CVEN alum Tyler Huggins selected to participate in the Chain Reaction Innovations program

On December 20, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced that CU Denver CVEN alum, Tyler Huggins (MS, Environmental Engineering/Sustainability Engineering, ‘12), has been selected as one of the first innovators to participate in a new embedded entrepreneurship program at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.

The Chain Reaction Innovations program is part of a new initiative to accelerate the development of sustainable and energy-efficient technologies and drive manufacturing growth by helping startups and innovators reduce development costs and risks. A panel of judges selected the inaugural cohort of five Chain Reactions innovators from more than 100 applications.

Tyler and Justin Whiteley, his business partner at their energy startup Emergy, have developed a process that uses a biological organism cultivated in brewery wastewater to create the carbon-based materials needed to make energy storage cells, including those used in cars: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/11/beer-power-electric-car/

Tyler and Justin’s term at Chain Reaction Innovations is designed to help them bring this technology to market.

A summary of the technology: Emergy has developed a versatile biomanufacturing process to make low cost advanced porous carbon materials for energy storage and filtration applications. Emergy’s platform technology utilizes the efficient biomechanics of filamentous organisms to produce tunable material properties through a bottom-up approach. The use of a robust biological system also allows for the utilization of waste carbon sources such as industrial wastewater as a renewable feedstock. Ultimately, this process facilitates low cost and sustainable manufacturing of porous carbon materials with select characteristics directed towards specific applications. For example, Emergy can produce low cost, high surface area, pure carbon electrodes for supercapacitors from the treatment of brewery wastewater.

Year-End Celebration recap

On May 13, more than 250 faculty, students, staff, alumni and guests attended the fifth annual College of Engineering and Applied Science Year-End Celebration. Guests enjoyed a catered BBQ lunch, photobooth, badminton, and an awards ceremony.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2017 event, scheduled for May 12, 2017.

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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.

McIntyre, Rens receive patent

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Professor Rens and Bill Mcintyre at Bill’s dissertation defense.

Bill McIntyre, the college’s first EAS PhD graduate, and civil engineering professor and chair Kevin Rens have received a patent for a System and Method of Using Differential Elevation-Induced Energy for the Purpose of Storing Water Underground. This patent is the result of McIntyre’s dissertation and is a big deal in the water resources field, especially when dealing with alluvial storage and recovery. This is the first patent for both Rens and McIntyre.

Congratulations to both of you!

Bioscience 2 called ‘spectacular facility’; featured in CU Today

On Nov. 18, campus leaders and the bioengineering department celebrated the collaborations behind the new Bioscience 2 building, home to the Department of Bioengineering, on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

Event speakers included CU Anschutz Chancellor Don Elliman; Steve VanNurden, president and CEO of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority (FRA); Brian Freed, executive director of ClinImmune Labs and professor in the CU School of Medicine; and Robin Shandas, professor and founding chair of the bioengineering department. Other dignitaries included CU Regent Sue Sharkey, Sen. Michael Johnston, D-Denver, and Marc Ingber, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Read the entire story by Chris Casey, University Communications

Year-End Celebration Slideshow and Recap

The fourth annual College of Engineering and Applied Science Year-End Celebration took place on Friday, May 15, at Ninth Street Park on the Auraria Campus. Nearly 200 people from the college community attended the event and enjoyed delicious food, a photobooth, badminton, a visit from Milo the Lynx, and a lively awards ceremony. Check out the slideshow below, and mark your calendars for May 13, 2016 for next year’s Celebration.

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Third Annual Engineering Job & Internship Fair a Success

careerfair10On February 5, the Tivoli Turnhalle buzzed with enthusiastic engineering students on the hunt for internships and jobs. Twenty-one companies attended the third annual Engineering Job and Internship Fair, which drew almost 300 students. The CU Denver student chapters of the Society for Women Engineers (SWE) and Tau Beta Pi sponsored the event, along with the university Career Center and Experiential Learning Center.

“We had 50 percent more participating companies compared to last year, with many returning companies from previous years’ events,” said Maryam Darbeheshti, faculty sponsor SWE. “There’s a lot of good energy here today, on both sides of the tables.”

