Early career faculty within the Paul M. Rady Mechanical Engineering Department at CU Boulder found tremendous success in the last year, including three NSF CAREER Awards and an NIH Trailblazer award.
Nicole Labbe will use CAREER award to explore high-altitude ignition
Assistant Professor Nicole Labbe will use her new NSF CAREER award to explore the kinetic behavior of post-flameout ignition events in high-altitude airplanes, bridging the gap between high-end theoretical chemistry and its actual application.
Flameout occurs when the flame in the combustor of an engine is extinguished mid-flight. This can happen in fully operational engines when they encounter extreme flight conditions, presenting a critical safety issue as the engine shuts down unexpectedly. While chemical ignition behavior has been studied in detail for aircraft on the ground before takeoff, far less is known about how the extreme conditions experienced post-flameout at high altitude may influence the fundamental chemistry of ignition.
Labbe earned her PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2013, writing her thesis on determining detailed reaction kinetics for nitrogen and oxygen containing fuels. She joined CU Boulder in 2016 after time as a postdoctoral researcher with the Argonne National Laboratory.
Marina Vance will use CAREER to study changes in particles as they move between environments
Marina Vance (left) working in the lab with a postdoctoral scholar.
Outdoor air pollution and its health impacts are well-studied, but in reality, many people around the world spend the majority of their time indoors. That is especially true in developed nations like the United States, where we are regularly exposed to indoor air pollution while cooking or cleaning.
Marina Vance – an assistant professor in the Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Environmental Engineering Program – has been studying this dynamic for years. She was recently awarded an NSF CAREER award to continue her work in the field, specifically working to understand how aerosol particles transform as they move between indoor and outdoor environments and what the implications of that process are.
All three of Vance’s degrees are in environmental engineering, including a PhD from Virginia Tech in 2012. After completing her degree there, she held positions as postdoc and research scientist, including associate director of the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology and deputy director of NanoEarth, a node of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure.
Debanjan Mukherjee using NIH Trailblazer award to develop patient-specific models for improved stroke diagnosis and therapy
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide, killing 5.7 million people each year. However, with diagnostic technologies being developed by Assistant Professor Debanjan Mukherjee, engineers and clinicians are hopeful some strokes will soon be prevented.
His team is working to fine-tune patient-specific computational models that will determine how emboli formed at certain locations can lead to a stroke at a specific region in the brain and are one of the first to be able to model fluid flow for the entire heart-brain arterial pathway – research that is paving the way for stroke prevention around the world.
Mukherjee earned his Phd and master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to CU Boulder, he served as a postdoctoral fellow working in cardiovascular fluid mechanics at UC Berkeley.
Maureen Lynch to study links between cancer, skeletal heath and exercise in CAREER award
Maureen Lynch (right) working in the lab with a student.
Assistant Professor Maureen Lynch aims to improve scientific understanding of the causes and treatments of tumor-induced bone disease through a newly awarded NSF CAREER award.
She has spent much of her career studying changes in the human skeleton from disease, medical treatment or both. One aspect that continually interests her is the effect that exercise – or mechanical loading – has on improving overall skeletal health. It’s well-known that diseases like cancer can make bones more fragile. However, Lynch wanted to see if exercise could make bones stronger and also prevent cancer from forming there after moving from another part of the body.
Lynch earned her bachelor's degree from Clemson University in 2005 and her PhD from Cornell in 2010. Before coming to CU Boulder, she served as a postdoctoral research fellow at Cornell and as an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.