Centers and Institutes

Centers and institutes at Mines provide faculty and students with technical expertise, research facilities and equipment, and increased financial support.

At Mines, two types of research centers focus on a variety of projects and challenges:

  • Departmental centers focus on specific research projects within one area of expertise, and generally within one department. These centers typically support two to five faculty members and up to 15 students.
  • Institutional centers explore large-scale projects that span multiple departments and areas of expertise. The institutional centers usually support up to 10 faculty researchers and as many as 40 students.

Advanced Coatings and Surface Engineering Lab (ACSEL)
Director: Jianliang Lin
ACSEL serves as a focal point for industry-driven research and education in advanced thin films and coating systems, surface engineering, tribology, electronic, optical, magnetic, and semiconductor materials. ACSEL provides opportunities for Mines faculty and graduate students to visit and work in sponsor facilities, participate in technical meetings with sponsors, and for Mines graduates to gain employment with sponsors.

Advanced Steel Processing and Products Research Center (ASPPRC)
Director: John Speer

ASPPRC is an industry/university cooperative research center in the field of solid state ferrous physical and mechanical metallurgy. Research is conducted in a wide variety of areas related to future steel products and applications, with strong participation and involvement from steel producing and steel using industries from North America and overseas. Focus areas include sheet, plate and bar steels related to transportation, energy production and transmission, agriculture and construction, infrastructure, etc.

Advanced Water Technology Center (AQWATEC)
Director: Tzahi Cath, Associate Director: Christopher Higgins

The mission of AQWATEC is to develop novel water treatment processes enabling sustainable and energy efficient utilization of impaired water sources for potable and non-potable water supplies.

Center of Assessment in STEM (CA-STEM)
Director: Barbara Moskal

The mission of CA-STEM is to improve the methodologies used by evaluators in the assessment of educational interventions in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. CA-STEM’s role is to bring together experts in quantitative research, qualitative research, and STEM content with the purpose of improving the evaluation of educational research projects. CA-STEM will also provide a training ground for undergraduate students, graduate students and researchers who are interested in assessment and evaluation.

Center for Automation, Robotics and Distributed Intelligence (CARDI)
Director: Kevin Moore

CARDI’s research encompasses the fields of control systems, robotics and automation, and distributed systems and networking. Focus areas include the theory of adaptive and nonlinear control, intelligent and learning control systems, system identification and fault detection, computer vision and image processing, wireless communication networks, intelligent autonomous robotic systems, machine learning and artificial intelligence, network communication protocols and simulation and modeling of computer networks. Applications of CARDI research can be found in renewable energy and power systems, materials processing, sensor and control networks, bio-engineering and medicine, data mining and activity recognition, defense and homeland security, smart structures, intelligent geo-systems, and environmental monitoring.

Center for Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Research (CBRR)
Director: Joel Bach

IBDMS focuses on implant design, implant simulator (hip, knee, TMJ, etc.); fluoroscopic imaging of joint motion; in vivo measurements of implants dynamics; advanced biocompatible materials; modeling and simulation of musculoskeletal system; micro-electromechanical (MEM) sensors and actuators; electronically controlled implants; artificial sensory systems; automatic control; telemetric implants; spinal injuries and implants.

Center for Cyber Security and Privacy (CCSP)
Point of Contact: Chuan Yue

The mission of the Center for Cyber Security and Privacy (CCSP) is to support and promote cyber security and privacy education and research at the Colorado School of Mines and the region. CCSP is hosted in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) department of the College of Engineering & Computational Sciences. It is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Center for Earth Materials, Mechanics and Characterization (CEMMC)
Director: Todd Hoffman

EM2C fosters research in a variety of areas including rock mechanics, earth systems, and nontraditional characterization. The center does not limit its focus to either “hard” or “soft” rock applications but is, instead, intended to foster research in both arenas and encourage interdisciplinary communications between the associated disciplines.

