CIRE Design Challenges


CIRE Design Challenges

CIRE Design Challenges will be threaded through the curriculum to engage students in professional practice. The variety of projects will expose all students to a div erse set of potential career options. The aim is to develop inclusive, team-based, deeply meaningful learn ing experiences that feature critical thinking, proble m solving, and design. The CIRE challenges will be highly re levant to rural, Latino/a, and Native American students as they will focus on needs important to their c ommuniti es and cultures, bridging the gap between engineering and the identities of underrepresented groups by engaging these students in ways not previously attempted.

CBE 101 Challenge 1: Why Chem E Challenge

This community-related challenge introduced students to the scope of the chemical engineering profession. Chemical Engineering students worked in teams to research and interview an alumnus, faculty member, graduate student, or industry professional to learn more about their career. Students explored potential chemical engineering careers and pathways with an emphasis on the mindset and educational experiences that will make them competitive. They produced a promotional brochure that the UNM CBE Department can use to attract new students to the field of chemical engineering.

CBE 101 Challenge 2: Antimicrobials

This prototypical entrepreneurial challenge exposed students to the product applications of current research performed by Prof. David Whitten’s laboratory at UNM. His newly developed OPEs (Oligo phenylene ethynelenes) are polymers with remarkable antimicrobial resistance. Students presented ideas and proposed applications of OPEs as antimicrobial surface coatings and homogenous embeddings within products. Students presented 10 minute pitches to their peers, faculty, and industry/academic professionals on applications ranging from toilet seats to money counting machines.

CBE 101 Challenge 3: Bioshipping Challenge

This industry-based challenge revolved around the applications UNM graduate Dr. Doug Smith developed at his company NanoPore. This design challenge began as a project where students developed innovative methods for shipping biological samples within tight temperature tolerances. The project evolved the following semester to include a laboratory aspect. Students applied evaporative cooling and alternate temperature control methods to real-life product applications, learning aspects of heat transfer firsthand.

CBE 101 Challenge 4: Evaporative Cooling Challenge

This industry-based challenge involved student experimentation in developing a self-cooling water bottle using evaporative cooling heat transfer. The students worked for three weeks in the undergraduate Unit Operations Laboratory applying an iterative method to identify the lowest achievable water bottle temperature under various design conditions. This project allowed students to apply basic heat transfer and thermodynamics principles to design a solution for an important everyday challenge.

CBE 101 Challenge 5: Acid Mine Drainage Challenge

This community-based challenge focused on the difficulties posed to communities in Northern New Mexico and Southwestern Colorado which are downstream of potentially hazardous abandoned mines. One such mine sustained a significant release of contaminated water, resulting in discoloration of rivers, and causing hardship within Native American and Hispanic farming communities downstream. The work of Research Professors Jose Cerrato and Adrian Brearley helped inform the students on the nature of the contamination from these mines. Students were tasked with assessing and characterizing water contamination of these mines and developing solutions for its remediation.

CBE 251 Challenge 1: Algal Biofuels

This community-, industry-, and research-based challenge within the Sophomore Material and Energy Balances course focused on developing an algal biofuel process. Students designing the growth phase process choose a community where critical growth requirements such as carbon dioxide supply, type and density of culture, water supply and exposure to light can be met. Students designing the Harvesting process focused on optimizing the separation of algae from its growth medium. Lastly, students designing the Extraction process chose either mechanical or chemical methods based on handling and chemical safety. All three phases prompted students to link knowledge gained from the design challenge to the disciplinary course content by way of deliverables, which were submitted with each of six homework assignments.

CBE 311 Challenge 1: Kirtland Air Force Base Jet Fuel Spill

This community-based design challenge for Junior-level Transport Phenomena students involves the characterization and mitigation of the jet fuel spill first detected in 1999 on the Kirtland Air Force Base grounds in Albuquerque, NM. This spill resulted in great alarm, mobilizing the Air Force Base, citizens, and local government to proactively evaluate and remediate the spill. In this project, students design solutions for the engineering challenges of containment of a spill, remediation of Ethylene Dibromide-contaminated water, storage tank design, and effective, corrosion-resistant contaminant detection.

