Three students receive prestigious ARCS scholarships

Three College of Engineering and Applied Science students have been awarded 2017 ARCS scholarships: Aaron Buchanan, bioengineering; Scott Spurgeon, mechanical engineering; and Rachelle Walter, bioengineering. These scholarships are awarded by the Colorado Chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation, which has partnerships with all four University of Colorado campuses, Colorado State University and Colorado School of Mines.

ARCS began in 1958 with a group of women volunteers who understood the importance of scholarship funding in supporting science students who want to make a difference. In September 1958, ARCS Foundation’s goal was officially announced to “. . . raise money for scholarships and fellowships (now known as Scholar Awards) . . . for the support of both undergraduate and graduate students.” Today, ARCS Foundation has 1,300 members in 15 chapters across the United States and has supported more than 9,600 graduate students in a variety of science fields with awards totaling almost $100 million.

ARCS scholarship recipients go through a very competitive selection process, and are selected based on their excellent academic performance and research experience. Buchanan and Walter are first-year graduate students; Spurgeon is a second-year undergraduate student.

Congratulations to Aaron, Scott and Rachelle!

Bioengineering hosts first-ever BOLT program

This August the department of Bioengineering hosted its first ever Bioengineering Opportunities and Leadership Training (BOLT) for high school students. 25 students from around the metro area participated in the week’s activities, which ranged from building an optical heart rate monitor and learning about tissue engineering to visiting the Children’s Hospital Gait Lab and Center for Surgical Innovation. The objective of the camp was to expose students to the many different facets of bioengineering and to get them excited about what a career as a biomedical engineer could look like. At the conclusion of the week students presented their rough prototypes of new designs for medical devices that could help a pediatrician before enjoying an ice cream social with the students and faculty of the BIOE Department.

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.

 

BMES Coulter College 2017 Training Program Follow-up

CoulterCollege2017Kailey Beck, Matt Kiselevach, Vinh Pham and Mackenzie Wilderman traveled with Senior Design Instructor Casey Howard to Coulter College in Atlanta, Georgia at the beginning of August. Coulter College is a workshop (a crash-course of sorts) focused on teaching students how to develop commercially viable device solutions to unmet needs. This year students prepared a summer homework assignment and all the students were excited to work together in a team to represent CU Denver. When the workshop started however, everyone learned that teams would be scrambled and each Coulter College team would be made up of students from 4 different institutions from around the country and that each team would be advised by a faculty member from yet a different institution. 

The CU Denver students all focused on developing solutions in the same ‘need area’ which was: helping alleviate issues with access to healthcare for individuals with disabilities in low resource settings. The student teams worked tirelessly for 3 days to develop and refine concepts and business models. The concepts evolved through conversations with experts, clinicians and industrial designers. The students also learned about topics such as Intellectual Property, medical device reimbursement, funding and business models, clinical trials, and regulatory pathways.

The teams gave a concept pitch on day 2 and a final 8 minute venture-style pitch on the concluding day of the conference. Prizes were awarded in each need area. All of the CU students and teams came up with interesting solutions tackling various issues including pressure sores and beyond. Mackenzie Wilderman and her team won both pitch contests in their ‘need area’.

This experience should provide a great foundation to help the students in their capstone design experience this academic year.

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.

Regents approve Dunn’s appointment as new CEAS dean

Dunn HeadshotDenver (June 16, 2017) – The University of Colorado Denver announced today the appointment of Martin Dunn, Ph.D.  as dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Dunn, who was hired following a national search, will succeed Marc Ingber who is stepping down after serving as dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) for seven years and taking a faculty position in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dunn will assume the dean position in January 2018.

“Dr. Dunn will bring a new viewpoint to CEAS that directs academic scholarship toward creating and translating knowledge that broadly impacts both academia and industry,” said David Engelke, acting provost and dean of the Graduate School.

 

Dunn joins CEAS from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) where he is currently the associate provost for research.  In this role he designs, builds and manages the research and innovation enterprise for the university. He also directs the SUTD Digital Manufacturing and Design Research Centre.

Previously, Dunn has worked for the Boeing Company, Sandia National Laboratories and the National Science Foundation.  He also has held a faculty position at the University of Colorado Boulder since 1993 in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

“The significance of universities – and in particular engineering colleges – has never been greater,” said Dunn. “At CU Denver I will champion experiential technical learning with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurial and global perspectives, holistically integrated with the development of human and social skills like creativity, teamwork, and critical thinking.  The CU Denver engineering experience will be continually contemporary and allow our students to differentiate themselves and stand out in the market.”

With his extensive background in academia, government and industry, Dunn will bring a rich perspective to CEAS. He will champion contemporary experiential learning with emphasis on entrepreneurial and global perspectives. He aims to support scholarship and partnerships that create and translate knowledge to have an impact both locally and internationally.

Stephen Gedney, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, will lead the college from July 1 until January 2018 when Dunn will begin his tenure as dean.

Park receives American Heart Association AWRP Winter 2017 Grant-in-Aid

Daewon Park, assistant professor of bioengineering, received American Heart Association Grant-in-Aid with his research titled “Engineered biomimetic injectable system towards cardiac repair”.

Myocardial infarction (MI) is a leading ischemic cardiovascular disease. Over recent decades, the number of medical treatment methodologies for patients with MI has steadily increased, with new treatments being developed every few years. However, even with this concerted attention from the medical and research communities, a significant percentage of MI patients have suffered a recurrent attack, despite receiving proper medical treatment. There is a clear unmet need for MI treatment that prevents recurrent attacks.

With this grant, Dr. Park will develop an alternative treatment strategy, using an injectable biomaterial with the capacity for localized co-delivery of therapeutic agents, to target key endogenous processes of the post-MI healing process: the anti-inflammatory reaction and the formation of new blood vessels.

This injectable biomaterial system addresses MI in a one-time treatment platform, removing the critical barrier of patient compliance thereby promoting therapeutic success.

Congratulations Class of 2017!

Seniors_Spring2017.jpg

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.