Henao named Mountain Plains Consortium 2015 Student of the Year

2015_HenaoAlejandro Henao, PhD student in civil engineering, was named the 2015 Student of the Year by the Mountain Plains Consortium (MPC) and is featured in the MPC 2015 Annual Report.

Henao is president of the Institute of Transportation Engineers CU Denver Student Chapter and student leader of the active communities/transportation research group. He has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals and presented his work at numerous national conferences.

Read the entire MPC story.

Congratulations, Alejandro.

Golkowski and Marshall receive campus-level faculty awards

Mark Golkowski, associate professor of electrical engineering, and Wesley Marshall, associate professor of civil engineering, have both been named the CU Denver faculty award winners for teaching and research, respectively. This is the first time in recent history college faculty have received both campus-wide awards. They’ll receive their awards at a luncheon on September 21.


For a list of all the award winners, read the Provost’s Post.


EE team wins first place at Intel Cornell Cup

Team StratusA team of electrical engineering students won first place at the Cornell Cup competition last weekend in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Their project, Stratus, enables aerial and ground robotic systems to generate 3D models of local areas such as buildings as well as performed enhanced obstacle-aware navigation.

Their project will be on display at the Spring Senior Design Competition on May 15. There is a lot to show and build upon for both research and education.

Congratulations to the team, Skyler Saleh, Bruno Mary, Bruno Duarte, and Xin Li, and to their faculty advisor, Dan Connors. This is the third year the college has participated in this event.


Nikki Farnsworth receives F32 Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award

Farnsworth_pic Nikki Farnsworth, a postdoctoral fellow mentored by Richard Benninger in the Department of Bioengineering, has been awarded a 3-year F32 fellowship from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) totaling $165,354. Nikki will study the dysregulation of pancreatic islet electrical activity during conditions associated with the progression of type1 diabetes, and ways to control this regulation to protect against beta cell decline.

Yakacki, Shandas receive CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Technology Transfer Awards

Congratulations to Chris Yakacki, mechanical engineering, and Robin Shandas, bioengineering, for receiving CU Denver | Anschutz Technology Transfer Awards. Chris was awarded “New Inventor of the Year,” while EndoShape, Inc., a company based on work by Robin, was awarded the “CU Denver | Anschutz Company of the Year.”

The entire press release is below.

Continue reading “Yakacki, Shandas receive CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Technology Transfer Awards”

Karunanithi receives CU Denver Excellence in Research and Creative Activities award

Arun Karananithi 432Arunprakash Karunanithi, associate professor in civil engineering, is the CU Denver campus winner of the Faculty Excellence in Research and Creative Activities. He will be honored at a campuswide event on September 5, 2014. Congratulations, Arun, on this well-deserved honor.

Find a complete list of CU Denver faculty award winners here.


ASCE Steel Bridge Team wins at regional conference

On April 3 – 5, the CU Denver ASCE Steel Bridge Team competed in the  at Colorado State University.
Please join me in congratulating them for wins in two categories:

  • 1st Place in Mystery Design (to student Fernando Molina)
  • 2nd place in Steel Bridge Display (to the Steel Bridge Team)

This year’s ASCE Steel Bridge Team was headed by Justin Dorough, with participation at the Prince Appiah, Jimmy Botsonis, Peter Botsonis,
Christopher Florence, Ronson Fox, Omer Karaketir, Doron Levary, Fernando Molina, Brian Vines, Christopher Shipman, Rajan Parajuli, and Nate Parker.

Well done team!

The 2014 CU Denver ASCE Steel Bridge Team.
Fernando Molina receives the first place award for mystery design.

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

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.


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.

Mays and Karunanithi receive Outstanding Faculty Awards

Arun Karananithi 432 David MaysCongratulations to Arun Karunanithi (left) and David Mays (right), both civil engineering faculty, on receiving the 2014 College of Engineering and Applied Science Outstanding Faculty Awards.

Mays received the Outstanding Faculty in Teaching Award and will be considered for the campuswide Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching. Karunanithi received the Outstanding Faculty in Research Award and will be recommended for the campuswide Annual Award for Excellence in Research/Creative Activities. Both will receive their awards at the college’s Year-End Celebration on May 16.

Congratulations again to David and Arun on this achievement, and best of luck with the campus-level award!