Researchers at Colorado School of Mines, in partnership with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of Chicago, have developed new designer quantum dot systems with greater control over beneficial properties for photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic applications. Their research has been published in the May 16, 2017, edition of Nature Communications.

The paper, “Tuning Colloidal Quantum Dot Band Edge Positions through Solution-Phase Surface Chemistry Modification” focuses on chemical modifications the scientists were able to achieve to lead sulfide quantum dot (QD) surfaces so that their ionization energy—the amount of energy needed to remove a single electron from the solid—could be systematically tuned over an unprecedented range. Mines Chemistry Professor Alan Sellinger and graduate student Brett McNichols are coauthors on the paper.

Mines Chemistry Professor Alan Sellinger and graduate student Brett McNichols

“This interdisciplinary research is a true team effort of computational chemistry (University of Chicago), synthetic chemistry (Colorado School of Mines) and materials chemistry/characterization (NREL),” says Sellinger

Quantum dots are considered to be pseudo-atoms that have highly tunable opto-electronic properties. Researchers are studying films of QDs as functional solids in a variety of applications, including displays, lighting, solar cells and solar photoelectrochemical cells. In a typical solid, the ionization energy is determined from the constituent atoms and in general cannot be modified. In QD solids, however, the ionization energy as well as other beneficial opto-electronic properties can be modified in controlled and rational ways.

The research also established the fundamental principles that govern the relationship between a QD and ligand, which are organic molecules chemically attached to the QD surfaces. Prior studies have shown that modifying the surface of the QDs can change the overall ionization energy, but a clear and quantitative relationship hasn’t been reported until now.

Authors from NREL includes Matthew Beard, Daniel Kroupa, Elisa Miller, Jing Gu and Arthur Nozik, and they were also joined by University of Chicago researchers Marton Voros, Nicholas Brawand and Giulia Galli.

Megan Hanson, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science and Engineering | 303-384-2358 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |

A Colorado School of Mines research consortium focused on 3-D metal printing technologies has been awarded about $1.5 million by the Department of Defense to connect research and development centers with defense contractors via a centralized, artificially intelligent database, allowing manufacturers to respond more quickly to changing demands.

ADAPT centerThis first phase of the Mountain West Advanced Manufacturers Network is a joint project with the University of Utah and was awarded a total of $2.7 million by the Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment.

“Enabling manufacturers to efficiently deploy additive manufacturing processes helps diversify their product offerings, expand into non-defense markets and provide resilient employment and value to their communities and the economy independent of defense spending,” said Aaron Stebner, ADAPT technical director and assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

“Additive manufacturing holds the promise of enabling manufacturers to quickly adapt to changing market needs compared to traditional manufacturing methods,” said Heidi Hostetter, chair of ADAPT’s industry board and vice president of Faustson Tool.

“Today, building new parts or switching materials with this technology takes too long,” she said. “MWAMN is focused on radically shortening that time, lowering costs and reducing the negative economic impact on companies and communities when defense programs and spending changes.”

ADAPT, since launching in 2016 with partners Faustson, Ball Aerospace, Lockheed Martin and Manufacturer’s Edge and funding from the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade, has been building a database of materials, characteristics, processes and more to help industry qualify the parts they are manufacturing. ADAPT has since added numerous members, including Colorado and Utah manufacturers in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

The MWAMN will leverage ADAPT’s existing data framework to help companies change their products and materials, develop new products and reduce their reliance on military contracts.

Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |
Ashley Spurgeon, Assistant Editor, Mines Magazine | 303-273-3959 |

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, 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.

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

Two Colorado School of Mines PhD students whose theses both take on the challenges of using alternative energy sources have been awarded the Dr. Bhakta Rath and Sushama Rath Research Award, given for dissertations that demonstrate the greatest potential for societal impact.

Vinh Nguyen, chemical engineering, and Michael Wagner, mechanical engineering, will be recognized at the Graduate Commencement Ceremony on May 11.

Nguyen’s thesis concerns the use of methane gas in fuel cells at low temperatures. “It’s very stable, so it’s hard to get energy out,” Nguyen said. Most processes that use methane require temperatures over 500 degrees—not desirable for use in a car, for example. Seeing cars run on fuel cells is what inspired Nguyen to enter the field, join the Colorado Fuel Cell Center at Mines and work with Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor Andrew Herring.
“It’s been extremely challenging to more than a generation of chemists and chemical engineers with very minimal success,” said Nguyen. “So when my advisor introduced this, I hesitated. But I was encouraged enough to work on it.”

In his first year, Nguyen was able to extract about 30 times more energy than previous systems, at temperatures between 80 and 160 degrees. Nguyen achieved this by developing a platinum catalyst that is distributed more evenly, using more of its surface area, and developing an ionic liquid that allows the methane gas and the water it needs to oxidize to diffuse at the proper concentrations.

“There’s a competition of transport between the water and the methane going into the fuel cell,” Nguyen said. “Methane is hydrophobic, and water tries to kick methane out, so we need an environment permeable for both at the same time.”

The energy produced is still low compared to hydrogen fuel cells, “but there is a very beginning of hope that methane or natural gas (which is 95 percent methane) is possible to use in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell, and it can be explored more in the future,” Nguyen said.

Large amounts of inexpensive methane are available in the US, so being able to use it more efficiently would be of great benefit. Also, the process emits no polluting gases—just CO2 and water.

“His PhD thesis will eventually result in six or seven high-impact papers that will lay the groundwork for the direct electrochemical utilization of methane,” said Colin Wolden, professor and interim department head of Chemical and Biological Engineering, who nominated Nguyen for the award.

Nguyen holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Colorado at Denver and a master’s in applied chemistry from Colorado School of Mines. He completed his PhD while working full-time as a principal scientist at TDA Research in Wheat Ridge, which he joined right after completing his BS.

“It’s been a challenge to do both work and school at the same time, plus two kids, and I’m glad it’s over,” Nguyen said.

Wagner’s dissertation presents a model for optimizing the dispatching of energy generated from concentrating solar power systems. CSP systems use an array of mirrors to focus the sun’s rays on molten salt, heating it up to over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat stored in the salt can then be used to drive steam turbines and generate electricity.

“Usually, you just run it until it’s gone,” Wagner said. His thesis is part of an overall push to “move the tech from finding out whether you can do it to a market-competitive stage. How do you schedule it to maximize profit from a plant or minimize the cost of running the turbine all the time?” It’s akin to a car engine—sometimes it’s better to keep it running idle to avoid too much stopping and starting, while other situations call for turning it off to avoid wasting fuel.

Wagner wrote software that determines a dispatch strategy over 24 hours, considering factors such as system configuration, storage tank size, production capacities and ramp rates. He applied this model to a CSP plant in Tonopah, Nevada, called Crescent Dunes, one of just a few facilities in the world.

Because of the size of these facilities, they tend to be located in the desert Southwest, on reclaimed farmland or old Air Force bases. Crescent Dunes’ power tower, for example, stands 640 feet tall and is surrounded by 10,347 mirrors.

“The real challenge for CSP is to bring the costs down,” Wagner said. While storing the energy is relatively cheap compared to the batteries required for photovoltaic cells, the infrastructure is expensive.

Wagner’s methods are already being applied to CSP facilities under development. “Mike’s thesis is one of those rare examples where research made it to practice during the time of dissertation,” said Greg Jackson, professor and department head of Mechanical Engineering, who nominated Wagner. “And this in one of the grand engineering challenges for this century—to develop a robust and reliable electric grid based on renewable energy resources.”

Advising Wagner were Professor Alexandra Newman and Associate Professor Robert Braun, both in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Wagner’s thesis fits seamlessly into his work as a mechanical engineer in the Thermal Systems Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “NREL has been working on CSPs for a while, with research ongoing since the 1970s,” Wagner said. Other avenues of CSP research include overall system optimization and determining which salts to use for heat storage.

