Author: Larry Borowsky

There’s No Place Like the “House”

The Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association (CSMAA) completed its move to the brand new Starzer Welcome Center in mid-October (2015), ending its five-year residency in the historic Coolbaugh House. The rambling old bungalow at 1700 Maple Street—with its byzantine layout and low, slanting ceilings—had its drawbacks as an office space. But what it lacked in professional polish, the Coolbaugh House more than made up for in charm. “It was like coming home to go to work,” says Ruth Jones, CSMAA’s senior associate director of programs. “Some of us had fireplaces in our offices, and we could walk around in slippers.” “It would have been a fun place...

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Signs of Life: Tim Lyons ’80 is PI for NASA’s Alternative Earths Team

So far, we only know of one planet in the universe that can support life. True or false? From Tim Lyons point of view, that’s both true and false. “It’s true we have an N of 1 that is, one known place where life exists,” says Lyons ’80, who earned his bachelor’s degree in geological engineering at Mines. “But the Earth has a 4.3-billion-year history of liquid water, which is a precondition for life. Throughout that time oceans were forming, continents were emerging, temperatures were rising and falling, and the composition of the atmosphere and oceans was constantly changing.” “We...

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From EPICs to Rocket Launch Systems

‘There’s nothing like the excitement of a solid rocket motor static test,’ says Alicia Carrillo ’00. The anticipation, preparation, final countdown, and sense of accomplishment in the control bunker make it worth it every time.’ Carrillo, a Mines chemical engineering graduate, oversaw plenty of those tests during her tenure as chief engineer for the Space Launch System rocket. The massive booster, SLS for short, is being developed as the launch module for the Orion space capsule, which may someday carry astronauts to Mars. But Carrillo won’t be in the command center for SLS’s first unmanned test launch in 2018....

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Home is Where the Mine Is

Holly Bidle and her former husband Jim Reed fell in love with the house on Mt. Zion Road in Golden the minute they learned about the mine entrance from the house’s laundry room. Never mind the building’s peeling paint, the rusting elevator in the yard, or the creepy trophy mounts that covered the walls of almost every room. “It had been on the market for about 18 months without getting a single offer,” says Bidle (rhymes with “riddle”), recalling the day in 1990 when she first saw the house. “It was out of our price range and it needed...

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Around the World and Back to Mines

“I probably ended up at Mines because I wanted to play football,” said Bill Zisch ’79. “I already had the idea that I wanted to go into engineering, so when Mines said, ‘We’d like to have you play football for us,’ that really caught my attention.” The offer also reinforced a strong family connection: Zisch’s grandfather, Joe Zisch, played varsity football for Mines in the 1910s. “Back then, we used to beat CU in football,” Zisch laughs. The elder Zisch later became a pioneering chemist at the Climax Molybdenum Mine, and though he ended up in the sugar refining industry,...

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Current Issue: Fall 2017

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