Students

Two student physics organizations are offering bricks salvaged from Meyer Hall, the longtime home of the Physics Department, as a reward for helping members attend the largest gathering of undergraduate physics students in the world.

David Schmidt and Lindsey Hart holding Meyer Hall bricks

David Schmidt, president of Sigma Pi Sigma, and Lindsey Hart, president of the Society of Physics Students, hold bricks from Meyer Hall.

Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society, and the Society of Physics Students hope to send 30 to 40 students to PhysCon, according to David Schmidt, president of Sigma Pi Sigma. “It will depend on how much of the trip we can cover for each student.”

Held every four years, this year’s PhysCon takes place Nov. 3 to 5 in Silicon Valley, CA, and has the theme of “Unifying Fields: Science Driving Innovation.” Attendees will explore graduate programs, summer research opportunities and job options, present their research, grow professionally through workshops, and become inspired by renowned physicists and lab tours. Between registration fees, travel and accommodations, sending one student costs around $700.

Built in 1963, Meyer Hall was torn down in March 2016 to make way for the CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering, a $50 million centralized teaching and research space.

Physics students rescued about 160 bricks from the building, as well as two larger “special” bricks from an interior wall in lecture hall Meyer 220, which will go to the two donors who give the most as of September 1. “I’d worked in the building for 21 years and didn’t know they existed until shortly before the building came down,” said Barbara Pratt-Johnson, program assistant for the Physics Department.

“Bricks from Meyer may contain actual blood, sweat, and tears from 50 years’ worth of physics majors,” Pratt-Johnson said.

While he’s excited about the new building, Physics Professor and Department Head Jeff Squier has many fond memories of Meyer Hall, first earning his BS and MS degrees from Mines, then occupying an office as a faculty member since 1980.

Squier said he’ll miss the mural in the department office—a photo of the lunar landscape. “I think it’s one of the best photos in the world.” Stopping the swinging of the Foucault pendulum “hit home for me,” Squier said.

“We’re in the age of interdisciplinary science—Paul Meyer, whom the building is named for—exemplified this as a doctor, mathematician and physicist,” Squier said. “This is an opportunity to have some unique memorabilia about a man and a building that was ahead of his time, and a tradition we now get to build on in a major way with the construction of the CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering,” he added.

Donations can be made at http://commerce.cashnet.com/stuact. Click on “STUACT-STACT” and select “Donations for Society of Physics Students.” Rewards for various donation levels are as follows:

  • $15 to $24.99 – Leather bookmark engraved with the SPS logo
  • $25 to $99.99 – Bookmark and personalized sign
  • $100 to 119.99 – Commemorative brick, engraved with the text “Meyer Hall” 1963-2016” and the SPS logo
  • $120 and up – Brick, sign and bookmark

The bookmarks, signs and bricks were engraved using CNC laser machines, recently acquired by the Physics Department and used by students in summer field session. “Some students were experimenting with different materials in the laser machine and they figured out the best power and speed settings to engrave the bricks, said Lindsey Hart, president of the Society of Physics Students. “We then made a design and started engraving all our bricks.”

Contact:
Mark Ramirez, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science & Engineering | 303-383-2622 | ramirez@mines.edu
Kathleen Morton, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3088 | kmorton@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.
 

 
Contact:
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
 

 

Petroleum engineering faculty recently presented at The Oil and Gas Conference, hosted by Enercom, Inc. in downtown Denver. CNBC has called the annual conference “the largest gathering of energy CEOs in the industry.”

 
Adjunct Professor Will Fleckenstein and Assistant Department Head Jennifer Miskimins spoke on the future of shale technologies, joined by Mike Vincent, an independent frac consultant who has worked with Mines on numerous occasions in the past. 
 
Fleckenstein’s presentation focused on the future of environmental developments, explaining how new technologies allow for increased risk analysis, better well design and an overall greener completions model. Miskimins followed with a more in-depth look into how new technologies such as fiber optics will allow for increased efficiency and treatment optimizations.
 
Petroleum engineering students were also present at the conference, many of them having been recruited to be volunteers. 
 
A full webcast of the presentation can be seen here.
 
Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu
Ashley Spurgeon, Editorial Assitant, Mines Magazine | 303-273-3959 | aspurgeon@mines.edu
 

In a state with an energy economy as purple as its politics, it can be hard to decide where to stand.

