Multidisciplinary

Seven students from the winning senior design team, Pig Patrol. Mechanical Engineering

Pig Patrol, a team of seven mechanical engineering seniors at Colorado School of Mines, received first place in the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Fall Senior Design Trade Fair on December 1, 2016. They designed an integrated cleaning and inspection pig (ICIP) that can collect data more frequently and affordably, without interrupting the pipeline flow.

“Pigging” is a common term in pipeline management, referring to devices known as “pigs” that perform maintenance operations. The name originally referred to the squealing noise the early devices made while traveling in the pipe.

“Basically we need to find defects along the inside of oil pipelines so that pipes don’t rupture,” explained team member Kyle Crews. “We designed a robot that can travel along the inside of the pipeline, find the defects and report them back using a unique sensor that could have a big impact on this market. Our design allows for more frequent testing in a cost-effective way.”

The team is working to possibly take to market the sensor technology that they adapted in the design of their pig. The team’s design acquires lower quality data but in a higher quantity that would allow companies to run the ICIP every time the pipeline is cleaned, rather than every couple of years.

“We have a really close-knit team,” said Crews, “and want to take this forward after graduation, even though several of us are moving out of state. We’ve had a lot of great feedback from people in the industry. We also want to thank our client, Craig Champlin, and our faculty advisor, Jered Dean, who really guided us along over the past two semesters.”

The +4 Designs team received second place for their design of an adjustable down-hole probe-centralizer to be used in geophysical testing by their client, Mount Sopris Instruments. The third place team, Dynamic Hydration Systems, created a hydration system intended for endurance auto racing drivers. They built and tested a system that delivers hydration to the driver without detracting from the driver’s focus through a refillable and detachable component.

Other projects included two for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, one developing an online method for measuring the residence time distribution for a biofuel pre-treatment reactor and the other an instrumentation system to determine the physical level and density of process material inside a thermochemical hydrolysis reactor.

Several teams presented projects aimed at improving Mines’ campus, such as an electrical system aimed at allowing the Starzer Welcome Center to function for 48 hours during an interruption of service and another that looked at better stormwater management through the use of green infrastructure.

For the second time, a Mines senior design team constructed a hands-on educational device for the Boulder Journey School. The human-powered water system is designed to introduce children to cause-and-effect relationships via the use of gears, pulleys and other mechanical devices.

Mines Formula Society of Automotive Engineers also presented an aerodynamic design for the car they will use in their 2017 competition in Nebraska. Students from Mines Human Centered Design Studio presented early prototypes of their adaptive equipment designs, even though they will be competing in the spring trade fair. 

More information about all the teams can be found on the Capstone site. Photos from the event are available on Flickr and via the slideshow below.

2016 Fall Capstone Trade Fair

 

Trade Fair Winners

1st Place – Pig Patrol – Integrated Cleaning and Inspection Pipeline Pigging Robot

Students: Logan Nichols, Evan Marshall, Grant DeShazer, Evan Thomas, Matthew Atherton, Victoria Steffens, Kyle Crews

Client: Craig Champlin

Adivsor: Jered Dean

Consultant: John Steele
 

2nd Place – +4 Designs – Adjustable Downhole Centralizer

Students: Steven Blickley, Nick Markel, Jenevieve Parker, Steven Staszak

Clients: Mount Sopris Instruments: Curtis Baker, Jody DuMond

Advisor: Buddy Haun

Consultants: Jered Dean

 

3rd Place – Dynamic Hydration Systems - Endurance Auto Racing Hydration System Challenge

Students: Will Bennett, Matt Craig, Jaime DuBois, Kaan Korkmaz, Allen Jackson, Ry Walter

Client: Scott Durham

Advisor: Robin Steele

Consultants: Robert Amaro

 

Broader Impacts Essay Winners

1st Place - “Are Electric Vehicles More Brown than Green?” by Kelly Dempsey

2nd Place – “Learning to Drive” by Ben Koehler

3rd Place – “The Broader Impacts of Design Choices in the Airline Industry” by Connor Groeneweg

 

CONTACT:

Deirdre Keating, Communications Manager, College of Engineering & Computational Sciences | 303-384-2358 | dkeating@mines.edu
Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assistant, Mines magazine | 303-273-3959 | aspurgeon@mines.edu

 

Members of Mines Maker Society working in the new Blaster Design Factory.

