The presence of highly fluorinated organic chemicals, sometimes referred to as PFCs or poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), in groundwater continues to be a pressing issue for communities in Colorado and throughout the country. Faculty at Colorado School of Mines have led the research identifying the problem (Study finds high levels of toxic chemicals in drinking water) and, more recently, developing solutions (Mines tackles treating PFC-contaminated water).

Associate Professor Chris Higgins in his environmental engineering lab.

Now the Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) has awarded a three-year $1.5 million grant to Christopher Higgins, associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, to further investigate how PFASs are released, travel and react to other contaminants.

“The ultimate goal,” explained Higgins, “is to treat these PFAS sites.”

To do this effectively, Higgins and his team have proposed to first develop an understanding of how existing remediation technologies that are used to treat the co-occurring contaminants affect PFASs.

These co-contaminants include chlorinated solvents and fuel hydrocarbons, and are often found at sites where aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) has been used. PFASs have already had an impact on groundwater near military sites where AFFF was used, often mixed with these co-contaminants.

“My team will be conducting batch and column laboratory experiments, using field-collected groundwater and soil samples,” Higgins said. “We want to look closely not only at the compounds that are the focus of EPA Health Advisories, but also at how and under what conditions newly identified polyfluorinated PFASs are converted to the more problematic perfluorinated chemicals.”

Higgins will also investigate the interactions of PFASs with nonaqueous phase liquids, such as gasoline and oil. A fully synergistic remediation effort will require more data to develop technology to meet the sites’ requirements.

The research project, titled “Key Fate and Transport Processes Impacting the Mass Discharge, Attenuation, and Treatment of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances and Comingled Chlorinated Solvents or Aromatic Hydrocarbons,” is a collaboration between Mines, Oregon State University, CDM Smith and the University of California at Berkeley, with Higgins as the principal investigator.

A related project, also funded by SERDP, is being led by Jens Blotevogel, a research professor at Colorado State University, to treat PFCS with electrolysis-based technology.

Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program is the Department of Defense’s environmental science and technology program. It invests across a broad spectrum of basic and applied research, as well as advanced development, in an effort to solve environmental challenges with innovative environmental technologies that enhance and sustain military readiness.



Deirdre Keating, Communications Manager, College of Engineering & Computational Sciences | 303-384-2358 | dkeating@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science & Engineering | 303-384-2622 | ramirez@mines.edu

Mines students volunteering as part of Hike for Help.

This winter break, 16 Mines students will spend their three-week 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. Mines is partnering with Hike for Help, an organization that connects with communities in Nepal to work on projects that will have a high impact on the Nepali community.

“There are no public restrooms in the Khumbu Valley, which is the trail that leads to Everest,” said Rachel Osgood, an assistant teaching professor in Mines’ Liberal Arts and International Studies Division. “The people that live there have pit toilets and no sanitation system, so they don’t drink enough water because they don't have anywhere to go to the bathroom.”

Osgood, who will lead students on this international service learning trip, recalled how the founder of the Hike for Help organization, Lhakpa Sherpa, also the owner of the Sherpa House restaurant in Golden, Colorado, was struck by students’ reactions to the pit toilets on a previous community service trip. “Sherpa got together with other local leaders in the Lukla and Khumbu Valley regions and talked about how beneficial [constructing a public restroom facility] would be for the people of the area, particularly in terms of tourism,” said Osgood. The Nepali community agreed that this would be a valuable addition, giving the project a green light.

A young boy playing with his kendama in Nepal.

When approached to help with this project, Mines reacted without hesitation, and the community service trip filled up quickly, mostly with McBride Honors students who are eager to travel to Nepal and make a difference. “I am most looking forward to returning to the area that I helped support with Hike for Help last winter,” said chemical engineering student Chase Li. Engineering physics student, Peter Consalvi added, “To go over there and build (from scratch) a restroom that is going to greatly benefit the valley, we have a great chance to really help someone.”

But this service trip will have many benefits for Mines students as well. Trinity Wilson, a chemical engineering student, admitted, “This experience [will be] far out of my comfort zone; it will take me further from the things and people I depend on and challenge me mentally and physically to face my fears.”

Since the students are required to cover their own travel expenses, all of the fundraising will be put towards the service project—the materials and labor. “It’s pretty expensive, because the cement has to be transported up the valley and the only way to get there is by walking with some yaks or flying in a really small passenger plane,” explained engineering physics student Matthew Kowalsky.

