MAY 2021 Undergraduate Research Scholars COHORT

Brou Marie Christina Adjiman

B.S. in Petroleum Engineering

Christina will graduate this May with a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering. For the past two semesters she participated in the MURF project with the Mining Department. The project consisted in assessing sustainability of the mining, oil and gas industry. To achieve this goal, Christina reviewed literature and sustainability reports of several mining and oil companies to extract and analyze environmental, economic and social sustainability indicators and mapped them to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as specified by the United Nations. After her graduation, Christina intends to either gain professional experience in the industry or pursue a Master’s degree in Mineral Economics and Management.

Olivia Bird

B.S. in Chemistry, Minor in Energy

Olivia Bird graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Energy in 2021. She worked with Dr. Svitlana Pylypenko, also out of the Chemistry department, on research involving next generation energy materials, particularly solid electrolyte batteries and fuel cells. Throughout her time at Mines she received a variety of awards, including the Florence Caldwell Scholarship, chemistry department awards for general chemistry, physical chemistry, and inorganic chemistry, as well as making the Dean’s list for every semester. After graduation she plans to receive her PHD in chemical physics for the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Kane Bruce

B.S. in Computer Science

Kane Bruce graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Computer Science, staying to obtain his combined Master’s degree with a focus in Artificial Intelligence at the MInDS@Mines lab. He performed research in bioinformatics involving the use of ligands and molecular drug target viability studies, and geological data modeling and visualization via sparse data imputation on mineral quantities. He is looking to pursue research in high-performance server-scale artificial intelligence involving modularity, security, memory, and cognitive modeling.

Chiang Cheng Siew

B.S. in Petroleum Engineering

Chiang Cheng Siew graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering. She has previously worked on a project involving the analysis of unconventional and conventional rocks and investigation of the reservoir rock properties measurement methods under the Petroleum Engineering Department, receiving the honorable mention award in the Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium in Spring 2020. She has also researched on the data analytics and mathematical programming for the evaluation of the COVID-19 trends in Colorado associated with the social distancing and monthly mobility patterns in response to government control, and researched on the public policy concern on the future of oil and gas involving carbon capture and storage in Brazil. Siew has plans to help the oil industry to incorporate the renewable energy sector into the petroleum sector, and slowly transition our reliability on oil and gas to renewable productions with her petroleum engineering expertise and energy public policy knowledge, while being economically profitable with her economics and business understanding.

Meera Duggal

B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Focus in Statistics

Meera Duggal graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics. She conducted research in the Applied Mathematics and Statistics Department. She received the Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship for two semesters, Reuleaux Writing Grant, and was on the Dean’s List every semester she has been at Mines. She participated in an undergraduate research project on optimizing the genetic algorithm which was applied to atmospheric carbon monoxide models. This coming year she plans to do her Masters in Statistics.

Annaliese Dunn

B.S. in Geological Engineering

Annaliese Dunn graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Geological Engineering. Her research was in the Geological Engineering department in conjunction with the Metallurgy and Materials Engineering department. The research explored ‘cold sintering’ specifically with calcium carbonate and the resulting nucleation and crystallization that occurred with changes various parameters during the nucleation phase. In the future she plans to work as an engineer in the geotechnical field.

Ryan Evans

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, McBride Public Affairs

Ryan Evans graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in McBride Public Affairs on May 2021. During his time at Mines, he was involved in the Advanced Multiscale Building Energy Research Group (AMBER) under Dr. Paulo Cesar Tabares-Velasco. Honors and awards he has received during his undergrad include McBride Honors Scholar, Thorson First-year Honors Scholar, Outstanding Philanthropist in Greek Life, and CSM Dean’s List. The research Ryan has done is on the energy optimization of the Mines campus through the building-scale energy modeling of CSM facilities. In his future, he plans on pursuing graduate school, and he hopes on working in biomedicine or biomechanics for his career.

Cierra Gladfelter

B.S. in Biochemistry

Cierra Gladfelter graduated in May 2021 with a degree in biochemistry. During her time at Mines, she worked in two different research labs under Dr. Christine Morrison and Dr. Brian Trewyn. She was awarded a MURF fellowship for Summer 2020 to conduct research for Dr. Morrison by conducting a Thiol Activity Assay, which was crucial preliminary research for creating a new antibiotic that could be used against gram positive bacilli bacteria. In her time working in Dr. Trewyn’s lab, she conducted research focused on synthesizing amylase coated mesoporous silica nanoparticles for drug delivery. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school in the biotechnology/microbiology field and conduct more research.

Sydney Marchando

B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Minor in Biomedical Engineering and McBride Public Affairs

Sydney Marchando is a senior studying Chemical Engineering with Biomedical Engineering and McBride Honors Program Public Affairs minors. She has been involved in on-going research of growth plate injuries in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department from fall 2019 through spring 2021. Sydney was selected to softball All-Conference and All-District Academic 1st Teams and earned Dean’s List recognition every semester at Colorado School of Mines. Her research involved the development of specialized hydrogels as a novel treatment method for pediatric growth plate injuries. Specifically the research focused on targeted drug delivery to improve injury recovery. In the future, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and ultimately a career in the medical field, continuing to progress research and treatment methods.

