Group Members
Positions Available
Curriculum Vitae

Research Group

A few pictures from a group outing at Copper Mountain:

Group Members

Sam Gage

Ph.D Student

BS Chemistry & Germanic Studies, Indiana University
MS Applied Chemistry, Clausthal University of Technology

Research interests: I synthesize supported transition metal carbide and nitride catalysts and study support/catalyst interactions with surface characterization techniques, such as X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

More about Sam: Sam completed a B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in Germanic Studies at Indiana University in 2011. He pursued a master's degree abroad at the Clausthal University of Technology in Clausthal- Zellerfeld, Germany and completed an M.Sc. in Applied Chemistry in 2013. Since beginning his doctoral studies at the Colorado School of Mines, he has worked with Dr. Richards and Dr. Pylypenko to synthesize and characterize the surface properties of nanostructured metal carbide/ nitride catalysts. Sam collaborates with research institutes in both the United States and Germany to further study these materials for energy-related applications. Sam enjoys the Colorado outdoors. When not in the lab, you can usually find him outside soaking up the sun and breathing in the mountain air.

Martin Menart

Ph.D Student

BS Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota
MS ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Research interests: Synthesis, characterization, and application of catalysts for biomass conversion to liquid fuels via gasification routes. My emphasis is on the oligomerization of bio-derived light olefins towards non-aromatic, drop-in liquid fuels for gasoline, diesel, and jet engines.

Amy Settle

Ph.D Student

B.S. Chemistry, Colorado Mesa University

Research interests: Synthesis, characterization, and application of catalysts for biomass conversion; gaining a first-principles understanding of the nature of catalytic active sites and their behavior modifications under reaction conditions.

More about Amy: Amy received her B.S. with honors in Chemistry from Colorado Mesa University in 2015, where she conducted research with Professor David R. Weinberg. Post graduation, she worked at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Derek R. Vardon. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Applied Chemistry at Colorado School of Mines under the supervision of Professor Ryan M. Richards and Dr. Vardon. Her research focuses on heterogeneous catalyst design, application, and characterization for biomass upgrading to commodity chemicals.

E-mail: asettle@mines.edu
Luke Williams

Ph.D Student

BS Chemistry, Florida State University
MS Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines

Research interests: Synthesis and characterization of metal oxide materials for varied applications. Primarily focused on materials for catalysis of raw materials into usable fuels. Secondary focuses revolve around the exploitation of electronic properties of oxide materials for energy conversion, e.g. in photovoltaic systems.

More about Luke: With a B.S. in chemistry from Florida State University, Luke arrived in Colorado to pursue his graduate studies in materials science. Luke was first advised by Dr. Shubham Vyas of the Chemistry department, approaching materials science from a computational standpoint. His work used a combination of density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to investigate the electronic and growth properties of a family of materials known as inorganic clathrates. Upon earning his masters, Luke made a switch to the experimental side, focusing on synthetic inorganic chemistry under Dr. Ryan Richards. Outside of being a nerd in the lab, Luke is a nerd in his free time: he is an avid comic book enthusiast, a dabbler of linguistics, and the proud owner of giant-tongued dog, Leo, and beautiful ball python, Sacha.

Allyson York

Ph.D Student

BS Biochemistry & California State University, Long Beach
Single-Subject Teaching Credential - Chemistry, California State University, Long Beach

Research Interests: Synthesis and characterization of metal oxides, specifically lithium-doped magnesium oxide for oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) reactions, and carbon-coated metal oxides for pyrolysis oil upgrading.

More about Allyson: Allyson obtained her BS in Biochemistry from CSULB in 2013, and subsequently completed her Single-Subject Teaching Credential in Chemistry in 2014. Teachin has always been a passion of hers, and she thoroughly enjoyed being a Supplemental Instrution coordinator for CSULB pre-nursing students which led her to her desire to become a professor after obtaining her PhD at CSM. She is passionate about renewable energy resource and hopes that the materials she synthesizes in the Richards lab will be used industrially for biomass upgrading, OCM, and other clean energy applications.


Postdoctoral Researchers


Chris Cadigan, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

BS Chemistry, Santa Clara University
MS and Ph.D., Colorado School of Mines

Research Interest: Inorganic synthesis of nanostructured materials (metals, metal oxides, metal nitrides) for use in catalysis, electrocatalysis, batteries, and biofuels. 

E-mail: ccadigan@mines.edu