CSU engineering to showcase research, education at Spur opening Jan. 6

The Water TAP Research Lab at Hydro, December 1, 2022.
The Water Technology Acceleration Platform (TAP) research lab at Hydro, Dec. 1, 2022.

Satellites, rain garden and rain barrel demonstrations, model cars that run on hydrogen, and an exoskeleton that helps semi-paralyzed dogs walk will be among engineering projects on display at the CSU Spur Hydro building grand opening in Denver on Jan. 6.

Faculty and staff plan to bring more than 20 engineering programs and research projects to the opening event to showcase the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering at Spur. The college will also host some permanent educational and research projects in Hydro, which is opening to coincide with the start of the National Western Stock Show.

A picture of two men - Ken Reardon and Matt Kipper - standing in a laboratory at Spur.
Professors Ken Reardon and Matt Kipper explore the new biomanufacturing and biotechnology lab in the CSU Spur Hydro building in Denver.

As Research Associate Dean, University Distinguished Professor Sonia Kreidenweis spent several years spearheading the college’s role at Spur in collaboration with faculty and staff. Kreidenweis, a professor in Atmospheric Science, is currently interim Dean of the Graduate School.

“We are incredibly excited to engage more with the Denver community at Spur,” said Ken Reardon, the college’s current research associate dean and professor of chemical and biological engineering. “It’s wonderful to finally see Hydro come to life and to showcase the amazing research and education occurring in our college. We look forward to the great things that will come out of these partnerships at Spur.”

CSU Spur is a unique partnership between the CSU System and the city and county of Denver to more closely connect the Denver area – and 60,000 CSU alumni – with the university’s education, research, and outreach missions. CSU Spur, on the grounds of the National Western Stock Show, features interactive exhibits, K-12 outreach, adult learning opportunities, and research in three buildings:

  • Vida, dedicated to human and animal health;
  • Terra, illustrating CSU’s excellence in agricultural service to Colorado; and
  • Hydro, addressing the state’s critical water challenges and resources, and developing solutions.

Engineering researchers are active in all three areas. Long-term, the Hydro building will host engineering college research programs and projects including:

  • Colorado Climate Center: Based in one of the top Atmospheric Science departments in the country, the center will install a Colorado Agricultural Meteorological Network weather station on the Spur campus and will create other opportunities for the public to engage with climate and weather data.
  • Undergraduate Recruitment, Outreach and Equity representative: The college’s Office of Academic and Student Affairs will provide a Denver-focused recruiter to work in tandem with Spur and the Division of Enrollment and Access.
  • Systems Engineering educator: Systems Engineering, one of the fastest growing graduate programs at CSU, will hire an instructor from industry to work at Spur to leverage partnership opportunities and assist with K-12 outreach activities.
  • ENCourage Summer Math Program: The Engineering Academic and Student Affairs office will host a one-week intensive summer day camp for incoming CSU engineering students to bolster math skills.
  • Biomanufacturing Education, Outreach, and Entrepreneurship: The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering will create a Biomanufacturing and Biotechnology Laboratory in the Hydro building for hands-on courses and K-12 experiences in bioprocessing.
  • Urban Systems for Hydro Education and Research: Civil and environmental engineering researchers will work with the Colorado Water Center to develop the next generation of state and regional water leaders.
  • Spur Food-Energy-Water Systems Center: This new center at Hydro evolved from the successful Interdisciplinary Training, Education and Research in Food-Energy-Water Systems program on the Fort Collins campus. The program brings together graduate students and industry leaders to research key problems involving the intersection of food, water, and energy needs.
  • Water Treatment Technology Accelerator: The program will leverage a unique physical platform to enable the development, testing and demonstration of commercially viable water treatment technologies.
  • SmartWater Software Solutions: This program will expand Catena Analytics – the software and technology development arm of the CSU One Water Solutions Institute – to provide software solutions for planning, management and real-time control over water and environmental systems.