Cornerstone Faculty & Staff

For general inquiries, please contact the EDS Division Assistant at or call 303-273-3593.

Alina Handorean
Teaching Associate Professor



Alina Handorean is a Teaching Associate Professor in EDS with more than 15 years of experience teaching a wide range of biology, chemistry and fundamental environmental engineering classes at the middle school through graduate levels. Dr. Handorean earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Bucharest, Romania and her M.A. and PhD in Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis before completing a post-doctoral fellowship in cancer biology at the University of Colorado’s Health Sciences campus. Prior to joining Mines, Dr Handorean was a Research Faculty/Lecturer in the Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research interests are Environmental Engineering (Drinking Water, Bioaerosols), Chemistry, Cancer Biology, and Pedagogy, and she’s passionate about teaching user-centered design, communication skills, and teamwork in her Cornerstone classes. 

Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30-2:00pm, Annex 111

Bridget "Mary" Wetzel
Adjunct Faculty  


Mary Wetzel worked in multiple industries such as Aluminum Fabrication, Packaging, Transportation and Oil and Gas-both domestically and internationally. Her experience includes manufacturing, quality assurance, technical field service, continuous process control/statistics, supplier quality, applied research and project management.

Mary's background is in Material Science Engineering and she has been married for 35 years to an engineer. Together they have three grown children-all engineers!

Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays, 11;00am-12:00pm, Annex

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Dev Barrow
Adjunct Faculty  



Dev Barrow is an Adjunct Professor of Intro to Design and also works as the Forest Service's Region 2 architect on all phases of design and construction projects in a five state area and leading Job Corps projects across the country. As a licensed architect with a Master’s in Architecture, Dev has taught architecture at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand and at SUNY Delhi, New York. Dev’s favorite element of the Cornerstone curriculum is the creative thinking and teamwork activities that challenge students intellectually and socially.       

Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1:45-2:15pm; Fridays, 2:50-3:15pm

Jim Wong
Adjunct Faculty

Jim Wong teaches Intro to Design and the Materials section of Practice of Design, where he implements effective, innovative, and always-interesting teaching methods. Jim earned a B.S. and an M.S. in Metallurgy from Colorado School of Mines, studied Mechanical Engineering at the Ph.D. level at the University of Waterloo, and now specializes in Mechanical Metallurgy, Fracture Mechanics, Durability prediction and testing, and--in his own words--"breaking stuff."

Office Hours:Mondays, 10:00am-12:00pm, BB 314B, and 12:00-2:00pm, CTLM 123; Wednesdays, 9:00-10:00am, Annex


Karen Wylie
Adjunct Faculty









Kelly Rickey
Adjunct Faculty 


Kelly Rickey is an Adjunct Professor at the Colorado School of Mines. During graduate school, she studied heat transfer at the nanoscale level with a focus on photovoltaics and thermoelectrics. She has also worked on metrology and electronic packaging projects for NASA. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.

Kelly is passionate about teaching and problem solving, and looks forward to helping students become stronger engineers throughout their Cornerstone experience.

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Donna Bodeau
Adjunct Faculty   


Donna Bodeau teaches Practice of Design students the design process from an industry perspective using her professional experience and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Gonzaga University. She is passionate about research, design and manufacturing, and she explores these interests with her students through EPICS 251.

Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays, 11:00am-12:00pm; Tuesdays, 11:00am-12:00pm, Annex



Lauren Cooper
Adjunct Faculty

Lauren Cooper is proud to be a Mines' alumni and one of the first students to graduate with a minor in Humanitarian Engineering. She earned a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Engineering Education from CU Boulder. Her research was focused on best practices for project-based learning, and she has extensive experience doing projects with students. With her industry experience in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors, she brings real-world engineering expertise to her teaching. Currently, she is the Program Coordinator for the Humanitarian Engineering program at Mines and teaches a variety of human-centered design courses within the Division of Engineering, Design, and Society. Lauren also recently gave a talk at TEDx CSM, which can be viewed here.

Office Hours:

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Laura Read
Adjunct Faculty


Laura Read has a Ph.D. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from Tufts University. Her research interests are in flood management, urban hydrology, and statistics. She is a postdoctoral fellow at Mines and teaches the Practice of Design Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course.  Her previous degrees were from the University of Texas (M.S.E.) and The University of Puget Sound (B.S.), and when she is not working, Laura enjoys farming, mountain views, and leisurely bike rides.

Office Hours: Mondays, 3:30-4:30pm, Library


Leslie Light
Cornerstone Design Director & Teaching Associate Professor


Leslie Light is the Cornerstone Design Director of EDS at the Colorado School of Mines. She is passionate about bringing the user-centered design principles she learned at Stanford and in her career to Mines' cornerstone open-ended problem solving program, and is working with others on campus to establish a broader integrated context for innovation and design.

Office Hours:



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Maria Brunhart-Lupo
Adjunct Faculty


Maria E. Brunhart-Lupo (Ria) came to Mines in 2002 and began teaching in 2010. She holds a B.S. from the Colorado School of Mines in Geology and Geotechnical Engineering, followed by an Honours Degree from University of Queensland, Australia, in Earth Systems Science.  Her Ph.D. is from CSM in Geology. She minored in Liberal Arts and Humanities to ensure that the human aspect of engineering was never lost. She is currently working on a postdoctoral project on the impact of STEM field job path opportunities, the disparity between genders within STEM, and improving retention of students and members of industry in engineering fields. When not working on her postdoc, she can be found, mapping dune fields to further research in landscape response to climatological factors, or otherwise immersed in a geology project.

