Six bioengineering students awarded UROP grants

The Office of Undergraduate Experiences announced the next round of Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) recipients.  UROP is a competitive program designed to financially support undergraduate research, most broadly understood as including all creative and other scholarly activities.  The goal of UROP is to provide an opportunity to extend learning outside the traditional classroom, laboratory, or studio.

Congratulations to Kateryna Biryukova, Ryan Gerstenberger, Alexander Ho, Cameron Mattson, Damon Pool and Robert Wood who received these awards.

Kateryna Biryukova will use the immortalized human derived SH-SY5Y cell line to develop protocols and methodology for printing neurons using a 3D bioprinter. Differentiated SH-SY5Y cells acquire morphological and biochemical characteristics of mature neurons, thus providing means to generate a cost-effective reproducible model of bioprinting neural cells. This research is a part of Dr. Lammer’s open source 3D bioprinter project.

Ryan Gerstenberger will be working on a joint project between Children’s Hospital Colorado physician Stephen Hawkins and Department of Bioengineering Instructor Jennifer Wagner.   The title of his project is 3D Printed Custom Mask for Pediatric Sleep Apnea Therapy.  Ryan will work to create a method for producing patient specific, pediatric, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks.

Alexander Ho will investigate pelvic anatomy and geometry, and tissue deformation using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on 20 adults who have used a wheelchair for at least 3 years. Pressure ulcers have negative consequences for the health, activities of daily living, employment, and quality of life for wheelchair users.  The results of the study could lead to methods for reducing the incidence rate and severity of pressure ulcers, and improvements in wheelchair seating design.  Alexander will be working with Dr. Levin Sliker in Assistive Technology Partners (ATP), Dept. of Bioengineering.

Cameron Mattson’s research project is titled “Development of volume-changing shape memory polymer as a gutta percha filling material in root canals.”  This research is an important first step to develop a replacement of the gutta percha using a shape memory polymer. He will conduct this research under the guidance of Dr. Daewon Park, Assistant Professor in Bioengineering.

Damon Pool, an undergrad (and future BS-MS student) working with Dr. Jeffrey Jacot in his research laboratory. He will be investigating whether including native heart extracellular matrix in an electrospun heart patch material can enhance the attachment, migration and viability of heart cells.

Robert Wood will study the mechanical and physiological impacts of constant-flow left ventricular assist devices on the proximal Aorta. He will be working with Dr. Kendall Hunter (BioE) and Dr. Amrut Ambardekar (SOM Cardiology).

CU Denver hosts international seminar in Santiago, Chile

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Planning transmission systems expansion: a review of good practices around the world

In July 2016, the Government of Chile passed a bill that radically modified the planning and operation of the Chilean electric power system. Among the various changes, the now Law 20.936 mandates that the planning of the transmission system expansion shall be performed by Chile’s “Comisión Nacional de Energía” (CNE), the equivalent of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the United States. Centralized planning of the transmission system expansion has been widely recognized around the world as a key enabler for the penetration of renewable energy, and for lowering prices for final users.

With funds from the Inter-American Development Bank, CNE hired CU Denver to conduct a study to identify ad-hoc methodologies and good practices to serve as a “toolbox” for the drafting of technical regulations that properly capture the spirit of Law 20.936.

A key milestone within the project was the hosting of an international seminar in Santiago, Chile to discuss transmission expansion planning processes elsewhere in the world. The event was held on April 10, 2017 at the SOFOFA Center and was attended by more than 150 local people, many of them CEOs of electric companies and high-ranking government officials. The conference brought together experts from Mexico, Brazil, and the United States.

Mr. Andrés Romero, CNE director, opened the seminar, followed by an overview of the project from the project PI, electrical engineering professor Fernando Mancilla-David. The event continued with keynote speeches from international experts, and various roundtable discussions about specific subjects within Law 20.936.

The research team includes project PI electrical engineering professor Dr. Fernando Mancilla-David, Dr. Gabriel Olguín (Director of Power Business Chile), Dr. Alejandro Angulo (electrical engineering professor at Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Chile), and a  number of project engineers, including CU Denver doctoral student Héctor Robles-Campos.

 

For more information, contact Dr. Fernando Mancilla-David or visit https://www.cne.cl/seminario-internacional-planificacion-de-la-transmision/.

 

ASCE Rocky Mountain Regional Student Conference Results

On April 6 – April 8, the CU Denver ASCE Student Chapter competed in the Rocky Mountain Student Conference hosted by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. This annual competition brings together civil engineering programs from 14 institutions across the intermountain West.

  • Concrete canoe: Despite suffering a crack in transit from Denver to Salt Lake, the concrete canoe team passed their submergence test and successfully competed in numerous races. Our 2016/2017 concrete canoe team included Wesley Engel (captain), Ahmed Aljamal, Mustafa Alogaili, Kahlil Elarier, Stephanie Espinoza, Miranda Mooney, Phil Taylor, and Nathan Werner.

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  • Steel bridge: After a final practice assembly on the green between the North Classroom and Science buildings, our steel bridge team passed their horizontal deflection test and earned 3rd place in Steel Bridge Display. Our 2016/2017 steel bridge team included Aaron Blahut (captain), Erik Causey, Ben Johnk, Xavier Montoya, Jackson Pedziwiatr, Stephen Sowal, and Dahria Uwamahoro (who also rowed for the concrete canoe team).

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Both teams vanquished their cousins from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Congratulations to our ASCE students!

Team Epiphany wins Rookie, Best Design awards at NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge

Epiphany AwardsLast weekend, a team of mechanical engineering students traveled to Huntsville, Alabama with their senior design project to compete in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. It’s the first time CU Denver participated in the event.

Team Epiphany—Carl Bergstrath, Kristen Bonifield, Skyler Bunce, Binh Dao, Lesley DiMarco, Derique Duran, Jason Fuqua, Jared Harper, Josh Leyendecker—designed and built a three-wheeled, two-person vehicle designed to navigate the harsh terrain found in space.

At the event, the team navigated their rover through an obstacle course. Epiphany competed against 99 teams (high school and college), and won the college-level Rookie Award and the Best Design Award.

Congratulations!!

Learn more about the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge.