Nearly 275 students attend largest Engineering Internship and Job Fair

On Tuesday, November 6, nearly 275 students attended the CU Denver Engineering Internship and Job Fair in the Tivoli Turnhalle. This year’s job fair was the largest to-date, with 39 employers attending. And based on participant feedback, the event was a success.

  • Employers collected more than 649 resumes
  • 90% of employers reported they agree or strongly agree that the quality of candidates was good
  • 99% of students who responded to our exit survey said they felt that this event helped them feel prepared for their “next steps” in their professional development

In addition to the Career Center and the Experiential Learning Center, members from the Society of Women Engineers, Tau Beta Pi, Women in Computer Science and Association of Computing Machinery sat on the planning committee for this event.

Bodine leads panel for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

bodine-panelOn October 24, Cathy Bodine, associate professor of bioengineering and director of Assistive Technology Partners, moderated a panel for the National Academy of Engineering, Medicine and Science on the use of artificial intelligence to create smart cities for persons with disabilities and the elderly in Washington, DC.

Key topic areas included housing, transportation and interfaces with AI.

Panelists included:
Victor Calise, New York City’s Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
Henry Claypool, UCSF Community Living Policy Center
Jon Sanford, Georgia Tech School of Industrial Design
Gwo-Wei Torng, U.S Department of Transportation

CU Denver takes the spotlight at ASCE Annual Convention

By: Philip Taylor, civil engineering student

Denver’s booming construction scene took center stage at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Annual Convention last weekend at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Denver. In addition, CU Denver students hosted ASCE leaders, networked with industry peers and attended dozens of educational sessions at the three-day event.

ASCE’s decision to hold its 2018 convention on CU Denver’s doorstep offered students unique access to the industry’s top leaders and innovators such as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies CEO Dirk Ahlborn. Student attendees also had the opportunity to take behind-the-scenes tours of some of Denver’s biggest construction projects, including the Platte to Park Hill stormwater systems project and CDOT’s Central-70 project to overhaul and widen Interstate 70 through north Denver.

CU Denver made its own mark on the convention by hosting ASCE’s newest president, Robin Kemper, P.E., on Wednesday, Oct. 10. As ASCE president, Kemper leads the nation’s oldest engineering society. ASCE represents roughly 150,000 civil engineers in 177 countries; publishes important civil engineering literature such as the ASCE 7 standard for design loads, among many others; and is a leading organizer of educational events like this weekend’s convention as well as monthly technical dinners in Denver.

Kemper last Wednesday had breakfast with CU Denver’s ASCE Student Chapter officers and faculty advisor, Dr. David Mays, as well as Dr. Caroline Clevenger. Kemper discussed the important role ASCE student chapters play in connecting students to working engineers. She also discussed her job as a senior risk engineering consultant at Zurich Services Corp., where she advises owners, designers and contractors on professional liability, builder’s risk, risk management and best management practices. While designers and contractors play different roles in civil projects, the success of one depends on the success of the other, Kemper said. Effective communication and best practices among designers and contractors are key to limiting risks at the construction site.

ASCE Picture1

ASCE President Robin Kemper (first row, second from left) joined CU Denver students and faculty for breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Kemper later toured the CU Denver campus and gave an hour-long presentation to Dr. Heidi Brothers’ Construction Engineering Systems course. She urged students to take full advantage of the convention’s educational sessions, tours and networking opportunities.

“Meet as many different people as you can,” Kemper said. “And talk to us gray-hairs.”

Kemper encouraged students to stick with ASCE after they graduate and consider becoming politically active. ASCE faces challenges nationwide in retaining its young members. As an incentive to graduates, ASCE offers free memberships to civil engineers during their first year in the workforce and graduated membership fees in the years that follow, Kemper said. She highlighted ASCE’s professional connections, its social and community service events, and its political lobbying on infrastructure matters. ASCE members “speak as one voice,” to policy makers in Washington, D.C., and at statehouses across the nation, Kemper said. Bills such as the Water Resources Development Act, which last week passed the Senate and authorizes billions of dollars in investments in civil works projects, help drive construction of infrastructure that improves the safety and welfare of the public.

“We’ve got your back,” Kemper said of ASCE’s advocacy work. “Public policy helps drive the future of our infrastructure and how we help the public.”

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Kemper speaks to the Construction Engineering Systems course on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

ASCE also supports construction engineering professionals, Kemper said. For example, ASCE’s Construction Institute offers construction professionals the opportunity to share best practices with their peers and take part in technical activities and conferences as well as the development of standards. The Construction Institute – whose goal is to improve communication within the engineering and construction industry, improve construction practices and burnish the image of the construction industry — is one of nine ASCE institutes that provide resources to members in specialty areas.