Wagner, who holds BS and MS degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, joined NREL in 2009 and worked full-time as he pursued his PhD. In 2012, a month after learning he’d been accepted into the program, he and his wife learned she was pregnant. “It’s been a little bit overwhelming, but the end is near,” Wagner said.

Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |
Ashley Spurgeon, Assistant Editor, Mines Magazine | 303-273-3959 |

A NASA space observatory put together by Colorado School of Mines researchers has launched from Wanaka Airport in Otago, New Zealand, the afternoon of April 24, 2017 (10:50 a.m. April 25 local time), in a pioneering attempt to observe ultra-high-energy cosmic rays entering Earth’s atmosphere.

EUSO Super Pressure Balloon is inflated for launch.The Extreme Universe Space Observatory Super Pressure Balloon will fly at 110,000 feet, and is designed to travel for up to 100 days. Researchers hope to gain insight into the origins of the highest-energy subatomic particles known to exist in the universe, and how they traveled to Earth.

Mines Physics Professor Lawrence Wiencke, co-project leader, oversaw a team of students and faculty in assembling the gondola as well as integrating the instrumentation to allow the transmission of data. The observatory underwent testing at NASA’s scientific balloon facility in Palestine, Texas, last November and was shipped to New Zealand in December. The observatory passed its final tests March 23; several previous launch attempts were aborted due to unfavorable weather.

“Amazing,” Wiencke said about the successful launch. “The 1,000-foot flight train was released smoothly from the ‘pin’ on the end of the launch crane and the entire 10,000 pounds of balloon, parachute and EUSO-SPB payload rose nearly straight up.” The balloon reached 109,000 feet about three hours after launch—a critical milestone. “So the Extreme Universe Space Observatory on a Super Pressure Balloon has started what we hope will be a very long trip!” Wiencke said.

The observation of these cosmic rays is a challenge because of their rarity. At the highest energies, which are well beyond the capabilities of man-made particle accelerators, fewer than one cosmic ray enters Earth’s atmosphere per square kilometer per century.

“High-energy cosmic rays have never been observed this way from space, and space offers the biggest view of the atmosphere,” Wiencke said. “This NASA super pressure balloon mission into the stratosphere is a pioneering opportunity for us,” he added.

“Our instrument has just been launched on a global voyage. Our international collaboration is very excited about this launch and about the new data that will be collected along the way,” Wiencke said. “For us, this is also a big step toward space.”

“We know that these extremely energetic particles travel from faraway galaxies to reach the Earth,” said Angela Olinto, principal investigator and professor at the University of Chicago. “We need to observe a significantly larger number of these cosmic messengers to discover what their sources are and how particles interact at these energetic extremes.”

When such a cosmic ray reaches Earth, the interaction with nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere creates fluorescent light proportional to the energy of the particle.

“The leadership role of the Mines Physics Department’s subatomic group is absolutely critical to this mission.” said Wiencke, who also served as the project manager. “Coordinating the activities of our international collaboration to meet the many milestones has been a rewarding challenge.” The observatory’s state-of-the-art telescope was designed with contributions from sixteen countries.

Members of the EUSO-SPB science team on launch day: From left, Leo Allen, University of Chicago; Mines' Rachel Gregg, Johannes Eser and Lawrence Wiencke; and Malek Mastafa, University of Alabama Huntsville.Instrument subsystems were shipped to Mines where the detector was assembled and tested. Mines team members Adjunct Professor William Finch and machine shop head Randy Bachman, working with counterparts at NASA, designed a mechanical exoskeleton structure. Undergraduate engineering physics students Rachel Gregg and Zach Polonsky performed much of the fabrication.

The Mines group led optics testing and successful field tests using lasers in the Utah. Wiencke, postdoctoral researcher Simon Bacholle, PhD student Johannes Eser and Gregg traveled to the Wanaka launch site in February to prepare the instrument for launch along with other members of the international collaboration.

