Multidisciplinary

The Humanitarian Engineering Program at the Colorado School of Mines is evolving.

Having originated as a minor offered through the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies (now the Division of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences), the program has now moved into the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences, and grown to encompass two minors: the original in Humanitarian Engineering (HE) and a new one in Leadership for Social Responsibility (LSR) that will be ready for student enrollment in Fall 2017.

The LSR minor aims to serve students who are passionate about working for the well-being of communities from within corporate environments. HE and LSR will also be two focus areas in the revised Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) program.  

“We are very excited to have a revised BSE among Mines’ program offerings, with HE and LSR in it, so that Mines can become the destination of choice for students seeking to serve society through engineering,” said Humanitarian Engineering Program Director Juan Lucena, professor in the Engineering, Design and Society Division.

The mission of Humanitarian Engineering at Mines is to teach students how engineering can contribute to creating just and sustainable solutions for communities. The program also offers several enrichment opportunities for Mines students, such as the Peace Corps Prep Program, the Shultz Family Fund Lecture Series and scholarships, as well as ongoing relationships with groups across campus such as Mines Without Borders which are committed to bettering the world through engineering.

“Humanitarian Engineering is an amazing program,” said CECS Dean Kevin Moore. “It was one of the reasons I moved to Mines in 2005, and although I didn't get involved in promoting and helping build it until 2011, HE’s goals inspire me as both an educator and as an engineer.”

Rosalie O’Brien, a 2016-2017 Shultz Scholar majoring in environmental engineering, said she started in humanitarian engineering because she wants to make a positive difference in the world. “After all, we design for people,” she said. “To me, it only made sense that my undergraduate education should incorporate classes about human-centered problem-definition and community engagement. Becoming a Shultz Scholar was an extension of my education and provided me more outlets to engage with faculty members.” 

In addition to O’Brien, the Shultz Scholars for 2016-2017 were mechanical engineering senior Kekahu Aluli , chemical engineering senior Stephanie Martella, geophysical engineering seniors Micaela Pedrazas and Michelle Pedrazas and civil engineering junior Vy Duong. Each student was awarded approximately $8,500 to support his or her studies over the course of one year. The scholars engaged in student recruitment and program outreach, and presented their research to academic and professional audiences.


The 2016-2017 Shultz Scholars.
The 2016-2017 Shultz Scholars from left: Micaela Pedrazas, Rosalie O'Brien, Vy Duong, Kekahu Aluli, Michelle Pedrazas, Stephanie Martella.

“Being a Shultz Scholar has allowed me to really connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for innovative solution solving,” said Aluli. “I have come to learn that engineering is more than just looking for a perfect technical solution. The social impacts are just as important, and the Shultz Scholarship has allowed me to take a critical look at engineering in an effort to better the process toward deriving sociotechnical solutions.”

Aluli plans to return to Mines next year to pursue a degree in Engineering and Technology Management, and eventually hopes to combine his knowledge with that gained through the HE program to become a social entrepreneur.

Lucena noted the increased engagement that the Shultz Family Fund has brought to the program, saying that it “has allowed us to bring HE and LSR to new faculty, student and professional audiences, to engage new programs and departments on campus and to explore new opportunities for students beyond the minor.”

HE aims to increase engagement particularly with programs in the geosciences, sparked by growing faculty and student interest in organizations like Geoscientists Without Borders and alumni participation in organizations like Geology in the Public Interest. A new alumni interest group in Leadership in Social Responsibility sponsored by the Mines Alumni Association is seeking to connect Mines community members who work around issues focused on social responsibility and humanitarian engagement.  

O’Brien notes the connections she has already made through the Shultz Scholar program, saying that the best part of her experience has been working with the other scholars. “They are some of the brightest, most enthusiastic and overall amazing people that I’ve had the pleasure to meet at Mines.

Eventually, program leaders hope to make humanitarian engineering at Mines the first such degree program in the country.

Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

 

Mines Entrepreneurship Club hosts second annual Golden Startup Festival on April 28, 2017 at the Green Center.

