Spring 2023 Undergraduate Research Scholars COHORT
B.S. in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering
Aric Adamson graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. During his Junior and Senior years, he was an undergraduate research assistant working in the Center for Welding, Joining, and Coatings Research on a variety of projects, including a thermomechanical and microstructural evaluation of advanced manufactured Generation 3 Concentrated Solar Power Systems (Gen3 CSP) components and their weldments; ceramic to metal joining for Gen3 CSP; analyzing solar weldments; and current work assisting in the development multi-principal element alloy fillers and the characterization of their weldments. For some of his work on Gen3 CSP as a recipient of the Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship (2021-2022), Aric has earned first place in the 2022 American Welding Society Poster Competition. After graduation, he plans to continue his research work as a PhD student in CWJCR under Dr. Zhenzhen Yu.
B.S. in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, Minor in Chemistry
Anastasia Baltes graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering and a minor in Chemistry. Her research journey started in the nuclear materials and ceramic fuel fabrication realm, but she later discovered during an internship at Idaho National Laboratory that she was most passionate about fuel reprocessing and actinide chemistry. She joined Dr. Jenifer Shafer’s radiochemistry laboratory as a result, researching next-generation radiochemical separation techniques to support used nuclear fuel reprocessing efforts and advanced nuclear fuel cycles. Anastasia was recognized as a Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) scholar, American Nuclear Society (ANS) scholar, and served on the executive committee of the ANS chapter at Mines. She will complete at internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory before pursuing a Ph.D. in Radiochemistry at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas starting fall 2023.
B.S. in Chemical Engineering
Kaylee Beiler graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. With an interest in energy, she conducted research in the Colorado Fuel Cell Center with Dr. Andrew Herring from the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department. She helped develop and test anion exchange membranes (AEM) electrochemical performance based on varied ionomer loadings. This was done to improve AEM performance and durability through increasing polyethylene hydrophobic block length. She received the Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship (MURF) from 2022-2023 and conducted undergraduate research through the Introduction to Undergraduate Research course from 2021-2022. In the future, Kaylee is excited to work for Chevron to continue her interest in energy and eventually work within their new energy division.
B.S. in Engineering Physics
Cameron Clarke is graduating with a B.S. in Engineering Physics. He was awarded the Freshman First Fellowship in 2019 and has continued to pursue research for all 8 semesters at Mines. His research ranged from ultrafast optics in the Physics department to Mathematical Biology in Applied Mathematics. During his stint at Mines, he was elected president of the School of Mines chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society, and induced to Sigma Pi Sigma the Physics Honor Society. Next year, Cameron will attend a Ph.D. program in Physics and specialize in ultrafast spatiotemporal dynamics.
B.S. in Computer Science, Minor in McBride Public Affairs
Hayden graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Computer Science and minor in McBride Public Affairs. Having done research with the Department of Computer Science and the McBride Honors Program, his research focused on social, security, and technical aspects of computing including artificial intelligence regulation, electric vehicle cybersecurity, and machine learning for medical imaging. His awards include the Student Philanthropist of the Year, CSM Honors Community Service Award, E-Days Engineer for Distinguished Graduating Senior, and RHA Member of the Year. Several of his honors include presenting at ISTAS22 and NACURH21, being elected as the Student Trustee, getting Dean’s List each semester, and being selected as a Harvey Scholar, CS Citizen Scholar, and Salesforce C-MAPP Scholar. Hayden is now a candidate for a M.S. in Computer Science at Mines with the hopes of attending law school after defending his thesis.
B.S. in Chemical Engineering
Derek Culbertson graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, specialty in Process Engineering. He has performed computational research on the molecular thermodynamics of aqueous electrolyte systems for the chemical engineering department since the beginning of 2022. His future interests include obtaining a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, and working for a National Lab.
B.S. in Chemical & Biological Engineering
Alexandra D’Aquila graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a focus on Biological Engineering. Allie has been working with the Wolden Research Group in the Chemical Engineering department for two years performing a techno-economic analysis on catalytic membrane reactor processes for the production of ammonia based fuels. Outside of the lab, Allie is a member of the Mines Ballroom Dance Team and captain of the Perpetual Motion Waltz team. After graduation Allie will be starting her career at Procter and Gamble and hopes to take her work around the world.
