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News & Events: November 7, 2012

Arun Karunanithi receives Grand Challenges Explorations Funds
Jason Ren receives a 2012 Excellence in Review Award by the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology
Team of EE students selected as a finalist in the 2012/2013 Cornell Cup
CEAS seminar Nov. 14: MANET Neighborhood Maintenance
Bioengineering Graduate Open House draws prospective students
Chancellor announces CU in the Community volunteer program
FALL 2012 Graduation Dates/Deadlines and Instructions
Call for nominations: 2012 Elizabeth D. Gee Memorial Lectureship Award; due Nov. 16
Call for nominations: 2013 Thomas Jefferson Awards; due Nov. 30

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


Arun Karunanithi receives Grand Challenges Explorations Funds

DENVER – University of Colorado Denver announced on Nov. 1 that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Dr. Arunprakash Karunanithi, Assistant Professor in the department of Civil Engineering, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Environmental Impact Minimization of Vaccine Supply Systems.”

“It is incredibly exciting to receive this highly competitive award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” says Dr. Karunanithi. He adds, “It will be a rewarding experience to utilize science to propose solutions to real-world problems. This grant provides us the opportunity to develop and implement much-needed immunization programs in low- and middle- income countries with minimal resource consumption and environmental impact.”

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide who are taking innovative approaches to some of the world’s toughest and persistent global health and development challenges.  GCE invests in the early stages of bold ideas that have real potential to solve the problems people in the developing world face every day.  Dr. Karunanithi’s project is one of over 80 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 9 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Investments in innovative global health research are already paying off,” said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery and Translational Sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We continue to be impressed by the novelty and innovative spirit of Grand Challenges Explorations projects and are enthusiastic about this exciting research. These investments hold real potential to yield new solutions to improve the health of millions of people in the developing world, and ensure that everyone has the chance to live a healthy productive life.”

To receive funding, Dr. Karunanithi and other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 9 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a creative idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas that included agriculture development, immunization and communications. Applications for the current open round, Grand Challenges Explorations Round 10, will be accepted through November 7, 2012.

Millions of children in low-and middle-income countries do not have access to vaccines that prevent life threatening disease. A main reason is that the current vaccine supply systems are inefficient and are constrained by high costs and resources. They are also energy intensive and cause severe environmental and health impacts. In this project, Dr. Karunanithi’s research group will develop a tool that will enable public health agencies in developing countries plan and implement low-cost localized immunization programs that will target the most vulnerable population but also have reduced environmental and health burdens.

Dr. Karunanithi directs the green engineering and systems analysis laboratory at the University of Colorado Denver, which focuses on developing eco-friendly products and systems analysis models such as environmental life-cycle assessment.

About Grand Challenges Explorations

Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Launched in 2008, over 700 people in 45 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants.  The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization.  The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page online applications and no preliminary data required.  Initial grants of US$100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.


Jason Ren receives a 2012 Excellence in Review Award by the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology

Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Jason Ren has received a 2012 Excellence in Review Award from the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T). ES&T is the top journal in Environmental Science with an impact factor of 5.8. Jason was selected as an awardee because of the “significant contribution that reviewers provide to the scientific community and the publication of scholarly research.”

His group has published three articles in ES&T since last year, and Jason has reviewed more than 100 manuscripts for 28 journals over the past four years.

Learn more about the award at

Congratulations, Jason!


Team of EE students selected as finalists in the 2012/2013 Cornell Cup

A team of electrical engineering students and their project, advised by Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor Dan Connors, has been selected as a finalist in the 2012/2013 Cornell Cup, an annual student design contest hosted by Cornell University.  From the Cornell University Systems Engineering website, Cornell Cup USA, presented by Intel, is a college-level embedded design competition created to empower student teams to become the inventors of the newest innovative applications of embedded technology.

The EE students are Kyle Dunn, Jeff Wiencrot, Benjamin Larkin, Damaris Smith, and Nicholas Lieu. Their project involves the use of an Intel/Altera prototyping board that combines FPGA technology with the low-power Atom processor, to build a small, low-power cellular base station capable of being deployed in remote villages or in emergency situations. Read the team’s project summary online.

