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Updated: 2 hours 32 min ago

Mines welcomes new Blaster mascot at Rock the Lock

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 19:30

To thunderous applause, Colorado School of Mines introduced the newest member of the Oredigger family at Rock the Lock on February 16. Mines students, staff, alumni, fans and friends warmly welcomed the new mascot, Blaster, to campus before the men’s basketball game.

Blaster the Burro has been a beloved part of the Mines family since the 1950s. Blaster is the symbol of steadfast determination and hard work. Together, Blaster and Marvin the Miner complete the Oredigger duo.

The new mascot will complement the real burro, which isn’t allowed at indoor events and some campus activities. The Blaster mascot will participate in basketball and volleyball games, as well as other campus events that the burro cannot attend.


Joe DelNero, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3326 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |

Categories: Partner News

Mines launches new master’s degree program

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 09:06

Colorado School of Mines has launched a new master’s degree program that will apply a unique, multidisciplinary social science lens to natural resources and energy issues, preparing students for careers in energy and engineering companies, advocacy and government agencies.

The new Natural Resources and Energy Policy (NREP) graduate program “is unique in that it targets engineers that are working in industry for a social science program,” said Kathleen Hancock, program director and associate professor of humanities, arts and social sciences.

The program replaces the Master of International Political Economy of Resources (MIPER) program, which was founded in 2005 but phased out in 2015. NREP will cover both domestic and international topics, natural resources, energy and policy, and will work to link students to industry and potential employers. In the required political assessment course, students work on a report for actual companies.

“Students are required to find a real company and work with them to prepare a political risk assessment for a country the company is interested in,” Hancock said. “They invite company representatives and present a final report in class, and provide the company with that final report.”

NREP is also developing strategies to integrate departments from across campus. Two of the required courses are taught through the Petroleum and Mining Engineering departments.

“You cannot examine policy in isolation and without learning how the policy will be applied,” said Linda Battalora, teaching professor of petroleum engineering. “You need to have technical appreciation for the policy that will extend over the life cycle of an engineering project.”

NREP students will learn more about the major stakeholders for energy and extractive industries, the processes behind local, national and global policymaking, laws and regulations related to energy and extractive industry and principles of social responsibility. Graduates from the program will also learn to apply quantitative analysis to assess energy and natural resource issues, identify political risk and mitigation options and conduct independent and original research.

“Students will learn to communicate policies with project stakeholders in the government, academia, community and other regulators,” Battalora said.

“The program is intended for both people with a social sciences background interested in the energy and natural resources sectors as well as engineers who want to expand their perspective in the industry they are working in,” Hancock said. “There is a really great mix of professors involved in this program. We are a very diverse group of people and a lot of us have hands on backgrounds that we are all bringing into play.”

Applications for the Fall 2018 semester are open until July 2018. The master’s degree requires 30 hours, but there’s also a 12-credit-hour minor for graduate students pursuing degrees in other departments as well as a 12-credit-hour certificate option.


Joe DelNero, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3326 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |

Categories: Partner News

Dugan interviewed by The Verge about offshore freshwater aquifers, Cape Town water crisis

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:23

Brandon Dugan, associate professor and Baker Hughes Chair in Petrophysics and Borehole Geophysics at Colorado School of Mines, was recently interviewed by The Verge about the possibility of tapping into offshore freshwater aquifers to address the Cape Town water crisis. 

From the article:

According to [a 2013 Nature] study, there’s an estimated 120,000 cubic miles of subsea fresh water globally — roughly 1,000 to 1,200 times the amount of water used in the US annually.

That would be more than enough to provide backup water supplies to other cities facing water shortages beyond Cape Town, like São Paulo, Brazil and Mexico City. To date, however, none of it has been pumped up for public use.

But why?

“It’s complicated,” says Brandon Dugan, a geophysicist and associate professor with the Colorado School of Mines, who has been studying offshore freshwater aquifers since 2002. “We don’t exactly understand the plumbing of the system or the precise volume of fresh water that’s down there. So that makes it difficult to devise a pumping strategy to maximize use of the resource.”

Categories: Partner News

Mines, NREL researchers improve perovskite solar cells

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:57

Researchers from the Colorado School of Mines Chemistry Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a perovskite solar cell that retains its efficiency after 1,000 hours of continuous use, with their findings published in Nature Energy.

Associate Professor Alan Sellinger, graduate student Tracy Schloemer and former Mines postdoc Jonathan Tinkham are co-authors of the paper, titled “Tailored interfaces of unencapsulated perovskite solar cells for >1,000 hour operational stability.” The project was led by NREL’s Joseph Luther and Joseph Berry and also included Jeffrey Christians, Philip Schulz, Steven Harvey and Bertrand Tremolet de Villers.

