Students

Colorado School of Mines is a uniquely focused public research university dedicated to preparing exceptional students to solve today's most pressing energy and environmental challenges.

This is Mines.

GOLDEN, Colo., May 12, 2015 – Congratulations to the following Colorado School of Mines students who received awards at the Student Life Awards Luncheon May 7.

Outstanding Student Service Award

Presented to a student(s) who went above and beyond their academic role on campus to vigorously participate in activities or projects that benefit their fellow students and the Mines community.

A team of four sophomore students placed first (out of 41 Mines teams) in a Colorado School of Mines Intro to Mechanical Engineering (MEGN200) Wind Station Competition May 5. The team, Stormtroopers, had 2.5 weeks to design, build and program a weather station that was capable of measuring wind speed, temperature and two variables of their choice. Mechanical Engineering students Geordie Campbell, Aaron Fanganello, David Harper and Alicia Helmer created their system with a Star Wars theme, using Legos and an innovative homemade sensor.

“The Stormtroopers used every sensor that was provided to them and purchased additional Arduinos and sensors to use as well,” said Teaching Associate Professor Jenifer Blacklock. “They were very energetic and knowledgeable about their system, and it was clear that they had worked hard and spent numerous hours designing, building and programming their final wind station.”

To measure wind speed, the team 3D printed an anemometer (or windmeter) that they fixed on a rotor shaft of a remote controlled helicopter.

“At the base of the helicopter, we had two brush connections—one that made constant contact and one that made an interrupted contact. This allowed us to count the number of times the circuit was completed and convert that into wind speed,” Campbell said. “We measured temperature in conjunction with a new digital barometric pressure sensor, a BMP 180 chip.”

The top three to four teams from each section of the course were invited to compete in the Wind Station Competition, and were judged by faculty, ME undergraduate and graduate students on four main qualifications: a technically advanced system, appropriate user feedback, creativity and overall aesthetics. Students on the winning team received a $50 gift card to SparkFun, an electronics store.

 

Contact:
Kathleen Morton, Communications Coordinator / 303-273-3088 / KMorton@mines.edu
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations / 303-273-3541 / KGilbert@mines.edu

GOLDEN, Colo., April 28, 2015 – Forty teams of students in the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences have spent the last two semesters working on projects to present at the Senior Design Trade Fair which was held April 23. Faculty, industry representatives and alumni judged teams on their ability to define, analyze and address a design problem and to present their work through display and dialogue.

Imagine a 10,000-square-foot “food hub” that would allow Golden residents access to local foods from Front Range farmers. Eileen Regan, an active member of Golden Farming Cooperative (GoFarm), asked Mines senior design students in the College of Engineering and Computational Science to outline how the nonprofit could construct a green, low-impact, mobile CSA pick up site where farmers could store and distribute their products.

“Right now, local food (especially organically grown local food) is not very affordable and there’s a need for accessibility,” said Regan. “Golden has historically served as a depot, and intersects the six major agricultural regions. I’m hopeful that that this would allow us to connect with a local food network across the state.”

The project originally started with one Mines senior design team and soon morphed into three teams as one needed to focus on the facility’s design, another on a refrigeration model and one on eliminating food waste.

The team “Turnip the Beet,” made up of six students (three civil engineering and three environmental engineering), analyzed the cost, floor plan and materials for the warehouse. After researching sustainable design options, they chose an Eco-Smart roof with recycled materials, a glass curtain wall, structural insulated panels (SIPs) and an aluminum sun shade.

“We wanted our building to be as passive as possible so that we could help GoFarm lower their energy costs,” said environmental engineering student Taylor Baird. “Our sun shade allows the most sunlight into the building through the glass curtain wall during the winter and the least amount during the summer. SIPs provide the warehouse with vertical support as well as insulation that helps maintain a constant temperature within the four temperature zones.”

In order to know what types of materials to use, Baird’s team used data from the Golden Energy Solutions team, who were looking at “green” ways to refrigerate the food hub. Along with five other mechanical engineering students, Carly Conley worked with her team to build a refrigeration model using EnergyPlus, an energy simulation software.

“We chose a geothermal/vapor-compression hybrid system because it was the most efficient and environmentally responsible option,” said Conley. “Using this system, we could generate around 30 percent energy savings, which translates to the food hub requiring a 9-ton cooling system.”

Another team, Dynamic Energy Providers (three mechanical engineering students and two electrical engineering students), analyzed how different power sources could work together to remove food waste and turn it into energy. Their design utilizes two different natural gas generators—one that powers the refrigeration model and one the storage and dry food load.

“We started researching all passive options (wind, solar, natural gas) and narrowed it down to using natural gas generators so that it could be as off-the-grid as possible, and we chose a biodigestor to break down food waste into biogas,” said mechanical engineering student Reed Sanchez. “We’re creating free energy and doing something about the food waste. The biodigestor helps lower the cost of operation, which in turn lowers the cost to consumers and farmers.”

GoFarm’s food hub is slated for construction in or near Golden in 2018.

