The pre-dawn bus attack at the In Amenas gas facility on January 16, 2013, was just the beginning of a bloody four-day kidnapping siege that would leave 37 foreign workers—including three Americans—dead, and shine a glaring light on security issues in politically volatile areas where many petroleum engineers work. Two Colorado School of Mines alumni—Nick Frazier ’03 and Steve Wysocki ’85—and one former Mines exchange student, Christoph Zinner, survived by working together, sharing information and planning their escape. Tragically, they would lose several close friends, including their boss, Gordon Rowan. Now, safely home, they say their views about their jobs, and each other, will never be the same.[continue reading...]
Here's the table of contents for the 2013 Summer issue.
- EWB Completes Footbridge in Nicaragua
- Alumni Weekend: Reconnecting Over Three Days in Golden
- Automated Chicken Farming in Saudi Arabia
- Cosmic Rays and the Department of Physics
- Modeling a Beetle’s Impact on Water Systems
- Mountain Rescue Training in China
- Mines Graduates Largest Class In History
- Internship with Bosch
- How Nike’s Founder Helped Influence Cancer Researcher Joe Gray ’68
Only the second woman in the country to earn a doctorate in petroleum engineering, Ramona Graves PhD ’82 found her passion—but it wasn’t what she thought it would be. In 1977, when she entered Mines, less than 2 percent of engineers in the United States were women, and Graves was one of only a handful of female students on campus. No woman in the U.S. had ever earned a PhD in petroleum engineering, and those trying to break into the field faced an uphill battle.
When Jennifer Miskimins MS ’00, PhD ’02 received her bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering in 1990, the United States oil industry was still reeling from the ’80s price collapse, most major companies had shifted their exploration efforts overseas, and those remaining on shore were slowing production and focusing on the lowest-hanging fruit. Talk of an imminent “peak oil” crisis was escalating. And for bright, forward-thinking engineers, job prospects were bleak. A quarter-century later, the U.S. energy landscape couldn’t look more different.
Two summers ago on I-70, about a mile from the highest point on the nation’s Interstate Highway System, a dip in the pavement grew so large that cars were going airborne and getting tossed out of their lanes. Fortunately, no one crashed before the Colorado Department of Transportation made repairs, but drivers shouldn’t rest too easy; the Big Bump will be back. CDOT turned to Professor Ning Lu, an international expert on landslides, in 2009, and he’s partnered with the state’s engineers to gather baseline data about slope stability, with an eye toward developing a plan for a permanent fix.
This spring, a group of Mines students representing Engineers Without Borders-USA traveled to the small community of Los Gomez in Nicaragua to complete a pedestrian footbridge over the frequently flooded Rio Ochomogo River.Alumni Weekend: Reconnecting Over Three Days in Golden
Former members of band and choir, Department of Physics alumni, and the classes of ’53, ’63, ’68, ’73 and ’78 celebrated together on campus during Alumni Weekend 2013, April 25–27.Automated Chicken Farming in Saudi Arabia
When my old friend and colleague told me about his new job in Saudi Arabia, and I expressed some envy—he offered me a chance to join him on a short-term consulting basis. So here I was, back in Saudi where Ann and I had lived for three years, some 38 years ago.
During a recent conversation in his Boulder, Colo., home, Hugh Evans ’49 said, “Work is a balance between fascination and frustration.” He’s certainly experienced plenty of both over the last 89 years.A Miner’s Century
Graduating in the middle of the Great Depression, members of the Class of 1935 faced bleak job prospects. But E. Keith Staley ’35, who celebrated his 100th birthday on January 13 in Oro Valley, Ariz., points out that life had been tough for some time.Work in Nuclear Reactor Fuels Earns Alumna Presidential Award
In 2012, Amy Clarke MS ’02, PhD ’06 produced a metallurgical first: movies that show bulk metallic alloys in the process of crystallizing.
How diverse is materials research at Mines these days? Read about these three high-profile programs, housed in different departments and spanning a wide spectrum of industries, and judge for yourself.Cosmic Messengers from the Extreme Universe
Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays carry an unfathomable amount of energy, but are elusive. Associate Professors Lawrence Wiencke and Fred Sarazin are part of a $4.4 million NASA grant to record many more of these than previously possible.Student Voices: McBride Honors Students Tackle Challenges in Activism and Water
At the first annual Rocky Mountain Honors Symposium, our group decided not just to talk about change; we wanted to make a change happen right here on the Mines campus.