The Payne Institute for Earth Resources at Colorado School of Mines has teamed up with Inside Energy to host Spark! Unpacking the Politics of Energy in Colorado at 5 p.m. on Sept. 8 in the Ben H. Parker Student Center (1200 16th Street, Golden), Ballrooms A and B.

Join the Payne Institute and Inside Energy to explore everything Colorado’s energy portfolio stands to lose, gain or change in the 2016 election. Journalists from Inside Energy will press a panel of experts on critical energy issues to help the public make their own decisions in November.

The panel includes Ian Lange, PhD, Mineral and Energy Economics Program Director, Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines; Tracee Bentley, Executive Director, Colorado Petroleum Council; Meghan Nutting, Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, Sunnova; and Lee Boughey, Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

“This panel covers the full spectrum of the Colorado energy landscape,” says Dr. Lange. “I’m excited to hear the views of my fellow panelists and share my thoughts on how Colorado could be impacted by the policies on the ballot this fall.”

Come enjoy drinks, heavy hors d'oeuvres, energy trivia, networking, and a multimedia presentation at this signature event. RSVP online by Aug. 31 or visit EarthPolicy.Mines.edu for more information.

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 Inside Energy
Inside Energy is a collaborative journalism initiative among public media with roots in Colorado, Wyoming and North Dakota. It is funded by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Its mission, in collaboration with its partner stations, is to create a more informed public on energy issues. Inside Energy seeks to make energy issues a household topic and to inspire community conversations on the topic of energy. Learn more at InsideEnergy.org.

Contact:
Kelly Beard, Communication Specialist, Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3452 | kbeard@mines.edu
Kathleen Morton, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3088 | kmorton@mines.edu

On Friday, Aug. 19, incoming Mines students will hike up Mt. Zion with a 10-pound rock from their hometown to add to the M. As is tradition, they will coat their rock with fresh whitewash at the mountainside monument. President Paul Johnson and Mines faculty and staff will join students in this year’s M Climb.

Mines again received a high number of applications (around 12,800) for the 2016-17 academic year, and the campus is expecting to welcome approximately 1,140 new students—1,000 freshmen and 140 transfer students. Of this total, 28% are women and 19% identify as underrepresented domestic ethnic or racial groups.

New students are coming to Mines with an average high school GPA of 3.8 (out of a 4.0 scale), average ACT score of 31 and SAT composite score of 1337.

Facts and stats about Mines Class of 2020:

  • 118 first-generation college students
  • Over 90 slated to join one of Mines varsity athletic teams
  • 70 new transfer students from one of the five colleges (Red Rocks Community College, Arapahoe Community College, Community College of Denver, Community College of Aurora and Front Range Community College) with whom Mines has a formal transfer articulation agreement.
  • 75 countries and 49 states represented
  • 36 are new Harvey, Boettcher, Daniels, or Denver Scholarship Foundation Scholars
  • 11 are graduates of the Mines SUMMET (Summer Multicultural Engineering Training program)
  • 7 pairs of twins (a typical year includes 1 or 2)

The M Climb will kick off around 7:35 a.m. on the South Intramural Fields as members of Blue Key Honor Society spray paint the hard hats of incoming students. Students will take a bus across 6th street and will begin the climb below the arch on Lookout Mountain Road. Please note Lookout Mountain Road west of Highway 6 will be closed to public access during the M Climb.  After the climb, students will take a bus back down to campus and will celebrate with a BBQ on the lawn south of Sigma Kappa.

New students move in this week and classes begin Monday, Aug. 22.

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

 

Students listen during the data analysis externship

In an effort to combat the effects of the current industry downturn on student work experience, the Department of Petroleum Engineering is taking on a new initiative this summer, offering externships to rising juniors and seniors. The externships run over the course of five weeks, and three different sessions are being taught with topics in drilling and data analytics, hydraulic fracture design, and enhanced oil recovery.
 
F.H. “Mick” Merelli/Cimarex Energy Distinguished Department Head Chair Erdal Ozkan initiated the program, saying that "the best way to fight the negative effects of the industry downturn is to better prepare our students".
Students in Drilling and Production Data Analytics externship learn from industry rep John de Wardt.Students in "Drilling and Production Data Analytics" externship learn from industry rep John de Wardt.
“The externships are a program for our students who might not have gotten an internship or other work this summer,” said Jennifer Miskimins, associate professor and faculty lead for the fracturing externship. “What we’re trying to do is to provide them with an in-house internship where they get an opportunity to work with different projects and software that they may not get to use in their regular classes.” 
 
