Students Shine at Spring Senior Design

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Photo credit: Kate Seppala Photography

On Friday, May 13, 24 teams participated in the Spring 2016 Senior Design Competition and Open House. Nearly 100 students from civil engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and the College of Architecture and Planning showcased their capstone projects in the North Classroom Atrium. Projects ranged from the design of a new museum for the Denver Police Department to a solar powered boat. Teams presented to a panel of eight industry judges, competing for cash prizes.

The overall winner of the event was Hand Gesture Recognition in Real-time via 3-D Printed Capacitive Wristband from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Departmental winners included:

The event also hosted a group of 60 eighth grade students from Clyde Miller K-8 in Aurora. The students spent an hour meeting with the teams, asking questions about each project, and working on a scavenger hunt.

The Senior Design event is made possible each semester by donors Donald and Karen White.

CEM program tours RK Mechanical and VA hospital

IMG_0894On 15 April, the CEM program spent the day in the field, taking 38 students and five faculty/staff to two educational locations.  First we toured RK Mechanical contractor’s fabrication facility in Henderson, CO.  The tour included an overview on how the company uses state-of-the-art technology to improve quality and efficiency through manufacture of construction components in a controlled facility. We also toured the facility and RK Mechanical provided lunch and hardhats for everyone.

The second part of the day was spent at the new VA hospital project touring the huge, complex facility.  The students appreciated the real world exposure to the life cycle of a construction project from drawings to installation to operation.

2016 ASCE Student Conference a Success

Last month, the CU Denver Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), in partnership with Metropolitan State University of Denver, hosted the 2016 Rocky Mountain Student Conference. Over the three-day event, 440 people attended from 14 schools across five states.

One event, the Steel Bridge Competition, was held at the Auraria campus with two construction lanes, one lateral pull test station, and two vertical loading stations. The Concrete Canoe Races were held at Soda Lake in Lakewood and included sprints, team paddles, and other fun activities taking place throughout the day.

Congratulations to our Student Chapter of ASCE on an event well done!


Yakacki receives Graduate School Dean’s Mentoring Award

Yakacki (9-12)-WEBChris Yakacki, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, has been selected as one of this year’s Graduate School Dean’s Mentoring Award recipients. This award was created by the Graduate School to recognize and honor excellence in mentoring by the graduate faculty.

The awards are based on student-submitted nomination letters. Yakacki will receive his award at the campuswide faculty awards in September.


Park’s research selected for cover of Biomacromolecules

bomaf6_v017i005_CoverBioengineering assistant professor Daewon Park’s research “Biomimetic Polymers for Cardiac Tissue Engineering” was selected as the cover for the May 2016 issue of Biomacromolecules. About the cover: an injectable biomimetic reverse thermogel (RTG) was specifically engineered to support long-term cardiomyocyte (CM) survival. This RTG biopolymer provided a solution-based delivery vehicle of CMs, which transitioned to a gel-based matrix shortly after reaching body temperature. For this investigation, the RTG was biomolecule-functionalized with poly-L-lysine or laminin. We found that the protein-functionalized RTG stimulated neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVM) to spread and form heart-like functional syncytia.

View the cover.
Read the article.

Advanced Highway Design students present to Cherry Point HOA


Over the past month, six groups of students within the Advanced Highway Design course researched available traffic calming, conducted field visits, met with residents, evaluated traffic (including bike and pedestrian) issues, and developed reports and presentations for the Cherry Point subdivision in Denver. Students met with Justin Schmitz, a Deputy City Traffic Engineer in Public Works/Transportation and Mobility with the City and County of Denver to discuss options within the City of Denver.

After presenting their final reports and presentations, the class selected one top group to present to the HOA on April 19. Denver City Council Member Kendra Black, representing District 4, was also in attendance at the meeting. Over 50 members of the HOA were present, and were interested in hearing the findings of the group, which included both temporary and permanent traffic control measures.

CEM program celebrates two years

On April 22, the Construction Engineering and Management program celebrated two successful years with a gathering at Tivoli Brewing Company. Nearly 100 people attended, including students, faculty, members of industry, and additional friends of the program.

Chancellor Horrell was the guest of honor and welcomed the crowd with a few words about CU Denver and the importance of its connections to industry.  Dr. Rens presented her with her own personal protective equipment (PPE) including a CU Denver hard hat, which she said she will wear proudly.  The event was a great success, and CEM is already looking forward to the next one!

Former mayor, civil engineering alum Vidal visits campus

CU Denver alumus and former Denver Mayor Guillermo (Bill) Vidal was on campus Monday to meet with Chancellor Dorothy Horrell and visit his alma mater. He also found time to tour the concrete lab and visit with civil engineering professor NY Chang and some of his graduate students.

Vidal graduated from CU Denver in 1973 with a degree in civil engineering. His visit was part of a collaboration between CU Denver and CU Boulder, the end result of which will be a documentary on his life.

Read the story and see the pictures here.

Golkowski and Marshall receive campus-level faculty awards

Mark Golkowski, associate professor of electrical engineering, and Wesley Marshall, associate professor of civil engineering, have both been named the CU Denver faculty award winners for teaching and research, respectively. This is the first time in recent history college faculty have received both campus-wide awards. They’ll receive their awards at a luncheon on September 21.


For a list of all the award winners, read the Provost’s Post.