The eventual goal is to build 40 of these restrooms within the next few years throughout the valley. Osgood added, “We want to make this a sustainable relationship between our community and the community in Nepal, because we have a local connection and it hits close to home.

Check out the video below for more information about Hike for Help:


To support Hike for Help in its fundraising efforts to obtain supplies to help local citizens of the Khumbu Valley, visit giving.mines.edu/goldmine.


Leah Pinkus, Communications Assistant, Colorado School of Mines 303-273-3088 lpinkus@mines.edu
Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assistant, Mines magazine | 303-273-3959 | aspurgeon@mines.edu


The front cover of "They Joy of Science".Geophysics Professor and Interim Department Head Roel Snieder has coauthored “The Joy of Science: Seven Principles of Scientists Seeking Happiness, Harmony, and Success,” a book focused on helping scientists have a productive and fulfilling career by encouraging them to focus on the positive and minimize stress.
The book is now being used as a part of new faculty orientation at Mines and in several workshops held for the greater campus community.

“Let go of the concept of balance—instead, think of it as harmony,” Snieder told faculty and staff at a recent workshop. The faculty and staff were asked to complete a worksheet that had them weigh what they balance in life. Some examples were “e-mail vs. everything else,” “exercise vs. work” and “demands of the outside world vs. internal ambitions.”
One of the illustrations from the book, all done by Roel's brother, Janwillem Snieder. "Working under the commonly held belief that no matter how hard we work, it is never enough."
One of the illustrations from the book, all done by Roel's brother, Janwillem Snieder. "Working under the commonly held belief that no matter how hard we work, it is never enough." 

Snieder explained that rather than struggling to achieve the “balance” between things that may never come into line, we should instead aim to achieve “harmony,” the first principle outlined in the book.

A key point that Snieder and coauthor Jen Schneider, a former Mines faculty member, emphasize in the book is the idea that most of these stresses can be eliminated by a change in attitude.
“A lot of this is driven by our belief system,” explained Snieder in an interview. “For scientists, the belief system is—can be—very normative and weighing down on them. For example, there is this wide-held belief that you can only contribute if you’re the best—you have to be the best.”
Scientists and academics are inherently vying to be the best and putting themselves down if they are not, said Snieder. This is a huge problem in the scientific community because oftentimes you will end up with someone doing really important research, but it might never get out due to this lack of courage. 
“The fact that you can do something better, does not mean you’re not doing a good job,” Snieder told the group at the workshop. Ken Osgood, director of the McBride Honors Program at Mines, was one of the attendees.
“Roel has a marvelous and infectious perspective on life,” said Osgood. “'The Joy of Science' reflects that.  His book is a recipe for revitalizing so much of what we do – not just our work, research and teaching, but the quality and depth of thought that informs how we do these things.”
Although the book is targeted at scientists, its guiding principles are something that can be applied to a much broader community. The idea that one should focus on the positive impact one makes in one’s work rather than constantly overburdening oneself with stress from “not doing enough” is something everyone can learn from. 
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu

Mark Ramirez, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science & Engineering | 303-384-2622 | ramirez@mines.edu

Professor Illangasekare (far right) receives the PSIPW Award from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Photo Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Professor Illangasekare (far right) receives the PSIPW Award from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moonPhoto Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Congratulations to Tissa Illangasekare, distinguished chair and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado School of Mines, who received the Groundwater Prize for the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW), one of the most prestigious awards for water research and the highest international honor in the field of groundwater.

Illangasekare received the award on Nov. 2, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, hosted by the U.N. Friends of Water and the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Illangasekare was honored for his work to improve the fundamental understanding of fluid flow and chemical transport in porous media through innovative multi-scale experimentation and modeling. His work has led to the reliable prediction of the long-term fate of pollutants in groundwater systems. Most recently, Illangasekare has focused on problems in the development of technologies for secure storage of CO2 in deep geologic formations, which is expected to reduce atmospheric loading of greenhouse gases that contributes to global warming. 

Speaking at the U.N. ceremony, Illangasekare emphasized the importance of groundwater research and an interdisciplinary approach to solutions. “Groundwater is 30.1 percent of the freshwater in the world and is the most extracted natural resource," he said. "The groundwater problems of the coming decades are going to be driven by continually increasing demand, climate change, sea-level rise, chemical and natural pollutants, and issues of energy-water-food nexuses."

Illangasekare concluded his speech with thanks to his early mentors, research sponsors and family. He concluded by saying, "It is with excitement, profound appreciation and humility that I accept this award on behalf of my students, collaborators, research sponsors, and the AMAX endowment at Colorado School of Mines."

Illangasekare is the founding director of the Center for Experimental Study of Subsurface Environmental Processes (CESEP) and past recipient of numerous awards, including the Henry Darcy Medal from the European Geosciences Union. His research has led to use-management models for river basins in Colorado, methods to estimate floods in watersheds, dam safety analyses and environmental monitoring.

Established in 2002, PSIPW is a biannual international award that highlights innovation by scientists, inventors and organizations in five water-related fields that contribute to the sustainable availability of potable water and the alleviation of water scarcity throughout the world. The prize organization is headquartered at the Prince Sultan Research Center for Environment, Water and Desert at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



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

As the population in U.S. urban communities continues to grow exponentially, so does the demand for appropriate housing and office space. Typically, in large urban areas this means building residential and commercial units that are up to 20 stories high, made with concrete or steel, as it has been done in the past century. Yet sometimes, these materials are not ideal in earthquake-prone areas.


A new timber structural innovation, known as cross laminated timber (CLT), is being implemented around the world as a sustainable alternative to conventional structural materials. In comparison to building with steel and concrete, timber outperforms in lightness, cost, speed of construction, and environmental impact. However, building tall with cross laminated timber has been limited in earthquake active regions, since a validated design method for tall CLT buildings to resist earthquakes has not yet been developed. Colorado School of Mines plans to change that, with the development of a resilience-based seismic design for tall timber construction.

Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Shiling Pei aims to develop a seismic design methodology over the next four years for resilient tall wood buildings. “This project, scientifically, will answer a lot of questions we have regarding how to design [these buildings] and how to perfect their performance in earthquakes so that the buildings can be immediately reoccupied after a big earthquake,” said Pei, who is also the principal investigator on a $1.5 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the project, A Resilience-based Seismic Design Methodology for Tall Wood Buildings.

With six universities and multiple domestic and international industry partners collaborating on this project, researchers will design, build and validate the performance of a 10-story wood building by conducting a full-scale sub-assembly system testing at the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) experimental facility at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn. This will then be followed by a full-scale test at the NHERI outdoor shake table at the University of California at San Diego—the largest outdoor table in the world.

The model tested on the shake table will be an actual building designed to a resilience performance target, Pei explained, with everything from the finishing drywall to the windows. “This will be the largest building that has been tested on the shake table,” said Pei. But since this is a full-scale model and includes all building components, not just the structural framework, the project can get expensive.

In addition to the support from NSF, the research team still needs to raise approximately $800,000 in order to complete the project. They have already received interest from most industry leaders who see the benefits of their work, which would enable a new sustainable construction practice that is also cost-competitive. If successful, implementing the design method would increase the demand for engineered wood production, providing added value for forest resources and enhancing job growth in construction and forestry sectors.

The researchers expect to have all the designs and donations lined up by the end of 2019 with building anticipated to begin in 2020. “We are excited about the new data this landmark experiment will generate,” said Pei. “It could have an enormous impact on the tall timber building industry, and lead to new building practices using more sustainable materials.”



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

[Updated Oct. 31]

2016 AGI Critical Issues Forum

The Payne Institute for Earth Resources at Colorado School of Mines teamed up with the American Geosciences Institute to host a series of events on the Mines campus that focused on the High Plains Aquifer. A free film screening of “Written on Water” took place Oct. 26, followed by the AGI Critical Issues Forum, Oct. 27-28.

Mines hosts film screening and forum on High Plains Aquifer

Groundwater is often a "transboundary" resource, shared by many groups of people across town, county, state and international boundaries. Changes in groundwater resources can create unique challenges requiring high levels of cooperation and innovation amongst stakeholder groups, from individuals to representatives at the state and federal government levels.

The Payne Institute for Earth Resources at Colorado School of Mines hosted two events centered around the High Plains Aquifer, Oct. 26-28.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “The High Plains Aquifer, which spans eight states from South Dakota to Texas, is overlain by about 20 percent of the nation’s irrigated agricultural land, and provides about 30 percent of the groundwater used for irrigation in the country.”

Free film screening of “Written on Water”
The series kicked off with a free film screening of “Written on Water” on Oct. 26 at Mines’ Ben H. Parker Student Center. The screening included an introduction by the film's director and producer, Merri Lisa Trigilio, followed by a question and answer session after the movie. 

