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News & Events, November 7 – 11

Jason Ren’s Gates Foundation Award announced
CEAS seminar series: Optical Efficiency Measurements of Parabolic Trough Collectors at NREL, Nov. 9
Anu Ramaswami participated in the 2011 EU-US Frontiers of Engineering symposium
Students and faculty participating in ASME IMECE conference Nov. 11 – 17
Civil Engineering Department hosts delegation from China to begin new partnership
College hosts ACI chapter meeting
Second annual Bioengineering Open House draws more than 75 guests
Judges needed for 2012 Denver Metropolitan Regional Science & Engineering Fair

If you have news and events you’d like to share with the college, please send them to Erica Lefeave.


Jason Ren’s Gates Foundation Award announced

Denver (Nov. 7, 2011) – The University of Colorado Denver announced today that it will receive funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that enables researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent health and development challenges.  Assistant Professor Zhiyong (Jason) Ren will pursue an innovative global health research project titled “Direct Electricity from Fecal Sludge in Bioelectric Systems.”

Grand Challenges Explorations funds scientists and researchers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Ren’s project is one of 110 Grand Challenges Explorations grants announced today. Read the entire press release here.


CEAS seminar: Optical Efficiency Measurements of Parabolic Trough Collectors at NREL

Dear colleagues and students:

The next CEAS seminar will occur Wednesday, November 9.   Please see the announcement below.   I hope that many of you and your students will attend.

Titsa Papantoni
Professor of Electrical Engineering
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

10 a.m., NC 2607/09

Guangdong Zhu, PhD

Senior Engineer
Thermal Systems Group
Electricity, Resources and Building Systems Integration Center
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The testing facility at Solar Industrial Mesa Top Area (SIMTA) at NREL measures the optical efficiency of parabolic trough collectors. It uses a dual-axis, large-payload solar tracker to hold a parabolic trough collector module and track the sun. The parabolic trough collector is one type of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology and has been commercially proven with large installed capacity in US over past several decades.

The solar power collected by the collector is absorbed by the heat transfer fluid (HTF) circulating through the receiver at temperatures very close to the ambient temperature. The collector optical efficiency can then be readily computed based on the fundamental energy balance along with necessary measurements including the Direct Normal Irradiation (DNI), the collector dimensions, the temperature change across the receiver, the HTF mass flow rate and the HTF heat capacity.

The talk will give a quick overview in the CSP technologies, particularly parabolic trough, and discuss the methodology taken to measure optical efficiencies of trough collectors.

Guangdong Zhu is now working on research and development of the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies as a senior engineer staff member at NREL. He runs a testing facility to measure the optical efficiencies of parabolic trough collectors. He is also involved in optical/thermal modeling and economic analysis of solar concentrating systems.

Guangdong has an extensive background in power generation systems, heat transfer processes and fluid mechanics. Prior to joining NREL, Guangdong was a senior engineer at SkyFuel, a start-up solar energy company, for two years. Guangdong also worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of New Mexico. He had been focused on the design of microfluidic devices by using advanced materials and the study on stability of health care products, respectively.

Guangdong received a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico, a master’s degree in Thermal Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University, and a bachelor’s degree in Thermal Engineering from Northeast China Institute of Electric Power Engineering.


Anu Ramaswami at 2011 EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

The 2011 EU-US Frontiers of Engineering was held November 3-5, at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, Calif., convened by the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. About 60 outstanding engineers met for an intensive 2-1/2 day symposium to discuss cutting-edge developments in four areas: Sustainable Cities, Manufacturing . . .The Future, Smart Grid and Networks in Biology.

