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Section Officers:

Chair:  Nate Orloff, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Secretary: Erik Helin, Johns Manville

Treasurer: Megan Holtz, Colorado School of Mines

Student Co-Chair: Shannon Rogers, Colorado School of Mines

Student Co-Chair: Jai Sharma, Colorado School of Mines

D & I Representative: Megan Holtz, Colorado School of Mines

Advisory Board: Scott Thompson, CoorsTek and Sandrine Ricote, Colorado School of Mines

If you would like to contact any of the Colorado Section officers, visit the ACerS online membership directory for contact details. You must be a member to access the directory. Or contact Vicki Evans at for assistance.

Meetings and Events

ACerS Colorado Section planning NIST Tour on September 8, 2023

The Colorado Section is planning a tour of the NIST site in Boulder, Colorado, on September 8, 2023, beginning at 3pm with a social gathering to follow. Please register for the tour by completing the form below by September 4, 2023. This tour is open to all US citizens and permanent residents of the US. Questions - please contact Vicki Evans or Nate Orloff.

ACerS Colorado NIST Tour

Are you a US Citizen?
Are you a permanent resident of the US?

Colorado Center for Advanced Ceramics (CCAC 2023)

Learn, present, and network for free at the largest annual technical ceramics conference in the Rockies! The Colorado Center for Advanced Ceramics (CCAC 2023) Conference will be held August 15-16, 2023 at the Green Center, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, USA.

Registration is FREE and the abstract submission deadline is June 14, 2023.

Previous years talks and posters have included subjects such as semiconductors, thin films, high temperature materials, metal oxides and nitrides, fuel cells, photovoltaics, battery materials, LEDs, additive manufacturing, and many more. Check out the 2022 technical program to get a better idea of talks and posters at this conference.

Attendees last year included NREL, NIST, and industry professionals such as CoorsTek and Deltech, as well as students from Colorado universities.

Visit CCAC 2023 Conference for more details and reach out to Shannon Rogers with questions.

Colorado Section Ski Day

Members of the ACerS Colorado section met at Loveland Ski Area, Colorado on February 17 for a day of networking and fun on the slopes.

Ski day 2023

Colorado Section members tour of Deltech Furnaces, Inc

The Colorado Section tour Deltech Furnaces, Inc on Wednesday, September 7. Following the tour, section members gathered for networking and socializing.

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Resized CCAC Colorado

Colorado Section student members of the Colorado Section recently attended the Colorado Center for Advanced Ceramics Conference (CCAC) at the Colorado School of Mines.

Camp pic

Graduate students in the Colorado Section recently taught hands-on materials science modules at the Rocky Mountain Dyslexic Camp to foster STEM competency and belonging in dyslexic children.

The Colorado Section presented "Making the most of your presentation" by Jean-luc Doumont 

On September 22, 2021 93 participants learned how to develop strong presentation skills which are key to success for researchers and other professionals alike.  

Thank you to our sponsors, Colorado School of Mines and Communications Technology Laboratory, NIST

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Colorado Section participates in Colorado Center for Advanced Ceramics Student Conference

Minikits CCAC

The Colorado ACerS Section participated in the Colorado Center for Advanced Ceramics 2021 Student Conference (CCAC) on August  17 and 18, 2021.  The section hosted a booth in the exhibit hall where participants could review the CGIF's Materials and Mini Materials Kits.

Visit this link for more information about the CCAC.

Hosted by the Colorado Section, Professor David Kisailus (University of California, Irvine) presented the July Frontiers of Ceramics & Glass webinar, Synthesis and performance of ceramic-based biological composites. Visit this link to listen to the July Frontiers of Ceramics & Glass Webinar.

A Nobel perspective: A live conversation with Nobel prize- winning Physicist, Dr. bill philips

The ACerS Colorado section hosted a webinar presented by Nobel prize-winning physicist, Dr. Bill Phillips on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

Participants had the opportunity to  directly learn from a Nobel Laureate and their own questions. Dr. Phillips covered a wide range of topics -- from stress management to confirmation bias to chocolate.

Visit this link to listen to Dr. Phillips' talk and the question and answer session.

Dr. Bill Phillips graduated summa cum laude from Juniata College in 1970 and studied the magnetic moment of the proton in water as part of his doctoral work at MIT. After joining NIST in 1978, he and others worked on Bose-Einstein condensates and developed methods to cool and trap atoms with light. These methods ultimately earned him, Dr. Stephen Chu, and Dr. Claude Cohen-Tannoudji the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr. Phillips is currently Co-Director of the NSF Physics Frontier Center at the Joint Quantum Institute and a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Proposal writing webinar by Amy Brice

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Amy Brice, a proposal coordinator at Colorado School of Mines, shared a methodical approach to proposal development for any funding opportunity. View the webinar here

A copy of Amy's presentation including links to valuable resources is here.