Rising senior Ryan Givan said that although learning two new computer programs has been one of the greatest challenges, he knows that the experience will be valuable. “Not only will doing the externship help me get a job, but now I have experience using the actual simulation software that they use in the industry.”
 
Tom Bratton, former adjunct professor who is now retired from the industry and pursuing a graduate degree in geophysics from Mines, is teaching students some of these new technologies. He sees externships as an innovative way to do what oil companies today can’t do because of budgetary limitations.
 
“For the students to get a project to work on over the summer and be able to learn from that experience is fantastic,” Bratton said. “The industry is cyclical, it always has been -- it will come back up, and they will be hiring.”
Tom Bratton teaches students how to use well-modeling software used in the industry. Post-doc and teaching assistant Tedesse Teklu runs a lab session for the fracturing externship.
Tom Bratton teaches students in the "Hydraulic Fracture Design & Refracturing Treatments" externship how to use industry-provided modeling software.
Post-doc and teaching assistant Tedesse Teklu runs a lab session for the fracturing externship.
Students aren’t the only ones benefiting from the externships, company sponsors are as well. Dean Ramona Graves of the College of Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering, explains that at a lower cost than hiring a single intern, the externships allow industry sponsors to form relationships with multiple potential employees. “Instead of investing in just one student, they get to look at 20 students,” said Graves. “They observe the students solving real industry problems in a professional work-like setting.”
 
Company sponsorship also means that students are working with industry-supplied datasets. 
 
“We all have different formations that we’ve been working with from different companies,” explained Givan. “We’re not all just doing the same thing— we’re getting experience doing something that you would actually do as an engineer working for a company.” At the end of the 5-week program, students will present their results to company sponsors.
Students in the "Hydraulic Fracture Design and Refracturing Treatments" externships visited a Halliburton oil field.
Students in the "Hydraulic Fracture Design and Refracturing Treatments" externship visited a Halliburton oil field.
“This is a new concept that we’re trying out this summer— the feedback so far has been very positive,” said Miskimins. Graves gave her praise, saying that the department "has done a fantastic job in this downturn of the market, with the uncertainty of the market, to take care of their students.”
 
If the program is successful, the department will likely offer it in the future.
 
“We will not hide behind the low oil prices or limitations of the industry,” Ozkan concluded. “We will make sure that if there is only one job out there, it will be a Mines graduate to take it.”
 
The externships were made possible by generous sponsorship and industry data-sets from: Chevron, Whiting Petroleum Corporation, BHP Billiton, Devon Energy, Ward Petroleum, Great Western Oil and Gas Company, Elk Petroleum, Surtek, Inc, Oil E. Services,  University of Wisconsin-Madison, Agua Caliente Geothermal Inc., Ice Drilling Design and Operations, K.P. Kauffman Company, Inc., HRM Resources, Foundation Energy Management, Ultra Petroleum, Dewardt and Company, Stimlab, Barree & Associates, SAS, State of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, U.S. Navy Geothermal Program Office, Sandia National Laboratories, Mr. Robert Howard (PE '56)
 
Contact:
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
 

Rain didn’t stop more than 30 students, faculty, staff and members of the Mines community from starting construction on a 200-square-foot tiny house Aug. 6. The Mines Solar Decathlon Team is building the house to give undergraduates a living and learning lab space through the Energy Minor, and will help influence the design of the house for the Solar Decathlon.

President Paul Johnson celebrated the team’s first community build day by cutting plywood for the floor of the tiny house. Golden resident Ron Larson (who lives in the first winning Solar Decathlon house), Xcel Energy employees and the Golden Community Sustainability Advisory Board members also attended.

"It was surreal to see all of our hard work in the last year come to fruition at the first build day,” said Ethan Paley, co-leader of the Mines Solar Decathlon Team. “We are excited to begin framing the walls next week.” The team will be hosting weekly community build days and plan to complete the house for Golden Solar Tour of Homes Oct. 1.

The house will run primarily on electric, but will also rely on four solar panels. Located on the ground outside the house, these panels will move to track the sun at different times of the year. Inside, the house will have a fold-up worktable, lofted bed and basic kitchen with a solar-powered burner, composting toilet and water heater.

Over the summer, the team exceeded their fundraising goal of $5,000 and raised $7,392 in a month through a donation from the Mines Sustainability Committee. With these funds, they purchased a 24', 18K triple axle trailer, and sealed it with caulk and foil tape. A few days prior to the build day, the team added spray foam insulation to the bottom of the trailer to help regulate temperature and increase the R-value of their home.