The Colorado School of Mines Entrepreneurship Club hosted the second annual Golden Startup Festival, which included a networking fair, a panel discussion and a pitch competition, on April 28, 2017 at the Green Center.

“The startup festival brings together entrepreneurship around Golden and Mines,” said Kylen McClintock, vice president of the Mines Entrepreneurship Club and cofounder of the startup AirBespoke. “Entrepreneurship thrives when people are able to share ideas and can find that connection.”

The festival is the culminating annual event for the Entrepreneurship Club and teaches participants about launching and growing a startup company. The panel discussion included startup professionals Jen Thoemke, cofounder of Golden business accelerator Traxion; Charles Mason, inventor and owner of Clingless, which produces a shower curtain holder; and Nathan Sleadd, gear designer for Zipline Gear.

Andrew Maxey from Vartega, which develops a low-cost grade of carbon fiber through a novel recycling process, won the pitch competition and was awarded $500 as well as a meeting with Traxion. Second place went to Stow.io, an app that links people with extra storage with others who need it. Informu, which has designed a tracking device that lets you know when you’re too far from your belongings, took third.

The Golden Startup Festival also introduces potential investors to developing companies. “It’s a great place to meet a potential cofounder,” McClintock said.

The event also allows students to “see these really cool companies on the edge of technology, with unique business models and that are trying to solve interesting problems in the world,” McClintock added.

“The tools are out there,” McClintock said. “You can get funding, you can create a prototype pretty quickly, you can test a market fit and you can launch a company if you are committed to it.”

For more information about the Mines Entrepreneurship Club, visit their Facebook page.

CONTACT
Joe DelNero, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3326 | jdelnero@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

Colorado School of Mines students have teamed up with architecture students from the University of San Francisco in the Gabion Band Ring Beam Challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to test and evaluate masonry home designs and their resistance to seismic activity.

In 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, devastating communities and areas in the Kathmandu region. As homes and buildings lay in ruin, the question became, “How can the effects of a natural disaster be minimized in an area like Nepal, where homes are constructed with unreinforced masonry, and where materials are simply inaccessible?” 

The Gabion Band is a constructive technique that uses ring beams of stone wrapped in wire mesh to tie the masonry walls together to become more stable in seismic events. 

Team “Banding Together” is made up of Mines civil engineering seniors Jessie Berndsen, Molly Epstein and Jared Roberts, along with mechanical engineering seniors Caitlin Kaltenbaugh and David Pum. The team constructed models and performed tests on a shaker table throughout the course of one year as part of a project for the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Capstone Design Program. The shaker table is able to simulate earthquakes of various magnitudes, allowing the team to evaluate the construction and integrity of their masonry design for use on Nepalese homes. 

The team will get the opportunity to showcase their findings at the CECS Capstone Senior Design Tradeshow on April 27, 2017, and they hope that the project will continue with future classes of seniors.

Learn more about the team's project in the video below.

UPDATE: After judging for the CECS Capstone Senior Design Tradeshow, the team eceived the Humanitarian Engineering Award for having the project with the highest humanitarian impact.

Contact:
Joe DelNero, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3326 | jdelnero@mines.edu
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu

 
The Colorado School of Mines Student Chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists was chosen as the 2017 Outstanding Domestic Student Chapter during AAPG’s 100th Anniversary Annual Convention and Exhibition.

 Mines AAPG Student Chapter members hold their award check. Left to right: Joshua Payne, Chapter President; Elizabeth Wilson, Treasurer; Julia Peacodk, Vice President; Mark Hansford.
Mines AAPG Student Chapter members hold their award check. Left to right: Joshua Payne, Chapter President; Elizabeth Wilson, Treasurer; Julia Peacock, Vice President; Mark Hansford, Secretary.

ACE 2017 was held April 2 to 5 in Houston, Texas, with the chapter’s high honor being awarded at the Student Reception on April 3. Several speakers were there to address the student chapters, including AAPG President Paul W. Britt.
 
Chapter President Joshua Payne, a master’s student in geology, couldn’t be more proud. “Personally, as a student of the science and a great beneficiary of the opportunities and resources available through AAPG and its rich history, there is no higher honor at this stage of my career,” he said. Payne went on to boast about his fellow chapter members, noting the “exceptional character and leadership of each of the members.”
 
