The ways in which we power the world are complex, and will only grow more so.  Tackling that complexity will require advances in all energy sources, as well as in the ability to combine or switch seamlessly among them.  Since 2007 the four Collaboratory entities have worked together on innovations and solutions involving research surrounding the full spectrum of energy sources, while partnering with their supply chains, industry and research partners.  The Collaboratory hosts seminars, workshops, webinars, and supports research and commercial scale-up in advanced energy technologies across all sectors.

The Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory is a research consortium of four research institutions.

Game-Changing Investments Position Colorado to Power the Nation

  • Research:  Expand our national leadership in energy research collaborations
  • Commercialization:   Leverage partnerships to transform research innovation into commercial impact
  • Economic and Workforce:  Train the next-gen workforce through education, company/job-creating technologies and intellectual property
  • Partnerships:  Boost the nation’s energy ecosystem through research partnerships with industry, foundations and government

Every activity of the Collaboratory is dependent upon close coordination and cooperation among the four institutions, from organizational structure through the performance of laboratory and field research. The success of the Collaboratory is a tribute to the commitment of the leadersof the four institutions and to our industry members.

The organizational body consists of an Authority Board, Executive Board and Energy Liaisons, Collaboratory Liaisons, and Collaboratory Staff.

Collaboratory Authority Board

Philip P. DiStefano, Chancellor, University of Colorado Boulder. Chancellor DiStefano currently serves as the Chair of the Authority Board of the Collaboratory.

Assistant: Shannon Chinatti, Shannon.Chinatti@Colorado.EDU

Prior to his appointment on May 5, 2009, Dr. DiStefano was the top academic officer at CU Boulder for eight years as the provost and executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. He served as interim chancellor twice during pivotal times in the university’s history.  Dr. DiStefano co-chaired the steering committee for CU Boulder’s visionary strategic plan, Flagship 2030, conceived with campus, community and statewide input, to guide CU Boulder for decades to come. Today, Dr. DiStefano is shepherding its implementation as Flagship 2030 moves from vision to reality.  Dr. DiStefano has served CU Boulder for 43 years. He joined the University of Colorado in 1974 as an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at the School of Education. His academic career flourished as he assumed a series of academic and administrative positions, including professor, associate dean, dean and vice chancellor. He was appointed provost and executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs in 2001.  As chancellor he works closely with students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, governing officials and business and community leaders in extending CU’s legacy as a preeminent national comprehensive research university.  A first-generation college graduate, Dr. DiStefano earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University and a Master of Arts degree in English education from West Virginia University. He holds a doctorate in humanities education from The Ohio State University, where he served as a teaching and research associate.

Paul Johnson, President, Colorado School of Mines.  Dr. Johnson currently serves as an Authority Board member.

Assistant: Tammy Strange,

Paul C. Johnson is the 17th President of Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. Mines is world-renowned for producing highly sought-after scientists and engineers, innovations and objective analyses, especially in fields relevant to earth, energy and the environment. Dr. Johnson’s career reflects his strong passion for innovation, education and student success. He began his career at Shell Development in Houston, developing novel approaches for managing and restoring contaminated soil and groundwater sites. He then joined the faculty at Arizona State University to continue this work and share his experiences with students. He was attracted to the presidency at Colorado School of Mines because of its focused mission, long history of rich industry partnerships, use-inspired research programs, reputation for producing outstanding graduates and strong alumni affinity.  He has received awards recognizing his contributions to education and research, including the Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Award from the Water Environment Federation, the Brown and Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award in Remediation, and the National Ground Water Association’s Keith E. Anderson Award. A chemical engineer, Dr. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Davis and master’s and doctoral degrees from Princeton University.

Martin Keller,
Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado. Dr. Keller currently serves as an Authority Board member.

