Brian Trewyn Research Group

Principal Investigator


El Jefe |

Prof. Brian Trewyn received his B.S. in Chemistry and Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. He received his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Iowa State University (ISU) under the guidance of the late Professor Victor S.-Y. Lin working on drug delivery systems based on mesoporous silica nanoparticles. Upon graduating, he became the Associate Director of the Center of Catalysis, a subset of the Institute of Physical Research and Technology (IPRT). In 2010, he was promoted to adjunct assistant professor of chemistry at ISU where he remained for two years. In 2012, he accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position at the Colorado School of Mines where he is directing a research group investigating heterogeneous catalysis, photochemical degradation of environmental contaminants, catalytic materials for hydrogen storage and transportation, drug delivery devices, high-value molecule sequestration and high surface area carbon materials as substrates for electrocatalytic systems. Along with chemistry he is interested in mountain biking, skiing, reading, music and traveling.

Graduate Students


Nolan Kovach |

Having lived my entire life in Ohio, I am now pursuing my PhD in Applied Chemistry at Mines. Prior to here, I got my Bachelor’s in Chemistry from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2016 (Delaware, OH), where I played DIII football as a kicker there and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Then I earned my MS in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 2018 (Cleveland, OH) as a student of the Chemistry Entrepreneurship program, also working with Drs. Martin and Pentzer in the Physics and Chemistry Departments.

Despite having degree titles in chemistry, my research largely incorporates materials science and physics with a consideration of economics and law involved in said applied sciences. The applied research world is a place where I find science to be both a rigorous, defined process as well as a creative, fun art. My overarching research goals are to work on projects which aim to meet the needs of 1) society and people, 2) first world energy demands and/or 3) other researchers.

Scott Massimi |

I am from Phoenix, Arizona and received my B.S. in chemistry at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff in 2019. While at NAU I conducted research on super capacitors and polymer synthesis. After graduation I decided to further my chemistry education by pursuing a Ph.D. at the School of Mines. My current research involves incorporating metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) in mesoporous materials for use in catalysis. Outside of school I enjoy snowboarding, trying new foods, and going to concerts.

Calvin Berstler |

After attending University of Washington as a pre-engineering undergraduate student, Calvin Berstler transferred to the United States Air Force Academy where he received his B.S. in Biochemistry in 2018. Upon graduating he commissioned as a Logistics Readiness Officer in the United States Air Force where he served four years overseas in both the United Kingdom and Japan. While serving overseas, Calvin earned his Master of Business Administration through Liberty University online. Calvin is now pursuing his graduate degree in Chemistry and his research focuses on tandem catalytic systems. Upon graduating from Mines, Calvin will return to the United States Air Force to as a professor to teach undergraduate level chemistry. In his free time, Calvin enjoys playing sports, working out, scuba diving, hiking, Settlers of Catan, and spending time with his wife, family and friends.

Undergraduate Students


Elsa Scherzinger |

Ms. Scherzinger is from Monterey County, California with an Associate’s degree in Natural Science from Sierra College. Following her graduation she moved to Colorado School of Mines to complete her Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry with an Environmental Chemistry specialty. Elsa is currently focused on two projects as a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (SURF), plasmonics and chemoenzymatic catalysis. She is a driven and ambitious scientist with an interest in building a career in research chemistry. Beyond academics, Elsa plays for the Mines women’s club soccer team and is an active member of Sigma Kappa Sorority, Society of Women in Chemistry, and American Chemical Society.

Mia Page |

Hi! My name is Mia Page. I am a third-year undergraduate in the Quantitative Biosciences and Engineering program at Mines and am originally from Springfield, Missouri. I am involved in Pi Beta Phi, Brain Exercise Initiative, and the QBE Student Advisory Board on campus. I plan on pursuing a master’s degree at Mines and attending medical school in 2026. I am very interested in conducting clinical trials as a medical professional in the future and aim to apply my research experience to improving the quality of treatments. I am currently focused on designing enzyme-controlled drug delivery systems in the lab.

Alexis Johnson |

I am a third-year student in the Quantitative Biosciences and Engineering program from Highlands Ranch, Colorado. After I graduate, I will be pursuing a master’s degree at Mines, with this I hope to work in the development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. Currently, I am engaged in a project with the Trewyn Group, concentrating on enzymatic drug delivery systems. Outside of academics, I am actively involved in the QBE Student Advisory Board and Pi Beta Phi.

Jeffrey Pierce Bewlay |

Hey y’all, my name is Jeffrey Pierce Bewlay and I go by my middle name Pierce. I am a third-year undergraduate studying Quantitative Biosciences and Engineering here at Mines, but am originally from Fayston, Vermont. I am an avid outdoor fun-haver and outside of academics at Mines, I am the Treasurer of the Men’s Rugby team, manage Mal Burro Racing, an endurance car racing team and small-scale home-brewery, and now am a part of undergrad research. My current research focus is to design enzyme-controlled drug delivery systems here at the Trewyn Lab. I plan to use the knowledge and experience I gain from this research to better aim my future academic and career plans.

Joseph Brock |

Joseph Brock, a Boettcher Scholar from Colorado Springs, CO, is currently in his freshman year, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Mines with aspirations of joining an MD-PhD program post-graduation. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in late high school, Joseph’s journey has fueled a profound appreciation for the intersection of biochemistry education and healthcare applications. His passion for research, particularly under the guidance of Dr. Trewyn, drives his exploration into cosmetic applications of mesoporous silica, focusing on the controlled release of fragrance chemicals. Beyond academia, Joseph’s engagement spans caving, geochemistry, and community leadership, having led over 8,000 individuals on immersive tours in Colorado Springs. Additionally, as a trained vocalist and actor, he enriches regional film and theatrical performances, embodying the spirit of a multifaceted scholar poised to leave a significant impact across both art and science.

Rewa Raizada |

I spent most of my childhood growing up in various parts of Texas but have lived in Highlands Ranch, Colorado since 2015 and came to Mines to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Quantitative Biosciences and Engineering. My future aspirations include becoming a research scientist as I enjoy being part of a community that builds on innovation. My past projects include Water Conservation using self-monitoring and reporting technology, Simulating Temperature changes with Varying CO2 concentrations, & Functionalizing Ordered Mesoporous Carbon for Chemical Synthesis and Energy Applications (as part of First-Year Innovation and Research Scholar Training). Currently, I am excited to be working on a drug delivery project as part of Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship (MURF). Outside of research, I am involved in Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE), and in my free time I enjoy hiking, kayaking, and traveling.