Amy Brice is a proposal coordinator in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Colorado School of Mines. While relatively new to the world of research grant proposal development, she has identified some best practices that can help proposal efforts run more smoothly. She is also a copy editor, former industrial engineer (VT ISE ’98 – Go Hokies!), and soccer mom of two.


Are you in the ceramic, glass or material science field?

Please consider joining the ACerS Colorado Section mentoring program. We are looking for both mentees or mentors.


Are you seeking to gain technical expertise in your field of study, professional development skills, practical advice, encouragement and support? Please consider applying for the ACerS Colorado Section mentor program. Sign up early to ensure a spot in this year's program as a mentee! This is a great way to build your skills, boost your resume and network with professionals in your area. Click here for more info.


If you have been successful in your materials science career and are seeking to give back, please consider applying to be a mentor. You will leave a lasting impact on an amazing materials science student. Click here. 

welcome to new colorado section treasurer

Erik Helin has joined the Colorado Section Leadership Committee as treasurer. Erik has a BS in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University. He has been in the glass industry for over 20 years, providing glass science and technical services to companies such as Saint-Gobain, Owens-Illinois, and currently Johns Manville. He looks forward to networking with other engineering professionals in Colorado, as well as providing some guidance or other mentoring to students at local universities.

Thank you Erik and all of the section leadership for volunteering and your leadership!

Colorado Section  Hosts Informative Webinar

As part of ACerS new "Section Showcase Webinar Series", the Colorado Section presented, "Beyond 5G Materials Measurement at NIST" on Friday, June 19, 2020.

Nate Orloff reviewed the work of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and presented his work on advancing microwave measurements for 5G and beyond. Such measurements are essential for ceramics, thin-film polymers, and other materials used in communication technology.

Thank you Nate for presenting! The presentation can be reviewed at this link.

SKI DAY 2020-Canceled due to pandemic

Join us for a social event packed full of fun! It's Ski Day at Loveland Ski Area on Friday, March 20, 2020, for the ACerS Colorado Section members, spouses, significant others, and friends!

The price is not yet set, but will be under $50.  Everyone pays for their own ticket. The final price will depend on the number of participants.

Additional information about car pooling will be sent a week prior to the event.

Please register by March 10 to



Colorado section sponsors Student EventS to celebrate national engineers week in February

On February 19, 2020, thirteen students from Colorado School of Mines, NREL, and University of Colorado Boulder visited the Johns Manville (JM, Littleton, Colorado) facility during the National Engineers Week organized by the Colorado Section of ACerS. The group was given an overview of JM, a tour of the Analytical Labs, lunch and a presentation on the Fiberization and Pot and Marble process.

Also in honor of National Engineers Week, The Colorado Section of ACerS and CoorsTek hosted on February 21 fourteen students from Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, and University of Wyoming at the CoorsTek Center for Advanced Materials located in Golden, Colorado. The event gave students an opportunity to tour this new, state-of-the-art facility to get a close-up look at the research and development, analytical labs, and manufacturing capabilities for engineered ceramics done on-site.

Additionally, CoorsTek engineers were on-hand during the tour and during a panel discussion for students to ask questions and further explore the technical ceramics industry, understand what skills are necessary when job hunting, and learn about the culture at CoorsTek.


Students at CoorsTek

Students at Johns Manville

Students touring CoorsTek


Colorado Section Participates in Career Expo

ACerS Colorado Section participated in the Adams County Career Expo, alongside students from Keramos at Colorado School of Mines and the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation. This annual event, which took place this year on November 19, is a unique opportunity for 8th grade students from the northeast-Denver area to learn all about possible career opportunities. Throughout the day, buses were shuttling students – over 6,000 total, according to the event organizers – to the expo where well over 100 employers and higher-education representatives were waiting to answer the students’ questions.

The Colorado Section's table at the expo introduced the 8th graders to the many applications of ceramic and glass materials. Many of the students were astounded at the ubiquity of these materials throughout daily life. Many of the students were very personable and asked insightful questions. This represented an excellent opportunity to explain some fundamental concepts of ceramic engineering and materials science in general -  and have a lot of fun while doing it!

To get the students excited about working with ceramics and materials, we performed a variety of demonstrations, such as:

  • Using melted Jolly Rancher candies to draw “optical fibers” and demonstrate a glass transition
  • Hammering the heads of Prince Rupert’s drops to demonstrate the effects of tempering and heat treatment, and then clipping their tails to make them explode! (In a plexiglass containment box, for safety)
  • Discussing the concepts of brittleness and ductility and demonstrating it by chilling copper (pre-1982) and zinc (post-1982) pennies in liquid nitrogen and then hammering them – the copper remains ductile and does not shatter, but the zinc breaks into tiny pieces
  • Demonstrating a variety of hand-blown glass objects made in the glass shop at Mines
  • And of course, freezing a variety of fun items (marshmallows, rubber bands) in liquid nitrogen and showing them off

Over the years, many university students have said that they didn’t even know about ceramic engineering and materials science until they arrived at university – so this was an excellent opportunity to reach out to a younger audience. Hopefully, we were able to inspire some students to be the next generation of successful ceramic engineers and materials scientists!

