Colorado School of Mines is launching a new, broad-based Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree this fall that integrates the strength of a Mines technical degree with the flexibility to pursue individual interests and passions.

This will be the first time Mines has offered a general engineering degree since 2012, when the previous iteration was transformed into four separate degree programs for mechanical, electrical, civil and environmental engineering.

The revitalized BSE will give students exposure to the broad fundamentals of science, mathematics and engineering while engaging in significant project-based learning experiences every semester. Flexibility will be a hallmark of the degree, with students able to build their own specialized area of focus or choose from one of six interdisciplinary areas – energy studies, water security, community development, robotics and automation, corporate sustainability, and music, audio engineering and recording arts. 

“The Bachelor of Science in Engineering is all about educating the next generation of engineering innovators, design thinkers and impact makers who will be leaders in defining and solving problems,” said John Persichetti, director of the BSE Program and teaching associate professor in the Engineering, Design and Society Division. “The BSE is for students who have a vision of what they want to do with their engineering degree that isn’t directly served by a traditional engineering degree, who want to integrate relevant social science content into that degree, and who are not intimidated by ambiguity or the complexity of tackling real-world problems.”

Core engineering education will cover five fundamental topics – fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, statics, circuits and materials – with a supporting foundation in the humanities and social sciences, including a required communications class. All BSE students will also participate in six semester-long Integrative Design Studios, with the hands-on, human-centered learning experiences culminating in the yearlong Capstone Senior Design Studio

“These Integrative Design Studios are intended to give students training in and exposure to the fact that in practice engineers must interact with more than the technical challenges of a problem and must often first be ‘problem definers’ before they are problem-solvers,” said Kevin Moore, dean of the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences. “Understanding the context of engineering in today’s world requires understanding the social, political, economic, environmental and cultural impacts of their designs in order to truly make a difference.”

Graduates of the BSE program will be well positioned to work in leadership roles in a wide range of industrial, governmental, academic and non-engineering disciplines, Persichetti said.  More than half of recruiters at Mines surveyed a couple years ago said they would be interested in graduates with a BSE. 

“Mines graduates are viewed as really being top-notch when it comes to solving problems – we’re just broadening a student’s mindset and exposure to how to solve those problems,” Persichetti said. “Stronger emphasis on communication and leadership skills coupled with design thinking and methodologies that are built and honed through ongoing design studios will provide employers with an engineer who is well equipped to make immediate and meaningful contributions as a new hire.”

Additional BSE focus areas could be added in the future, including pre-med and STEM education. 

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

Colorado School of Mines is excited to announce that the university is now an official partner of the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN). KEEN is a growing network of 30+ undergraduate engineering programs around the United States, including institutions such as Arizona State University, Santa Clara University and Villanova University. The network’s mission is to graduate engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset who can create personal, economic, and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work.
As a KEEN partner, Mines will have access to exclusive benefits aimed at helping to expand and improve entrepreneurial education on campus. Benefits include faculty development opportunities, curriculum resources and grants and funding for aligned initiatives, such as support for the University Innovation Fellows program.
Advocating for expanding the entrepreneurial mindset – which encompasses student attitudes, motivations and dispositions – is critical in today’s dynamic and interconnected world. KEEN helps students to develop this mindset through a framework of the “3C’s:”
  • Curiosity: “An inquisitiveness marked by an insatiable desire to learn about our changing world”
  • Connections: “The ability to integrate information from many different sources to gain insight”
  • Creating Value: “Finding unexpected opportunities to create value for others”
Mines hopes to use the resources provided by KEEN to develop new programs and to equip faculty with the tools needed to incorporate these concepts into initiatives and curriculum at Mines so that students are best prepared to find success upon entering the workforce.
About Colorado School of Mines
Colorado School of Mines is known globally for the quality of its distinctive graduates, the success of its alumni and its unique expertise in topics related to earth, energy and the environment. Mines produces industry-ready scientists and engineers known for their work ethic, problem-solving ability and teamwork focus. Mines graduates are in great demand by companies and government entities around the world and are involved in solving major technical and societal challenges of our times.
About The Kern Family Foundation
The Kern Family Foundation invests in the rising generation of Americans, equipping them to become tomorrow's leaders and innovators. Established in 1999, The Kern Family Foundation is a prominent, strategic foundation based in Wisconsin that invests in the rising generation of leaders. The Foundation aims to effect systemic change through partnerships to preserve the tradition of private enterprise, which enables the United States to thrive intellectually and economically. Its three program areas are Education and Character, Faith, Work and Economics, and Entrepreneurial Engineering. The Foundation has a national vision for its strategic initiatives, but does not accept unsolicited applications.

Lexie Mitchell, Assistant Director, Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation |
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3361 |

The 2018 Joe Eazor Executive in Residence Seminar Series hosted by the Division of Economics and Business’ Engineering and Technology Management Program will be led by author, speaker, consultant and innovator Raj Rawat.

Open to all Mines students and faculty, the seminar series allows executives from industry to pass on insight and knowledge to students preparing for challenges that the seasoned executive understands well. This Engineering and Technology Management Program initiative facilitates active involvement by industry executives, through teaching, student advising activities and more.

Seminars begin Jan. 16 and take place 4-5:30 p.m. at Colorado School of Mines in Marquez Hall 126.

2018 Joe Eazor Executive in Residence Seminar Series Schedule

  • Jan. 16 - Reverse the Chase, Let Opportunity Chase You - Raj Rawat 
  • Jan. 30 - What Leaders Are Made Of - Greg Keller, James Jamison and Abby Benson 
  • Feb. 6 - Building Your Leadership Core - Katherine Knowles, Bart Lorang and Jessica Garcia 
  • Feb. 27 - Excellence and Leadership - Remy Arteaga and Julie Korak 
  • March 13 - Excellence = Fearless Life - George Promis and Nick Gromicko 
  • April 10 - Your Everest - Student Presenters 

Meet the speakers and learn more at

Raj Rawat: 2018 Executive in Residence
Raj Rawat is an author, speaker, consultant and innovator. After 20 years of leading “impossible” billion-dollar projects for Fortune 50 companies, he found his passion in inspiring companies and individuals to rise to their full potential.

Rawat’s recent book, “Find Your Everest: Before Someone Chooses It For You,” is gaining critical acclaim for its inspirational yet honest approach to think big and achieve. Rawat creates high-performance cultures by aligning individuals’ priorities with the organization’s performance targets.

Learn more at

Kelly Beard, Communications Specialist, Division of Economics and Business | 303-273-3452 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |

The Colorado School of Mines student section of the Society of Women Engineers celebrated graduating female students at its midyear Continuum on Wednesday, December 13.

The Continuum is a biannual event held at the end of the fall and spring semester, and invites families, friends, alumnae and members of the Mines community to campus to celebrate the class of graduating women.

Kim Bogue ’03, a Mines graduate and systems engineer at Raytheon, was the keynote speaker at the event. Bogue has worked on multiple programs for the company, supporting the development of mission management and command and control software and hardware for satellite ground stations.

Graduating electrical engineering seniors Nana Adu and Andrea Benefiel also spoke at the event.

“I’m sure we are all anxious about entering the next stage of our lives but we want to encourage you to embrace that fear,” Adu said. “Keep learning because you have the ability to make a real impact in the world.”

The Continuum started in 1999 when Susan Rainey, a SWE member and graduating senior, wanted to form an event recognizing the women on campus. Rainey brought together SWE, the Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics program and the Mines Alumni Association to develop and sponsor the event.


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

ASM Silver Medal AwardA Colorado School of Mines professor has received an award for distinguished contributions in the field of materials science and engineering.

Kip Findley, an associate professor in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, received ASM International’s Silver Medal Award for outstanding contributions to developing a physically based understanding of deformation, fatigue and fracture in high-performance steels.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by ASM International,” Findley said. “This recognition encompasses the work we do in the Advanced Steel Processing and Products Research Center. Our center works at the interface of users and producers of steel to develop steel alloys and processing for enhanced performance, including fatigue, fracture and deformation. Our research and cooperation with industry leads to advancements in steel products for these applications to enable increased fuel efficiency and safer pipelines, for example.”

