FROM THE DEPARTMENT HEAD
Greetings and the best of wishes for a joyous holiday season to you and your family from your Colorado School of Mines and the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering family. I write to you as the new Department Head. It has been an exciting year and I am very pleased and honored to be taking the helm of this outstanding Department. I would like to thank Ivar Reimanis, former Interim Department Head, who has been a tremendous help in my transition to MME and Mines. He has gone above and beyond any expectation, welcoming me and kindly guiding me into this new role, offering gentle advice on operation of the Department. Dr. Reimanis has returned to his key role of directing the ceramics center (CCAC), and continues to nurture young faculty while conducting world-leading research.
In addition to joining the Department myself, I am pleased to welcome both Amy and Kester Clarke, who come to us from Los Alamos National Laboratory. They add youth and strength to the advanced steel research at Mines, and continue the tradition of excellence in metallurgy. Amy is an expert in x-ray characterization of metals. She is building advanced x-ray diffraction and imaging capabilities with high lateral resolution that allow her to produce maps of metal microstructures in three dimensions. She is applying techniques from x-ray, proton, and electron diffraction broadly to understanding the details of solidification of metal alloys. This has resulted in an invitation to speak at this year’s Materials Science & Technology meeting, among other recognitions, thus setting herself up as a leader in the community. Kester is building a major effort in forging and is very active in research on mechanical properties of metals. He has been awarded the FIERF Chair here at MME. The Clarkes work collaboratively on topics such as internal friction in metals during deformation and diffraction characterization of materials.
Both Amy and Kester contribute to the continuing success of the steel center (ASPPRC). Members also include John Speer, Kip Findley, Emmanuel de Moor. ASPPRC enjoys critical support from the steel industry and companies that depend on high-performance steels. It is a jewel of the Department and critical to our long-term success. The program has 28 active industrial members, all of whom sent representatives to campus in September for the annual meeting. Fifteen Mines faculty, including tenured, tenure track, adjunct, and research, are contributors to ASPPRC, with more than 30 graduate students in the center. This represents one of the strongest and most rapidly growing industrially-sponsored research centers in the metals field.
Overall, the Department is remarkably strong, raising almost $9 million in research funds in 2016, and appears poised to increase this amount in the future. The faculty are increasing their level of research activity through many new proposals. At the same time, the Department and School are building research infrastructure through modernized materials characterization tools, stronger interactions with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and its staff, and through external collaborative research projects.
Through all of this we continue to enjoy life in Golden, where the skies are blue many days. The weather has been warmer than normal, but snow is on the mountains to the west and the winter season is on the way, with all of the benefits it brings.
I welcome any thoughts you may have on the Department, its research and teaching, and of course any contributions you might be willing to make to improve our ability to lead and grow in the fields of metallurgy, materials science and engineering.