Student Highlights

Mines team wins second place at mine rescue competition

Three Advanced Manufacturing master’s students were awarded Most Innovative Design for their team’s solution to the COVID-19 Maker Challenge: First Responders, the first of five events in a program designed to find innovative solutions to challenges faced by essential workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Veterans Health Administration Innovation Ecosystem and Challenge America (a veteran nonprofit) partnered to develop the challenge, which was sponsored by America Makes.

Steven Sullivan, Noah Mostow and Kelly Pickering competed in the Connected Cruiser challenge, one of eight challenges in the first virtual maker event. The challenges were selected from ideas submitted by police, fire and paramedic units across the country. Their task was to redesign a police cruiser laptop mounting system that would allow officers in the rural community of Basalt, Colorado, to work from their cruisers to socially distance from other officers at the station and to limit the driving required to return to the station to complete administrative tasks. The team included three more members from Massachusetts, Tennessee and Arizona.

Two of the biggest design constraints in the challenge were the cost and speed of production for the part. “Our solution has proven to dramatically reduce the cost of cruiser mounts and allows us to spread the production efforts across a decentralized maker community,” Pickering said. The three Mines team members credited what they learned in their Advanced Manufacturing courses. “We applied practical knowledge to our solution from a software and production standpoint that allowed us to iterate quickly,” said Pickering. “Because of this we were able to design a solution that will help not only the Basalt PD but also many other rural communities.” Pickering said that the challenge gave the team valuable insights into the production process, from concept to prototype to final production, and how to scale a product with a small, dispersed group in a short amount of time.

ME students receive prestigious fellowships

Erin Burrell (’20) received an NSF graduate research fellowship and will be starting a PhD program in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to study thermofluids.

Emily Pittman, a PhD candidate in Leslie Lamberson’s group, won DoD’s prestigious National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate fellowship. With the 3-year funding she will investigate metals under impact, analyzing their phase transitions and rate-dependent material and failure behaviors.

Matthew Zappulla wins TMS best poster award

Matthew Zappulla, recent PhD graduate (advisor Brian Thomas), won the best poster award for the Materials Processing and Manufacturing Division at TMS 2020. His poster was titled “Investigating Longitudinal Defect Mechanisms in Steel Continuous Casting.”

Claire Thomas receives aerospace fellowship

Claire Thomas, one of 40 members of the Brooke Owens Fellowship Class of 2020, will spend 10 weeks working at Made in Space, a company developing manufacturing technology for space, and receive mentorship from aerospace industry veterans. It’s a great fit for Thomas, whose interests include in situ resource utilization, the establishment of a lunar economy and long-term human space flight. Thomas also plans to pursue a master’s degree in space resources at Mines. “Made in Space has payloads exploring 3D printing on the International Space Station, such as one that can print a boom in space,” she said. “I’m also interested in the mechanics of materials and how they work in microgravity.” Read more about the award »

Team of ME students qualifies for NASA Mars challenge

An all-mechanical engineering team of students from Colorado School of Mines is headed to NASA’s Langley Research Center this summer for a competition that is out of this world.

Who can extract the most water from a simulated slice of the Martian or lunar surface? The 2020 NASA RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge will pit 10 university teams from across the nation in an on-site competition June 1-4 to find out.

Team DREAMR – short for Drilling Rig for the Exploration and Acquisition of Martian Resources – is the fourth Mines team in four years to qualify for the one-of-a-kind collegiate aerospace competition. Read more about the rig they’re designing.

Mines team wins second place at mine rescue competition

An interdisciplinary team of students from Colorado School of Mines took second place in the inaugural Canadian International Student Mine Rescue Competition, hosted by the University of British Columbia on Feb. 20-21.

Three mechanical engineering students were on the team: freshman CJ Kaufman, senior Jared Mullins and senior AV Schilt.

The Mines Mine Rescue Team placed second in the first aid and underground divisions and secured second place in the international competition’s cumulative final rankings.

