SMAB lab study, in collaboration with Dartmouth anthropologist, published

Faculty and students from the Smart Materials and Biomechanics (SMAB) lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering collaborated with Nathaniel Dominy, an anthropologist at Dartmouth University, to study bone daggers from New Guinea. The study looked at the composition of cassowary bone daggers and those made from human femurs, which were seen to carry a greater social prestige, to see if one was stronger than the other.

The paper, published today, has already been covered in The Washington Post, Newsweek, Science Alert, Live Science, Popular Science and more.

CU Denver mechanical engineering researchers who participated in the study include assistant professor Dana Carpenter, PhD student Sam Mills, and associate professor Chris Yakacki.

ASCE STUDENT OFFICERS WIN AWARDS FROM COLORADO SECTION

0419181944aThree civil engineering undergraduates have been selected for awards from the Colorado Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). From left to right, they are Phil Taylor, Wesley Engel, and Whitney Benson, each of whom has served as an officer in CU Denver’s ASCE Student Chapter. In addition, Taylor was selected to receive this year’s Jaqueline Arcaris Civil Engineering Scholarship, which recognizes civil engineering students with potential to become outstanding civil engineering professionals. Please join us in congratulating these award-winning ASCE student officers!

Pizano named 2018 Outstanding Staff

pizano_roxanneRoxanne Pizano, program coordinator in the Department of Civil Engineering, has been named the 2018 recipient of the College of Engineering and Applied Science Outstanding Staff award. Roxanne manages graduate admissions and the construction engineering and management program for civil engineering. She will receive a commemorative plaque at the college Year-End Celebration on May 11.

Congratulations!

Team Odyssey takes second place at NASA rover competition

photos courtesy of www.facebook.com/UCDOdyssey/

A team of mechanical engineering senior design students—Team Odyssey—took second place last Friday in Huntsville, Alabama at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The team also brought home the featherweight award, which rewards teams that best meet the weight minimization challenge.

The team—Joshua Brill, Jeffrey Deutsch, Jessie Gibbons, Will Glass, Luke Makowski, Ryan McCort, Kayla McDermott, Kyle Osborne, Robert Sallee, Khyrsten Tatum, Tony Tieu, Alex Wamain, Nathan Webster and Tyler Wilson—competed against 70 other teams that were tasked with driving their rover through a course designed with obstacles similar to what one would find on surfaces in space. The team completed the half-mile course in 5:01 minutes. The team has been featured on CBS4 and on 9NEWS.

Per NASA’s website, the planned course for the competition requires two students, one female and one male, to traverse a terrain that includes a simulated field of asteroid debris — boulders from 5 to 15 inches across; an ancient stream bed with pebbles approximately 6 inches deep; and erosion ruts and crevasses of varying widths and depths. The challenge’s weight and time requirements encourage compactness, light weight, high performance and efficiency. As part of the competition — before their first time on the course—rover entries are tested to see that they would fit into a lander equipment bay, a maximum 5 feet by 5 feet by 5 feet in volume. Teams earn points by assembling the rover in the allotted time; designing a rover that is lightweight; successfully completing course obstacles; performing tasks throughout the mission; and meeting pre- and post-challenge requirements. Each team is permitted two excursions: The greater score of the two excursions will be used for the final team score.

Congratulations, Team Odyssey. We hope to see you at senior design on May 11.

Lennon receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program predoctoral fellowship 

Mallory Lennon, a second-year PhD candidate in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus, has been awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) predoctoral fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Jeffrey Jacot, Associate Professor of bioengineering. Mallory’s project seeks to understand structural heart development in children born with only one ventricle in the heart, a birth defect known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), which occurs in about 1,800 births per year in the United States,has a survival rate of only 27% in the first year, and requires several surgeries over many years. Mallory will collect cells from amniotic fluid at the birth of infants with HLHS, make those cells into heart muscle in the laboratory using a recently published technique from the Jacot lab, and measure specific responses to the mechanical forces encountered during development. She expects that this understanding can be matched to genetic signaling and increase the prediction and diagnosis of HLHS as well as suggest future treatments. Mallory obtained her BS in Biomedical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has previously been a recipient of the American Heart Association summer fellowship, and the TL1 (T32) Pre-doctoral Fellowship from the Colorado Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

ASCE TWO FOR TWO IN SOUTH DAKOTA

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(CU Denver’s pre-design team left-to-right: Dan Barlow, Nathan Werner, Khalil Elareir, Badr Husini, Philip Taylor, and Liz Taylor; not pictured: Whitney Benson)

CU Denver’s delegation was small at this weekend’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Rocky Mountain Student Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota, but they punched well above their weight.

CU Denver’s Pre-Design Team won first place, beating out seven other schools. Their water supply system design supplied variable amounts of water to specified locations using nothing more than a single valve and clever plumbing, earning a first-place finish with 84 out of a possible 100 points.

In addition, ASCE student chapter Vice President Nathan Werner was part of the first place team in the Mystery Design competition. In this year’s Mystery Design, each student was randomly paired with students from three other schools. Nathan’s team, which included himself and one student each from Colorado School of Mines, New Mexico State University and Brigham Young University, put together the winning bid for a project to clean biofilm from the Catskill Aqueduct.  

In short, our ASCE student chapter competed in two events at this year’s conference and won both of them! We are hopeful CU Denver can participate in additional events at next year’s conference at CU Boulder.

WICS teaches coding to Highlands Ranch Middle School students

outreachpic2The CU Denver Women in Computer Science (WICS) student group has been busy teaching classes at Highlands Ranch Middle School this semester.

The computer science juniors and seniors taught middle school students about programming, highlighted how the ample uses of code in today’s world, and talked about how a career in coding could benefit their lives.

WICS president Tegan Straley says, “It was fantastic to see the enjoyment of problem-solving in action when the students began practicing the Scratch programming language. The classes were valuable for everyone involved, and WICS is looking forward to many more future outreach events!”