Tour of Johns Manville Technical Center

Please join the Colorado section of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) on Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 4 pm – 6 pm at the Johns Manville (JM) Technical Center located to the southwest of Denver in Littleton (10100 W Ute Ave, Littleton). JM has one of the most extensive testing facilities in the industry and our R&D efforts are centered around Innovation, Process Development and Material Development.

Please see the agenda for the meeting.

4:00 – 4:15 pm – JM Company Overview

4:15 – 4:30 pm – JMTC Analytical Capabilities

4:30 – 5:30 pm – Tour of the Microscopy Lab, Metallurgy Lab and Glass Technology Lab

5:30 – 6:00 pm – Q&A and Networking

Followed by social Networking at Blue Spruce Brewing Company Littleton (10577 W Centennial Rd, Littleton)

Please send an email to Sandrine Ricote ( if you plan to attend.


June Meeting featured tour of NIST LAbs


Fifteen attendees toured NIST Boulder Labs on Monday, June 10, 2019.  Highlights of the tour included:

  • NIST's 1980 Emmy Award for the invention of closed captioning
  • Steps where President Eisenhower gave speech during the commissioning of NIST Boulder
  • NIST-F2 atomic clock, which neither gains nor loses one second in 300 years
  • Section member Nate Orloff's lab for high-frequency dielectric material characterization and microfluidics
  • Boulder Microfabrication Facility, a Class-100 clean room, where NIST traceable Programmable Josephson Voltage Standards are made
  • Precision Imaging Facility, replete with numerous imaging tools including a He-ion microscope and extreme atom probe tomography
  • Molecular Beam Epitaxy Chamber, a high-vacuum machine cluster where GaN nanowires are produced

After the tour, participants enjoyed a social hour with food and beer at a local Boulder brewery.  During that time, Section officers Sandrine Ricote, Scott Thompson, Nate Orloff, Bill Long, and Eric Marksz met to plan and discuss future Section business, which included:

  • Potential tours and/or events, such as Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, Honeywell, NREL, and Colorado School of Mines
  • Sponsorship of an award at EMA or MS&T for students
  • Obtaining Materials Science Classroom Kits from ACerS for interactions with local high schools
  • Potential for a speaker series at Colorado School of Mines
  • Continued collaboration with ASME on occasional joint local meetings including Students in Industry Week

NIST Boulder tour participants


Stay tuned for upcoming meeting announcements!




Colorado Section to Co-Host Event at university of denver


Join us for an informational lecture and networking event, co-sponsored by the Colorado Section of ACerS and ASME, on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at 6:30 p.m.

Steve Ford will present information on his research on both explosives and ballistics. He will describe several experiments that were done at the University of Denver's Applied Research and Technology Institute with high speed videos and images from flash x-ray.

Following the presentation, we will gather for dinner and networking at the nearby restaurant, The Pioneer.

Date:  Thursday, April 25, 2019

Time:  6:30 p.m..

Location: Engineering & Computer Science Building, 2155 East Wesley Avenue, Room ECS300

Attendees should allow 15 to 20 minutes to park and walk to the venue.  Click here for a map of the area.

The lecture is free. Attendees will be responsible for the cost of their dinner.

Please RSVP for the lecture to Sandrine Ricote.



Students in Industry Day 2019!

In conjunction with ASME, the Colorado Section of ACerS has organized the Students in Industry Day Program, through which mechanical and materials science engineering students are paired with local businesses to observe and work with experienced engineers.  While shadowing an engineer, students will be able to learn about the company and what engineers do on a day-to-day basis.

When:  February 20 - 22, 2019

Dinner: 6:30 - 9:30 p.m., February 22

Where: Wynkoop Brewing Company, Mercantile Room, 1634 18th Street, Denver, Colorado

Cost: $20 for students; $30 for members; $35 for non-members

Click here for more information!


Ski Day 2019!

A great time was had by all on February 8 for Ski Day 2019 at Loveland Ski Area!




Section Sponsors Free Tour, Presentation, and Networking Event

The Colorado Section of ACerS joined with ASME to provide a FREE tour of Wings Over the Rockies (WOTR) and presentation on Thursday, November 1, 2018.  Guest speaker Stephen Kelly presented information on the Apollopalooza 50th celebration in 2019, when WOTR will celebrate the first moon landing.   After the tour and presentation, attendees moved over to the Lowry Beer Garden for a standing social!

Colorado Section holds Inaugural Meeting

The newest ACerS Section held its kick-off meeting on Thursday, September 27, 2018, 6-8 p.m., at CoorsTek Center for Advanced Materials in Golden, CO.  A welcome message and opening remarks were given by Sandrine Ricote, Chair of the Colorado Section, which was followed by a CoorsTek presentation. Nearly 40 participants enjoyed a tour of the new research and development facility, led by CoorsTek engineers.  Light appetizers and beverages were provided by CoorsTek.