Christopher Dreyer

Professor of Practice, Mechanical Engineering

Christopher Dreyer​Dr. Chris Dreyer has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University and an MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He joined Colorado School of Mines in 2000 as a Research Professor with research focus on instrumentation for energy systems and later instrumentation for space exploration. His research focus now includes the full space resources value chain from resource identification to production of products.

Dr. Dreyer is currently a Professor of Practice in the Space Resources Graduate Program. He has two decades of experience in technology development and extensive experience with experimental methods, regolith mechanics, instrument design, and optical/laser spectroscopy methods. Dr. Dreyer’s interests include the development of space resources and advancement of space exploration of asteroids, the Moon, and Mars. He has developed experimental facilities for resource technology development, including prospecting instruments, resource extraction, surface property measurement, and resource processing. Dr. Dreyer is the Director of Engineering in the Center for Space Resources at Mines, in which he guides the experimental research direction of the center. He is a co-founder of Mines’ Space Resources Graduate Program, the first program in the world dedicated to space resources.


General Research Lab 234A
1310 Maple St.

Research Areas

  • Space resource technology development
  • Mining of the Moon, asteroids, and Mars
  • Resource processing
  • Space manufacturing and construction methods
  • Instruments for space exploration and in situ evaluation

Selected Publications

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  • Dreyer, C. B. “The academic discipline of Space Resources,” In ASCEND 2020, p. 4226 (2020).

  • Sowers, G., Dreyer, C., Centers, R., Dickson, D., Hugo, A., Purrington, C., Scott, L., “Thermal Mining of Ices on Cold Solar System Bodies,” NIAC Phase I report (2020)

  • Atkinson, J., Prasad, M., Abbud-Madrid, A., & Dreyer, C. B., “Penetration and relaxation behavior of JSC-1A lunar regolith simulant under cryogenic conditions,” Icarus346, 113812 (2020).

  • Sowers, G., Dreyer, C., “Ice Mining in Lunar Permanently Shadowed Regions,” New Space, 7(4), 235–244 (2019)

  • Atkinson, J., Prasad, M., Abbud-Madrid, A., and Dreyer, C. B., “Penetration and relaxation behavior of dry lunar regolith simulants,” Icarus 328, 82–92 (2019).

  • Kornuta, D., … Dreyer, C. B., et al., “Commercial Lunar Propellant Architecture: A Collaborative Study of Lunar Propellant Production,” REACH, 100026 (2019).

  • Abbud-Madrid, A. and Dreyer, C. B., “Technology and Asteroid Science Working Together for the Successful Development of Asteroid Resources,” Asteroid Science Intersections with In-Space Mine Engineering, April 16–17, 2018.

  • Dreyer, C. B., Abbud-Madrid, A., Atkinson, J., Lampe, A., Markley, T., Williams, H., McDonough, K., Canney, T. and Haines, J., “A new experimental capability for the study of regolith surface physical properties to support science, space exploration, and in situ resource utilization (ISRU), Review of Scientific Instruments,” 89(6), 064502 (2018). 

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