Center for Environmental Risk Assessment (CERA)
Director: Christopher Higgins

CERA promotes and enhances environmental risk assessment research and educational activities at Mines. By bringing diverse interdisciplinary expertise to bear on problems in environmental risk assessment, the center facilitates the development of significantly improved, scientifically-based approaches for estimating human and ecological risks for using the results of such assessments.

Center for Experimental Study of Subsurface Environmental Processes (CESEP)
Director: Tissa Illangasekare

The mission of the center is to enhance environmental quality through experimental investigation of subsurface environmental processes and remediation techniques leading to improved and cost effective cleanup methodology and decision-making.

Center for Gravity, Electrical & Magnetic Studies (CGEM)
Director: Yaoguo Li
CGEM is an academic research center that focuses on the quantitative interpretation of gravity, magnetic, electrical and electromagnetic data in applied geophysics. The center brings together the diverse expertise of faculty and students in these different geophysical methods and works towards advancing the state of art in geophysical data interpretation for real-world problems. The emphases of CGEM research are processing and inversion of applied geophysical data. The primary areas of application include petroleum exploration, mineral exploration, unexploded ordnance (UXO) detection & discrimination, and near surface problems. In addition, environmental problems, natural hazard monitoring, archeological mapping, hydro-geophysics and crustal study are also within the scope of the center.

Center for Innovation in Earth Resources Science and Engineering (CIERSE)
Director: Steve Enders
CIERSE incorporates expertise and has research projects in other departments, including: Geology & Geological Engineering, Geophysics, Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, and Environmental Science & Engineering.

Center for Mineral Resources Science  (CMRS)
Director: Thomas Monecke
It is the mission of the CMRS to conduct cutting-edge fundamental and applied research in subsurface mineral resources. In addition to cutting edge research, the CMRS will train the next generation of geoscientists for the minerals industry, academia, and government in both fundamental and applied research. Producing such new scientists is critical for sustaining the Nation’s economy and national security. The CMRS will provide sound scientific information to inform policy and decision-makers in local, state, and federal government, and outreach to citizens. The CMRS will represent a unique research center that integrates the innovative research only possible in an academic setting with the existing expertise of the premier earth science federal agency that is tasked to conduct objective resource assessments and unbiased mineral resources research. The CMRS will be in a unique position to combine a basic science approach to the science of mineral deposits with industry-driven applied research. The CMRS will support undergraduate and graduate education at the Colorado School of Mines and emphasize training of students through research conducted in cooperation with the international mining and exploration industry. Research at the CMRS will largely center on the formation, discovery, delineation, characterization, and sustainable recovery of ore deposits. While CMRS will focus primarily on the upstream aspect of metals lifecycle it will also strive to forge relationships with other groups at Colorado School of Mines and the USGS that focus on the downstream aspects of metal cycling such as the Critical Materials Institute at CSM. The CMRS should form close research and training collaborations with universities and government agencies nationally and internationally to become a global center of expertise in mineral resource sciences.

Center for Oil Shale Technology and Research (COSTAR)
Director: Jerry Boak

COSTAR conducts investigations to advance the development of oil shale resources in the United States and around the world. Center projects include:

  • Study of rock physics and rock mechanics to understand how oil shale properties vary with temperature and how fractures will occur with heating
  • Study of geology, stratigraphy and climatology, to understand the conditions of formation of oil shale and provide the integrating framework for the Center’s work
  • Study of geochemistry, to understand how best to characterize the productive potential of the resource, and to enhance geologic understanding of the formation of oil shale
  • Development of a global database of oil shale information and support of the annual Oil Shale Symposium.

The founding Members of COSTAR include Total E&P USA, Shell E&P, and ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company.

Center for Petrophysics (CP)
The primary goal of exploration and production geophysics is to identify fluids, specifically hydrocarbons, in rocks. In the Rock Physics Lab, scientists research rock and fluid properties for exploration and reservoir monitoring. The most current projects center on fluid distributions in rocks and how these distributions affect characteristics such as wave attenuation, velocity dispersion and seismic signature.

