The Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center1 has made substantial progress in its research mission of identifying, launching, and advancing innovative research directions in renewable energy materials science, meeting its human resource mission of educating the next generation of renewable energy professionals, creating outreach programs to inform the public about the potential of renewable energy, and promoting diversity among faculty, research associates, staff, students, and future students.

The Center harnesses the vibrant energy vision of the Colorado School of Mines, the extensive research resources of the nearby National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)2, and the growing national interest to advance the solar, fuel cell and renewable energy technologies and research. The Center integrates cutting edge basic research with education and outreach, into a powerful interdisciplinary mix to drive new research frontiers. It has identified two promising research directions—Group IV quantum dot nanostructures for future generation solar cell applications, and next generation ionic conducting membranes for battery, fuel cell, and other applications. The Center’s Seed Program has been especially successful in exploring high-risk, high-payoff innovative research that can be integrated within the Center’s Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) or translated to independent funding.

The REMRSEC Facilities program has increased in breadth and depth, with significant advances in its Characterization Laboratory, Semiconductor Processing Laboratory, Synthesis Laboratory, Clean Room, and associated Atom Probe Development Laboratory. The technical staff of the Center, CSM, and NREL have been raised with two Center hires that are joint with NREL, establishing a paradigm for leveraging cooperation and diversity. In three short years, the Center converted a vision for renewable energy into a vibrant and successful organization that engages NREL, CSM, the student body and the public in addressing a national priority, developing new materials for sustainable energy for the future.

1 REMRSEC is funded under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation through the MRSEC program in the Division of Materials Research (DMR-0820518)

2 NREL is the primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development for the U.S. Department of Energy. NREL is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, comprised of the Midwest Research Institute, Battelle Memorial Institute, CU-Boulder, CSU, Colorado School of Mines, MIT and Stanford. For more information visit

INSIDE REMRSEC: Advancing the Frontiers of Renewable Energy Materials Research

2014 Honors & Awards

  • Selected as a discussion leader for "Potential breakthroughs in novel material phases of silicon," 2014 SCIALOG conference
  • Selected to chair invited session, "G12: Energy Research and Applications," March 4 at APS March Meeting
  • Session chair for Symposium A, "Film-Silicon Science and Technology," at Spring 2014 MRS meeting
  • Session chair, CIMTEC 2014 — Sixth Forum on New Materials, Montecatini, Italy, June 17
  • Selected Faculty Senate Distinguished Lecturer for Spring 2015
  • Appointed editor-in-chief, Applied Physics Letters
  • Colorado School of Mines Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Award
  • National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award
  • The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society Young Leader Professional Development Award
  • Third place, Materials Engineering and Sciences V subgroup, AIChE national meeting poster competition. Her poster, "Band-Gap Tuning of Colloidal Silicon-Based Quantum Dots by Surface Functionalization Using Conjugated Organic Ligands," was based on research she conducted at REMRSEC's Research Experience for Undergraduates summer program.
  • Named Fellow, American Association of Physics Teachers, in the first cohort


REU poster session winnersView photos from the 2015 edition of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program run by REMRSEC: REMRSEC kicks off REU 2015 | Joint Banquet | Poster Session and Luncheon

Ryan O'HayreResearch led by Professor Ryan O'Hayre (MME) into the development of affordable and efficient ceramic fuel cells that could power homes has been published in Science magazine.

Colorado School of Mines hosts the fourth International School for Materials for Energy and Sustainability July 13 to 20. The weeklong school will present state-of-the-art and future perspectives for materials as they can be applied to energy generation and storage for sustainable energy technologies.

Carolyn KohProfessor Carolyn Koh (CBE) delivers plenary talk “Fundamentals of Gas Hydrates and their Role in Energy Transportation and Storage,” at 2015 American Chemical Society Annual Meeting and Exposition held in Denver.

Eric TobererAssistant Professor of Physics Eric Toberer receives the Cottrell Scholar Award for his research and education techniques.

Chuck StonePhysics Teaching Professor Chuck Stone receives NSF grant to continue Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

Reuben CollinsPhysics Professor Reuben Collins delivers Mines Faculty Senate Distinguished Lecture, "Confessions of a Naive Editor-in-Chief"

Brian GormanAssociate Professor of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Brian Gorman receives Microanalysis Society's Heinrich Award at the 2014 Microscopy and Microanalysis meeting for his work on the interface between atom probe tomography and electron microscopy and microanalysis.

Corinne PackardAssistant Professor of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Corinne Packard receives National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for her research, "Controlling Pressure-Induced Transformation in Rare Earth Orthophosphates"