Top 10 Highlights of 2021 | College of Engineering & Applied Science – CU Boulder's College of Engineering & Applied Science

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Looking back, 2021 has proven to be a year of strength and resilience. Even with the challenges COVID has presented, our community has continued – and will continue – to break barriers, prevail against all odds, and more importantly, excel in what we do best: engineering. 
We gathered our top 10 engineering moments to wrap up 2021.
Twelve faculty members within the College of Engineering and Applied Science have received CAREER Awards from the National Science Foundation. The total shows an impressive trend with the college earning five awards in 2019 and seven in 2020, said Associate Dean for Research Massimo Ruzzene.
The College of Engineering and Applied Science received more than $150 million in research funding in 2021. Award money at the college comes from a variety of sources, including NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and industry.
The Advanced Computational Center for Entry System Simulation (ACCESS) institute announced by NASA will focus on thermal protection systems, which shield spacecraft from the aerodynamic heating experienced during hypersonic entry of the atmosphere.
An engineering team from the University of Colorado Boulder won first place in the 2021 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Build Challenge, the third time CU Boulder has placed first in the highly competitive event.
Researchers at CU Boulder will take part in a $25 million effort to study a natural resource that’s becoming increasingly in demand: the radio frequency spectrum. The project is known as SpectrumX and will bring together experts from 29 organizations to transform the landscape of spectrum research, education, collaboration and management.
Single use plastics represent an environmental challenge that researchers at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering hope to address.
Professor Scott Diddams joined CU Engineering as a visiting professor in fall 2021 and will become a full professor in 2022. He will also serve in a leadership role in the newly formed Quantum Engineering Initiative – a significant and strategic investment into translational quantum engineering research by the college that includes educational components, faculty hiring efforts, and dedicated lab space for collaboration.
Respirogen, a company whose research is led by Biomedical Engineering Program Director Mark Borden and founded by Borden’s former student, Paul Mountford (PhDMechEngr’15), has developed microbubbles that can deliver oxygen to the blood stream independent of the lungs.
For the first time in at least two decades – and possibly ever – CU Boulder’s Student Government (CUSG) is being led by an aerospace engineer.
Imagine opening up a book of nature photos only to see a kaleidoscope of graceful butterflies flutter out from the page. Such fanciful storybooks might soon be possible thanks to the work of a team of designers and engineers at CU Boulder’s ATLAS Institute.
Video Highlights of 2021
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