Recent group news

  • Congratulations to Raiven Balderas for being featured on the ACS Crystal Growth & Design virtual issue: Women Researchers at the Forefront of Crystal Engineering. Read at
  • We are pleased to welcome new graduate students Sienna Gonzales and Rose Stuewe.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Ryan Richards for being picked by the Faculty Senate to be 2023’s Distinguished Lecturer! Stop by to see Dr. Richards’ talk about “Perspectives in Chemistry and Communication” on Tuesday, March 7th in the Student Center Grand Ballrooms at 4:00 pm
  • Congratulations to Zek Kelly for being accepted to the CO STEM Capitol Poster Day on January 20, 2023
  • Congratulations to Zek Kelly for receiving the 2023 GSSPC Solar Fuel Nexus Travel award to attend the national ACS spring 2023 meeting!
  • Congratulation to Raiven Balderas for being awarded 2nd place in student oral presentations at the 2022 Rocky Mountain Catalysis Society Symposium.
  • We are pleased to welcome new graduate students Darius Hayes and Elliot Brim. Welcome to the lab!
  • Congratulations to Raiven Balderas for being accepted to the 22nd National School on Neutron and X-Ray scattering summer school program!
  • Congratulations to Breanne Hammett for receiving the 2020 NSF GRFP award!

More About Dr. Richards Distinguished Lecture

Mines is a unique university in a particularly rich collaborative ecosystem with numerous partners in national labs, education (preschool to higher ed), industry and a broader community embracing sustainability and knowledge. Here, I will discuss perspectives on the multiple roles of chemistry (research, teaching, mentoring, and service) in this ecosystem and beyond.

Addressing grand challenges in energy and sustainability requires scientists to work closely with researchers across all disciplines to consider and develop a fundamental understanding of multiple and new perspectives. From chemistry, we need new materials with new properties composed of non-toxic and abundantly available resources (earth abundant elements). The toolbox to imparting new properties to matter includes our ability to synthesize new compositions of matter with controlled size, morphology (shape) and surfaces. Breakthroughs from our group have demonstrated earth abundant materials tailored on the nanoscale possess unique properties for carbon capture, batteries and catalysis including electrocatalytic water splitting that will be highlighted.

Finally, as thought leaders in our community, it is our role to engage broadly and foster the passion for a new generation to bring their diverse perspectives to our global challenges. All of this is built “on the shoulders of giants,” whereby the body of knowledge we have learned from our predecessors allows us to see farther than they, and will allow those we educate and mentor to have new perspectives and see even farther.

ACS Crystal Growth & Design Virtual Issue : Women Researchers at the Forefront of Crystal Engineering.

More about Colorado STEM POSTER DAY with ZEK

The STEM Poster Day at the Colorado State Capitol was an excellent chance for early- stage investigators to engage with legislators and the public. The event’s goal was to increase the dialogue between scientists and their legislators to help enable science-based policies. The STEM Poster Day was organized by Project Bridge Colorado, CU Anschutz Medical Campus Postdoctoral Association, and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (CU Anschutz chapter).

This year from over 90 applicants, 48 early-stage investigators from 9 different universities were invited to present. These presenters were mainly graduate students and post-docs. However, two undergraduate students were also invited to present. One of those undergraduates was our very own Zek Kelly.

Zek Kelly’s poster was titled “Engineering nanoscale catalysts for clean hydrogen fuel production”. When asked to summarize his poster in 5 sentences or less he responded: “Cheap and earth-abundant water-splitting catalysts are needed. Our goal is to make high-entropy metal oxides from earth-abundant metals that are in a rock-salt crystal structure. To date, we have successfully made a high-entropy metal oxide from earth-abundant metals. We are still working on making them in a rock-salt crystal structure”.

When asked what he liked best about the STEM Poster Day he responded: “Definitely getting to speak to state legislators, each one of them was very interesting to talk to. A strong second best was talking to all the other young scientists also presenting”. When asked what he liked least about the STEM Poster Day he responded: “I was wearing dress shoes and the event lasted for 4 hours. By the end of it my feet were killing me”.

2022 Rocky Mountain Catalysis Society Symposium