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A Collaboration between the Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Nexus is a joint initiative that strengthens, accelerates, and enhances collaborative efforts between NREL and Mines. The Mines/NREL Nexus is a strategic partnership that aims to invest in the development of joint responses to grand challenges; catalyze research funding to pursue joint work; and foster exchange of ideas and funding via research or teaching.

The Challenges Ahead

The world faces multiple challenges in energy and sustainability presented by global megatrends and needs: growing urbanization; circular economy for materials and resources; economic competitiveness in a global economy; global well-being (a fair distribution of resources such as energy, water and raw materials); and increased autonomy in devices, systems and transportation. We will facilitate NREL and Mines collaboration in areas of our shared mission, whose combined capabilities can lead to innovative solutions for key global challenges, as well as a means to pursue funding opportunities to address them.

About the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), we focus on creative answers to today’s energy challenges. From breakthroughs in fundamental science to new clean technologies to integrated energy systems that power our lives, NREL researchers are transforming the way the nation and the world use energy.  NREL’s world-class research delivers foundational knowledge and innovations to advance the next generations of technology for renewable power, sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency. The research at NREL will also increase the security, resiliency, and reliability of electricity grids and enable advanced energy technologies to be integrated and operated effectively in infrastructure at all scales. For more information, visit our website at


The Colorado School of Mines located in Golden, Colorado is one of the top-rated Science and Engineering Schools in the country[1] with faculty that are both world-renowned researchers and accessible.[2]  Further, the Department of Chemistry annually hosts the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry and Sustainability Summer School.[3] Additionally, the front-range of the Rocky Mountains is a unique ecosystem of research activity with 33 national laboratories (one of the highest concentrations in the country)[4] including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory-NREL (~2 mile from campus), US Geological Survey-USGS (on-campus) and National Institute of Standards and Technologies –NIST (~18 miles) that have extensive interactions with Mines including, shared facilities, joint appointments, joint projects and co-advised students.


Program Leads

Dr. Ryan Richards
Professor, Colorado School of Mines
Co-Lead, Mines/NREL Nexus

Dr. Ellen Morris
Professional V-University Program Leader
Co-Lead, Mines/NREL Nexus

Dr. Ryan Richards

Professor, Department of Chemistry, Colorado School of Mines
Mines Lead, Mines/NREL Nexus

Dr. Ellen Morris

Director, University Partnerships Program
NREL Lead, Mines/NREL Nexus