Imagine three students who meet in their first-year Design EPICS course. They have different majors but share the same passion for creating and entrepreneurship. Even with busy schedules, they are sure if they just had the space and access to equipment, they could make one of their ideas a reality. They could build it if they just had…a makerspace.

Mines College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Dean Kevin Moore has been a staunch advocate for more design and fabrication spaces for students. "Recently, colleges and universities have recognized the importance of hands-on, active learning experiences in the development of engineers and scientists,” said Moore. “Students gain some of those experiences in classes, but it is also valuable for them to have the opportunity to work on building prototypes of their ideas in an extracurricular setting."

Three new makerspaces opened this semester: Blaster Design Factory in Brown Hall, Digger Design Lab in the Engineering Annex, and the adjoining EPICS woodshop. It was a collaborative effort to establish and upgrade several makerspaces, with student help coming from the University Innovation Fellows, the Maker Society, the Entrepreneurship Club, The Blaster Hackers club, the Creative Arts club and faculty support via the Pathways to Innovation group, as well as donors and administration.

While Mines students have had access in the past to makerspaces such as the foundry in Hill Hall or the garage and machine shop in Brown Hall, the new spaces are unique in that they provide a place to explore design and plans.

“Blaster Design Factory is the ideal place to start your project,” according to Frank Musick, a graduate student in Engineering and Technology Management who started the Maker Society while earning his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at Mines. “It’s really the hub for all the other makerspaces, and it is the only one that is student-run and with 24/7 access.”

Located on the second floor of Brown, Blaster Design Factory has a vinyl cutter, a heat press and rapid prototyping supplies. A 3-D printer is on order. “We purposefully started small,” explained Musick. “The goal has never been to just set up a lot of stuff and call it done. We want to see the space grow based on student demand and use. The emphasis right now is on the design process. We have white boards and design software such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks and the full Adobe Suite. Just having full admin rights to be able to download open-source design software makes a big difference.”

The Digger Design Lab offers a different kind of space that is more focused on fabrication and assembly. The Maker Society held an early opening during Homecoming weekend to announce the spaces, and plan to provide more tours and training in January.

The Woodshop and Digger Design Lab at the Engineering Annex.

“Shared spaces are built on trust,” said Musick. “We all have a vested interested in making things that do things. The space isn’t going to meet every need, but it is a huge step for innovation at Mines and part of an even grander vision.”

Moore sees the new makerspaces as a way to “stimulate innovation and support the efforts of budding student entrepreneurs. We are very excited to see this new resource used by our students."

On November 29, #GivingTuesday, Mines Foundation will aim to raise $3K for Mines Makerspaces in one day so students have the latest tools and technology to roll up their sleeves and make something amazing. Makerspaces provide an environment for students to collaboratively learn skills to construct and prototype their innovative ideas.
 
Your support will help expand and outfit these spaces allowing students to free-form creativity and learn skills like drilling, woodworking, welding and sewing. Learn more at Outfit Mines Makerspaces

Contact:

Deirdre Keating, Communications Manager, College of Engineering & Computational Sciences | 303-384-2358 | dkeating@mines.edu
Anica Wong, Communications Specialist, CSM Foundation | 303-273-3904 | acwong@mines.edu

 
A team of Colorado School of Mines students competed at the Rocky Mountain Regional Ethics Bowl, hosted by Mines on November 12, and will advance to the national competition. This is the second year in a row that Mines has earned a bid to the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl.
The Mines team with advisors. Left to right: Dana Steiner, Ian Kramer, Kirsten Fong, Toni Lefton, Sandy Woodson, Hannah Grover, Azriel Wolffe, Parker Bolstad.
The Mines team with faculty advisors. Left to right: Dana Steiner, Ian Kramer, Kirsten Fong, Toni Lefton, Sandy Woodson, Hannah Grover, Azriel Wolffe, Parker Bolstad.
Ethics Bowl is a program sponsored by the Association for Practical and Applied Ethics (APPE) at Indiana University, and is also a function of the Ethics Across Campus Program at Mines. For the competition, universities field teams that debate the ethical aspects of current issues and cases, promoting civil discourse and logical argumentation.
 
