Dear Readers,

Innovation is a theme that runs throughout this issue.

While not everyone is driven to innovate, it’s second nature for those connected to Mines, and the people and projects covered in the pages that follow provide an interesting cross section of the many ways a spirit of innovation permeates the Mines community.

It’s There for the Taking: Geothermal Technology Heats Up‘�is the most obvious example. If enhanced geothermal energy can be successfully engineered and scaled up, it’s an immense resource that could offer an almost unlimited source of power with minimal carbon emissions. Too good to be true? Possibly, but where better than Mines to conduct such innovative research?

What is innovative about a student trip to Nepal featured in ‘Clearing the Road Not Taken‘? I’m impressed by David Pesek’s spirit of exploration and adventure, and I think his approach to assisting less fortunate communities, while simultaneously providing a fulfilling experience to those he recruited for the trip, is interesting and, yes, innovative.

How about reorganizing two departments and the Division of Engineering into Mines’ first college (New College, New Digs, Bright Future)? It’s a creative solution to a problem that has persisted for many years, and it demonstrates organizational agility and an ability to embrace change.

The profile of Brock O’Kelley discusses his meticulous overhaul of numerous extractive processes at Mountain Pass Mine, the nation’s only substantial source of rare earth metals. Innovative? Definitely. Similarly, the profile of Fran Vallejo,�and our spotlight on Annette Bunge�feature women who have met with outstanding success after stepping out on their own and pioneering new pathways.

Reinventing the Nation’s Urban Water System‘�describes an exciting NSF-funded partnership with Stanford, Berkeley and New Mexico State aimed at innovating new approaches to water treatment. And ‘Partnering with USGS, Expanding Opportunity‘�reports on the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the USGS that creates a new framework for expanding cooperation and student involvement with the agency, whose footprint on the Mines campus dates back to the early 1970s.

To represent such an innovative institution, Mines magazine is looking for new ways to better engage readers. If you haven’t yet checked out our multimedia page, please do so. It includes links to the Colorado School of Mines YouTube channel and other videos, and from there you can subscribe to our podcast, which includes a growing collection of audio recordings.

Helping to make all this possible is Mines magazine’s new managing editor, Amie Chitwood, who joined the alumni association staff in August. With well over a decade of experience in publications, she’s already made an impact on this issue, and there will be more changes and innovations to come, so stay tuned.

We hope you enjoy this issue, and encourage you to take a few moments to share your thoughts by commenting at on any of the articles in this issue or emailing us at�[email protected].

Best wishes for a happy and restful holiday season.

Nick Sutcliffe
Editor and Director of Communications
Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association