Dealing with mine tailings—the waste materials left after the target mineral is extracted from ore at mines around the world—often pose significant challenges to mining companies and surrounding communities. But Priscilla Nelson, professor of mining engineering at Colorado School of Mines, explains that tailings actually can be utilized as a valuable and recyclable earth resource and may change the way we think about mine waste and the sustainability of extraction.
The possibility of robot overlords? Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about that for a while. For now, scientists and engineers are focused on improving basic human-robot interaction to perform simple tasks and better understand and support humans. For Tom Williams, assistant professor of computer science at Colorado School of Mines, that means developing a robot’s working memory to improve robotic communication skills. Williams explains the process of teaching robots to think and act like humans and the technical, social and moral challenges scientists must contend with when doing so.
We know that most natural landscapes are able to recover after even the most severe burns, but not much is known about exactly how that happens within the soil itself. John Spear, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado School of Mines, discusses the importance of understanding how a soil microbiome rejuvenates after devastation and how it could not only give us better knowledge of our natural ecosystems but also help firefighters make informed, in-the-moment decisions about how to fight a wildfire.
Many scientists and engineers are focused on a new wave of innovation in quantum science and technology, revolutionizing the field and generating a need for skilled quantum engineers across various industries. Meenakshi Singh, assistant professor of physics at Colorado School of Mines, explains why we’re seeing this quantum surge, what this evolving technology will enable us to do in the near future and how Mines is preparing the next generation to lead the world through the next quantum revolution.
With much of the world looking at eliminating carbon emissions from the global energy economy, Colorado School of Mines experts are a trusted voice in the conversation when determining what materials and technology will make that future possible—and effective. John Bradford, vice president for global initiatives at Mines, discusses the new Global Energy Future Initiative and the many changes and growth that will be required across many technologies, industries and more to ensure a thoughtful and efficient shift toward cleaner energy sources.
The resources found in space are key to humanity’s exploration of life beyond Earth, and we’re just beginning to understand how to use them to advance technology in this next frontier. Angel Abbud-Madrid, director of the Center for Space Resources at Colorado School of Mines, shares the importance of discovering and utilizing resources in space, the challenges of working in environments vastly different from those we’re familiar with on Earth and what we should expect to see from space resources and space exploration in the near future.
The need for oil and gas in the world's energy portfolio and skilled petroleum engineers isn't going anywhere, according to Jennifer Miskimins, petroleum engineering department head at Colorado School of Mines, who explains how oil and gas will still play an important role in our energy future for many years to come despite technological changes and a shifting energy focus. In fact, the skills petroleum engineers are learning today are still just as critical to meeting industry demands as they were 100 years ago.
Former Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer Stefanie Tompkins, now director of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), talks about how Mines researchers are advancing knowledge for the betterment of society and industry in unique ways through multidisciplinary collaboration, close industry partnerships and more.
John Spear, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado School of Mines, explains the three domains of life that work together to make up a microbiome and provide the ecosystem for that microbiome to thrive.
Meenakshi Singh, assistant professor of physics at Colorado School of Mines, explains the combination of fundamental quantum science and the engineering skill sets that allow for transformational advances in quantum information science and the applications of scientific discoveries in practical ways.
John Bradford, geophysics professor and vice president for global initiatives at Colorado School of Mines, explains exactly what carbon capture is and the technological development needed to make carbon capture a bigger part of the energy conversation.
About the Podcast
The Conveyor brings listeners insights into the latest research, new discoveries and world-changing ideas from Colorado School of Mines.
The viewpoints and opinions expressed by featured guests do not necessarily represent those of Colorado School of Mines.