Skip to content

News & Events: September 12, 2012

Exciting things have been happening throughout the college. Here is this week’s news and events.

CU Board of Regents approve bioengineering undergraduate program
Ren and Rens are honored at university’s Celebration of Faculty Excellence
Mechanical engineering students attempt to set world record on a barstool
CEAS seminar tomorrow, Sept. 13: Optimal Control of Shock Wave Attenuation in Single- and Two-Phase Flow with Application to Ignition Overpressure in Launch Vehicles
Bioengineering personnel introductions
EAS PhD program featured on CU Denver homepage as part of “What’s new at CU Denver”

Students invited to Dam Safety 2012 Conference and Career Fair, Sept. 16-21
SWE mini conference, this Saturday, Sept. 15
Poster session for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the AVS

Have news or events you want to share with the college? Contact Erica Lefeave.


CU Board of Regents approve bioengineering undergraduate program

On September 11, the University of Colorado Board of Regents formally approved the new bachelor’s degree program in bioengineering without any additional discussion.  This represents the culmination of more than two years of work by numerous people in and out of the department.

The next step is a vote by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, which could happen as early as this Thursday, Sept. 13.

“For those of you who have worked on making this a reality, I appreciate and honor your efforts,” says Robin Shandas, department chair. “Congratulations!”


Ren and Rens are honored at university’s Celebration of Faculty Excellence

On Friday, September 7, two civil engineering faculty were recognized and honored for their contributions to the college and the university at the annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence. Professor and civil engineering chair Kevin Rens received the Excellence in Faculty Mentoring award, and assistant professor Jason Ren received the Excellence in Research and Creative Activities award.

While Provost Nairn presented the awards, he noted Jason’s publication record as “amazing” and shared praise for Kevin’s mentoring from students and faculty.

Congratulations to you both!


Mechanical engineering students attempt to set world record on a barstool

Over the weekend, a group of mechanical engineering students travelled to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to attempt to set a new world record for top speed on a barstool.

The team ran their qualifying run at approximately 52 mph, just under the world record. However, as the run was over the vehicle spun out and the driver was thrown off (resulting in a bruised ankle but he’s otherwise fine) and the vehicle was rendered inoperable.

If not for the wreck, the team feels they would have set the world record—students Sean Caldwell and Eric Paquette are planning to resurrect the vehicle for next year and try again.


CEAS seminar: Optimal Control of Shock Wave Attenuation in Single- and Two-Phase Flow with Application to Ignition Overpressure in Launch Vehicles

College of Engineering and Applied Science
Fall 2012 Seminar Series
Thursday, September 13, 2012
10:30 a.m., NC 2607/09

Optimal Control of Shock Wave Attenuation in Single- and Two-Phase Flow with Application to Ignition Overpressure in Launch Vehicles

Nathan Moshman
Research Assistant Professor
Space Systems Academic Group
Naval Postgraduate School

Ignition Overpressure (IOP) is a phenomenon present at the start of an ignition sequence in launch vehicles using solid grain propellants. An IOP is a blast wave which originates from the exit plane of the rocket’s nozzle and propagates spherically outward at around supersonic speeds. The part of the IOP wave that propagates back toward the rocket body or directly onto the launch platform must have an overpressure less than a set tolerance to avoid damage. The current technique used by NASA and other launch providers is to spray water into the region above and below the nozzle before ignition, thereby forcing the IOP wave to propagate through water before becoming incident on the rocket body or launch pad. Through several dissipative interactions, a decrease in shock strength is the result. The implementation of the water suppression system is ad-hoc and hasn’t been reconsidered in decades. CFD parametric studies exist on this problem as well as empirical data on water droplet-shock interactions. This talk will present a novel control algorithm which satisfies all necessary optimal conditions of an unsteady shock wave attenuation problem in single- and two-phase flow. The fluid dynamics models and appropriate numeric methods of solution will be presented.  The solution procedure utilizes the adjoint system of equations and avoids the problem of taking a variation at the discontinuous shock front. Results for optimal controls over increasing levels of shock attenuation will be given.

Nathan Moshman is a Research Assistant Professor in the Space Systems Academic Group at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. His current areas of research involve developing optimization algorithms with application to trajectory optimization of re-entry vehicles as well as electro-magnetic inversion problems concerning laser detection with parallel GPU implementation.

