Yakacki and team receives Pac-12 Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative funding

left to right: Yakacki, Carpenter, Jenkins; not pictured: Yu, Poddar

Christopher Yakacki, associate professor of mechanical engineering, along with mechanical engineering associate professor Dana Carpenter, professor Peter Jenkins, assistant professor Kai Yu, and Dr. Sourav Poddar from CU sports medicine, are leading one of seven research projects selected for funding by the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative’s grant program for the 2019-20 year.

Their project, Head Trauma: Designing Safer Helmets Using Advanced Materials and Modeling, seeks to leverage this state-of-the-art technology and create new models to improve football helmet safety using a recently developed high-performance polymer called liquid-crystal elastomers (LCEs). The goal is to lower the severity of impacts and reduce the prevalence of concussions in the sport.

Congratulations!

Read the Pac-12 press release.

Engineering students shine at 22nd annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium

On Friday, April 26, students from across the college participated in the 22nd annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium. Our students won awards in the technology, engineering and mathematics category, as well as the biomedical sciences category. A list of award winning students and their projects are below.

Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics:

1st place:
Samantha Butler, College of Engineering, Design and Computing
Mentor: Chao Liu, assistant professor of electrical engineering
“Automatic Classification of Calcifications and Masses in Breast Mammograms Using Deep Neural Networks”

3rd place:
Team HyperLynx: Andrew Gras, Wencil Stanek, Aaron Zapiler, Bejan Akhaven, Omran Haghegh, Jong Shin, College of Engineering, Design and Computing
Mentor: Satadru Dey, assistant professor of electrical engineering
“HyperLynx”

Biomedical Sciences:

3rd place (tie):
Anne Lyons, College of Engineering, Design and Computing
Mentor: Jeffrey Jacot, associate professor of bioengineering
“Optimizing Electrospun Cardiac Patches for Prevascularization Using Polymer Composites”

Honorable Mentions (tie):
Joseph Massey, College of Engineering, Design and Computing
Co-Authors: Alyssa Salazar, Krishna Kumar, Sean Reilley
Mentor: Craig Lanning, bioengineering instructor
“A Device for Individuals with Quadriplegia to Independently Control Their Beds’ Orientation to Prevent Decubitus Ulcers and Alleviate Pain”

Congratulations to these students and mentors as well as everyone who participated in this event.

Rens selected as a Chancellor’s Engaged Scholar

UCD KLR Jeep1RensKevin Rens, professor and chair of civil engineering, has been selected as one of the first ever CU Denver Chancellor’s Engaged Scholars. This award and recognition is well deserved and is a great acknowledgement of Rens’ fantastic work with the City and County of Denver over the last 20 years – and the great work he will do over the next 20!

This award does not come without some obligations. Rens will spend time sharing stories of his work with fellow educators and industry in the city around us.

Congratulations, Kevin!

McPherson receives two ASCE scholarships

Alex McPherson, an undergraduate civil engineering student and president of the CU Denver ASCE Student Chapter, has received two ASCE scholarships. The ASCE Southern Colorado Branch Civil Engineering Scholarship, which recognizes an outstanding civil engineering student studying or from Southern Colorado, and the Denver Branch ASCE Younger Members Group scholarship.

Congratulations, Alex!

Clark selected to attend Summer School in Adaptive Neurotechnologies

clarkNiki Clark, a PhD candidate in bioengineering, has been selected to participate in the second NIH-sponsored Summer School in Adaptive Neurotechnologies from July 7 – 26, in Albany New York. She is one of 24 successful applicants who will participate in lectures, hands-on training, and integrative experiences.

Per NIH, “the course will provide a select group of scientists, engineers and clinicians with the multidisciplinary knowledge and expertise needed to guide the development of new adaptive neurotechnologies from conception through laboratory and clinical evaluation to dissemination and use for important scientific or clinical purposes. The goal is to create the next generation of leaders in this burgeoning new field.”

Clark received her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in biology at Arkansas State University. She is now pursuing a PhD in bioengineering at the University of Colorado Denver under the mentorship of Dr. Cathy Bodine. Her research is focused on social assistive robotics and their use as therapeutic tools for children with cerebral palsy.

Congratulations!

Kim receives research award from American Concrete Institute

ACI_QC_1_PJimmy Kim, professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, received the Chester Paul Siess Award for Excellence in Structural Research in the spring convention of the American Concrete Institute held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. This prestigious award is given to the author or authors of a peer-reviewed paper published by the Institute that describes a notable achievement in experimental or analytical research that advances the theory or practice of structural engineering and, most importantly, recommends how the research can be applied to design. The award need not be presented each year.

Kim’s research interests encompass advanced composite materials for rehabilitation, structural informatics, complex systems, and science-based structural engineering, including statistical, interfacial, and quantum physics. He is Chair of a national technical committee and participates in developing several design specifications and guidelines to transfer research into practice. Kim, President of the Bridge Engineering Institute, is an elected Fellow of American Concrete Institute and elected Council Member of the International Institute for FRP in Construction (IIFC), and serves as an Associate Editor/Editorial Board Member for international journals.

 

Steel bridge team places first in state, third in region; headed to nationals

steel bridge team-2019
2019 steel bridge team left to right, Dinesh Panta, Valerie Do, Dakota Chauncey, Professor Fred Rutz, Kyle O’Hearn, Hussain Almosawi, Dustin Doll

On April 5, the CU Denver steel bridge team competed at the regional AISC Steel Bridge Competition, which took place at CU Boulder.

The team, comprised of six civil engineering students – Hussain Almosawi, Dakota Chauncey, Valerie Do, Dustin Doll, Kyle O’Hearn and Dinesh Panta – placed first in the state and third in the Rocky Mountain region. Next month, they head to the national finals at Southern Illinois University.

“We did a wonderful job and worked marvelously as a team.  I could not be more proud of all my teammates and the things we accomplished,” said Chauncey, who served as the team captain. 

steel bridge 2The team set a personal best record build time of 11 minutes and 56 seconds, and ranked top three in many categories including stiffness (least deflection), economy (one of the faster build times after penalties) and total weight (of the bridge).

The AISC Steel Bridge Competition challenges civil engineering students through an intercollegiate competition where they are tasked to complete with a comprehensive, student-driven project from conception and design through fabrication, erection, and testing. The end result is a steel structure that meets client specifications and optimizes performance and economy.

This year’s competition challenged student teams to design a limited access, short-span bridge to cross a river near recent and past lava flows. The bridges are tested for stability, strength and serviceability, and must be able to support bicycles, pedestrians, park vehicles and emergency vehicles while prohibiting private motor vehicles. Teams were also required to construct the bridges under simulated field conditions.

“Our CU Denver engineers ranked first among all six Colorado schools and third overall,” said assistant professor Fred Rutz, the team’s faculty advisor. “While most other schools utilized the more traditional lattice truss, ours was an innovative steel arch. We benefitted from trial load tests conducted in our Structures Lab.”

Other state schools in attendance included University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, Air Force Academy, and Metropolitan State University of Denver. The event also included South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Utah State University, Brigham Young University and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

The team is now preparing for the national finals, for which they’ve set some hefty goals.

“For nationals, we are upgrading our bridge to reduce deflection and construction build time. Our goal is to build our bridge in under 10 minutes with an aggregate deflection under one inch,” said Chauncey. “We are hoping to establish the University of Colorado Denver’s Civil Engineering Department as one of the top programs in the nation, and encouraging the next class of students to became forward thinkers and carry the tradition of always pushing boundaries.”

To support the CU Denver Steel Bridge Team, donate now.