Breaking New Ground

Keith NeevesThe Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Colorado School of Mines has a comprehensive research program and counts among its faculty seven NSF CAREER Award winners, one PECASE Award winner, and one DOE Early Investigator Award winner. CBE faculty work in a wide range of research areas and conduct cutting-edge fundamental as well as applied research.  The department has four key research areas – 1. Energy, 2. Membranes & Catalysis, 3. Bioengineering, and 4. Complex Fluids.  Additionally, many of our teaching faculty are pioneers in pedagogical research.  Research in the department is supported by federal and state agencies, industry and private foundations. 

CBE faculty working in Energy research have strong ties with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Sumit Agarwal, Andrew Herring, Joseph Samaniuk, Colin Wolden, J. Douglas Way), located just 10 minutes from Mines, as well as other regional federal laboratories involved in energy research and development. Our faculty are dedicated to improving the efficiency of chemical energy conversion, as well as adapting fuel cell technology for compatibility with emerging biofuels.  The department houses the world’s foremost center dedicated to understanding the critical role of hydrates in energy production as well as their potential for energy storage and CO2sequestration (Carolyn Koh, Amadeu Sum). The department also hosts the Colorado Institute for Energy, Materials and Computational Science (CIEMACS), which focuses on problems at the nexus of energy, materials and scientific computing.

Another core strength of the department is in the applications of membranes and catalysis to carbon capture, fuel cells (Andy Herring), hydrogen purification (Doug Way), as well as the design and synthesis of novel materials (Moises Carreon, Diego Gomez-Gualdron, Stephanie Kwon) for these applications.

Faculty with expertise in bioengineering (Nanette Boyle, Kevin Cash, Anuj Chauhan, Melissa Krebs, David Marr, Nikki Farnsworth) have research programs in biosensors, drug delivery, tissue engineering, lab-on-a-chip devices, and metabolic engineering. Much of this research is done in collaboration with regional medical institutions such as the Children’s Hospital of Colorado. 

The Mines Polymers and Complex Fluids (MPAC) group includes members of CBE (Marr,  Samaniuk, Ning Wu) and the Chemistry Department who focus on fundamental and applied research in soft matter.  Complex Fluids research finds applications in many of the other core research areas in CBE including Energy and Bioengineering.