The mission statement of the Mines chapter, according to Payne, “is to advance the science of geology as it relates to petroleum through four themes: education, industry, networking and community involvement.” Participation in events such as ACE, but also core activities such as a weekly lunch-and-learn series, technical workshops, service events, field trips and more allow the chapter to thrive, this being its 36th year in existence at Mines. Although the group is officially housed within the Department of Geological Engineering, membership extends across the reaches of the geophysics and petroleum engineering departments, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the field.
 
Teamwork at this cross-disciplinary level has proven essential to the group’s success. “We have understood our individual strengths and used each in a way to complement another,” said Payne. “We have set highest goals and strived to accomplish each in a manner that has far exceeded expectations. We have learned from each other.”
 
Payne also noted the importance of the history of AAPG at Mines, saying that the award not only reflects the work of the current group of students, “but is a result of the culmination of the body of work put together by the chapters who have preceded us—past presidents, past officers and past members—who have showed great responsibility in ensuring the well-being of the chapters of the future.”
 
Despite the recent volatile nature of the oil and gas industry, Payne is confident that the AAPG chapter at Mines will continue to prosper. In fact, the chapter's $2000 award will be put away to be used by next year's officers to support its mission.
 
“This is a reflection on the overall culture that is inherent to Colorado School of Mines, one of integrity, innovation, success and a will to never give up."
 
Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu
 
 

In its third academic year, the ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE2ST (Water-Energy Education, Science and Technology) was formed to promote the sustainability of unconventional energy production and conduct research on both community acceptance of resource development and water resources related to energy production. As water resources can become stressed locally, finding solutions to the diverse and specialized challenges affiliated with competition for water use is crucial. The center was established with a ConocoPhillips leadership investment of $3 million in 2014.

In collaboration with the center, ConocoPhillips recently released a video that provides an in-depth look at the work happening in the area of education and outreach associated with water resources and unconventional energy production. Watch the video here.

 
Mines was one of 37 teams to compete in the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl last weekend, finishing in 13th place after the tiebreaker round.
 
Prior to the competition, each team was given a set of cases that raise issues in practical and professional ethics.
 
Questions concern ethical dilemmas in a wide range of arenas, such as the classroom (e.g., cheating or plagiarism), personal relationships (e.g., dating or friendship), professional ethics (e.g., engineering, law, medicine) or social and political ethics (e.g., free speech, gun control, etc.) 
 
The questions raised in the 2017 competition included, “Can a bartender refuse to serve a pregnant woman?” and “Should colleges pay their student athletes?” A full list of the 2017 cases can be viewed here.
 
Hannah Grover defends a case on behalf of the Mines team.

Hannah Grover defends a case on behalf of the Mines team.

Photo courtesy of Parker Bolstad.

“Having the opportunity to be a part of the Ethics Bowl team for two years in a row has been an incredibly positive experience for me,” said engineering physics senior Hannah Grover, who was interviewed by Colorado Public Radio prior to the competition. “The group of people that I got to work and explore difficult ideas with are incredible, and challenge me to think more deeply and critically about my own beliefs.” 

 
Teams were given a limited amount of time to confer and then answer the moderator’s questions, after which the opposing team could also respond. A panel of judges then probed the teams for further justifications and evaluated answers based on the intelligibility of their arguments, their focus on ethically relevant considerations and their deliberative thoughtfulness.
 
The Mines team—Grover, Parker Bolstad, Kirsten Fong, Ian Kramer, Dana Steiner and Azriel Wolffe—was tied for sixth place after the preliminary rounds. A tiebreaker put Mines in 13th. 
 
“The Mines Ethics Bowl Team really surprised people, I think. We're relatively new to Ethics Bowl—this is our third year—and I watched the competition blink when they realized our team is comprised of scientists and engineers,” said Teaching Professor Sandy Woodson, one of the team’s coaches and director of the Ethics Across Campus program at Mines.
 
