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

2016 AGI Critical Issues Forum

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

Mines to host 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 will host 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 kicks off with a free film screening of “Written on Water” at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Mines’ Ben H. Parker Student Center, Ballrooms B+C. The screening will include an introduction by the film's director and producer, Merri Lisa Trigilio, followed by a question and answer session after the movie. Refreshments will be served. 

“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. Learn more and reserve your seat by Oct. 18 by visiting WrittenOnWater.eventbrite.com.

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,” Oct. 27-28, is a one-and-a-half-day meeting that will cover multiple aspects of groundwater depletion in the High Plains and will include abundant time for participant discussion. Break-out sessions will identify 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 include:

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

Forum registration is $250; $35 for students; and $10 for Mines faculty and students with promo code: CSMWATER. Learn more, or register for the Critical Issues 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

Paul Polak address a full house for his humanitarian engineering seminar on solving poverty via design.Sharing his broad world experience as an entrepreneur and activist, Paul Polak presented, “Prescriptions for Helping Poor People Help Themselves: What Engineers Need to Know,” to a large crowd of Colorado School of Mines students and faculty on September 20.

“Instead of trying to bring the newest technology to the poorest regions,” Polak said, “we need to listen and design based on the specific needs and environment of that community.”

Polak’s talk kicked off the Shultz Family Leadership in Humanitarian Engineering Speaker Series, a series aimed at changing the conversation about what engineering is for by showcasing leaders in humanitarian engineering and corporate social responsibility. Author of “Out of Poverty” and “The Business Solution to Poverty,” Polak offers an unconventional approach to solving poverty not through government programs or philanthropic efforts, but by designing for the market of the poorest people on the planet.

“Most design efforts are aimed at the world’s richest 10 percent, while nearly half of the population doesn’t have regular access to food, shelter or clean water,” Polak said, challenging Mines engineers to design affordable technologies that will increase the revenues of the poor.

Even prior to his talk, Polak has influenced design teaching at Mines. Several past humanitarian engineering projects have collaborated with International Development Enterprises (IDE), an innovative nonprofit design organization that Polak founded, located in Denver. Leslie Light, director of EPICS at Mines and a former project manager for IDE, has brought similar human-centered design principals to EPICS, Mines' first-year design course, such as the landmine detection project in fall 2015, and wheelchair redesigns in spring 2015.


The five humanitarian engineering student scholars link arms for a photo.

2016-17 Humanitarian Engineering  Shultz Student Scholars: Michelle Pedrazas, Rosalie O'Brien, Melissa Breathwaite, Micaela Pedrazas, and Stephanie Martella

In addition to the lecture series, the Shultz Family fund also sponsors undergraduate students each year as Shultz scholars. The current five scholars are Melissa Breathwaite, Stephanie Martella, Michelle Pedrazas, Micaela Pedrazas and Rosalie O’Brien. Juan Lucena, director of humanitarian engineering, introduced them as “outstanding students who have demonstrated their commitment to connecting their engineering majors to humanitarian engineering in creative ways, all while maintaining excellent academic standing."

For example, inspired by Polak, Stephanie Martella, a chemical and biochemical engineering senior, is collaborating with John Persichetti, teaching associate professor, on designing chemical processes to produce a nutritious beverage for the poorest markets in the world.

“I got involved with Humanitarian Engineering, because I’m passionate about building relationships through engineering and communication,” Martella said. “I want to apply the engineering skills I’ve learned at Mines to solve problems for humankind.”

According to Lucena, as part of their scholarship, the scholars are also committed to mentoring and learning from low-income, first-generation students at Red Rocks Community College who are considering transferring into engineering at Mines.



Two professors sit outside as they begin their time as Humanitarian Engineering Faculty Fellows.

The new Humanitarian Engineering Shultz Faculty Fellows: Linda Battalora and Kathleen Smits

A third program funded by the Shultz Family Fund is the Humanitarian Engineering Faculty Fellows. Lucena announced this year’s new faculty fellows as Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Kathleen Smits, and Petroleum Engineering Teaching Professor Linda Battalora.

In spring 2017, Smits and Battalora will offer two courses of interest to students with minors in humanitarian engineering as well as students in their own departments. Smits is adding a humanitarian engineering focus to CEEN 475: Site Remediation Engineering, which will culminate with a feasibility study on an actual environmental site in a low-income country as the students’ final project.

Battalora is developing a pilot course, PEGN 498A: Environmental Law and Sustainability, which will focus on societal impacts and ethics in the discussion of fundamental environmental regulations, policies and case studies.

Humanitarian engineering at Mines continues to grow, with increased emphasis on corporate social responsibility as well as designing for the world’s greatest problems.



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



A multidisciplinary team, led by the Ben L. Fryrear Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Tzahi Cath, has received a $1 million award from the National Science Foundation to develop an innovative monitoring and control system for small wastewater treatment facilities.

The project, titled “Self-Correcting Energy-Efficient Water Reclamation Systems for Tailored Water Reuse at Decentralized Facilities,” draws on the bioreactor at Mines Park, which treats more than 7,000 gallons of domestic wastewater each day, and will integrate existing and new wireless sensor networks to monitor water quality and for process monitoring and control.

“Improved monitoring of water quality and early warning of treatment system vulnerabilities are critical to protecting the public and the environment,” said Cath. “The smart service system we are building uses a network of simple, existing sensors and a novel wireless sensor network. These new, smart sensor technologies can learn from past performance, predict future performance and adapt the system to achieve preset objectives.”

Water pipes with electronic gauges are shown, as the professor kneels to read the information and a student records the data.

Professor Tzahi Cath and a graduate student take readings at the AQWATEC Laboratory.

In addition to being more energy and resource efficient, the new system will benefit many small communities that operate decentralized wastewater treatment facilities and don’t have the resources to improve their system.

Cath also attributed the project’s selection to the foundation laid by the Engineering Research Center for Re-Inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure, also known as ReNUWIt, at Colorado School of Mines. “All of this is only possible because ReNUWIt at Mines that has been building these partnerships in an effort to develop new strategies for water management and treatment,” said Cath.

After testing the new monitoring and control system at Mines Park, the team will work with industry partners from Aqua-Aerobic Systems and Kennedy/Jenks Consulting as well as broader context partners such as Ramey Environmental in Frederick, Colorado, to deploy, incorporate and test the system at existing small, decentralized treatment plants.

The team includes Professor Tracy Camp from the Division of Computer Science, Assistant Professor Salman Mohagheghi from the Division of Electrical Engineering, and Associate Professor Hussein Amery from the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies, as well as professors Amanda Hering and Michael Poor at Baylor University. The team will also include graduate and undergraduate students from CEE and CS.

The grant is one of 13 awarded by the NSF’s Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity program, in support of innovative partnership projects that create new human-centric service systems.

 “The National Science Foundation fosters innovation and partnerships between academic researchers and industry, catalyzing interdisciplinary projects to understand and design smart systems and technologies of the future,” said Grace Wang, acting assistant director, NSF Directorate for Engineering. “These 13 projects are at the forefront of the human-technology frontier, driving innovation to solve problems to benefit society and improve life as we know it.”


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

Faculty students and industry members brainstorm strategies for increasing CSR education for engineers.Liberal Arts and International Studies Assistant (LAIS) Professor Jessica Smith and Postdoctoral Scholar Nicole Smith recently hosted a workshop for engineering professors who are integrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) into their courses. The workshop was sponsored by J. Smith’s NSF-funded project, “The Ethics of Extraction: Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into Engineering Education.”
“The interviews we’ve been doing with Mines alumni clearly show that CSR is a crucial area of expertise that our undergraduates need to have,” said J. Smith. “It is important for them in their own career advancement, and is essential for their companies to maintain the social license to operate.”
President Paul Johnson said that the project “fits well with our broader university goal of ensuring that our students not only have a distinctive technical depth, but also a full understanding of the broader context of their impact to society and the complementary professional skills needed for success and leadership.”
"I’m proud that Mines is taking a leadership role in embedding CSR concepts into engineering and science curricula,” said Johnson. “Today, industry leaders are driving similar thinking into their company cultures to ensure their survival and prosperity." 
College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Dean Kevin Moore added that incorporating CSR into the curriculum would help teach students of their own impact. “Ultimately the reason we engineer and work in applied science is to advance just solutions to the problems facing individuals, communities, and the world,” he said. “Because many of our students are employed by corporations, we want them to learn that even as employees, they can make a difference for people.”
Workshop participants included Mines faculty in the areas of humanitarian engineering, petroleum engineering and mining engineering; professors from the project’s two partner schools, Virginia Tech and Marietta College; Mines students; and members of the mining and oil and gas industries. By drawing on expertise from practicing engineers and community engagement specialists, project leaders are working on designing undergraduate educational experiences to help prepare students for potential CSR challenges and opportunities in their career.
J. Smith’s grant is one of numerous recent initiatives establishing Mines as a national leader in corporate social responsibility and engineering. In addition to the NSF grant, alumni donations have had a significant impact. “Thanks to the support and generous gifts from the Shultz family, CSR has become a crucial area of growth for the Humanitarian Engineering Program,” said Program Director and LAIS Professor Juan Lucena. “It distinguishes us from our peers, since we want to tackle the tough areas where communities and the extractive industries intersect.”
Mines now hosts an alumni interest group dedicated to CSR and a lecture series sponsored by the Shultz Fund. J. Smith’s CSR course was one of three Mines courses to be named an exemplar in teaching engineering ethics by the National Academy of Engineering, and the humanitarian engineering faculty have been invited to share their work with multiple international audiences, including the Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at the Copenhagen (Denmark) Business School and the National University of Colombia.
“It’s a thrill to see the momentum surrounding CSR building so quickly at Mines,” said J. Smith.
Workshops such as this one will continue to be offered over the duration of the four-year project, and the research team will continue to develop, implement and assess new strategies to effectively integrate CSR into the engineering curriculum.
View more photos from the workshop here or in the slideshow below.

Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Kathleen Morton, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3088 | kmorton@mines.edu


The Combustion Institute awarded its highest honor, the Bernard Lewis Gold Medal, to Colorado School of Mines George R. Brown Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering Robert J. Kee at the 36th International Symposium on Combustion August 5 in Seoul, South Korea. Kee received the award in honor of his research in the field of combustion, particularly on pioneering development of chemically reacting flow simulations and the CHEMKIN family of models. The institute also honored Kee by requesting he give a plenary lecture on the future of “Combustion Interfacing with Emerging Technologies.”

Charles Wesbrook, former CI president (2008-2012), Professor Robert Kee, and Katharina Höinghaus, CI President (2008-2016) at the Combustion Symposium in Seoul, South Korea. Photo Courtesy of the Combustion Institute.

Kee is the principal architect and developer of the CHEMKIN family of software, which has been the dominant modeling software in the field of combustion for more than 25 years. The software’s wide adoption stems from its strong code architecture that facilitates ease of use, as well as Kee’s extensive documentation that has been adopted and cited by thousands of researchers and developers worldwide as the seminal work in reactive flow modeling.

Kee continues to push the frontiers of reactive system modeling into new areas and is now acknowledged as an international leader in multiphysics modeling of electrochemical systems such as fuel cells and batteries and of multifunctional reactors for process intensification. This has led Kee to continue to develop software, as highlighted by a recently awarded contract from the Air Force to build the next generation of software for modeling reactive systems.

“Bob continues to set an example to all of us in research,” reflected Greg Jackson, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Mines, “by continually expanding and adapting his modeling skills to address high-impact technical challenges such as better, safer batteries and membrane reactors for upgrading natural gas. We are honored to have a senior colleague as creative, thorough and generous as Bob.”

In addition to the Combustion Institute’s Gold Medal, Kee has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Combustion Institute’s Silver Combustion Medal, the Bastress Award for Outstanding Contributions to Technology Transfer from Sandia National Laboratories, and the DOE Basic Energy Sciences Award for Sustained Outstanding Research in Materials Chemistry. In addition to more than 200 archival papers, Kee is also the principal author of the leading textbook, “Chemically Reacting Flow.”



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


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