Findley received the award at the MS&T17 conference October 8-12 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The silver medal recognizes mid-career researchers for contributions and service to the field. Only one academic and one non-academic may receive this honor each year. Judging is based on technical or business accomplishments, beneficial impact of contributions to industry or society and volunteer professional service.


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

Marc Edwards will be the keynote speaker at The Young's Environmental SymposiumColorado School of Mines is hosting a film screening, panel discussion and keynote speaker in a two-day symposium on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, along with the Hennebach Program in the Humanities and former Mines President John Trefny, is organizing the Young’s Environmental Symposium on October 18-19.

The symposium opens Wednesday, October 18, with a screening of “Noah: Rising from the Ashes in Flint” at 6:30 p.m. in the Green Center’s Metals Hall. The film tells the story of Noah Patton, a young Flint resident, who is working to positively shape the future of his community.  The film will be followed by a panel discussion with filmmaker Dana Romanoff; Pastor Robert McCathern, a local Flint religious leader; Margaret Kato, the executive director of Genesee County Habitat for Humanity in Flint; and Marc Edwards, Thursday’s keynote speaker.

Marc Edwards, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech who was a key player in bringing the Flint crisis into focus, presents “Citizen Science and the Flint Water Crisis – Triumph, Tragedy and Misconduct” from 7 to 9 p.m. on October 19 in the Green Center’s Friedhoff Hall. Edwards will discuss case studies of engineering and scientific misconduct that have been perpetrated by government agencies meant to protect the public health.

"The purpose of the symposium is to bring awareness of environmental issues that have important social significance to Mines and the surrounding communities,” said John McCray, professor and head of Mines’ Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

This symposium is sponsored through a gift from The Young Foundation and is named after Herbert Young, a 1939 Mines graduate who majored in mining engineering and established the symposium.


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

The Mines library has launched a new specialized interface to help students, faculty and staff explore theses and senior papers.

Arthur Lakes Library’s new Mines Theses and Dissertations search interface allows students to explore senior papers, theses and dissertations. The collection already has more than 9,000 titles, and more will continue to be added. The library recently added Walter Howard Wiley’s paper, “Report upon the Utopia Mine, Ophir, Ouray Co., Colorado,” which is the earliest recorded Mines thesis, published in 1883.

The new search interface has features including multiple search filters and tags, and new features are being rolled out each month. Students can search by author, keyword, advisor, department or title.

“The pace of development is breathtaking,” said Laura Guy, a systems librarian at Arthur Lakes Library. “The new search interface allows users to easily and quickly identify the thesis they are looking for.”

Guy added that many theses have supplemental information such as maps, statistical data or other research outputs that can be beneficial for students looking to build upon past research.

The library has also developed a similar search interface for eBooks only, giving users access to thousands of online books.


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

Three Mines students in the Advanced Steel Processing and Products Research Center (ASPPRC) have been named student representatives to the boards of ASM International societies.

Mary O’Brien, Jonah Klemm-Toole and Rachael Stewart, all in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, were chosen as a part of ASM International’s Student Board Member Program.

O’Brien, a master’s and PhD student, was named to the International Metallographic Society board. She is researching the effects of microstructure on hydrogen-induced cracking in pipeline seals for oil and gas applications.

“The International Metallographic Society in particular is interested in the characterization of materials and that is everything I love,” O’Brien said. “I believe that the first step to solving all materials problems is to characterize what the problem is in the first place.”

Klemm-Toole, a PhD candidate, was picked for the Heat Treating Society board. His research involves the development of advanced steels for nitrided transmission gears in order to make them more fatigue-resistant and, potentially, smaller and lighter.

“I’m excited to meet the people who are involved on the board and I’m interested to learn more about what the industry wants from graduating students,” Klemm-Toole said.

Stewart, a master’s student, was chosen to serve on the Failure Analysis Society board this year and was a student representative on the ASM International board last year.