“You’re going to need to continue your education throughout your lives,” Kemper told students. In addition to passing the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, Kemper recommended student consider pursuing Envision credentials. Envision, which is a certification and training program supported by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, promotes sustainable approaches to planning, designing, constructing and operating infrastructure projects.

Sustainability was a key driver of the Platte to Park Hill Stormwater Systems Project, which seeks to protect Denver residents from extreme flooding while improving water quality in the South Plate River watershed. The project was one of the construction site tours advertised at the ASCE convention. Platte to Park Hill is a $298 million project for the City and County of Denver that will recontour the City Park Golf Course to intercept storm water; create additional stormwater detention at Park Hill; build a mile-long open drainage channel through north Denver for flood relief and recreation; and install massive below-ground conduits to safely convey stormwater to the South Platte River in Globeville. The City Park Gold Course phase of the project was procured as a design-build contract and awarded to Saunders Construction. Work began in late 2017, and the course is on schedule to reopen in summer 2019. The broader Platte to Park Hill project faces many unique construction challenges associated with building in an urban environment, including land acquisition, environmental risks, traffic management and community outreach.

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A major storm sewer at the Platte to Park Hill project. Photo courtesy of Molly Trujillo.

The ASCE convention underscored the importance of continuing education in the civil engineering profession as well as the need for good communication among civil engineering designers, project managers and contractors. It reinforced the need for innovation to ensure civil engineers continue to protect the safety, health and welfare of the public.

Faculty receive $4.5M DARPA grant for Subterranean Challenge

Researchers from CU Denver, CU Boulder and Boston-based Scientific Systems Company have partnered to design drones that can explore underground environments like subway tunnels, mines and caves.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded the team a $4.5 million grant to support its participation in its national Subterranean Challenge, which will end in fall 2021. The partners will compete against five other funded teams across the country to complete three increasingly difficult underground challenges.

The CU Denver team includes Ron Rorrer, associate professor of mechanical engineering, Mark Golkowski and Jaedo Park, associate professors of electrical engineering, Chao Liu and Vijay Harid, assistant professors of electrical engineering, and Diane Williams, research associate of electrical engineering.

Read more about the project here.

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Computer science faculty receive funding for new GAANN program

A team of faculty in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering have received finding from the Department of Education GAANN program to support a proposal titled “Data-Driven Cybersecurity.”

The project provides full PhD fellowships for up to six fellows for up to three years. Fellows will pursue their PhD degree focusing on introducing data scientific solutions to address pressing national cybersecurity concerns. 

  • Total budget: $932,814  ($746,250 federal and $186,564 non-federal/CU cost-share)
  • PI: Farnoush Banaei-Kashani
  • Co-PIs: Haadi Jafarian and Ashis Biswas
  • Project start time: October 1, 2018
  • Project period: 3 Years

Congratulations!

Benninger’s diabetes research featured on CBS4

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Richard Benninger

Richard Benninger, associate professor of bioengineering, and members of his lab are using ultrasound technology to track Type 1 diabetes. On Friday, Sept. 21, Benninger and PhD student David Ramirez were featured on CBS4, talking about their research and how they’re using ultrasound to track changing blood flow in the pancreas, an indication of inflammation, which is a key indicator of the onset of Type 1 diabetes.

Watch the report here.

 

Mays, McIntyre and Chinnasamy published in Water Policy journal

Technical and administrative feasibility of alluvial aquifer storage and recovery on the South Platte River of northeastern Colorado

What is it about?

In a world suffering from increasing water stress, this paper offers one potential option through alluvial aquifer storage and recovery. In particular, this paper suggests a legal framework, under Colorado’s doctrine of prior appropriation, through which the proposed technology is shown to be both technically and administratively feasible.

Why is it important?

Water resource management demands not only technical feasibility, but also administrative feasibility. One cannot implement clever technical designs that violate legal, regulatory, or administrative constraints. The unique contribution of this work is its dual scope that covers both technical and administrative requirements.

Perspectives, David Mays (Author)

Bill McIntyre broke new ground in his doctoral research, some of which was published last year (McIntyre, W.C. and D.C. Mays, 2017, Roles of the water court and the State Engineer for water administration in Colorado, Water Policy, 19:4, 837-850). But it was not until master student Cibi Chinnasamy joined the team that we were able to complete the groundwater simulations required for this second publication. It was a pleasure advising both gentlemen, and I wish them all the best in their careers.