Teams from 10 schools across the Rocky Mountain region competed in the 2016 regional competition, each defending their moral assessments of some of today’s most complex ethical issues.
 
Liberal Arts and International Studies professors Toni Lefton and Sandy Woodson coached the Mines team, which included students Dana Steiner, Ian Kramer, Kirsten Fong, Hannah Grover, Azriel Wolffe and Parker Bolstad.
 
“All the participating teams were very strong, and Mines is fortunate to have had these dedicated and talented students representing us,” said Woodson. “They represent the best of what a Mines education means: hard work, critical thinking, and the ability to address complicated problems.”
 
The team spent over nine weeks preparing for the regional competition, holding evening practices and weekend spars to deliberate the cases they would be defending.
The team forms an argument during an evening practice leading up to the regional competition.
The team forms a case argument during an evening practice leading up to the regional competition.
 
Lefton said that she is proud of the voices each of the Mines team members brought to the table, “and the concrete ways in which our team humanized and contextualized each issue as they reasoned through the moral complexities.”
 
It was engineering physics senior Hannah Grover’s second year participating in the Ethics Bowl—she values the skills that she has gained by participating. 
 
“We aren't just looking for some solution, because these ethical dilemmas don't have straightforward answers,” explained Grover. “What we are really learning how to do it approach controversial and uncertain situations with an open mind and be able to listen to and process a variety of opinions. Even though these discussions are in the context of a competition, the skills I've learned apply to all aspects of my life. I have become a better listener and a better thinker, and hopefully I can try and share these skills with everyone around me.” 
 
Both the Mines team and a team from Arizona State University will be advancing to the 21st National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, to be held in Dallas, Texas in February.
 
“Now that we're going to Nationals, it really just means that we have to hit the ground running when the cases drop in January,” said chemical and biological engineering senior Dana Steiner. “Up until then we can take a break for a bit, but we have half the time to prepare for Nationals, so it will be a busy seven weeks. I love spending time with this team though—we really build off of each other and have fun conversations.”
 
Grover said that she also loves spending time with the team, and that she is most excited about “getting to work on new cases and have important ethical conversations with other students from all across the country.”
 
Woodson noted, “I'm very proud of them, and think our chances at Nationals are good.”
 
Contact:

Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu

Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assitant, Mines Magazine | 303-273-3959 | aspurgeon@mines.edu

 
 
The front cover of "They Joy of Science".Geophysics Professor and Interim Department Head Roel Snieder has coauthored “The Joy of Science: Seven Principles of Scientists Seeking Happiness, Harmony, and Success,” a book focused on helping scientists have a productive and fulfilling career by encouraging them to focus on the positive and minimize stress.
 
The book is now being used as a part of new faculty orientation at Mines and in several workshops held for the greater campus community.
 

“Let go of the concept of balance—instead, think of it as harmony,” Snieder told faculty and staff at a recent workshop. The faculty and staff were asked to complete a worksheet that had them weigh what they balance in life. Some examples were “e-mail vs. everything else,” “exercise vs. work” and “demands of the outside world vs. internal ambitions.”
One of the illustrations from the book, all done by Roel's brother, Janwillem Snieder. "Working under the commonly held belief that no matter how hard we work, it is never enough."
One of the illustrations from the book, all done by Roel's brother, Janwillem Snieder. "Working under the commonly held belief that no matter how hard we work, it is never enough." 

Snieder explained that rather than struggling to achieve the “balance” between things that may never come into line, we should instead aim to achieve “harmony,” the first principle outlined in the book.