Next October, the team will begin filling out the application to enter the Solar Decathlon. The process is a two-year endeavor, as students from universities across the U.S. must design an efficient, affordable, appealing, and functional solar powered house. The next Solar Decathlon will be held in Denver in October 2017.

Follow along with the team's progress on their website.

Contact:


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

On June 17 and 18, a team of five Mines students placed third in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) International Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) competitiona prospective basin evaluation competition for geoscience graduate students around the world. More than 250 university teams from over 50 countries partipate in the IBA competition each year and one winner from each of the 12 AAPG regional sections was chosen to move forward to the international competition. Mines received the Stoneley Medal and $5,000 in scholarship funds, creating a legacy after two previous third place wins in 2012 and 2014.

"With all of the excellent scientists participating at the international level, winning the Stoneley Medal was a great recognition, and we are proud to help continue the tradition of excellence here at Mines," said geology and geological engineering graduate student Michael Harty.

From left: Matt Bauer, Abdulah Eljalafi, Sarah King, Michael Harty and Evan Allred

Geology and geological engineering graduate students Abdulah Eljalafi, Sarah King, Michael Harty, Matt Bauer, Evan Allred and faculty advisor Steve Sonnenberg participated on the 2016 Mines team. Prior to the competion, teams were given a geoscience dataset to analyze. Teams delivered results in 25-minute presentations to a panel of industry experts, and winners were chosen on the basis of the technical quality, clarity and originality of their presentations.

"The IBA competition offers such a great experience. I recommend it to any geology, geophysics or petroleum engineering student looking for a hands-on experience," said Bauer. "Our team evaluated a real dataset and presented our findings to a panel of worldwide industry experts. We feel lucky to utilize the excellent technical and applied instruction that Mines providesit definitely helped us stand apart from the competition." 

A full list of winners can be seen on the IBA website.

Contact:

Agata Bogucka, Information Specialist, 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

 

GOLDEN, CO, June 20, 2016 — Colorado School of Mines and the Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies (ADAPT), a consortium of academic, industry and government institutions focused on developing technologies to accelerate the certification and qualification of 3D-printed metal parts, will be hosting an open house 5 p.m. June 23 in the ADAPT Advanced Characterization Center (Brown W230).

Mines student Paige Bowling is one of 22 women running for the title of Miss Colorado June 9-11. She is pursuing degrees in chemical and biochemical engineering, and biochemistry. Bowling chose the competition as a way to raise scholarship funds for the extra year she will be attending Mines to complete both degrees.

At Mines, Bowling serves as the marketing director and regional officer (for the 20 sections) in the Society of Women in Engineering, and will be running under the platform of women in science and engineering for Miss Colorado.

“There is a very common stigma about women who chose to follow a career path in anything science or engineering related which perpetuates gender inequalities,” said Bowling. “If you ask a young girl what she wants to be when she grows up, over time many girls will shift their focus from grand career paths to something based upon gender-normative stereotypes. My ultimate goal is to not only promote young girls to continue on a path focused on math and science, but to also promote education to everyone. To do this, I hope to expand the current science and engineering resources available to schools for everyone, but especially young girls.”

Since she was a freshman, Bowling has been working with professor Brian Trewyn to synthesize mesoporous silica (MCM-141) for chemotherapy research and new fluorine imaging techniques to be used at hospitals within the next five years. Bowling also works as a Mines Help Desk operator, after taking over the role from her brother, Garrett, who graduated from Mines in December 2014 with a mechanical engineering specialty degree. She is a certified personal trainer at the Student Recreation Center and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

This week, Bowling will have an interview before competing in the evening gown, swimsuit and 90-second talent portions of the competition. While most of the women will be doing music or dance routines, Bowling’s talent will be poi spinning. Poi is a performance art and typically involves swinging objects that have various rhythmical and geometric patterns. In a dark room, Bowling will be spinning LED lights that change color every 10 seconds.

Miss Colorado is a scholarship organization and women must be currently a Colorado resident and enrolled at a university. If Bowling wins the Miss Colorado title on Saturday, she will advance to compete in the Miss America competition in September. To support Bowling, follow her Facebook page. The deadline to vote for Bowling as the People’s Choice Vote is June 10.

 

Contact:

Kathleen Morton, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3088 | kmorton@mines.edu
Jake Kupiec, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3067 | kupiec@mines.edu

 

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