Assistant: Jeranelle Yost,

Martin Keller became the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) director on November 30, 2015.  NREL is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC (Alliance).  Martin also serves as the President of Alliance.  Martin joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in July 2006 and was appointed to the role of Associate Laboratory Director in July 2009.  In November 2010, he was asked to lead the newly-formed Energy and Environmental Sciences directorate. In this role he was responsible for the energy, biological, and environmental research programs supported by DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Institutes of Health. Martin served as the Founding Director of the DOE BioEnergy Science Center and also served as the Director of the Biosciences Division.  Martin held a series of research management positions within Diversa Corporation, a publicly-traded biotechnology company. Martin joined Diversa Corporation in 1994 as a consultant to build and develop their microbiology expertise before joining Diversa Corporation full time in 1996.  Martin received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Regensburg, Germany.


Will Toor, Executive Director, Colorado Energy Office.  Will currently serves as an Authority Board member.

AssistantSusannah Blythe   Contact:

In January 2019, Will Toor joined the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) as its Executive Director appointed by Governor Jared Polis. Will’s background spans transportation electrification, sustainable transportation, smart growth, electric vehicle policy, clean energy finance, green building policy, local government policy and regional planning. Prior to CEO, Will was Transportation Program Director at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). Before SWEEP, Will served as Boulder County Commissioner for eight years where he led the effort to create and adopt a countywide Sustainable Energy Plan, the BuildSmart green building code, the EnergySmart program, and the ClimateSmart Loan Program. Prior to being elected Boulder County Commissioner, Will served as Mayor of Boulder for six years where he developed Boulder’s community transit network, EcoPass unlimited access transit pass programs, and policies for denser, mixed-use urban infill development as an alternative to sprawl. Will previously served on and chaired the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). He was appointed by Governor Ritter to the state Transportation Funding and Implementation blue ribbon panel, the Governor’s Climate Action Panel, and the Regional Air Quality Council. He was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to the Air Quality Control Commission and the state oil and gas taskforce. Will spent 12 years as Director of the University of Colorado Environmental Center, where he developed campus sustainability programs in the areas of solid waste, building energy use, and transportation planning. Will holds a BS in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago.

Michelle Hadwiger, Deputy Director, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Michelle currently serves as an Authority Board member.


Michelle directs and oversees Colorado’s global business development strategy; she is focused on advancing the state’s economy, ensuring that Colorado is the most pro-business state in the country and remains competitive in the global marketplace.   Michelle leads a team of 11 Global Business staff members who implement data driven- strategies that enhance Colorado’s ability to attract and expand job creation opportunities, increase investment and accelerate the commercialization of innovative products and services through the Advanced Industry program. In her tenure at OEDIT, Michelle has successfully recruited/retained clients such as Visa, Hitatchi Data Systems, United Airlines, Optiv, Woodward, Ibotta, Lockheed Martin, Digital Globe, DaVita, Comcast, Cognizant, Intel, and Surrey Satellites, representing thousands of new jobs across the state.


Mark N. Sirangelo, Former Corporate Vice President, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems.  Mark currently serves as an Authority Board member.

As a longtime, credible voice and global leader within the aerospace industry, Mark Sirangelo leads SNC’s Space Systems business area based in Louisville, Colorado. Sirangelo has helped to build and grow an SNC product portfolio including small satellites; space technologies that have enabled more than 450 planetary missions such as the Mars Curiosity Rover and New Horizons Pluto mission; rocket motors, including the motors that won the Ansari X-Prize; in-space life support and plant growth systems; and, perhaps most notably, he is responsible for developing the Dream Chaser® spacecraft, the only reusable, lifting-body, low-Earth orbit vehicle, capable of landing on commercial runways around the world. Recently selected for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract, SNC’s Dream Chaser Cargo System will be providing cargo delivery, disposal and return services to the International Space Station through 2024. SNC has been named one of the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Space” by Fast Company for its contributions to commercial spaceflight.  Sirangelo assumed his current role as head of SNC’s Space Systems business area in 2009, when SNC acquired SpaceDev Inc, where Sirangelo was chairman and CEO. He has been named among the Defense Industry’s Fast Track 50, Deloitte’s Fast Track 500, selected as a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, included in Inc. magazine’s Top 200 and was inducted into the NASA/Space Foundation’s Technology Hall of Fame. Currently, Sirangelo is chairman emeritus of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, a member of the board of governors of the Aerospace Industries Association, the founding and current chairman of eSpace, and the Center for Space Entrepreneurship, a nonprofit that supports STEM education and the development of entrepreneurial space companies. He has been inducted as an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and is a member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Board for the University of Colorado.  In addition to his service within the aerospace industry Sirangelo also serves as a board member and trustee of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The center has resolved over 100,000 missing children cases and has created such known programs as the Amber Alert and Code Adam. From 2012 through 2015 he served as the state of Colorado’s chief innovation officer, a position appointed directly by the Governor in order to promote innovation throughout the state. He currently serves as board member of the Colorado Energy Research Authority Board.  Sirangelo served his country proudly and with distinction as a U.S. Army officer and has a multi-faceted personal background which includes being a long-term licensed pilot. He holds a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Business Administration and doctorate degrees.

Collaboratory Leadership

Executive Board and Energy Liaisons

Walt Copan,  Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer at the Colorado School of Mines.  Walt currently serves on the Collaboratory Executive Board and is the current Executive Board Chair.

Assistant:   Makenna Rademaker

A physical chemist by training, Copan began his career in R&D, business leadership and biotech ventures at The Lubrizol Corporation. Over the years, he has held a variety of roles in the private and public sectors, including the U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, where he served from 2003 to 2005 as principal licensing executive for technology transfer, focused on increasing NREL’s effectiveness in developing and commercializing clean energy technologies. Copan then served as executive vice president and chief technology officer at Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc., helping to lead the company’s transformation from research focus to a successful commercial enterprise. He returned to the public sector in 2010, when he was named managing director for technology commercialization and partnerships at the DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.  In October 2017, Copan was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of NIST. At NIST, he spearheaded streamlining and modernization of U.S. policies and practices for innovation and technology transfer arising from federally funded research. Since January 2021, Copan has served as Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, co-founding the Renewing American Innovation project to advance U.S. innovation, standards and intellectual property policy. Copan holds a PhD in physical chemistry and a B.S./B.A. dual degree in chemistry and music, all from Case Western Reserve University. He was recognized by the university as Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2008. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and was named the 2020 Laboratory Director of the Year by the Federal Laboratory Consortium. AUTM, a leading association in technology transfer, recognized Copan with its 2021 Bayh-Dole Award for his contributions to innovation and technology transfer.

Massimo Ruzzene, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation and Dean of the Institutes
University of Colorado Boulder.   Massimo currently serves on the Collaboratory Executive Board.

Assistant:  Betsy Remnant Betsy.Remnant@Colorado.EDU

Massimo Ruzzene became acting vice chancellor for Research and Innovation and dean of the institutes in June 2022. Previously, he served as associate dean for research in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU Boulder.  Ruzzene is the Slade Professor of Mechanical Engineering and holds a joint appointment in the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department.  He joined CU Boulder in the summer of 2019, after serving as the Pratt and Whitney Professor in the Schools of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology.  Ruzzene received a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Politecnico di Torino (Italy) in 1999 and is author of 2 books, more than 200 journal papers and 280 conference papers. Most of his current and past research work has focused on solid mechanics, structural dynamics and wave propagation with application to structural health monitoring, metamaterials, and vibration and noise control.  Ruzzene has participated as a PI or co-PI in various research projects funded by government agencies such as the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), NASA, the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, DARPA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as companies such as Boeing, Eurocopter, Raytheon, Corning and TRW. Ruzzene is a Fellow of ASME and SES, an Associate Fellow of AIAA, and a member of AHS, and ASA. He served as Program Director for the Dynamics, Control and System Diagnostics Program of CMMI at the National Science Foundation between 2014 and 2016.  When he isn’t working, Massimo can often be found exploring local trails and the mountains surrounding Boulder—as an avid downhill skier in the winter and as a hiker and mountain biker in the summer. He enjoys sharing these activities with his two sons, Samuel and Luca, and his wife Elizabeth.

Alan Rudolph, Vice President for Research, Colorado State University.  Alan currently serves on the Collaboratory Executive Board and is the Past Chair of the Board.

