News and Events


Rod Eggert, Viola Vestal Coulter Foundation Chair in Mineral Economics, appeared (virtually) before the Canadian House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Natural Resources on March 26, 2021. The Committee is undertaking a study on positioning Canada as a responsible source of critical minerals to support renewable energy and low-carbon technologies in the post-COVID-19 world. Eggert provided 5 minutes of opening remarks (available here), along with remarks from other witnesses, and then responded to questions from Committee members.

In his, opening remarks, Eggert emphasized that critical minerals are part of the larger issue of raw-material supply chains and manufacturing. Over the last half a century, supply chains have become more dispersed geographically, as globalization has allowed each stage of a supply chain to be located where costs are lowest. But low costs, in some cases, are associated with supply-chain risks due to geopolitics, potential for natural disasters, blockages of key transportation routes and other factors. As a result, many national governments are asking, what kind of industrial policy should national governments pursue – for consuming nations, how to manage supply-chain risks; for producing countries, how to help consumer nations mitigate their risks and at the same time expand and enhance mining and industrial activities in their own countries?

Eggert outlined the tensions between two competing narratives in discussions about industrial policy toward supply chains. First, the view that markets are best positioned to solve supply-chain problems and that government should focus primarily on the long term and funding for education and basic (pre-competitive) research. The second narrative focuses on the urgency of change in the short to medium term and actively steering market activities toward specific commercial sectors and technology areas. Compared to the education-and-research approach to industrial policy, government activities in this narrative focus on accelerating the pace of converting new knowledge and specific commercial goals into commercial activities.

Eggert also suggested several ways that the United States and Canada might collaborate, including information sharing and broad, forward-looking strategic analysis of resource availability, material flows and lifecycles; government-to-government collaborations to assess resource potential in unconventional sources and waste streams from historical and ongoing mining; public-private partnerships to finance demonstration and pilot facilities aimed at technological de-risking and accelerating the deployment of new technologies; and industry-led collaborations for priority raw-material supply chains.


Nearly 200 people from more than 45 institutions met virtually for the 2021 Winter Meeting, which included the sixth annual forum for students and early career researchers, hosted by Colorado School of Mines. The three-day meeting featured plenary presentations by Valri Lightner, Acting Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Office, U.S. Department of Energy, and Tom Lograsso, CMI Director, Ames Laboratory.

A new feature of this year’s Winter Meeting were panel discussions, highlighting former CMI students and postdocs. These CMI alums, who now work in industry and for national laboratories, shared advice on networking and career development, including to network, say yes to opportunities and be flexible/adaptable. The Industry Workforce Panel speakers were Tom Boundy, Process Engineer, Patterson & Cooke, and Shruti Singhal, Supply Chain Operations Manager, MedStar Health. The National Lab Workforce Panel speakers were Mary Case, Staff Scientist, Idaho National Laboratory, and Braeton Smith, Principal Energy Economist, Argonne National Laboratory.

CMI early career researchers presented 16 oral presentations and 26 poster presentations, and could network with CMI Team and Affiliates through virtual breakout rooms. CMI celebrated its second cohort of the Leadership Academy completing their project, and announced the beginning of the third cohort.

Leadership Academy second cohort:

  • Daniel Aberg, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Luis Diaz-Aldana, Idaho National Laboratory
  • Santa Jansone-Popova, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Ruby Nguyen, Idaho National Laboratory
  • Ryan Ott, Ames Laboratory
  • Andriy Palasyuk, Ames Laboratory
  • Zachary Sims, Oak Ridge National Laboratory most of term and now with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Aurelien Perron, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Leadership Academy, third cohort:

  • Alex Baker, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Meghan Fujimoto, Idaho National Laboratory
  • Hunter Henderson, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Hongyue Jin, University of Arizona
  • Emmanuel Ohene Opare, Idaho National Laboratory
  • Ilja Popovs, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Denis Prodius, Ames Laboratory
  • Aaron Wilson, Idaho National Laboratory

The CMI Leadership Team served as moderators for the oral presentations. The Leadership Academy served as moderators for the poster presentations. Both groups served as judges for the event, selecting overall winners in both categories:

Oral presentation award winners:

* First place: Max Neveau, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  “Mechanism for Enhanced Surface Tension of Al-Ce Alloys in a Fully Liquid Direct Metal Write Process”

* Honorable Mention: Joseph Mattocks, Pennsylvania State University
  “A Biomacromolecular Approach to the Detection and Extraction of Rare Earth Elements”

