A recent story posted by CNBC turns to experts for their insight about the proposed construction timeline for President Trump’s proposed controversial border wall. Civil engineering associate professor Caroline Clevenger was one of those experts, citing not just the timeline but the logistics of getting materials and labor in place to actually construct the wall.
Rail transportation is fundamentally efficient, combining high capacity with low friction, which gives it a potentially transformative role to play as engineers design a carbon-neutral future with more trade and less traffic congestion. To get up to speed with the cutting-edge technology in this legendary industry, on Friday 12/7/2018, CU Denver sent a delegation of nine individuals to Pueblo, Colorado for a field trip to the Transportation Technology Center, which is owned and operated by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
The field trip, organized by CU Denver’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), gathered two civil engineering faculty, four civil engineering students and one professional mechanical engineer from Progress Rail, the company behind the famed Electro-Motive Division series of diesel-electric locomotives. CU Denver’s delegation also included two anthropology students, which proves that being an engineer is not necessary to appreciate the technical, historical and cultural impact of railroading on our modern world.
The delegation gathered by North Classroom at 6 a.m., then started a personalized tour at 10 a.m., hosted by AAR’s Duane Otter. Over the following five hours, Otter provided a phenomenal overview of the breadth, depth and rigor of the research performed at the one-of-a-kind facility, comprising 52 square miles, where every aspect of railroad technology is tested—track, trains and signals. For example, AAR operates a test track where an overloaded coal train runs all night to deliberately wear out track components. Those track components include several Victorian bridges, constructed of riveted steel, whose continued satisfactory performance has been demonstrated in the most compelling manner—by monitoring deflections with strain gages while overloaded coal trains pass every four minutes.
ASCE faculty advisor David Mays would like to thank Otter and all the participants for making this field trip an unqualified success. Students interested in joining ASCE may do so by contacting ASCE student chapter president Alex McPherson. Student membership is free.
Civil engineering professor Jimmy Kim has received the 2019 American Concrete Institute’s Chester Paul Siess Award for Excellence in Structural Research specifically “for the behavior of reinforced concrete beams strengthened with carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) sheets subjected to relaxation induced by simultaneous thermal and mechanical loadings”, as co-author of the paper titled “Thermomechanical Relaxation of CFRP Sheets Bonded to a Concrete Substrate.”
Kim’s award will be mentioned at the ACI Spring 2019 Concrete Convention and Exposition during the Opening Session and Keynote Presentation, Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Québec City, Canada.
CU Denver’s College of Engineering and Applied Science sent its largest-ever delegation of faculty, students and alumni to the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. This meeting, held in Washington, DC December 10 – 14, 2018, brought together more than 28,500 scientists studying all aspects of the earth and environmental sciences.
This record-breaking group comprised civil engineering faculty Allison Goodwell and David Mays, who presented their hydrology research with students Laurna Kaatz and Eric Thomas, and alumni Maryam Pournasiri Poshtiri and Eric Roth. The group also included electrical engineering faculty Mark Golkowski with students Poorya Hossini and Chad Renick, who presented research on atmospheric electricity and space science. Mays also presented his NSF-sponsored work on Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands.
Renick also was honored with an Outstanding Student Presentation Award for his poster, LWPC Modeling of Lightning Induced Changes in D-Region Electron Density, coauthored with Golkowski and Sandeep Sarker and Georgia Tech’s Morris Cohen. This coveted award recognizes the top few percent among literally thousands of student research presentations. Congratulations, Chad!
Dr. Nikki Farnsworth, a Research Instructor working in the lab of Dr. Richard Benninger, was recently awarded a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Advanced-Postdoctoral Fellowship to study novel mechanisms of pancreatic β-cell death and to exploit these mechanisms to protect against the onset and progression of type 1 diabetes (T1D).
The goals of Dr. Farnsworth’s project are to determine the role of protein kinase C delta in regulating inflammation-mediated β-cell death and to determine the contributions of altered islet interactions with the extracellular matrix to β-cell death in T1D. This study will identify novel mechanisms of β-cell death during the onset of T1D using quantitative live cell imaging and a biomimetic 3D scaffold and will determine if modulation of these novel signaling mechanisms can protect against the onset of T1D.
Dr. Vira Kravets, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Richard Benninger’s lab was recently awarded the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship: an award for promising scientists entering their professional career in the type 1 diabetes research field. The fellowship will support understanding heterogeneity of insulin-producing beta cells and their calcium response to glucose. In collaboration with the University of Miami Dr. Kravets will study alternations in beta cell subpopulations of the encapsulated islets for transplantation therapy. One of the potential outcomes of this collaboration is improvement of transplantation of stem-cell-derived islets.