Rowlinson Professor of Mechanical Engineering Rob Braun and ME Associate Professor Mohsen Asle Zaeem were awarded the Mines 2021 Senior and Junior Excellence in Research awards, respectively, by the Mines Research Council and were honored at the April Faculty Awards Ceremony.


The Excellence in Research Awards were established to recognize Mines’ research active faculty members in all disciplines for their outstanding research accomplishments while at Mines. The Junior Award is for a faculty member with less than 10 years of self-directed (after Ph.D. and postdoctoral training) research time at Mines or another university or research institution. The Senior Award is for a faculty member with 10 or more years of self-directed research. Each award consists of a plaque and a grant of $5,000 to further research initiatives.


Robert Braun

Dr. Robert Braun is the Rowlinson Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado School of Mines and leads the Advanced Energy Systems group (  He received a PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2002. From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Braun was at United Technologies Fuel Cell and Research Center divisions where he last served as project leader for UTC’s mobile solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power system development program. Dr. Braun has a multidisciplinary background in mechanical and chemical engineering, and his research focuses on energy systems modeling and analysis, techno-economic optimization, and numerical simulation of transport phenomena occurring within fuel cell and alternative energy systems. His industry experience encompasses development of low-NOx burners, CO2-based refrigeration, and fuel cell technologies (incl. PEMFC, PAFC, MCFC, SOFC, and PCFC). Dr. Braun’s current research activities focus on hybrid fuel cell/engine systems, renewable energy pathways to synthetic fuel production, grid-scale energy storage, novel protonic ceramics, supercritical CO2 power cycles, and dispatch optimization of concentrating solar power plants. He is a Link Energy Foundation Fellow, a member of ASME, ECS, and ASHRAE, has over 50 journal publications, and holds 6 U.S. patents.


Mohsen Asle ZaeemDr. Mohsen Asle Zaeem is a tenured associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado School of Mines since August 2018. Prior to joining Mines, he was the Roberta and G. Robert Couch Assistant Professor, and later promoted to tenured associate professor in Materials Science & Engineering at Missouri University of Science & Technology (Rolla). Dr. Asle Zaeem received his B.S. (2003) and M.S. (2006) in Mechanical Engineering from Shiraz University, and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University (2010). In 2010, Dr. Asle Zaeem joined the Center for advanced Vehicular Systems in Mississippi State University as a postdoctoral research associate, and in 2011 he was prompted to a research assistant professor.

Dr. Asle Zaeem has published more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles in prestigious journals. He has severed as an editor of Journal of Metals and a member of the editorial board of Mathematical Problems in Engineering and International Journal of Materials Engineering and Technology. Dr. Asle Zaeem is a member of different technical committees of TMS, ASME and ASM, including Integrated Computational Materials Engineering, Solidification, Phase Transformation, Materials Properties Database, Diversity, Computing in Applied Mechanics, and Manufacturing Engineering Committees. Dr. Asle Zaeem is the recipient of the 2017 TMS-FEMS Young Leader International Scholar Award, 2016 Faculty Research Excellence Award of Missouri S&T, 2016 Certificate of Highly Cited Research in Computational Materials Science (Elsevier), 2015 and 2017 Certificate of Excellence in Reviewing from Acta Materialia, 2017 IOP Outstanding Reviewer Award, 2015 TMS Young Leader Professional Development Award, 2015 Junior Faculty Award from Mines and Metallurgy Academy, and 2015 ACS New Investigator Award.