* Honorable Mention: Michael Guzman, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  “Biologically Mediated Recovery of Tellurium from Mine Wastes”

Poster presentation award winners:

* First place: Alison Fritz, NETL Department of Energy
  “Technoeconomic Assessment for Extraction of Rare Earth Elements from Coal Feedstocks: A Case Study on Acid Mine Drainage”

* Honorable Mention: Mairym Vazquez, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  “Al‐Ce‐Based Alloys Processed Via Powder‐In‐Tube: From Superconductors Processing Methodology to Advanced Manufacturing”

* Honorable Mention: Stephanie Aurelius, Colorado School of Mines
  “Rare Earth Elements and Antibiotic Resistance in Wastewater Microbial Communities”


2020 CMI Winter Meeting Group

Photo Album

The CMI Winter Meeting was held on February 13-14 in Golden, Colorado on the Colorado School of Mines campus. During the two-day event, students, postdocs and early career professionals presented their research in 26 posters and 16 oral presentations.

There were 113 in attendance from 19 organizations including the Department of Energy, Ames Lab, INL, LLNL, and ORNL. Corporate partners included Infinium and Momentum Technologies. Institutions of higher education included FIPR at Florida Polytechnic, Idaho State, University at Buffalo, Iowa State, Case Western, UT-Knoxville, University of Arizona, Wayne State, Yale, Mines, Rutgers and Purdue.

Mines President Paul Johnson welcomed the researchers to campus during the opening reception and highlighted the updated CMI exhibit in the Geology Museum. Specials thanks to our plenary speakers: Mines Provost Rick Holz, CMI Interim Director Tom Lograsso, and AMO, EERE, DOE Technology Manager Helena Khazdozian. CMI Deputy Director Rod Eggert was the meeting host and MC.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson

Rick Holz

Rick Holz

Tom Lograsso

Tom Lograsso

Helena Khazdozian

Helena Khazdozian

Rod Eggert

Rod Eggert


Members of CMI’s Leadership Academy developed a poster session rating scale and to judge the 26 research posters.


CMI Leadership Academy L-R: Andriy Palasyuk, Santa Jansome-Popova, Ruby Nguyen, Luis Diaz Aldana, Zachary Sims, Ryan Ott, Daniel Aberg. Not pictured, Aurelien Perron.

The poster session winners were Rakesh Chaudhary and Abhishek Sarkar, both postdocs at Ames Laboratory pictured below with Rod Eggert, Helena Khazdozian, the DOE program manager for CMI, and CMI Leadership Academy members Ruby Nguyen of INL, and Zachary Sims of ORNL. The top oral presentations were selected by popular vote. The winners were Hannah Gagarin and Philip Kellerboth graduate students at Colorado School of Mines, shown with CMI Deputy Director Rod Eggert.

2020 Poster Winner

L-R: Chaudhary, Eggert, Sarkar, Khazdozian, Nguyen, Sims

2020 Presentation Winners

L-R: Eggert, Gagarin, Keller



2019 CMI Winter Meeting at Mines

Photo Album

The CMI Winter Meeting was held on February 4-5, 2019 in Golden, Colorado.

Congratulations to our winners. The top oral presentations were by Hunter Henderson from ORNL and Emily Moore from LLNL. The top posters were by Ginny Allaedini from FIPR and Santanu Roy from ONRL.

A message from CMI Director, Chris Haase

CMI was very fortunate to hold its 2019 Winter Meeting, including the 4th Annual Forum for Postdoctoral and Student Researchers at the Colorado School of Mines, where, as the name implies, specific emphasis was placed on contributions and presentations by postdoctoral and student researchers.  CMI is very grateful to plenary speakers Colorado School of Mines President Paul Johnson; Mines VP for Research and Technology Transfer (and CMI Advisory Board member) Stefanie Tompkins; and Department of Energy R&D Consortia Program Lead Mike McKittrick.  We also extend our sincere thanks to Mines Professor and Interim Director, Economics and Business, and CMI Deputy Director Rod Eggert, Mines manager Maureen Allen, Education and Outreach Specialist Cynthia Howell, and many others at Mines who made the event successful, safe, engaging, and fun.  There were over 100 CMI Team Members, Affiliates, and representatives of the Department of Energy in attendance at the CMI Winter meeting.  Among CMI corporate partners present were BorgWarner, Eck Industries, Indium Corporation, Infinium Inc., and Momentum Technologies.  