In 2011, Nathan successfully defended his dissertation, which straddled the areas of fluid dynamics, optimal control of dynamical systems and numerical methods. While pursuing his Doctorate, Nathan also wrote software for NPS-SCAT, a Cube-Sat Solar Cell Experiment. Before coming to NPS, Nathan received a Master of Science Degree in Engineering Sciences from the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. His Master’s thesis studied implantation of high-energy plasma into fusion reactor wall materials. Prior to that, he worked as a Staff Scientist at Far-tech, Inc. in La Jolla, CA, numerically optimizing a klystron and its auxiliary components for the ILC testing program. As an undergraduate, Nathan earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and a minor in Astronomy and Planetary Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Bioengineering personnel introductions

The Department of Bioengineering is pleased to make the following personnel introductions. Kate Hoch has been promoted to Department Administrator for Finance and Administration, Shawna McMahon is the new bioengineering graduate program coordinator and Karen Gilbert is the new department grants coordinator.

Welcome and congratulations.


EAS PhD program featured on CU Denver homepage as part of “What’s new at CU Denver”

The college’s new Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) PhD program and mechanical engineering professor Pete Jenkins are highlighted in the new university homepage feature, “What’s new in 2012-2013?” Pete talks the surprising demand for the program and its interdisciplinary structure.

Read the entire story online.


Students Invited to Dam Safety 2012 Conference and Career Fair, Sept. 16-21


The Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO), a national nonprofit organization of more than 3,000 members representing state and federal agencies, local governments, utilities and the private-sector, invites students to attend its 29th annual conference, to be held September 16-21 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.  Expected to attract more than 1,000 participants from throughout the United States and around the world, Dam Safety ’12 will offer unparalleled opportunities to learn from and network with renowned experts in dam engineering and related fields.

Complimentary Admission for Students
ASDSO will waive registration fees for students presenting valid IDs from North American schools. Students are invited to attend all sessions and receptions and to relax, mingle and browse materials in the Student Lounge area, adjacent to the exhibit hall.

Dam Safety Career Fair – Monday, Sept. 17, 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm
This special event for students and prospective employers is part of the evening reception, which begins at 5:00 and ends at 6:30.  It will take place in the Exhibit Hall, next to the Student Lounge.  The event will feature a short presentation on career opportunities in dam safety and engineering, followed by an informal mixer.  (Students, bring your resumes!)

Please pre-register.  Walk-ins are welcome, but pre-registering helps us plan, and students who pre-register will have materials ready and waiting at the registration desk.  Complimentary registrations are not available online, but students may send a completed Dam Safety 2012 Registration Form to ASDSO via email at, fax: 859/323-1958, or postal mail: ASDSO, 450 Old Vine St, Lexington, KY 40507.

More information on Dam Safety 2012:
Contact: Sarah McCubbin-Cain,, 859-257-2102


SWE mini conference this Saturday, Sept. 15

The CU Denver Society of Women Engineers (SWE) chapter is hosting a professional development conference on Saturday, September 15, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Tivoli called Engineer A Little Play Into Your Day: The secret to fueling our personal and professional growth, success and happiness.

All faculty are invited to attend this event, which will feature two great speakers, including local Human Resources expert and author Barbara Brannen (sponsored by ExxonMobil), as well as several “play group” leaders from local SWE sections. It will be a unique, engaging and playful day.

For more specific details, visit the conference website.


Poster session for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the AVS

You’re invited to attend the Annual Symposium of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Vacuum Society on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at the Doubletree Hotel in Westminster, Colorado. The Symposium theme for this year is “Vacuum on the Fringe”. Symposium registration is free, and pre-registration includes a complimentary lunch. See the Symposium brochure for speakers and topics and a flier about the short courses offered during the week of September 18-21, 2012.

Students are encouraged to participate in the poster session where they can win cash prizes. We would appreciate if you would post the Call For Student Posters somewhere in your department where it will be visible to students.

Any questions may be directed to the following address or email.

Lorelle Mansfield
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
15013 Denver West Parkway MS 3219
Golden, CO 80401-3305
phone: 303-384-7884
fax: 303-384-7600




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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: