Leading the charge to educate future space workers.
Colorado's universities and research facilities are turning ideas into discoveries and making breakthroughs with significant worldwide impact. Several companies across a variety of industries have gotten their start as a result of tech transfer activities at area universities.
In 2012, more than $1.1 billion in research funding poured into the region's universities and research centers from NASA and other government and private sources. The University of Colorado (CU-Boulder) attracted $380.7 million in research awards, Colorado State University in Fort Collins tallied $267.7 million in research funding. CU-Boulder ranked first among U.S. public universities for NASA research money received in the past three years.
In 2011, the National Science Foundation selected CU-Boulder to house the National Solar Observatory (NSO) headquarters, adding scientists, engineers, and administrative staff to manage all data analysis and instrument development.
Colorado School of Mines
A member of the Universities Space Research Association, the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) is one of three Colorado universities with graduate programs in space science and engineering. CSM is also the lead institution in the 8th Continent Project, a comprehensive effort to integrate space technology and resources into the global economy. The Project includes a chamber of commerce, business incubator, funding network, and research center - the Center for Space Resources.
Colorado State University
Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins is nationally known for its programs and institutes dedicated to atmospheric science and research. It is home to the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) and the Center for Geosciences/Atmospheric Research – a long-term program sponsored by the Department of Defense. Scientists from CSU and Boulder-based Ball Aerospace built the $217 million CloudSat project, the world's most sensitive cloud radar designed to measure properties of clouds essential to understanding earth's weather and climate processes. CSU's Department of Atmospheric Science is repeatedly designated as a Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence.
United States Air Force Academy
Strategically located near major military installations in Colorado Springs, the U.S. Air Force Academy has the nation's No. 2 aerospace engineering undergraduate program and offers majors in astronautics, space physics, and interdisciplinary space operations. Air Force Academy graduates are among the country’s current and future astronauts, engineers, and mission support specialists.
University of Colorado
Two of the three main locations of the University of Colorado (CU) system offer extensive programs in aerospace and engineering:
- CU-Boulder offers an aerospace engineering graduate program ranked #9 by USN&WR, the PhD program is ranked #3 by the National Research Council, and is a member of the U.S. Air Force Space Education Consortium, an organization providing courses and curriculum throughout the country to educate future space workers. The university has more than 200 researchers and post-doctoral and doctoral students involved in space research. CU-Boulder is also home to numerous aerospace-focused research centers, institutes, and laboratories including the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA), the Center for Astrobiology, the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR), the Center for Aerospace Structures (CAS), the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), the Earth Science & Observation Center (ESOC) , and JILA, a leading research institute in the physical sciences.
- CU-Colorado Springs (UCCS) is the lead university in the Space Education Consortium. The College of Engineering offers a Bachelors of Innovation degree with a common core in innovation and entrepreneurship.
- University of Colorado Denver (UC Denver) has the state's largest business school and is home to the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship. UC Denver also houses the Colorado Advanced Photonics Technology (CAPT) Center with laboratories and equipment giving companies access to state-of-the-art measurement and fabrication equipment.
University of Denver
Also a member of the Universities Space Research Association, the University of Denver (DU) offers graduate programs at its School of Engineering & Computer Science and GIS programs including a Certificate of Advanced Study in GIS and a Master of Science Degree in Geographic Information Science through its Department of Geography. In 2012, DU established the DU Unmanned Systems Research Institute (DU2SRI) to promote knowledge, education, research, and development in unmanned systems.