Over the past decade, perovskites have rapidly evolved into a promising technology, now with the ability to convert about 23 percent of sunlight into electricity. But work is still needed to make the devices durable enough for long-term use.

According to the researchers, their new cell was able to generate power even after 1,000 straight hours of testing. While more testing is needed to prove the cells could survive for 20 years or more in the field—the typical lifetime of solar panels—the study represented an important benchmark for determining that perovskite solar cells are more stable than previously thought.

A new molecule developed by Sellinger, nicknamed EH44, was used to replace an organic molecule called spiro-OMeTAD that is typically used in perovskite solar cells. Solar cells that use spiro-OMeTAD experience an almost immediate 20 percent drop in efficiency, which continues to steadily decline as it becomes more unstable.

The researchers theorized that replacing the layer of spiro-OMeTAD could stop the initial drop in efficiency in the cell. The lithium ions within the spiro-OMeTAD film move uncontrollably throughout the device and absorb water. The free movement of the ions and the presence of water causes the cells to degrade. EH44 was incorporated as a replacement because it repels water and doesn’t contain lithium.

The use of EH44 as the top layer resolved the later more gradual degradation but did not solve the initial fast decreases that were seen in the cell’s efficiency. The researchers tried another approach, this time swapping the cell’s bottom layer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) for one with tin oxide (SnO2). With both EH44 and SnO2 in place, as well as stable replacements to the perovskite material and metal electrodes, the solar cell efficiency remained steady. The experiment found that the new SnO2 layer resolved the chemical makeup issues seen in the perovskite layer when deposited onto the original TiO2 film.

“This study reveals how to make the devices far more stable,” Luther said. “It shows us that each of the layers in the cell can play an important role in degradation, not just the active perovskite layer.”

Funding for the research came from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.

Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |

Categories: Partner News

Mines alum among first group of Knight-Hennessy scholars

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 11:53

A magna cum laude graduate of Colorado School of Mines is among the first cohort of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, which will fully fund her pursuit of a PhD in computational engineering at Stanford University.

Izzy Aguiar earned a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and statistics and a master’s degree in computational and applied mathematics from Mines in 2017. She is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in computer science from CU Boulder.

Aguiar is passionate about effective communication and increasing diversity and community in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. During her time at Mines, she co-founded the Teacher Education Alliance and served as vice president of the Society of Women in Mathematics. She received the Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition Award for her work with the campus club Equality Through Awareness, and the E-Days Engineering Award.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program selected 49 students for its inaugural group of scholars, who will pursue graduate degrees in 28 departments across all seven of Stanford’s schools.

In addition to supporting the full cost of attendance, the program will provide leadership training, mentorship and experiential learning. The program aims to prepare a new generation of leaders with the deep academic foundation and broad skill set needed to develop creative solutions for the world’s most complex challenges.

The program is named for John L. Hennessy, director of the program and president of Stanford from 2000 to 2016, and Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who earned an MBA from the university in 1962 and is contributing $400 million to back the program.

Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |

Categories: Partner News

Spring Career Day welcomes a record 248 companies

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 16:09

Colorado School of Mines hosted the largest Spring Career Day in its history Feb. 13, with a record 248 companies present.

Hundreds of students entered the Student Recreation Center for the chance to speak to recruiters about opportunities. For some students, that meant waiting in the long lines that formed at larger companies. Among the larger employers at Career Day were Kiewit, Martin/Martin, Orbital ATK, Denver Water, BP America and Halliburton. 

Many recruiters are Career Day veterans. They come back each year ready to hire Mines students because they are "very intelligent, well-formed students," said Jason Berumen, senior global talent manager for Webroot, a Colorado-based cybersecurity and threat intelligence services firm.

Additionally, many companies use Career Day as a chance to market themselves, even if they do not have jobs currently available. 

"We want people to recognize us as a competitive employer in Colorado," said Allison Martindale, HR analyst for the city of Thornton. "I have noticed that a lot of students can support our infrastructure department once we have jobs available."

Many recruiters strongly suggest that students thoroughly research the companies they are interested in talking to. Being prepared demonstrates interest in the company, and for many recruiters, this interest translates into passion. 

"We are looking for a degree, first and foremost, and then students who have good interpersonal skills and enthusiasm," said Cameron Matthews, associate director for Turner & Townsend, a multinational project management company. "We want our employees to be passionate about what they do."

Additionally, recruiters seek students with a good attitude and enthusiasm for the company. 

Excellent communication skills are a necessity for many companies. In fact, for Sundt recruiters Jim Pullen and Mike Morales, it was the most important thing for students to have mastered. In addition, "we are looking for a good GPA and students willing to travel," Morales said. 

The general contracting firm was also looking for students who were confident in their technical abilities, which, for them, was demonstrated through consistent eye contact and a good handshake.

And while students are often told to apply online for open positions, the trip to Career Day is still worth it, they said. 

"People just tell you to apply online, but showing up here is helpful because maybe they will remember your name in the hundreds of applicants," said Olivia Eppler, a junior studying mechanical engineering. 

Many students also view Career Day as a way to get more information about internships.

"Coming to Career Day mostly just gives me information on what I might want to do," said Tristan Collette, a senior in mechanical engineering. 

Emma Miller, a junior majoring in environmental engineering, said going to Career Day before she needed an internship helped prepare her for when she was actively looking for one.

Oftentimes, the information listed online can be rather vague. Talking to recruiters allows students to ask what the company culture is like and get further details on the jobs they have available. 

While some students experience nerves, Collette said remembering that recruiters "know what it's like to go here and know how hard it is" makes talking with them easier. "They know we have learned to problem-solve and create solutions."

"Have some notes written down to refer to in case you get nervous and forget what you are saying," Eppler said. "Remember, they are just people."

Networking events that are held before Career Day by various clubs can also help to alleviate some of the nerves. 

"Martin/Martin was at an American Society of Civil Engineering networking event yesterday, so I already knew them," said Ken Sullivan, a senior in civil engineering. "Today, I just got to drop off my resume and say hello."

The best advice, students said, is to stay true to yourself. "They want to hire who they interview, not someone who is trying to fit a mold," Collette said.

Katharyn Peterman, Student News Reporter |
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3361 |

Categories: Partner News

Landis to speak on diversity in STEM at AAAS Annual Meeting

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 14:09

Amy Landis, presidential faculty fellow for access, attainment and diversity at Colorado School of Mines, has been invited to speak about diversity in STEM at the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting Feb. 15-19 in Austin, Texas. 

Landis, who leads the President's Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Access at Mines, will present during two sessions at the conference, the largest general scientific meeting in the world.

On Feb. 17, she will discuss her and her colleagues' recent work on impostor syndrome and science communication during a career development workshop, Cultivating Your Voice and Banishing Your Inner Impostor: Workshop for Women in STEM. Conducting the workshop with Landis are Christine O'Connell, assistant professor of science communication at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, and Pragnya Eranki, research faculty in civil and environmental engineering at Mines.

The following day, Landis will be on a panel discussing communication challenges and opportunities for women in STEM with 500 Women Scientists' Melissa Creary and Liz Neeley of The Story Collider.  

A professor of civil and environmental engineering at Mines, Landis has spent her career promoting and supporting women and underrepresented minorities in the STEM fields. Before joining Mines in 2017, she was a professor at Clemson University and director of Clemson's Institute for Sustainability, where she established numerous successful programs including an undergraduate research program for underrepresented students, a graduate professional development program and a workshop on communicating engineering for women. At the University of Pittsburgh, she helped create negotiation workshops, networking events, work-life balance discussion groups and an impostor syndrome workshop.

Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |

Categories: Partner News

Mining Engineering to launch professional master's degree

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 09:28

The Mining Engineering Department at Colorado School of Mines has received approval from the Board of Trustees to launch an innovative new graduate degree program. The Professional Masters in Mining Engineering and Management is an advanced degree that focuses on the practical integration of the technical, financial, management and other linked disciplines that make up the mining industry today. The program will be delivered exclusively online and will be among the first online programs offered by the School of Mines.

 “This is a one-of-a-kind program that we are really excited about,” said Dr. Priscilla Nelson, professor and head of the Mining Engineering Department. “It focuses on those things that industry executives tell us they wish they would have learned during their academic careers.  We have wrapped the business and management elements into a mining engineering degree that emphasizes where the industry will be in the future instead of where it has been in the past.  And, because it is delivered online, students don’t have to quit their jobs and come to campus to get their advanced degree – they can do this program from anywhere and receive their degree from one of the best mining schools in the world.”

Successful candidates for this program will have an undergraduate degree in engineering and at least five years of professional experience in the mining sector. Applications are being accepted for Fall 2018, pending final confirmation from the Colorado Department of Higher Education and online accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. 

The online program will be comprised of twelve 8-week courses plus an independent project, for a total of 33 credit hours. Courses are intended to be taken in a fixed sequence, one course at a time, with program completion in two years. Courses will cover mine-related engineering and technology, mine support services, and mine-applied business and management. Each course will address the state of the practice, the risks and uncertainties, and the innovations and trends that will impact the mining industry in the future.  Courses will also address the use of information systems to organize and use the huge amounts of data the industry generates, and how best to integrate important linked disciplines like social and environmental responsibility, occupational and community health and safety, project security, water and waste management, internal and external communications, and life-cycle planning and closure.

Colorado School of Mines has been providing specialty knowledge to mining industry professionals since 1874. The Mining Engineering Department has offered on-campus Master of Science degrees with an academic focus and research activities for many years, and will continue to do so. The Industry Advisory Committee to the Mining Department and Mining Department faculty have strongly advocated for a professional, practice-centered program that will help advance mid-level professionals into senior and executive-level leadership roles – this Professional Masters in Mining Engineering and Management is just that program.

Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |
Barbara A. Filas, Mining Engineering Department | 303-941-9140 |


Categories: Partner News

O'Hayre discusses new fuel cell technology with Science

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 14:02

Ryan O'Hayre, professor of metallurgical and materials engineering at Colorado School of Mines, was recently featured in an article in Science about a new breakthrough in the development of a midrange-temperature fuel cell that can run "warm enough for reactions to proceed quickly, but cool enough to allow them to be built from cheaper metals."

From the article:

O’Hayre says the new work is “a great contribution,” and calls the performance “impressive.” But he notes that there are still a few issues that need to be solved before these devices are ready for market. For starters, the current cells are small, just a few centimeters in diameter. Researchers would need to find a way to make much larger versions, which could be tricky. That’s because the dense coating on the anode was formed by a technique called pulsed laser deposition, which is difficult to do large-scale on a commercial assembly line.

Categories: Partner News

The Wright, School of Mines announce new partnership

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 13:15
  The Wright Springs Forward with a New Home in Golden & an Expanded Open-to-the-Public Program May 1-3   GOLDEN (Feb. 13, 2018) – The Wright, a celebrated industry summit and award program recognizing outdoor-inspired innovative businesses, is set to present an expanded three-day program May 1-3, in its new home of Golden, Colorado.   The Wright is more than an industry showcase for innovation and outdoor lifestyle companies, states Chuck Sullivan, co-founder of Something Independent, the visionary team who handcrafts and produces The Wright. "The Wright is recognizing that unique breed of leader," he says. "The kind to bet on instinct over conventional wisdom. They're just out to do good work. Their work. They can be a little tough to corral, but for three days in May, we'll gather and celebrate their companies and their communities."    For six years, The Wright held a cornerstone date on the fall calendar of not-to-miss outdoor industry events in Denver. "The shift to spring points to new and exciting happenings," says Sullivan. "For The Wright to put down new roots in Golden, a foothills community with the slogan – 'Where the West Lives' – and at Colorado School of Mines, a university dedicated to pioneering research that addresses the great challenges society faces today, speaks to much of what The Wright is all about: independent spirits, resilient communities and purposeful work."   Over the course of three days, The Wright convenes a cross-section of industry leaders, shedding light on the far-reaching impact of the outdoor-inspired entrepreneur on the economy and brand of the Rocky Mountain Region. A new series of open-to-the-public panel discussions and daily keynotes lead up to the much anticipated Award Night on Thursday, May 3 hosted in partnership with Colorado School of Mines.    Each year, Something Independent embarks on a mission to assemble the new class of contenders. Twelve contenders for The Wright were selected from more than 125 peer-based nominations of innovative companies from five states in the Rocky Mountain region. In moving toward an expanded regional showcase, The Wright fielded nominations from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, opening the door for companies from outside of Colorado to be selected as official contenders for The Wright.   "This industry, its companies and their founders share a mindset. The Wright has convened these disruptive innovators and gritty, hard-working entrepreneurs who are inspired by the outdoors and celebrated their approach to work" says Luis Benitez, director, Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industries. "We're proud of our Colorado companies, but we're all in this together. Something Independent, in bringing these stories from across the Rocky Mountain region into the public realm, provides a fresh lens and unique opportunity for all of us to connect and collaborate."    Since its inception in 2010, The Wright has recognized nearly 100 companies, representing 26 towns across Colorado including Voormi of Pagosa Springs, South Main Co and Deerhammer Distilling from Buena Vista, Bonsai Design of Grand Junction, Icelantic Skis and Yeti Cycles from Golden, Big Agnes and Hala Gear from Steamboat Springs, Oskar Blues from Longmont (and Lyons), Rapidgrass Bluegrass Festival in Idaho Springs, Eldorado Climbing Walls in Boulder and Denver-based Flylow Gear and Topo Designs.    "So often outdoor-inspired businesses are hatched from ideas shared around the campfire, on the river or over a whiskey," says Sullivan about The Wright. "These companies are set apart by their grit and determination. We, at Something Independent, were simply drawn to their work and desired to delve deeper into their stories, bring them together and celebrate their wins."   The 2018 contenders for the 7th class of The Wright are:
  • Alpacka Rafts, Mancos, Colo.
  • Green Guru Gear, Boulder, Colo.
  • The Hot Tomato, Fruita, Colo.
  • Mountain States Snowcats, Torrington, Wyo.
  • Powderhorn Resort, Mesa, Colo.
  • Rocky Mountain Underground, Breckenridge, Colo.
  • Sarabella Fishing, Denver, Colo.
  • Strafe Outerwear, Aspen, Colo.
  • Western Rise, Telluride, Colo.
  • Weston Snowboards, Minturn/Denver, Colo.
  • Wood's High Mountain Distillery, Salida, Colo.
  • Yeti Cycles, Golden, Colo.
  The schedule of panels, keynotes and events will be announced later this month, and will incorporate both free and ticketed programs. Ticketed events will go on sale in March. For information about The Wright, visit   # # #   THE WRIGHT FACTS   WHAT: For 2018, The Wright expands into three days of keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops and events and will culminate with the much anticipated Award Night on May 3. For the first time, The Wright received nominations from five Rocky Mountain states, including Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Twelve contenders have been selected and are now tasked with creating a 90-second video to tell their story that will debut at Award Night on Thursday, May 3 at Colorado School of Mines.    AWARD NIGHT: Award Night, the signature event of The Wright, features the first-time public screening of 90-second videos produced and submitted by each of the contenders. As part of their selection into The Wright, each company is charged with conveying through video their vision, their mission and their inspiration. The debut of the contender videos is followed by the announcement of The Wright three finalists who take the stage together and face a rapid-fire Q&A session from a panel of judges. The judges in turn, are tasked with selecting the winner and presenting the $5,000 prize. For 2018, Award Night is being hosted in partnership with Colorado School of Mines at Lockridge Arena.    WHY: Over the years, Something Independent (S|I) has come to see what 'real work' looks like and better understand the mindset that lies behind it - a disposition inherent to the Mountain West and the independent-minded men and women who carve their paths here. Through The Wright and other projects, Something Independent seeks to celebrate the industry and culture of the outdoors.    WHEN: May 1-3, 2018 Historically, The Wright has been a signature outdoor industry event in the fall. For 2018, The Wright moves to the spring with an expanded schedule of events beginning May 1 and culminating May 3 with the Award Night.   WHERE: New for 2018, The Wright program and Award Night will move from Denver to the heart of downtown Golden, as well as to the campus of Colorado School of Mines.    "Golden was founded over 150 years ago by entrepreneurs with adventurous spirits, and it continues to attract like-minded people today; from miners, brewers, ski and bike manufacturers, to scientists and engineers," says Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan. "They share a sense of determination, a desire to innovate, and a love for the outdoors. The Wright represents all of these great things, and we are excited to host this unique summit and award program here in Golden, and to join in the discussions and celebrations for our community of outdoor-inspired innovators and entrepreneurs."   "Reflected in The Wright and in the companies it recognizes are the core principles of entrepreneurship and examples of innovation in action," says Werner Kuhr, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Colorado School of Mines. "The Wright presents an exciting opportunity for our students and our greater community to connect with innovative businesses and leaders who emphasize the same work-ethic, problem-solving abilities and collaborative focus valued here at Colorado School of Mines."    CONTACT
Amy Kemp, Mountaintop Media | 970-331-7362 |
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3361 |    
Categories: Partner News

McNeil interviewed by Scientific American about physics of big air snowboarding

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 09:05

James McNeil, professor emeritus of physics at Colorado School of Mines, was recently featured in an article about the physics of big air snowboarding in Scientific American. McNeil is the co-founder of the U.S. Terrain Park Council, a nonprofit dedicated to developing safer winter terrain park jumps using engineering design principles.

From the article:

Furthermore, the precise shape of the jump affects an athlete’s momentum; for example, a jump that curves sharply upward would induce backward rotation. A snowboarder could also get an extra unexpected angle at takeoff from changeable features in the snow, such as an icy groove worn by previous riders. This could directly affect tricks and landings—the point at which most injuries occur.

“I believe you could design a jump that had safety built into it with regard to the impact,” says James McNeil, a physicist at the Colorado School of Mines who has modeled winter terrain park jumps. “It doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt, but the likelihood of injury is reduced and the severity of it, should you be injured, is reduced.”

Categories: Partner News

Jessica Smith discusses women in mining with The New York Times

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 08:51

Jessica Smith, associate professor of engineering, design and society and co-director of the humanitarian engineering program at Colorado School of Mines, was recently featured in a news analysis about the challenges faced by women in traditionally male blue-collar jobs in The New York Times’ Sunday Review.

From the article:

Jessica Smith, an associate professor at the Colorado School of Mines, studied the successful experience of women in a Wyoming mine in the 2000s during a time of hiring expansion, when women were not perceived as taking jobs from men.

“They redefined what it was to be a good miner away from this very hyperbolic masculine image,” she said. “A good miner was someone who cared for their co-workers. They were responsible. These were issues that women could also embody.”

Categories: Partner News

Mines Hyperloop team secures repeat trip to SpaceX finals

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 12:52

DiggerLoop is headed back to SpaceX. 

