Engineering students make a strong showing at the Research and Creative Activities Symposium

Last Friday, 30 engineering students participated in the university’s annual Research and Creative Activities Symposium—11 bioengineering, 5 computer science, 13 electrical engineering and 1 mechanical engineering—and students from the college won first through third place in the Engineering and Math Division, first place in the Biomedical Sciences Division, and an Emerging Scholars award.

Engineering and Math

First place: Electrical engineering PhD student, Zeinab Mohammadi won first place for her poster “Real time spike clustering for electrophysiology recording” (sponsored by Tim Lei and Chao Liu)

Second place: Bioengineering undergraduate students Jacqueline Chavez, Anne Lyons, Ean Peterson, Jonathan Platt, Ian Garvin, Michel Manzanares, Mikala Mueller and Sarah Lamb won second place for their poster “Craniotomy Training Devices with Reusable Thermoplastics to Help Train Emergency Room and Trauma Surgeons” (sponsored by Craig Lanning)

Third place: Electrical engineering undergraduate student Kyle McGrath won third place for his poster “Exploring Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) to Recognize Human Gestures in Edge Computing Environments” (sponsored by Dan Connors and a UROP)

Biomedical Sciences

First place: Bioengineering undergraduate Damon Pool won first place for his presentation entitled, “Optimization of a human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocyte differentiation method to increase reliability and efficiency for downstream applications” (sponsored by Jeffrey Jacot)

Emerging Scholars Award

Computer science undergraduate students Chris Renden, Lewis Sammons and Jordan Stein won the Emerging Scholars award for their project “Shared rapid prototyping space using hand tracking and virtual reality” (sponsored by Min Choi)

Also, many thanks to the faculty, staff and graduate students who served as judges (my apologies if I missed anyone):

  • Bioengineering: Liliya Vugmeyster, Craig Lanning, Jennifer Wagner
  • Computer Science: Min Choi
  • Electrical Engineering: Md Habib Ullah, Stephen Gedney, Tim Lei
  • Mechanical Engineering: Maryam Darbeheshti

Congratulations!

Project un[Contained] places second, receives social impact award at THE CLIMB

IMG_1546On April 26, six collegiate start-up teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges at THE CLIMB Pitch Night, hosted by the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at the CU Denver Business School. Among the six teams was Project un[Contained] and interdisciplinary senior design project advised by Peter Jenkins, professor of mechanical engineering.

Un[Contained] won second place ($2500) and the Social Impact Award ($1000) for their deployable, multi-purpose structure made from upcycled shipping containers and deliver them to developing countries suffering from natural disasters, refugee crises and more. Students on the team include Nic Chandler (MECH), Jason Bergfalk (Architecture), Austin Zerr (MECH), Nicholas Powers (Business), Gage Brumley (MECH), Brad Dyksterhouse (MECH), Riley Hamlin (MECH), Corey McLaughlin (MECH), Jon Farmer (Architecture) and Thomas Satkowski (Business).

Read the full story here.

Congratulations!

SMAB lab study, in collaboration with Dartmouth anthropologist, published

Faculty and students from the Smart Materials and Biomechanics (SMAB) lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering collaborated with Nathaniel Dominy, an anthropologist at Dartmouth University, to study bone daggers from New Guinea. The study looked at the composition of cassowary bone daggers and those made from human femurs, which were seen to carry a greater social prestige, to see if one was stronger than the other.

The paper, published today, has already been covered in The Washington Post, Newsweek, Science Alert, Live Science, Popular Science and more.

CU Denver mechanical engineering researchers who participated in the study include assistant professor Dana Carpenter, PhD student Sam Mills, and associate professor Chris Yakacki.

Team Odyssey takes second place at NASA rover competition

photos courtesy of www.facebook.com/UCDOdyssey/

A team of mechanical engineering senior design students—Team Odyssey—took second place last Friday in Huntsville, Alabama at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The team also brought home the featherweight award, which rewards teams that best meet the weight minimization challenge.

The team—Joshua Brill, Jeffrey Deutsch, Jessie Gibbons, Will Glass, Luke Makowski, Ryan McCort, Kayla McDermott, Kyle Osborne, Robert Sallee, Khyrsten Tatum, Tony Tieu, Alex Wamain, Nathan Webster and Tyler Wilson—competed against 70 other teams that were tasked with driving their rover through a course designed with obstacles similar to what one would find on surfaces in space. The team completed the half-mile course in 5:01 minutes. The team has been featured on CBS4 and on 9NEWS.

Per NASA’s website, the planned course for the competition requires two students, one female and one male, to traverse a terrain that includes a simulated field of asteroid debris — boulders from 5 to 15 inches across; an ancient stream bed with pebbles approximately 6 inches deep; and erosion ruts and crevasses of varying widths and depths. The challenge’s weight and time requirements encourage compactness, light weight, high performance and efficiency. As part of the competition — before their first time on the course—rover entries are tested to see that they would fit into a lander equipment bay, a maximum 5 feet by 5 feet by 5 feet in volume. Teams earn points by assembling the rover in the allotted time; designing a rover that is lightweight; successfully completing course obstacles; performing tasks throughout the mission; and meeting pre- and post-challenge requirements. Each team is permitted two excursions: The greater score of the two excursions will be used for the final team score.

Congratulations, Team Odyssey. We hope to see you at senior design on May 11.

Yakacki’s tech startup wins big at NFL 1st and Future competition

Impressio_1standFuture
Associate Professor Chris Yakacki, far right, receives a $50,000 check for winning the technology category in the NFL’s ‘1st and Future’ competition. Pictured from far left are Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks quarterback; Carl Frick, Yakacki’s co-founder of Impressio; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell; Chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports Mark Lazarus; President and CEO of the Mayo Clinic John Noseworthy; and Yakacki.

Chris Yakacki, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and his tech startup company Impressio, Inc. won the Advancements for Protective Equipment category at the NFL’s “1st and Future” competition last Saturday for inventing a liquid-crystal foam technology to improve the safety of football helmets. The advanced material is better than legacy materials at absorbing forces of impact that can cause concussions and brain damage, a major issue for the league. He and his colleague Carl Frick, University of Wyoming, won $50,000 to support their research and tickets to the Super Bowl.

Read the NFL press release.
Read the CU Denver Today story.
Read the C|NET story.
Read the Denver Business Journal story.
Watch the Fox31 report.

Congratulations!

Fall 2017 Senior Design Recap and Slideshow

The fall senior design event was a smashing success with 29 teams, nearly 100 students and almost 20 judges participating. Below is the list of winners:

Read the recap from University Communications.

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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!

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.