Materials Science Graduate Program

With Special Emphasis in Energetic Materials

Why You Should Apply

Colorado School of Mines has recently approved the addition of a special emphasis sequence in Energetic Materials (explosives) to the Materials Science graduate program. This special emphasis in Energetic Materials (explosives) will be offered to students pursuing PhD and MS degrees in Materials Science. This new and interdisciplinary area of emphasis will endeavor to recruit professional students from U.S. National Laboratories, government agencies and private-sector companies. Graduate students will be closely mentored by subject-matter experts and industry professionals and will be allowed the unique opportunity to investigate material and material properties under dynamic loading, energetic materials undergoing detonation, high-fidelity technology, post-detonation phenomena and material behavior under large-rate deformation and strain. In addition to the world-class facilities already existent on the Mines campus, including the explosives research laboratory (ERL), small-scale laboratory/blasting chamber (SSL), and the high-fidelity mobile detonation physics laboratory (HFMDPL), cooperative participation with research personnel from Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories is currently being developed. Moreover, the program has the support of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Supportive Letter.

Who Should Apply

This degree program is being offered in the departments of metallurgical and materials engineering, mining engineering, physics, chemical engineering and chemistry, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, applied mathematics and other distinct STEM disciplines.


Research Fields

Shock Wave Physics and Chemistry

  • High strain rate behavior of materials
  • Shock activation of chemical reactions

Explosives Formulation and Characterization

  • Shock thermodynamics and equation of state

High Energy-Rate Fabrication

  • Explosive welding, forming, cladding, hardening, strengthening, consolidation, and synthesis

Computer Modeling

  • Simulation of material flow under high-velocity impacts
  • Simulation of explosive shock propagation

High-Velocity Impact

  • Ballistic impact; dynamic fracture and spalling

Explosive Interaction with Materials

  • Fracturing and fragmentation of materials including metals, ceramics, and rock
  • In-situ rock blasting
  • Explosive comminution of rock
  • Adiabatic shear localization in metals
  • Shock-induced phase transformations

High-Fidelity Instrumentation

  • High-speed and ultra high-speed imaging analysis
  • Pressure gauges
  • Manganin gauges
  • Flash X-Ray instrumentation
  • Velocity of Detonation (VOD) measurement methods
  • Photon Doppler Velocimetry (PDV)
  • Vibrational spectroscopy
  • Gas chromatography/Mass spectrometry
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
  • For more information regarding course sequences, please view the Explosive Materials Science and Engineering flyer.

How to Apply

Information about the Materials Science program can be found on the Mines Materials Science website. For specific program information, regarding the Energetic (Explosives) Materials special emphasis sequence, please contact the Mining Engineering Department at