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.

Smith awarded NIH Pathway to Independence Award (R00) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

bradford-smith-head-shotDr. Bradford Smith, Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering was awarded $747,000 over three years to study The Importance of Inhomogeneity in the Pathogenesis of Lung Injury (NIH R00 HL128944). This work is motivated by Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a condition that causes more deaths per year than breast or prostate cancer. Treatment for ARDS is based around supportive mechanical ventilation, but this can cause ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) and worsen outcomes. The major obstacle to developing personalized mechanical ventilation strategies that prevent VILI is an incomplete understanding of the microscale fluid-mechanical forces responsible for injury. In the proposed research, Dr. Smith will investigate the role of alveolar interdependence in the parenchymal stress balance and VILI pathogenesis. A detailed understanding of the stresses and strains that cause VILI will improve the treatment of ARDS and thus reduce mortality for a significant number of people.

Qualcomm CTA Bioengineering Junior Investigator/Fellowship Program: Assistive Technology for Disability and Aging

The purpose of this $50,000 Foundation grant is to inaugurate the CTA/Qualcomm Assistive Technology Fellowship/Young Investigator program within the Department of Bioengineering, University of Colorado, to build research capacity, knowledge utilization and dissemination and industry partnerships leading to technology transfer. Dr. Cathy Bodine will serve as the Principle Investigator and Dr. Levin Sliker will serve as the inaugural Fellow.

Short-term results include the establishment of a CTA/Qualcomm Fellow/Young Investigator program at the University of Colorado, Department of Bioengineering focused on Assistive Technology for persons with disabilities and seniors; development and execution of a research agenda by the Fellow; and the development and launch of an Industry Advisory Council to facilitate knowledge transfer.

The long-term results include knowledge dissemination, utilization, and potential technology transfer to industry.  Access by both parties to state-of-the-art information related to improved device design and ongoing and developing technology needs for seniors and persons with disabilities will lead to increased access to needed technologies and to opportunities for new discoveries.

Building reciprocal relationships between industry and university researchers has the potential to create a pipeline for students from internships and employment to opportunities for joint research and development work in the future.

Three engineering students receive UROP mini grants

This fall, the Office of Undergraduate Experiences offered a second 2016 round of Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) grants.  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.

Three students from the college received one of these mini grants. Congratulations to Aimee Lam, bioengineering; Jackson Osborn, electrical engineering; and Adam Rauff, bioengineering.

CEM program wins AGC award for Excellence in Education

On October 28, faculty and students from the Construction Engineering and Management program attended the AGC Colorado Industry Gala and ACE awards, and received the award for Excellence in Education.

This event is the state’s biggest commercial building construction event of the year, bringing together general contractors, specialty contractors, architects, owners, and professional firms supporting the industry, key leaders and staff from related associations, legislators and other industry supporters for a night of networking, recognition, and celebration.

Congratulations!