Jennifer Nekuda Malik

Colorado School of Mines launches Pillars of Research

Mines researchers work together to solve the world’s critical scientific and engineering challenges
Mines Pillars of Research graphic

Colorado School of Mines announced today the launch of the university’s new research and technology transfer website. Unveiling the Mines Pillars of Research, the website highlights Mines' world-class research enterprise, which is driving innovation with impact. 

“The Mines ethos of use-inspired research and innovation is a significant part of what draws world-class faculty, students, and industry and government partners to Mines,” said Mines President Paul C. Johnson. “We have a combination of expertise, facilities and collaborations that uniquely positions us to tackle the key questions and challenges facing industry and society on topics like energy and water, natural resources and sustainability, infrastructure, manufacturing, computing, health, and beyond. The Mines Pillars of Research website provides a window into the exciting research and innovation happening at Mines and the collaborative and highly multidisciplinary nature of that work.” 

Reflecting Mines' historic tagline of “Earth, Energy, Environment,” the first three pillars — Earth Exploration, Integrated Energy Solutions, and Sustainable Environment & Climate — reinforce the university’s strengths and leadership across these areas.  

Three additional pillars were established to capture the full spectrum of Mines’ research — Foundations of Responsible Innovation, Fundamentals of Scientific Discovery, and Science & Engineering Frontiers. These three pillars address the social and policy foundations underpinning ethical and impactful innovation; the discovery science that expands our understanding of the universe; and use-inspired cutting-edge research to expand the frontiers of what is possible. 

Integrated within the pillar structure is an understanding that Mines researchers must balance advancing science and technology with sustainability and building social license.  

“The Mines pillars showcase the ways Mines researchers are working together to address the world’s most pressing and complex issues,” said Mines Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer Walter G. Copan. “Capturing the spectrum of research and innovation across Mines, the pillars also represent the University’s commitment to develop real-world solutions that incorporate social, economic, political, and environmental dimensions.” 

A deeper dive into Mines pillars 

Bringing together transdisciplinary expertise is central to Mines research. The pillars represent thematic areas that draw researchers – from across campus and from Mines’ extensive network of external partners – to collaborate and innovate together. The interdisciplinary aspects of Mines research can be observed in the diversity of focus areas that sit within each pillar, providing more detailed views of the university’s research strengths and capabilities. As research continues to grow and address the world’s future challenges, the focus areas will be updated to reflect the evolving breadth and depth of Mines research.   

The new Mines research and technology transfer website also features: 

  • A searchable Researcher Network, where Mines researchers and their associated pillars and focus areas can be found. This feature is designed to enable anyone – students, peers, and potential collaborators – to find and connect with Mines researchers. New search features, including keywords, are being added to researcher profiles, making it easier to find researchers based on their areas of expertise and research interests. 
  • Sections entitled “Uniquely Mines” which feature distinctive opportunities, expertise, and facilities that amplify Mines’ impact by opening pathways of discovery and innovation. 
  • Highlights of Mines’ extensive Research Collaborations and partnership opportunities. Spanning industry, government institutions, and other universities, these collaborations include research centers and consortia, partnerships with federal labs, and multi-institution or regional research hubs, institutes and initiatives. These strategic partnerships enable Mines to share capabilities and expertise and to accelerate and broaden the impact of our work. 
  • Cross-cutting and high-impact Strategic Research Initiatives developed as part of our Beyond Mines@150 comprehensive research plan. These initiatives ensure Mines’ continued leadership in areas of strength and global recognition and drive growth in emerging areas of science and technology across our pillars. 
  • Mines Technology Transfer opportunities, providing convenient access to technologies available for commercial licensing, new company formation, and partnership resources including sources of funding for proof of concept and start-up investment. 

The launch of the Mines Pillars of Research recognizes Mines as a top-of-mind and first-choice university – a place for students to learn and grow, a preferred partner for the public and private sectors, and a university that attracts and retains top-level faculty and staff.  

An R1 Institution, Mines ranks in the top 4 percent of research universities nationwide and was awarded more than $100 million in research funding in 2023. Industry partners fund approximately 20 percent of the research at Mines, keeping Mines at the forefront of relevant, use-inspired research and technology development.  

The Mines Pillars capture, integrate, and communicate the university’s research, and the new website provides a platform for external partners and students to make new connections at Mines. Working together with global partners, Mines continues to tackle today’s biggest challenges, creating innovation with impact, and transforming our future.

Jen Nekuda Malik headshot

Jennifer Nekuda Malik

Associate Director of Research Communications
(303) 384-2718
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.