Braun, Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell & CSU engineering Dean David McLean at Innosphere.
Published: Sept. 21, 2018 By ,


A special thank you to CU Athletics and Larry H. Miller Toyota for letting us use this specially branded CU 4Runner while on tour.

At CU Engineering, we’re on a mission to travel to all four corners of Colorado to connect with industry partners and alumni, and to search out the best and brightest students.

“We want to make sure all students in Colorado know that CU Engineering is an option – not just those on the Front Range,” said Dean Bobby Braun. “Anyone who wants to be an engineer should have access to that education, and we need all of them as we engineer the future of our state and nation.” 

This year’s second annual Engineering State Tour took Bobby and his wife, Karen, on an over 900-mile trip around the Eastern Plains from Sept. 10-14.

In addition to visits to several K-12 schools and community colleges, Bobby also spent some time at Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado to talk about future collaboration and partnership opportunities. On the industry front, wind energy was a common theme – stops included NextEra Energy in Calhan, Northeastern Junior College’s wind technology program and Vestas in Greeley. 

  • Monday, Sept. 10, began with the visit to NextEra Energy’s Calhan facility, where the Brauns learned about engineering job opportunities. The day ended at Lamar Community College, where they toured a makerspace, visited the welding shop and discussed the importance of skilled trade jobs.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 11, kicked off with a visit to an AP chemistry class at Akron High School. The Brauns then headed off to Yuma, Sen. Cory Gardner’s hometown, where Gardner staffer Darlene Carpio joined them for a visit with STEM students at Yuma High School. 
  • Wednesday, Sept. 12, took the Brauns to Holyoke High School, where they met with students interested in engineering opportunities. In the afternoon, they visited Northeastern Junior College, where they toured their wind energy program shop and got to see the inner workings of a turbine engine. They also enjoyed getting to meet Holyoke Mayor Orville Tonsing at a local restaurant.
  • Thursday, Sept. 23, was a full day that included visits to Sterling High School, where Bobby spoke to more than 100 students, and Woodward in Fort Collins, where they discussed the company’s engineering talent pipeline. In the late afternoon, they met up with Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell and CSU Walter Scott Jr. College of Engineering Dean David McLean for a networking event at the Innosphere science and technology startup incubator. To cap off the day, the Brauns hosted a happy hour event for CU Engineering alumni at Fort Collins’ Mainline Alehouse. 
  • On Friday, Sept. 14, the Brauns met back up with Dean McLean for breakfast and a tour of the Powerhouse Energy Campus, CSU’s hub for energy innovation. They also traveled to the University of Northern Colorado for a visit with College of Natural Health and Sciences Dean Burkhard Englert and a stop at Vestas, where Steve Heinike (ElEngrCompSci’81) showed them around the company’s new blade factory. The final highlight of the day was a stop at J.B.’s Drive In in Greeley, a local favorite (and now one of Bobby’s).     

Have ideas about where the Brauns should visit on the third annual tour in fall 2019? Drop us a line at!