Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Transportation Systems and Aerospace

These robots are small, shape-shifting, and they adapt to their surroundings

The goal of Dr. Jianguo Zhao’s Adaptive Robotics Lab is to create small, lightweight robots that can reconfigure themselves in response to a need. 

Zhao’s mind goes to military applications, environmental monitoring, or search-and-rescue operations. Think small, wirelessly tethered robots that could be deployed in a disaster zone, nimbly skirting obstacles and changing the shape of their joints, without expending energy, to withstand various terrains.

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Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship

Woodward, CSU team join forces on rapid-response ventilator project

A natural gas fuel injector may not be a staple in the medical device industry, but for a team of engineers from Colorado State University and Fort Collins-based Woodward, Inc., it proved to be a key component in the design of a low-cost, durable ventilator.

Back in early March, CSU and Woodward engaged in a joint effort to develop a ventilator that could be quickly manufactured and deployed if the state faced shortages. The project was a response to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ Innovation Task Force charged with developing rapidly deployable solutions to address the impacts of COVID-19.

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Health and Wellness

METEC focuses on detecting gas leaks

At the Methane Emissions Technology Evaluation Center, researchers study natural gas leaks by recreating the equipment and conditions at a real gas and oil well site. By detecting leaks sooner, this research improves systems to protect the environment and community health.

Researchers aim to address the shortcomings of existing methane monitoring devices by introducing new technologies that can estimate methane emission flow rates, provide continuous monitoring, localize the leak source, and improve the accuracy of methane detection.

Energy Efficiency and the Environment

Enhancing solar cell encapsulation to improve reliability

“The amount of sun that falls on the planet in one hour is enough to power us for a year,” says Barth. “Solar is truly an energy solution if we can find the manufacturing opportunities and efficiency and develop the technology sufficiently to realize its potential.”  

Solar needs to function well in various conditions and must also be cost-effective and last as long as possible. Barth and his team look to improve solar in these critical areas. They are introducing a new technology that will cut fabrication time for vacuum lamination of thin-film solar cells from 12 minutes to approximately 30 seconds.  

Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University is about using our knowledge of materials, energy, and health to solve society’s global engineering challenges.

Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University is about using our knowledge of materials, energy, and health to solve society’s global engineering challenges.

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