The Colorado School of Mines student team was one of just 20 worldwide chosen this month to advance to the finals of the main 2018 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, set to be held this summer at SpaceX headquarters in California.

It’s the second year in a row that DiggerLoop has qualified for the international collegiate competition, which pits futuristic transport pod designs against one another based on a single criterion – maximum speed on the test track.

How fast does DiggerLoop hope to go this year? A blistering 300 miles per hour, said Tyler Evans, the team’s lead project manager. 

“Hitting that button and go – seeing it move – that’s what I’m excited to see,” Evans said. 

Currently, the 20-plus electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and engineering physics undergraduate students that make up DiggerLoop are focused on refining their improved chassis design. The team should have a final pod and shell design completed by the end of February.

From there, the plan is to finish fabricating and assembling the pod by the end of the semester so they can complete full systems integrated testing over the summer – including a trip to Arizona after graduation in May to use the test track of fellow finalist AZLoop.

The team is also partnering with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to test the pod’s battery system, an area of concern for SpaceX engineers at last year’s competition.

“We’re already getting results,” said Alexandra Joseph, the team’s systems lead. “It’s not just the batteries and the power system, either. We need to get everything tested so we can get through the safety checklist at SpaceX.”

A major change from last year’s competition is that all pods are now required to be self-propelled. 

“Since we already had a self-propelled pod last year, that has definitely given us a leg up,” Evans said. 

Now, it’s up to this year’s team to build on that great groundwork and make the propulsion system even better, Joseph said. 

“All of the major components in terms of the propulsion system have remained the same – it’s just how we’re connecting everything that’s different,” Joseph said. “The overall idea – electric motor, drone batteries, drive wheel on the rail – all those things are things that the team last year was doing. We’re taking that and looking at how we can improve upon it.”

Fundraising will begin shortly to help cover the costs of fabrication and travel.

“We have four subsystem teams working together on technologies, many new to them, testing and learning to advance their knowledge as they design their pod. Team members already put in countless hours to submit a final design proposal to SpaceX in January. Now their efforts turn to fabrication and testing at a systems level,” said Teaching Professor Kristy Csavina, the team’s faculty advisor and assistant head of the Mechanical Engineering Department. “With Alexandra Joseph as systems lead and Tyler Evans as the lead project manager, along with the dedicated team members, I am confident we will be on the track this summer. We learned from our experiences last competition and are working to mitigate safety concerns through individual subsystem testing. This team is prepared to win.”

Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |

Categories: Partner News

Graduate student contributes to UN ECOSOC Youth Forum

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 15:27

A Colorado School of Mines graduate student was among the young leaders from around the world who gathered at United Nations headquarters in New York last month to discuss the role of youth in building sustainable and resilient urban and rural communities.

Sajith Wijesuriya, a fourth-year mechanical engineering PhD student, co-moderated one of the breakout sessions at the 2018 United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum, reporting back the takeaways to the main conference following the breakout discussion.

Wijesuriya, whose work at Mines focuses on thermal energy storage and peak electricity demand management strategies, is the focal point for the Science Policy Interface Platform of the U.N. Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY). His co-moderator was Yera Ortiz de Urbina, permanent observer to the U.N. for the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
"It was really productive and exhilarating to sit at the same table with entities like IRENA, UN-Energy, UNIDO and UNESCO to discuss and put forward the recommendations from young practitioners around the world," Wijesuriya said. 

Wijesuriya has been working on climate change-related issues, support for resilient communities and technology facilitation for the urban/rural sector in Sri Lanka for the last decade through a couple of organizations, including SciencePolicy Circle.

The breakout session he helped lead at the youth forum, Sustainable Energy for Climate Resilient Communities, focused on U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 7 to "ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all." 

Since the forum, he has been working with entities such as Asian Institute of Technology and YOUNGO-UNFCCC to ensure youth participation at an upcoming global conference focused on SDG  7. He will also facilitate, support and present content at the U.N.'s 3rd Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science Technology and Innovation later this year, along with University of Colorado graduate student Kimmy Pugel. 

"My contribution to these processes is driven by the need to implement the targets included in the Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda in all communities across the world," he said. "There are many communities in need of technology facilitation and other resources to increase their resilience against the issues related to climate shifts, conflicts, inequalities of resources distribution, etc." 

Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |


Categories: Partner News

Mines economics team takes 2nd in energy case competition

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 09:20

A team of Colorado School of Mines graduate students earned second place in the Columbia University Energy Symposium’s 3rd Annual Case Competition on Feb. 1.

The team of August Steinbeck, Phillip Ruban, Megan Geuss, Reuben Mashimbye and Kyle Chamberlain narrowly missed out on the top honors in the competition, which pits teams of three to six graduate students to present the most creative and innovative solutions to a main challenge facing the energy sector. 