The project has been awarded $2,500 and Intel/Altera equipment, and there is a final competition in May 2013 where the team has the opportunity to win up to $10,000.
Other finalists include well-known and highly ranked universities like Berkeley, Columbia and Oregon State. There were only 30 finalists out of 124 applicants.

Congratulations to the students, and good luck in May!


CEAS seminar Nov. 14: MANET Neighborhood Maintenance

Refreshments will be available at 11 a.m.

College of Engineering and Applied Science
Fall 2012 Seminar Series
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
11:15 a.m., NC 3212

MANET Neighborhood Maintenance
Raphael Ernst
University of Bonn

In Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks (MANETs), the network topology typically changes frequently due to device mobility, or link failures. Consequently, a fast response to connectivity changes is one of the most important challenges in MANETs. Most proactive and reactive routing protocols detect changes by exchanging control messages. The Neighborhood Discovery Protocol (NHDP) specifies the exchange of these kind of messages. As shown in prior studies, the proposed fixed intervals of NHDP and similar protocols cause unnecessary protocol overhead and/or avoidable delay regarding link as well as link break detection.
The talk will discuss theoretical limits of NHDP and introduce fundamental concepts of MANETs along with challenges in neighborhood maintenance. We will see different approaches allowing to significantly decrease the link up detection. Some cause a very high protocol overload but guarantee very fast detection while others have limited and even zero extra protocol overhead.

Raphael Ernst studied Computer Science at the University of Bonn [1] and the Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology [2] and received his Diploma degree in 2009 (Master equivalent). Since 2009 he is a Ph.D. student at the University of Bonn and worked for the University of Kiel [3], University of Bonn, and the Bundeswehr Technical Center for Ships and Naval Weapons (WTD71) [4] as scientific staff member. His research focus is maritime and mobile ad hoc networks.


Bioengineering Graduate Open House draws prospective students

On Nov. 2, the Department of Bioengineering held their fall graduate open house. Nearly 30 people attended the event. Guests toured the main laboratory space and heard from Bioengineering Chair Robin Shandas and Graduate School Associate Dean Inge Wefes. Four core and two affiliate faculty gave brief talks about their research, and eight current graduate students talked about their backgrounds and why they are in bioengineering.

The attendees were primarily interested in finding degree programs where they can apply their knowledge and desire to help people. Most had questions about prerequisite training to ensure success in the program, the opportunities for funding master’s-level studies and options for combining a master of science in bioengineering with another in-progress master’s program.

“The Open House is our main recruitment activity for the graduate program in bioengineering, and the high quality of prospective students gives me confidence that our fall 2013 class will be as strong and motivated as our current students,” says Shawna McMahon, bioengineering graduate program manager.


Chancellor announces CU in the Community volunteer program

On November 5, Chancellor Elliman announced the launch of this year’s CU in the Community program, formerly the Giving Back Campaign. The program allows you to take a half-day of work time to volunteer with the group of your choice.

The program is now in its fourth year. This year, the university’s highlighted partner is Habitat for Humanity, a homeownership program that builds and sells homes to families in need of decent and affordable housing.

Last year, a group of staff from the college volunteered an afternoon at Food Bank of the Rockies, sorting and packaging food for local churches and homeless shelters. This year, we’d like to get a larger group from the college—including faculty, staff and students—to volunteer. Erica Lefeave will be coordinating the effort and is open to suggestions for organizations or charities with which we can volunteer. If you have an organization that is near and dear to your heart or you’re interested in participating, please email Erica Lefeave.

The campaign will run through February and includes faculty, staff, students and alumni.


FALL 2012 Graduation Dates/Deadlines and Instructions

Here are some very important dates regarding the FALL 2012 Graduation list:

