Drennan giving a critique during her sophomore-level studio class.

Kimberly Drennan, AIA, LEED AP
ENVD Instructor
Environmental Design Studio One Coordinator

Conducting research out in the field. Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live on Mars? This hypothetical idea is coming to life in an ENVD senior-level studio, taught by Instructor Kimberly Drennan. This semester, her class is designing architecture for extreme conditions. Using a variety of technologies and data sources, students analyze, measure and map out the surface of Mars to create their design interventions.

“It’s been fun to see the students take what they’ve learned their freshman year and apply it to Mars. You still have to think about the sun, the wind, human occupation and comfort, and our impact on Martian ecology,” Drennan said.

Along with teaching courses, Drennan serves as a member of an engineering space architecture team, which is researching community-wide power generation, microgrid solutions and materials that could be used on Mars. The collaboration has Assistant Professor Kyri Baker of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering attending class reviews to provide critical feedback for Drennan’s Mars project. Baker served as an advisor for a team of five engineering students who took second place in this year’s NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge.

Drennan wearing a protective bee suit look at a honeybee hive. “My favorite thing is when students are inspired by the thing that they are working on and fall in love with their projects,” Drennan said.

Outside the classroom, Drennan is CEO of HiveTech Solutions LLC, a Boulder-based startup that develops technology to improve honeybee health for the commercial pollination industry. In 2017, Drennan and her team were awarded a highly competitive USDA Small Business Innovation & Research grant. Through this grant, they will bring products to market that use design and data to improve honeybee health and create more sustainable agricultural practices.

“With our expertise in Environmental Design, we are saving honeybees, one bit at a time,” Drennan said.

Kimberly Drennan is a licensed architect, LEED accredited professional and an instructor for the Program in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is currently the studio coordinator for Environmental Design Studio One, a sophomore-level, six-credit architecture studio.

Published: March 20, 2018 By