Read Publication

ATP Celebrates at 11th annual Deja-Vu Rendez Vous

_DSC2515Assistive Technology Partners (ATP) is deeply grateful for the ongoing support from the Colorado construction industry’s annual Déjà vu Rendezvous event. Held May 18, 2018, this eleventh event offered a chance to unite past and current members of the Colorado construction community while supporting a worthwhile cause. Proceeds from the event help ATP, housed in the Department of Bioengineering, meet their mission for persons with cognitive, sensory, and/or physical disabilities to reach their highest potential at home, school, work and play through the addition of appropriate assistive technologies to their lives. This year the event hosted 800 guests at Denver’s Mile High Station and brought cumulative donations to more than $2.3M. 

The event created by retired Trautman & Shreve CEO, Bill Caile, is sponsored by more than 100 corporations. 

Cathy Bodine, executive director of ATP and associate professor of bioengineering, says, “We are so grateful to the local construction companies and our generous sponsors for choosing ATP to benefit from such a wonderful annual event.” Funds will be used to support persons with disabilities, their families and others who are unable to afford services.

“The Déjà-vu event has always been focused on the wonderful people that make up the construction industry in Colorado and the relationships we all have,” says Marc Able, Steering Committee Chair and President, ABLE Consulting Group, LLC.. “It is one night a year where we leave the business at the door and celebrate everyone on a personal level. It is such a fun night and to be able to support the great work ATP does is icing on the cake.”

New app created by CU researchers offers customized advice to improve learning

ok-googleOK Google, I Need My Study Tips

University of Colorado researchers have created on-demand, voice-activated apps to enhance learning and teaching for members of CU Anschutz Medical Campus and CU Denver.

VoxScholar ™ has released its first two apps, CU Study Skills and CU Faculty Development. These apps make it possible for faculty and students to talk to Google Assistant to receive study tips or to get information on faculty development topics.

VoxScholar is an initiative funded by the CU Department of Medicine and was developed by faculty at the CU Anschutz School of Medicine and the CU Denver College of Engineering and Applied Science.

While multiple voice-activated platforms exist, using the Google Assistant platform allows for the creation of higher education apps without extensive and costly infrastructure investment. Students and faculty using the apps can use devices they already own, including cell phones. This approach to academic innovation helps keep higher education affordable, responsive and relevant.

“One goal of the project was to leverage technology everyone had in their pocket – a cell phone – to transform learning,” said Janet Corral, PhD, associate professor of medicine, who leads the project. “Our busy learners and faculty are working in multiple sites: campuses and clinics, homes and offices, in the city and in rural communities. Often, they need just-in-time access to information and cannot wait until the next time they are on campus for face-to-face sessions.”

The VoxScholar apps provide more than other voice-activated apps, which typically offer information on campus meals or laundry services. VoxScholar’s apps focus on academic performance by offering improved study skills or evidence-based teaching advice. For example, students can get timely, practical tips on how to handle multiple choice questions or manage time during an exam. Faculty can get advice on leading small group sessions or improving learner engagement.

Corral is a scholar in the Department of Medicine’s Program for Academic Clinician Educators (PACE), which launched in 2017 and provides grants to support faculty in developing and improving innovative educational programs, and in engaging in educational research to guide how we teach and assess health professions learners.

Suzanne Brandenburg, MD, vice chair for education in the Department of Medicine, said, “Dr. Corral’s innovative work has the potential to transform medical education. I’m delighted that our unique PACE program has provided her the resources, time and mentorship needed to achieve this milestone.”

Corral collaborated with the CU Denver Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the College of Engineering and Applied Science to develop VoxScholar. Assistant Professor Farnoush Banaei-Kashani, PhD, an expert in intelligent and large-scale data-driven systems, along with his PhD student, Javier Pastorino, worked with Corral to develop these apps.

“We have introduced novel ideas based on machine learning and text mining to make the apps smart,” said Banaei-Kashani. “For instance, the apps can capture and use the context of the conversation with the learner or faculty member and personalize the tips it provides accordingly.”

The VoxScholar apps innovate by relying on artificial intelligence. The apps are designed to send specific tips based on the specific student’s needs. Similarly, educators offering lecture-based programming in a classroom setting receive different tips than faculty who teaching in a hospital or other clinical setting.

“The spaces where we work and study are complex, and I wanted the apps to do better than our existing fact-based learning modules and tips sheets. My goal was to create apps that respond just-in-time to what people need, and, furthermore, help coach them to success,” said Corral. Both apps have been developed in consultation with academic leaders, faculty and students. Students and faculty have also beta tested the apps prior to release.

The apps are available for free through the Google Play store, but require an official affiliation with CU Anschutz Medical Campus or CU Denver to access the content. VoxScholar plans to release additional apps throughout the spring and summer as students return to the health professions programs on both campuses.