Center for Research on Hydrates and Other Solids (CHS)
Director: Dendy Sloan, Co-directors: Carolyn Koh and Amadeu Sum

The mission of the center is to research, through discovery and innovation, the science and application of clathrate hydrates and other solids in complex fluids. This is accomplished by the generation and dissemination of knowledge through the training and education of scientists and engineers. The other solids of interest besides clathrate hydrates include ice, asphaltenes, waxes, clays, and sediments. The complex fluids include gases, oils, and aqueous fluids. The center fosters integrative and multidisciplinary research on these areas to address fundamental science and practical challenges involving clathrate hydrates and other solids in energy production, transportation and storage.

Center for Solar and Electronic Materials (CSEM)
Director: Reuben Collins

CSEM explores research and education in solar and electronic materials and technology. The center facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations across the Mines campus and fosters interactions with national laboratories, industries, public utilities, and other universities. It also serves to guide and strengthen the electronic materials curriculum.

Center for Space Resources (CSR)
Director: Angel Abbud-Madrid

CSR is a research and technology development center dedicated to the human and robotic exploration of space and the utilization of its resources for the benefit of our society through the joint efforts of academia, government,and the private sector. The CSR conducts scientific studies and technology development projects on the areas of space and planetary remote sensing, prospecting, drilling, excavation and extraction, materials processing and manufacturing, propulsion, and spacecraft life-support systems.

Center for Underground Construction & Tunneling (UC&T)
Director: Michael Mooney

The Center for UC&T is a collaborative, interdisciplinary group of faculty and students from the departments of civil & environmental, geology & geological, mining, and mechanical engineering, as well as geophysics and computer science – all with a collective interest in education and research in underground engineering. The Center for UC&T is dedicated to advancing knowledge through research and works closely with industry partners to take on the challenges unique to the UC&T industry.

Center for Wave Phenomena (CWP)
Director: Dave Hale

CWP’s main focus is on seismic modeling, imaging, and inversion methods, as well as on improving the accuracy and efficiency of seismic processing algorithms, especially for application to regions of structural complexity.

Center for Welding, Joining and Coatings Research (CWJCR)
Director: Stephen Liu

Research investigations by CWJCR are diverse, including hybrid laser-arc welding of high strength steels, laser processing of reactive metals, welding consumable development for controlling weld residual stress, hydrogen management in high strength steel weldments, flux-cored arc welding consumables for minimum fume generation, development of underwater wet welding consumables, welding of advanced steels used in the power generation industry, lead-free solder alloy development, electronic and magnetic alloy phase identification, pipeline for ethanol transportation, vision-based control of robotic welding, metal-ceramic and ceramic-ceramic brazing, and modeling of arc, electrode and weld pool. The center has excellent facilities for conducting materials welding, joining, and processing research.

Chevron Center of Research Excellence (CSMCoRE)
Director: David Pyles

CoRE is a long term relationship established between the Colorado School of Mines and Chevron that promotes the research, education, recruiting, and training objectives of both organizations. CoRE supports the development of new earth science technology while providing Chevron international employees and other students the opportunity to earn advanced degrees.

Colorado Center for Advanced Ceramics (CCAC)
Director: Ivar Reimanis

CCAC focuses on ceramic synthesis and processing; ceramic-metal composites; ceramic films, fibers and composites; oxidation and corrosion; dielectrics, ferroelectrics, and magnetics; glass/glass crystallization; materials for fuel cells and batteries; porous materials and substrates; electronic and optical ceramics; gas-solid interactions; ceramic-metal joining; combustion synthesis; powder and whisker synthesis.

Colorado Fuel Cell Center (CFCC):
Director: Neal Sullivan

CFCC seeks to advance fuel-cell research, development, and commercialization and to promote business opportunities in Colorado. The day-to-day activities of the center are handled by a director. All contracting and business activities are conducted through Colorado School of Mines.

