Undergraduate Research Scholars Student Organization (URSSO)

Mines Undergraduate Research Scholars Student Organization (URSSO) seeks to ignite undergraduate students’ curiosity through unique undergraduate research experiences, campus-wide research opportunities, and a committed social network of peers. URSSO frequently coordinates with the office of Undergraduate Research Scholars and other offices on campus and organizations off campus. Meetings and events are advertised through the URSSO Engage page and the Mines campus calendar. If you have questions, email us at ugresearch@mines.edu.

Meet Our Team

Ryan McGinnis, President
Department: Metallurgical & Materials Engineering

Ryan McGinnis is a second year Metallurgical and Materials Engineering undergraduate at the Colorado School of Mines. Ryan is the president of the Undergraduate Research Scholars Student Organization, an outreach chair for the Mines Materials Advantage Chapter, and a peer mentor. He also performs research on composite ceramic materials for energy transmission. He has previously done research in non-ferrous alloys and electrochemical thin films. Ryan spends his free time fabricating (blacksmithing, woodworking, sewing, & painting), skiing at Arapahoe Basin, and volunteering.

Jack Shepherd, Vice President
Department: Chemical Engineering

Jack is a third-year student at Colorado School of Mines working towards a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering and technology management. He is the Vice President of URSSO, Director of Tier Structure for the Board of Student Organizations, and researcher. Jack works on a project at the Colorado Fuel Cell Center focused on quantifying degradation rates in proton conducting ceramic fuel cells and electrolyzer stacks. The project will answer why ceramic fuel cells degrade to help scientists develop more robust ceramic fuel cells for large scale applications. Outside of academics Jack enjoys all physical activities including stand up paddle board yoga, surfing, skiing and mountain biking.

Dishita Sharma, Treasurer
Department: Computer Science

Dishita is a second year Computer Science major at Mines specializing in AI and RoboticsShe is the Treasurer of the URSSOVanguard scholar, FIRST scholar, Computer Science TA, and researcher. Dishita works in a research lab that aims to use new Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence technology for effectively mapping emissions in the environment. She previously worked on a research project that focused on developing a scalable Machine Learning algorithm to automatically detect and diagnose Breast Cancer. She is very passionate about helping her community by using the skills she has learned to problem solve. Outside of school, Dishita loves traveling to new places, swimming, hiking, and sketching.  

Max Shepherd, Lead Representitive
Department: Chemical Engineering

Max Shepherd is a junior Chemical Engineering student and the Lead Representative of URSSO for 2023-2024. Max works in two different research labs. First, the M3Robotics Lab, where he is focuses on conducting space recycling research by creating a device to levitate liquid aluminum in space. Second, the Surface of Applied Materials Lab, conducting hydrogen fuel cell research with a team at NREL and actively publishing a paper. He also is an intern for Sandia National Laboratories in the aerospace/defense field. Outside of URSSO, Max is on the exec board for AIAA, leading events to give students exposure to aerospace. In his free time, Max enjoys going to the gym, playing piano, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. 

Elizabeth Letch, FIRST Representitive
Department: Quantitative Biosciences and Engineering

Elizabeth is a second year student at Colorado School of Mines majoring in Quantitative Biosciences and Engineering. She is the FIRST Representative of the URSSO as well as a FIRST scholar, a researcher, a member of the Society of Women Engineers, and a member of the Vanguard Community of Scholars. Elizabeth has worked on a research team in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department at Mines whose research is focused on developing nanosensors that are selective for certain materials or molecules to monitor patient health in a biomedical application. Her project focuses specifically on developing persistent luminescent nanosensors that will overcome problems of autofluorescence in biological systems. Outside of academics, though, she is a member of the Mines Ballroom Dance Club  and enjoys baking, reading, travel, and hiking.

Elena Ramirez, Interim Website & Social Media Editor

Department: Electrical Engineering

Elena is a fourth year electrical engineer with an emphasis in integrated circuits.  She is from the tiny mountain town of Divide, CO. She works with Undergraduate Research doing website maintenance and editing.  She is a Lab TA for EENG383 Embedded Systems, community group leader and treasurer with Cru at Mines, and also sometimes participates in the Mines Little Theatre productions.  When she is not studying or participating in clubs, she enjoys drawing, listening to music and playing ukulele.

Image of Lakshmi Krishna - the Undergraduate Research Department Head
Department: Undergraduate Research Scholars, University Honors and Scholars Programs


Event Photos

Celebration of Mines

Community Service

Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Presentation

Discover Mines September 2023

URSSO Club Meeting

URSSO Club Meeting

URSSO Club Meeting

URSSO Club Meeting

URSSO Club Meeting

URSSO Club Meeting