Banaei-Kashani receives GAANN award

Farnoush Banaei-Kashani, assistant professor of Computer Science and Engineering, has received a three-year GAANN (Graduate Assistant in Farnoush Banaei-KashaniAreas of National Need) award from U.S. Department of Education to establish an interdisciplinary doctorate fellowship program on the topic of “Big Data Science and Engineering.” The fellowship program will aim to recruit, retain, and train five doctorate fellows on the topic of Big Data Science and Engineering, while founding an education and research program at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering on the same topic in collaboration with a number of other schools and departments across University of Colorado Denver. The fellows will be enrolled in the Computer Science and Information Systems doctorate program and will engage in interdisciplinary research.
Banaei-Kashani is actively recruiting students for the spring 2016 term. Please contact him at for additional information.

Winners announced for Green Denver photography competition

In January 2015, the University of Colorado Denver offered this challenge to engineering and photography students: Can you show us how water fits into Denver’s urban landscape? Now, we are pleased to present the winners of this first-ever Green Denver Photography Competition.

With funding from the Shoemaker Research Fund, this photography competition was organized jointly by the Hydrology and Hydraulics Program of the Department of Civil Engineering and the Photography Area of the Department of Visual Arts. Eight teams, each comprising one engineering student and one photography student, submitted prints.

Photographs were required to feature the natural or engineered water environment along rivers, creeks, canals, parks, or greenbelts within metropolitan Denver. A panel of judges comprised of representatives from the two organizing departments, the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, the Greenway Foundation and the CU Foundation reviewed the entries. Submissions were evaluated for concept, hydrology, composition, technique and presentation.

The winning teams include Bobby Jones (photography) and Prince Appiah (CVEN), Yu (Kathy) Hua (photography) and Ryan Tigera (CVEN), and Alex Tomme (photography) and Omer Karaketir (CVEN).

Each winning print received a cash prize of $300, split evenly between the engineering and photography students. Here are the winning images, in no order of preference. (Click on the image for a high-resolution file.)

Bobby Jones and Prince Appiah

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Photographer’s Statement: While searching for a location to photograph how engineering is used in our local waterway systems, I found it hard to find the perfect place to take a photo. It wasn’t until I was on a bike ride on the Cherry creek trail in Denver Colorado that I had found the perfect spot. I almost always carry my camera with me and had it as I was biking next to the Platte Park River. It was just before sunset and something about the glow of the city lights reflecting off the water is what caught my attention. I took notice of the beautiful architecture that surrounded the river and how the city lights reflected off the water. I saw many people out and about enjoying what turned out to be a nice clear night and thought to myself, this is the shot that I’ve been looking for. The lighting for the photo was perfect because it allowed me to use a slower shutter speed, which gives the water a milky flow to it. I waited a little longer for the sun to set and was able to capture a beautiful blue sky with a few of the Denver skyscrapers in the background. I am proud of the photos that I have submitted because I feel it shows the natural beauty that we get to experience here in Denver, Colorado every day.

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Yu (Kathy) Hua and Ryan Tigera



Photographer’s Statement: This photo was chosen as one of Team 6’s submissions because it demonstrates how civil engineering can create an environment that is both aesthetically pleasing and safe for a variety of uses. Taken from the Market Street and Speer intersection looking north, the engineered waterfall in the center of the photo is used to dissipate some of the energy flowing down Cherry Creek. As the creek continues to flow north, the photo displays two other small weirs that help to further reduce the energy created when straightening Cherry Creek. Riprap has been installed beneath the river as it moves over the waterfall as well as on the bank to reduce erosion. By having the trails below Speer Boulevard, the Cherry Creek trail provides a quieter atmosphere for recreation use as well as an increase in the capacity for storm water removal during a large rain event.

Alex Tomme and Omer Karaketir



Photographer’s Statement: The image of this rectangular weir was captured along the full flowing waters of Bear Creek in Morrison, Colorado early April 2015. The photograph was of the few selected by Ms. Alexandria Tomme and Mr. Omer Karaketir for submission because of the way it captures the nature of the hydraulic interaction between the creek and the engineered structure. The flow of the nappe over the rectangular structure is an excellent example of the working hydraulics and hydrology of engineering in our natural world—truly an image that shows how water fits in Denver’s urban infrastructure.