  • Saturday, December 15, 2012 – End of Semester. Commencement Ceremonies held 9:00am at the Denver Convention Center.
  • Thursday, December 20, 2012 – ALL GRADES DUE BY ALL FACULTY who are teaching courses in the FALL 2012 semester.
  • Monday, December 24, 2012 – Grades available to students/faculty/staff on the web. Departments should verify all grades are recorded on student transcripts and investigate any/all missing grades which may prevent a student being approved for graduation.
  • Monday, December 24, 2012 – Tuesday, January 8, 2013 – Departments responsible for determining, resolving and notifying students of any/all administrative issues that may prevent a student from graduating in the SUMMER 2012 semester.
  • Wednesday, January 9, 2013 – Departments responsible for notifying/advising ALL student(s) who have been denied FALL 2012 graduation. THIS IS AN ADVISING FUNCTION AND IS NOT PERFORMED IN THE DEAN’S OFFICE.
  • Thursday, January 31, 2013 – Degrees posted on official student transcripts. Official transcripts showing degrees posted available to students.
  • Friday, September 22, 2013 – Diplomas mailed to students. (Diplomas mailed to addresses on ISIS and provided by students.)

Directions for FALL 2012 GRADUATION files are below:

  • ALL STUDENT FILES MUST CONTAIN THE MOST CURRENT  (FALL 2102) TRANSCRIPT which indicates ALL grades including FALL 2012 grades. If a student’s transcript shows a missing grade for any course that is needed for graduation, the department should immediately investigate the missing grade to determine the reason and resolve any administrative issues.
  • ALL  incomplete (I), in progress (IP) grades MUST have a letter grade on the transcript for ALL semesters including FALL 2012. (Remember CAND 5940 does not ever display a grade only the distinction ****).
  • ALL transfer credit(s) must appear on ISIS and verified/applied correctly to the students program sheet (BS) or Application for Admission to Candidacy(MS, MENG). Each department is responsible for verifying that transfer credit appears on ISIS and  is appropriately applied to degree requirements. Department Signatures indicate this function has been appropriately verified.
  • ALL Program Sheets, Application for Admission to Candidacy forms, Green Sheets (for graduate students only) and any other applicable paperwork MUST be correctly verified, approved and SIGNED by all appropriate individuals in each department. Incomplete files or files that are missing signatures or information will be returned to the departments jeopardizing the student’s ability to graduate. USE THE ATTACHED GREEN SHEET FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS. DO NOT USE OLD GREEN SHEETS.
  • When you have properly assembled and verified all files are complete, PLEASE SEND ALL FILES TO PAUL INCLUDING FILES OF STUDENTS WHO ARE NOT APPROVED TO GRADUATE. Paul needs ALL files including students who are not graduating for auditing purposes.
  • Please DO NOT deliver files to me as you process them. It makes it very difficult to keep track of where files are. Collect all files and deliver all of them to me at one time.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Paul Rakowski.


Call for nominations: 2012 Elizabeth D. Gee Memorial Lectureship Award; due Nov. 16

The Women’s Committee of the Faculty Council requests nominations for the 2012 Elizabeth D. Gee Memorial Lectureship Award. This award recognizes and honors an outstanding faculty member of the University of Colorado for efforts to advance women in academia, interdisciplinary scholarly contributions and distinguished teaching. The award carries a $1,000 prize, and the recipient will have an opportunity to present his/her scholarly work at the CU Women Succeeding Annual Professional Development Symposium held on February 22, 2013. Previous nominees are encouraged to re-apply. Preference will be given to nominees who have been with the University of Colorado at least five years.

Eligibility: Any full-time faculty member from any of the CU campuses may be nominated.

Criteria: The criteria for selecting recipients of the award are as follows:

  • Record of advancing women in the academic community (please note that nominee should show evidence of advancing women beyond his/her own department);
  • Significant and original scholarship and/or creative work;
  • Record of research, teaching, and/or service that pushes the boundaries of disciplinary knowledge and makes connection between disciplines;
  • Distinguished record in teaching excellence.

Nomination packets should be sent to For more information and instructions on the nomination process, please visit our website. If you have any questions about the nomination process, please contact Karen Jonscher at


Call for nominations: 2013 Thomas Jefferson Awards

The University of Colorado is looking for nominations for the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Awards. The CU Thomas Jefferson Awards are awarded to those persons who advance the ideals of Thomas Jefferson, which include:

  • broad interests in literature, arts and sciences, and public affairs;
  • a strong concern for the advancement of higher education;
  • a deeply seated sense of individual civic responsibility; and
  • a profound commitment to the welfare and rights of the individual

Nominations must be received by Nov. 30. Learn more at




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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