CBE 321 Challenge 1: Distillation Design Challenge

This distillation design challenge includes an in-class activity worksheet and four brainstorming worksheets. The professor for the course outlined and discussed the process of defining the problem, designing a solution, and developing a technical design. She also presented guidelines for technical design reports and oral product pitch presentations. To supplement the design challenge, three new hands-on in-class activities were implemented which included prediction, observation, and reflection sections. The activities involved random walk and diffusion, convective mass transfer, and interfacial mass transfer. The ideas for implementing the in-class activities came from the thermodynamics faculty development workshop presented by guest speaker Margo Vigeant.

CBE 361: Biomolecular Engineering

This course has been completely revised by faculty from a lecture- and exam-based class to now revolving around three unique Biomolecular Engineering design projects. This course dovetails principles of biological systems to the design of biochemical and biomaterial solutions.

CBE 361 Challenge 1: Atypical Cell Detection

CBE 361 has been completely transformed from a lecture-based class to three biomolecular engineering design projects. This course dovetails principles of biological systems to the design of biochemical and biomaterial solutions. Three faculty who have seldom interacted with the undergraduate program participated in the design of this revised course.

This design challenge involved students designing a system to detect atypical cells, such as lung cancer cells, using molecular diagnostics and flow cytometry. The design project involved students selecting the best detection technology from a set of potential technologies. Their goal was to detect a type of cancer using the most effective technology. The students had to report why they chose the technology they used and also why the other technologies would not be as effective.

CBE 361 Challenge 2: Drug Delivery

The second design challenge involved student design of a nanoparticle-based drug delivery system. Students worked in teams of 6 to design and “test” a viable nanoparticle carrier to enable CRISPR gene editing in vivo for treatment of cancer (prostate, breast, brain, or leukemia). Students designed a new nanocarrier to deliver a drug via intravenous injection to a cell or tissue to treat cancer. Groups wrote a 5-page paper justifying their design and documenting synthesis and characterization procedures.

CBE 361 Challenge 3: Microbial Fuel Cells

The third design challenge involved student design of microbial fuel cells. The focus was on microbiological reactors for energy, synthesis, and remediation. Similar to CBE 361, CBE 515/499/BME 598: Engineering Design for Global Health, a hybrid undergraduate/graduate level elective course, was transformed from primarily lecture and some conceptual design to a sequence of design challenges. Revisions to the course introduced authentic constraints and prototyping. Students had access to a 3D printer, welding, woodworking, and laser etch tools, as well as supplemental courses on how to use these tools.

CBE 515/499/BME 598 Challenge 1: Fix that thing

To introduce design notions of empathy and constraint, this mini-challenge involved students fixing everyday items with the moldable glue, Sugru. Students fixed their broken or torn personal items with this putty-like, flexible, waterproof glue.

CBE 515/499/BME 598 Challenge 2: Packing for Puerto Rico

Students worked in groups to select and pack targeted, cost-effective relief aid items for Puerto Rico hurricane victims. Given a set amount of money, students selected the most important items for shipment to hurricane victims. The instructor purchased these items, students packed them, and items were distributed to housing unit residents.

CBE 515/499/BME 598 Challenge 3: Herd immunity challenge

In this design challenge, students researched their inoculation records and compared it with their classmates to determine and quantify their own immunity risk and the risk of their classmates.

CBE 515/499/ BME 598 Challenge 4: Bench to Bedside

This final project focused on the process of solving a global health problem and investigating the process of going from discovery to product with an engineered product or idea. Students approached these projects with the aim of addressing the most pressing global health issues by applying the simplest, most viable, and most affordable solutions and/or products. Student worked in teams to choose a specific, underdeveloped country and common health issue. With a budget of $25, they designed a device that could improve health conditions and outcomes.