A key point that Snieder and coauthor Jen Schneider, a former Mines faculty member, emphasize in the book is the idea that most of these stresses can be eliminated by a change in attitude.
 
“A lot of this is driven by our belief system,” explained Snieder in an interview. “For scientists, the belief system is—can be—very normative and weighing down on them. For example, there is this wide-held belief that you can only contribute if you’re the best—you have to be the best.”
 
Scientists and academics are inherently vying to be the best and putting themselves down if they are not, said Snieder. This is a huge problem in the scientific community because oftentimes you will end up with someone doing really important research, but it might never get out due to this lack of courage. 
 
“The fact that you can do something better, does not mean you’re not doing a good job,” Snieder told the group at the workshop. Ken Osgood, director of the McBride Honors Program at Mines, was one of the attendees.
 
“Roel has a marvelous and infectious perspective on life,” said Osgood. “'The Joy of Science' reflects that.  His book is a recipe for revitalizing so much of what we do – not just our work, research and teaching, but the quality and depth of thought that informs how we do these things.”
 
Although the book is targeted at scientists, its guiding principles are something that can be applied to a much broader community. The idea that one should focus on the positive impact one makes in one’s work rather than constantly overburdening oneself with stress from “not doing enough” is something everyone can learn from. 
 
Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu

Mark Ramirez, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science & Engineering | 303-384-2622 | ramirez@mines.edu

 
Over two decades after his show aired on PBS and took the ‘90s by storm, “Bill Nye the Science Guy” is still a hit among science enthusiasts, especially with the millennials who grew up watching him. On Oct. 5, Nye visited the Colorado School of Mines to speak to a sold-out crowd of students, alumni, faculty, and staff in Lockridge Arena. 
Bill Nye speaks to sold out crowd at Mines' 2016 President's Distinguished Lecture.
Bill Nye speaks to sold out crowd at Mines' 2016 President's Distinguished Lecture. Photo Credit: Agata Bogucka
“It was a childhood dream come true,” said sophomore Victoria Martinez-Vivot. Martinez-Vivot got the opportunity to meet Bill Nye prior to the talk, due to her role as MAC Co-Publicity Chair. 
Mines' President Paul Johnson, Bill Nye and Blaster the Burro in their matching bow-ties, all part of the Bill Nye official bow-tie collection.
Mines' President Paul Johnson, Bill Nye and Blaster the Burro in their matching bow-ties, all part of the Bill Nye official bow-tie collection. Photo Credit: Thomas Cooper

Nye’s talk— part of the President’s Distinguished Lecture series and kickoff to the 2016 Homecoming festivities— focused on the biggest problems facing our planet and what society, especially young people, can do to make the world a better place.

His catch phrase for the night was: “I want you guys to — dare I say it — change the world.”

Climate change sparked the conversation, but was only one element of Nye’s advocacy for “renewable and reliable energy for all”. In addition to encouraging the crowd to recognize renewable resources as the future of energy, he also dared Mines students to design the better battery and invent hydro-fusion engines for airplanes.

Fueled by his views on climate and the need to recognize the reality of our rapidly changing planet, Nye challenged the crowd of young engineers to solve the world's top three engineering grand challenges: providing clean water, renewable reliable energy and Internet access for all. He also expressed his support for space exploration.
 
“Space exploration brings out the best in us," said Nye. "There are two questions we all ask: Where did we come from? And are we alone in the universe?” Nye asserted that our desire to explore space illustrates the innate yearning within humankind to understand our origins, despite problems planet Earth may be faced with.
 
After a humorous introduction highlighting his father’s fascination with sundials and Nye’s own “MarsDials”, Nye quipped about how times have changed and reflected on his own scientific youth, including the moment he learned that there are in fact, “100 times more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on the Earth.” One of the most memorable moments of the night was Nye’s birthday call to Neil deGrasse Tyson — last year’s Distinguished Lecturer — where he invited the audience to join him in wishing Tyson a “happy orbit around the sun.” The Mines crowd could not have roared any louder.
 