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Mirna Mattjik
Teaching Associate Professor


Mirna Mattjik is a Teaching Associate Professor in the EDS division and Program Coordinator for Humanitarian Engineering. Mirna is also faculty in the Thorson First Year Honors Program and will be teaching the program’s first cohort in the 2016/2017 school year. Equipped with a B.S. in Industrial Technology, a Master’s in Project Management & Leadership from Regis University and a Master's in International Political Economy of Resources from Mines, Mirna's special interests are design thinking, pedagogy in engineering education and community driven development. In the classroom, Mirna strives to create richer teaching and learning opportunities where students are empowered and held accountable for their learning.

Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:00am-12:00pm, Annex

Nicole Ellison
Adjunct Faculty


Nicole Ellison has more than 20 years’ experience in structural engineering design, evaluation, and repair. She is a professional engineer in Colorado and Texas and a LEED Accredited Professional, and holds a Master's in Civil Engineering from University of Colorado, Denver and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Florida State University.  Her experience includes providing structural design, analysis, specifications and construction drawings for new buildings and construction compliance observations during construction. Her project experience includes design of buildings ranging in size from single-family or multi-family residential structures to commercial and municipal buildings. In 2009, she transitioned into forensic engineering which consisted of investigation and design of repairs for existing structures.

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 9:30-10:45am, CTLM 156; Thursdays, 9:30-10:45am, CTLM 132

Robert Huehmer
Adjunct Faculty

Rob Huehmer is an adjunct instructor for Intro to Design and Senior Design. A professional engineer, he has spent the last 25 years working on water treatment projects in the municipal and energy sectors, including stints with CH2M HILL and BP. He specializes in seawater desalination, and has spent much of his career over-seas before settling in Denver. In his spare time, Rob is an avid snowboarder, reluctant cyclist, untalented bluegrass musician, and a not very bold pilot.

Office Hours:

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Robin Bullock
Teaching Associate Professor         303-273-3074


Robin Bullock is an Associate Professor in EDS with 31 years of experience as a decommissioning, remediation and restoration manager/engineer across climates, industries and countries. Ms. Bullock received her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Engineering at Montana Tech and is pursuing her Ph.D. in Engineering at the University of Alaska, where her research focuses on oil response tactics in the Arctic. Robin brings her practical knowledge of stakeholder participation, engineering design and project management to her Intro to Design and Practice of Design classes. 

Office Hours: Wednesdays, 11:00am-12:30pm, Digger Design Lab


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Robin Steele
Adjunct Faculty



Robin Steele is an adjunct professor in EDS, and has led global research and development operations as well as started and run Fortune 500 business units and emerging companies. With over 20 years of experience, degrees in computer science, and an Executive M.B.A. from the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Robin leads her students in delivering innovative products and developing collaborative leadership skills during their Cornerstone classes.  

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 12:30-1:45pm, Annex



Theryn Ridge
Division Assistant


Theryn Ridge is the Division Assistant for EDS at Colorado School of Mines. She has an M.A. in Environmental Studies from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, and a double B.A. in Communication Studies (Critial Theory emphasis) and French Translation from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO.



Taylor Johnson
Adjunct Faculty

Taylor Johnson spent the last 10-years working in the field of structural bridge engineering focusing on transportation infrastructure projects throughout the western US.  Clients have included construction companies, DOTs, transit authorities, and major railroads.  One of his signature projects is not too far from Golden; the Pecos over I-70 Interchange Reconstruction in Denver which was the first bridge in Colorado to be built off-site and “driven” in to place by self-propelled transporters.  Professor Johnson has a B.S. in Engineering –Civil Specialty (2006) and M.S. in Engineering-Structural Specialty (2007) from Colorado School of Mines.

Office Hours: Mondays, 4:00-5:00pm, Digger Design Lab

Traci Case
Adjunct Faculty



Traci Case is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (B.S. Chem Eng, 1990) and Colorado School of Mines (M.S. Env Sci and Eng, 1997). Following undergraduate school, she served five years on active duty in the US Army where she led a platoon in the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado. For the last 20 years, Professor Case has served as a project manager and the Research Services team manager at the Water Research Foundation, a non-profit research collaborative for water, wastewater and stormwater research. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors - running, hiking, biking, trail building and backcountry skiing.


Tom Richardson
Adjunct Faculty


Tom Richardson has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology from Metropolitan State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado. He has 35+ years of experience in Research and Development in a variety of fields including Aerospace, Electronic Home Arrest with the vast majority in Computer Sub-system Disk Storage. He has worked with small start-up companies as well as very large companies such as IBM and Seagate. During his career, his jobs involved working with teams in the US, Japan and India. He has co-authored seven patents and also has held a P.M.P. certification from PMI for the past 13 years. In his spare time he volunteers at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in the Paleontology Lab and at the Colorado Railroad Museum here in Golden.

Office Hours: Thursdays, 9:15-10:15am, Digger Design Lab


Vilem Petr
Adjunct Faculty








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Yosef Allam
Teaching Associate Professor


Yosef Allam is a Teaching Associate Professor with experience teaching in the Engineering Fundamentals Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and serving as Affiliate Director for Project Lead The Way in Florida. He taught as an Instructor for two years at The Ohio State University, where he graduated with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education. Dr. Allam is interested in spatial visualization, diffusion of evidence-based teaching practices, student applications of the design process, and fulfilling the needs of an integrated, multi-disciplinary first-year engineering educational environment through active and collaborative learning.

Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 10:00-11:00am & 2:00-3:00pm, EA 104

The Engineering, Design, and Society Division is located in the Annex at 814 15th St., Golden, CO 80401.

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Last Updated: 10/02/2017 15:05:19