Banaei-Kashani and team receive NIH R21 award

CUD_7-18_ENG_041__D3_6259Farnoush Banaei-Kahani, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, and a team of researchers have received an NIH R21 award for their proposal “Omics Data Integration to Identify Disease Pathways in COPD.” This is a two-year award for $275K with equal support for the three PIs and up to two post-docs with potential for R01 funding in the next phase.

The team consists of:

  • Katerina Kechris (PI), Associate Professor, Biostatistics, Colorado School of Public Health
  • Farnoush Banaei-Kashani (Co-PI), Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Colorado Denver
  • Russ Bowler (Co-PI), Professor, Precision Medicine, National Jewish Health

Congratulations!

Mays, Roane receive NSF INCLUDES award

David Mays, associate professor of civil engineering, and Timberley Roane, associate professor of integrated biology, received one of 27 National Science Foundation INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) award for their project “Building a Network for Education and Employment in Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands.” NSF INCLUDES awards aim to enhance U.S. leadership in STEM discoveries and innovations through a commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is the second year of awards for INCLUDES, one of NSF’s “10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments.”

ABSTRACT:

For the United States to maintain its leading role on the world economic stage, it is essential to strengthen the American workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Our current prosperity and our future success hinge on recruiting, training, and employing the creative and industrious STEM professionals who drive the innovation economy. Strengthening the American STEM workforce depends, in part, on broadening participation to students from demographics that have traditionally been underrepresented in STEM. This NSF INCLUDES Launch Pilot project will foster recruitment, training, and employment for indigenous STEM students, where the term “indigenous” comprises the terms Native American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Hawaiian Native. Specifically, this project will support the design and development of a first-of-its-kind network focused on environmental stewardship of indigenous lands. The network will comprise both tribal and government partners and will be organized by three faculty at the University of Colorado-Denver. Student recruitment, training, and employment will be organized around the unifying principle of land stewardship. The focus on land stewardship has been selected not only because it demands the expertise of STEM professionals, but also because land stewardship is among the top motivations for indigenous students considering STEM careers. Accordingly, this work is important on several fronts: It addresses the recognized need for STEM professionals; it broadens participation to students from underrepresented groups; and it provides a test bed for collective action by a first-of-its-kind network of tribal, government, and university partners.

The proposed network will work together to design, deploy, and debug a unique educational program giving students an opportunity to train for employment as tribal liaisons in the environmental field. In particular, this program will address the need for culturally-sensitive, scientifically-trained individuals who can serve as tribal liaisons between tribal and non-tribal organizations, which will allow them to prevent, minimize, or manage environmental incidents through their understanding of STEM principles and organizational dynamics. All students in this educational program will earn a regular four-year STEM degree, but a key feature of the program is that they will also participate in training and internships designed to provide background with nontechnical matters such as cultural awareness, environmental regulations, and organizational dynamics. Additionally, this educational program is designed to support recruitment of indigenous students by (1) providing a clear vision of a high-impact, culturally-relevant professional career and by (2) providing a cultural connection with obtaining a college degree. Taken together, the network aims to increase enrollment, retention, graduation, and alumni activity by indigenous students. Best practices and strategies for collective impact will be used to document achievement of the network in increasing the enrollment, retention, graduation, and alumni activity of indigenous students in higher education and in STEM careers. Continuous feedback will be collected to assess partner engagement and durability, and student satisfaction, performance, and progress. The network is expected to be sustainable because it addresses a demonstrated need; it is expected to be scalable because scientifically aware, culturally-sensitive individuals who can serve as tribal liaisons are needed not only regionally, but nationally.

Read more about NSF INCLUDES.

Congratulations David and Timberley.

Kheyfets receives Research Career Development Award (K25) from NHLBI/NIH

Pulmonary Hypertension is a progressive disease that ultimately leads to right heart failure. This K25 award looks at the mechanical and biochemical interaction between the right and left heart, during the progression of this cardio-pulmonary disease. Both sides of the heart are both moving “pumps” that are physically connected to one another. The study utilizes magnetic resonance imaging, computational modeling, and gene expression analysis of animal tissue to establish two key concepts: (1) declining right heart function during pulmonary hypertension can be improved by targeting the left heart; and (2) the left heart can be targeted through genes that control the contraction speed of the left heart muscle. If this approach proves to be successful, it could lead to novel therapies for treating right heart failure in children with pulmonary hypertension.

 

Benninger and Yakacki awarded tenure

The University of Colorado Board of Regents approved tenure appointments for two College of Engineering and Applied Science faculty:

  • Richard Benninger, bioengineering
  • Christopher Yakacki, mechanical engineering

In addition, the Regents approved the appointment of Martin Dunn as the new college dean (effective January 1, 2018), who will also join the mechanical engineering department.

Congratulations on this achievement.

Marxhausen awarded NSPE Colorado 2017 College Educator of the Year

0615172110aPeter Marxhausen, instructor in the Department of Civil Engineering, was awarded the National Society of Professional Engineers – Colorado 2017 College Educator of the Year. In addition to teaching at CU Denver, Marxhausen is a licensed professional engineer with Higgins & Associates Forensic Engineering Consultants and the City and County of Denver Building Department, which enables him to bring a real-world perspective to the classroom.

Congratulations on being recognized for your hard work and contributions to the college and university.

Connors receives faculty mentor award at RaCAS 2017

Dan Connors 223Dan Connors, associate professor of electrical engineering, received one of three faculty mentor awards at the 2017 Research and Creative Activities Symposium (RaCAS). He was the only faculty from CU Denver to receive an award.

This year marked the first time RaCAS honored faculty from CU Denver and CU Anschutz for outstanding mentoring of student research. From 23 nominations, three recipients were picked based on the extent of their engagement with undergraduate and graduate students, their impact on research and creative activities, and the potential importance of their students’ work.

Congratulations, Dan.

Read more in CU Today.

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/.

 

CEAS kickball 2016-photos and recap

On Friday, October 7, more than 40 students, staff and faculty convened on the CU Denver athletic field to play kickball. The weather was beautiful, and everyone had a great time. The first game between the Hemoglobin Trotters (bioengineering) and the Bit Kickers (computer science) ended with a Hemoglobin Trotters victory. Game two was ASCE/civil engineering versus the Grass Kickers (electrical, mechanical and college staff), and resulted in a ASCE/civil engineering victory.

Check out the pictures below. We can’t wait for next year’s games!

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