Meet Brett Jordan, MEE PhD


“One of the most rewarding things I got to do at Mines was teach the econometrics lab. I taught that for three semesters and I really enjoyed being in front of a classroom and the experience of helping students engage with a topic that can be really difficult. But what I appreciated even more was when students came to my office and I was able to make sure that they were grasping everything. I enjoyed the moment when I saw that something was clicking for them that hadn’t before. Having that one-on-one interaction with students was really cool.

. . .

The Division of Economics and Business has such a unique perspective on natural resource issues. It’s common to have econ departments that tangentially might deal with natural resource or energy issues on occasion, but they don’t have that strong institutional knowledge that Mines has.

On the other side of the coin, you’ll have engineering schools that deal heavily in natural resource and energy issues that don’t quite have the rigorous theoretical economics background that allows you to do good economics research. This department provides such a unique place to get both of those things in one area.

You hear all the time from economists who come in to do talks, who are just visiting, and they’re so surprised by the institutional knowledge that this place has embedded into it. It’s amazing that we have such a critical mass of people doing research in those issues that really allows us to do stuff that nobody else can do.

. . .

I’m headed to the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage. They study a host of economic and social issues related to the economy of Alaska, which is heavily dependent on natural resource issues, and that’s what got me excited about this position in the first place.

The folks I’ll be working with think a lot about the linkages between these natural resources and economic impacts, so I’m going to be diversifying my portfolio by dealing with fish, which is something I haven’t done before. I’m more familiar with minerals – which don’t move around like fish do!

I’m excited to go on the adventure and move to a place that’s totally foreign to me. I’ve never lived further north than Denver, so it’s going to be quite an experience.”

Brett Jordan
Division of Economics and Business
PhD, Mineral and Energy Economics
Class of 2017


“I enrolled in the Mineral and Energy Economics program because I was looking to diversify my skillset and my knowledge. This program allows me to make a career switch so I can work in a broader field of mining.

I enjoyed the Advance Project Evaluation class, co-taught by two adjunct faculty members who are principals at SRK Consulting. They brought real-life tangible lessons about mining projects that they experienced through their business and gave us the tools to evaluate them under different lenses, from the perspective of different stakeholders.

The background, experiences and diversity in the classroom contribute greatly to the program. We’ve got people who have worked in energy, petroleum, geology and mining, and those different perspectives through the classes and assignments have brought color and richness to my learning outcome.”

Phillip Ruban
Division of Economics and Business
Mineral and Energy Economics MS
Class of 2017

"I came to Mines for the IFP [Institut Français du Petrole] program. I was interested in pivoting away from engineering and doing something more business-oriented. Mines is a very well-respected institution, as is IFP, in the petroleum industry. The dual-degree program was exactly what I needed.

In fact, I just got a job offer a couple days ago! I’ll be doing energy statistics at the International Energy Agency in Paris, working with non-OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries, primarily in North Africa and the Middle East.

I’m a very social person and I’ve met some really great friends here. Moving away will be hard. But after studying at IFP, I have great connections in Paris, too."

Laila El-Ashmawy
Division of Economics and Business
Dual Degree MS, Mineral and Energy Economics, Petroleum Economics and Management
Class of 2016

“I love our department because I feel connected to a network of people who care about my success. Last year, I had an incredible mentor who was a graduating PhD student. She helped shape my feelings about what getting a PhD in economics means and the power and responsibility it gives me. This year, I found another great mentor who is honored and respected in our circle; he has smart things to contribute to virtually any discussion and takes the time to help me contribute also.

The mentorships and friendships I’ve found here at Mines are really incredible to me and I feel very lucky to have them. Starting out in a PhD program, there’s cause to be doubtful about whether your efforts will be meaningful and if they will translate into being able to produce findings that you care about. My mentors never doubt me; they respect and encourage me. As they themselves are contributing meaningful research, I can relax a bit and be confident that the process will pay off.”

Sadie Fulton
Division of Economics and Business
Mineral and Energy Economics PhD
Class of 2019

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Last Updated: 08/04/2017 08:23:15