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., Aug. 12 — Colorado School of Mines has long held the distinction of playing in one of America's most historic football stadiums. Now, they'll enjoy playing in one of America's best.

The 2015 season marks the debut of Marv Kay Stadium at Campbell 

Mounir Zok, senior sports technologist for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), was researching how boxers moved during a match through video taken by an overhead camera suspended in a boxing ring, when he got an idea that evolved into a Colorado School of Mines field session project.

“We are constantly thinking about how can we help coaches and athletes make the best informed decision through current technology,” Zok said. “Because gymnasts are performing coded actions, their movements are ideal to be measured and analyzed.”

In December, Zok met Electrical Engineering and Computer Science professors Bill Hoff and Hao Zhang and computer science graduate student Brian Reily to observe male gymnasts and collect performance data with computer vision technology—a Microsoft Kinect v2 camera. The color camera uses a depth sensor and microphone array to sense the location and movements of people.

Within a few months, Reily was able to take their results to develop a method to track gymnasts and produce data on their performances.

“It was a great opportunity to collect a unique type of data. I'm working on human detection and pose estimation, and pretty much all existing data out there is collected in a lab,” said Reily. “Collecting this data and publishing it as a dataset would actually be pretty important just on it's own.”

Reily requested the help of four Mines students and USOC coaches to add features—such as tracking gymnasts to create useful data visualizations for both gymnasts and coaches. Computer science students Austin Kauffman, Zac McClain, Evan Balogh and Travis Johnson took Reily’s data to build an app that could record and analyze a routine, playback video, and provide performance statistics.

“I’ve always been interested in computer science and bioinformatics,” said McClain. “I would like to use this project to get into a more active area of computer science.”

The Computer Science field session team, advised by Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Teaching Associate Professor Christopher Painter-Wakefield, sees their app advancing in the future if more features could be added, such as color video playback, consistent frame rates and angle tracking.

“We’ve had students involved in our projects for the last year and a half. The engineering talent coming from Colorado School of Mines is helping us gain insights into some of our sports programs,” Zok said. “These students are scientifically prepared to face the challenge.” The USOC has also been working with Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Joel Bach and a senior design team to develop other technologies to help further athlete development and training.

Contact:

Kathleen Morton, Digital Media & Communications Manager / 303-273-3088 / KMorton@mines.edu
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations / 303-273-3541 / KGilbert@mines.edu

Visit student Laine Greaves-Smith in his garage, and you will find him buried in an assortment of sprockets, gears, pipes, bearings, aluminum, steel and transmission chains. He is using recycled car parts to create functional art pieces, such as a chandelier, table, lamp or vase. Instead of heading to a furniture store, Greaves-Smith, who is studying both mechanical and electrical engineering, sifts through his garage for inspiration and begins stacking and welding pieces together until he creates a design.

“It’s important for engineers to look at problems differently than how they’re taught in class,” said Greaves-Smith. “I get enough numbers in classes, so this helps me de-stress and use my hands.”

Greaves-Smith originally attended Webster University for technical theater design but transferred to Mines because he “missed the challenge of advanced courses.” However, some of his most rewarding experiences have occurred outside of class.

When Greaves-Smith was constructing a battle axe, he teamed up with Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Teaching Associate Professor Gerald Bourne to study the best way to strengthen the steel. In Bourne's lab, Greaves-Smith created micrographs of the treated and untreated steel to analyze the internal structure of each sample.

This past fall, he collaborated with Mechanical Engineering Teaching Associate Professor Robert Amaro to determine the best bearings for all seven moving parts of a table he was constructing. He then worked in the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences machine shop in Brown Hall to fabricate the precision parts required for the design. 

“I enjoy using car parts because there are so many beautifully engineered and crafted components inside a car that most people never see,” said Greaves-Smith. “By putting these components out in the open as art, more people can appreciate the craftsmanship of each piece and that of my assembly.”

In April, Greaves-Smith received third place in in Longmont's EcoCreations 6 juried exhibition for his chandelier piece, which was made up of bike chains and a bike wheel. In February, he showcased some of his collection at the First Friday Art Walk in Denver.

Greaves-Smith recently returned from competing with the Blasterbotica team in the NASA Robotic Mining Competition where they placed second in the presentation and demonstration category. This summer, he has an internship at Kurion (founded by Mines alumnus Marc Rood ’03), where he will be designing and assembling robots to help clean up contaminated reactor sites at Fukushima.

 

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., 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

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