One Mines student gave a heartfelt thank you to Bill Nye during the Q&A at the end of the lecture — “I just want to say that your plate tectonics episode is probably the reason I’m here studying geology right now, so thank you.” 
 
Nye is currently the CEO of The Planetary Society, continuing his legacy of teaching people of all ages the joys and wonders of science. He spent Earth Day 2015 speaking with President Barack Obama about climate change and science education. He also had a short debut on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” but had to drop out after sustaining an injury.
 
 
Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Leah Pinkus, Communications Assistant, Colorado School of Mines 303-273-3088 lpinkus@mines.edu
 
 

ADAPT team members and the governor celebrate the new proclamation.

ADAPT team members celebrate the Governor's proclamation, naming October Colorado Manufacturing Month.
Left to right: Aaron Stebner, Katie Woslager, Governor John Hickenlooper, Brandan Kappes, Mickele Bragg, Sumer Sorensen-Bain,
Heidi Hostetter, Craig Brice, Alicia Svaldi and Douglas Van Bossuyt.

Colorado School of Mines and Manufacturer’s Edge hosted Governor John Hickenlooper on September 30 to tour the Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies (ADAPT) advanced characterization center and meet with the center's founding stakeholders. The governor also used the occasion to announce October as Manufacturing Month in Colorado.

ADAPT is a consortium that provides manufacturers access to the latest research on how to take advantage of additive manufacturing technologies. In addition to Mines and Manufacturer's Edge, ADAPT's founding stakeholders include Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, and Fauston Tool. ADAPT companies work closely with Mines researchers and students on world-class machines to develop technologies to accelerate certification and qualification of 3-D printed metal parts. 

Governor Hickenlooper toured the facility and met with manufacturing leaders to discuss the growth of the sector and the role of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s (OEDIT) Advanced Industry Infrastructure grant program. ADAPT was started with support from the State of Colorado in the form of an Advanced Industries Infrastructure Grant from OEDIT.

”Colorado is home to 6,000 manufacturers that contribute $20 billion to the state’s economy. ADAPT is consistent with Colorado’s collaborative culture,” said Governor Hickenlooper. “It provides our entrepreneurial manufacturers the ability to work closely with university researchers to develop the next generation of technologies.”

“Innovation is the key to survival and growth for small and medium manufacturers,” said Heidi Hostetter, vice-president at Arvada-based Faustson Tool. “Through ADAPT, manufacturers of all sizes looking to incorporate the flexibility of 3-D metal printing into their portfolio will have access to cutting-edge research and help shape the future of the industry.”

Gov. Hickenlooper listens as Research Associate Professor Branden Kappes describes the work of ADAPT.

This tour kicked off Manufacturing DayTM celebrations in Colorado, which continue throughout the month of October. Manufacturing Day is an annual celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers, including Mines students.

“In Colorado, one day is not enough to recognize our manufacturers— so we are declaring October ‘Colorado Manufacturing Month,’” said Governor Hickenlooper as he presented a proclamation during his visit.

As ADAPT continues its work, the consortium is actively seeking additional academic and industry partners. Analysis is underway on more than 5,000 specimens with respect to build geometry, power, speed, number of lasers used and more, to build a robust database.

About ADAPT

The Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies (ADAPT) is a research and development organization dedicated to the creation of next-generation data informatics and advanced characterization technologies for additive manufacturing technologies. ADAPT uses these tools to help industry and government qualify, standardize, assess and optimize advanced manufacturing processes and parts. Several levels of membership to the ADAPT consortium are available. Founding industry members include Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Faustson Tool, Lockheed Martin and Citrine Informatics. Grant funding from OEDIT was provided to Manufacturer’s Edge and The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. For more information, find ADAPT on the web, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

About Manufacturer’s Edge

Manufacturer’s Edge is a statewide manufacturing assistance center, partially funded by NIST’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). Manufacturer’s Edge provides onsite technical assistance, coaching, training and consulting, as well as collaboration-focused industry programs and leveraging government, university and economic development partnerships to boost the competitiveness of Colorado manufacturers.