B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Minor in Biology
Michael Dawson graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a Biological Specialty and a Biology Minor. The research project was a collaboration between the Physics department and the Chemical and Biological Engineering department. The goal was to purify silicon clathrates for solar energy and quantum information applications. He looks to pursue more research opportunities in renewable energy in the future.
B.S. in Biochemistry
Alexandra Fellie graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Biochemistry. She did undergraduate research in the Department of Chemistry with Dr. Matthew Posewitz’s group studying algae biomass. Specifically, she quantified the lipid and starch biomass of P. celeri algae under nitrogen replete and deplete conditions for sustainability purposes. In the future, Alex plans to expand her education and work in the medical field.
B.S. in Chemistry, Biochemistry Specialty, Minor in Explosives Engineering
Ashley Galligan graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Chemistry (Biochemistry specialty) with a minor in Explosives Engineering. Ashley has completed six semesters of research as a Mines Undergraduate Research Fellow (MURF) scholar with the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering department under the mentorship of Dr. Lowe. From Fall 2020-Spring 2022, Ashley’s research focused on identifying the origins and process of pitting corrosion in stainless steel. For this research, Ashley won 2nd place Oral Talk at the 2022 Mines Undergraduate Research Symposium and received the honor to present her research at the WE22 Conference in Houston, TX, as an Undergraduate Rapid Fire Finalist, earning 2nd place for her research there as well. From Fall 2022-Spring 2023, Ashley has switched her research focus to creating nanofunctionalized copper particles and incorporating them into synthesized polypropylene fibers to create a biocidal air filter. In addition to being a MURF scholar, Ashley has also received the ACS Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry (2022). Starting Fall 2023, Ashley will be attending Purdue University to earn her PhD in Analytical Chemistry to hopefully go on to become a forensic chemist.
Alexa Garin Paredes
B.S. in Civil Engineering
Alexa Garin Paredes graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S in Civil Engineering. Alexa conducted research under Dr. Alexandra Wayllace, in the Civil Engineering department, focusing on shear testing of soil samples from the field and data analysis to develop an early warning system for landslides based on soil parameters. She’s a Robert Maytag Scholar from Santiago, Chile, and is currently pursuing a master’s with a thesis in Underground Construction and Tunneling here at Mines. She hopes to use her geotechnical research experience in the underground world.
B.S. in Chemistry
Sienna Gonzalez is a senior in the Chemistry department. Being a Colorado native based in both Centennial and Golden, she is sticking around to obtain a PhD in Materials Science here at Mines! In her research, Sienna explored mixed metal oxides (including Ca/MgO hybrids) with controlled faceting, composition, and porosity for the application of carbon capture under Prof. Ryan Richards. She also explored the adaptation of solgel methods for the synthesis of high entropy perovskites. Such findings were disseminated to the public at the Mines 2022 Fall and 2023 Spring Undergraduate Research symposiums, as well as the Spring 2023 ACS Crossroads of Chemistry conference. Sienna hopes to one day become a professor, serving as a role model for Hispanic students and other underrepresented groups hoping to pursue a career in STEM. In her free time, she loves hiking, crocheting, and listening to Kpop (BTS and TXT)!
B.S. in Computer Science
Peter could never decide on just one hobby. He has learned six musical instruments, including tuba, bassoon, and piano, enjoys creating 3D animations, and plays Mario Kart with his girlfriend in his free time. Through his studies in the Computer Science department at Colorado School of Mines, he has focused on machine learning and cybersecurity. During his research with the Pervasive Computing Systems group under Dr. Qi Han, he has worked on simulating and deploying routing and communications protocols in swarms of small drones. He plans to continue his education, and will graduate with a Masters in Computer Science at the Colorado School of Mines in the Fall of 2023.
B.S. in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering
Clinton Hawkins graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering. As a member of the Transdisciplinary Nanostructured Materials Research Team, he worked to characterize and study the microstructure of advanced materials for their use in biomedical applications. By combining advanced characterization methods with optical microscopy his work increased the accessibility for others studying the same materials. He hopes to attend a graduate program with the same research goals and to enter the medical device field as a materials engineer.
B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Biological Engineering Track
Daniela Hirsch graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Greeley, Colorado. During her time at Colorado School of Mines, she was a researcher in the Transdisciplinary Nanostructured Materials Research Team where she did work with chemical and structural characterization. She plans to pursue work in the field of biomedical engineering.
B.S. in Chemistry
Zek Kelly graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Chemistry. Zek has done research in both the Chemical & Biological Engineering and Chemistry & Geochemistry departments. He is a proud Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) and Endowed American Chemical Society (ACS) Scholar. He had the pleasure of presenting at the Fall 2020 Undergraduate Research Symposium, at the State Capitol for STEM Poster Day, and the Spring 2023 National ACS Conference. He has been awarded the E-days Engineer Award and the Outstanding Chemistry and Service Award for Superior Performance in Academics and Service. This year he has worked with Dr. Ryan Richards in the Chemistry department making high-entropy oxide nanomaterials. Zek plans to go to graduate school for a Ph.D. in Chemistry or Material Science and Engineering.
B.S. in Chemical Engineering (Honors Research), Minor in Biomedical Engineering
Kacey Kim graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (Honors Research), with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. She worked with Dr. Stephanie Kwon for over 2 years in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department studying catalysis and n-butanol production on Titania surfaces. By working closely with mentors and Dr. Kwon, she conducted calculations using density-functional theory (DFT) calculations within Vienna ab initio Simulation Package (VASP) in order to study surface energies and reaction pathways for n-butanol upgrading. Beyond her research and coursework on campus, she was awarded the ARCS Scholars Award and was involved in the Grand Challenge Scholars Program. After her career at Mines, she would like to pursue a PhD or Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and gain many more learning experiences in the industry to apply her studies.
B.S. in Geophysics
Seunghoo Kim graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Geophysics. She completed 4 semesters of undergraduate research exploring the geophysical applications of distributed acoustic sensing (DAS). In the summer of 2022, she worked on one of her few projects that are not related to DAS, developing a method for recovering dim lighting features from the annual outlier removed global nighttime light grids the Earth Observation Group produces. After graduation from Mines, she will pursue her Ph.D. degree in California, continuing her studies in geophysics, focusing on the applications of DAS and other fiber-optic sensing techniques.
B.S. in Chemistry, Biochemistry Track, Minor in Biomedical Engineering
Khloe Kleinstuber graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Chemistry, Biochemistry Track, and a minor in Biomedical Engineering. Under the mentorship of Dr. Matthew Posewitz in the chemistry department, she has participated in biochemical research exploring the highly productive algal strain Picochlorum celeri to make photosynthesis more efficient and its relation to food security. During her undergraduate tenure, Khloe has been recognized with the 2022 E-Days Engineer Award Acknowledgement and as a 2022 Department of Chemistry Faculty Award. After graduation, Khloe plans to attend the University of Oregon to pursue a M.S. in Chemistry, Molecular Sensors and Biotechnology Track. In the future, she plans on pursuing a career within the life sciences or fragrance sectors.
B.S. in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering
William Lansing graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering. For more than two years, he researched for the Materials and Metallurgical department on powder core wires that would be used for additive manufacturing coatings via twin-wire arc thermal spray. He hopes to continue his knowledge of additive manufacturing in his future career.
B.S. in Biochemistry, Minor in Biology
Piper McKee graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a Biology Minor. She was able to do research within the Chemistry Department under Dr. Brian Trewyn. Her projects focused on the development of a mesoporous cobalt phosphate chemoenzymatic tandem catalyst system with the enzyme L-amino acid oxidase for increased industrial applications. After graduation, she will be pursuing a graduate degree in human genetics.
B.S. in Biochemistry
Cosette McLaughlin is graduating from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Biochemistry. She has been involved with hydrogen gas production research in the Chemistry Department since the fall of 2022. While at Mines, Cosette has served as a sorority president, Undergraduate Student Government Vice President, a Lead Peer Mentor and earned Dean’s List recognition every semester at Mines. Her research involves using a gold and palladium catalyst to create hydrogen gas from formic acid and replacing heat with light as the stimuli for the reaction. Thus, making the process of producing hydrogen gas less energy intensive. In the future, Cosette plans to attend law school and ultimately pursue a career in the patent legal field.
B.S. in Quantitative Biosciences & Engineering, Minor in Computer Science
Andres Ocampo graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Quantitative Biosciences and Engineering and a minor in Computer Science. During his undergraduate tenure, Andres worked as a research assistant in the Farnsworth Lab in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department. He was awarded funding from the Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship for his academic and research achievements. His research focused on the development of a novel nanoparticle drug-delivery vehicle that selectively targets the insulin-producing cells in the pancreatic islet. These newly patented nanocapsules will function as a therapeutic solution and aid in the fight against Type 1 Diabetes. Andres will be attending graduate school in pursuit of a Ph.D. in systems/computational biology, with a focus on cancer biology, immunology, or virology to create a lasting impact in the scientific community.