Finally, and most importantly, CMI extends its special thanks to those who truly made this meeting a huge success – CMI postdoctoral and student researchers and presenters.  With 17 oral presentations and 26 poster presentations, the quality and breadth of CMI cross-institutional, multidisciplinary research shone through.  In fact, several academic and industry participants independently approached the CMI leadership team to complement our young scientific leaders for their professionalism, quality of research, and presentations.  On behalf of CMI, I’d like to extend CMI recognition to the young leaders of CMI’s extended community who made the 2019 Winter Meeting an extremely worthwhile event.


2018 CMI Winter Meeting at Mines

On January 22-23, Colorado School of Mines hosted the 5th winter meeting and 3rd annual forum for postdoctoral and student researchers. Despite a difficult winter travel day, it was the largest group to date with nearly 100 participants. The event featured 19 oral presentations and 29 posters. Laboratories represented were Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute, Ames, Idaho, Lawrence Livermore, and Oak Ridge. The other participants came from Momentum Technologies, UC-Davis, Yale, Purdue, SUNY-Buffalo, Rutgers, University of Tennessee, and Colorado School of Mines. Speakers included Mines President, Paul Johnson, CMI Director, Alex King, CMI Deputy Director, Rod Eggert, Mines Associate Vice President for Research, Ryan Richards, and Yale Professor Emeritus, Thomas Graedel. This year also included sessions for the newly established CMI Leadership Academy.

Oral presentation winners were Kevin Lyon from Idaho National Lab, and Zachary Sims from Oak Ridge National Lab.  The poster contest winners were Mary Case from Idaho National Lab and Tomer Fishman from Yale University.

Mines student participants were Kalen Rasmussen from Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tom Boundy, Bridger Hurley, Philip Keller, Fangyu Liu, Alex Norgren, Brandon Ott, Partaksh Sidhu, Hunter Sceats, Nathanael Williams and Victoria Vaccarezza from the Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy (KIEM), and Alexander Campbell, Tisilile Igogo, Haeyeon Kim, Yuzhou Shen and Braeton Smith from the Division of Economics and Business.

Photo Album 1 | Photo Album 2

2017 CMI Winter Meeting at Mines

On February 9-10, Colorado School of Mines hosted the Critical Materials Institute Winter Meeting and 2nd Annual Forum for Postdoctoral and Student Researchers.  More than 85 CMI team members from national laboratories, universities, industry, and the Department of Energy (DOE) gathered in Golden. Speakers included DOE Office of Advanced Manufacturing Director Mark Johnson, Mines Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer Tony Dean, CMI Director Alex King, Ames Laboratory Scientist Ikenna Nlebedim, and Mines President Paul Johnson.

Thirty-seven postdocs and graduate students presented CMI research from Mines, Purdue, UC-Davis, Florida Polytechnic, Yale, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Idaho National Lab, Iowa State and Ames Lab. Mines student presenters included Tom Boundy, Brett Carlson, Dylan Everly, Philip Keller, Fangyu Liu, Alex Norgren, Hunter Sceats and Victoria Vaccarezza from the Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy (KIEM), and Maxwell Brown, Sadie Fulton, Brett Jordan, Haeyeon Kim, and Braeton Smith from the Division of Economics and Business. Congratulations to poster contest winners Mary Case from Idaho National Laboratory, and Hunter Sceats from Colorado School of Mines.

Professional Photos Thursday – Friday | Additional Photos Wednesday – Friday

2016 Eggert in Brussels

During the week of November 28, 2016, Coulter Professor and CMI deputy director Rod Eggert participated in a series of international events in Brussels, Belgium.
He was part of the US delegation at the EU-US-Japan Trilateral Conference on Critical Materials and presented the poster “Material criticality: Comparing China, the EU, Japan and the USA,” based on work he and his graduate students (Sadie Fulton, Jose Hofer, Brett Jordan, Haeyeon Kim, Sul-Ki Lee and Braeton Smith) carried out during the fall semester.

He participated in the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s meeting on strengthening education in the raw-materials sector.

He delivered the lecture “The Fragility of Rare-Earth Supply Chains” at NATO headquarters as part of a half-day course on rare earths and other critical elements, an activity of NATO’s Science and Technology Organization.