Colorado Institute for Energy, Materials and Computational Science (CIEMACS)
Director: Colin Wolden

CIEMACS is an interdisciplinary research institute involving research active faculty and students from several academic departments at Colorado School of Mines. These faculty and students have expertise in the chemistry, physics and engineering of energy conversion processes, including solid oxide and PEMS fuel cells, clean fuels, combustion experimentation and modeling, materials synthesis in flames, atomistic materials modeling and the development of optical measurement techniques for combus­tion systems and reactive flows. CIEMACS is also a Mines focal point for high performance computing and is home to the CIEMACS-CHEETAH teraflop computing laboratory.

Colorado Institute for Macromolecular Science and Engineering (CIMSE)
Director: Dan Knauss

CIMSE focuses on polymeric materials science; design and synthesis of new macromolecular species; polymer rheology and processing; polymers at surfaces and interfaces; directed self-assembly of colloidal particles; theoretical methods and biological fluids.

ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE2ST
Director: Terry S. Hogue

The ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE2ST at Colorado School of Mines was formulated to promote the joint sustainability of unconventional energy production and water resources through education of energy-water literate graduate and undergraduate students, and by conducting world-class research on both community acceptance of unconventional resource development, and water resources related to unconventional energy production.

Critical Materials Institute (CMI)
Director of CSM activities: Rod Eggert, Co-Director: Pat Taylor

CMI is an Energy Innovation Hub of the U.S. Department of Energy. Its focus is innovation to reduce supply risks for materials critical to clean energy technologies. The goal of this innovation is to remove supply risk as an impediment to the development and deployment of emerging energy technologies. CMI is a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary consortium led by the Ames Laboratory. It carries out scientific and engineering research that facilitates more-diverse primary supply chains; more-efficient manufacturing, re-use, and recycling; and development of new materials. CMI also conducts complementary and supporting research on basic science, environmental sustainability, and supply chain and economic analysis. CMI research at Mines, in partnership with the Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy, focuses especially on: process engineering to improve primary mineral processing and recovery, as well as secondary recovery through recycling of manufacturing wastes and end-of-life products; material characterization; environmental sustainability; and economic analysis of material supply chains. In addition, Mines spearheads CMI efforts in education, training, and outreach and is part of CMI senior leadership.

Earth Mechanics Institute (EMI)
Manager: Brian Asbury

EMI enhances education and research in the field of excavation technology both for mining and civil underground construction. Over the 30 years of its existence, EMI has developed a suite of physical property tests, cutter and cutterhead evaluation procedures for performance prediction, project costing, and design of mechanical rock excavation tools for all types of mechanical excavators in mining, civil underground construction, and microtunneling. The developed test procedures and the performance/cost prediction models have been validated with extensive field data from excavation and drilling projects around the world.

Earth Resources Institute: Policy Analysis for Earth, Energy and Environment (ERI)
Director: Michael Walls
The ERI promotes rigorous quantitative analysis based on sound economic and scientific principles. Areas of research will include rare earths and critical materials, climate and carbon policy, pollution regulation, global trade and the environment, minerals policy and energy security, among many others.

Energy and Mines Field Institute (EMFI)
Director: Barry Martin

EMFI provides intensive on-site educational opportunities on energy and mineral resource exploration, extraction, benefaction, and utilization operations and issues.

Energy Modeling Group (EMG)
Director: Dr. Yu-Shu Wu

EMG’s mission is to develop state-of-the-art reservoir modeling technology and advanced simulation tools for research, teaching, and field applications in the areas of subsurface energy and natural resources, and environmental science and engineering. Research members consists of faculty members, graduate students, visiting scholars, and post-doctoral.

Fracturing, Acidizing, Stimulation Technoloy (Fast) Consortium
Director: Todd Hoffman

The Fracturing, Acidizing, Stimulation Technology (FAST) Consortium is a joint industry/university research consortium that performs research in all areas of stimulation of oil and gas wells. FAST concentrates on theoretical and laboratory developments that can be directly employed in the field to improve stimulation design and execution. Full partnership of industry is essential to the success of the consortium, and industry members are encouraged to provide direct input and guidance for the various projects.

