Research Leadership Team
Stefanie Tompkins, PhD
Vice President, Research and Technology Transfer
Dr. Stefanie Tompkins is the vice president for Research and Technology Transfer at Colorado School of Mines. She has spent much of her professional life leading scientists and engineers in developing new technology capabilities.
She spent 10 years in industry as a senior scientist and later as assistant vice president and line manager at Science Applications International Corporation, where she conducted and managed research projects in planetary geology and imaging spectroscopy. Later, as a DARPA program manager, she created and led programs in ubiquitous GPS-free navigation as well as in optical component manufacturing. She has also served as a DARPA office director and the acting deputy director of the agency.
Stefanie received a BA in geology and geophysics from Princeton University and an MS and PhD in geology from Brown University. She also served as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.
Sridhar Sitharaman, PhD
Associate Vice President, Research
Dr. Sridhar Seetharaman is currently a professor and director of research and strategic initiatives with the College of Applied Science and Engineering (CASE) at Colorado School of Mines. He served most recently with the U.S. DOE as a senior technical advisor as an EWQ (merit-based exceptionally well-qualified candidate) and was responsible for clean water and next-generation electric machines. He was until 2016 the Tata Steel/RAEng joint chair for research into low carbon materials technology and director of materials strategy for the HMV Catapult at WMG. Prior to that he was the POSCO professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the co-director of the industry-university consortium Center for Iron and Steelmaking Research (CISR). He was also an NETL faculty fellow working on materials for fossil fuel power.
Sridhar also served as visiting professor at USTB in China (sponsored by SAFEA’s top overseas scholar) and as the Brahm Prakash honorary visiting chair at the Indian Institute of Science.
His research and teaching interests lie in materials for clean energy processes, materials processing through clean energy and materials at harsh conditions. He has graduated over 25 doctoral students, of which 4 are now faculty at universities. He has published over 180 journal papers in the areas of secondary refining, casting and mold slags, coal gasification, oxidation and hot-shortness.
Sridhar has received the following best paper awards: Best Paper in the 2013 Rolling Conference of IAS, Marcus Grossman Award from ASM, the Herty Award from ISS, and the Spriggs Phase Equilibrium Award from ACERS, and he is a two-time recipient of the Jerry Silver Award from AIST.
He has also received the Friedrich Willhelm Bessel Research Prize from the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation and the NSF Career Award, both for his general contributions in research.
As a teacher he was recognized with the Benjamin Teare Teaching Award by Carnegie Institute of Technology, the Philbrook Prize by the MSE department at CMU, and the 2011 J.F. Elliott Lecturer Award for AIST.
He is the editor for AIST Transactions and an associate editor for Metallurgical and Metals Transactions A, B and E. He is also on the international advisory board for Steel Research International and ISIJ International.
Sridhar received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his undergraduate degree from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.
Director, Research Development
Lisa has been with Colorado School of Mines and the office of Research and Technology Transfer since 2006. As director of research development, she creates and implements strategies that help increase institutional competitiveness and raise awareness of our research strengths. She also develops strategies that support our faculty, providing them with funding opportunities and facilitating research events that promote collaboration and foster team connections.
In her role in the Office of Industry Relations Lisa works directly with the Colorado School of Mines Foundation as a liaison to initiate and nurture relationships between faculty and industry partners.
Will Vaughan, PhD
Director, Technology Transfer
Dr. Will Vaughan is the director of technology transfer at Colorado School of Mines. He coordinates partnerships between Mines and business, venture capital and governmental communities to commercialize Mines technology and provide greater visibility for Mines’ world-class research. Will was the business development manager for the technology transfer office at The Ohio State University where he coordinated Ohio State’s innovation agenda with the local, state and federal government, licensed inventions, and worked with the start-up community.
Will previously served in the Ohio Governor’s Office of Science and Technology where he helped develop Ohio’s Third Frontier program, which invested $1.6 billion over ten years in Ohio’s technology-based economic development community. He also served as the interface between state government and the public on science and technology issues.
Will serves on the boards of the Colorado Bioscience Association, Colorado Cleantech Industry Association, Innosphere and CO-Labs. He received his BS from Marietta College, his MS from Ohio University and his PhD from The Ohio State University.
Scot Allen, PhD
Research Compliance Officer
Scot served over 20 years in the Air Force in roles ranging from site engineer to hazardous waste manager, and from infrastructure branch chief to professor and deputy director of international programs at the Air Force Academy. In academia, he worked in international programs and secure and global research for Colorado State University.
Scot served in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, where he was deployed as an interpreter during NATO air operations over Bosnia. He led rebuilding efforts across Iraq in 2008–2009.
He earned a BS from Carnegie Mellon University, MS in engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and PhD from the University of Virginia.
His awards and honors include the Bronze Star Medal, Outstanding Academy Educator, Presidential Ram Service Award and Young Engineer of the Year. He holds a professional engineering license and has led students to Belgium, Cambodia, El Salvador, France, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal and Vietnam.
Erika helps teams develop competitive proposals in response to multimillion-dollar funding opportunities. She joined RTT in 2018 after spending four years in proposal development at Arizona State University. Erika received a BA in French and geography from Macalester College and an MS in urban planning from the University of Toronto. She is also a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Senegal ’06-’08) and is a coordinator for Mines’ Peace Corps Prep program.