Edging out the Mines team for first place was a team from Stanford University. Also sending teams were Duke University, University of Michigan, University of Chicago, University of Pittsburgh, Yale University, New York University, Carnegie Mellon University and Columbia. 

“The results just speak to the hard work the students put in, the education students get at Mines and the kind of student who is attracted to Mines,” said Ian Lange, director of Mines’ mineral and energy economics graduate program.

This year’s case focused on microgrids, with the teams challenged to present a business case for developing a microgrid to serve a fictional city in the Northeast – population 3,000 – that is currently underserved by the utility. 

A total of 14 teams were invited to New York to compete in the one-day challenge, out of an original field of 34. Only five of those teams moved on to the final round, where they were given two hours to adjust their case based on new “disruptive” information. 

Judging the competition were industry experts from Booz Allen Hamilton, NRG, London Economics and Tesla. The top three teams earned a cash prize of $2,500, $1,500 and $500, respectively.

 "It was a great experience,” Chamberlain said. “It really helps you understand the different aspects of pitching a solution to a group of people."

“I learned something from everyone in the group, all of whom had their own expertise,” Geuss said. 

Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |


Categories: Partner News

Quantum physics research boosted by grant, new hires

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:49

A Colorado School of Mines professor has received a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant to develop an online gateway that will allow researchers around the world to run quick quantum-computing simulations with the click of a button and without having to invest millions of dollars before building their experimental platform.

Lincoln Carr, professor of physics and head of the Carr Theoretical Physics Research Group, is the principal investigator on the three-year Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure grant, which aims to tackle a major barrier to the goal of universal quantum computing.

While in principle fulfilling theoretical physicist Richard Feynman's original 1982 vision of quantum computing, today’s “analog” quantum computers, or quantum simulators, require their own dedicated experimental platforms, at the cost of several millions of dollars to build and months of work in order to perform a specific quantum calculation. 

Researchers led by Carr will develop a widely accessible and easy-to-use software to shortcut those design considerations. To start, it will be an open-source software package, which any experimentalist can download and use to design and benchmark their quantum simulator architecture of choice. 

Ultimately, the goal is to provide an even simpler graphical version via web interface, working in collaborating with the Science Gateways Community Institute to build an online science gateway that allow experimentalists to run quick and secure simulations and tests on dedicated high-performance computing resources at Colorado School of Mines. 

“By creating a science gateway, you’ll go through a browser and press a button – just like on an iPad – you press a button on the little quantum problem you want to try, to model your quantum appliance, and then our supercomputer does the calculations and spits out the answer right into your browser,” Carr said. “It will enable not only much broader open-source science but it also enables citizen science. People without a technical background can try some quantum calculations with a press of a button.”

Carr’s grant builds on the work of a growing group of Mines professors in the area of quantum computing. Three new physics professors have been recently hired, each with expertise in a different computing platform: Assistant Professor Meenakshi Singh specializes in structured nanowires, Josephson junctions and semiconducting quantum computing; Assistant Professor Zhexuan Gong is an expert in ion trap quantum computing and will work with John Bollinger’s group at NIST; and Dr. Eliot Kapit, who will join Mines as an assistant professor in July, works on superconducting devices and has experimental collaborations with John Martinis at Google, David Schuster at University of Chicago and David Pappas at NIST, researching quantum many-body physics and error correction. A fourth professor will be hired this year. 

“With the second quantum revolution, the goals are pretty immediate – a universal quantum computer that can out-compute classical computers,” Carr said. “What Mines is doing is very intelligently investing in that area on multiple fronts by doing a cluster hire. We’re investing in the next quantum leap.”

On a more fundamental level, Carr also recently had a paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the sixth quantum physics paper published by Mines faculty in 2017 in the top physics journal. The paper, “Quantifying Complexity in Quantum Phase Transitions via Mutual Information Complex Networks,” published in December, addresses the foundational issue of complexity and its origins.

“What we discovered is a way to apply the same tool we use on the brain to understand human thought to quantum states. I saw complex networks in quantum states,” Carr said. “Up until now people have thought of quantum complexity as maybe a qualitative thing, maybe a buzz word, people debate about it. We put a number to it, several numbers, and we clarified what complexity is in quantum states. No one has done that – Mines students are awesome.”

Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |


Categories: Partner News

Bazilian tapped to lead Payne Institute for Earth Resources

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:50
  Morgan Bazilian, former lead energy specialist at the World Bank, will join Colorado School of Mines in February as the executive director of the Payne Institute for Earth Resources and research professor of public policy.   As the Institute's inaugural executive director, Dr. Bazilian will be responsible for guiding and disseminating its policy-focused research and analysis, serving as the intellectual leader of the organization, which is dedicated to informing and shaping sound public policy on earth resources, energy and the environment.    Named in honor of longtime energy executive Jim Payne '59 and his wife, Arlene, in recognition of their $5 million investment in 2015, the Payne Institute conducts cutting-edge quantitative policy analysis and educates current and future leaders on the security, governance and policy challenges presented by the rapid changes being witnessed in the energy, environment and natural resource sectors. 

