2022 Distinguished Lecture: Roel Snieder

Teaching with a Heart

Educating the next generation of engineers and scientists is our core-business at Mines. These young people go out into the world, bringing their energy and skills to the development of new creations. Since we are working with young people in the formative years of their professional and personal development, and since the state of wellness of college students is worrisome, we need to ask ourselves the question how do we prepare our students at a personal level for their future? I will discuss the importance of educating students as whole persons, and provide simple steps, that are not time-consuming, that help create a learning environment where we assist students in their personal growth and wellbeing. This amounts to Teaching with a Heart, a mindset aimed at seeing the full person in students, facilitating the growth of an integrated personality, and showing up as teachers with an attitude of care. And when we do this, we don’t just foster the growth of better people, we grow better engineers too!


John Speer

Roel Snieder holds the W.M. Keck Distinguished Chair of Professional Development Education at the Colorado School of Mines. He received in 1984 a Master’s degree in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics from Princeton University, and in 1987 a Ph.D. in seismology from Utrecht University. In 1993 he was appointed as professor of seismology at Utrecht University, where from 1997-2000 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Earth Sciences. Roel served on the editorial boards of Geophysical Journal International, Inverse Problems, Reviews of Geophysics, the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and the European Journal of Physics. In 2000 he was elected as Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He is author of the textbooks  “A Guided Tour of Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences”“The Art of Being a Scientist”, and “The Joy of Science” that are published by Cambridge University Press. In 2011 he was elected as Honorary Member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and in 2014 he received a research award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2016 Roel received the Beno Gutenberg Medal from the European Geophysical Union and the Outstanding Educator Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. He received in 2020 the Ange Melagro Prize for his outstanding class Science and Spirituality. From 2000-2014 he was a firefighter in Genesee Fire Rescue where he served for two years as Fire Chief.