Karunanithi and team receives National Science Foundation Education Grant

Arun Karananithi 432

Arun Karunanithi Associate Professor, Civil Engineering

The Department of Civil Engineering and the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure System has received a NSF – IUSE grant (2 years; $ 249,967) titled “Sustainable Stem Learning Program (S2LP): Promoting systems thinking to aid holistic undergraduate education.” Arun Karunanithi (PI), will lead this project and work with Mike Tang (co-PI), Vivian Shyu (co-PI; Psychology), and Azadeh Bolhari toward development and teaching of two engineering undergraduate courses with an aim to understand if a new teaching approach based on concept mapping can aid in the development of systems thinking skills of undergraduate students.

Further, as part of this grant, systems thinking oriented teaching innovation is being incorporated in a graduate-level sustainability course. The PIs will develop new course material based on concept mapping for the three classes and assessment data collected from these courses will help us understand the effectiveness of the new teaching intervention towards development of students systems thinking skills. As part of this project, baseline data related to cognitive styles and systems thinking skills of undergraduate students of different majors is being collected through questionnaires and tests.

Bioengineering programs’ rapid growth featured in CU Today

By Chris Casey, University Communications

AURORA — On a recent day after class, bioengineering student Adam Rauff takes a break inside the spacious and sun-bathed student lounge of the new Bioscience 2 Building. Outside, the building is surrounded by state-of-the-art labs and clinics at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

“I’m still feeling out what’s on this campus,” Rauff says. The Bioengineering Department’s new home on the first floor of Bioscience 2 is filled with cutting-edge equipment, classrooms, faculty offices and small-group study rooms. Upstairs, as well as at the Bioscience Park Center across the street, are several startup companies, with more launching every year.

Rauff is a member of the first bioengineering undergraduate cohort to move into upper-division courses at CU Anschutz this fall. The cohort of 15 students began their program in 2013 at CU Denver. “I definitely see the medical campus location as an advantage,” he says. “It’s great being close to the people who encounter these kinds of bioengineering problems in a clinical setting.”

Read more.

Nexenta announces new higher ed program; partners with CSE department

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nexenta, the global leader in Open Source-driven Software-Defined Storage (OpenSDS), today announced a new Higher Education Program that encourages partnerships with universities to develop technical curricula to better prepare undergrad STEM students for the workforce. By building on the solid foundation of software engineering and computer science curricula, and adding advanced courses with both academic value and substantial “real world” applicability, Nexenta and partner universities will provide graduates with exceptional tools as they enter the workplace. The program’s charter member is the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado (CU) Denver, which is expected to be closely followed by San Jose State University.

“Universities like CU Denver are known for preparing undergrads for the workplace, but they can’t do this alone,” said Eric Ray, Director of Platform Development at Nexenta, who is spearheading the Higher Ed program. “Bridging the knowledge gap between what they learn in college and real world practices is essential to their success. These schools are doing an excellent job of laying the groundwork. It’s up to industry to do our part to link theory with practice, provide the tools and infrastructure to round out the curriculum, and set the stage for tomorrow’s software innovators.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the job outlook (2012-2022) for software developers is expected to grow 22 percent, well above the 11 percent growth for all categories. One of the factors driving this demand for software talent is the wider deployment of software-defined solutions as the virtualization and automation of the entire operating environment—server, storage and network—is more readily adopted by enterprises.

“We’re excited to give students an edge before they reach the workforce by teaching them how to approach technology based on the needs of today’s enterprises,” said Gita Alaghband, Ph.D., professor and chair of Computer Science and Engineering at CU Denver. “Companies are deploying cloud-based virtual technology that’s very different from what was common even a year ago. Nexenta’s knowledge of open source and software-defined technology should help our students to gain a higher level of expertise, so as new storage engineers, they can hit the ground running when they start their first jobs.”