 

Contacts:

Aaron Stebner, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
ADAPT Technical Director 
ADAPT – Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies
(303) 273-3091
adapt@mines.edu

Sumer Sorensen-Bain, Chief of Programs and Operations
Manufacturer’s Edge
303-981-2144
ssorensen@manufacturersedge.com

A view into a deep mining tunnel with tracks running down the middle.
Colorado School of Mines underground classroom, the Edgar Experimental Mine. Photo: Agata Bugucka

While the U.S. continues to look for new energy sources, our reliance on mining for rare minerals grows. Unfortunately, miners often work in dangerous environments where there is a risk of mine explosions, fire, poisonous gases and flooding in tunnels. Mine accidents have killed over 40,000 mine workers worldwide in the past decade.

Mine safety demands a scalable, low-cost solution to enable sensing, communication and tracking in underground mines to detect precursors to emergencies and to aid rescue efforts in the aftermath of an accident. In spite of requirements for data and voice communications in underground mining growing significantly, the high cost of deploying a safety infrastructure often leads to companies only meeting the minimum required safeguards.

The National Science Foundation awarded a three-year $750,000 grant to the project, “Enabling Smart Underground Mining with an Integrated Context-Aware Wireless Headshot photo of Qi Han, associate professor of Computer ScienceCyber-Physical Framework,” in order to solve this problem. About $338,000 will go to Colorado School of Mines researchers, led by Computer Science Associate Professor Qi Han, in collaboration with Carl Brackpool, a research associate in the Department of Mining Engineering. Han shares in the grant with fellow CS researchers at Colorado State University.

“I’ve been passionate about using my research expertise to improve mine safety for quite some time, so it’s very exciting that the NSF has chosen to support this research,” said Han. “I’m most interested in designing algorithms to support the co-existence of high quality voice streams in noisy underground environments. Providing voice streaming support will significantly improve situational awareness.”

The project will devise, design, prototype and test a fundamentally novel framework of low-cost, energy-efficient and reliable sensor nodes and commodity smartphones to improve safety in underground mines. The wireless cyber-physical framework would bypass GPS, cellular and other signals that we take for granted above ground.

The researchers will field-test their system in Colorado School of Mines’ Edgar Mine, used for research and education. They also will partner with Hecla Mining in Idaho, which has expressed interest in the proposed technology.

While useful for mining, the technology could lead to a host of other applications in the realm of next-generation smart workplaces and various “Internet of Things” applications. It could also be used in the aftermath of disasters for survivor rescue efforts.

CONTACT:

Deirdre Keating, Communications Manager, College of Engineering & Computational Sciences | 303-384-2358 | dkeating@mines.edu
Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assistant, Mines magazine | 303-273-3959 | aspurgeon@mines.edu

 

Paul Polak address a full house for his humanitarian engineering seminar on solving poverty via design.Sharing his broad world experience as an entrepreneur and activist, Paul Polak presented, “Prescriptions for Helping Poor People Help Themselves: What Engineers Need to Know,” to a large crowd of Colorado School of Mines students and faculty on September 20.

“Instead of trying to bring the newest technology to the poorest regions,” Polak said, “we need to listen and design based on the specific needs and environment of that community.”

Polak’s talk kicked off the Shultz Family Leadership in Humanitarian Engineering Speaker Series, a series aimed at changing the conversation about what engineering is for by showcasing leaders in humanitarian engineering and corporate social responsibility. Author of “Out of Poverty” and “The Business Solution to Poverty,” Polak offers an unconventional approach to solving poverty not through government programs or philanthropic efforts, but by designing for the market of the poorest people on the planet.

“Most design efforts are aimed at the world’s richest 10 percent, while nearly half of the population doesn’t have regular access to food, shelter or clean water,” Polak said, challenging Mines engineers to design affordable technologies that will increase the revenues of the poor.

