Mines Partners in Energy Collaboratory
In Feb., an agreement creating the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, an association of Mines, the University of Colorado (CU), Colorado State University (CSU) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), became official.
Leaders from the four institutions, including NREL Director Dan Arvizu, CSU President Larry Penley, Mines President Bill Scoggins and CU-Boulder Chancellor Bud Peterson, signed the agreement during a ceremony in the west foyer of the state Capitol. Gov. Bill Ritter, U. S. Senators Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard and Congressmen Mark Udall and Ed Perlmutter spoke at the kickoff.
“Colorado School of Mines fully commits its worldwide expertise in the areas of earth, energy, materials and the environment to this critical partnership, which will make the Front Range the nation’s center of renewable energy technology development and commercialization,” Scoggins said.
The Collaboratory, dedicated to performing world-class research to develop new energy technologies and to transfer these advances as rapidly as possible to the private sector, has already spawned its first program—the Colorado Center for Biofuels and Biorefining, nicknamed C2B2.
Volpi Named VP
Kirsten Volpi has been named vice president for finance and administration and will serve as the School’s chief financial officer and treasurer of the Mines Board of Trustees. She will oversee the consolidation of all financial activities and reporting on campus.
Volpi, who joined Mines in 2005, previously served the School as associate vice president for finance and operations, and controller.
Discussing Industry’s Future
Mines President Bill Scoggins was invited to attend the 2007 CERA Week held in Houston in mid-Feb.
CERA Week was organized by Cambridge Energy Research Associates, the highly acclaimed energy consultancy and research group headed by Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize. Attendees included energy leaders and dignitaries from around the world. The theme, “Strategies for a High Stakes World: Innovation, Investment, and the Future of Energy,” aimed to capture the essence of the challenges facing the global energy industry.
Also in attendance, professor Tony Dean participated in “Transportation and Fuel Options,” a breakout session held as part of the CERA/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Technology Summit. The special session had about 150 participants including representatives from only two universities–Mines and MIT.
Golden, Mines Show Off for NCAA
Mines and the city of Golden were chosen as one of five communities in the U.S. to showcase to NCAA officials how a university, business community, residential community and local government work together to promote, resolve, network, work, live and play together.
The event, “An Evening in the Park,” was sponsored by Mines, the Greater Golden Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Merchants and the Golden Cultural Alliance. It was held on Kafadar Commons on the Mines campus in April. Free activities included live music, food, carriage rides, train rides, games and panning for gold.
Climate Action Days Provide Plenty of Action
The CSM Sustainability Committee presented Climate Action Days in April to build awareness of global climate change, renewable energy technologies and related political issues. The event featured a keynote address, “The Future of Planet Earth and its Inhabitants: Our Assessment of the
Climate Problem and Possible Solutions,” by Dr. Tim Killeen, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and Tom Plant, director of the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office.
There was standing room only available for much of the day-long symposium that followed, which included speakers from Mines, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the University of Colorado, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NCAR. Visitors to the event also saw biodiesel displays, an eight-foot scale model wind turbine and a game of “globo-ball,” a cross between soccer and professional wrestling in which teams of four attempted to save the Earth. In conjunction with Climate Action Days, the Mines Earth Works student organization held its traditional Earth Day celebration featuring live music, food and beverages.
Professor Awarded Fulbright
Junko Munakata Marr, associate professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture and conduct research at Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, during the 2007-2008 academic year, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Marr will research biological nutrient removal in centralized and distributed wastewater reclamation systems and lecture on wastewater treatment and water reclamation. Marr is one of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright Scholar Program.
Conference to Campus
The Mines chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) hosted the organization’s regional conference in March.
The event featured entertainment and seminars as well as campus and Coors brewery tours for more than a hundred attendees from schools including Kansas State University, University of Missouri, University of Wyoming, University of Nebraska and Pittsburg State University.
Over the past 10 years, women have comprised 21 to 26 percent of the student population at Mines. Impressively, Mines’ SWE section has more than 315 members, making it the second largest section in the nation and the largest student organization on campus.
