Emilie Rusch

Barbara A. Filas elected to National Academy of Engineering

A licensed professional mining engineer and retired professor of practice, Filas helped develop Mines' Mining Engineering and Management Graduate Program
Barb Filas with Lean on Me statue

Barbara A. Filas, a retired professor of practice who helped develop the Mining Engineering and Management Program at Colorado School of Mines, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions granted to engineers, recognizing those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

Filas was cited “for business leadership, mining engineering achievements, and being a role model especially for young women mining engineers.”

A licensed professional mining engineer with more than 40 years of industry experience, Filas joined the Mines faculty in 2017 as a professor of practice in the Mining Engineering Department. After helping develop curriculum for Mines partner Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, she and colleague Rob Reeves undertook responsibility for the development and implementation of a new Professional Masters in Mining Engineering and Management Program at Mines.

The fully online program was the first of its kind at Mines and exposes students to the breadth of disciplines they need to make timely, informed and effective executive management decisions in the mining sector.  Filas developed program content; developed, implemented and managed schedules and budgets; defined target curriculum content for each course; selected and retained highly qualified faculty each with significant practical mining industry experience to teach the courses; and recruited students into the program. The Professional Master in Mining Engineering and Management was recently ranked No. 17 among online engineering management programs by U.S. News & World Report, just four years after the start of development.

Filas retired from the program when the first cohort graduated in June 2021. She remains an adjunct professor at Mines and teaches the Mining Environmental and Social Responsibility course.

"Barb Filas is a consummate mining professional who has distinguished herself for excellence, integrity, and achievement throughout her entire career. Her contributions have had a meaningful impact on the industry and those who have been fortunate to have worked with her,” said Hugh Miller, associate professor of mining engineering at Mines. “In business, professional service, and academia, she has held numerous positions of leadership and has excelled largely because of her steadfast commitment to ‘doing things right,’ the ability to work effectively with others, and her devotion to mentoring young engineers.  Barb is truly deserving of this tremendous recognition."      

Filas will be formally inducted into NAE during the organization’s annual meeting on Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C.  A total of 111 new members and 22 international members are part of the NAE Class of 2022, bringing the academy’s total U.S. membership to  2,388 and foreign membership to  310.

Emilie Rusch

Emilie Rusch

Director of Communications
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.