The International School on Materials for Energy and Sustainability

EB Professor Rod Eggert spoke on the topic of critical raw materials as one of several lecturers in the international school on Materials for Energy and Sustainability, the 69th course of the International School of Solid State Physics, July 13-19, 2016 in Erice, Sicily. More than 70 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America gathered to learn from experts on global issues in energy and the environment and the resulting issues for materials used in energy technologies. Specific topics ranged from climate change and carbon sequestration; to conventional and emerging energy technologies, including solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, and fuel cells; to energy storage, buildings and smart grids. The course was organized by the European Materials Research Society, the European Physical Society, the EuroSunMed Project, the Italian Physical Society and the Materials Research Society.

Argus Americas Rare Earth Summit

Attendees of the 2016 summit held in Denver, June 13 to 16, ended their conference with a site visit to Colorado School of Mines and the Critical Materials Institute (CMI). The event was hosted by CMI’s Deputy Director, Rod Eggert. Tony Dean gave a welcome and overview of Mines, followed by presentations by Thomas Monecke and Rod Eggert. CMI Graduate Students from the Division of Economics and Business and the Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy (KIEM) hosted lab tours in Hill Hall. Bruce Geller and Mandi Hutchinson led tours of the Geology Museum, highlighting the new critical materials exhibit.

Event Photos

Critical Issues Webinar: The Science and Supply of America’s Critical Minerals and Materials

This webinar is based on a Congressional briefing organized by AGI on behalf of the Mineral Science & Information Coalition (3 March 2016). It addresses the efforts being taken at the federal level to ensure a steady supply of critical minerals and materials. YouTube

Speakers include:

  • Rod Eggert, Colorado School of Mines; Critical Materials Institute, Ames Laboratory
  • Lawrence D. Meinert, Mineral Resources Program, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Steven M. Fortier, National Minerals Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey

2016 CMI Winter Meeting at Mines

Meeting Photos | Museum Exhibit Reception Photos

On February 3-4, more than ninety researchers from the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) gathered at Mines for the CMI Winter Meeting. Attendees came from the Ames, Idaho, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge national laboratories, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Iowa State, Purdue, University of California – Davis, University of Tennessee, Yale and of course Mines.

The main event was the first CMI conference highlighting research by postdoctoral associates and graduate students, with more than forty presentations by young researchers from across CMI including fifteen from Mines. CMI research aims to accelerate innovation that will assure supply chains for raw materials essential in clean energy technologies — spanning basic and applied science, engineering and complementary economic and supply chain analysis.

The fifteen presenters from Mines are carrying out research in the Division of Economics and Business, the Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy and the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.

The conference began with remarks from Mark Johnson, Director of DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, and CMI Director Alex King.  A highlight of the meeting was a reception in the Geology Museum, at which Mines President Paul Johnson dedicated a new exhibit on critical materials. Mines Professor Rod Eggert and CMI’s Maureen Allen organized the meeting, with significant assistance from the Office of Special Programs and Continuing Education.

CMI in Japan

Japan, the European Union, and the United States have collaborated for a number of years on research and education related to critical raw materials and their uses in emerging technologies.  Professor Rod Eggert represented the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) at three meetings in Japan during the week of October 26-30.

The first two meetings in Tokyo—the 5th Trilateral EU-US-Japan Conference and the 3rd Japan-US Bilateral Meeting on Rare Metals—provided opportunities for researchers and policy makers to share information and research priorities with counterparts from the other regions.  Professor Eggert was a member of the U.S. delegation at both meetings and delivered summary comments on behalf of the U.S. delegation at the trilateral meeting.

The Critical Metals Symposium at Tohoku University in Sendai, the site of catastrophic tsunami damage in 2011, brought together researchers not only from Japan, the EU and the United States but also China, Korea and India.  Professor Eggert gave an invited talk, “The Dynamic Nature of Metal Resources: The Case of Rare Earths.”  He also participated in a post-conference field trip to two materials processing facilities in northern Honshu, Japan’s main island: the Kosaka smelter, which processes both primary mineral concentrates and secondary industrial wastes to recover more than 10 major and minor metals, and a Dowa recycling plant, which disassembles end-of-life television sets, air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines as a first step in recovering and recycling the constituent materials of these household appliances.


The NATO Science and Technology Organization has a continuing interest in rare-earth materials because of their essential uses in defense applications.  Professor Rod Eggert represented the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) at the October meetings of the Applied Vehicle Technology Panel, in Prague, Czech Republic.  He spoke on the current (and volatile) market environment for rare earths.  He also is part of an international team developing a two-day lecture series on global supply chains for rare earths, including markets, geoscience, process engineering, materials engineering and manufacturing, and recycling.  The lecture series will be delivered in 2016 in several locations in North America and Europe.