Three New Chemistry Faculty Setting Sail on Their Mines’ Professor”ship”!
Dr. Erik Menke was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and primarily grew up on Colorado’s Western Slope. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Colorado State University in 2000 and then moved west to join UC Irvine’s second incoming class in the new Chemistry and Materials Physics (CHaMP) program. He completed his Ph.D. in 2006 under the direction of Prof. Reg Penner and then moved to UCLA as a postdoctoral researcher in the Materials Science and Engineering department at UCLA under the guidance of Prof. Bruce Dunn. He joins the Colorado School of Mines as an Associate Teaching Professor in Chemistry and the director of the CCUS certification program, coming from the University of California, Merced. His primary research interests are understanding aluminum ion behavior in organic solvents, motivated by developing electrolytes for rechargeable aluminum batteries, and developing educational interventions, such as culturally relevant science teaching, that positively impact student self-efficacy and sense of belonging in science courses.
Dr. Megan Moyer is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Chemistry Department. Since graduating from Mines with her PhD, she has taught first year general chemistry and inorganic chemistry. Additionally, she has worked with undergraduate student researchers to explore porous materials such as corn-fiber derived carbons and metal organic frameworks for applications in water purification and drug delivery. Dr. Moyer’s graduate research involved synthesizing porous support materials like mesoporous silica, ordered mesoporous carbon, and zeolites for use with nanoparticle and single site catalysts. She investigated gas to liquid conversions and tandem catalytic reactions. After graduate school, her focus shifted to education. She aims to make chemistry accessible and enjoyable for all students both in the classroom and in the lab.
Dr. Abby Boyd’s research interests surround a variety of topics related to chemical education and environmental chemistry. As a Teaching Assistant Professor, she is particularly interested in recruiting students into engaged learning experiences within chemistry and improving the accessibility of research experiences. Outside of the lab, Abby loves the outdoors, especially long-distance running and hiking.
The programs of the Chemistry Department are designed to educate professionals for the varied career opportunities this central scientific discipline affords. At the undergraduate level, we offer a BS degree program in chemistry that is approved by the American Chemical Society and, new in 2019, a BS degree in biochemistry. In addition, we offer specific curricular tracks emphasizing biochemistry or environmental chemistry along with a more flexible chemistry track that can be tailored to optimize the preparation of students to achieve their specific career goals.
At the graduate level, the department offers MS and PhD degrees in Chemistry, Applied Chemistry and Geochemistry. In addition, MS and PhD degrees are also offered in Materials Science, Hydrological Sciences and Engineering through interdisciplinary graduate programs. The chemistry graduate program coordinates closely with the Material Science Program, graduate students from chemistry and material science conduct research in many of the labs under advisement of several faculty members. Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in material science and interested in research with chemistry faculty are urged to contact those members.
The Chemistry Department maintains a high-quality, well-funded research program with participation of students at both the graduate and undergraduate level. The research program in the department emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to solving real world problems in areas including sustainability, alternative energy, materials, bio-detection, nanomedicines and water quality assessment, to name a few.
Mines faculty as a whole has been recognized by premier news organizations for the success they have observed in combining scholarly research with classroom instruction.
In 2024, the year of our 150th anniversary, we will celebrate Colorado School of Mines’ past, present and possibilities. By celebrating and supporting the Campaign for MINES@150 you will help elevate Mines to be an accessible, top-of-mind and first-choice for students, faculty, staff, recruiters and other external partners. When you give, you are ensuring Mines becomes even more distinctive and highly sought-after by future students, alumni, industry, and government partners over the next 150 years. We look forward to celebrating Mines’ sesquicentennial with you and recognizing the key role you play in making the MINES@150 vision a reality through your investments of time, talent and treasure.