David Chau, a 2014 graduate from the computer science program, attended with his current employer, ReadyTalk. “It’s careerfair7definitely different being on this side of things and seeing students that I knew last year come through here,” he said. “We talked to at least 15 solid candidates today…there are definitely students who are ready.” ReadyTalk has participated in all three engineering job and internship fairs—Chau landed an internship with the company during his junior year at the 2013 event.

Students attending the fair appreciated the variety of companies on hand and the opportunity to network with employers who were actively seeing engineering professionals.

Nexenta, a company that develops software defined storage solutions, also has been present at all three fairs. Eric Ray, director of platform engineering with Nexenta, was impressed with the number of viable candidates, and he stressed the importance of events like the job fair to build relationships between companies, CU Denver, and the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“The students here are different…more focused,” said Ray. “Nexenta is one of the most international companies I’ve worked for, and the unique makeup of the students at CU Denver matches that diversity, which is really great.”

Victoria Broce, a representative from RTD, said that this was one of the best job fairs she has attended. “I like that it’s focused and we know who we’re dealing with,” she said. “We typically don’t take applications on-site, but today, we did. We will definitely be back next year.”

Photos courtesy of the CU Denver Career Center

Alumna Karen Maestas honored as the ACEC-CO 2014 Outstanding Woman in Engineering

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Karen Maestas, P.E., URS Corporation, honored as ACEC Colorado’s 2014 Outstanding Woman in Engineering, is congratulated by ACEC Colorado President Greg Roush.

DENVER – The American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado (ACEC/CO) recently presented top engineering awards to outstanding Colorado engineers who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and commitment to advancing consulting engineering.

Karen Maestas, P.E., URS Corporation, was honored as the 2014 Outstanding Woman in Engineering. The prestigious award recognizes an outstanding woman in a leadership position for professional achievements in the engineering profession and who is a visible role model for young engineers.

Maestas manages a complex portfolio of mine reclamation projects that has grown annually from approximately $500,000 in 2007 to more than $8 million in 2013.  These projects involve a myriad of state and federal requirements and a host of technical and implementation challenges. Using her expert technical abilities, management and communication skills, and thorough understanding of business operations, she leads a large, diverse technical team that provides a wide range of turnkey services for these multi-state mine sites. Her ability to lead multiple, concurrent and interconnected technical projects and to communicate effectively about complex technical subjects in a way that is accessible to the public are hallmarks of her career.

Looking to the future, under her leadership URS has been working with a university to test a biological treatment method to address elevated sulfate levels present in acid rock drainage at a mine site. Maestas’ team is also experimenting with spent brewer’s grain, ordinarily a waste product of beer brewing, as a carbon source, which is a promising “green” alternative for mine water cleanup. As an active community member, she also promotes math and science education through speaking engagements to students at elementary schools to higher education.

“It is such an honor to be recognized as outstanding in my profession,” said Maestas. “Solving problems is something I love to do, and throughout my career, I have certainly dealt with many challenging situations.  Being involved in successful environmental cleanups is one of the most gratifying parts of my job.  It’s amazing to see technology in action.

“I’ve had great mentors over the years, both men and women.  When I graduated from college more than 20 years ago, about one in five engineers was a woman, and that has not really changed much in the last two decades.  I encourage more women to pursue careers in engineering and science – it is great work that is challenging, interesting and rewarding,” she emphasized.

Maestas earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Engineering from Colorado School of Mines in 1991 and her Master of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Colorado at Denver in 2001.

Additionally, Charles Keyes, P.E., Martine/Martin, Inc., recipient of the Council’s George Washington Award, which is presented to an ACEC/CO member who has provided outstanding service to the community, contributed to the progress of Colorado and the advancement of the public image of the consulting engineering profession.  Dan Phipps, P.E., Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, was honored as ACEC ‘s 2014 Young Professional in Engineering, which promotes the accomplishments of young engineers who are advancing the consulting engineering profession.

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The American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado (ACEC/CO) is the business association of 235 member firms employing more than 10,000 employees in the independent private practice of consulting engineering. ACEC/CO is a primary resource for accessing engineering information, expertise and business ethics practices.  The Council provides leadership and direction by developing practical, feasible options and solutions based upon technical collaboration to achieve enduring outcomes to benefit society.