Eser was responsible for instrument operations during launch, while Gregg was in charge of critical steps on the launch day checklist. Bacholle has returned to Mines and set up a remote operation center, while former Mines postdoc Lech Piotrowski is responsible for the remote operations center at the RIKEN institute near Tokyo.

In addition to observing and measuring cosmic rays entering the atmosphere, the instrument will also search for ultraviolet signatures from objects such as meteoroids, transient luminous events, photons and neutrinos and even exotic objects such as strange quark matter. The project will also serve as a prototype for future space missions.

As the balloon travels around the Earth, it may be visible from the ground, particularly at sunrise and sunset, to those who live in the southern hemisphere’s mid-latitudes, such as Argentina and South Africa. Anyone may track the progress of the flight, which includes a map showing the balloon’s real-time location, at

NASA news release: NASA's Super Pressure Balloon Takes Flight from New Zealand

Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |
Ashley Spurgeon, Assistant Editor, Mines Magazine | 303-273-3959 |

David LaPorte, a master’s student in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, is working to help mitigate landslide risk in communities in Guatemala thanks to a Fulbright grant. 
In 2015, a devastating landslide in a Guatemala City ravine killed an estimated 350 people in the settlement of El Cambray II, highlighting the urgent need for more research on landslide risk management.
LaPorte is conducting research at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, with the cooperation of Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres, as part of a project to evaluate landslide risk management in precarious settlements of Guatemala City’s metropolitan area and develop cost-effective solutions.
“These settlements are built on the slopes of steep ravines and are populated by the area’s most economically vulnerable population,” explained LaPorte, whose ultimate goal is to help those who have little choice but to live in at-risk areas by studying ways to better manage these natural hazards.
To do this, LaPorte is evaluating the current landslide risk management initiatives put in place by Guatemalan government agencies and NGOs, such as risk-reduction tools and educational programs. “I plan to evaluate the effectiveness of some of these initiatives through a study of risk perception and behavior of the inhabitants of at-risk communities,” he said. Currently, there are no statistics in this field, which LaPorte’s research is working to address. Communities will be surveyed before and after risk-communication strategies are implemented, with the ultimate goal of improving initiatives to encourage risk-reducing behavioral change.
One of the biggest challenges LaPorte has faced during his three months in Guatemala thus far has been breaking into the existing network of researchers and organizations, many of whom have been working on this issue for years. “As an independent researcher, it has been challenging to catch up on the understanding of the way things are done here, and the recent history of risk-management initiatives in the settlements,” he said.  But LaPorte said everyone he has collaborated with has been very helpful, and finds this opportunity to experience a new community and culture very rewarding.
“The core of the Fulbright program is based on increasing cultural exchange and mutual understanding between people in the US and those abroad,” he said. “Being able to dedicate ten months of my master’s degree to not only my thesis project field work, but also to this cultural exchange, is such a joy.”
LaPorte is confident that the experience will help him “ become a more globally competent citizen and engineer.” 
“It is work that I love, and that has been made possible by the Fulbright grant.” 
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 |
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |


Colorado School of Mines graduate students with the best research presentations were recognized at the annual Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium, held April 6-7, 2017, in the Student Center on campus.

The following students were honored during the awards ceremony April 7.

Poster Presentations

College of Engineering and Computational Sciences, Session I
    1st place: Nicolas Danes, “Toward a Mathematical Model of Hemostasis”
    2nd place: Jennifer Ryan, “Development and Performance Assessment of a Software-Defined Network Simulator”

College of Engineering and Computational Sciences, Session II
    1st place: Nick Kincaid, “A Green Roof Heat and Mass Transfer Model Using a Finite Difference Method for Building Energy Simulations”
    2nd place: Nohemi Almaraz, “Occurrence of Halogenated Disinfection Byproducts in Treated Oil and Gas Wastewater”

College of Applied Science and Engineering
    1st place: Abhijit Kale, “Study of Nickel Silicide as a Copper Diffusion Barrier in Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Cells”
    2nd place: Tracy H. Schloemer, “A Route to Low-Cost Flexible Solar Sells: Rational Design of the Organic Charge Transport Layer”

