From the Mines Newsroom: Mechanical Engineering Professor of Practice Craig Brice was awarded the Ben L. Fryrear Endowed Chair for Innovation and Excellence to drive institutional change at Mines. Dr. Brice, along with Dr. Alexis Navarre-Sitchler, associate professor of geology and geological engineering, are the fifth and sixth Mines faculty members to hold the position since it was endowed in 2017 by Mines alumnus Ben Fryrear ’62.

Each Fryrear Chair receives $25,000 in discretionary funds a year for three years in exchange for driving a strategic initiative or program that will further Mines’ vision and mission. The other sitting Fryrear Chairs are Geoff Brennecka, associate professor of metallurgical and materials engineering, and Linda Battalora, teaching professor of petroleum engineering.

Brice holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), an MS in materials science and engineering from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology.

He joined Mines in 2018 to lead the new Advanced Manufacturing Program, following a nearly 20-year career in research and development in industry and government, with a focus on the materials and processing side of additive manufacturing. He previously held roles at Lockheed Martin Space’s Advanced Technology Center, NASA Langley Research Center’s Advanced Materials and Processing Branch and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ Advanced Development Programs.

With the Fryrear Chair, Brice hopes to find “tangible and tactile” ways to integrate engineering soft skills within the Mines curriculum, starting with the students in his Advanced Manufacturing Program.