Mines Innovation Week to showcase student ingenuity

Colorado School of Mines will showcase the innovative, creative and entrepreneurial spirit of its students during a new weeklong celebration culminating with the university’s hosting of The Wright Awards May 3.

Mines Innovation Week kicks off April 25 with a one-of-a-kind food experience. Students from Introduction to Construction Engineering will build edible structures—think a Rice Krispies Treats “ski resort” and a water treatment plant-themed beverage station—in the Marquez Hall atrium.

The College of Engineering and Computational Sciences’ Capstone Design Showcase leads a full day of events April 26. The day will also feature the first Undergraduate Research Symposium, the finals of the HackMines Newmont Innovation Challenge, an Innovation Expo featuring the Thorson First Year Honors IDEAS Course and Grand Challenges Scholars Program, and a reception for the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Alumni Interest Group.

Computer science students will showcase their class projects May 1 at the Computing Innovation Fair, and first-year students will present ideas for fixing crumbling urban infrastructure at the Cornerstone Final Design Competition May 2.

Capping the week is The Wright Award Night, hosted by Mines for the first time this year. Since its inception in 2010, The Wright has recognized nearly 100 companies as the Rocky Mountain Region’s most innovative outdoor-inspired businesses. Free public workshops, panels and talks featuring more than 40 speakers sharing their perspective on emergent leaders, resilient founders, outdoor capital, the transitioning economies of rural communities, outdoor rec and technology will be held May 1-3 throughout downtown Golden leading up to Award Night. (For a full event schedule, go to thewright.co.)

“I am really excited to see how an innovation fervor has taken hold at Colorado School of Mines over the last several years,” said Kevin Moore, dean of the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences. “While Mines is known as a great place full of really smart people doing really cool things, Innovation Week is the first time we have tried to showcase a bunch of these really cool things at the same time. It will be great to see the variety and array of ideas and ingenuity on display.”

Mines Innovation Week Schedule

April 25

CEEN 360 FoodBuild, 7 p.m., Marquez Hall atrium

Sophomores, juniors and seniors enrolled in Introduction to Construction Engineering have undertaken an innovative project designed to reveal the nuances of construction contracting. Early in the semester, teams of students designed edible food sculptures, such as a beverage station themed around a water treatment plant and a Rice Krispies dessert that appears to be a ski resort. In the middle of the semester, students bid on other teams’ projects. Now, at the culmination of the semester, students will construct the sculptures for the FoodBuild party on April 25. The edible sculptures must be assembled by 7 p.m. sharp and, after a brief discussion period, students and guests will be invited to partake of the food and drink. The course’s instructor is Civil and Environmental Engineering Teaching Professor Susan Reynolds.

April 26

CECS Capstone Design Showcase, 9-11 a.m., Lockridge Arena

CECS Capstone Design@Mines is a creative, client-driven design experience emerging from combined efforts in civil, electrical, mechanical and environmental engineering. Formerly known as Trade Fair, the CECS Capstone Design Showcase highlights undergraduate engineering education in the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences, and this semi-annual event offers students an opportunity to present the real-world, client-driven project work that they have completed over the course of their senior year. From cleaning Denver’s waterways and designing rockfall mitigation devices to planning water infrastructure for our nation’s parks and giving disabled veterans more freedom of movement, Capstone Design@Mines students never disappoint. Join us as close to 60 teams of seniors show off their innovative solutions to today’s problems, as only engineering at Mines can do!

Thorson First Year Honors IDEAS Course Expo, 1-3 p.m., CoorsTek Center lobby

The first-year Thorson Honors Program employs a yearlong course titled “Innovation and Discovery in Engineering, Art, and Science (IDEAS)” to immerse students in a multifaceted investigation of engineering design, communication, ethics, entrepreneurship and innovation, while emphasizing creativity and the importance of making value-informed technical decisions. For the Innovation Expo, Thorson will share IDEAS journals highlighting the students’ creative process and ideations, present sample portfolios and showcase design pin-ups for the projects currently being developed for the City of Golden.

Grand Challenges Scholars Program Expo, 1-3 p.m., CoorsTek Center lobby

The Grand Challenges Scholars Program prepares engineers to be world changers. It aims to develop the critical and creative thinking skills engineers and scientists will need to make our world more sustainable, enhance health, strengthen security and improve quality of life. It does this by identifying five competencies that the 21st Century Engineer will require to face the major societal challenges of the future: research and creative project experience, multidisciplinary collaboration, entrepreneurship, global understanding and social consciousness. Come by our table at the Innovation Expo to learn more about this new program and the awesome things our scholars are doing.

Undergraduate Research Symposium, 1-3 p.m., CoorsTek Center lobby

This event showcases research conducted by undergraduate students from all disciplines across Mines. This year’s event will feature research posters from approximately 60 undergraduate students. Everyone is welcome to participate and interact with the presenters and explore the breadth of interdisciplinary research conducted by exceptional undergraduate students at Mines.

Newmont Innovation Challenge Finals, 3-4 p.m., Lockridge Arena

The Final Pitch Competition for the HackMines Newmont Innovation Challenge is your chance to see the innovations that the finalist teams have been working on over the past few months. In this hourlong event, you'll hear student pitches and see their prototypes as the teams compete to earn funding from the $50,000 Newmont Innovation Fund.

Innovation & Design Awards, 4-5 p.m., Lockridge Arena

Following the Newmont pitch competition is a short awards ceremony where the winning teams will be announced, along with the winners of the CECS Capstone Design Showcase and the Innovator of the Year Award.

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Alumni Interest Group Reception, 5-6 p.m., Lockridge Arena

All Mines alumni and friends are invited to attend the E&I Alumni Interest Group Reception following the Innovation & Design Awards ceremony.

May 1

Computing Innovation Fair, 6:30-8 p.m., Volk Gymnasium

The purpose of the Computing Innovation Fair, which is sponsored by the Department of Computer Science, is to highlight outstanding course projects completed by students in various CS courses. The fair will showcase projects completed by students in the following five courses this semester:

  • CSCI 101: Introduction to Computer Science
  • CSCI 250: Building a Sensor System (Python-based computing)
  • CSCI 403: Database Management
  • CSCI 448: Mobile Application Development
  • CSCI 477: Elements of Games and Game Development

Project developers will be in attendance to show their work.

May 2

EPIC 151 Cornerstone Design Competition, 5-7 p.m., Student Center Ballrooms B & C

After a semester of ideating, pivoting and prototyping around fixing crumbling urban infrastructure, students in Introduction to Design (formerly EPICS I) are ready to showcase their final projects. In this end-of-semester competition, the winning teams from each section will compete for “Best Design Process” and “Most Potentially Viable.”

May 3

The Wright Product Gallery, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Lockridge Arena

Visit the product gallery to get a first look at The Wright contenders who are vying for the 2018 prize. Get to know their founders, hear their stories and explore their projects with hands-on demos. (Tickets required—available at thewright.co/#tickets.)

The Wright Awards, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Lockridge Arena

The Wright Award Night features the first public screening of the 90-second videos produced and submitted by each of the contenders to convey their vision, mission and inspiration. The debut of the contender videos will be followed by the announcement of three finalists, who will take the stage together and face a rapid-fire Q&A session from a panel of judges. The judges will select the winner and present the $5,000 prize. (Tickets required—available at thewright.co/#tickets.) 

Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 | erusch@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu

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.