Graduate Students


Chloe Cook
Katie Gann
Jacob Ivy
Valerie Jacobson
Megan Leppert
Allison Mis
Rachel Sherbondy
Kevin Talley
Michael Walden


Andrew Hood


George Burton
Sean Jones
John Mangum
Chuanxiao Xiao


Jake Huang
Jessica Lewis
Meagan Papac
Debora Romero Barcellos
Yewon Shin
Davis Skylar
Ben Warren


Nooraldeen Alkurd
Brett Ley
Sarah Sortedahl
Savannah Ullrich


Brian Davis
Dylan Jennings
Michael Knight
Jesus Vazquez


Elizabeth Palmiotti
Jake Wands

Undergraduate Students

Advisor: Geoff Brennecka

Kelsey Cannon
Monica Carreta
Mary Dougherty
Brionna Dumlao
Darin Meeker
Taj Mitchell
Andrew Saucer
Addison Wong

Advisor: Ryan O’Hayre

Anyka Bergeson-Keller
Liam Warfield

Advisor: Ivar Reimanis

Joe Van Sant

Past Featured Students

Michael Walden

Featured CCAC Graduate Student:
Michael Walden

What is your background?
I was born in St. Louis, MO and grew up close enough to always be a Cardinals fan. My undergraduate degree is in Ceramics Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology, with a minor in physics. I’ve worked at a tax preparation firm, at a lead and silver mine, and at GE Aviation in Dayton, OH.
What are you working on at CSM?
I am currently pursuing a PhD in Materials Science at Mines, working with density functional theory (DFT) to calculate the electrical properties of various materials. My research explores bandgaps in the Bi(Fe,Cr)O3 system, which is a multiferroic material that could be used as a topological insulator or the basis for fault-tolerant quantum computing, among other applications. I’m also active in the undergraduate materials science organizations at Mines, like the Material Advantage and Keramos chapters. The latter is fairly new, and helping out there gives me a chance to maintain some grounded experience in traditional ceramics work.
What are your career aspirations?
Immediately following the completion of my PhD, I plan on pursuing a postdoctoral research position working with quantum computing. I’d like to work for IBM either in New York or in Zurich for 10-15 years, before ultimately returning to academia at a university with ceramics-focused undergraduate and graduate programs.
What are some non-academic activities, hobbies, etc. that you enjoy?
One look at my office will tell you I like reading books. The fiction I read is predominately Neal Stephenson or Isaac Asimov, but I’m also working my way through the older classics (currently Common Sense, by Paine). Obviously it’s hard to recreate inside all day in Colorado, so I do enjoy hiking and biking in the mountains around Golden.
Do you have any advice for incoming students?
The best piece of advice I have received and used at Mines is to increase the breadth of my friends circle in terms of research fields. I feel like there’s sometimes a tendency to become too focused on one area of materials, and then for instance the photovoltaic people only talk to other photovoltaic people, or the computational people only talk to other computational people. Fortunately I think Mines and the Materials Science program specifically have done a lot to help bring those groups together. Having friends in Chemistry and Biological Engineering, in Physics, in Materials Science, in Mechanical Engineering, and so forth has been an enormous help to me, from studying for the qualifying exam to directing the course of my research.

Keramos Student club Glass pieces


For Sale !

Come see the display case in the lobby of Hill Hall   

 For more information email:



Featured CCAC Graduate Student:
Debora R. Barcellos de Oliveira

Expected Graduation
Summer 2018
PhD ~ Materials Science

What is your background?

I was born in São Paulo, Brazil and lived most of my childhood life with my mom, dad, sis, our pinscher Dino and our great dane Teddy in a country house, in a tiny town called Jarinú. I got my B.E. degree in Chemical Engineering at Faculdades Oswaldo Cruz in São Paulo. During undergrad I did two years of undergrad research in titanium oxide catalysts for degradation of phenol, funded by FAPESP, one of the most prestigious research funding agencies in Brazil. I worked for two years as an intern at BASF decorative paint division, one year in the R&D and the second year in Process Engineering. I later worked at PwC in consulting for engineering projects. I moved to the USA in 2012 and started my PhD at Mines in August 2014.

What are you working on at CSM?

I chose to come to Mines, because Prof. O’Hayre gave me the opportunity to work on the type of research that I am very passionate about: renewable energy.

My PhD project is about applying materials science knowledge to design materials for hydrogen production using solar thermal energy to split water. What I like the most about my research is that I am one of the few students that has had the chance to not only synthesize and characterize the new materials, but also to test them for the real application. I am very thankful for the opportunity to have visited and worked at Sandia National Lab in Livermore and Albuquerque during my PhD. It was a life experience for me to visit the National Thermal Test Facility where the Sandia Solar tower is located. I am also very grateful for presenting at two conferences, Solid State Ionics in Keystone, CO and ECI Nonstoichiometic Compounds in Santa Fe, NM, as well as attending the renewable energy summer school in Erice, Italy.

What are your career aspirations?

I don’t know what I will do when I grow up, but I’ve always enjoyed working in the industry…

Do you have any advice for incoming students?

Dedication and persistence are the keys for having success in grad school, however you should try to take a break sometimes. Let grad school be the best years of your life.

What are some non-academic activities that you enjoy?

I enjoy hiking with my Jack Russel mix Daisy and biking with my husband. I have a lot of fun baking artisan bread, cakes and pastries while my husband brews beer. Back in Brazil I also enjoyed accompanying my dad to the flying field to see him flying his model planes. When I have more time, I would like to learn how to fly my own model planes.


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