Woodson noted that the team completely debunked certain stereotypes about STEM students. “Their communication skills are fantastic, they demonstrated nuanced understanding of nontechnical problems and they were quick on their intellectual feet, responding to questions out of left field,” she said. 
 
Toni Lefton, the team’s co-coach and teaching professor in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Division, is proud of how the team “presented their recommendations with a great deal of empathy for the stakeholders and illustrated how compassion, along with expertise and theoretical knowledge, is what the engineer of 2020 really looks like.”
 
Grover hopes that more people will have the opportunity to participate in this experience. “The skills it helps you develop are incredibly important, and you get introduced to issues that you may not have ever considered before,” she said. “I have taken away the ability to apply logical ethical reasoning to seemingly impossible problems, and then be able to communicate and discuss that with others.”
 
Woodson said she plans to incorporate lessons learned from this competition in coaching next year’s team.
 
Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

 

Minerals and metals are at the foundation of modern technology-based societies. Each year, the average American uses about 25 tons of earth materials. Exploration for new resources is at the front end of the mining life cycle, with mining companies spending billions of dollars per year exploring for new metal and mineral resources yet often coming up empty. 

Now, Colorado School of Mines researchers are teaming with Virginia Tech researchers, bringing together over 250 years of experience in earth resource research, to develop an integrated approach to locating, characterizing and visualizing mineral resources. Their goal is to boost exploration success rates and advance mining operations while cutting costs and minimizing both financial risk and environmental impact.
An open-pit mining operation at the Veladero Mine in Argentina.
An open-pit mining operation at the Veladero Mine in Argentina.

The researchers have proposed a national cross-disciplinary Center for Advanced Subsurface Earth Resource Models, an industry-funded consortium that would provide exploration and mining companies worldwide with new 3-D subsurface geological models. The models would inform decision-making and risk management at all stages of the mining life cycle, from exploration to operations and including mine closure and environmental reclamation.

The center has received early support from the National Science Foundation through a $15,000 planning grant to each institution. These planning grants will enable the Mines-Virginia Tech team and representatives from the exploration and mining industry to define a joint industry and university research agenda, consolidate support and develop a business plan under NSF’s Industry/University Cooperative Research Center Program. Launched in 1973, the I/UCRC program supports research and workforce development in various industry sectors by establishing and fostering cooperative, long-term innovative university-industry-NSF partnerships.
 
“The purpose and long-term vision of this center is directed toward research challenges in the development of 3-D subsurface geologic models for mineral deposits, with the ultimate goal of informing decision-making and minimizing geological risk in mineral exploration operations,” said Geology and Geological Engineering Professor Ric Wendlandt, Mines’ principal investigator on the project.
 
The Mines team includes 14 researchers from the departments of Geology and Geological Engineering, Geophysics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics and Mining Engineering. Professor Wendy Harrison and Associate Professor Thomas Monecke, both from the Geology and Geological Engineering Department, are co-principal investigators. At Virginia Tech, Math Professor Matthias (Tia) Chung leads a team of 12 researchers.
 
The consortium represents an ideal cross-disciplinary effort, balancing geological and geophysical exploration methods with essential mathematical and computational approaches and risk analysis perspectives.  
 
The research team will explore innovations in measurements of chemical and physical properties of rock materials and improvements to integrating and scaling of diverse geological and geophysical data types. These improvements will help mathematicians, statisticians and computer scientists build more accurate tools for 3-D imaging and visualization of the Earth’s subsurface.
 
According to Monecke, who specializes in economic geology, the exploration and mining sector is unlike other industries. The time between onset of exploration to resource production and recoup of investment often exceeds 10 years.
 
“The mining business is a complex process, taking many years to develop a project from exploration to production and finally mine closure and reclamation. Successful modern mining operations generate wealth and employment for several decades, yet because failure at any step is prohibitively expensive, companies are slow in developing and adapting new technologies and often rely on business strategies proven to have worked in the past,” said Monecke. “Our center’s vision is to advance the digital revolution of the global exploration and mining industry during all stages of the mining life cycle—research in this area will be the stepping stone to transforming exploration and mining into an industry of the 21st century.”
 