 

Contact:
Kathleen Morton, Communications Coordinator / 303-273-3088 / KMorton@mines.edu
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations / 303-273-3541 / KGilbert@mines.edu

The Mines student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) placed fourth overall (out of 13 teams) in the Rocky Mountain Student Conference last weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The steel bridge team placed fourth overall and the concrete canoe team third overall in their respective competitions.

“There is some tough competition in our conference so we were happy to improve from 4th place last year to 3rd place this year,” said Rachel Steenerson, a civil engineering student who worked as the technical director on the canoe. “We really had an edge over the competition because we had an awesome group of EPICS students that worked on the aesthetics and display part of the competition during the spring semester so the senior design students were able to focus on the more technical aspects of the project.”

The complete ASCE rankings by competition are listed below:

  • Concrete Canoe: 3rd Place Overall

Senior Design Students: Heather Mergentime, Brett Mahon, Laura Brewer, Rachel Nagel, Rachel Steenerson, Dina Vakarchuk, Katie Herrera and Broc Patterson
EPICS students: Taylor Poynor, Cohen Turner, Melanie Stephenson, Aaron Graham, Jorge Rodriguez, Alex Deseau, Maito Okamoto, Jared Roberts and Jon Chesnut

  • Design Paper: 2nd Place
  • Oral Presentation: 3rd Place
  • Final Product: 4th Place
  • Race Results:
    • Women's Sprint: 2nd Place
    • Men's Sprint: 2nd Place
    • Coed Sprint: 3rd Place
    • Women's Endurance: 3rd Place
    • Men's Endurance: 4th Place
       
  • Non-Technical Paper: 3rd Place

Student: Jon Chestnut

  • Steel Bridge: 4th Place Overall

Students: Nikol Hall, Alexi Scherkenbach, Eli Ludtke, Max Ransom, Mark Sundstrom and Travis White

  • Mystery Design - 4th Place

Students: Melanie Stephenson, Jared Roberts and Aaron Graham

  • Pre-Design: 5th Place

Students: Taylor Poynor and Thomas Chesson

  • Technical Paper: 9th Place

Student: Rebecca Boggan

  • Charity Event: Habitat for Humanity coin donation box featuring a Colorado Ski Resort

Students: Jenny Mathew, Maito Okamoto, Nicholas Alexander Chavez, Ashley Rosacker, Krista Hickey and Emily Echelberger

 

Contact:
Kathleen Morton, Communications Coordinator / 303-273-3088 / KMorton@mines.edu
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations / 303-273-3541 / KGilbert@mines.edu

There’s more to Mines’ ‘Introduction to Brewing Science’ course than making beer. Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) associate professor Paul Ogg is using the class to teach students the science behind beer production.

“The process from going from barley to beer is the almost exact same process as going from cellulose to bioethanol fuel,” Ogg said. “When students interview with an employer, they can say, ‘I didn’t make bioethanol fuel in a semester, but I did make beer.’”  

Before Ogg’s course was offered this spring, students could take the class, ‘Biochemical Process Engineering,’ to study fermentation products and alternative fuels. CBE associate professor John Persichetti works with students through most phases of brewing, and sometimes vinification (wine making)—including enzymatic breakdown of starches to sugars (brewing), fermentation and product analysis— which at times includes chemical analysis using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (students make beer or wine as part of the fermentation portion of the course lab), to test the impact of process parameters on flavor and color.

The CBE Department is in the process of finalizing a still system designed to remove alcohol from the beer and wine products (those that aren’t as desirable as a beverage).

“This will give us a new experiment where students can step through fermentation to make ethanol, then concentrate the ethanol to levels suitable to industrial use,” Persichetti said.

In Persichetti’s class, students making beer use already malted barley, similar to homebrewing. Ogg wanted his course to take it one step further and have students learn the process of malting their own barley, and explore how to design a recipe to achieve very specific desired product characteristics.

“My hope was we could have local brewers taste the beer students are making and say, ‘This isn’t what the big breweries are making but this works for me because I have a different market and I’m looking for new flavors in my craft beers,’” Ogg said.

This past year, CBE Laboratory Technician Michael Stadick designed and built a small-scale malting system in the Unit Operations Building (located behind Alderson Hall) for students to use in Ogg’s class.

Chemical engineering student Tanner Taylor is one of 40 students in the course. He is working in a team of four students to create a Scottish ale for his final project.

“Learning how to make my own beer and hearing from head brewers has made me want to work at a brewery in the future,” said Taylor. “This course is continuing to help motivate me to follow that path.”

Visit the malting system and you will see students learning all aspects of the brewing process including testing, cleaning, bottling, malting, flavor extracting and tasting beers. Guest speakers from MillerCoors, Odell Brewing Company, Golden Moon Distillery, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Mountain Toad Brewery and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have spoken on a variety of topics ranging from sour beer production to malt whiskey production. Several guests have been Mines alums, including Josh Robbins (Chemical Petroleum Refining ’95, ’00, 03) from Mountain Toad. On April 29, local brewers and staff members will be judging student teams on the sensory basics of their beer and will give them a tasting score that will make up 10% of their final grade.

 

Contact:
Kathleen Morton, Communications Coordinator / 303-273-3088 / KMorton@mines.edu
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations / 303-273-3541 / KGilbert@mines.edu

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Students