"We look forward to achieving Jim and Arlene's vision for the Payne Institute under Morgan's leadership," said Mines President Paul C. Johnson. "Today more than ever, our nation and the world need honest and objective brokers of information and venues to have productive, balanced and science-informed public policy discussions, especially related to earth, energy and the environment. Through the Payne Institute and Morgan's leadership, Mines is positioned to play a leadership role both nationally and internationally." 

A widely recognized expert in energy and natural resources planning, investment, security, governance and international affairs, Bazilian has more than two decades of experience in commercial, academic and government settings. He is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Advisory Council on Energy and serves on the Global Advisory Council of the Sustainable Finance Programme at Oxford University. Prior to the World Bank, he was a deputy director at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and a senior diplomat at the United Nations. Earlier in his career, he worked in the Irish government as principal advisor to the energy minister, and was the deputy CEO of the Irish National Energy Agency. He was also the European Union's lead negotiator on low-carbon technology at the UN climate negotiations. 

"We are excited to welcome Morgan to campus," said Roderick Eggert, Viola Vestal Coulter Chair in Mineral Economics and interim director of the Economics & Business Division at Mines. "With his range of accomplishments and experience, he will inject energy and insight into our initiatives on resources policy."   Bazilian holds two master's degrees and a PhD in areas related to energy systems and markets, and has been a Fulbright fellow. He holds, or has held, several academic affiliations including at Columbia University, Cambridge University, the Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. He is on the editorial boards of Environmental Research Letters, Energy Strategy Reviews and Energy Research and Social Science. He has published over 100 articles in learned journals. His book, "Analytical Methods for Energy Diversity and Security," is considered a seminal piece in the area of energy finance and security. His work has been published in Foreign Affairs, Nature Energy, Nature Climate Change and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.    "I am thrilled and honored to be joining what I believe is one of the world's finest energy, environment and natural resources research institutions in the world, and hope to help build the Payne Institute into one of the country's foremost public policy Institutes in these sectors," Bazilian said. 

Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |

Categories: Partner News

Hao Zhang discusses abandoned mine robot research with Associated Press

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:00

Hao Zhang, assistant professor of computer science at Colorado School of Mines, was recently interviewed by the Associated Press about his research to develop a robot to explore abandoned mines.

The story, which included video footage of a prototype robot at the Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, was picked up by multiple national, regional and local publications, including The Washington Post, Fox News, Christian Science Monitor, The Seattle Times, The Denver Post, Colorado Public Radio, (Fort Collins) Coloradoan and The Durango Herald

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Nobel laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart to give lecture Feb. 5

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 09:09

Sir Fraser Stoddart, winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, will be at Colorado School of Mines on Feb. 5 to give a public talk about his Nobel-winning research on the design and synthesis of molecular machines.

Stoddart, professor of chemistry at Northwestern University, shared the 2016 Nobel Prize with Jean-Pierre Sauvage of the University of Strasbourg, France, and Bernard Feringa of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, for the contributions they each made toward the development of molecules with controllable movements. 

His talk, “Materials Beyond Cyclodextrins: Emergence Opens up a Whole New World,” will begin at 4 p.m. Feb. 5 in Room 209 of Coolbaugh Hall, 1012 14th St. A reception will follow at 5 p.m. in the Coolbaugh Hall atrium, with drinks and refreshments provided. 

The Chemistry Department’s Student-Invited Seminar Committee will also host a student Q&A session with Stoddart from 3 to 4 p.m. in Coolbaugh Room 219. 

The Nobel-winning breakthrough began with the development of a new way to link molecules—the mechanical bond. Instead of bonding through ionic or covalent means, molecules are instead coupled in a physical manner by entangling them in space. Sterics, complexation and coordination drive this supramolecular assembly, with the building blocks being held together by intermolecular forces.

These supramolecular structures with switchable mechanical responses open up a whole new world in functional materials, drug delivery and the development of nanotechnology in general.

Photo credit: ©​ Nobel Media AB 2016/ Alexander Mahmoud (portrait), ©​ Nobel Media AB 2016/ Pi Frisk (award ceremony)

Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |



Categories: Partner News

Fleckenstein interviewed by Denver7 about oil, gas production in Denver-Julesberg Basin

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 08:43

Will Fleckenstein, director of strategic relationships and enterprises for the College of Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering at Colorado School of Mines, was recently interviewed by Denver7 about oil and gas production in the Denver-Julesberg Basin.

Categories: Partner News