Initially, CU Denver will offer an advanced storage technology-focused course for exceptional undergraduate students and graduate students, entitled “Computer Storage Systems,” that will be taught by Doug McCallum, former storage engineer with Oracle and Sun Microsystems, in the spring semester, which begins Jan. 19, 2016. Courses to be offered by San Jose State University are currently under development.

Yunker receives a two year fellowship for research in Medical Imaging Phantoms at the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST)

Bryan Yunker, Ph.D., Research Instructor in the Department of Bioengineering, has received a two year research fellowship at the NIST Laboratories in Boulder, Colorado as sponsored by the National Research Council (NRC) – Research Associateship Program (RAP) of the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine.  The award followed a proposal for hosting to the NIST group responsible for developing Medical Imaging Phantoms within the Physical Measurement Lab (PML) , and a successful competition for NRC/RAP funding.  The research seeks to develop imaging phantoms for simulating Traumatic Brain Injury, a difficult to detect and diagnose injury that is common among war fighters, accident victims, and players of professional and amateur sports.  The phantoms will enable the controlled simulation of varied vascular and neural tract damage as a training aide for clinical staff.  Dr. Yunker will start the NIST fellowship after completing an early career Jr. Co-Pilot award from the  Colorado Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) involving the estimation of hepatic blood flow from 3D ultrasound imagery, a continuation of his dissertation research.  Bryan recently completed a mid-career PhD in the first sitting class of the Department of Bioengineering at Anschutz and was funded as a doctoral candidate by two competitive fellowships, a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) from the National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI), and a Graduate Student fellowship from  the Colorado Translational Research Imaging Center (C-TRIC), as well as mentor funding from NSF and the SOM Department of Radiology under Dr. Gerald Dodd and Prof. Yusheng Feng at U. Texas, San Antonio.

HyperLynx senior design team featured on the Denver Channel

hyperloop-pod_Fotor_1442938051616_24264183_ver1.0_640_480A team of mechanical engineering students are designing and building a pod for a Hyperloop—a low-pressure tube designed to transport people from Los Angeles to San Francisco—for their senior design project. The team, their project, and their Kickstarter campaign were featured on Channel7 News. The team will be tested at the Hyperloop competition, sponsored by SpaceX, in June 2016.

Read the story.

Three faculty awarded tenure

Congratulations to the following three faculty awarded tenure in June:

  • Mark Golkowski, associate professor of electrical engineering
  • Kendall Hunter, associate professor of bioengineering
  • Wesley Marshall, associate professor of civil engineering
Golkowski (9-12)-WEB

Dr. Mark Golkowski


Dr. Kendall Hunter

Civil Engineering Associate Professor Wes Marshall

Dr. Wesley Marshall










Schafer receives 2015 American Heart Association Early Career Investigator Travel Award

Featured imageMichal Schafer, a graduate student in Dr. Hunter’s Lab, received 2015 American Heart Association Early Career Investigator Travel Award for upcoming Scientific Session in Orlando, FL. The award was given by Council on Cardiovascular Radiology & Intervention and comes with $1,500 travel stipend. Michal and Dr. Hunter will be giving an oral presentation on the topic of vascular hemodynamics in type 1 diabetes as part of Charles T. Dotter Memorial Lecture Session. Additionally they will present 3 poster presentations on topics of cardiovascular hemodynamics in adult and pediatric pulmonary hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Michal and Dr. Hunter closely co-operate with Dr. Truong (Children’s Hospital), Dr. Fenster (National Jewish Health), and Dr. Jazaeri (University of Colorado Hospital).

Park’s study featured as a frontispiece in Macromolecular Bioscience

Dr. Park’s study in Bioengineering, titled “Substantial differentiation of human neural stem cells into motor neurons on a biomimetic polyurea (DOI: 10.1002/mabi.201570032)”, was featured as a frontispiece in Macromolecular Bioscience. In this study, graduate student Melissa Laughter in Park’s group created natural protein-like synthetic polyurea, showing great potential for the treatment of central nervous system injury. Macromolecular Bioscience is ranked among the top 10 biomaterials and polymer journals, dealing with the intersection of polymer and materials science with life science and medicine.