“Written On Water” focuses on the Ogallala Aquifer and examines the conflicts, politics, economics and groundwater depletion in the High Plains region. Farmers and communities survive on the precious waters of the Aquifer, yet it is being depleted at alarming rates.

View photos from the film screening.

American Geosciences Institute Critical Issues Forum
Work by the Kansas Geological Survey indicates that some parts of the High Plains Aquifer are already effectively exhausted for agricultural purposes; some parts are estimated to have a lifespan of less than 25 years; and other areas remain generally unaffected (Buchanan et al., 2015).

The AGI Critical Issues Forum, “Addressing Changes in Regional Groundwater Resources: Lessons from the High Plains Aquifer," took place Oct. 27-28. The meeting covered multiple aspects of groundwater depletion in the High Plains. Break-out sessions identified lessons learned and best practices from the High Plains Aquifer experience that might apply to other regions facing changes in the Earth system. Keynote speakers included:

  • Sharon B. Megdal, University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center
  • Jason Gurdak, San Francisco State University
  • Merri Lisa Trigilio, Director/Producer, “Written on Water”

View photos from the forum.

About the Payne Institute at Colorado School of Mines
The mission of the Payne Institute for Earth Resources at Colorado School of Mines is to inform and shape sound public policy related to earth resources, energy and the environment. Its goal is to educate current and future leaders on the market, policy and technological challenges presented by energy, environmental and resource management issues, and provide a forum for national and global policy debate. For more information, visit EarthPolicy.Mines.edu.

About the American Geosciences Institute
AGI was founded in 1948, under a directive of the National Academy of Sciences, as a network of associations representing geoscientists with a diverse array of skills and knowledge of our planet. AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society’s use of resources, resilience to natural hazards and the health of the environment. Learn more at AmericanGeoSciences.org.

Kelly Beard, Communication Specialist, Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3452 | kbeard@mines.edu
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu

Students, faculty and staff paid tribute to the numerous accomplishments of Physics Professor P. Craig Taylor at Colorado School of Mines, in a retirement celebration held at the Geology Museum Friday, Sept. 23.

Professor P. Craig Taylor and his familyTaylor joined Mines in 2005 after 23 years as a professor at the University of Utah, where he led the Physics Department and was director of the John A. Dixon Laser Institute. He served as associate director of the Colorado Energy Research Institute and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Taylor earned an AB in physics from Carleton College in Minnesota and a PhD from Brown University, and worked at the Naval Research Laboratory from 1971 to 1982.

At Mines, he is best known for establishing and leading the Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, funded by the National Science Foundation. REMRSEC has brought together faculty across disciplines as well as scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in pursuing innovative research as well as educating the next generation of renewable energy scientists.

“We wrote three proposals to the MRS program—I think every three years since I was a faculty member here—and it took bringing Craig here to actually have enough scientific credibility to actually be successful,” said Physics Professor Reuben Collins.

Collins and other colleagues pointed out that Taylor’s roles as a manager and mentor might overshadow the fact that he is a superlative scientist. “If you ask people outside about amorphous materials and amorphous semiconductors, they will tell you that Craig is one of the fathers of the field,” Collins said. “That is an amazing honor to bestow on someone—to say they are the father of a field of research. It’s truly exceptional.”

Taylor has published over 400 scientific papers, some of which have been cited over 100 times and continue to be cited dozens of years later, Collins pointed out. “These are papers that have lasting impact,” he said. Collins also praised Taylor’s understanding and thoughtful approach, and his calming influence on those who might be a little more excitable, such as himself. “I’ve really appreciated his advice.”

“He’s a very spectacular scientist and he has impacted just about everybody in the Colorado region, I would say, in terms of quality of science,” said David Ginley, research fellow at NREL. Taylor’s reputation, as well as the visibility of REMRSEC, Ginley said, has helped bring new scientists to the area. “I’ve seen this long tradition of him being involved and a great instigator of science, and I hope that does continue.”

Anthony Dean, vice president for research and technology transfer at Mines, noted Taylor’s  behind-the-scenes work for the next REMRSEC proposal. “It really illustrates his commitment to get this whole area moving forward,” he said.  “I think if we look at Craig’s career, it just serves as an exemplar for all of us, to try to really follow his footsteps.”