Ramaswami and Martha Fernandez (ARUP) co-chaired a session on Sustainable Cities to address the cutting-edge advancements and developments in this field.  The Sustainable Cities session included topics of Modeling Urban Energy Systems; Urban Planning, Land Use and Vehicle Technologies to Reduce GHG Emissions in Cities; Urban Futures: Adaptable Resourcing—Infrastructures, Buildings and Envelopes; and Innovations in Residential Complexes. Speakers from around the world—James Keirstead, Imperial College London; Kara Kockelman, University of Texas at Austin; Maria Paz-Gutierrez, University of California-Berkeley; Jesus Isoird, Acciona, Spain; and others—joined Ramaswami during this event intended to facilitate international and cross-disciplinary research collaboration, promote the transfer of new techniques and approaches across disparate engineering fields and encourage the creation of a transatlantic network of world-class engineers.

More information about the Frontiers of Engineering Symposia at the NAE can be found here.


Students and faculty will participate in national ASME IMECE conference Nov. 11 – 17

Beginning Friday, Nov. 11, almost 50 students from the CU Denver ASME chapter will be volunteering at the 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition at the Colorado Convention Center. The annual ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition is a global conference that focuses on today’s technical challenges, research and innovations that are shaping the future of engineering. Students will have the opportunity to meet and work with engineers, scientists and technologists of all disciplines from around the world.

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, Department of Bioengineering Founding Chair Robin Shandas is a plenary speaker at the conference and will be presenting “Mechanical Remodeling of the Pulmonary Arteries in Children with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Are we Mice or Men?”

CU Denver is the only local university participating in the conference.


Civil Engineering Department hosts delegation from China to begin new partnership

On November 3 and 4, four delegates from Northeast Forestry University in Harbin, Heilongjiang, P.R. China, visited the College of Engineering and Applied Science to sign an agreement on a new collaborative program where fourth-year undergraduates from China will come to CU Denver to take their design courses in the Department of Civil Engineering department, while at the same time beginning to take some graduate courses and earn their master’s degree. The formal signing ceremony was held at the Hotel Teatro on November 4; engineering dean Marc Ingber, AVC for International Affairs Carolyn North and Provost Nairn were in attendance, as well as the civil engineering department chair Kevin Rens and some additional department faculty.

Read the entire story here.


College hosts ACI chapter meeting

On Nov. 2, 54 students and professionals attended a chapter meeting of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) at the college. It was the first time a Colorado university has hosted a chapter meeting.  Civil engineering student Adam Kardos presented to the group. Faculty sponsor Stephan Durham says it was a fantastic networking event for all involved.


Second annual Bioengineering Open House draws more than 75 guests

The Department of Bioengineering hosted its second annual open house on Friday, November 4. Founding chair Robin Shandas welcomed more than 75 visitors, including prospective students, affiliated researchers, clinical collaborators and industry recruiters.  After touring the Anschutz Medical Campus, visitors learned about faculty research, predoctoral training and industry partnerships in Bioengineering, the first department of its kind in Colorado.  With its unprecedented instructional resources in bioengineering and research opportunities in health sciences, the department provides students with opportunities to learn from clinicians and engineers and to perform research or medical device design in world-class hospitals and clinical research labs.


Judges needed for 2012 Denver Metropolitan Regional Science & Engineering Fair

If you enjoy science, have a good knowledge base and enjoy working with students to help them develop their interest and skill in science, please consider judging at the 2012 Denver Metropolitan Regional Science & Engineering Fair.

Judging will be Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.  Lunch will be provided.

To register as a judge, please visit our website at

Registration as a judge is your commitment to participate in the event. Anyone who registers will be scheduled to judge.  If your schedule changes and you are unable to participate, please let us know as soon as possible. To maintain a fair judging environment and to avoid any possible conflicts of interest, please note any connections to a particular school or student in the comment section of the judge registration form.

Detailed information will be sent to you via e-mail a week prior to the fair. If you have not received your email information by February 18, please contact us.

For more information on judging contact Meredith at or 720-226-7817.
For more information on the fair, please contact Kris Wenzel at or 303-724-0335.

Denver Metro Regional Science & Engineering Fair
MS-F433, P. O. Box 6508
Aurora, CO  80045
Fax: 303.724.0891




CU Denver Engineering, Design and Computing View All

At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.

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