Congratulations Class of 2017!

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With the graduation of the class of 2017 comes the culmination of a vision nearly a decade in the making. The Department of Bioengineering celebrated the graduation of the inaugural undergraduate class. Welcoming friends and family to join in the festivities, the department hosted a banquet to acknowledge the accomplishments of each senior and their contributions to the program.

The fifteen graduates from the program have set high standards for their predecessors, with students continuing to industry, graduate programs, medical school, and even MD/PhD programs. Throughout their time as undergraduates, many students have excelled in undergraduate research. Others placed into competitive industry internships, linking them with full-time offers after graduation. As the bioengineering graduates of 2017 end their time on the Anschutz Medical Campus, some students will stay local and begin their professional careers, while others are relocating across the country.

The Department of Bioengineering is grateful is have such a dedicated and incredible inaugural class and looks forward to all they will accomplish in the future.

2017 BMES Coulter College Training Program awarded to Howard and team

Coulter College is a BMES program that is focused on translation research. The University of Colorado Denver Bioengineering team was accepted into the program for 3 days this summer in Atlanta. The team is made up of in-coming seniors: Vinh Pham, Kailey Beck, Mackenzie Wilderman and Matt Kiselevach with Casey Howard, one of the senior design faculty. The team will learn about the innovation process and the steps to commercialization of medical devices and technologies. Topics such as intellectual property, regulatory approval processes, reimbursement and business model development.

Benninger receives JDRF Innovation Grant

Richard Benninger, Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, has been awarded a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Innovation award entitled “Non-Invasive Imaging of Pancreas Blood Flow Redistribution to Assess Insulitis and Islet Decline in Type1 Diabetes”. Type1 diabetes involves autoimmune destruction of insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas. As a result, lifelong insulin therapy is required, with significant elevation in the risk of diabetic complications including blindness, kidney disease, and cardiovascular diseases. There are currently no clinical approaches to monitor the ongoing decline in beta cells prior to clinical presentation of diabetes, as well as to monitor the success of any preventative treatment. This JDRF Innovation award will build upon recent findings in the Benninger Research Group showing that contrast enhanced ultrasound can detect changes in islet microvascular function in animal models during the preclinical stage of type1 diabetes progression. Specifically it will validate whether the success of preventative therapeutic treatments can be predicted early, prior to diabetes onset. It will also investigate ways to translate this approach to clinical testing. Ultimately the goal is to develop a means to improve the early diagnosis of underlying disease development and enable successful treatments to prevent diabetes.

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.

Six bioengineering students awarded UROP grants

The Office of Undergraduate Experiences announced the next round of Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) recipients.  UROP is a competitive program designed to financially support undergraduate research, most broadly understood as including all creative and other scholarly activities.  The goal of UROP is to provide an opportunity to extend learning outside the traditional classroom, laboratory, or studio.

Congratulations to Kateryna Biryukova, Ryan Gerstenberger, Alexander Ho, Cameron Mattson, Damon Pool and Robert Wood who received these awards.

Kateryna Biryukova will use the immortalized human derived SH-SY5Y cell line to develop protocols and methodology for printing neurons using a 3D bioprinter. Differentiated SH-SY5Y cells acquire morphological and biochemical characteristics of mature neurons, thus providing means to generate a cost-effective reproducible model of bioprinting neural cells. This research is a part of Dr. Lammer’s open source 3D bioprinter project.

Ryan Gerstenberger will be working on a joint project between Children’s Hospital Colorado physician Stephen Hawkins and Department of Bioengineering Instructor Jennifer Wagner.   The title of his project is 3D Printed Custom Mask for Pediatric Sleep Apnea Therapy.  Ryan will work to create a method for producing patient specific, pediatric, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks.

Alexander Ho will investigate pelvic anatomy and geometry, and tissue deformation using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on 20 adults who have used a wheelchair for at least 3 years. Pressure ulcers have negative consequences for the health, activities of daily living, employment, and quality of life for wheelchair users.  The results of the study could lead to methods for reducing the incidence rate and severity of pressure ulcers, and improvements in wheelchair seating design.  Alexander will be working with Dr. Levin Sliker in Assistive Technology Partners (ATP), Dept. of Bioengineering.

Cameron Mattson’s research project is titled “Development of volume-changing shape memory polymer as a gutta percha filling material in root canals.”  This research is an important first step to develop a replacement of the gutta percha using a shape memory polymer. He will conduct this research under the guidance of Dr. Daewon Park, Assistant Professor in Bioengineering.

Damon Pool, an undergrad (and future BS-MS student) working with Dr. Jeffrey Jacot in his research laboratory. He will be investigating whether including native heart extracellular matrix in an electrospun heart patch material can enhance the attachment, migration and viability of heart cells.

Robert Wood will study the mechanical and physiological impacts of constant-flow left ventricular assist devices on the proximal Aorta. He will be working with Dr. Kendall Hunter (BioE) and Dr. Amrut Ambardekar (SOM Cardiology).

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/.

 

ASCE Rocky Mountain Regional Student Conference Results

On April 6 – April 8, the CU Denver ASCE Student Chapter competed in the Rocky Mountain Student Conference hosted by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. This annual competition brings together civil engineering programs from 14 institutions across the intermountain West.

  • Concrete canoe: Despite suffering a crack in transit from Denver to Salt Lake, the concrete canoe team passed their submergence test and successfully competed in numerous races. Our 2016/2017 concrete canoe team included Wesley Engel (captain), Ahmed Aljamal, Mustafa Alogaili, Kahlil Elarier, Stephanie Espinoza, Miranda Mooney, Phil Taylor, and Nathan Werner.

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  • Steel bridge: After a final practice assembly on the green between the North Classroom and Science buildings, our steel bridge team passed their horizontal deflection test and earned 3rd place in Steel Bridge Display. Our 2016/2017 steel bridge team included Aaron Blahut (captain), Erik Causey, Ben Johnk, Xavier Montoya, Jackson Pedziwiatr, Stephen Sowal, and Dahria Uwamahoro (who also rowed for the concrete canoe team).

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Both teams vanquished their cousins from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Congratulations to our ASCE students!

Team Epiphany wins Rookie, Best Design awards at NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge

Epiphany AwardsLast weekend, a team of mechanical engineering students traveled to Huntsville, Alabama with their senior design project to compete in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. It’s the first time CU Denver participated in the event.

Team Epiphany—Carl Bergstrath, Kristen Bonifield, Skyler Bunce, Binh Dao, Lesley DiMarco, Derique Duran, Jason Fuqua, Jared Harper, Josh Leyendecker—designed and built a three-wheeled, two-person vehicle designed to navigate the harsh terrain found in space.

At the event, the team navigated their rover through an obstacle course. Epiphany competed against 99 teams (high school and college), and won the college-level Rookie Award and the Best Design Award.

Congratulations!!

Learn more about the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

Comcast contributes $5 million to establish innovative media center

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Architectural rendering of the new Comcast Media and Technology Center, located in the Tivoli Student Union.

 

The University of Colorado Denver has announced the launch of the Comcast Media and Technology Center, a new academic facility made possible by a cash and in-kind contribution from Comcast Cable valued at $5 million.

The multidisciplinary academic center located in the Tivoli Student Union is a partnership between Comcast and CU Denver’s College of Engineering and Applied Science and  College of Arts & Media. The Comcast Media and Technology Center will be a place for students, researchers, Comcast employees, and the greater community to work together to develop new technologies and learn from one another, such as the new program in Computer Graphics and Visual Effects.

Read the CU Today story.
Read The Denver Post story.
Read the Denver Business Journal story.

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.