“What I really want to emphasize and thank Craig for is that, speaking as an alum, we are a better place than we were when I was a student here,” said Physics Professor and Department Head Jeff Squier. “It is because of people like Craig, who aren’t just a part of it—they really are institutional-minded.”
Squier also credited Taylor for his mentorship, advising Squier as he has led the department. “I see this as a transition,” Squier said. “I really look forward to working with Craig in a whole different aspect moving forward—we’ve definitely got him around for the next several years and we’ve got a lot of exciting projects that Craig is going to help us with.”

Taylor, who introduced his wife, Muriel; children Heather and Gracen; and granddaughter Sophia, was genuinely touched by the turnout. “I never expected this, to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s just been wonderful.”

“As you form the process of making the culture here at Mines more understanding and all of that, don’t lose sight of this—the camaraderie,” Taylor said. “It is just fantastic. I can’t tell you how much it means to me."

Mark Ramirez, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science & Engineering | 303-384-2622 | ramirez@mines.edu
Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assistant, Mines magazine | 303-273-3959 | aspurgeon@mines.edu


Retirement celebration for Physics Professor P. Craig Taylor

Colorado School of Mines was ranked second in the nation by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking for schools that do the best in combining scholarly research with classroom instruction.

The article, “Great Research, Great Teaching,” featured in the Sept. 28, 2016, issue of The Wall Street Journal discussed the findings of this new ranking system and recognized the top universities for their teaching excellence.

According to the article, the new ranking system “looked at how many research papers per faculty member each school produced and asked students to rate on a scale of 0 to 10 how accessible their professors were to them and to what extent the school provided them with opportunities for collaborative learning.”

“This ranking validates the uniqueness of Mines. Students and faculty working together engaged in teaching and discovery is one of the foundational qualities of our university,” said Paul C. Johnson, president of Colorado School of Mines. “This blending of our teaching and research missions is evident in the significant investments our donors and Mines have recently made in both faculty development and state-of-the-art research facilities.  It is also reflected in our hiring, which targets faculty who can successfully marry instruction with a passion for innovation and discovery.”

Mines was ranked just behind Massachusetts’ Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Correction to the article: Colorado School of Mines is a public university. 

Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal now.

Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assistant, Mines Magazine | 303-273-3959 | aspurgeon@mines.edu
Jake Kupiec, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3067 | kupiec@mines.edu

Crowdfunding is the fastest growing form of fundraising on a national basis, and Mines is on the cutting edge as one of a small number of universities who have launched platforms. On October 4, the university launched its exclusive crowdfunding platform, the Gold Mine, to help students, faculty and staff bring the projects they’re passionate about to life. Four projects are live on the website collecting donations, and several more are expected to launch throughout the month of October.

Crowdfunding is online fundraising for a specific project through small gifts from a large number of contributors. “We are pleased to provide the campus community an opportunity to raise money for projects they may not have been able to get funded through more traditional means,” said Colorado School of Mines Foundation President and CEO Brian Winkelbauer. “By showcasing some innovative projects from our talented faculty and students, the Mines community can help them reach their goals.”

Current fall fundraising projects are for:

·  Building the first public restroom in a Nepalese village near the base of Mt. Everest. With the restroom, CSM Hike for Help and McBride Honors Program hope to improve the quality of life for those who live in the village and support the region’s efforts to regain lost tourism as it recovers from the 2015 earthquake.  

·  Engineering prosthetic limbs and adaptive equipment to help people with disabilities be better able to participate in sports and live life more fully. The Human Centered Design Studio at Mines hopes to help those with the will to push beyond what is expected.

·  Building a plane and funding competition costs for Mines’ American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics team. Their aircraft must be compact, robust and fast to win.

·  Competing in the international Genetically Engineered Machine competition. Biology is a relatively new area of study at Mines, and starting a team to compete will help it grow.   

Fundraising through crowdfunding is experiencing tremendous growth, with more than $34 billion raised worldwide in 2015. Last spring the Gold Mine piloted the platform featuring two student projects. Relying on outreach to their own personal networks and corporate connections, both teams exceeded their goals, raising over $10,000 and receiving gifts from 113 donors across the country.

“Crowdfunding was instrumental in getting our feet off the ground on fundraising,” said Ethan Palay, of the Mines Tiny House team pilot project. “It helped give our team credibility and was also the most effective means of communicating to my friends and family how I am spending my time, and getting them excited about my project.”

The Gold Mine is available to help academic departments, student groups, and other members of the Mines community raise money for research, service trips, projects, events, and other Mines-specific ventures. The platform is not meant for students who seek to raise tuition dollars or money for personal projects. New projects apply for launch throughout the fall and spring semesters.