Golden Energy Computing Organization (GECO)
Director: Mark Lusk

GECO is a computational hub for finding new ways to meet the energy needs of our society. It is also the recognized energy node in a developing high performance computing infrastructure for the Front Range. GECO promotes education in energy science and high performance computing and plays an important role in coordinating large-scale, multi-group collaborations. The GECO collaboratory comprises three Colorado-based institutions which each bring a unique set of research expertise to the table: the Colorado School of Mines (Mines); the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Integrated Ground Water Modeling Center (IGWMC)
Director: Reed Maxwell

IGWMC is an internationally oriented information, education and research center for ground-water modeling. IGWMC advises on ground-water modeling problems, distributes ground-water modeling software, organizes short courses and workshops, conducts research in practical, applied areas of ground-water hydrology and modeling, and provides technical assistance on problems related to ground-water modeling. As a focal point for ground-water professionals, the center supports and advances the appropriate use of quality-assured models in ground-water resources protection and management.

Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy (KIEM)
Director: Patrick Taylor

A grant from the late W.J. Kroll, the inventor of the Kroll Process for the production of Titanium and Zirconium, enabled the establishment of an Institute for Extractive Metallurgy. The primary focus of the institute is the development of new technologies for the physical-chemical processing of materials. This includes the production and refining of metals, the processing of wastes and hazardous materials, the recycling of materials, and the synthesis of advanced materials.

Marathon Center of Excellence for Reservoir Studies (MCERS)
Directors: Hossein Kazemi and Erdal Ozkan

MCERS investigates a wide spectrum of reservoir problems with emphasis on field applications. Research areas include: reservoir characterization and connectivity, rate and pressure transient analysis, improved and enhanced oil recovery issues, infill well placement and multi-laterals, and improved physics/modeling of naturally fractured reservoirs.

Microintegrated Optics for Advanced Bioimaging and Control (MOABC)
Directors: David Marr and Jeff Squier

The MOABC Center focuses on integrating optics into microscale and microfluidic systems. The use of integrated optics is the key to achieving both significant size and cost reduction for biomedical devices, and for meeting the requirements of biotechnology researchers for new assays and manipulation techniques.

Nuclear Science and Engineering Center (NuSEC)
Director: Uwe Greife, Associate Director: Linda Figueroa

A recognized strength and tradition of the Colorado School of Mines is the development of the earth’s resources, energy applications, synthesis of advanced materials, and stewardship of the environment. This tradition includes the nuclear fuel cycle and the Nuclear Science and Engineering Center (NuSEC) serves to apply a demonstrated Mines capability in response to the rejuvenation of the nuclear industry. The NuSEC seeks to: advance research and development in the elements of the nuclear fuel cycle, advance basic nuclear and subatomic science and enhance the education of new and established scientists and engineers in the field.

Petroleum Exploration and Production Center (PEPC)
Director: John Curtis

PEPC specializes in applied studies of petroleum reservoirs. The center integrates disciplines from within the Departments of Geology and Geological Engineering, Geophysics and Petroleum Engineering. PEPC offers students and faculty the opportunity to participate in research areas including: improved techniques for exploration, drilling, completion, stimulation and reservoir evaluation techniques; characterization of stratigraphic architecture and flow behavior of petroleum reservoirs at multiple scales; evaluation of petroleum reserves and resources at multiple scales; evaluation of petroleum reserves and resources on a national and worldwide basis; and development and application of educational techniques to integrate the petroleum disciplines.

Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (REMRSEC)
Director: Craig Taylor, Co-Director: Reuben Collins

REMRSEC focuses on transformative materials innovation and educational directions that will significantly impact the emerging renewable energy technologies. The center is organized around two interdisciplinary research groups. The first will concentrate on harnessing unique properties of nanostructured materials to significantly enhance the performance of photovoltaic devices. The second Interdisciplinary research group will explore advanced composite membranes for renewable energy applications. The project involves the evaluation of clathrate structures as potential materials for hydrogen storage. A strategic partnership with scientists and engineers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will allow sharing of students, research associates, equipment and facilities between the two organizations. In addition, more than a dozen companies actively involved in alternative energy will partner with the center. The center will also collaborate with two internationally known academic partners: University of New South Wales and Imperial College, University of London.

