Independent Study Students
As a CU Denver student, you are able to perform undergraduate
and graduate research for credit in the form of an independent study. Independent studies can be taken for 1-6
credit hours (typically 3 per semester) and count towards up to two mechanical
engineering elective courses.
Independent research can be incredibly rewarding (and frustrating at
times) and can serve as a valuable complement to your coursework.
Suggested Requirements for Independent Study Students
- GPA ≥ 3.25
- Junior Level Standing or Greater
- Coursework completed in some the following
Science, Numerical Methods, FEA, Biomechanics, Mechanical Behavior of
- A self-motivated personality with desire to
independently explore new areas and subject matter.
If interested, please contact Professors Carpenter or Yakacki
before the next semester begins.
Research is a requirement for many graduate programs. As a CU Denver student, you have the option
to complete your Master’s degree by performing a research project or thesis. Master’s
Projects are typically completed in 1-2 semesters, while a Master’s Thesis is typically
completed in 3-4 semesters.
As a graduate student, you should have completed or be enrolled in the
following courses before initiating a project or thesis with Professors
Carpenter or Yakacki
- Introduction to Biomechanics, Advanced Biomechanics,
- Mechanical Behavior of Materials, Polymers
Professor Yakacki is not accepting Master’s Projects
students at this time.
The SMAB Lab does not have any additional funded
positions for PhD students at this time.
SMAB Lab has the following equipment and resources.
- MTS Insight 30 equipped with:
Thermal Chamber (-100°C - 400°C)
- LX500 Laser Extensometer
Grips, Compression Platens, Roller Grips
- Bose ElectroForce 3200 equipped with:
Thermal Chamber (-50°C - 250°C)
Grips, 3-pt Bend Fixture, Mini-Compression Platens
- Digital Instruments Nanoscope IIIa Atomic Force
- Operates in
Contact and Tapping Mode
- 1 micron
glass-tipped probes for biological tissues
- 8-core Cluster
finite element software
image processing and finite element meshing software
- Fume Hood
- Biological Tissue Storage
- Chemical and Hazardous Waste Storage
- Access to CU Denver medical imaging facilities
(CT, micro-CT, MRI) and confocal microscopy facilities
If you would like access to the equipment or have general questions about the SMAB Lab, please contact:
The direct phone number to the lab is 303-556-2099.
Smart Materials and Biomechanics (SMAB) Lab is run by Professors Dana Carpenter
and Christopher Yakacki and is located in North Classroom 2405. The mission of the SMAB Lab is to perform
fundamental and translational research at the interface of mechanical
engineering, materials science, and biomedical technology. Research projects include developing
finite-element models from patient specific data, determining the mechanical
effects of exercise and pharmaceuticals on bone, the synthesis and
characterization of shape-changing polymers, and the design and testing of