College of Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering
    1st place: Jake Utley, “Time-Lapse Seismic Inversion to Observe Stimulation and Production Effects”
    2nd place: Erin Bessette-Kirton, “Landslide Structures and Dynamics Derived from Satellite Imagery of the 2016 Lamplugh Glacier Rock Avalanche, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Oral Presentations

  • Civil Engineering: Seismic I: Alena Grechishnikova, “Integration of New Technologies for Fracture Models. An Unconventional Niobrara Outcrop Case Study
  • Civil Engineering: Seismic II: Mallory McAdams, “Dynamic Small Strain Behavior of Microbially Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation”
  • Civil Engineering: Water Treatment I: Stephanie Riley, “Evaluation of a Hybrid Membrane Biosystem for Sustainable Desalination of O&G Produced Water”
  • Civil Engineering: Water Treatment II: Daniel Van Hoomissen, “Computational Investigation of 1,2-F Atom Rearrangements in Perfluorinated Compounds: Insight into PFAA Quantification and Degradation”
  • Biological Engineering: Timothy C. Schutt, “A PEGylated Ionic Liquid for Enhanced Processing of Lignocellulosic Materials”
  • Computation: Qiuwei Li, “Overcomplete Tensor Decomposition via Convex Optimization”
  • Applied Computation: Zhijian Liu, “Modelling Sloughing of Gas Hydrate Deposits in Subsea Pipelines Using a Finite Element Numerical Approach”
  • Materials and Metallurgy I: John Mangum, “Correlative Raman Spectroscopy and Focused Ion Beam for Targeted Microstructural Analysis of Titania Polymorphs”
  • Materials and Metallurgy II: Ting Wu, “Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-8 (ZIF-8) Membranes for Kr/Xe Separation”
  • Catalysts and Fuel Cells: William Smith, “Separation of Metal Hybrid Nanoparticles by Composition Using Thermal Field Flow Fractionation”
  • Renewable Energy: Celeste L. Melamed, “Single Crystalline Substrates for III-V Growth via Exfoliation of Bulk Single Crystals”

On April 6, students had the opportunity to attend workshops on developing skills for collaboration and measuring and enhancing research impact.

The event was organized by the Graduate Student Government.

View the GRADS program for details on all submitted student presentations.

2017 Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium

Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |
Ashley Spurgeon, Assistant Editor, Mines Magazine | 303-273-3959 |

The Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies, a research consortium focused on advancing 3-D metal printing based at Colorado School of Mines, has been recognized for contributing to the area’s economic vitality by the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation.

ADAPT received the Genesis Award at Jeffco EDC’s 24th annual Industry Appreciation Awards Breakfast, held Thursday, March 23, 2017, in Arvada, Colo.

ADAPT “represents a vital partnership moving Jefferson County and the state of Colorado’s economy forward,” said Jeffco EDC President and CEO Sam Bailey. “This partnership of small and large businesses, the state of Colorado, Manufacturer’s Edge and Colorado School of Mines embodies Jefferson County’s spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and workforce development, and a shared interest in building the next great generation of advanced industry technologies.”

“Our entire ADAPT team accepts this honor with tremendous pride,” said Heidi Hostetter, ADAPT’s industry board chair and vice president of Faustson Tool, one of the consortium’s founding members. “This recognition is validation to our center that we are doing what we set out to do,” she said. “We strive to help companies big and small research data and find new approaches to additive solutions to achieve the best possible manufacturing outcomes. The ADAPT team is committed to being a major contributor to the economic ecosystem here in Colorado and beyond.”

Leading ADAPT’s research efforts are Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Aaron Stebner, technical director, and Research Assistant Professor Branden Kappes, operations manager. Tom Bugnitz, CEO of statewide manufacturing assistance center Manufacturer’s Edge, is ADAPT’s executive director.