The center will need industry support to receive full funding from the NSF. During the initial yearlong planning phase, Mines will recruit companies to join the consortium. “There are already 28 companies interested in working with us, in the long run looking to fund innovative fundamental research that will accelerate the mining sector forward,” said Wendlandt. “We’re very encouraged.” 
A Mines geophysics student works with 3-D imaging software.
A Mines geophysics student works with 3-D imaging software.

Companies expressing interest in the consortium include those in mineral exploration and mining, software development, consulting, geochemistry and exploration geophysics and instrumentation. Federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey may also participate. Research priorities are set by the consortium’s members, who will establish an industry advisory board.

 
“Mining is intrinsic to modern society’s transition to a sustainable existence,” said Ramona Graves, dean of the College of Earth Resources Science and Engineering. “The center’s projects will promote socioeconomic prosperity and help in reducing the environmental impact of the mining industry.”
 
The center will also be a major effort to prepare college graduates at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to move directly into the industrial workforce, explained Harrison, helping students make essential contacts in the industry even before they graduate. There is an emerging need in the mining industry for professionals who provide expertise in advanced computer-controlled equipment, computer modeling and data analysis that support the daily activity of a company.  
 
“The Center for Advanced Subsurface Earth Resource Models, if successful in attracting members, would be the first geoscience-based program started under the 44-year-old NSF program,” said Harrison. Expectations for the planning year are to gain industry support for the Center’s operation plan, agree on research goals and initial projects and get individual companies to commit to joining the center.
 
 
This research is being made possible by NSF Grant 1650500.
 
Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

 

Colorado School of Mines students and faculty reflect on their time in Nepal as part of a service trip for Hike for Help. The group spent their three-week winter vacation volunteering in Khumbu Valley, Nepal, constructing a public restroom facility for the local community and aiding in repairing the local high school that was destroyed in an earthquake in 2015.

Read more about the students who traveled to Nepal in Winter 2016-2017 here. Learn more about the Hike for Help organization at hikeforhelp.org.

 
A three-day NSF-sponsored workshop will bring to Mines 20 of the world’s top scholars focused on the societal aspects of mining and other extractive processes.
 
“STS Underground: Investigating the Technoscientific Worlds of Mining and Subterranean Extraction” will take place February 5 to 7, 2017. The workshop encourages a research approach that is often referred to as Science and Technology Studies, or Science, Technology, and Society (STS).
 
“STS sheds light on how mining, energy and other extractive processes are not just technical, but sociotechnical practices that have everything to do with questions of knowledge, power and expertise,” said Jessica Smith, Hennebach Assistant Professor of Energy Policy in Liberal Arts and International Studies. Smith is cohosting the conference with Ropali Phadke of Macalester College and Abby Kinchy of Renesselar Polytechnic Institute. “Industry leaders have learned that to be successful and sustainable, they need to be proactive in engaging these sorts of sociotechnical questions.”
 
The conference is the first one in STS to focus specifically on extractive activities. “The existing social science scholarship on mining and extraction comes largely from anthropology and geography, especially in terms of the consequences for vulnerable communities. Yet these fields remain largely distinct from STS and rarely engages practitioners, such as scientists and engineers,” explained Phadke. 
 
Workshop participants who are interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences scholars will have the opportunity to engage with scientists and engineers who work in those fields. They will also have an opportunity to tour the university’s Edgar Experimental Mine. Organizers say STS is well positioned to make an impact in these industries, opening up crucial questions about the technologies, practices and forms of knowledge related to subterranean extractive practices.
 
“We’re proud that Mines is playing a role in bringing these industries from the periphery of this field to the center of it,” said Smith.
 
While the majority of the three-day event is closed to the public in order to workshop papers in a forthcoming book, there are two public events on February 6: a panel discussion with invited guest scholars, who will synthesize and comment on the themes of the workshop, and a keynote address from renowned historian Gabrielle Hecht, an internationally recognized expert on nuclear energy policy and uranium mining. 
 
The panel will take place 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Ben Parker Student Center, Ballrooms A and B, with speakers Anthony Bebbington of Clark University, Trevor Birkenholtz of the University of Illinois, Elizbeth Ferry of Brandeis Unvieristy and Phadke. More information about each of the speakers can be found here.
 