ReNUWIt Center: The Urban Water Center
Director: John McCray

This center is an interdisciplinary, multi-institution research center whose goal is to change the ways in which we manage urban water. Our vision is of safe, sustainable urban water infrastructures enabled by technological advances in natural and engineered systems, and informed by a deeper understanding of institutional frameworks.

Reservoir Characterization Project (RCP)
Director: Tom Davis

RCP is an independently sponsored research consortium whose mission is to develop and apply 4-D, multi-component seismology and associated technologies to effectively model complex reservoirs. We have established a leading-edge interdisciplinary research and teaching program which fosters industry and university interaction and provides cost effective, collaborative research. The research benefits consortium members, and trains and graduates students for employment in the oil and gas industry.

SmartGeo Center for Intelligent Geosystems
Director: Mike Mooney

Advancing sensing, monitoring, and intelligent control knowledge in geoconstruction, remediation, infrastructure monitoring, and transportation.

Unconventional Natural Gas and Oil Institute
Director: Azra Nur Tutuncu, Ph.D., P.E., P.G.

The Colorado School of Mines has established the Unconventional Natural Gas and Oil Institute, to support unconventional natural gas research and to partner with industry and government organizations in enhancing enhance existing Mines in-house expertise and communication between departments in Colorado School of Mines.  Fourteen current CSM research centers, along with faculty from nine of the thirteen degree-granting departments are affiliated with UNGI.

UNGI aids as:

  • Offering an umbrella structure for enhanced coordination of large, multidisciplinary integrated projects
  • Providing impartial information to public and government organizations on Unconventional Resources
  • Helping to train undergraduate and graduate students for specializing in unconventional resources in addition to post-graduate research opportunities
  • Bringing opportunities for enhanced infrastructure

Colorado Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development

The Colorado Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development is a research partnership among the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Colorado’s premier research universities — Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

CREED works with public agencies, private enterprise, nonprofit institutions and all of Colorado’s universities and colleges to:

  • Increase the production and use of energy from renewable resources like wind energy, solar energy, and biofuels
  • Support economic growth in Colorado and the nation with renewable energy industries
  • Build a renewable energy economy in rural Colorado and rural America
  • Establish Colorado as America’s leading center of renewable energy research and production
  • Educate our nation’s finest energy researchers, technicians and work force

CREED currently has three centers:

  • Colorado Center for BioFuels and BioRefining (C2B2): Mines Lead – John Dorgan
    C2B2 is a cooperative research and educational center devoted to the conversion of biomass to fuels and other products. C2B2 exists to improve fundamental understanding and develop new technologies in areas relevant to the future commercialization of integrated, sustainable biorefining and biofuels processes.
  • Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion (CRSP): Director – P. (Craig) Taylor
    CRSP is dedicated to the basic and applied research necessary to create revolutionary new solar energy technologies as well as education and training opportunities. The research underpins renewable energy technologies, commonly called third generation solar photon conversion, for the highly-efficient and cost-competitive production of both electricity and fuels via direct solar processes.

    CRSP institutions make available their capabilities for shared and sponsored research projects with CRSP members as well as for federally funded research. CRSP company members play an important role in the center—membership allows companies and other organizations to learn about and participate in advances in solar cell science and technology. The areas of research being pursued include photovoltaics (inorganic and organic), photophysics, photoelectrochemistry, photochemistry, photobiology and nanoscience.

  • Collaborative Research and Education in Wind (CREW): Director – Mandy Hering
    CREW advances the science of wind power. CREW’s scientists, researchers, and laboratories work to make wind power more accessible by reducing costs and increasing reliability and efficiencies. CREW’s research will advance wind technology on many fronts—scientific, technological, regulatory, and political.

    CREW is structured to reach these goals by: offering wind industry companies access to four powerful research institutions through a single point of contact; conducting both shared “pre-competitive” research and sponsored proprietary research programs; teaming up with other public and private research efforts and creating educational programs that support wind industry research, outreach, professional and technical training.