Bringing Research and Business Together for Colorado

Governor's Awards 2017

October 5, 2017

Congratuations to the Winners of the 

2017 Governor's Awards

for High-Impact Research

Ninth Annual Event Honors Colorado’s
Top Scientists and Engineers
for Projects Having a Significant Impact on Society

2017 CO-LABS Governor's Awards for High Impact Research

From the quantum realm of bioscience to the vanguard of atmospheric physics, from the technology advancing new possibilities in manufacturing to crucial new assessments of severe weather – CO-LABS was proud to convene more than 200 fellow champions of science at Colorado's premier scientific research recognition event on October 5, 2017. Researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, technology experts, STEM educators and government officials mingled and celebrated the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs!


JILA and Dr. Tom Perkins' New Twists

in the Molecules of Life details

Principal Investigator:

Thomas T. Perkins, Ph.D. Fellow of JILA & Adjunct Professor, 
Dept. of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, University of Colorado


NIST  - Seeing More with a

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) details

Principal Investigators:
Dr. Robert Keller
, Leader, Nanoscale Reliability Group, NIST
Dr. Roy Geiss, Analytical Specialist TEM/SEM, Colorado State University
Dr. Katherine Rice, Applications Scientist, CAMECA


NOAA/CU-Boulder/UCAR -  GPS Reflections:

Innovative Techniques details

Principal Investigators:
Kristine Larson, Professor, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado
John Braun, Project Scientist, UCAR COSMIC Program
Eric Small, Professor, Dept.  of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado
Valery Zavorotny, Physicist, Physical Sciences Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA


CIRA - GOES-16 the New Generation of

Geostationary Weather Satellites details

Principal Investigators:
Steven Miller
, Senior Research Scientist, CIRA
Curtis Seaman, Research Scientist, CIRA
Daniel Lindsey, Research Meteorologist, NOAA/NESDIS/RAMMB

Hosted By:

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Keynote Speaker: James Balog

James Balog Chasing Ice    
Photographer of Chasing Ice and Founder, Extreme Ice Survey

From the quantum realm of bioscience to the vanguard of atmospheric physics, from the technology advancing brilliant manufacturing to crucial new assessments of severe weather – come join the premier scientific research recognition event in Colorado with over 200 researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials as we celebrate the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs. 

Now in its 9th year, the event gathered scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials to celebrate the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs and institutions.

James Balog was the keynote speaker at the 2017 Governor’s Awards for High Impact Research event, speaking on “The Value of Scientific Research in the Anthropocene.” Mr. Balog is the world-renowned photographer featured in the Emmy Award-winning documentary Chasing Ice and founder of the Extreme Ice Survey. His insight into global environmental and societal trends, and the crucial role research plays in assessing complex factors shaping our world make him a compelling addition to this year’s CO-LABS Awards ceremony. 

“I've always believed that photography is a way to shape human perception,” says Mr. Balog.  “I look forward to joining the esteemed guests at the Governor’s Awards to discuss and share imagery that highlights the power of art and science to not only reveal incredibly profound forces in nature but also to be a source of inspiration and solutions to our most prevalent and pressing societal challenges.”  (Read more about Mr. Balog below.)

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper CO-LABS science awards 2016

“The projects in this year’s CO-LABS High-Impact Awards spotlight what makes Colorado a leader in innovation It’s terrific to see research advance its partnerships with the private sector. The range of crucial and profound discoveries coming from these labs are a national asset,” said Governor John Hickenlooper.  “I congratulate the scientific teams for their groundbreaking work and am excited to see the mark they will leave on our state and society as a whole.”

Also for 2017 there are three Honorable Mentions:

USDA ARS - Sugar Beet research with High Impact in Colorado, the USA and the World details 

CIRES - Snow Research Improves Avalanche Safety, Water Resource Management details 

NOAA ESRL - Science on a Sphere and SOS Explorer visualization systems details

Thank you to our sponsors of Colorado's ecosystem

of brilliant research and discovery:




University of Colorado at Boulder

Alliance for Sustainable Energy




 Boulder Economic Council    Boulder Chamber

UCAR   LASP CU-Boulder

RASEI   Ball Aerospace & TechnologiesUS Department of Agriculture Research Services   Xcel Energy


     Colorado State University

City of Boulder    Colorado SBDC

Brian Payer & Family

Colorado School of Mines

Boulder Engineering Studio


SU Group

Colorado BioScience Association   UNAVCO

WilmerHale      Colorado Cleantech Industries Association

GE Johnson Construction


(Winner Spotlight Videos & Event Highlights Coming October 7)



Elementum 3D


Know it Out Loud

Read more about James Balog 

“Colorado has one of the highest per capita concentrations of federal science, research and engineering facilities in the nation, with renowned scientists whose research has global impact in a range of fields including agriculture, climate and weather, earth science, materials science, natural resource management, renewable energy, space physics and telecommunications,” said CO-LABS Executive Director Dan Powers. “This prestigious event provides a unique opportunity to connect with leading scientists, lab directors, business leaders and policymakers in an informal and celebratory setting, as we highlight the labs’ role in innovation and their significant contribution to the state economy.”

Started in 2009 by then-Governor Bill Ritter, this recognition effort starts with CO-LABS convening a special committee of academic researchers, technology transfer experts and science and engineering professionals to review nominations from the more than 30 federally-funded labs and research institutes in Colorado. Through a thoughtful and thorough process this group selects projects that have had a significant global, national or state impact resulting from a scientific breakthrough, change in public policy or development of a new technology.

(Read about the 2016 winners and see videos of their amazing science.