A reception will follow from 5:30 to 6 p.m., where posters showcasing Mines students’ research engaging with the social responsibility dimensions of mining, oil and gas, groundwater and geothermal projects will be on display. 
 
The keynote address will be held immediately after at 6 p.m. Hecht will present “Residual Governance: Mining Afterlives and Molecular Colonialism, seen from an African Anthropocene.”
 
“It’s exciting to see Mines at the forefront of defining the underground as a vibrant specialty inside of STS,” said Smith, “and the workshop is advancing our efforts in the Humanitarian Engineering program to grow research and teaching on social responsibility on campus.”
 
This workshop is being made possible by NSF Award 16322651.
 
Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 ramirez@mines.edu
 

Colorado School of Mines has received a $7.5 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish a University Transportation Center (UTC), focused on improving the durability and lifespan of underground transportation.

James R. Paden Distinguished Professor Marte Gutierrez from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is the lead on this interdisciplinary project that draws on the expertise and reputation of Mines’ Center for Underground Construction and Tunneling (UC&T).

“This is such a huge win for Mines,” said Professor Mike Mooney, the Bruce Grewcock University Chair and Director of UC&T. “This is the first U.S. DOT funded center at Mines and the first ever U.S. DOT center focused on underground infrastructure. This effort will build upon the strong foundation of UC&T at Mines and cements UC&T and Mines as the number one place in the world for underground construction and tunneling research and education.”   

In collaboration with affiliate partners, California State University, Los Angeles and Lehigh University, the new center includes research, education and outreach to make underground construction and transportation safer, more sustainable and more cost-efficient.

“We are running out of land, especially in urban areas. The only way to meet increased demand for transportation is to go underground,” explained Gutierrez. “Underground transportation and infrastructure is key to reducing congestion and pollution.”

UC&T graduate students explore an underground construction site.

The center hopes to work closely with industry leaders to develop advanced technologies that would avoid the problems that often extend the time and cost of underground construction. “Our goal is to help the construction industry,” said Gutierrez, “by providing tools, methodologies and technology for underground construction. We want to partner with the industry so that we can apply our findings, as well as offer continuing education courses—that’s how technology transfer really happens.”

Mines’ UC&T, started in 2011 with generous initial support from Mines alumnus Bruce Grewcock, has been leading efforts toward a more adaptive design system in the field of underground construction and tunneling. Boreholes and geological/geophysical surveys provide limited information on ground conditions until excavation starts. Predicted responses often differ from the reality once a project is underway. Gutierrez is proposing the use of adaptive computational modeling to align design with the site-specific geology. 

“We want to exploit the new knowledge we gain every time we excavate,” said Gutierrez. “The design must adapt. As we improve our understanding of the site’s geology, the design also improves, ultimately avoiding the unexpected high costs and extended timelines that can occur when the natural and built environments do not match.”

The center will also look at extending the life of existing aging infrastructures and how transportation infrastructure can best be repaired with the least impact on congestion. Ultimately, with cooperation from industry, the UTC at Mines will lead to increased safety, reliability and sustainability in underground transportation infrastructures.

“Marte has done such a fantastic job leading the successful proposal effort and now leading a great cross-campus interdisciplinary team,” said Mooney, referencing the diverse expertise of the faculty members who are involved in the project: professors Hugh Miller, Jurgen Brune, Rennie Kaunda and Department Head Priscilla Nelson from Mining Engineering; Andrei Swidinsky from Geophysics; as well as the Co-PIs: Gabriel Walton and Wendy Zhou from Geology, Eunhye Kim from Mining, and Reza Hedayat, Panos Kiousis, and Shiling Pei from Civil and Environmental Engineering—in addition to Mooney and Gutierrez.

Mooney added, “The Mines community of current students and alumni out there shaping the future of underground infrastructure should all be very proud.”   

 

CONTACT:

Deirdre Keating, Communications Manager, College of Engineering & Computational Sciences | 303-384-2358 | dkeating@mines.edu
Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assistant, Mines magazine | 303-273-3959 | aspurgeon@mines.edu

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