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Excellence in Engineering

Februrary 13, 2009

The College of Engineering has an outstanding group of young faculty members who have joined our ranks over the last several years and are already earning recognition across the U.S. These assistant professors are making discoveries that contribute to human health, the environment, quality of life, and economic development in Colorado, the nation and the world.

“We are proud of all the faculty in the College of Engineering who continue to make discoveries that are affecting people's lives,” said Sandra Woods, Dean of Engineering.

David Thompson

David Thompson David Thompson, atmospheric science assistant professor at Colorado State University, was recently named by Popular Science magazine as one of the "brilliant 10" young scientists to watch. Thompson studies patterns in climate change and trends in climate data.

Thompson’s honors and awards include:

  • The prestigious Monfort Professor Award, one of the university's top honors (2006)
  • Time magazine named Thompson one of the leading innovators in the science community (2005)
  • The American Geophysical Union's James B. Macelwane Medal that recognizes significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding young scientist -- the award is one of AGU's top honors (2004)
  • The NASA Earth System Science Fellowship
  • An NSF CAREER award
  • The NOAA OAR Outstanding Scientific Paper Award

Thompson's current work emphasizes improving understanding of global climate variability using observational data. His research interests include large-scale atmospheric dynamics - how the large-scale atmosphere organizes itself into patterns and how those patterns affect climate; decadal climate variability and ocean-atmosphere interactions.

Randy Bartels

Randy Bartels has an impressive track record since joining the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as an assistant professor in 2003. Bartels has been honored with numerous awards in his young career from many disciplines.

Bartels’ honors and awards since 2004 include:

  • The prestigious Monfort Professor Award (2006)
  • The Young Investigator Award in recognition of his advances in physics and engineering fromRandy Bartels the Office of Naval Research (2005)
  • Sloan Research Fellowship in physics
  • The Beckman Young Investigator Award in chemistry
  • The Gold Medal Human-Competitive Award for advancing evolutionary computation
  • The Optical Society of America’s Adolph Lomb Medal for his contributions to optics
  • The National Science Foundation CAREER Award recognizing his early potential for scientific leadership

Randy BartelsOn July 27 of this year, Bartels received a Presidential Early Career Award, the U.S. government’s highest honor granted to outstanding up-and-coming scientists and engineers. He was one of 56 scientists from around the country to be honored at the White House, and one of two scientists nominated by the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research.

Bartels heads Colorado State’s Laboratory for Ultrafast and Nonlinear Optics, where his research concentrates on the generation and control of short laser pulses and their use for the control of quantum dynamics – to precisely control the positions of atoms in molecules, for example. His research group is using this control to develop more precise and portable atomic clocks.

Brian Bledsoe

Brian Bledsoe, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, argues that knowing how the physical forms and hydraulics of small streams help manage pollutants could help increase the cost effectiveness of stream and watershed restoration.

 Bledsoe and his team will inject tiny amounts of nitrogen into the streams and track them to monitor how the profiles of the riverbeds and flBrian Bledsoeow conditions affect nutrient retention. Bledsoe was recently named a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award to further these studies. Bledsoe's research will include creating new outdoor laboratories for graduate and undergraduate students in and around Fort Collins to study Spring Creek, Sheep Creek, the Little Snake River and the North St. Vrain River.

"We want to learn how to restore the physical processes that give streams the capacity to perform ecological functions," said Bledsoe. "Excess nitrogen is a serious problem around the world because it degrades water quality in a lot of important aquatic systems. We want to learn what it is about some streams that makes them more effective at storing or removing nitrogen. What are some characteristics that we can build into restoration strategies that are likely to enhance nutrient uptake and water quality further downstream?"

This article was originally published in AlumLine newsletter. To subscribe to AlumLine, become a member of the CSU Alumni Association.

Contact: Beth Etter
Phone: (970) 491-6533