Even prior to his talk, Polak has influenced design teaching at Mines. Several past humanitarian engineering projects have collaborated with International Development Enterprises (IDE), an innovative nonprofit design organization that Polak founded, located in Denver. Leslie Light, director of EPICS at Mines and a former project manager for IDE, has brought similar human-centered design principals to EPICS, Mines' first-year design course, such as the landmine detection project in fall 2015, and wheelchair redesigns in spring 2015.

SHULTZ HUMANITARIAN SCHOLARS

The five humanitarian engineering student scholars link arms for a photo.

2016-17 Humanitarian Engineering  Shultz Student Scholars: Michelle Pedrazas, Rosalie O'Brien, Melissa Breathwaite, Micaela Pedrazas, and Stephanie Martella

In addition to the lecture series, the Shultz Family fund also sponsors undergraduate students each year as Shultz scholars. The current five scholars are Melissa Breathwaite, Stephanie Martella, Michelle Pedrazas, Micaela Pedrazas and Rosalie O’Brien. Juan Lucena, director of humanitarian engineering, introduced them as “outstanding students who have demonstrated their commitment to connecting their engineering majors to humanitarian engineering in creative ways, all while maintaining excellent academic standing."

For example, inspired by Polak, Stephanie Martella, a chemical and biochemical engineering senior, is collaborating with John Persichetti, teaching associate professor, on designing chemical processes to produce a nutritious beverage for the poorest markets in the world.

“I got involved with Humanitarian Engineering, because I’m passionate about building relationships through engineering and communication,” Martella said. “I want to apply the engineering skills I’ve learned at Mines to solve problems for humankind.”

According to Lucena, as part of their scholarship, the scholars are also committed to mentoring and learning from low-income, first-generation students at Red Rocks Community College who are considering transferring into engineering at Mines.

 

SHULTZ FACULTY FELLOWS

Two professors sit outside as they begin their time as Humanitarian Engineering Faculty Fellows.

The new Humanitarian Engineering Shultz Faculty Fellows: Linda Battalora and Kathleen Smits

A third program funded by the Shultz Family Fund is the Humanitarian Engineering Faculty Fellows. Lucena announced this year’s new faculty fellows as Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Kathleen Smits, and Petroleum Engineering Teaching Professor Linda Battalora.

In spring 2017, Smits and Battalora will offer two courses of interest to students with minors in humanitarian engineering as well as students in their own departments. Smits is adding a humanitarian engineering focus to CEEN 475: Site Remediation Engineering, which will culminate with a feasibility study on an actual environmental site in a low-income country as the students’ final project.

Battalora is developing a pilot course, PEGN 498A: Environmental Law and Sustainability, which will focus on societal impacts and ethics in the discussion of fundamental environmental regulations, policies and case studies.

Humanitarian engineering at Mines continues to grow, with increased emphasis on corporate social responsibility as well as designing for the world’s greatest problems.

 

CONTACT:

Deirdre Keating, Communications Manager, College of Engineering & Computational Sciences | 303-384-2358 | dkeating@mines.edu
Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assistant, Mines magazine | 303-273-3959 | aspurgeon@mines.edu

 

 

A multidisciplinary team, led by the Ben L. Fryrear Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Tzahi Cath, has received a $1 million award from the National Science Foundation to develop an innovative monitoring and control system for small wastewater treatment facilities.

The project, titled “Self-Correcting Energy-Efficient Water Reclamation Systems for Tailored Water Reuse at Decentralized Facilities,” draws on the bioreactor at Mines Park, which treats more than 7,000 gallons of domestic wastewater each day, and will integrate existing and new wireless sensor networks to monitor water quality and for process monitoring and control.

“Improved monitoring of water quality and early warning of treatment system vulnerabilities are critical to protecting the public and the environment,” said Cath. “The smart service system we are building uses a network of simple, existing sensors and a novel wireless sensor network. These new, smart sensor technologies can learn from past performance, predict future performance and adapt the system to achieve preset objectives.”

Water pipes with electronic gauges are shown, as the professor kneels to read the information and a student records the data.

Professor Tzahi Cath and a graduate student take readings at the AQWATEC Laboratory.