“Long hours of training both on campus and in the Edgar Experimental Mine paid off for our Mines team – we were able to demonstrate past training and gain new experience in each area,” said CJ Kaufman. “The team learned from industry professionals how to safely and efficiently use new equipment in dynamic scenarios and looks forward to hosting the next Intercollegiate Mine Rescue Competition in late February 2021 at our own Edgar Mine in Idaho Springs.” Read more about the competition »

Connor McClean

Connor McClean is a master’s (non-thesis) candidate in the Advanced Manufacturing interdisciplinary program and one of Mines’ track and field athletes. As an undergraduate, he was on a team that built a custom, open-platform additive manufacturing (AM) machine that can print in a range of viscous materials from metallic paste to ceramics to biomaterial. The machine helped kick-start the Advanced Manufacturing teaching lab. As an MSNT student, he’s working on another custom printer, one that uses high-powered lasers to melt metal powder. Connor plans to combine the wealth of experience and knowledge he’s gained at Mines with his entrepreneurial spirit to start his own AM company after he graduates. Read more about Connor »

Taryn Tucker receives MLK Jr. Award

Taryn Tucker, a junior in mechanical engineering, received the 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Award for her work to develop Girls on the Rise, a new program designed to enhance diversity, equity and access to STEM. Tucker is vice president of outreach for the Mines section of the Society of Women Engineers and will serve as president next academic year. She also serves as a board member for the Mines student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and is working to start a new student group called Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Read more about the award luncheon and other award recipients »

Mfg Innovation Challenge Winners

ME undergraduates Erchis Erdenebat, Gage Gellerman and Claire Thomas won Mines’ inaugural Manufacturing Innovation Challenge and a $3,000 grand prize. The challenge was inspired by the 50th anniversary of the NASA Apollo moon landing and prompted student teams to develop an innovative design solution and a manufacturing pathway for an extraterrestrial rover wheel that met specific criteria. Read more about the challenge and the winning teams »

Lauren Sepp

Lauren is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering. Her research, which is focused on serving others, is an extension of her personality. Lauren’s PhD work is advancing the field of knowledge in how changes in prosthetic devices affect running performance and joint health for people with lower-limb amputations. Read more about Lauren »

Bradley Jesteadt

Bradley Jesteadt is a combined bachelor’s and master’s student in mechanical engineering. From building an exoskeleton suit in the Robotics Club to designing an advanced lunar rover wheel for the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge to researching ways to deorbit small space debris on the Mines RockSat-X team, Bradley has found how to maximize his time and energy at Mines!
Read more about Bradley »

Team of ME and CS students takes first place at SB Hacks

A team of ME and CS students from Mines took first place at SB Hacks VI, an annual hackathon hosted at University of California, Santa Barbara. The winning team included Mines students Parker Steen, Peter Wilson, Van Wagner and Josh Rands. They designed an autonomous AED emergency response system that uses neural network machine learning to detect an individual in cardiac arrest and an AED delivery robot capable of navigating a known floor plan and identifying the individual in need. Read more and watch a video about the team’s solution »

Michael Byckovski

Michael Byckovski is an undergraduate student in mechanical engineering, with an eye on the Engineering Management master’s program as a next step. Michael took advantage of a co-op opportunity with Ball Corporation’s manufacturing division and learned how important “soft” skills are for engineers!
Read more about Michael »

Peter Weddle

Peter Weddle, PhD in mechanical engineering, is the winner of the Fall 2019 Dr. Bhakta Rath and Sushama Rath Research Award. The honor recognizes the Mines doctoral graduate whose thesis demonstrates the greatest potential for societal impact.

Weddle’s dissertation research focused on the design, modeling and control of advanced lithium-ion batteries. That includes the development and implementation of new physical models to provide quantitative predictions of battery performance using electrode chemistries based on lithium-iron-phosphate and lithium titanate. The phase-transformation electrodes present a number of advantages, including a very high life cycle and virtually no fire hazard. Read more about Weddle’s research »

Claire Teklitz

Claire Teklitz is an undergraduate student in mechanical engineering and has found the path to her dream job in aerospace. Claire interned with United Launch Alliance and will be going to work for them full time in Cape Canaveral after she graduates in May 2020. Claire rounded out her time at Mines with service on the board of ASME and with challenging classes like Arabic!
Read more about Claire »

Chase Clayton

Chase Clayton is proof that a little hard work will get you where you want to go. Chase is graduating with a BS in mechanical engineering in December 2019. Mines was his dream school, and when he came as a transfer student, he wasted no time in achieving great things. An internship with Lockheed Martin exposed him to the endless opportunities in mechanical engineering and opened the door to a full-time job after graduation.
Read more about Chase »

Brain-controlled wheelchair

A team of three mechanical engineering students and one computer science student won an award for producing the best project built entirely during the 30-hour hackathon and designed solely with materials provided at the event, hosted by Harvard University.  
Read more about the team »