Contact:  Christa Johnson

Dr. Rudolph has had an active career in translating interdisciplinary life sciences into useful applications for technology development. His experience spans basic research to advanced development in government laboratories, the nonprofit and private sectors and most recently in academia.  He has published more than 100 technical publications, 3 books and 15 patents in areas including molecular biophysics, lipid self-assembly, drug delivery, blood substitutes, medical imaging, tissue engineering, neuroscience, and diagnostics. After a decade at National Research Council, he was recruited to join the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to lead new strategic efforts to extract and exploit useful principles and practices in life sciences and technology and establish an agency-wide strategy for investments in biosciences and biotechnology. As Chief of Biological Sciences and Technology, Dr. Rudolph established a framework for investments in interdisciplinary life sciences that continues today.  In 2003, he founded two biotechnology companies with one currently in human clinical development of novel blood therapeutics.  Dr. Rudolph served in the Senior Executive Service leading the nation’s investments in biological threat defense and biosecurity from 2010-2013.  Dr. Rudolph started the International Neuroscience Network Foundation in 2006 that has funded research over the last decade in brain machine interface science and education.  He has a doctorate degree in zoology from the University of California at Davis and an MBA from George Washington University.

Peter F. Green, Deputy Laboratory Director, Science and Technology, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  Peter currently serves on the Collaboratory Executive Board.

Assistant: Carol O’Gorman

On August 1, 2016, Dr. Peter Green became the Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Green began his career at Sandia National Laboratories in 1985 where he later became Manager of Glass and Electronic Ceramics Research, from 1990-1996.  In 1996 he moved to the University of Texas, Austin, where he became Professor of Chemical Engineering, and was the B.F. Goodrich Professor of Materials Engineering. Later in 2005 he was recruited to the University of Michigan to become Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Green was the Vincent T. and Gloria M. Gorguze Professor of Engineering, and also Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Macro-molecular Science and Engineering, Applied Physics.  He was also the Director of the DOE Energy Frontier Center (EFRC) –Center for solar and thermal energy conversion (CSTEC).  Green has served as President of the Materials Research Society (MRS), and as member of various external advisory boards for Government Laboratories, Universities, the National Academies and private foundations.  He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Fellow of the American Ceramics Society and Fellow of the American Physical Society. He earned a doctorate in Materials Science & Engineering from Cornell University in 1985.Green attended Hunter College, N.Y., from 1977-1981, where he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in Physics (honors).

Collaboratory Energy Liaisons

Bryan Willson, Executive Director of the Energy Institute at Colorado State University. Bryan currently serves as an Energy Liaison on Collaboratory Executive Board.


Executive Assistant:   Mary McInnis

At the Energy Institute ( Dr. Willson also serves as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He served as a Program Director at ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy) from 2012-2016 and continues to serve as a consultant/advisor to the agency.  Dr. Willson has worked for over 25 years to develop and deploy large-scale technology solutions related to energy, air quality, and human health.  As an entrepreneur, Dr. Willson is co-founder of: Envirofit International, a global company that has developed solutions for clean mobility (direct injection retrofits for 2-stroke cycle engines) and is now manufacturing and distributing clean cookstoves in the developing world; Solix BioSystems, a developer of large-scale production systems for algae-based fuels and specialty chemicals; and Factor(e) Ventures, a venture development firm supporting early stage ventures working on access to energy in the developing world. In his university role, he has helped to launch or enhance numerous other companies.  His research laboratory, the Engines & Energy Conversion Laboratory, has made important contributions in many areas, including: internal combustion engines, oil & gas production technology, advanced electrical grids, advanced biofuels, technology for the developing world, and advanced building technologies.  Dr. Willson has worked in over 40 countries.

Ryan Richards, Professor of Chemistry, Director Renewable Energy and Materials Science and Engineering Center (REMRSEC), Colorado School of Mines.  Ryan currently serves as an Energy Liaison on Collaboratory Executive Board.


Executive Assistant:  Kelly Hummel

Ryan Richards is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, Professor of Chemistry, and Director of the Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the Colorado School of Mines and holds a joint appointment at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory both in Golden, Colorado USA. Ryan received his BS from Michigan State University, MS from Central Michigan University and Phd from Kansas State University. He has been a visiting scientist at the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis in Novosibirsk, Russia and a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute fuer Kohlenforschung in Germany. His independent career started as an Assistant Professor at Jacobs University Bremen (Germany) and in 2007 he moved to Mines and NREL where he was promoted to Professor in 2012. Prof. Richards has more than 140 publications, 7 patents and 3 edited books in the areas of Green Chemistry, Catalysis and Nano-Materials.