“I felt like my role was very important and I worked hard to make my voice heard,” Stewart said. “I know and see things that others on the board won’t and I’m in touch with a unique part of the member base.”

“Because the ASPPRC is very heavily industrial-focused, I think that lends itself to us being chosen,” Klemm-Toole said.

“There’s a twofold advantage to this role: first, it gives you access to some really great scientific minds and you become closer to these names that you’ve only seen in literature. Second, if you do these extracurricular opportunities, more career options open up,” O’Brien said.

The student board member positions are one-year terms and include board meetings and teleconferences where they will speak on behalf of the student members of those organizations.


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

A Colorado School of Mines professor is working to remove chemicals and potentially harmful substances from the groundwater supply in Fountain, Colorado.

Chris Bellona, assistant professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and a team of researchers have just finished Phase I of their project, testing different ways to remove perfluoroalkyl substances from the city’s groundwater supply.

“Various municipalities across the U.S. are struggling with these perfluoroalkyl substances,” Bellona said.

Perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, are a large group of man-made chemicals used in a wide variety of products, often to make them more stain-resistant, waterproof or nonstick. The health effects of PFASs in humans are not well understood, but studies have found that animals exposed at high levels resulted in changes in the function of the liver, thyroid and pancreas, and changes in hormone levels.

Communities near airports and firefighting training areas that have used aqueous film-forming foams to fight fuel fires have been especially affected.

“The chemicals that are in these foams get into the ground and into the groundwater and they are mobile and they don’t break down,” Bellona said. “In the U.S., there’s an estimated five million people who have these chemicals in their drinking water supplies.”

This includes municipalities near Colorado Springs. The three utilities that still have groundwater available for use are Security, Widefield and Fountain. This led to Bellona’s current project, “Pilot scale evaluation of the efficacy of granular activated carbon for perfluoroalkyl substance removal at the City of Fountain.”

“We starting working with the city of Fountain because they traditionally use groundwater part of the year and their levels of PFOA and PFOS exceed the EPA health advisory limit,” Bellona said. “They are going to need to put in a treatment system using granular activated carbon (GAC). They approached us to do a pilot scale study.”

GACs can be made in different ways, but it is usually coal burned in the absence of oxygen, then activated. With a large surface area, GACs can absorb large amounts of contaminants.

“The PFASs are relatively hydrophobic, so they stick to the carbon,” Bellona said. “Activated carbon works for a variety of contaminants, but eventually becomes exhausted. Part of this study was to look at how long we could operate the carbon before we have breakthrough of the contaminants.”

The study evaluated four different carbons side by side for the city’s groundwater.

“There are a lot of carbon options but it hasn’t been established which could be most effective,” Bellona said. “The goal of this project is to learn more by using four commercially available options.”

The next phase will compare the effectiveness of the top-performing activated carbon option to ion exchange, another way of filtering perfluoroalkyl substances, and the cost-benefit trade-offs.

“Ion exchange is more expensive but it can be regenerated on site; however, you have to deal with this waste stream,” Bellona said. “That may be more advantageous than dealing with the spent carbon residual. In addition, ion exchange resin may provide for longer treatment for these compounds compared to activated carbon.”

“These compounds are very recalcitrant and there is no silver bullet that has been developed for treatment,” Bellona said. “We aren’t only looking at these substances above the health advisory level. We are looking at a wide variety of these substances and how well activated carbon works on them.”

On this research project, Bellona has been working with diverse faculty and staff from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the Advanced Water Technology Center including associate professor Chris Higgins, professor Tzahi Cath, research assistant Tani Cath, lab manager Kate Spangler, research associate and facility manager Mike Veres, as well as Charlie Liu, a doctoral student in Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.  


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

Colorado School of Mines was ranked first in the nation among colleges offering degrees in engineering according to College Factual, a website dedicated to helping students find the best college fit.

The ranking listed schools with successful engineering programs using factors including graduate earnings, accreditation and overall college quality. Engineering physics was listed as the best-ranked major at Mines and the average starting salary for Mines graduates was $67,000.

Additionally, College Factual ranked Mines fourth overall in a list of the best Colorado colleges. 


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


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