Students Test Spaghetti Towers
The Minority Engineering Program and Office of Undergraduate Admissions hosted 300 high school students for the Colorado Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement (MESA) High School Jamboree on April 12.
The jamboree drew students from around the state to participate in math, engineering and science competitions including the Spaghetti Tower Earthquake Test, Trebuchet Challenge, Gumdrop Dome and individual oral presentations focused on possible solutions for rebuilding the storm-damaged levees in New Orleans.
The event encouraged teamwork, parent and teacher involvement in student activities, and responsibility and integrity among students.
Van Kirk to Step Down
After nearly 30 years on the faculty at Mines and 26 years as head of the Department of Petroleum Engineering, Craig Van Kirk has announced he will step down as department head effective at the end of the 2007 spring term.
Van Kirk will retain his tenured professorship and continue with assignments related to petroleum engineering and the institution.
Prior to joining Mines in 1978, Van Kirk worked in the petroleum industry in the areas of exploration, drilling, production and reservoir management. At Mines he has taught many undergraduate and graduate courses. He has also supervised graduate students on research in the areas of reservoir management, economic evaluation, computer simulation, and enhanced recovery, and in the process managed several million dollars in funded research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Department of Education, the Gas Research Institute and private industry.
Van Kirk has provided testimony to the U.S. Congress and National Academies on topics of national energy concerns, and he has been an invited speaker for numerous events, private companies and government agencies around the world. A Distinguished Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Van Kirk has served as the faculty adviser for the Mines student chapter, as well as chairing committees and serving on the SPE Board of Directors on an international level. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers.
State Appointment to Mines Student
Mines graduate student Robert Applegate has been appointed student representative to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education Advisory Committee.
Applegate, who is working toward a doctorate degree in applied physics with a minor in applied optics, earned his bachelor’s degree in 2003 from Mines in engineering physics with a minor in public affairs for engineers through the Guy T. McBride Jr. Honors Program.
The commission solicited nominations from the presidents of all Colorado colleges. Applegate will represent Colorado students for a full calendar year. One of the committee’s roles is to suggest solutions for the problems and needs of higher education. Applegate said he hoped to bring the issue of student costs to lawmakers’ attention.
Despite a snowy kickoff to this year’s safari-themed Engineers’ Days, the annual celebration was a hit among students, alumni and the community.
Hundreds of students participated in the traditional Ore Cart Pull down Colfax Avenue to the state Capitol. Following Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien’s proclamation declaring March 29-31 as the 72nd Annual Engineering Days in Colorado, Mines student Kenton Larson surprised fellow student Andrea Crussell with a marriage proposal on the Capitol steps. As the crowd cheered, Andrea said yes.
Other E-Days activities included a concert, the annual cardboard canoe race on Clear Creek, a car show, field events and the ultimate miner competition.
Fraternity Promotes Ski Helmets
The 9th Annual Ski-A-Thon hosted by Beta Theta Pi Fraternity was held in Feb. at Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort to encourage the wearing of ski helmets to prevent serious injuries and save lives.
The fraternity members boosted their fundraising efforts by selling raffle tickets at this year’s Wellness Fair – an event aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles within the Mines community.
Over the years, the fraternity has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Saint Anthony Hospitals Intermountain Neurosurgery helmet donor program.
Mines Hosts Lecture, Energy Open House
The second event in the President’s Lecture Series, “Energy, CO2, and Global Change: Technology Research for a Greenhouse World,” was presented in March by Franklin M. (Lynn) Orr Jr., director of the Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford University.
The lecture ran concurrent with an energy open house hosted by President Bill Scoggins and John Poate, vice president for research and technology, on behalf of the newly formed Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory. Both events coincided with the March meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) held in Denver.
Mines community and APS guests visited research facilities on campus, including the Colorado Fuel Cell Center, a characterization laboratory for the Colorado Energy Research Institute, a femtosecond spectroscopy laser laboratory, and the Physics Learning Studio.