David Mooney, Executive Director, Institutional Planning, Integration, and Development.  Dave currently serves as an Energy Liaison on the Collaboratory Executive Board.


Executive Assistant:   Kimberly Post

Dave Mooney oversees NREL’s strategic planning and investment portfolio, communications and public outreach, and performance assurance functions.  Mooney has been a leader at NREL for 20 years, having served in roles ranging from researcher to project leader to center director, most recently as director of NREL’s Strategic Energy Analysis Center. Mooney also has served as laboratory program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office. He was engaged in NREL’s early efforts to establish an energy systems integration research portfolio, which included securing the approval of the Energy Systems Integration Facility and leading the group responsible for its design and construction. His primary research interests include renewable and efficiency systems integration; energy infrastructure challenges; and the intersection of energy markets, policies, and new technologies. In addition to his experience at NREL, Mooney has spent a decade in the private sector in technology startups and photovoltaic manufacturing companies.  He has a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Ellen Morris, Director, University Partnerships Program, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  Ellen currently serves as an Energy Liaison on the Collaboratory Executive Board.


Ellen Morris is directing the university partnerships program at the National Renewable Energy Laboratorythat aims to strengthen collaborative research in renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and system integration. Morris also teaches Energy and Development courses at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and is a Faculty Affiliate at the Center on Global Energy Policy. She has had a long career working in energy and international development, with a particular focus on promoting the increased use and deployment of clean energy technologies and services as a means to support economic development and reduce poverty in developing countries. Morris is a graduate of Colorado School of Mines in geophysical engineering and has a doctoral degree in marine geophysics from the University of Rhode Island.

Seth Marder, Director, Renewable & Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), University of Colorado Boulder.  Seth currently serves as an Energy Liaison on Collaboratory Executive Board.


Seth Marder, PhD joined RASEI as the Director in July 2021.  He received his BA in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After completing his postdoctoral work at the University of Oxford, he moved to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology.  Dr. Marder has served on numerous advisory boards for journals and is the founding chair of the editorial board for the Royal Society of Chemistry materials journal Materials Horizons.  At CU Boulder Dr. Marder has joint appointments in chemical and biological engineering within the College of Engineering and Applied Science and in chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences.  He is a RASEI fellow with a joint appointment at NREL.  Dr. Marder is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Physical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Materials Research Society, the Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), the Optical Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also a member of the World Cultural Council.


Collaboratory Staff

Maury Dobbie, Executive Director, Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory and splits her time as Director of External Engagement, Energy Institute at Colorado State University.


Maury is the Executive Director for the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory which is a research partnership between Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado State University and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  Maury wears two hats.  Maury is the Director of External Engagement for the Energy Institute at Colorado State University.  Previously, Maury Dobbie was Assistant Director at the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University. Maury began her entrepreneurial career at age 19. She has founded and operated six diverse companies, holding CEO or principal positions. Before joining CNEE, she was president/CEO of a regional not-for-profit economic development corporation in northern Colorado.  In 1994, Maury founded a video production company and expanded it rapidly into an award-winning multimedia enterprise, with a web-development department and live event services.  Dobbie  has been a part of Colorado’s new energy economy initiative for years.  She worked with industry partners to create Colorado State University’s Systems Engineering Program and the Clean Tech Certification Program at Front Range Community College.  Appointed in 2009 by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and reappointed in 2013 by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, she has served as chair of the board for the Colorado Community College System, which oversees 13 community colleges in 38 locations around the state.  She is currently the volunteer board chair of the non-profit Colorado Clean Energy Cluster dba She’s in Power organization focused on driving revolutionary growth of the Colorado clean energy economy by educating and empowering women and girls.  The She’s in Power initiative is a hands-on workforce development and networking program for advancing women in clean energy.  Was named top woman in business in the prestigious Office Depot award.  In 2020 Maury was named Top Women in Energy by the Denver Business Journal.