By Amanda Heersink | University Communications
DENVER - Advanced study already is awaiting Darick Laselle. He's set to graduate Saturday after earning a bachelor's of science degree from CU Denver's Electrical Engineering Department
. And in short order, he'll be headed to Georgia Tech to begin graduate school.
For his efforts to date and promising future, Laselle also is awaiting word regarding his status as a finalist in the U.S. Department of Defense's The Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Fellowship Program
which could further focus his graduate school plans.
While it may seem that things are moving quickly for this graduate, he has experienced some twists and turns on his path. Laselle started college in 1997 but dropped out due to life circumstances. Finally, about five years ago he resumed classes on his way to earning his BS -- first by attending Arapahoe Community College and then Metropolitan State University. His next step was transferring to the University of Colorado Denver to complete his undergraduate degree.
As he pursued his studies, continued his life and became a parent, Laelle's child was diagnosed with Autism. That development, he recalled, helped him realize his passion for working with autistic children. “I put together a program to teach engineering and energy to high-functioning autistic kids in an engineering environment,” Laselle said.
Laselle also has been motivated to pursue another area of research in non-thermal plasma. Part of this inspiration evolved through working with College of Engineering and Applied Science Professor Mark Golkowski, Ph.D. “Golkowski always is willing to make time for students, never missed a deadline for recommendations and is also one of the two best ‘pure teachers’ I have ever met,” said Laselle.
Laselle’s paper from his senior design project, the Stirling Engine, was published at the fifth annual Insitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE
) Green Technologies Conference in Denver just last month.
Laselle, along with fellow engineering students Robert Liechty, Hassan Alzamzam, Robert Foster and Jasmin Dzabic, all worked on the project and will compete in the Spring Senior Design Competition on Friday, May 17.