CASE welcomes five new faculty in Fall 2015 - College of Applied Science and Engineering

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CASE welcomes five new faculty in Fall 2015

The College of Applied Science and Engineering welcomes five new faculty this year, including Mark P. Jensen, the Grandey University Chair in Nuclear Science and Engineering.

Mark Jensen

Jensen, who is also professor of Chemistry and Geochemistry, is focused on the nuclear fuel cycle, ranging from mechanisms of selectivity in chemical separations to biologically based metal separations and the biochemistry and environmental chemistry of the transuranium elements.

Prior to joining Mines, Jensen was a scientist at Argonne National Laboratory for 20 years, studying the chemistry of actinide and lanthanide elements in the Heavy Element Chemistry and Separation Science Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Bethel University in Minnesota, and a PhD from Florida State University.

The Grandey University Chair was established in 2012 by Mines alumnus Jerry Grandey and his wife, Tina. The chair honors their longstanding partnership with the school and their contributions to the nuclear energy industry.

Assistant Professor of Physics Kyle Leach received his PhD in experimental nuclear physics from the University of Guelph, Canada, where his research focused on detailed experimental tests of isospin symmetry breaking effects in nuclei using transfer reactions.

Leach then joined the TITAN group at TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, as a research associate. He was part of the team that developed a one-of-a-kind decay-spectroscopy ion trap. His current research interests include probing the Standard Model, exploring fundamental nuclear structure, and studies into nuclear astrophysics.

Svitlana Pylypenko, assistant professor of Chemistry and Geochemistry, received her PhD in chemistry from the University of New Mexico, working on characterization of complex materials using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and structure-properties–performance correlations using multivariate analysis techniques.

In her post-doctoral years, Pylypenko has focused in the development of novel materials, structures, and characterization approaches for applications in electrocatalysis and fuel cells. Her research group at Mines investigates surfaces and interfaces of functional materials including catalysts, polymers, semiconductors, and metal, with the goal of designing the next generation of materials that can deliver high efficiency at a fraction of the cost.

Pylypenko serves on the board of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Vacuum Society, and chaired the 37th Symposium on Applied Surface Analysis.

Teaching Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Josh Ramey obtained his PhD from the University of Colorado in Denver, focusing on the role of chromatin in DNA repair and replication, and developing an understanding of its importance in the process.

After his graduate work, Ramey worked for OPX Biotechnologies, a start-up focused on the engineering of microbes to produce biofuels and biochemicals. He led a genomics research team and was instrumental in setting up the company’s molecular biology lab, establishing company protocols, and beginning its safety program.

Ramey returned to academia by pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship continuing his research into DNA. His work focused on understanding the mechanism of DNA strand separation by the minichromosome maintenance helicase using the model system Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Ramey has been involved in the development of Studio Biology, an innovative, student-centered, active-learning environment that incorporates the latest pedagogical research to improve student performance and retention. He also teaches genetics, and hopes to develop meaningful research experiences for undergraduates.

Vladan Stevanovic, assistant professor of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, holds a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Belgrade, Serbia.

His lifelong interest in the processes behind energy production and consumption was sparked by a children’s book, “What do we know about energy?” given to him at a very young age.

Stevanovic’s research revolves around two main subjects: novel materials for renewable energy and computational materials science and solid-state physics. The idea of bringing together experimental, large-scale computations and solid-state theory to design materials for real applications brought him to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in 2009, and later to Colorado School of Mines, where he served as research faculty from 2012 to 2015.

His current research covers a range of topics, including thermodynamics and thermochemistry of solids, disorder in multinary systems, and searching for and designing new thermoelectric and photovoltaic materials.

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