In addition to being more energy and resource efficient, the new system will benefit many small communities that operate decentralized wastewater treatment facilities and don’t have the resources to improve their system.

Cath also attributed the project’s selection to the foundation laid by the Engineering Research Center for Re-Inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure, also known as ReNUWIt, at Colorado School of Mines. “All of this is only possible because ReNUWIt at Mines that has been building these partnerships in an effort to develop new strategies for water management and treatment,” said Cath.

After testing the new monitoring and control system at Mines Park, the team will work with industry partners from Aqua-Aerobic Systems and Kennedy/Jenks Consulting as well as broader context partners such as Ramey Environmental in Frederick, Colorado, to deploy, incorporate and test the system at existing small, decentralized treatment plants.

The team includes Professor Tracy Camp from the Division of Computer Science, Assistant Professor Salman Mohagheghi from the Division of Electrical Engineering, and Associate Professor Hussein Amery from the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies, as well as professors Amanda Hering and Michael Poor at Baylor University. The team will also include graduate and undergraduate students from CEE and CS.

The grant is one of 13 awarded by the NSF’s Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity program, in support of innovative partnership projects that create new human-centric service systems.

 “The National Science Foundation fosters innovation and partnerships between academic researchers and industry, catalyzing interdisciplinary projects to understand and design smart systems and technologies of the future,” said Grace Wang, acting assistant director, NSF Directorate for Engineering. “These 13 projects are at the forefront of the human-technology frontier, driving innovation to solve problems to benefit society and improve life as we know it.”
 

CONTACT:

Deirdre Keating, Communications Manager, College of Engineering & Computational Sciences | 303-384-2358 | dkeating@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science & Engineering | 303-384-2622 | ramirez@mines.edu

Colorado School of Mines was recently approved by the U.S. Peace Corps to house the first Peace Corps Prep program in Colorado. All Mines undergraduates now have the opportunity to prepare for adventures overseas, either as a Peace Corps volunteer or as a professional.

Photo courtesy of Peace Corps

The Peace Corps Prep program aims to enhance students’ undergraduate experience by preparing them for international development fieldwork and overseas service. Mines was selected for the pilot program based on the highly technical skills and knowledge of its graduates. “There is a real synergy between Peace Corps and Mines, because they need trained, technical people,” said David Frossard, a web administrator for Mines Computing, Communications and Information Technologies and one of the co-coordinators of the program. Frossard also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and Zambia.

The Peace Corps Prep program encourages students to expand their global awareness and gain international knowledge and skills that employers value, as well as develop leadership skills through volunteer work or internships. The program integrates coursework with hands-on experience and professional development, allowing students to gain sector-specific skills and foreign-language proficiency, while also cultivating a cultural competence that will help students succeed no matter where they are in the world.

Peace Corps volunteer reads books to children in Moldova.
Photo courtesy of Peace Corps

Frossard, along with fellow co-coordinator, Juan Lucena, hopes students will be eager to be a part of the Peace Corp Prep program. “It just seemed to us that this would be a great opportunity to give our students,” said Frossard. “For those who want to work abroad, who want to not just be a tourist but live in a place and become a part of a place, this is a fantastic experience.”

Overall, the Peace Corps Prep program is a stepping stone for Mines students to put their engineering or science degrees to use in service of others after graduation. Successful completion of the program will earn students a certificate and a competitive edge when applying for Peace Corps volunteer positions as well as make them attractive candidates for professional positions in government or industry.

For students interested in volunteering and gaining a broader understanding of another culture and sharing that understanding with others, the Peace Corps Prep program is ideal. Frossard adds: “Once you’re a Peace Corps volunteer, you’re always a volunteer.”

For more information about the Peace Corps Prep program or to get involved, visit pcprep.mines.edu.

Contact:
Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assistant, Mines magazine | 303-273-3959 | aspurgeon@mines.edu
Deirdre Keating, Communications Manager, College of Engineering & Computational Sciences | 303-384-2358 | dkeating@mines.edu

 

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