Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering


Phone: 970-491-2842


Dr. Susan P. James

Biomaterials Research and Engineering Laboratory


Mechanical Engineering

Associate Director of School of Advanced Materials Discovery

School of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. James joined the Colorado State University (CSU) Mechanical Engineering faculty in 1994 as an assistant professor. Dr. James was the Head of Mechanical Engineering Department at CSU from 2010-2018, and was the founding Director of the School of Biomedical Engineering. She received her Ph.D. in Polymers from MIT and her B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from Carnegie Mellon. Dr.  James’ research focuses on polymeric materials used in biomedical engineering. These include orthopedic and cardiovascular applications as well as regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. She and her students invented the BioPoly materials, now in clinical use in partial resurfacing knee implants ( Much of her current work is on hyaluronan-enhanced plastics, which do not cause blood clotting and platelet activation like most synthetic plastics. In collaboration with several faculty, students and researchers, she is working on developing hyaluronan-enhanced flexible leaflets for heart valve prostheses. Her group is also researching new materials for small diameter vascular grafts. Dr. James is committed to giving back and has been involved with many organizations over the years including Africa Higher Education Partnerships (AAHEP), Women and Minorities in Engineering Program (WMEP), and Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She has also performed countless outreach programs for young girls to get them interested in engineering.


  • Ph.D. 1993, Massachusetts Institute of Technology—Polymer Science and Technology
  • B.S. 1989, Carnegie-Mellon University—Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science


Research Interests

  • Biomedical Engineering, Polymeric materials
  • Orthopaedic Biomaterials, Joint Replacements
  • Regenerative Medicine/Tissue Engineering
  • Cardiac Biomaterials and Medical Devices

Honors and Awards

  • 2009, 2008 – Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award, Colorado State University
  • 2006 – Jack E. Cermack Advising Award, Colorado State University
  • 2006 – George T. Abell Outstanding Teaching and Service Faculty Award, Colorado State University, College of Engineering
  • 2006 – Nominated for CSU Best Teacher Award, Colorado State University
  • 2005 – Recognition of Support and Commitment to Diversity Efforts in College of Engineering, Women and Minorities in Engineering Program, Colorado State University

International Connections

  • Country: New Zealand
    Contact: University of Canterbury, Research Collaboration, Sabbatical Host