Mines Medal Graduate Student Fellowship

Prior Year Fellows:

In addition to honoring today's leaders in engineering and science, the Mines Medal Dinner and Award Ceremony is the university's signature fundraising event and gifts support our graduate students through the Mines Medal Graduate Student Fellowship.

Henok Tiruneh - CroppedHenok Tiruneh received the 2012 Mines Medal Fellowship. Mr. Tiruneh is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering. His research specialization is geological engineering, with a focus on characterizing rock discontinuities within the Transition Room on the 4,850-foot level of the Sanford Underground Lab in the former Homestake Gold Mine, where the large cavities to support neutrino research will be installed. He is using fine-scale high-resolution 3D modeling to assess rock properties that will provide data essential to designing large underground excavations, for labs at both the Lead, South Dakota, Homestake Mine and for active mining operations.

A native of Ethiopia, Mr. Tiruneh has maintained a 4.0 grade point average while a student at the School of Mines since 2009, and has served as a valued teaching assistant and research assistant within the department. 

Rahul R. Bhosale received the Mines Medal Fellowship in 2011. Mr. Bhosale earned his Ph.D. in the spring of 2012 after beginning his doctoral program in chemical and biological engineering at the School of Mines in 2009 under the mentorship of Drs. Rajesh Shende and Jan Puszynski. His research project was entitled "Novel Redox Materials for Hydrogen Generation by High Temperature Water Splitting."

While at the School of Mines Mr. Bhosale's work focused on the development of novel forms of commercially viable energy sources, an area critical to the United States and the world. His research has gained national attention. In 2010, he received the runner-up award for outstanding student paper from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) - Nuclear Engineering Division and a third place prize for his poster at the AIChE - Fuels, Petrochemicals and Energy poster session.

Erin Handberg received the Mines Medal Fellowship in 2010. Since receiving her fellowship award, Ms. Handberg earned her master's degree in physics in May 2011. She is completing her Ph.D. program in nanoscience and nanoengineering.

In addition to her coursework and research, Ms. Handberg has collaborated on the preparation of manuscripts for submission to Physics Review B, and attended meetings of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Photovoltaic Specialists. After completing her doctoral program, Ms. Handberg hopes to acquire a faculty position teaching physics at the university level, and used a portion of her Mines Medal Fellowship award to attend the 2011 American Association of Physics Teachers conference.