Alexandria McPherson

B.S. in Engineering Physics, Minor in Computational and And Applied Mathematics

Xan McPherson is a graduating Senior in Engineering Physics with a Minor in Computational and Applied Mathematics. Her research has been primarily within the Physics department as well as a MURF project within the Humanities and Social Science department. Xan has also received the Frank Oppenheimer Award for the Essay in Fall 2018 of her undergraduate studies at Mines. Her research involves the combination of the humanities, physics, and mathematics to explore methods to quantify ambiance within the visual arts. After graduation, Xan plans to attend the University of Washington, Seattle to pursue her PhD in Physics and Computational Neuroscience while enjoying the outdoors, skiing, and painting.


Haidyn Ogg

B.S. in Biomedical Engineering

Haidyn Ogg graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S in Metallurgic and Materials Engineering and a minor in Biomedical Engineering. During her undergraduate career, she conducted research for the MME department as a member of Dr. Terry’ Lowes Transdisciplinary Nanomaterials Research Team. She received an undergraduate research fellowship for research into the effect of a nano-clay additive on the rheological behavior of a silica and PEG based shear thickening fluid. Upon leaving Mines, Haidyn will pursue her doctorate in either bioengineering or biomedical engineering with a research focus in biomaterials and eventually hopes to enter industry in the research and development of novel biomaterials.

Tyler Pritchard

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Minor in Energy and Public Affairs

Tyler Pritchard graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and minors in Energy and Public Affairs. While at Mines, Tyler conducted research for the Colorado Fuel Cell Center (CFCC), a research laboratory within the Mechanical Engineering department, looking at the techno-economic potential of Sabatier electrolyzers for methane synthesis. As a Harvey Scholar, Payne Institute Scholar, and recipient of the Leo Borasio Memorial Award from the McBride Honors Program, Tyler enjoyed examining the intersection of technology, society, and the environment in his research. Tyler looks forward to using his research experience to advocate for a more sustainable future that relies more on renewable energy and advanced storage technologies.

Kimberly Riddle

B.S. in Environmental Engineering, Minor in Economics

Kimberly Riddle graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Economics. She conducted research for one and a half years with the Sharp Group in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department on the applications of engineered passive treatment systems to impaired water supplies. She worked on three main projects for research relating to amendments that improve microbial activity in wetlands, resiliency of wetlands during hydrologic extremes, and the use of woodchip bioreactors to remove contaminants of concern. During her time at Mines, she was on the Honor Roll or Dean’s List every semester and received 2nd place “Best in Show” at the 2020 Mines Undergraduate Research Symposium. Kimberly looks forward to starting her career in environmental engineering and pursuing pathways for starting her own business.

Grace Rome


Grace Rome graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a major in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering and a minor in Energy. She spent 7 months interning full time at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory studying PEM fuel cells and loved her time there so much that she wanted to continue conducting research during the school year so she joined Eric Toberer’s research group in the Mines Physics department. Grace studied thermoelectric material research. She investigated MnGeTe2, a high-performance thermoelectric material, by doping/alloying in order to obtain a better understanding of the electronic properties. With this research, she took 1st Place Best in Show at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in 2020. In the future Grace wants to continue doing research in the renewable energy materials field and plans on pursuing a Ph.D. at Mines in Material Science.

Hayden Sather

B.S. in Computer Science and Honors Research, Minor on Computer Engineering

Hayden Sather is graduating from Mines with a B.S. in Computer Science in the Honor’s Research track along with a minor in Computer Engineering this Spring 2021. He has completed research in mobile sensing with Dr. Yang, business analytics with Mr. Culbreth, distributed systems with Dr. Han, and evolutionary robotics with Dr. Zhang. He will graduate from Mines with an M.S. in Computer Science and an M.S. in Data Science. He competes as a decathlete on the track team and is a 7x All-Conference Athlete. Upon graduation, Hayden will pursue a career as a data scientist and hopes to further the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Courtney Smoljan

B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Honors Research Specialty

Courtney Smoljan graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering on the Honors Research Track. Her research under Professor Moises Carreon in the Chemical & Biological Engineering Department focused on mesoporous materials as catalysts for olefin deoxygenation. She will be attending Northwestern University this fall in the Chemical Engineering Ph.D. program.

Julianna Valenzuela

B.S. in Civil Engineering, Minor in Engineering for Community Development.

Julianna Valenzuela graduated in May of 2021 with a BS in Civil Engineering with a Minor in Engineering for Community Development. She conducted research for Dr. Elizabeth Reddy in the Engineering, Design, and Society Department. She was a Humanitarian Engineering Schultz Scholar 2 years in a row, presented at the AASHE Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education, and has worked to increase sustainability initiatives across campus. Her research focused on engineering and design methodologies to support community wellbeing, sustainability, and social and environmental justice. She hopes to continue creating methodologies for sustainable and equitable community development as she pursues a career in urban planning.

Alexander Wood

 B.S. in Civil Engineering, Minor in Public Affairs

Alexander (Alex) Wood graduated from Colorado School of Mines in May of 2021 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a minor in Public Affairs through the McBride Honors Program. Alex did research in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, specifically in geotechnical engineering, through the Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Alex’s research was on the effect of using a curvilinear failure envelope when compared with the traditional Mohr-Coulomb linear relationship in slope stability. Alex’s primary research was in illustrating the curvilinear relationship in the failure envelope of a soil through experimental testing and computer slope stability analyses that compare the factor of safety between linear and curvilinear failure envelopes. In the future, Alex will be pursuing a M.S. at Colorado School of Mines in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on Structural Engineering. While an undergraduate student, Alex was placed on the Dean’s List each semester and received the Alumni Leadership Scholarship through the Mines Alumni association in 2019.