Unlike most crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or Go Fund Me, the Gold Mine delivers the money to the fundraisers whether or not they reach their goal and charges no fees, as opposed to the typical 6 to 8 percent. Gold Mine projects have the credibility of the Mines brand and teams receive personal training and coaching to help them succeed.

To learn more about crowdfunding at Mines, to support any of the student and faculty projects or to apply to fundraise on the Gold Mine, head to giving.mines.edu/goldmine.

Brandon Farestad-Rittel, Foundation Digital Marketing Coordinator | 303.273.3579 | bfarestadrittel@mines.edu
Rachelle Trujillo, Foundation Marketing Communications Director | 303-273-3526 | rtrujillo@mines.edu


ADAPT team members and the governor celebrate the new proclamation.

ADAPT team members celebrate the Governor's proclamation, naming October Colorado Manufacturing Month.
Left to right: Aaron Stebner, Katie Woslager, Governor John Hickenlooper, Brandan Kappes, Mickele Bragg, Sumer Sorensen-Bain,
Heidi Hostetter, Craig Brice, Alicia Svaldi and Douglas Van Bossuyt.

Colorado School of Mines and Manufacturer’s Edge hosted Governor John Hickenlooper on September 30 to tour the Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies (ADAPT) advanced characterization center and meet with the center's founding stakeholders. The governor also used the occasion to announce October as Manufacturing Month in Colorado.

ADAPT is a consortium that provides manufacturers access to the latest research on how to take advantage of additive manufacturing technologies. In addition to Mines and Manufacturer's Edge, ADAPT's founding stakeholders include Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, and Fauston Tool. ADAPT companies work closely with Mines researchers and students on world-class machines to develop technologies to accelerate certification and qualification of 3-D printed metal parts. 

Governor Hickenlooper toured the facility and met with manufacturing leaders to discuss the growth of the sector and the role of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s (OEDIT) Advanced Industry Infrastructure grant program. ADAPT was started with support from the State of Colorado in the form of an Advanced Industries Infrastructure Grant from OEDIT.

”Colorado is home to 6,000 manufacturers that contribute $20 billion to the state’s economy. ADAPT is consistent with Colorado’s collaborative culture,” said Governor Hickenlooper. “It provides our entrepreneurial manufacturers the ability to work closely with university researchers to develop the next generation of technologies.”

“Innovation is the key to survival and growth for small and medium manufacturers,” said Heidi Hostetter, vice-president at Arvada-based Faustson Tool. “Through ADAPT, manufacturers of all sizes looking to incorporate the flexibility of 3-D metal printing into their portfolio will have access to cutting-edge research and help shape the future of the industry.”

Gov. Hickenlooper listens as Research Associate Professor Branden Kappes describes the work of ADAPT.

This tour kicked off Manufacturing DayTM celebrations in Colorado, which continue throughout the month of October. Manufacturing Day is an annual celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers, including Mines students.

“In Colorado, one day is not enough to recognize our manufacturers— so we are declaring October ‘Colorado Manufacturing Month,’” said Governor Hickenlooper as he presented a proclamation during his visit.

As ADAPT continues its work, the consortium is actively seeking additional academic and industry partners. Analysis is underway on more than 5,000 specimens with respect to build geometry, power, speed, number of lasers used and more, to build a robust database.


The Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies (ADAPT) is a research and development organization dedicated to the creation of next-generation data informatics and advanced characterization technologies for additive manufacturing technologies. ADAPT uses these tools to help industry and government qualify, standardize, assess and optimize advanced manufacturing processes and parts. Several levels of membership to the ADAPT consortium are available. Founding industry members include Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Faustson Tool, Lockheed Martin and Citrine Informatics. Grant funding from OEDIT was provided to Manufacturer’s Edge and The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. For more information, find ADAPT on the web, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.

About Manufacturer’s Edge

Manufacturer’s Edge is a statewide manufacturing assistance center, partially funded by NIST’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). Manufacturer’s Edge provides onsite technical assistance, coaching, training and consulting, as well as collaboration-focused industry programs and leveraging government, university and economic development partnerships to boost the competitiveness of Colorado manufacturers.



Aaron Stebner, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
ADAPT Technical Director 
ADAPT – Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies
(303) 273-3091

Sumer Sorensen-Bain, Chief of Programs and Operations
Manufacturer’s Edge


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