ADAPT launched in January 2016 with industry members Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Faustson Tool, Lockheed Martin and Citrine Informatics and with funding from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The consortium has since added several more members. Using next-generation data informatics and advanced characterization technologies, the consortium helps industry and government qualify, standardize, assess and optimize advanced manufacturing processes, materials and parts.

Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |
Ashley Spurgeon, Assistant Editor, Mines Magazine | 303-273-3959 |

At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be anything particularly unique about the 16-foot-long canoe christened “Let It Row” docked in the basement of Brown Hall. It’s only upon a closer inspection that it’s clear this vessel weighs roughly 200 pounds more than even the heaviest aluminum canoe. Why? The canoe is made out of concrete.

“Yes, we do put our concrete canoe in the water,” said Peyton Gibson, the project manager of the 2016-17 Mines concrete canoe competition senior design team. “Hopefully it will float this year.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers hosts a competition every year, challenging student engineers to design and build a workable canoe made of concrete. The goal of the competition is to provide students with hands-on engineering experience and build awareness of new concrete technologies and applications. The Mines design team has had all hands on deck designing a (relatively) light-weight yet sturdy canoe using unique add mixtures to the concrete.

“The things that you learn from this project—mixing concrete, the types of reinforcement that you need—can be easily applied to real-life situations,” said Maito Okamoto, the technical lead for the Mines senior design team.

Gibson added, “This project has taught us all how to work on a team. [We’ve been] learning project management skills, how to stick to a schedule and how to work together.”

At competition, teams are rated on four criteria, each worth 25 percent of their final score: a design paper, an oral presentation, the final canoe and five canoe races.

The 11 seniors on the Mines team have spent more than 1,700 hours designing the canoe, creating a mold, mixing and casting the concrete, sanding the canoe and working on the accompanying design paper and oral presentation.

“We had a few bumps along the way, so it took a lot of man hours to get where we want to be,” said Jon Chestnut, the design team’s administration manager. “We’ve developed a really good communication plan this semester with weekly updates and project work plans.”

“We are on schedule and on track,” said Gibson. “Getting everyone on the same page and moving at the same pace has been incredibly difficult but incredibly rewarding.”

The senior design team will take their canoe to the University of Utah to compete at the conference competition on April 6-8 with the hope of qualifying for the National Concrete Canoe Competition, which Mines is hosting at Evergreen Lake just outside of Golden, Colo., June 17-19.


Joe DelNero, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3326 |
Ashley Spurgeon, Assistant Editor, Mines Magazine | 303-273-3959 |

A start-up specializing in larger and more complex 3-D metal printing is the newest member of the Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies, or ADAPT, a consortium operating out of Colorado School of Mines dedicated to creating next-generation data informatics and advanced characterization techniques in this rapidly growing branch of manufacturing.

“Colorado is the right place to be for this company launch, especially with the powerful technology support that comes with ADAPT expertise,” said Slade Gardner, founder of Big Metal Additive in Golden, who has worked at Lockheed Martin’s aeronautics and space systems companies. “I have been pioneering large additive manufacturing capabilities for aerospace and spacecraft applications for almost two decades and now I am excited to launch Big Metal Additive to satisfy complex designs that meet the needs of a broad range of customers.”

Big Metal Additive’s first machine is a 4-by-4-foot custom-built piece of equipment that creates large, complex structures out of aluminum using a wire-fed, arc-based method. It has a build volume of over 15 cubic feet, compared to less than a cubic foot for most metal additive manufacturing machines.

“This Colorado start-up is focused in new technologies for bigger, lightweight structures and thus brings a new length scale to our membership and research activities,” said Aaron Stebner, ADAPT technical director and Mines assistant professor of mechanical engineering. “We are excited about this great partnership that will draw on previous research efforts and offer deep learning for better machine control.”

ADAPT launched in January 2016 with founding industry members Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Faustson Tool, Lockheed Martin and Citrine Informatics and with funding from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 |
Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assistant, Mines magazine | 303-273-3959 |


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