News & Announcements

We do so many things here at Nexus – scroll for more about the things we have done and the things we want to do. From classes to seminars, workshops and funding opportunities, read on to learn more about our work.



covid’s impact on energy consumption

December 1, 2020

Our colleagues at the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory are hosting a December 16th webinar on the impact of covid-19 on energy consumption. The webinar is free, and registration is required. See here for more details.  


Colorado School of Mines Graduate recruitment for Fall 2021 is Open 

November 23, 2020

The Mines/NREL Nexus has numerous students pursuing graduate degrees in Mines academic programs while conducting research in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Lab. Be a part of the Nexus. Learn more about the different degree programs here.


National Geographic Ranks Denver as One of the Eight Best Cities in the World for Sustainability

November 17, 2020

The Mile High City is powering forward on it’s goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2023. Connecting climate action and sustainability to economic prosperity and social justice has earned Denver prestigious awards, as it helps business owners create customized plans for eco-friendly solutions. Read the full article from National Geographic here.


New Project Call from the DOE’s Smart Manufacturing Institute

November 9, 2020

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) announced up to $4M in new funding to improve energy-intensive manufacturing processes and strengthen America’s manufacturing sector. CESMII seeks research and development projects that can apply smart manufacturing technology (SM) solutions to manufacturing challenges to improve energy productivity, performance, quality and efficiency. See the DOE’s full announcement here and to learn more about application deadlines, areas of emphasis and submission requirements.


Life Cycle Assessment and the Circular Economy with NREL-JISEA’s Garvin Heath

November 5, 2020

An energy analyst at NREL, working with Colorado School of Mines, produces profound findings in emissions production, using analysis to quantify enhanced recyclability and sustainability within the circular economy.

Read the original article on the JISEA website here.

Brought to us by the NREL communications team.  If you are a member of the media and wish to learn more, please contact David Glickson at 303-275-4097 or email


Seed Funding Jump-Starts NEXUS Research

October 5, 2020

The Nexus collaboration adjusts to the changing times of Covid shutdowns, developing new relationships across the Mines campus and expanding its role in materials science for renewable energy.

Read the original article on the Mines website here.

If you wish to learn more, please contact Emilie Rusch at


JISEA Celebrates a Decade of Energy System Transformation Through Analysis

March 25, 2020

In 2010, NREL leaders decided to launch the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA)—a partnership between NREL, Colorado School of Mines and other academia—to look beyond individual technologies and consider the bigger picture of how to develop and deploy renewables in an energy economy.

“This energy transition isn’t monolithic,” said Jill Engel-Cox, JISEA’s current director. “Each country has its own set of natural and human resources, energy needs, and social preferences, so every clean energy solution will be unique.”

Read the original article on the NREL website here.

Brought to us by the NREL communications team.  If you are a member of the media and wish to learn more, please contact David Glickson at 303-275-4097 or email

What’s Next?

The faculty and staff at Nexus are working to provide activities during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are interested in any of the activities below, please click the links for more information.

In the Recent Past

Below are activities and events that may be of interest to you. To find out more information, click the title of the event to activate the toggle.Below are activities and events that may be of interest to you. To find out more information, click the title of the event to activate the toggle.

The Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory and partners offer a 4-Part Webinar symposium, "A Clean Energy Workforce that Represents Everyone"

The series will focus on diversity, equity and inclusion to help employers retain and hire the future generation of clean energy employees. Read more here.

Registration is required, but this is a free webinar, offering live viewing or re-posted videos after the webinar airs.

The first part, “Creating a diverse and inclusive clean energy workforce,” launches October 6, 2020. Subsequent parts air October 28 and  November 11 and the final webinar will be December 1.

Topics include a look at the data that shows the importance of diversity hiring for a robust clean energy workforce, discussion and examples of successful inclusion and diversity programs and why they work, how diversity helps a companies’ bottom line, and the importance of mentoring and supporting underrepresented groups. Experts in specific companies in a variety of fields will talk about their real-life experience. 