B.S. in Engineering Physics
Paul Slayback graduated from Colorado School of Mines with an Engineering Physics B.S. He conducted research on 2D magnetic materials and developed the labs equipment and procedures for studying them. His junior year he received the outstanding research award from the physics department and the summer after received the best poster award at the Front Range Advanced Magnetics Symposium. Paul plans to continue conducting research and pursuing a PhD.
B.S. in Chemistry & Biochemistry
Nora Spuler graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with her B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry. She performed research in the department of Chemistry investigating the pKas of PFAS compounds utilizing density functional theory (DFT) computations. Nora was very involved as a student at the Colorado School of Mines while being an undergraduate researcher for the Vyas Research Group she additionally upheld several leadership positions within the Peer Mentor Program, Womens Club Soccer, Alpha Phi, and various other organizations. As an Undergraduate Researcher, Nora completed a computational protocol that accurately determines unknown PFAS pKa’s values which is a property critical to predicting their speciation and degradation. Nora has decided to go beyond her bachelor of science degree and pursue her doctorate in Bioinorganic Chemistry, as she will be an incoming graduate student at the University of California Davis, this upcoming Fall.
B.S. in Geological Engineering
Jared Tholl graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Geological Engineering. He worked with Dr. Piret Plink-Bjorklund in the Geology & Geological Department to create a film highlighting the importance of analyzing the geologic rock record to predict future impacts of climate change. Jared will continue in the earth sciences and seek opportunities to teach others about the impacts of climate change on geological hazards.
B.S. in Computational and Applied Mathematics, Minor in Biology, Minor in Chemistry
Azlan Tubbs majored in computational and applied mathematics with minors in chemistry and biology. She completed her research with Dr. Karin Leiderman in the Applied Mathematics and Statistics Department. Azlan used mathematical modeling of blood coagulation to investigate the effects of anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs in combination therapies. During Azlan’s undergraduate tenure, she received the Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition Award, the Women of Mines Leadership Award, and Colorado Women’s Day Outstanding Young Woman in STEM Award, and she is graduating summa cum laude. In the fall, Azlan will attend medical school at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine.
B.S. in Geological Engineering
Morgan Tuminello graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Geological Engineering. She conducted research for two semesters under the Geophysics department, and another two semesters in the Geology & Geological Engineering department. Her research focused on understanding the hydrologic and geologic impacts of the Slumgullion Landslide in Lake City, Colorado. During her senior year, her research focused more on climate change and being able to visualize this climate change through film. She will be continuing her education here with the GIS & Geoinformatics Master’s program.
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Minor in Biomechanical Engineering
Brooklyn Vargas graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Biomechanical Engineering. She conducted undergraduate research for two years in the Functional Biomechanics Laboratory, a lab in the Mines Mechanical Engineering Department. She presented her research findings and won first place presenter at the Spring 2022 Mines Undergraduate Research Symposium and first place presenter at the 2022 Purdue Engineering Virtual Graduate Showcase. In her first year conducting research, Brooklyn collected and processed motion capture, force sensing, and electromyography data and evaluated dynamic balance strategies across the lifespan to help better detect dynamic balance decline in healthy older adults. In her second year conducting research, she built and analyzed musculoskeletal models and movement simulations to determine how ankle muscle weakness associated with aging affects muscle control and coordination of double leg hopping, a task that helps indicate one’s dynamic balance ability. Brooklyn will pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Utah to pursue her passion of conducting biomechanics research.
B.S. in Engineering Physics, Minor in Quantum Engineering, Minor in Mathematical Sciences
Paul Varosy graduated from Mines with a B.S. in Engineering Physics and minors in Quantum Engineering and Mathematical Sciences in 2023. He started performing research through the First-Year Innovation & Research Scholar Training (FIRST) program. This sparked Paul’s love for quantum information science, where he participated in projects across quantum algorithms, benchmarking, and superconducting circuits with Prof. Eliot Kapit in the Physics department. As a result of this research, he was awarded the prestigious Goldwater and Astronaut Scholarships. He will continue researching experimental quantum information by pursuing a Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Stanford University.