Graduate Students


Brandon Cox
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


Chuancheng Duan
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
Chloe Cook
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

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.

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