This symposium is hosted by the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory, the Colorado Solar & Storage Association (COSSA), the Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) and Holy Cross Energy

4D STEM-in-SEM: developing scanning electron diffraction measurements for the scanning electron microscope by Ben Caplins, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Held on April 14, 2020

Historically, the scanning electron microscope (SEM) has been used to study the surfaces of materials, and the transmission electron microscope (TEM) has been used to study the “internal” structure of materials. A driving cause for this difference is that the mean free path for electrons at SEM beam energies (≤30 keV) is much shorter than that for TEM beam energies (≥80 keV). In effect, the incident electrons in an SEM cannot pass through conventional SEM samples, and therefore most of the generated signals pertain to the surface region. In contrast, the incident electrons in the TEM can pass through samples and generate useful through thickness information on the material structure and defects. The transmission SEM project at NIST serves to challenge these historical roles by expanding the measurement modes in an SEM to include numerous transmission modes. Some of these modes are of particular relevance for 2-dimensional materials and nanomaterials where the short mean free path for electrons typical of SEM energies can be highly beneficial. In this presentation, some of our efforts to realize a scanning electron diffraction measurement known as 4D STEM-in-SEM will be presented. As the archetypal 2-dimensional material that can be challenging to analyze structurally, graphene films are used to demonstrate the technique. We will describe the some of the signals obtained in transmission mode, how to experimentally capture them, and discuss some of the analysis methods possible with the generated 4D dataset.

NREL News Releases

Below find the latest news releases from our partners at NREL.

HyBlend Project To Accelerate Potential for Blending Hydrogen in Natural Gas Pipelines

November 18, 2020

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will lead a new collaborative research and development (R&D) project known as HyBlendTM to address the technical barriers to blending hydrogen in natural gas pipelines.

Full story…

Media may contact:
Wayne Hicks

From the Garage to the Open Sea: NREL's Scott Jenne To Patent Inflatable Wave Pump Design

November 18, 2020

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researcher Scott Jenne may have inched the industry a bit closer to the affordable wave energy of the future with his design for a reliable, easily transportable, inflatable wave pump that can withstand large hydrodynamic loads and requires minimal installation and maintenance to boot.

Full story…

Media may contact:
David Glickson

An Unexpected Debut: ARIES Microgrid Infrastructure Powers NREL Campus Through Outage

November 18, 2020

Less than two months after the Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) commissioned utility-scale infrastructure for the Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) research platform, it experienced a utility-scale emergency: An outage at NREL’s Flatirons Campus cut power to the entire site, including its servers, offices, and research hardware.

The Flatirons Campus is normally tied to local Xcel Energy lines, but the failure disabled the campus’s substation infrastructure that interfaces with Xcel. Observing the damage, NREL’s response team expected weeks of lost research waiting for a new transformer to be acquired and installed. But then the team looked out at the 300-acre campus.

Full story…

Media may contact:
David Glickson

The World of Water Power Is Just One Click Away: Visit the Expanded STEM Portals Today

November 11, 2020

This summer, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), launched the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and workforce development portals for water power technologies. 

Comprising the STEM Hydropower Portal and the STEM Marine Renewable Energy Portal, these comprehensive tools offer would-be water power warriors the resources they need to embark upon rewarding careers in exciting and—in the case of marine energy—emerging fields.

Full story…

Media may contact:
Wayne Hicks

Be In the Know – Sign Up Today!

Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory (CERC)

Since 2007, the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado State University, and Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have worked together on innovations and solutions involving research surrounding the full spectrum of energy sources, while partnering with their supply chains, industry & research partners. The 9th Annual meeting has been rescheduled for May 4-5, 2021 with the title 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium. In addition to their annual meeting, the Collaboratory will host webinars throughout the year. Click here for upcoming webinars.


NEXUS in Action

Scientist Nancy Haegel [NREL] Uses the Elegance of Physics to Guide Materials Research

NREL Materials Science Center Director Nancy Haegel’s fingerprints were on semiconductor light detectors aboard NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. During that time, Haegel also worked on semiconductor materials for solar cells, radiation detectors, and light emitters—all areas that have helped inform her activities at NREL.

“When people ask what I do here, I’m never quite sure what to tell them,” Haegel said. “And so, in our center, I think the joke is that I am expensive grease”—pushing to help projects go forward with less friction. “I enjoy every day being expensive grease for such bright, committed people who are doing such great work.”

Brought to us by the NREL communications team. Read more on Nancy’s accomplishments on the NREL website here. If you are a member of the media and wish to learn more, please contact David Glickson at 303-275-4097 or email