Foundations of Responsible Innovation

Building solutions in global context

Foundations of Responsible Innovation: Focus Areas

Scientists and engineers aspire to improve our world through innovation. To achieve this, it is paramount that our research incorporates social, cultural, economic, political, ethical, and environmental considerations. At Mines, we have created a research culture that seeks to understand the human experience and its intersections with science, engineering, and the environment. This integrative perspective is the foundation of impactful and responsible research and innovation.  Explore our Foundations research by focus area:

American Politics and Government in Crisis

Intersections of Science, Policy, & Governance

Examining processes of policymaking and governance and engaging with decision-makers to leverage Mines’ technical expertise and address the most pressing challenges of our world.

Human hand holding green environmental tree ESG icon

Engineering Global Sustainability

Exploring the interconnection between environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic growth to build a resilient and sustainable future.

Hand touching virtual world with connection network.

Economic Feasibility & Social Acceptance

Understanding the economic and social drivers that influence resource and technology development and adoption in communities across the globe.

Hand holding drawing virtual lightbulb

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Identifying sociotechnical opportunities and delving into the factors that promote entrepreneurship to transforms ideas into market-ready products and services.

Aerial view of crowd connected by lines

Communication & Public Engagement

Exploring how attention to social context can inform research development, enhance public accountability of science and engineering, and inspire community interest in science.

Business ethics concept.

Ethics & Values

Investigating the inherent ethical dimensions of science, engineering, and society to promote responsible research and actions that are aligned with diverse human values.

Student learning STEM Education robotics for creating project based studying for innovation robot model.

Transforming Engineering Education & STEM Workforce

Understanding student learning and developing project-based experiences that integrate the environmental, social, and technical dimensions of STEM education to build an innovative and ethical future workforce.

People sitting at a table working together with a world map in the background.

International Relations & Global Studies

Studying the international dimensions of social, technical, and environmental systems, and engaging with the global community of researchers and leaders working to build a better global future.

Dr. Jessica Smith

“Mines is unique among engineering schools, because we have innovative social scientists who study science, technology and engineering and use that knowledge to collaborate with our peers. This means that as an institution, we have a real opportunity to lead the practice of interdisciplinary, transformative research that really makes a difference.”

– Dr Jessica Smith,
Professor, Engineering, Design, and Society Division
Director, Humanitarian Engineering & Science Graduate Programs

Uniquely Mines: Explore our distinctive opportunities, expertise, & facilities

Payne Institute for Public Policy

The Payne Institute is in a unique position to serve as a nexus for high-quality, data-driven, solutions-oriented research and dialogue needed to inform energy and environmental policy at this critical moment. Mines has an unmatched track record in solving tough scientific and engineering problems across the gamut of energy and environmental fields. The university enjoys a hard-earned reputation as an unbiased problem-solver in disciplines often at odds in the energy-environment discussion; the university tagline, a marriage of the words “Earth” “Energy” and “Environment,” is in fact an accurate reflection of our expansive and growing purview.

Humanitarian Engineering

The Humanitarian Engineering and Science (HES) program educates technical professionals to promote sustainable community development by drawing on a unique mixture of faculty expertise in engineering, applied sciences, and social sciences. HES students engage in direct research and outreach within and alongside the communities they seek to serve. Project experiences prepare graduates for careers in development, corporate responsibility, or further study.

HES graduates are prepared to become impactful leaders who can harness engineering and science to foster sustainable community development for people around the world.

Foundations of Responsible Innovation: Research Collaborations

Mines embraces a culture of collaboration and has a history of building strategic partnerships across industry, academia, government, and national labs. Sharing capabilities and expertise enables us to accelerate and broaden our impact as we work together to engineer innovative solutions. Discover our Foundations collaborations: